Fix It, or Forget About It?


Several of my friends and I were single for the longest time. A few years ago, I got married and had a child. I’ve since noticed a sea change in these relationships. None of them seem interested in my child or want to come to my house. Every year we go on vacation together, and I’m starting to dread these trips because of all of the negative energy that’s directed toward me. Is it time to cut out these women? -Missing What Once Was

It’s very common for there to be friction after one member of a friend group couples off or has a child (or gets a shar-pei!) while the others don’t. But without specific examples, I can’t tell whether this is that typical tension or whether there’s something more complicated underfoot.

Perhaps this doesn’t have as much to do with your child as it does with some other slight, real or perceived, or it could be that they feel that you’re not as interested in them now that your life has changed. Pick the person in the group who you feel the closest to and have a private conversation about the tension you feel. How seriously she takes you will speak volumes about how deep this rift has gotten.

Not Exactly Your Kind of Music

I am a folk singer/songwriter. Recently, I found out from my husband that his siblings are planning to sing raunchy parodies of my songs at the next family gathering. I can’t put my finger on why this bothers me. While I don’t want to come off as oversensitive about the whole thing, it seems like they’re making fun of my music. Should I say something or just try to be a good sport about this? -Parodied

What was your husband’s attitude about the whole thing? There are ways that this could be done with love, and there are ways that this could be done that make you run from the house shrieking, wanting to poke your in-laws with a cattle prod.

Talk to him about your concerns, and see whether, as your loving, lifelong mate, he can run interference. It’s totally understandable that you’d be hurt to have your work mocked and also totally understandable that this might be a misinterpretation that’s been blown out of proportion. Although it isn’t cited specifically in most wedding vows, it’s a spouse’s sacred duty to help protect his or her mate’s work from being turned into songs about body parts.

Dr. Andrea Bonior writes Express' advice column, Baggage Check.
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