Dear Carolyn:

I'm in my late 20s and have been in a relationship with Mr. Wonderful for eight months. In 10 months, a military assignment will move him across the country. Since this news came, I've been hung up on what's going to happen in 10 months. There are times I can't seem to enjoy the moment -- I think, what if I get even closer to him and he just moves and that's it? I'm fearful I'll get so caught up in what's to come that I'll sabotage this great thing we have now. Please help me see this situation more clearly.


In 10 months, you could be: engaged, laid off, transferred, caught cheating, diagnosed with something scary, hit by a bus.

Or, since the mundane might be more convincing -- in 10 months, you could lose interest in each other, fall for other people, become parents (an observation, not a suggestion).

I'm sorry you have this certainty of his departure hanging over you.

But one certainty should never be mistaken for Certainty. Things have a way of running their own course, even when you KNOW you know where they're going. Especially when. Keep your perspective by keeping each day in its place.

Dear Carolyn:

I have grown up as the oldest child in my family. Just recently my mom told me she had a daughter when she was 17 whom she gave up for adoption at birth. A couple of weeks ago, my mom found her daughter on the state adoption registry. We have set up a meeting with both her and her adoptive parents. Ever since the rest of my family found out, they are all asking me how I feel about it. The only answer I have been able to come up with is, "I'm not sure." I'm glad my mom has found her first baby, but I also feel like I've been deceived. I don't want to be mad at my mom. I understand why she didn't tell me, because she didn't want me to use it against her.


That's possible. Though I don't see how you can "use" this "against" her, since keeping a baby and giving one up for adoption both can be courageous, loving acts. Or WHY you would punish her for it.

It's also possible she wanted to tell you all along but had compelling (and confusing) reasons not to. Very young, you wouldn't understand; a little older, you'd understand, but not the nuances; a little older, you'd grasp the nuances and freak out; a little older, you'd be angry you hadn't been told.

Or not. Hard to say when the right time would have been -- if not impossible, given your younger siblings. Whom you don't even mention explicitly. Why? Why is this just about you?

The kindest thing you can do for your mom now -- and for yourself -- is to dwell on WHAT you were told, and not when.

And on what your new sister must be feeling. And your mom. And everyone else.

Meantime, you have a perfect approach: "I'm not sure." You've got a lot of facts and feelings to sort through, some of them painful. It's okay to reserve judgment till you see for yourself what things mean. Just be open to it being good news.

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