Short Answers

By Jeff Johnson and Paula Forman


Dear Short Answers:
A casual friend of mine recently went through a very bad divorce with her husband who was cheating on her with one of his co-workers. I know her husband and he’s generally a decent guy so I’m not sure what happened to their relationship.  The problem is that my friend is now making up the  most outrageous lies about her husband, I guess to get back at him and make herself feel better.  But it makes me very uncomfortable when I hear her making up these ridiculous stories.  Should I call her out on this or just let her vent and hope that she gets over it?
Makes Me Sick

Dear Sick:
When she is on a diatribe, walk away. No reason to witness — and maybe she will get the point.



Dear Short Answers:
A neighbor of mine is collecting money for a local charity. I like the neighbor and want to be friendly but I don’t like the charity and would not contribute on my own. Do I just ignore her request? Do I explain my feelings about the charity (which would probably anger her since she clearly believes in this cause). Or do I make a small donation just to be neighborly?

Dear E:
No reason to speak your mind if a small donation will do the trick.



Dear Short Answers:
Aside from disease, why not sleep around?
Don’t Want to Say Who

Dear Who:
The potential health risks are great and the consequences potentially severe.  The same case can be made for the emotional and psychological risk of sex with many partners or strangers. We gotta say “DON’T”. Take care.



Dear Short Answers:
I’ve recently been offered a good job in a city hundreds of miles from where we live now. I would very much like to take the job. My wife doesn’t work so there isn’t a problem there. But I have two children in high school and my wife refuses to move the children and demands that I commute every week until the kids graduate. I sympathize with her point of view but I don’t want to live in an apartment by myself for five days a week. Is it wrong to move your kids during high school?

Dear Dad:
We think the solution can work if the whole family is behind it. But it will require everyone to do their part. If you choose to commute, then your wife and kids need to make your home visits a family priority. We don’t think it’s “wrong” for kids to make a move in high school either — but once again, you and your wife will have to help them and understand their resistance. The “wrong” solution is for this to become a wedge between you and your wife and kids. Make this a family decision. It isn’t easy but it can work. Passing up an opportunity because you have no family support seems harsh.



Dear Short Answers:
What is the secret for getting along with someone you truly can’t stand but are forced to work with at your job?
I Suffer

Dear Suffer:
This is the secret: It is work, not friendship.


Life is complicated. Short Answers isn’t.


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