I love advice columns cause the columnist’s advice usually sucks, with the lives of the advice seekers sucking even more and leaving them ripe for ridicule. Thought I’d have a little fun with this actual letter, and give it a thorough Hansi treatment with all thirty years of my background in Corrections thrown in. Hey. It worked for felons, it can work for this chick.
Dear Hansi: I am in my late 50’s, divorced, with a career that spans 30 years. I have been successful in my life with one exception – relationships.
I have been with “Ted” for more than seven years. The first half was good, but the second half has been a constant struggle. The problems began when Ted retired at age 55. His addictions flourished – excessive drinking, credit card spending and Internet usage. The problem is, Ted has too much time on his hands and nothing constructive to keep him busy. He is border-line bipolar, and when he drinks, he becomes difficult to be around. Ted also suffers from erectile dysfunction, which causes sexual and emotional imbalances in our relationship.
I have asked Ted to get help with his addictions, but he refuses. I have sought counseling on my own to help cope with this situation, and I returned to church looking for answers. I love Ted, but his behavior over the past four years has been a huge turn off. Is this relationship beyond repair? Signed Bewildered in Vermont.
Let’s see now, Ms Vermont Bewilderment. A thirty year career (with a divorce in there), successful but bad at relationships. Bet you even like “working with people”. What Probation Department do you work in??? You sound like just about every female co-worker I’ve ever know. Earth to Vermont: you have the problem… Not Ted!
Sounds like you’re just pissed that he got to retire earlier than you. You’re jealous. My god woman. Ted had the good sense to quit and get the hell out. Do you like shit eating so much ya just gotta stay. Or maybe you gotta keep working because you didn’t make the correct financial plans that Ted did! The Man just got done working his ass off for who knows how many years, and now he just wants to mellow out with a drink here and there; buy the stuff he’s always wanted, but put on hold; and mess around on the computer. Not being busy or constructive is called Retirement, not “borderline bipolar”. How can one almost be manic or depressive?? Get real.
And about his ‘erectile dysfunction’. Let me tell ya a little secret. He’s not using that Internet for blogging or something; he’s going to porn sites. And them hands of his haven’t been all that idle. He doesn’t have reptile dysfunction; he has reptile fatigue. And you coming home fried and immediately jumping in his shit is not a big turn-on either. No wonder the man wants a drink. He’s the one trying to Cope!
And you ask why he refuses to change. He doesn’t have “addictions”, he has ‘pastimes’ which he can now, in retirement, finally devote his full attention to. I do think however that you are headed in the right direction with church. If your not having “your needs net”, you need another man on the side. And what better place to find one then at church? That’s the answer. I don’t think your relationship is beyond repair; it just needs a little “tune-up.”
Well there you have it. Non-biased, non-personal, objective advice. No wonder I had a thirty year career in Corrections. I’m good at correcting people…. It comes naturally. Well…maybe there’s just a tiny little bit of my biases thrown in 🙂