A car or my girlfriend?
Q: I usually go home for Christmas, but this year I have told my folks I won’t be coming home. Now they are saying that if I don’t come home they will not give me my present, which happened to be a car – not new but about four years old. It was my mom’s car and she is getting a new one so they were planning to give me her car. I was so excited because I really need a car for work. My car died about a week ago, and I have been using my girlfriend’s (“Jenny”) car, which has been very inconvenient for both of us.
Anyway back to the problem. The reason I am not going home for Christmas is that my parents invited Jenny to come with me this year, which I thought was very nice. It would have been the first Christmas we would have spent together after five years of being in a serious relationship. Well, my parents decided they would welcome Jenny for Christmas, but she would have to spend the visit sleeping at the local motel because we are in a same-sex relationship. They felt this would be OK because they are willing to pay for the motel bill. My mother said she just wouldn’t feel comfortable with the two of us under their roof because God would see our relationship as a sin – and they just couldn’t have sin happening under their roof.
Both Jenny and I are in a monogamous, committed relationship. I told my mom that I wouldn’t be home until they respected my relationship with Jenny, just like they accept any other loving relationship. That’s when she said I wouldn’t be getting my present if I didn’t love them enough to come home.
I wouldn’t even think of going home except that I need that car. Jenny refuses to go because she feels they are disrespecting our relationship. She believes that unless they can acknowledge us as a couple and that our relationship is as valid as any marriage, she won’t go. So I would be going by myself. Jenny says it is up to me, but I just don’t know what to do. What would you do if you were me?
Between a Car and Self-respect
A: Sometimes we do have to make the hard choice between our family of origin and the person we love. I know that the need for a car clouds what is going on, but you seemed pretty sure that you wouldn’t go before you knew you wouldn’t get the car. Ask yourself what message it gives your parents and Jenny if you choose to go home to get that car. I can’t make this decision for you, only you know what you need to do.
Likin’ a loon
Q: I have been dating someone that, at times, I really like a lot; at other times he can be quite scary. “James” can be very charming and is extremely cute. He is also the best and most exciting sex partner I have ever had. The problem is he is also a psycho, I mean at times he is really weird and scary. He seems to hear voices and will tell me that a person that has “passed over” is telling him to go do something to someone, and if he doesn’t do it, he will be punished. During sex he seems to be a totally different person than when we are just together. He is sexy and outgoing, sort of like you might imagine a prostitute. He will also do absolutely anything I tell him to do. But I am always on edge, afraid the other side will come out, and he will do something to harm me.
I have suggested he get psychiatric help, but he says he has seen “shrinks” before and they don’t help. I feel like I am kind of addicted to him because I know that on one hand I should get out of this relationship, but I just can’t give up the part of him I adore. Do you think it would help him if I could get him to go to a psychiatrist? I just can’t seem to give up this relationship.
Addicted to the Psycho
A: I am sure that he needs to be seeing a psychiatrist. However, you are the one writing to me. I am concerned that you would continue with a relationship when you know that James hears voices that tell him to do things to people, and you don’t trust him because you are afraid he might harm you; and yet, you want (or feel addicted) to keep the relationship going. I would suggest that you seek help, immediately, to look at why you would stay in this kind of relationship.
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