DEAR ABBY: My daughter, “Roxanne,” married right out of high school. Eleven years later, she finally woke up and realized the man of her dreams was a deadbeat. She has now been divorced as long as she was married, still looking for a good man who will love her and share a future with her.
She’s very sensitive, and I don’t know how to tell her she needs to change her attitude about life in general because no one wants to hear her recite all the bad things that have happened to her since childhood. She has always had a hard time letting go of small slights, from things that go on at work to as far back as school or sibling feuds.
Roxanne is a wonderful, beautiful woman, and my heart breaks to think of her spending the rest of her life alone. Her dad and I won’t live forever. I’m afraid if I tell her how I feel, she’ll no longer want to confide in me and talk out her problems. (I am her sounding board.) I don’t mind listening so she can get it out of her system, but how do I get her to let it go and move forward? – Mom Who Loves Her in Kentucky
DEAR MOM: You mean well, but it may be time to cut back on being your daughter’s sounding board, which seems more like a dumping ground. Tell her you love her, but that repeating her unresolved grievances is getting her nowhere. She needs to talk to a licensed professional. Urge her to discuss these painful things with a therapist who can put her on a path to putting them behind her.
DEAR ABBY: I am a junior in college, and I recently transferred from a two-year school to a four-year school. I have made a few friends, but their class loads are so heavy I don’t get to spend much time with them. I, on the other hand, have a modest class load, so I have more free time, and I’d like to make more friends.
I have considered joining one of the two sororities on campus. But I am worried that if I do, I will have to change my personality and likes/dislikes in order to fit in. Many of the girls at this school are very “cookie cutter,” while I’m a more “eat the whole roll of cookie dough” type of person. I’m not concerned with how I look vs. how they look, but rather if I will fit in. I want more friends and friendships that will last beyond school, but I don’t want to lose who I am because I joined a sorority. Please help. – To Rush or not to Rush
DEAR TO RUSH OR NOT: Don’t rush to rush. A sorority is not the only way you can connect with people. Membership in a sorority does not guarantee that you will have friendships that last beyond college. They are like any other living arrangement – people make friends with others they connect with. If you want to widen your social circle, the same thing can be accomplished by living in a dorm and joining clubs and special interest groups on campus.
Contact Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.