Millennium Post

When bad things happen

When bad things happen
My mother is a single parent. She drinks a lot <g data-gr-id="68">everyday</g>. I’m in college and feel very helpless. Please help!
Vikranth, Haryana
Try talking to your parent when they are sober. Find a time when both of you are calm and your parent has not been drinking.

Sit your parent down and discuss how their alcoholism makes you feel. Explain the problems that have arisen because of the drinking. You will probably not be able to convince your parent to stop drinking completely, but you can at least encourage more responsible drinking and try to inject some realism into their understanding of the impacts. Make it clear what behavior you will and won’t tolerate. This is not about telling a parent what to do–about ensuring your own safety and well-being. 

Say that if they keep getting drunk, you will take action (such as getting in help, leaving to stay with someone else, etc.). Encourage your parent to talk about possible reasons for the depression that fuels it. You can encourage seeking therapy for the depression but don’t be discouraged or surprised if your parent refuses to entertain this idea–it’s fairly confronting as it requires taking responsibility. 

Ask your parent to take a gradual approach to reducing their reliance on alcohol. It won’t work asking them to stop drinking all at <g data-gr-id="90">once</g> but you can tell them to at least <g data-gr-id="89">decrease</g> the amount of drinking day by day or week by week.

My girlfriend and I are in a relationship for the last two years. We live in too. She spends a lot of money on shopping and other activities. I am trying my best to cope, but she doesn’t seem to understand! Can you help me suggest some way.
Name unknown
This is a very, very hard problem to solve.  It’s near to addiction in my experience.  You should not commit to a lifetime with her until you know either a) you are prepared to deal with it forever or b) she is able to change her ways. 

Start with transparency:  teach her to share all expenses with you. Do not try to control things, often money is a substitute for control.

Try and work together on life goals - saving for a trip, a house, whatever. If she cannot prove herself capable of meeting to save for a goal, I would seriously reconsider her as a life partner.  

Debt is crippling in terms of options, and if she is under the expectation that you will support her, if you are not up for it, you will become a slave to her debt.  

Material things should not define a person or a relationship and if she cannot learn that, I wouldn’t suggest you put your own financial future on the line. This is not a problem you want to wait to fix, it will not resolve itself. 

Loving someone does not mean that you destroy yourself in the process. That is what you are potentially doing by not dealing with a habit that is irresponsible. Talk to anyone who’s been in a relationship with a person who is terrible with money – it is not fun, it is not romantic, it might be tragic in future. 

I live in a hostel. One of my senior is homosexual and tries to make advances. I’m very scared of him but don’t know how to fight this out. Can you help.
Sam, New Delhi
You have to be very careful. I suggest, you should approach the ‘threat’ and be straight forward in explaining about what you feel. Don’t be scared to face anything that appears to be a problem! If it still continues, share this with your peers in <g data-gr-id="82">hostel</g> and a few of your seniors whom you can trust. Don’t <g data-gr-id="74">threat</g> him but be firm in letting him know that you’re just not interested! Be cool and be happy.

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