Q: My fiancé and I have been engaged for almost a year. We will both receive our college degrees in June, and then we will marry. My mother has passed, and my father and I no longer speak. I love my grandparents and look to them for advice.
Recently, a friend of a friend told me she witnessed my fiancé and a female classmate flirting over afternoon drinks at a local bar. I am distraught and wondering whether it's true.
What can I do to get to the bottom of this?
A: Share this information with your grandparents, and lean on them for emotional support while you check things out. And confront your fiancé! Trust, truth and open and honest communication are among the top secrets to a successful relationship.
It is possible your so-called friend of a friend may have a vested interest in splitting you up and want him for herself. What she's saying might simply not be true.
You need to assure yourself of the truth before passing judgement and making any decisions. Lean on your grandparents and your common sense to help you through this emotional time.
If it is not true, don't waste time determining why you were given false information. Jealousy, hate or other reasons may have played a role in this accusation. If it is true, you may choose to cancel your engagement, in which case you should hash the details out with your fiancé. And you may be in luck: Discovering this before the wedding means you're in a position to choose whether he is Mr. Right. — Doug
LEARNING FOR TRAVEL
Q: My work kept me extremely busy throughout my entire career, and I never had time for a long vacation. Now that I've transitioned into retirement, I'm looking forward to traveling through Europe and seeing where my family came from in France. However, I'm nervous about the language barrier, especially if I travel outside of major cities.
How do you recommend I prepare for my trip?
A: France is a country where it helps to learn some of the language basics before going. Although it will be difficult to become fluent quickly, the French generally appreciate the effort to adapt.
In many other European countries, such as the Netherlands, English is ubiquitous. However, learning the language will help you experience more of the country, so it's definitely worthwhile.
In order to start learning, designate a reasonable goal for your studies before your trip, so that you have a personal metric for success. Don't try to take on too much.
When studying on your own it's easy to get overwhelmed. But there are vast resources available. Consider classroom learning at a local institution, online resources (Duolingo is great for basics) or individual lessons. Be patient with yourself, and you'll be more inspired to learn.
Try not to stress too much, as the entire point is to enjoy your retirement! — Emma, Doug's granddaughter
Doug Mayberry makes the most of life in a Southern California retirement community. Contact him at [email protected] Emma, Doug's granddaughter, helps write this column. To find out more about Doug Mayberry and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.