DR. WALLACE: Please tell me what to do. I'm 20; I have been married for three years and am the mother of a two-year-old son. I love my husband very much, but I'm lonely and depressed. My husband works 12 to 16 hours a day, six days a week. I have no friends, no job and little to no time with my husband.
Lately, I've been having thoughts and fantasies of somehow escaping my predicament. My husband is a hard worker and loves me very much, but at times, I feel like running away and never coming back. I've only been out of my teens for a year, yet I feel like a middle-aged housewife with nothing to do but the laundry. Please respond. I'm confused and really need your help. — Feeling Trapped, via email
FEELING TRAPPED: I'm humbled you put faith in me to help you through a very difficult challenging time in your young adult life. The good news is that I believe your life is likely to take a turn for the better soon. Please begin with an open and honest conversation with your husband. This is paramount. Tell him honestly that you're depressed with your daily routine and feel all alone. Also tell him unequivocally that you love him and your son very much, but you are still feeling very, very blue. Mention that you honestly don't know what to do about it and are asking him for his help. Most men respond well to requests for help, especially from the woman they love as a life partner. Your husband might come up with some great suggestions and strategies for you, but you'll never receive them if you don't ask, so please do this as a first step.
Additionally, from my perspective, it seems you must have contact with other people, especially other adults. If you have other family members you can talk with, do so. It doesn't matter what the details of the conversation are; just have open and honest conversations with another adult. Do something so you can mingle with people. There may be other young ladies with small children in situations similar to yours; therein may exist new friends who may truly help you. Network and pass around this idea with everyone you know.
You are in a rut, but it wouldn't take much to get you on the road to stability and happiness. It is possible professional counseling could help to get your life in order, if the first suggested steps I've outlined here do not bring you the desired results soon. Hang in there; I trust better days are coming for you. The fact that you contacted me and poured out your heartfelt story to a columnist is a very good sign. Now keep this momentum going in person with others in your community.
A BIG CHANGE WITH A FRIEND
DR. WALLACE: I'm a 15-year-old girl, and a guy I like is 16. We have known each other for over five years, since we were little kids. We had never dated each other formally, but we were always good friends over the years.
About a month ago, he asked me to go out with him, and I jumped at the chance and said yes. We had a great time, and he even kissed me good night! Then he said he even loved me and has loved me for a really long time. But what came next was a huge shock: He said he wanted to make love with me! Yikes!! I'm only 15 and have no plans to be physical like that with anyone for a long time. I've got a whole lot of growing up to do first!
I was quite surprised by his boldness and told him I wasn't interested in his proposal. He said he understood and would be seeing me in school this fall.
That was three weeks ago, and he has not talked to me since. He has totally avoided me — no phone calls, not even a text. Yesterday, I discovered from my best girlfriend that this boy is now "going steady" with a local girl who has, shall I say, a bit of a "shady" reputation.
Do you think he stopped seeing me because I wouldn't have sex with him? — Disappointed Friend, via email
DISAPPOINTED FRIEND: It appears that this boy, as he has grown a bit older, is now attracted to you for less-than-honorable reasons. When he discovered you weren't interested in his offer, he moved to a more "favorable" situation (from his perspective). This might actually be a bit lucky for you now that his attention has moved elsewhere.
Send him a text or leave him a voicemail telling him you'll be around to talk to him as a friend if he wishes to continue the friendship someday. You'll feel better after you do this. In the meantime, move on and make no more contact with him unless or until he contacts you politely and respectfully someday, purely as a friend.
Dr. Robert Wallace welcomes questions from readers. Although he is unable to reply to all of them individually, he will answer as many as possible in this column. Email him at [email protected] To find out more about Dr. Robert Wallace and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.
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