The discussion and advice offered in their column is not offered as a clinical recommendation or as a substitute for clinical treatment. Rather, Doc Joe and Katy Ann’s comments are intended to stimulate thought, often with a sense of humor. Sometimes they agree, sometimes they don’t. So, read on…
Dear Doc Joe and Katy Ann,
I am a junior, transfer student from a community college in Southern California. I’m now attending college in Oregon. The hardest part of going to my new school was that I had to leave behind my boyfriend, “Paul.” Paul and I have been dating for two years, and the relationship has generally been smooth. However, just before I left, we had a big argument which had a lot to do with both of our insecurities about the relationship. We both got very angry and said some things that we didn’t mean. Prior to that argument, I had thought that Paul and I would be together, always.
And, now, to complicate things, a cute guy, “Glenn” in my psychology class, asked me if I’d like
to go to a movie with him. So far, I’ve been making up excuses, but I’m sort of interested.
I do miss Paul a lot, and I’m not sure if it would be unfair to that relationship if I go to a movie with another guy. It’s not really a date if we just go to a movie, is it? What should I do?
Suzanne in Oregon
Katy Ann: Are you clear about your feelings for Paul? Do you have an understanding about being exclusive, versus dating other people? Going to a movie is a date.
Doc Joe: You’re big on loyalty.
Katy Ann: You bet I am. It’s about faithfulness and devotion to a person!
Doc Joe: Here’s another thought: I find that young people are too ready to give up on a
relationship just because they had a fight with their mate. Arguments are part of relationships,
even the good ones. Just ask anyone who hangs out with a red-haired, blue-eyed, gorgeous Irish woman …
Katy Ann: Hey, wait just a …
Doc Joe: So, you need to figure out if your argument with Paul was the problem. If so, get over it. If you have other doubts about your relationship with Paul, resolve those issues before
you start going out with other guys.
Katy Ann: Well said, but what was that reference about red-haired…?
Dear Doc Joe and Katy Ann,
Here’s a tough one. I am a 30 year old graduate student in genetics. Jenny, my wife, and I moved from New York to California, so that I could get my PhD. Jenny is very close with her parents and four brothers and sisters, all of whom lived near us. Jenny had initially refused to move far away from our families in New York, so I promised her that I would agree to move back to New York after I get my Ph.D. Well, I have finished my dissertation, and will be graduating at the end of the month. To complicate matters, I have been offered a desirable post-doc position here at the university. So, I’d like to stay on for at least two years. Meanwhile, Jenny began packing some moving boxes, saying: “We agreed.” She says that “staying here any longer will break my heart.”
I love my wife, but I can’t imagine turning down this opportunity.
What should I do?
Doc Joe: A contract requires an offer, acceptance and consideration. Your agreement was a contract. You offered to move the family to California, with return to New York after the PHD; she accepted this offer. You received the move and the PhD; she received the return to her family with a Dr. Husband. Sounds like a contract to me.
Katy Ann: You think that she should sue him?
Doc Joe: Mmm…Not a bad idea. I think that she should enforce the contract.
Katy Ann: Legal mumbo jumbo… Tim and Jenny need to consider what’s best for the family. What if the post doc gets Tim a great job?
Doc Joe: Okay, I’ll try again. Tim says he loves Jenny. Love is lovingness. It’s what you do, not merely how you feel. Do you think that breaking that agreement is lovingness?
Katy Ann: Love is a two-way street. Tim and Jenny need to consider their goals and opportunities, as well as the importance of being with family members in New York.
Doc Joe: Tim, help her pack. Broken hearts don’t heal well.
Katy Ann: Tim, lay it out clearly. But, I agree with Doc Joe — Jenny gets the final say. If she still wants to go back to New York, start applying for post docs there. It’s easier to change jobs, than wives.
Doc Joe: So true.
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