DR. WALLACE: A week ago, my boyfriend of two years proposed to me and made me his fiancee. I am overjoyed and thrilled to know that he has chosen me to be his partner for life, and I absolutely want to spend forever with him.
Overall, our relationship has always been strong and full of happiness, but the one problem I have struggled with is the fact that he has narcolepsy. Thankfully, his narcolepsy is not very severe, but it leaves him feeling chronically fatigued and he has to devote a lot of his time and energy to making sure that he takes very close care of himself. Honestly, his narcolepsy has not interfered with our relationship very much aside from the fact that he requires a lot more rest and sleep than I do, and so I have to be patient with him sleeping in most mornings and taking short naps at different times most days.
I do worry, however, about what the future will look like, especially if we have kids one day and a lot of responsibilities on our shoulders. What if his chronic fatigue continues to get worse and makes it difficult for him to pull his weight around the household? We’ve talked through this before, so it’s not like we’ve avoided having conversations about this, but I have the tendency to overthink things a lot, and so I can’t seem to shake off these worries even though they may have already been addressed, at least from a preliminary point of view.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not questioning my decision to marry him at all, but I’m wondering how I can ease my mind about the future when I only seem to be capable of envisioning the worst-case scenario? — Bride to be, via email
BRIDE TO BE: “For better or worse!” And in your case, if this turns out to be the major challenge within your marriage, I’d say you are facing quite a happy future life together with him.
Look at this way: You’ve already established that you wish to support each other and be with each other for a lifetime. There has no doubt been challenges that have cropped up within the two years you’ve been together already. And you obviously dealt with those successfully.
Worrying about “possible” future problems regarding issues that are already well-known is actually counterproductive. Instead, think about how strong your mutual bond is and have faith that the two of you will stick together through thick and thin. Take the time to review all of his wonderful qualities that you are fond of. Also, think about how strong and resilient you are and how you’ve managed your life up to this point.
Once you have those thoughts in your mind, they should rightfully push out any “future fears” I advise you to keep those fears out. A person could literally sit down and worry about thousands and thousands of possible and potential problems with their future, but always remember, we live in the present. Don’t degrade your current life and time by unnecessarily worrying about issues you already are aware of. Yes, planning ahead and being open about all issues, good and bad, is important, but those things have their places and should remain in their lanes.
Count your current blessings and do your best to be confident in your life and your decisions. Over time, we humans are quite good at adapting, course correcting and coming up with good solutions to issues that are important to our lives. I trust you’ll do a good job of adjusting to your future, no matter what it brings.
OUR HIKE CAUSED A PROBLEM
DR. WALLACE: My best friend took a hike with me this past weekend. We changed into some T-shirts and shorts to go on this hike. We tossed our jeans on my bed while we were gone.
When we came back, my friend took his jeans home with him, but somehow he dropped a pack of cigarettes he had in his pocket behind my bed! Well, my mother did some vacuuming on Saturday, and guess what happened? She found the smokes and accused me of smoking!
I don’t smoke, and they weren’t mine! How can I convince my mom to understand this? She says she’s going to ground me for two weeks. — An innocent son, via email
AN INNOCENT SON: You need to have your friend visit your house again and apologize to your mom for dropping his cigarettes in your home.
This may cause your mother to frown upon this particular friend from here, but it’s the price you will have to pay to get the truth explained to her. Also, be aware that if your mother knows your friend’s family, or others that do know his family, the word of his smoking may reach his home to his detriment — unless his family is already aware of his smoking habit.
Most parents would always prefer the truth to a lie, so you need to bring the truth to her if you wish to avoid being grounded.
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]estgift.com. 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.