Q&A with Dr. Dorothy: Your tough questions answered
Dorothy Ratusny is a Certified Psychotherapist specializing in Cognitive Therapy.
My friend recently confessed to me that she is pregnant. The father of the baby is a guy she hasn’t been dating for long, but they’re quite serious. She wants to know what I think she should do, but I don’t know what to tell her. I’m not pro-abortion, but I think she will ruin her life if she keeps the baby. What should I tell her?
Because she’s your friend, it’s important that she knows you will support her—regardless. If she asked for your opinion, you have the right to be completely honest; BUT, tell her with the preface that it’s your opinion and that she will still have to do what’s right for her.
I have to work throughout the school year in order to pay for school, but I’m finding it really stressful and difficult to balance school and work. If I don’t work, I won’t be able to go to school. My parents have helped me out as much as they can and I don’t know what else to do, but if I continue working as much as I am, I’m going to start failing classes. What should I do?
Assuming that you have already exhausted the option of external or student loans to help finance your education, you may want to consider reducing your course load. Taking even one less course frees up time to better study and prepare for your remaining courses, while continuing to work. More than ever before, students need to work in order to support their education. It is commendable that you are taking on the responsibility of this commitment by supporting yourself financially.
I don’t have a problem with drinking, but it is totally annoying when it is all my friends want to do and they don’t know how to have fun doing anything else. How can I get them to realize this, so we can go back to having as much fun together as we used to?
Unfortunately, it’s challenging to change the opinions of a group. People generally make lasting changes only when they are ready to do so. You have chosen to do other things to have fun, and can encourage your friends to join you, but realize that they may be content (for now) with activities that centre on drinking. Don’t let that stop you from doing other activities—even if it means that on occasion, you may have to do so without your friends.
My parents don’t like my new boyfriend and he totally knows it. I don’t want to hurt his feelings, and although I have tried to reason with my parents, they don’t understand. I really like this guy, but I can’t continue feeling torn between my parents and my boyfriend. Should I break up with him to make my parents happy, or stay true to my feelings for him?
Your parents aren’t asking that you break up with your boyfriend, so the decision remains yours. However, you may want to consider why your parents don’t like him. Do they have reasonable concerns (i.e. is he abusive, disrespectful, inappropriate)? While parents ultimately have more life experience and knowledge, it doesn’t mean that you can’t continue to be in a relationship with your boyfriend. Just be clear with yourself about the reasons you are choosing to do so. If your parents have valid reasons for not liking him, you need to look at those.
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