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‘Defund the Police’? Easy for You to Say

  • July 03, 2020

My layman’s intuition is that you should begin with an apology for skipping several steps in your understandably fearful opening gambit. This will give him room (and validation) to consider the ways he may have behaved better, too. Don’t be shy about consulting a couples therapist, either. They can be tremendously helpful.

I had a miscarriage during my second trimester of pregnancy in 2016. The grief is fossilized in my heart. I don’t remember the exact date, but it was after Mother’s Day. I have no interest in commemorating this loss. But every year, my sister-in-law texts me some platitude, like “Thinking of you.” I reply with a terse thank you, hoping she will take the hint. But she doesn’t. How can she not see that her texts may be triggering? Also, how does she remember the date? Has she set a Google calendar alarm for my pain?


I am truly sorry for your loss. But your anger at your sister-in-law for messages that are clearly intended as supportive seems misplaced to me. I have learned, generally, that people are terrible mind readers. Stop hinting!

When you next see her, say: “I know you’re trying to be kind by remembering my miscarriage, but it’s not an occasion I want to memorialize. Please stop sending messages about it. They hurt me.” (And if you can’t bear to say it, text her.)

Two young brothers race their bikes on our cul-de-sac and come to a skidding stop at the end of our driveway. This drives my husband crazy! He has to re-rake our gravel every time. He wants to bury planks of wood with nails protruding from them to deter the boys. I’m having a hard time convincing him why he shouldn’t. Help!


Why? Because it is monstrous to put children’s safety (and your car tires) at risk this way. Just call the boys’ parents and report the problem. There, solved! As for your husband, tell him there is a bright red line between cranky and sociopathic. He is on the wrong side of it here.

For help with your awkward situation, send a question to, to Philip Galanes on Facebook or @SocialQPhilip on Twitter.

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