Ce Ce’s answers to questions about personal growth, sex, religion, spirituality, health, politics, relationships, friendships and entertainment, movies and music.
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Dear Ce Ce: My daughter got pregnant at age 18. She’s 21 now and she works for a doctor as an assistant. I would like for her to go to medical school. The doctor she works for thinks she’ll be a good doctor. I would like to retire soon from my job but I won’t be able to pay for health insurance. If my daughter graduates from medical school she can take care of my medical needs. My daughter needs $50,000 to start medical school. Do you think it’s a good idea for me to sign my name on her loan?
Dear Mary: I think it is wonderful that your daughter didn’t allow her teenage pregnancy to stop her from becoming responsible and getting a decent job. Is it possible it is your dream for your daughter to be a doctor? Your daughters’ desire to be a doctor should be stronger than your need for her to be one. I don’t think it’s a good idea for you to use your daughter as your insurance policy for your future medical needs. I recommend you retire when you choose to and use the $50,000 to pay for health insurance for yourself. Your daughter seems resourceful. If going to medical school is important to her she’ll find a way. It’s wonderful to help adult children however I feel your own needs should be met first.
Dear Ce Ce: I am 37 years old, single and I live in New York. It is very difficult to meet good men in this city. I feel left out because my friends are either married or in relationships. Do you feel I am normal to feel bad about being single at my age?
Dear Elizabeth: Sometimes normal is what the majority have become. I noticed you said it is difficult for you to find good men in your city. I have gone many years without dating because I didn’t want to settle for a man who wasn’t quality just for the sake of being in a relationship. Being in a relationship doesn’t automatically mean a couple is happy. I suggest you do an honest inventory of yourself and focus on the things you admire about yourself and the things you want to change. Make yourself a new project and hobby to be the best you can be. By focusing on myself, I let go of what others were doing. There is always the next level I could take myself to become a better and more vibrant me. Because I became my own best friend I didn’t feel lonely when I was single. Anything I wanted others to do with and for me, I did for myself. I took myself on a seven day cruise to Alaska. I had the whole (little) cabin to myself. Before this trip I bought myself a two carat diamond ring. Why? Because I liked it! If being and doing the best you can be gives you the result of being single then I say pop the champagne bottle! With that, be open to dating men of different races, religions, ages and be willing to change your home city. Create a list of what you want in a man and then honestly ask yourself if you are what you are seeking. Good luck and keep me posted.
Dear Ce Ce: My stepdaughter plays games with her father. She uses her toddler daughter as a pawn to get him to do what she wants. My husband is afraid of telling her ‘no’ because he’s afraid she will punish him by not letting him see his granddaughter. My husband loves his grandchild and he wants to be part of her life. What do you think we can do to stop my stepdaughter from playing games with her father?
Dear Marsha: The best way to stop someone’s poor behavior is not to enable them. When your husband jumps to his daughter’s ego wishes he’s being part of what he’s complaining about. I suggest your husband have a long talk with his daughter and let her know the games are over. He can let her know he is willing to not have a relationship with his granddaughter if it means he has to play her games. I can hear you gasping! “But that’s his flesh and blood.” If you feel DNA gives one a license to mistreat you at whatever cost then your husband can continue to play his daughters immature games. This way your husband gets to physically be part of his granddaughters’ life but he won’t be happy. He will feel resentful and his granddaughter will feel his resentment. His granddaughter will learn to play manipulative games because she will see how he relates to her mother. If your husband is interested in spending time with young children he can always become a big brother. If he did this your stepdaughters’ attitude may change and she may be fretful of losing out on inheritance money.
Dear Ce Ce: My twenty three year old daughter is ruing my marriage. I have been married to her father for thirty years. We have invested money in my daughter going to college but she keeps flunking and she won’t get a job. She wants to live like a hippie. She wanted to get away from her abusive boyfriend so my husband and I leased an apartment for her in our name in another city. She registered to go to a new school. She dropped out of school again and left the apartment with eight more months to pay on the lease and moved back home with us. There is constant arguing and fighting in my home and there is no more romance left in my marriage. I am considering moving out of my home so I won’t have to deal with my daughter. Please help!
Dear Lola: I think you and your husband are the ones who are ruining your marriage. Your daughter can only do what you allow her to do in your home. At twenty three years old she’s an adult. She should have the right to choose to live like a hippie. You have the right to not support her life style. I recommend you give your daughter a certain amount of time to move out of your home. In order for this to be effective, you have to honor your word, no back and forth. You cannot give this type of personality rope to play games with you. It sounds like your daughter is running your household and you and your husband have become children. Are you attached to your daughter having a certain lifestyle that fits what you feel she should be? Do you and your husband truly want your daughter to leave your home? Is it possible there are problems in your marriage that don’t have anything to do with your daughter? If your daughter leaves home then you and your husband will have to face each other and your relationship problems will no longer be blamed on her. I feel therapy will be a good idea for you and your husband so you can learn proper skills on communicating your true feelings without hiding behind others. I wish you the best!
Dear Ce Ce: I am a lawyer. I put myself through school without any help from family or friends. I am doing well financially and I often have relatives and friends asking to borrow money. They say I should give them money because I am single and I don’t have children. My aunts’ house was in foreclosure and she borrowed $2,500 from me. A year later she came back and asked for a $1,500.00 loan without paying me back the $2,500. I get angry that they would even ask me for money. For some reason I can’t say no to my family and friends. Why do you feel I can’t say no to them?
Dear Donald: I feel you have a need to be liked at whatever cost. I too was a people’s pleaser for many years. I read a little book called, “Your Power To Say No” by Vernon Howard. This little book helped me to say ‘no’ to people and feel proud of myself when I said it. If you are concerned about people who ask you for loans not liking you, I can help you: They don’t like you nor respect you, if they did, they wouldn’t ask you for money. People who respect you don’t feel they are entitled to benefits from your work and efforts. Your reluctance to say ‘no’ to people has to do with your lack of self-worth. When you have self-worth your inner confidence jumps out and protects you from being taken advantage of. You don’t have this shield of protection because you haven’t set boundaries for what you will and will not do. Look in the mirror and yell ‘no’ several times as loud as you can. When you feel a vibration in your body from saying ‘no,’ remember that feeling and say ‘no’ with that conviction the next time someone ask you for money. I wish you the best. You sound like you are worthy to me!