DEAR HARRIETTE: My fiance hates working for the Navy, but having him stay enlisted is the fastest way to stabilize us financially. We will get so many benefits just by being married.
He told me if he stays, he will do it for us. I don’t want you to feel miserable at your job, but I’ll live pretty well if you stay.
Should I encourage him to leave after his contract ends, or would he be wiser if he stayed?
Marrying a Navy Technician
DEAR MARINE TECHNICIAN TO MARRY: I recommend encouraging your fiancé to develop his skills while in the Navy to master his field. In this way, when you look for work in the civilian world, you will be prepared for the highest level of work and pay possible.
You should research specific careers and their salaries. You can help by researching jobs in the city where the two of you would like to live.
Rather than pressuring him to stay long-term in a job he hates, guide him toward the goal of transitioning out of the Navy with all the skills he can possibly master.
You never want to push your fiancé into misery. That will not lead to a happy life. Patience, however, may require you to stay in your role for a while longer. Keep your eyes on his post-Navy career goal. That will help you stay positive during the preparation period.
DEAR HARRIETTE: My sister is extremely competitive. I have never encouraged her, but she has always seen me as a competition. It is getting old.
I want to have a better relationship with her without feeling like she’s always trying to get over me.
To get started on the relationship, I know we have to have an awkward conversation in which I address her competitiveness. How do I start this type of dialogue without offending her?
DEAR COMPETITIVE SISTER: You have to be direct and clear with your sister. Tell her what kind of relationship you want with her and what you think is getting in her way.
Call it what it is: competitiveness. Admit that you know this is in your nature. Ask him to focus his competitiveness on other people. Request that your relationship with you be in the safe zone where you take a break from rivalry. Make it clear that you are exhausted by their approach to you. You want and need it to stop.
Even if you agree, it may take some time before you can completely stop competing (if you can at all). You will have to decide how you want to handle the moment when she starts challenging you again. You can point it out and ask it to stop the moment you notice it; You can literally walk away or stop interacting with her. You will need to act immediately so that you know when you are doing it.
Harriette Cole is a life stylist and founder of DREAMLEAPERS, an initiative to help people access and activate their dreams. You can send questions to firstname.lastname@example.org or c / or Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.