By Diane Forrest
I recently saw this video - it is a short, funny little skit about how a girl just wants to share her problem. Not have someone fix the problem, just to talk it out. I am not that way. If I have a problem I am looking for solutions and answers. I may not choose to follow the answers I receive, but at least there are different options that I may not have considered. There are some problems that can't be solved though, and I just need someone to listen, and sympathize with my plight.
The difficult thing – is to know what your confidant is expecting, solutions or a listening ear. I will discuss a problem with a friend and he will answer - don’t ask don't tell. He is a very smart man, so I value his thoughts and opinions.
When I was a newlywed many years ago, when I had my first problem I went to my father. The words he gave me are still ringing in my ears today. He advised me to not bring him any marital problems. I was confused at the time until I later understood. Sharing my marital woes with my family didn't solve my problem, but changed my family's opinion about my husband. That can lead to a very difficult situation, because after your dispute has been resolved, your family will still harbor ill will. I tried to explain this to my son and his wife when they were first married as well.
So, how do you help?
When do you help and when do you just say no?