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Dear Abby: Busy mom fights to prevent frustrations from exploding
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Dear Abby

Dear Abby: Busy mom fights to prevent frustrations from exploding

DEAR ABBY: I'm a 24-year-old woman who has been married for four years. My husband, "Jerry," and I have two young boys. Jerry is military. I stay at home with the kids and work part time online on an associate degree. We struggle financially, but our basic needs are met and, overall, I'm happy with my life.

My problem is I'm finding myself struggling to control a very strong temper. The kids or my husband may be getting on my nerves, or I'm late turning in an assignment, or I'm unable to get housework done -- these frustrations build up inside and make me want to throw a fit, scream or throw things, essentially NOT be the cool, responsible adult I typically am.

I know this is incredibly immature, and I realize I'm well off in the grand scheme of things, but this anger still brews. I have never had a problem controlling my temper before. Can you help? -- FIRED UP IN FLORIDA

DEAR FIRED UP: The quarantines and lockdowns may be part of the cause of your near meltdowns. Many people are stressed and spread thin, and the isolation isn't helping.

Because you are constantly with your children, it's important that you manage your emotions before venting them on your little ones, which can be destructive. When an adult yells or acts out in front of a small child, the child will often shut down out of fear that violence may follow. This is why it's so important for you to find appropriate ways to express your emotions. My booklet "The Anger in All of Us and How To Deal With It" offers suggestions for directing angry feelings in a healthy way. It can be ordered by sending your name and address, plus a check or money order for $8 (U.S. funds) to Dear Abby Anger Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. Shipping and handling are included in the price. Sometimes when people are frustrated, they lose their temper with those presently around them. In situations like this, it's important to evaluate the source of what might really be irritating you rather than misdirect your anger at a blameless target. The ability to control your emotions is crucial so your children won't grow up thinking that exploding is normal. There are healthy ways of dealing with frustration. Among them: leaving the room, going for a walk or, better yet, a short run, or saying to yourself, "Please, Lord, don't let me lose my temper!" before opening your mouth.

DEAR ABBY: My boss has been making passes at me for the last five months, even though I have told him it makes me uncomfortable. We went out to dinner once, and he is insisting that we do it again. How do I say no to this married man and still keep my job? -- UNCOMFORTABLE IN THE SOUTH

DEAR UNCOMFORTABLE: Ask your employer if he is satisfied with your job performance. Tell him a social relationship with a married man is not what you signed on for and, if he becomes punitive, document it and point out that what he is doing could be considered sexual harassment.



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DEAR ABBY: My colleagues and I were recently notified that our company is closing next month. My work partner and I have collaborated closely for four years, and he's an expert at the software I need to know to get a job in my field. When I asked if he would give me a couple of lessons via Zoom, I was thinking it'd be about a three-hour commitment for him. But he was enthusiastic and designed a 20-plus-hour curriculum for me.

DEAR ABBY: I'm responding to the letter from "Open-and-Shut Case in Virginia" (Oct. 20), who complained her son-in-law was "disrespectful" because he didn't close cupboard doors, cereal boxes, etc. My guess is that "Kirk" is displaying classic symptoms of Adult Attention Deficit Disorder (AADD). Multistep tasks may be difficult for him to complete because he is easily distracted.

DEAR ABBY: My son had a yearlong affair with his wife's best friend, which started when the two families took vacations together. My husband and I have always been close to our daughter-in-law and our grandchildren, ages 6 and 10, as well as our son. The divorces are final now, and the lovers are married.

DEAR ABBY: As a way to manage my stress and anxiety when COVID hit, I started to exercise. Neither my husband, "Chris," nor I had ever been into fitness at all. As the months have gone on, I have realized the power of being healthy, and I try to exercise every day. The problem? Chris is angry. He calls it "me time" and has made it very difficult for me to go.

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