Life Advice


Health & Spirit

It's not healthy to raise kids in a protective bubble

Carolyn Hax on

Because life is risk. And to this parent, at least, life is better full than arbitrarily "safe."

Hi, Carolyn:

How do you bring yourself to forgive someone when you want to, but can't? My partner recently made an insensitive comment that hurt me. Think: "Well, if that's how you feel, we could always split and I'll marry someone else." I know for a fact -- from the context and the spirit -- this was meant to be a joke. A stupid and bad one, but a joke nonetheless.

My partner immediately apologized. Intellectually, I accept the apology. But now almost two weeks later, I find myself still hurt and shaken by this comment. My partner knows this, but is getting understandably frustrated that there's nothing else that can be done.

My partner feels terrible about the comment. I feel terrible that I still feel hurt, but I just do. What's the way forward?

-- Still Stung

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When the "what" doesn't suffice, try the "why." Why did this joke hit so hard? Tone, timing, context, unwelcome proximity to truth, [blank]?

While you dig into this -- please do, in earnest -- express gratitude often for your partner's patience. Acknowledging limbo can ease the torment it brings.


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(c) 2018, Washington Post Writers Group



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