My Dad’s Having an Affair. Should I Confront Him?
That and other pressing questions for Best Life's resident psychologist.
Dr. Mario Alonso is a Pennsylvania-based psychologist and psychoanalyst who has worked with countless executives, businesses, families, couples, and professional athletes for well over three decades. If you have any questions you’d like answered by Best Life, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
My dad’s having an affair. Should I confront him?
Yes, and be prepared to hear his side of the story and possibly learn that your mother may know about this and past affairs. This is going to be a difficult discussion, but a good strategy is to let him do most of the talking and try to be impartial. Then, let your father know that the next move is his. Tell him you wish he would act in a way that allows you to maintain your respect for him and be protective of your mother.
I’m divorced. How can I instill discipline in my son when his stepfather won’t?
First, avoid the urge to compete with him by trying to buy your son’s love, or counterbalance his indulgence with oppression. Instead, start by talking with your ex and asking for her perspective and suggestions. A good co-parenting relationship is the key to your success in teaching discipline and accountability to your son. Next, clearly communicate your expectations about chores, curfews, Internet safety rules, dating, and school performance. Also, tell him that your most important goal is to help him to feel comfortable talking to you about anything. By parenting with consistency, earning his trust by listening, and respecting his opinions, you will help your kid develop his own sound decision-making skills.
I’m anxious about layoff rumors and can’t sleep. Any suggestions for relief other than taking sleeping pills?
Regain a sense of control by being proactive. You’ll reduce anxiety by dealing with facts: Are the rumor sources trustworthy? Is the firm really doing poorly? If you sense that it’s for real, then don’t wait for the axe to fall. Focus on doing the best job you can and finding ways to make yourself indispensable. Also, review your portfolio of skills and update your résumé. I work with many individuals who use uncertainty as a trampoline of motivation to significantly improve their careers and lives. Sleeping pills won’t do that.