Family

My husband and I are newly married and we share all of our money. This is new to both of us and even though we discussed it before getting married, issues keep arising. I like to spoil myself every now and then by getting my nails done, treating myself to a dinner, or getting a massage. I don’t do these things too often, but I work hard and like to unwind. He says he doesn’t do the equivalent so it’s not really fair. How can we work this out? – It’s my money too

Dear It’s, Congratulations on your recent marriage! Marriage is a sharing of many things, including, but not limited to, time spent together, living space, and, of course, finances – all of which, when agreed upon, build trust between the partners. Over the course of a marriage, however, this trust is tested. Some couples, for example, may face a partner’s infidelity,…

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Workplace

My boss makes sexual remarks in the office. They are not directed at me or any employee but he objectifies female bodies. Yesterday, he was talking about how hot one of our client’s is and it made me uncomfortable. I don’t know how to convey my feelings about this to him without hurting my job security. I am pretty sure, if I say something, he’ll fire me and I can’t afford to lose my job right now. What should I do? – Hate My Boss

Dear Hate, The days of accepting female sexual objectification at work or in society, in general, is long gone. Aside from certain world leaders (who shall remain unnamed) who believe they are above social diplomacy and the law, living in the 21st century and in Metro Vancouver, we know that bosses making sexual remarks at the office is unethical and…

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Dear Dr. Faizal
Relationships

I love my husband and he loves me too. I know that. But he has a habit of making sexist jokes about women and I don’t like that at all. Yesterday, we saw a well-dressed older woman and he said, “Oh! She’s a hot oldie!” I have confronted him on this on many occasions that this needs to stop. How can I make him realize that it’s wrong?? – Angry Wife

Dear Angry, I believe that any form of discrimination – whether it be racism, sexism, ageism, etc. – is wrong and should not be tolerated, regardless of whether or not you love the person who is violating this very basic social rule. The example you shared of your husband’s comment – “She’s a hot oldie” – demonstrates both ageism and…

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Dear Dr. Faizal
Self

I’m a female in my early 20s and I’m having a really hard time “knowing my limit” when it comes to alcohol. I’m not an alcoholic because I don’t crave it and I probably only consume alcohol once a month, but when I do, I always go overboard. It seems impossible for me to drink “casually” or just have one beverage… but I want to be able to socially drink with my friends! How can I learn to stop before I become completely inebriated? – One is too many

Dear One, Alcoholism, generally speaking, is a chronic condition that typically includes a history of excessive drinking, a strong craving for alcohol, continued drinking despite repeated issues arising from alcohol abuse, and being unable to control drinking. This is a disease, which it doesn’t appear you have. What you do describe, however, is an equally-dangerous condition called binge-drinking. Binge drinking,…

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Dear Dr. Faizal
Family

I worry about my brother. He’s over 40, overweight (basically obese) and has given up on love. He’s not lonely in the sense that he has strong bonds with his family and friends but has given up hope on finding that special someone. What can I do to help him? – Older Sister

Dear Older, I imagine that you, being an older sister, have always taken care of your younger brother (and any other younger siblings you may have). It is natural for older siblings to take on the role of surrogate parents. But even parents, at some point, must let go of their children and allow them to lead a life that…

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Dear Dr. Faizal
Dear Dr. Faizal
Workplace

My company let go of my co-worker. For the past three months I’ve done his work and mine. When it came time for my review and wage increase I only received cost of living and not a merit increase. I feel this is unfair given all the work I’ve been doing. My boss is always thanking me for my work but I’m worried he’s been taking the credit at the executive table. What do I do? – Unhappy with Salary

Dear Unhappy, When we work for a company and are good at what we do, it’s only natural for us to want to feel appreciated for our time, energy and commitment to our employer. Appreciation can be expressed mostly in two ways: either in terms of a raise and/or being acknowledged openly among peers for the value one brings to…

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Dear Dr. Faizal
Self

I struggle with self-esteem issues. People think I’m very confident because I’m a bit of an extrovert but I have huge abandonment issues. I struggle with body image, confidence, self-worth, etc. I wish I was as confident as people think but I feel very misunderstood. What do I do? – Faking Confidence

Dear Faking, You need to slow down. If you were a client of mine and expressed yourself in this manner during a session, I’d ask you to first take a few deep breaths with me and then, when you were more relaxed, we’d explore the various issues that are creating discomfort for you at this time of your life. As…

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Dear Dr. Faizal
Family

We finally told my mother-in-law that my husband and I are not going to have kids. She seemed to take it much better than we expected but she hasn’t been the same since. She and I were very close before we broke the news but something is very different now. I think she blames me for the decision we made together, as a couple. How do I make her understand that this is our choice? I miss our friendship. – No Kids Mom

Dear No, Most couples nowadays accept that they have options besides the conventional family structure, with a father, mother, and children. Today, some married partners prefer to nurture a family with only each other – an arrangement that allows them obvious benefits like more time for and with each other, more money saved for vacations (and other luxuries), etc. One…

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