DR. WALLACE: I caught my boyfriend in a lie. It was a big one: He was out with another girl behind my back. He broke a date with me after he said he was sick, so he lied on top of the canceled date deception. How did I find out about this? Well, I went out to get coffee at Starbucks with my older sister after he broke the date, and guess who we saw — my boyfriend with another girl. He didn’t see me! He was walking out a side door with her while we were coming in the front door.
I thought for a moment it might have been one of his cousins or something, but those ideas evaporated from my mind the moment his hand slid around her waist once they got outside. He then sealed the deal with a brief kiss — on her lips!
The next day, when he called me, I asked him who paid for the coffee, him or her? He gave me some lame excuse as to why he was out with this girl. He said she was his ex from another town and that she was just visiting our city for the weekend and he didn’t have the heart to avoid her. I really don’t believe him, but I kind of want to give him the benefit of the doubt. Is there any excuse that is good enough to lie to me about? — Feeling Deceived, via email
FEELING DECEIVED: The name you used to sign your letter says it all. You indeed were deceived. You need to face these facts: Your boyfriend went out with this girl because he wanted to and then intentionally lied to you about it.
He needs to take responsibility for his actions. You may want to believe him, but you shouldn’t. A boyfriend who lies like this and makes the physical moves with this other girl that you witnessed should have you seeking to find someone who you can actually trust.
Deception speaks volumes. His actions have told you more than his words ever will.
DR. WALLACE: My family and I are struggling to deal with all the hardships of my father recently losing his job. I’m not sure what I can do, but I want to try to do something positive to help my dad and our family. I’m very worried about our money situation. Do you have any ideas about what I might be able to do in this situation? I should mention that I’m a junior in high school, and I’m just about to turn 17. — Worried Son, via email
WORRIED SON: Your family likely knows this, but it would be a good idea to cut your expenses as individuals and as a group and to do without any extras for a while until this situation improves.
When a budget crisis occurs, it’s wise to stop spending money on fast food, coffee, online shopping and any other type of expense that is not absolutely necessary.
You could meet with your parents and ask them if you could apply for work at any local part-time jobs to help your family out. This may or may not be an option in your parents’ eyes, but it is fine for you to make this suggestion. Second, you can volunteer to help more around the house to free up time for one or both of your parents to seek new employment. You can offer to help prepare meals, for example.
Also, go through your own personal skill sets to see if there is anything useful that can help your father. For example, if you have excellent computer skills, you can help him prepare a very professional, updated resume, and you might even be able to do some customized job searches that could provide him new avenues to pursue.