I'm Just Say'n

Carolyn Magner is not a professional therapist, shrink or even a very nice person. Her advice is meant to entertain you, not solve your terrible, desperate problems. E-mail Carolyn at [email protected].

Curb Appeal

Standing by my original assessment of your unholy alliance

Dear Carolyn,

Where do you get off telling my boyfriend he needs to kick me to the curb? You have no idea what I put up with. You think you are so smart? You try living with a self-centered, lazy, rude man-child who doesn’t bathe as often as he should. Throw in a mama’s boy who can’t find the ice cubes in the freezer, a dog hater, bad driver, road-rager womanizer and see how long you last!

I’m just say’n.


Dear Tessa,

I never promise my advice is worth more than what you pay for it. However, may I suggest one tiny thing without you typing back at me in that tone of voice? I don’t think you and man-child are good together. His flaws alone make me want to shower. Add your contempt and general angriness and I think the curb is a good place to start. Throw him, throw his stuff or throw yourself. It matters not to me. Just get thee to the curb and then keep on going.

I’m just say’n.

Dear Carolyn,

I’m in a bit of a bind. I love my brother and his wife but they can’t seem to keep their heads above water. He lost his truck last year when he stopped making payments on it. He also has a bad gambling habit. His wife ran up a bunch of credit card debt, and now they are about to lose their house. He called me and begged me to give them a loan to tide them over until he can get another trucking job. I have the money, but I’m not sure I should lend it to him. My parents always bailed him out. When they died, he ran through all the money they left us and now will likely lose the house they left to him. I want to be a good sister but I’m afraid this will never end.

Please help.


Dear Judy,

Oh, it will end all right. Just not well. Here’s the thing. You have taken over your parents’ role of enabling your brother and his wife to live recklessly. You know what needs to be done, but you can’t seem to find the courage to do it. So I’m granting you permission to walk away from this disaster-in-the-making. You tell your brother nicely, calmly and with no finger wagging, that you can’t loan him any more money. And then stick to your guns. Offer encouragement. Tear out driver want-ads from this magazine. But don’t write a check. Your parents didn’t do him any favors by bailing him out. Don’t continue the family tradition.

Partner Insights
Information to advance your business from industry suppliers

I’m just say’

Dear Carolyn,

I can’t seem to get over my broken heart. My wife left me for another man and I’ve not been the same since. I know what I went through was a terrible betrayal and that it will take time to heal. My buddies say to forget about her and move on. My family says they always hated her and that I should count my blessings she’s gone. We didn’t have any kids and she didn’t bother taking the dog. I know everyone means well but all I do is go over and over the whole thing. Why didn’t I know she was fooling around? Why did she break our vows? What’s wrong with me that I wasn’t enough for her?

In case you are wondering, I’m a hard worker, honest and loyal, and children don’t run screaming from the room when I walk in. I was truly blindsided by this and can’t seem to get past the hurt. It’s been two years but it feels like yesterday. Do people ever really get over a broken heart?


Dear Justin,

They do. It’s hard and it’s not fair and, sometimes, when you think you have left all the pain behind, it will sneak up and bite you on the butt. There are things you can do to hasten your recovery. Start by making an appointment with your family doctor. You might be depressed or anxious and there might be something he can prescribe to help you over the hump. Next, get involved in an activity you once enjoyed or take up something new. You can volunteer at an animal shelter or learn to play the guitar. When you fill up some of the spaces, you’ll make room for new people, new places and, eventually, your joy will return.

I’m just say’n.