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Direct Answers - Column for the week of January 20, 2003
I was recently looking through some old photos when I found some of an ex-boyfriend when he was a child. I remember him telling me at the time these were the only photos that exist of him as a child, and that these are the only copies.
I want to send the photos to him so his family can have them. I have an old address of his parents. However, I don't want to send them by post with my address on the back of the envelope because I do not want any contact from him or his parents, nor for them to know where I live or work.
I'm happily married and desire no further contact from him. If I send the pictures without a return address and they no longer live there, the pictures will be lost forever. It's important for me that his family have these photos. Please help.
Pamela, people love a mystery. If you send the photos anonymously, it may well induce someone to play private investigator.
It could also set off a series of unintended effects. Imagine your ex-boyfriend is recently divorced. The arrival of the photos will seem cosmic and spiritual. He'll think divine forces are drawing you back to him. Or if he has not been in touch with his parents, they may think the prodigal son is returning. Or they may even fear he's been kidnapped for ransom.
You cannot control other people's reactions, but you can minimize their effect on you, especially if you follow a straightforward course.
Send a note with the photos to the parents. Explain to them what you explained to us. Mention that now you are married, you realize the importance of keeping family photos in the family. Use the address of a third party, such as that of a friend in a different city or country, and mention the return address is that of another.
An Open Space
I am 48, attractive, active, the mother of a teenage boy and a small business owner. I feel I am responsible, have integrity and am fun to be with.
The problem is I have never met, though I have been married twice, the man who was meant to be my partner. I have settled each time out of loneliness. I tried to make it work each time as best I could, and really, if I had seen the effort being given in return, would have made a go of it.
But each time it was evident they were not what I hoped for, and yes, the responsibility to become involved was mine. Now I see clearly what I lacked and will never settle again. It just doesn't work! But now I believe I will never find it.
I am at an age where men want younger women, and I have truly never met someone I could totally respect. It is a void, no matter how busy or productive I am, I never stop feeling. How can someone rid themselves of this empty feeling? And please do not say be busy and make yourself happy. I do that and it is not working.
Evette, we cannot make the empty space in your life go away. The space is there for a reason, and you have twice learned it cannot be filled by just anyone. That space is there for the person who belongs there. That is where that person fits.
If you take your son fishing, you cannot guarantee he will catch a fish. But it could happen. He has put himself in the way of catching fish. It is possible.
If you are busy in the sense of busywork, you cannot expect anything to happen. But if you are busy in the sense of living, growing and enlarging yourself, you have put yourself in the way of this happening for you.
About The Author
Authors and columnists Wayne and Tamara Mitchell can be reached at www.WayneAndTamara.com.
Send letters to: Direct Answers, PO Box 964, Springfield, MO 65801 or email: DirectAnswers@WayneAndTamara.com.
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