Jill Zarin’s mom Gloria Kamen has answers to all your pressing questions.
The ladies of “The Real Housewives of New York City” are no strangers to tough questions. What will they wear to the charity benefit? Who will make the best tennis partner? Are those mirrored coffee tables too shiny for the sitting room?
Off screen, there are even bigger issues: Where is Bethenny’s Mr. Right? Will Countess LuAnn’s divorce go without a hitch? Will Kelly’s boyfriend be back for another beating?
Good thing for them — and you — there are people like Gloria Kamen. You know her as Jill Zarin‘s mother, whose appearances on the show are peppered with tough love and solid advice on finding everything from the right sedan to the right man.
Gloria can’t jet up from Florida every time you’re having a crisis, but she’s volunteered to answer your letters right here in The News’ NOW section.
I have been in a relationship that has been up and down for the past three years. I don’t know how to leave him. We lived together twice, then I decided to move out for good last June.
Here’s the problem: He doesn’t want me, and he doesn’t want me to be happy with somebody else. I always believed he had my best interests at heart, but I am starting to see it differently now. I just turned 35, I am in great shape, I have a great family — I am almost very happy, but my heart is with this man. I don’t know how to leave him to move on with my life. I’ve lost the respect of his family, and I know without his family’s blessing I can’t possibly be in this relationship.
— No Longer Willing to Be the Shrinking Violet
Hi Miss Violet,
I really believe that you do know what you must do to free yourself from this emotional roller coaster you seem to be on. You really are treading water, and time is marching on. Take a firm stand and stick to your decision, whatever it is.
I think no matter which path you choose, you will be relieved enough to get on with your life. If you must, move to another city for a while. I know this is a sacrifice, but I see that this is the only way out for you.
— Good luck, Gloria
I am 30 years old and have been with my husband since I was 18. We have two beautiful children together. My husband and I have essentially done all of our growing up together — including the whole college experience.
I really feel like for the first time I am becoming established in my career and am creating a balance between being a full-time career woman and a successful mother. But while I feel like I am changing, my husband remains the same, and I find we have less and less in common. When I try to express and talk about how I feel, he is very dismissive. This makes it very lonely for me, so I just go through the motions and life goes on.
Can you suggest a different approach or maybe words of encouragement for the rough spot I have hit? Thank you, Gloria!!!
— Going My Own Way
Dear Ms. Way,
You and your husband appear to have grown apart. This happens to many couples after years of marriage.
The first question is, do you love him? If the answer is yes, then counseling, dating time and maybe a vacation is needed. You may also be in a rut. Try something new: learning bridge, meeting new people, etc. Do something new and different, even if it isn’t what you would call exciting. What you should not do is sit around and wonder where your life is going.
What would you do if you worked for a supervisor — another female (like me) — who treated her staff like crap when alone with them, but praised them to no end when with her superiors? I’m in marketing for a Fortune 100 company, and my supervisor’s attitude is completely ridiculous and obnoxious when she interacts with us, but when we’re with management she’s an angel.
I can take it. I’m 50 and have been in this business for 25 years. I’ve seen a lot during my work tenure, but my reporting staff is in their 20s and 30s, and I feel like I’m letting them down by exposing them to this behavior. HELP!
— A Wondering Worker
Dear Ms. Worker,
Perhaps you can talk to her privately, letting her know just how upset your staff is with her behavior. I do not know how much power you have in this company, but I do know that you should encourage your employees, letting them know how much they are appreciated. Being such a pro, I would not let anything she does or says affect your work, or theirs.
I am 22 years old, going to school and working at my parents’ restaurant. I began dating my boyfriend about a year ago, and I am truly in love with him — we just get each other.
But there is one problem: He has expressed numerous times how he never wants to get married. He doesn’t believe in the institution of marriage, and he never wants kids. I, on the other hand, cannot wait to get married and I cannot wait to have children. He is 27 and I am 22, and I am not saying that I want to have kids tomorrow, but yes, some time in the foreseeable future I want to have a family and I want to do it
as a married woman.
So, do I stay with this guy, whom I love and who treats me amazing and who loves me, and HOPE that I someday change his mind? Or do I leave him because deep down I think I know that he will never change his mind on the issue. What should I do?
— Anxious About the Altar
Dear Ms. Altar Anxiety,
I cannot pretend to know the future, but experience tells me that the longer you hang on and wait, the longer it will take for you to get on with your life. You cannot sit around waiting for him to change. It usually doesn’t happen.
One of two things will happen if you decide to leave him: He will come back because you are the most important person in his life, or he will decide that his future will be without you.
Do not be afraid, for the longer you wait, the harder it will be to part. I am truly sorry that I do not have a magic solution.
— Keep in touch, Gloria
I just received a wedding announcement from my first cousin, who recently got married in a small ceremony in Vermont. She didn’t invite anyone from
my family to the wedding
(our mothers are sisters who have been estranged forever), even though when I got married 11 years ago, we included her entire family in our celebration.
I heard through another aunt that my cousin didn’t register anywhere and that “they really just want money.” Not only do I think a request like that is in poor taste, I also don’t want to send a lot of money to someone I barely know. I want to do the right thing, but what is that? Do I send a gift or money? How much money would be okay to send?
— Miffed About a Gift
Dear Ms. Miffed,
First of all, no one should tell you how to spend your money. Second, when in doubt, send a gift from a store where, if they do not like the present, they can return it. I would not spend more than you can afford.