Ask Amy: Partner flies off, right when he’s needed

Dear Amy: My partner (we live together) owns a vacation home in the Southwest. Months ago, he made plans to take three of his teenage grandchildren there over spring break.

After that plan was hatched, I was diagnosed with cancer and am undergoing chemotherapy.

I had hoped that he would cancel his plans so he could be at our home to help me out, but he went ahead and make airline reservations, after he knew the dates of his vacation would coincide with my treatment.

I am feeling hurt, rejected and unimportant to him, in addition to feeling the ill effects of my treatment.

I could have used his help with meals, driving to the clinic, and overall companionship.

My daughter, who has a full-time job, stepped in.

Amy, he rarely sees these grandchildren, who live within 15 minutes of us.

Why couldn’t he have just scheduled a few spring break outings at home instead of traveling during this crucial time?

— Sad and Suffering

Dear Sad: My mother once said to me, “Remember: People do what they want to do.” When pondering disappointing choices people make that let you down, I think it helps to accept this simple truism.

On the face of it, your partner doesn’t seem to have placed a high priority on being your stalwart helpmate. For many people, showing up during an emergency illness is a high calling. Doing so can elevate you to realize your own better nature.

Not so much for your guy, evidently.

One of the joys of being a good grandparent is to spend “quality time” with your grandchildren, indulging them with special experiences.

More important, however, are the lasting lessons grandparents can impart to their grands — about stepping up, stepping in, and demonstrating your commitment to those who need you.

Factors that you don’t mention could be related to how and why you two chose each other in the first place — such as whether he went through a divorce that has made him feel insecure and guilty toward his children and grandchildren.

Regardless, it looks like you are not spending your life with an “in sickness and in health” person.

I hope you’ve chosen to talk to him about this, honestly expressing how this episode has made you feel.

Now that you know what he’s like when the chips are down, you can move forward, understanding that when it comes to some of your greater needs, you should not necessarily count on him.

Dear Amy: I recently got a new job that I’ve been at for two months. Even though I just started and am still in my 90-day trial period, I feel like this job isn’t the right fit for me.

I’ve been in the medical field for six years and within those years, I’ve been in and out of medical offices, either quitting or getting fired.

My question is, how do I stay at one job when I really don’t like their values? (My manager declined to let me attend an appointment with my son’s school because I’m still under my 90-day review.)

I’ve been looking for other employment, but I feel like it’s going to be a never-ending cycle of leaving and being burnt out.

Any advice?

— Burnt-out Mom

Dear Burnt Out: I agree that you are trapped in a never-ending cycle — of working in medical offices and then either quitting or being fired.

By this point, you’ve racked up an extremely poor work history, which I assume would negatively affect your ability to get another job at a quality medical practice.

My suggestion is that you should stop doing what you’re doing.

Yes, you have a bad fit, but the poor fit involves you and the profession you seem to have chosen. Surely any prospective employers and their medical patients deserve to be treated by motivated and competent employees who are better suited to this oftentimes high-stress work environment than you seem to be.

You should be pursuing employment in another field.

You might receive some much-needed inspiration from reading “The Restart Roadmap: Rewire and Reset Your Career,” by Trading Secrets podcaster Jason Tartick (2022, HarperCollins Leadership).

Dear Amy: Thank you for the thoughtful response to “Thin and Fit.”

As someone who has been increasingly overweight (for complex reasons) since the age of five or six, assumptions about obesity (like the letter writer’s) are common and insulting.

Responses like yours make me feel seen and valued.

— Grateful

Dear Grateful: I’ve received many responses like yours. I appreciate them all.

(You can email Amy Dickinson at [email protected] or send a letter to Ask Amy, P.O. Box 194, Freeville, NY 13068. You can also follow her on Twitter @askingamy or Facebook.)

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