Dear EFAP: My new man needs a makeover!

Jan 25, 2018 | News

Thank you to those who have written to “dear efap” for input on your dilemmas. As you are aware, we read every inquiry that comes in but we are only able to print a small selection of responses. Our “pithy” answers are modeled after the lighter hearted Dear Abby style and are grounded in common sense. If your issues require a more personalized level of support please call Employee Wellness/EFAP (1-800-505-4929) and we can confidentially book you a counselling appointment with a senior level therapist.

We welcome all inquiries – please submit these to dear.efap@efap.ca. All printed responses use the anonymous descriptor that you sign your inquiry with and do not reveal any identifying information. Our goal is to support you through insight and common sense.

Below is our response to the next selection – enjoy!

The new man in my life needs a makeover. Man does he need a makeover. His glasses are out of the '70s, his pants the '80s, his shirts seem to have come from some vintage clothing pile extracted from a street side charity donation box. He has been through a lot and seems kind of frozen in time in his whole appearance. He is a successful professional in health care. His personality is lovely and sweet. He is healthy and fit and always kind to others. And under all of the bad fashion choices, he is handsome. He treats me very well and I really care about him but his image needs work. Is it bad to want a different look in my man?
- Making over my man

Dear Making over my man,
I am actually of two minds on this and I am not sure how others might feel. There is the side of me that says if you do not like him as he is and you are already trying to change him, well that does not bode well. But there is another side of me that really hears that he has been through some stuff which may have had him not caring about what he looked like and yet continuing to care how he treated others and how he continued to show up in the world in a caring way. It may well be that whatever those challenges were, that indeed he just does not see that he is stuck in an outdated image loop.

A gentle fashion nudge into 2018 could be wonderful for him and it sounds like also for you. Where I would caution you is around the “when” and the “how” on any suggested changes. I am not sure how long you have been together but this is not something you can politely bring up unless you have a pretty solid footing in your relationship. And the second part to that is that he has to be on board with exploring this makeover idea. It will involve some rather careful conversations to bring up the subject in a respectful way. You sound thoughtful and so I would encourage you to be very mindful and thoughtful as you proceed down this path.

Finally I would encourage you to look at your motive for this new look. If it is truly for him to be happier with himself in showing up in a more modern way that is one thing, but if it is more about you, that is something else, and something you need to honestly consider. So think on that and it will inform you of your next step. And so I would say proceed, but slow, and steady and respectful as she goes.

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The advice offered in this column is meant to be used as general guidance based on the facts provided. The opinions or views expressed should not be relied on as treatment or counselling services. If you are a PHC staff member and find yourself in need of counselling or support, please contact Employee Wellness/EFAP toll free at 1-800-505-4929 or 604-872-4929, your family doctor, or another appropriately trained and qualified specialist.

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