Ask John: Laws of the Universe and Number Crunching

By John Siscel February 28, 2012 08:00 AM
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Ask John: Laws of the Universe and Number Crunching

Dear John,
I bought a great condo a few years back. It is my dream house. Or was. Well, it still is, but I just can’t afford it any more. I lost my job in the downturn and I was unemployed for a while
. Now I’m back on my feet with a great job, but one that doesn’t pay like the old one. So now I’m bleeding cash, barely breaking even. If I get a cold and have to get cold meds, I’m freaking out about how to pay for it. I can’t live like this, but I can’t give up my condo. What do I do?
     – Stuffed Up

Dear SU,
A lot of people would tell you to sell the condo, but with the housing market the way it is, that may not be the best option, especially with taxes and such, you might not break even.

Now I’m not Suze Orman, but I would say don’t sell it. Rent it out. Fix it up, if needed, or at least give it a good clean and painting. Find out what other places are renting for in the area and then set the price accordingly. Then rent a room from someone else or a cheap apartment. You still have your dream home, and probably a little extra cash in your pocket. You could also get a roommate instead if you have multiple bedrooms. Or, and I know this may be hard to hear, a second job on the weekend. Unfortunately, in these rough times when many are underemployed, they’ve had to swallow their pride and work a second job. Tough times sometimes call for tough measures and I know when this economic downturn passes and you’re happily in your home and comfortable again, you’ll be glad you didn’t lose it. The point is, accept the situation and move forward accordingly with some action that can relieve this financial pressure. It really is all good.

Dear John,
What’s up with my husband and I? We used to be inseparable when we were dating but lately, it seems like the more time we spend apart, the better. I love my girlfriends, but I’m seeing a lot of them lately, and he’s spending time with the guys a lot. Is that a good thing?
     – What’s up?

Dear WU?
There’s a law of the universe that states that the things that attract you to a person when you’re dating instantly begin to piss you off when you get married. Is this what’s happening here? Probably not so much, but it’s not good to be so inseparable, at least to me, in the long term. Relationships need to breathe and you both need to live your own lives and are responsible for your own happiness. Putting the two of you together should make you happier, but still, just because you’re not conventional or not doing things quite like you used to, doesn’t mean anything is wrong. If it feels wrong, talk to him, but if he’s happy and you’re happy and you still spend lots of naked time together, who cares?

But also know that relationships take some work, and you know how some couples say after a divorce, “we just drifted apart?”  You don’t want this to be the beginning of drifting apart. Maybe you two need a set night out of the week for date night and to do fun and different things. Take turns deciding what to do. Also, more and more studies are showing how the simple tradition of having dinner together has benefits beyond the meal.  Make sure that at least five nights out of seven you are having dinner together. And remember, it’s never good either to loose oneself in a relationship. Having outside interests and friends can keep things going again. You’ll strike the right balance, especially if you two talk about it and often. 

Don’t have a best guy friend? We all need guy advice from time to time from the other point of view. Every week, Ask John will help you work out those pressing issues with a little dose of guy truth and humor. Please send your questions for publication to (Questions may be edited)