Ask Gloria: Do People Ever Change?

Jill Zarin's mother, Gloria, responds to reader comments and questions.


Please share with us your thoughts about Jill and Bethenny's friendship. What advice did you give to Jill? I think it is a very sad situation.

Dear Melania,
Thank you for caring. My daughter is old and wise enough to know what and how to act, Her feelings for Bethany are personal and I am sure she will always do the right thing.

Dear Gloria,
I have recently been in a three-year relationship, but my ex broke up with me four months ago and now wants to try again. I can't seem to get over the fear that he will change his ways (such as; compromising) he has stated before that he would not compromise on where we would live and other things but now states that he might be able to compromise. My question to you is do you think people change?

Dear Leaha,
Thank you for writing. My question is why is he changing his mind? He was so uncompromising, I am unsure how fully commited he will be in the future. If you still love him try again on your terms.

Hi Gloria!
In the past two years, I got divorced and remarried. I have two small children with my ex, and we work well together to give the children the best of both worlds. It is a "modern arrangement." We have both moved on and are very happy. The only drama that evolved out of the situation is from some of my family. They hate that we are divorced. They hate that we have moved on and they love to try to and stir up rumors. I guess I was prepared for people to talk, but the cold shoulder I have received from my own family has been hurtful. Do I keep my mouth shut and just be happy? Be the bigger person? Say something? Keep my distance? Help!!!

Hi, Thanks for asking for my advice. I feel very strongly that you should talk to your family and make it very clear that you are happy and the children are better off than they would have been in an unhappy marriage. They should be happy for you and welcome your new husband into the family. If they cannot do this, then you must start to sever you ties slowly but surely. They will poison your children against your new husband you fighting will ensue. Talk to you family and try the peaceful approach first.
Good luck,


Dear Gloria,
I had a tough childhood, completely at the hands of my mother. She was, very narcissistic, selfish, neglectful and abusive. We have been on and off again estranged throughout the last 10 years. As I get older, I only realize how bad it actually was. Since I had a son of my own (now 20) and knowing I would/could never do to him what was done (and not done) to me, the resentment only gets deeper. My mother is aware I have issues, but refuses to take responsibility for anything. She either denies anything happened or makes excuses for everything. There has been no compunction whatsoever. Therefore, there has been no pacification for me. Therapy only made me realize the severity of my past also. I get very agitated when I speak with her because so much of what we talk about has some kind of past reference. (short of just talking about the weather) So my question is do I get past this to have a relationship with my 72-year-old mother? ...Or should I?
Lisa LM

Hi, This is very difficult for me to discuss since I am very familiar with this problem. I know that your mother cannot nor will not change. If you cannot deal with this situation which is quite toxic, then walk away. Perhaps another counselor will help you. Living with this anger can and will destroy you. You must come to terms with it by any means that you can. What you cannot do is be miserable for the rest of your life. This is doing no one any good. I wish that I could magically make your heartache go away, but I cannot. Keep on fighting.
Good luck,

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