Oracle Of Ybor: Sad Dad And CEO Problems

Sep 4, 2023 at 12:56 am
Welcome to the Oracle of Ybor.
Welcome to the Oracle of Ybor. Photo via Adobe Stock

Dear Oracle, 

My father married his second wife over 20 years ago after my mother died. I know he loved my mother very deeply and still misses her and has found himself growing old with someone he initially didn’t intend to. The thing is, I don’t think he’s happy in his marriage. They don’t seem to have much in common or enjoy spending time together, and while he defends her behavior (excess drinking, ignorant remarks), I know he doesn’t agree with it. Part of me wants to talk to him about it, but I don’t know how. What do the cards say?

-- Worried Son

Cards: The Sun (rev.), Three of Swords (rev.), Six of Swords, King of Cups (rev.)

Dear Son,

I think there was a little light in your dad’s heart that went out when your mother died, and I don’t think it was ever relit. I think your mother was his Sun, the light of his life, a source of joy and wisdom, and when she left this world, he was devastated.

With those Three of Swords reversed it does look like he’s still in mourning, even after all these years. If your mother had lived, they might have had one of those rare marriages that lasts 50, 60, 70 years—I don’t know. I’m so sorry they didn’t get the chance to try for that.

The Six of Swords is a card that’s pulling double duty here. It is a card about holding onto the past and inertia, which suggests that your father’s broken heart keeps him from moving forward, whatever that looks like. The Six of Swords is also an uncomfortable time, and there is certainly a “grin and bear it” energy to it, so he might be committed to this second marriage, even if he’s not happy.

And I agree with you: I don’t think he’s happy. He doesn’t sound that way from your question, and with the King of Cups reversed, I don’t think he’s the blissful bridegroom this time around. The Cup Court is a loyal bunch that takes the “for better or worse” part of marriage vows seriously. I think he is trying to honor his commitment and will defend his wife (even if her behavior is undesirable), but I don’t think he’s joyful about it.

Now, none of this is to say that he does not love his second wife or never loved her. As I’ve written before, people get married for all sorts of reasons, and true love is only one of them. His second marriage might have been based on a love formed by companionship and respect rather than romance—again, I don’t know.

I also don’t know if it would feel worse to be married to someone whose company you don’t enjoy or to age and die alone. As a 33-year-old, I know what I’d choose, but I might feel differently at 83.

I do think it’s worth talking to your dad—but not in a judgmental, “you made a mistake with this marriage” sort of way. I think you need to be very delicate in your approach.

Since the root of this seems to be his grief about your mother, you might try to talk about your feelings or memories of her. It’s a loss you both share. That might open the door for him to talk about his current feelings. But, if your dad wants to keep that door shut (and he might), you can simply tell him that you love him and you want him to be happy. He’ll hear you.

Dear Oracle, 

I am interviewing people for my team at work. I’ll be their direct supervisor. Recently, our CEO has come to us with a candidate they are “obsessed” with. I interviewed them, and they seem VERY wrong for the job. The CEO wants me to fast-track them, but I don’t think that’s a good idea. But how do I tell my CEO I think she’s wrong? 

--Bucking Against the Boss

Cards: Last Quarter, New Moon, Queen of Pentacles (rev.), Death (rev.)

Dear BAB,

You might try to raise your valid concerns with your boss, but I don’t think it will do anything for you. I rarely get moon cards, but here I have two: the Last quarter, signaling that things are out of control and you need to let go, and the generative idea of space of the New Moon.

In that generative space, your CEO, aka Queen of Pentacles, got the idea that this candidate is THE one to deliver. I don’t know why she decided that, but I don’t think you’re going to talk her out of it.

There might be a couple of reasons why the Death card is lurking at the end here. The first could be that to bump up against the CEO would mean you would be the ax (or scythe) and be out of a job. Or, it might mean that you hire this very wrong candidate, and in six months, when they’ve proven to be a bad fit, you’ll fire them, and hopefully, your CEO will send them off with a severance package they’re obsessed with.

Like all my advice for the corporate world, I would get your thoughts down in writing, explicitly outlining your concerns about the candidate (lack of experience? Abrasive communication style?) and how you think other candidates should be considered. If anyone else was in on the interview and agrees with you, get them to put it down, too. Send it up the chain so higher-ups/the CEO see your objections. If they hire them and those red flags from the interview come up while they’re working, document those too.

Hopefully, though, the Death card just signals the end of their candidacy, the CEO backs off, and you hire someone you think is qualified for your team. If not, well…everything in life is temporary. Do what you can and try to be zen about what’s outside of your control.  

Good luck!