Reader’s Comment Regarding how to tell your child about a new “friend,” post-divorce (July 24), here’s how NOT to do it:
“My ex left me and our young daughter in mid-October, then filed for divorce. On Christmas Eve, we met at church so he could pick up our daughter.
“He surprised me and our child by requiring her to sit with him and his new girlfriend of two weeks’ in a pew two rows in front of me and my entire family.
“I had to watch them for a full hour, then my daughter went home with him and his new flame (they dated for under a month).
“His spitefulness and sheer unkindness poured salt in a very fresh wound for me, our child, and my family.
“It didn’t help the divorce proceedings go more smoothly. It took years to forgive that stunt.
“My suggestions to people dating after a divorce, about telling children and other relatives or introducing a new “friend:
“Wait until it’s serious - at least six months – and be discreet, be kind, and tell the other parent (your ex) first.”
I’m hoping you’ll share with your readers my meaningful message about beauty.
The most beautiful woman I’ve ever seen didn’t match our western beauty standards. She was probably not even good-looking in the eyes of some.
However, that woman’s expression through her smile and her eyes, was unique.
People considered attractive by contemporary standards encounter more open doors and are often more self-assured than others.
However, when I’m feeling low, I remind myself of that truly beautiful woman and keep going.
Your message has powerful meaning for countless women and men who, when they look in the mirror, see only what they believe are imperfections and become self-conscious, even withdrawn.
This negative self-appraisal starts as early as pre-puberty when young girls and boys start to compare themselves unfavourably to others.
They focus on their faces and bodies before they’ve naturally lost so-called “baby fat,” when their breasts haven’t yet developed, when boys’ voices are changing.
Young people need caring parents and teachers to help them learn that who they are and how they present themselves are the most important aspect of their “looks.”
As adults, it’s self-confidence that attracts people. We show it if we enter a room looking to connect with others and listen to what they’re saying, far more than if we scrutinize ourselves in a mirror and try to look “perfect.”
I hope you don’t ever again sign yourself as “ugly.”
My fiancé’s mother thinks that no woman, including me, is good enough for him, and that it’s her job to “change” me - my hair, clothes choices, etc.
She’s constantly telling me that my hair colour is too black (which I love and all my friends like), but I only recently realized she thought that I’d be spending too much of his money at the hairdresser.
Never mind that I work and pay for my own expenses!
What can I do to get her off my case?
Fed Up Fiancée
Smile, listen, change the topic. If she ever says something of value, thank her and be gracious. It’ll put her off balance, at least for a while.
Change nothing that you like about yourself, but show an open mind on small matters. We all make some wardrobe mistakes so if she actually finds one to criticize, laugh and say you’d realized that, too.
FEEDBACK Regarding the letter-writer faced with the ex-partner’s control issue (July 25):
Reader – “I had a similar problem, made worse because my ex-partner was easily led and influenced.
“She allowed her former husband (whom she divorced for reasons of controlling and sociopathic behaviours) to get back into her life via long intimate phone calls.
“It’s the perfect forum for him and he’s built for her the kind of fantasy life that no one in the real world can compete with, as well as undermining me and all my efforts to maintain a loving, caring relationship.
“I know that there’s nothing to be done except end the relationship, since she won’t "abandon" him and claims that I’m jealous. (One of his ploys is to accentuate the shared interest they have in the same pastime.)
“However, I plan to write a memoir to alert and help others in similar circumstance.”
Tip of the day:
Introduce your post-divorce “friend” slowly and thoughtfully to your children, and your ex too, if sharing custody.