I love my step-children and treat them as my own; they love and respect me. But, though I try to be kind, considerate, understanding and patient, their mother remains spiteful.
Recently the oldest child and I talked about his difficulties with authority. To keep his mother in the loop, I told her. She was happy to have a discussion. When she later called my husband, I happened to cough in the background. She thought I was trying to get him off the phone, and became enraged. She goes from polite to potty-mouth instantly!
My husband thinks it’s better to let her be “crazy” (his words) but I’d like him to stand up to her and say, “Listen this is my wife, and the children’s step-mother and you WILL respect her.” Is that too much to ask of him?
It’s too much to ask of HER.
Imagine an ex-husband saying “you WILL do”… about anything at all. That’s a control attempt he should avoid like the plague, if you two want continued dialogue regarding the children, which you’ve so rightly worked at achieving.
He should also avoid the “crazy” word since it’s as disrespectful as her overreactions, and hurtful to the kids. Like the saying goes, “hell hath no fury….” And whether this was a woman scorned or divorced for other reasons, it’s clear that her temperature rises when dealing with her ex… but not necessarily when talking to you.
Stay above this, you’ve got the man, and your own good intent. Don’t push him to do other than treat this woman as even-handedly as possible. It’s a far better way to model for his son, that life is smoother if we don’t rise to others’ bait.
I’m a single black male, age 30, living at home with his mother and family, and for a guy my size I believe I’m handsome, good-looking, smart and a good man to be with.
Unfortunately, I’m either wrong about women or am looking in all the wrong places. It’s been six months since I last had a girlfriend; we broke up when she moved overseas.
I’ve put up with many jokes about being gay or just about the fact that I can’t get a girlfriend. I’ve run the gamut of believing that women were after big money, big cars, big houses, big “packages” and good looks, and that a big man with a big heart wouldn’t be wanted at all.
I don’t want to grow old and alone. What am I doing wrong?
- Big N' Lonely
You’re losing hope, which is affecting your attitude and bound to also affect your approach.
On attitude, please stop trying to pigeon-hole women, to explain why you haven’t clicked with some -- few women are foolish enough to be waiting for the mythical Mr. Big of Sex and the City (rich and sexy) to come along. Far more know there’s more immediate value in finding a good guy with a big heart; they just have to recognize him. That’s where your approach matters.
Get outside your parents’ home, and your circle of mocking acquaintances to places where you can meet new, caring friends – male and female – who share your interests. Start with your faith community, your community center, and any activity group that draws you. Be open, friendly, and don’t push for dates too soon.
You have a lot to offer and need to show confidence instead of being self-conscious.
My engagement party is soon, yet I feel terrible because my father died two years ago and won’t be there.
If it’s this hard on me for the engagement, I know it’s going to be worse for the wedding. I don’t even want to go through with it because it’s going to hurt too much.
How do I deal with this?
- Cried Out
Honour your father’s memory by carrying on with your life’s progress, and celebrating milestones, as he would’ve wanted. Important events will always trigger nostalgia and some sadness at your loss, this is natural.
But turning away from the things that are meant to also bring you happiness won’t ease your grief.
Many others who’ve experienced losses have dealt with them on such occasions in varied ways, such as having photos of their loved one on display. Readers are invited to send in how they handled it.
Tip of the day:
Keeping smooth relationships with everyone raising the kids of divorce, requires overlooking minor incidents.