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October 9, 2000


Interesting Men, Marriage Difficulties, and A Battle to Win




Dear Mrs. Web,

How do I meet interesting men?

By being an interesting woman leading an interesting life.

Dear Mrs. Web,

My wife and I have not been getting along. For the first two years of our marriage, she was very controlling and our relationship was very one-sided. When I put a stop to this, everything fell apart and we have had a hard time being together.

Recently, we had a talk about how much we loved each other and how we would work things out. I then found out that she is checking around to see if I am unfaithful. I am not. I donít know what to do.

It sounds like you are married to a woman who loves you very much but is unable to trust. When someone is so controlling, he or she is filled with fear. By controlling the spouse, the fears are kept at bay. Unfortunately, this behavior can harm the marriage immensely.

It is great you put boundaries on her controlling behavior. The problem is that she is so used to coping with her fears with control that she may not know of other ways to behave. She is grasping at straws to explain the pain.


In one sense, what is going on is good. She loves you and is floundering. I would sit down with her and tell her kindly, seriously and firmly that you know she is asking about possible infidelity. Tell her it was clearly a breech of the marriage. Explain you are her husband and she should talk to you directly about her fears and concerns.


Tell her that you love her and are concerned about the difficulties in your marriage. Have the name of two or three family counselors on hand. Tell her that you would like to schedule the both of you together to sit down with one to find out how to get over these problems and have a loving, honest, trusting, committed relationship.


Sometimes, in a marriage, when one mate is ill or floundering, the other mate takes charge, gently, lovingly, and firmly. All marriages go through these sorts of problems.



Dear Mrs. Web,


My two-year-old runs away from me and wonít hold my hand when we are walking. I am so afraid he is going to be hit by a car. My mother thinks we should get a harness and leash. My husband and I donít know what to do.


Holding Mommyís finger is a baby-basic that a two-year-old should master. Tell your child clearly that in parking lots and on the sidewalks he must hold your finger. Make sure your hand is around his wrist gently, but ready to hold tightly if needed. Just before leaving the car or house, explain it again. Then hold out your finger for the child to grasp.  Practice once or twice a day at home.


If he doesnít comply, you donít move. Look him in the eye and insist. He may throw all sorts of fits. Donít get mad. Just keep firmly insisting. This is a battle you must win. You are the grown-up. Donít back down. Donít be inconsistent.




October 6, 2000


They Hate Me, The Girlfriend's Child,  and The Out of Control Family



Dear Mrs. Web,

Can a relationship survive when my boyfriendís family really hates me? I don't mean they just don't like me. I mean they don't invite me to family functions or even say hello to me.


My boyfriend says it doesn't bother him. When we get married, he says, I just wonít visit them. He knows I am hurt by their cruelty and now I don't want a relationship with them. Is this way of relating really going to be ok, when we marry and have children? I feel very nervous about our future.

I think you are wise to be nervous about the future. When you marry, you donít marry only your spouse but you actually marry the entire family. You become part of his family and vice versa. To be in a family that totally rejects you is painful, debilitating and also hurtful and harmful to your future children.

Your husband-to-be must stand up for you in his family and require his family to treat you decently. As his betrothed, you are his primary commitment, and nothing must come between you.


I do not know what caused this rift, but if it can be repaired, repair it. The least you should expect from your in-laws is attentive politeness. If they canít make this cut, you should start making other plans. Life is too precious to spend in a "war zone". Stick to your guns. You and your future children deserve the best, most nurturing, and loving environment you can find.


Dear Mrs Web will be featuring, chapters from Jeff Myers book, Of Knights and Fair Maidens. Two chapters list subjects all dating and betrothed couples should discuss before marriage. Highly recommended.


Dear Mrs. Web,


I have been involved with a woman with a young son. She is no longer willing to see me and wonít let me see the child either. I am not sure how to proceed because I really miss the little guy.


There is no place to proceed. She has a child. It is not yours and you have no legal claim. Sleeping with his mother was no guarantee of a permanent relationship with him. Stop playing Daddy to other peopleís children.


Dear Mrs. Web,

Recently my daughter who is 12 years old reported to me and to authorities that she was being sexually molested. The culprit was my youngest sonís father who was subsequently tried and sentenced. He is currently serving time.


Since this has happened, the youngest son who is eight years old, now is impossible control. He was spoiled rotten by his father and heís having trouble adjusting to less.


He used to love school but he now fights going every morning. He fights with his siblings. He screams at me when I try to discipline him.


The only positive thing going on is that I have repaired my relationship with my legal husband after 12 years. Heís my oldest childís father. All the children care for him. On the other hand, when it comes to me, none of the children pay attention. Please HELP!

You are enduring the results of what happens when mothers have multiple successive relationships in their lives and in their childrenís lives. Momís attention is elsewhere and messages she sends them are mixed. You have lost credibility with your children. They do not respect, trust, or believe what you say. You donít follow through.


You will need help gaining control over your family. It sounds like your husband will be a good resource for the entire family. 


It is time to place the entire family into family therapy. In family therapy, you will learn how to communicate with, listen to, and manage your children in ways that will repair the broken relationships and forge deeper bonds of love and caring.


 A good therapist will teach you how to provide the boundaries and limits children need to be safe emotionally as well as physically. These bonds are the foundation of any childís obedience and cooperation in the family circle.  With time you can repair the problems and have a better family environment.


Do you have a church or organization that can help you during this time? Church youth groups and other kinds of adult supervised youth groups such as 4H, Boys and Girls Clubs, Youth ministries and Y clubs can help parents pull their children into line. Keep in touch.




October 5, 2000


Child Out of Control, Forgotten Milestone,  Dishonest Boss, and He's Leaving Me



Dear Mrs. Web,

Our daughter is fourteen. Up until recently she went to a private religious school. Last spring she asked to transfer to our local public school. She has been in the new school for less than a month and she has become unmanageable. She is not coming home until late, skipping school, and is friends with some very unimpressive kids. We have talked to her about going back to her old school and she has threatened to run away.

Sounds like her heart has already run away. Something is up. Drugs, alcohol, and sex all come to mind. She sounds angry and alienated, She should be reeled in. 

I recommend family therapy. Perhaps homeschooling would help in the interim. Is she connected with a trustworthy youth group?  This is a time to bring all your resources in to help, former teachers, ministers, friends and relatives.

Dear Mrs. Web,

My fiftieth birthday was today. None of my three children even called, never mind a card or a gift. I have been crying since noon. What do I do?

I am sorry your children did not remember this major milestone in your life. Once you get yourself under control, call or write all three of them and let them know it caused you pain to be forgotten.  

Dear Mrs. Web,

My boss wants me to go to bat for him next week. He is going out of town on a business trip. Instead of staying at the local hotel he is staying with a "friend." He wants me to field the calls so no one knows he is "visiting someone", including his wife. He told me that this sort of thing is done all the time in this organization. I am uncomfortable and unhappy about being used this way.

I would sit down and tell him you are uncomfortable placed in this position. It may be done all the time, but not by you. Request a transfer from Human Resources. There is always a transfer available for a good secretary.

Dear Mrs. Web,

I have been living with "Ted" for almost five years. We have even been talking about buying a house together. Last night he came home and told me he has met someone new and will be moving out this weekend. He packed a few things and left. He said he will be back Saturday to pick up the rest. Should I be here? I walk from room to room and I just donít know what to do.

Change the locks immediately. Do you need to change a lease or rental agreement? 

Do you have a friend who can be with you when he comes back? You are going to need the support and "Ted" sounds too unscrupulous to allow back into the house alone. Begin separating your things out. 

One of the saddest things about people who play house is the way the relationship disappears when it ends.  



October 3, 2000


Love..., Book Club Blues, Lonely Mother at Home, Daughter Troubles



Dear Mrs Web,

Can a person fall in love immediately when meeting someone new?

You can feel an immediate bond with someone, but real love takes much more work.

Dear Mrs. Web,

My fifth grade daughter and I belong to a Mother/Daughter book club. The reading list came out last week. There are two books I feel are too old for her age group. Heck, they're too old for me! I checked around and the selection seems to be set in stone. What should I do?

Read the books and go to the meetings on the months that have the acceptable books and donít bother with the others. Taste and convictions vary. Not everybody will want to participate every month. Happy reading!

Dear Mrs Web,

I am home with our new son and our three-year-old daughter. I spent over twelve years working in international markets. We are established and I wanted to spend time home with the children. It has been an adjustment. How do I find other mothers like me? I know some must be out there. It is lonely at home.

Go to toddler and preschool reading times at the local library. Ask around your church, club, and neighborhood for playgroups. The Y usually has swim times for babies and mothers and is another good place to meet mothers. So are various childrenís classes. Donít overdo, but look for mothers you like and see if schedules will fit. A terrific resource I highly recommend is Welcome Home magazine by the folks at Mothers at Home. I have enjoyed it for years.

Dear Mrs. Web, 


My 21-year-old daughter has married a man who has taken her away from our family. We were all close, but since this man has come into her life, she had isolated herself from her friends and family. 


She and her husband found and used one of our social security numbers and opened several credit card in his name. We had to file fraud charge against them. We donít even know where she lives. She calls over the net occasionally. Sometimes she sounds sorry and sad. In other calls, she is hateful and mean. We love her with all our hearts but we donít know what to do next. Please help me....

Your daughter is troubled and not above felony fraud. Also, understand that unless she is bound and gagged, this twenty-one year old woman has the ability to come home. She is making a choice to be with this man.   


Next, realize that the close family ties you have had cause her to continue to call. Listen to her and be embracing when she is decent on the telephone and cut her off politely when she is "hateful". She needs some boundaries.


 I realize you love her. Sometimes the best love you can give a floundering loved one is to pull back from the relationship and not react.  I recommend Toughlove for all the family members affected by her behavior. You will get support and help you need when you connect with the Toughlove people.



October 2, 2000


Wedding Blonde Blues, Beach Friend, Manipulative Son, and Father Problems


Dear Mrs. Web,

I am marrying the girl I met and dated during our senior year of college. The wedding is on Valentineís Day. She has chosen her bridesmaids; all seven of them are from her sorority. Like my bride, they are all blonds. My sister told me that my bride-to-be said she could not be part of the wedding party because only blondes could be in it. My sister is a brunette. She is hurt and I can't believe it. I donít even know how to begin to approach this question.

Some people consider a wedding sort of a personal television production. Others consider a wedding to be a gathering of important people in the coupleís life to solemnize a lifelong and precious vow. Your bride-ling seems to have "production wedding values", not "blessed day values". 

Have you actually paid attention to what your beloved has been saying all these months? Or have you been blinded in the glare of her hair? I would sit down and have a nice long chat with her. You will get a good sense of her character and values as you both work out this problem. 

Dear Mrs. Web,

I walk a beach trail every day with my dog. I always meet a man and his dog on the trail and as the dogs have become acquainted, we exchange pleasant conversation. Sometimes he even walks a bit with me when we are engrossed in an interesting topic. He is a book lover too. He seems to be retired and unmarried. How do I get to know him better?

The next time you are having one of those engrossing conversations, tell him that you are fascinated and that you would like to continue it over coffee. Have a place ready to suggest. I suspect heíll be delighted.

Dear Mrs. Web,

My eleven-year-old son is a handful. When in the car he has started threatening me that he will jump out if I do not cooperate with whatever it is he wants. He even opens the door. What should I do?

I advise not letting him in the car because of his unsafe behaviors. He is to be driven nowhere. He is homebound. Soccer? Too bad. Lead in school play? Maybe next time. 

After two weeks, have him sign a contract that states he will not try this or any other disagreeable behaviors in the car. Consequences for breaking the contract should be huge, immediate, and important to him. Manipulative behavior of this nature should be sat on - hard.

Dear Mrs. Web,

My father is totally unresponsive to me and my family. He never visits us, never calls, and never gives gifts. I call weekly to make sure he is all right. He gambles and sits around with his cronies at a local car repair shop. My nightmare is that I am going to have to care for him when he becomes frail. How should I look at this responsibility?

There are people who are parents and grandparents because of biology, but not because of their hearts. Make sure your father is comfortable, warm, and fed. No, you do not have to place him into the middle of your life to fulfill your daughterly obligations. People tend to have the final years they earned.



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