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June 12, 2003


Happily Married Man? Bored With Her, Punks, Mean Teacher,


Family Guilt



Dear Mrs. Web
I am a happily married man. I have become smitten with a co-worker. She is young, attractive, shapely, intelligent and funny. She has a great personality and we get along together well. I am self-conscious and awkward when I am with her when I want to be charming and interesting. If I were single...sigh!I do not want to jeopardize my marriage but I need to know two things: first, is it unusual for a married man to be so interested in another women? Is it a sign of deeper problems in my marriage? I also want to know whether this woman finds me equally appealing. I want to appease my ego and move on. How can I find this out without giving the impression that I want to cheat on my wife? Or am I asking for trouble?
Yes, of course other women can appeal to happily married men. You didn't die, did you? This is where commitment and character come into focus and become major players in the life of a marriage. Dear Mrs. Web suggests that you begin exercising both, early and often. Drop the ego massage. The last thing you need is to discover that you are irresistible to this young delicious. By the way, I assure you, there is not a woman alive who does not realize the effect she is having on a man.





Dear Mrs. Web,

I have been living with my girlfriend for 4 years and have we have a one-year- old boy. I am not sure I want to stay with my girlfriend anymore. I love my son but I am tired of his mother. I am more than willing to handle the child support and want joint custody of the child. She is a good mom and a good friend to me and I donít want to lose her friendship. What should I do?

I think it is time for you to grow up, become the man and the committed husband your girlfriend and son need. Any thing less is a childish shirking your responsibilities, and morally reprehensible. Joint custody and child support are often ways for men not to take full responsibility for the babies that they make. $150.00 a month and every other weekend does not a father make. This woman is not your buddy, nor is she a tissue to be used and discarded. She is the mother of your child. If you want the best for your child you will marry her instead of believing all the pap you hear in the media that marriage is not important to men, women and children. What you decide will affect your son for the rest of his life.




Dear Mrs. Web

My best friend and I like to dress and act punk. My parents donít like it because they say that it is not good for me spiritually and some of the ideas go against our family faith. I like dressing in black and promise them I won't go too far. But they tell me that I cannot wear all black and stud belts and necklaces. How can I deal with this? I donít want to follow their rules.

Your parents pay the freight and are responsible for you. Your job is to follow their values and rules while you are under their care. There are times that you have to do what you donít want to do. This is the way to build muscle in your character.

After you turn 18 and leave the nest, you can choose how you want to live and can pierce your elbows and paint yourself black with purple spots if it pleases you.






Dear Mrs. Web,

We have a co-worker with a body odor (perspiration). How do we tell him?

Privately. Have the manager quietly tell him that his body odor has been mentioned as a problem and to please fix the problem. Then change the subject or move on to another project.





Dear Mrs. Web

I have a boyfriend and my parents don't know. They donít want me to date until I am 16. Should I tell them?
Of course you should...your parents didn't raise you to be a liar, did they?





Dear Mrs. Web,

There is a teacher at our high school who tells us to be prepared at all times and he gives us unannounced tests. No other teacher does this at our school and I donít think it is fair. Should I start a petition?

You have been told what to expect: to have to study, keep up, and be prepared. Starting a petition sounds like whining to me.



Dear Mrs. Web,
I am going to college in the fall. I have been in love with a guy since junior high. He has been a long-time friend, but has been involved with another girl for about a year. I felt like I never had my chance with him and I emailed him and told him my true feelings. It has been two weeks and he has not replied. I am Black and he is White. Do you think that he does not want to date me because of my color?
My dear, out of the blue you sent this young man, who is otherwise involved, an email declaring your feelings. It must be awkward and I am sure he is not quite sure what to say. Sometimes the best answer is no response at all. I would not blame skin color for the choices that people make in their personal lives. You have no idea. Why play the victim?





Dear Mrs. Web,

Spring is when our family business quadruples and this year we have had graduations and several commitments. My parentís 50th wedding anniversary also was this spring. I told them last December that because of work and other commitments we would not be able to fly down to Florida and celebrate with them. I tried to put a celebration party together for our February Florida trip but my parents refused at that time. I warned my mother that we would not be able to make the actual spring anniversary date. I sent them a card with a gift and called to wish them the best. My mother has told me that she is upset that we did not fly down and honor them on their special day. I feel horrible. I love my parents dearly but it was impossible, our livelihood depends on our spring contracts. Was I wrong? I feel so guilty I canít sleep.

You did what you could. You explained your problem to your parents and offered the solution of an early celebration. Instead of accepting with grace, they declined, and when you didnít meet their schedule, they took offense. Sounds to me like they did themselves in. Get some sleep. Life is way too short to be upset about things you cannot change. Give yourself some grace.



August 7-8, 2002


Arguments, Weddings and More Weddings, Godparent, Revenge, and Difficult, Noisy Neighbor


Dear Mrs. Web,


Why does my boyfriend keep trying to start arguments with me?


Because arguing is normal for him??


Watch his family, you may find your answer there.



Dear Mrs. Web,

My wedding is a month away. The bridesmaid's dresses have all been  made, fitted, altered, and are at my house now (they are gorgeous by the way)  My mom paid for the dresses and asked the girls to pay her back to make it easier on everyone since some girls are out of town....


For the dress (including alterations) and shoes it came to only $160. The girls all love the dresses and think the price was great. Everyone is happy. The only problem is one of the girls has still not paid my mom back. She gave her only $60.


I have asked my maid-of-honor to request the rest of the money from her, but she still has not paid. She is a wonderful friend and bridesmaid and I don't want to hurt her or upset her - I love her - she's great!!! But what should I do? Should I call and remind her? Should mom? Should I put the maid-of -honor to work again? Should we just let it go?  It's only money and not worth the friendship, right?


I would personally talk to her and find out whether she is having a problem with money. This woman is your friend, close enough that you have her in the wedding party. I would guess that she is worth the $100 if it comes right down to it.


I wouldnít let it ruin my wedding.




Dear Mrs. Web,

Who pays for what at a wedding? My fiancťe and I are getting married in one month.  We are in a bit of a pickle.


When we were engaged 18 months ago I got both sides of the family together and discussed budgets.  I even gave everyone a printout of estimated costs and ideas and asked what they thought they could contribute. Everyone received a budget and we divided the costs. My parents are divorced, my Dad & Step mom are paying for a majority of the wedding (reception food, invitations, photography, DJ, welcome dinner, thank-you cards), while my Mom is paying for the next biggest cut (flowers, attire for me - the bride, decorations, favors, all postage, and the cake, brunch the next day, cameras for the tables, programs), my fiancťe and I are footing the bill for the honeymoon, get-away car and limos, attendants gifts, license, his tux and rings.


We were expecting his parents to pay for the rehearsal (~$2000) and the alcohol(~$3000-6000) at the reception.  They agreed to this when we began the planning.  Now, however, they say they have no money and don't want to pay for the wedding anyway.  They are even referring to the wedding as a venture.


My parents feel badly because my family is large and the guests list is uneven.  Should we pay for everything? Isn't the groom's family supposed to help some?


We are upset about the money issue and angry that they did not tell us sooner that they could not help us, but mostly disappointed as if they don't even care. They are well-off and make twice as much as my parents.


My fiancť's parents refuse to be involved with the planning.  They  don't even know the wedding colors, flowers, or anything. I am so hurt. We have already confirmed and booked with all the vendors, we cannot change what we have because it was a 30 day guarantee, and everything has been purchased for the wedding as far as gowns, cakes, etc. What do we do now? Should we try calling the vendors and reducing things? Cancel the rehearsal dinner? What to do?


It sounds like your future in-laws are having second thoughts about this "venture." 


I think that you should re-think parts of the wedding, such as the parts that your in-laws won't pay. Make it a cash bar and ask them what they want to do for the rehearsal dinner, since that is traditionally paid for by the groom's family. If they refuse to pay I suggest that you have a back yard BBQ.  I am sure that could be done for substantially less than $2,000.


I think you got started on the wrong foot with your future in-laws. Usually, the relatives are asked how they would like to participate. Not told how much they have to pay, particularly when it is done in front of others.  People start feeling railroaded.  I think a big apology is in order.


People should have the weddings they can afford.


Dear Mrs Web,

My partner's sister is pregnant and has asked her brother (my partner) and I to be the Godparents of her child. They are a Catholic family and I am very flattered that she has asked me.

However I am not a Catholic nor a Christian and do not believe in having Godparents. I thought she knew I was not Christian, but she must not know.

How do I decline the offer kindly without insulting her religion or very
kind gesture?

Why would she have her brother as the godfather?  He will always be an uncle and have that as a special tie. Why would she not have another special person in her life for the link?

A Godparent is the person who promises to look after the childís moral and theological development. The Godparent has a spiritual and practical connection with the child.  Often a Godparent is  named guardian, if the parents die or become incapacitated.


Kindly say " Thank you .  I am honored.  However, I am not Christian and it wouldnít be appropriate for me to stand as a Godparent."   The fact that you are not even married to the man makes that even issue even more obvious, since who knows where either of you will be next year?



Dear Mrs. Web,


My best friend, who has been having trouble in her marriage for about 1 year, has started an affair with her soon to be ex-husband's brother.


Besides all the obvious reasons, what else can I say to her to stop this before it gets way out of hand. One of the reasons she started having trouble in her marriage was that after one of her husband's drunken states he came on to her younger sister. I need the right words to help my friend, I see nothing but TROUBLE.


There is nothing you can say to a man or woman who is hell-bent to blow up their life.  They are running on pure emotion and wise counsel doesn't count for much.  This sort of revenge has a nasty habit of biting back. You can  tell her that it is a lousy idea that will hurt her deeply as well as the children, her ex, and her in-laws. You are a friend, be clear and forthright.


In the long run, this will be one of the dumber things that she will have done in her life.




Dear Mrs. Web,

I have a neighbor who plays his music really loud. We've asked him to turn it down plenty of times. We've gone as far as pressing charges twice. He yells obscenities at us when we go outside. We've just bought our house here, and all of the other neighbors play their music loud but not so loud that I can hear it in my house with my radio on.


Everyone who has lived there just ignores him because he has some mental disabilities, but I won't do it. I pay good money for my home and land, and I'll not be run off because of him, do you think you can help us?

I wish I could tell you differently, but I think that the only thing you will be able to do is continue to call the police and press charges.


Since he has mental disabilities he may have a guardian, perhaps charges should be filed against the guardian. If he is affiliated with social services perhaps they should be notified...










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