Archive for January 8th, 2006

January 8, 2006

Enriched is the woman who —

by Rod Smith

Enriched is the woman who does not lose herself in her marriage, or to motherhood, and in taking care of her family, but is able to develop a strong sense of her self even while being a loving wife, mother and friend.

Enriched is the woman who does not put up with poor manners (being taken for granted, being sworn at, being victimized both verbally and physically) from anyone: not husband, children, in-laws, siblings, or her parents, but who appropriately, and sufficiently values herself so that she does not tolerate those who do not treat her very well.

Enriched is the woman who knows she never has to participate in sexual activity that she, herself, does not want, who knows that her body is her own and private temple which she shares, even in marriage, only when it is by her own sacred and deliberate choice.

Enriched is the woman who lives above manipulation, domination and intimidation, whose relationships are pure and open, and within which she maintains a strong and valued voice.

January 8, 2006

Twelve misunderstandings about marriage and intimate relationships I’ve discerned through readers’ letters after almost 6 years of writing a daily column:

by Rod Smith

1. A little controlling behavior (manipulation, intimidation or domination) between people is a necessary part of love;
2. Living together without being married is the same as being married, because marriage is “just a piece of paper”;
3. In a good marriage, the couple always knows where the other person is, and always knows what the other person is doing;
4. The responsibilities of marriage, and the birth of a few children, will make an irresponsible adult into a responsible one;
5. All relationship problems can be traced to problems in communication;
6. Once married, your extended family, especially in-laws, should be kept at a distance;
7. If you love someone enough they will eventually change into what you want them to be;
8. It’s worth staying in a bad marriage for the sake of the children;
9. Any partner is better than no partner at all;
10. Sex before marriage is necessary otherwise a person will feel cheated after they are married and have only had one sex partner;
11. Men need sex more than women need sex, and it therefore “normal” for men to be unfaithful;
12. Good sex will keep a relationship from ending.

January 8, 2006

Home can be where the real hurt is ….

by Rod Smith

The “outside world” can be a dangerous place for children, but an exceedingly dangerous environment for children can also be their own home. While medicine cabinets, cleaning materials and unlocked swimming pool gates pose a real threat to the safety of children, the unguarded mouth of an angry adult that can do grieveous harm to a child.

A vigilant parent might lock a medicine cabinet, yet leave her anger lying all over the house for an innocent child to stumble upon. Unresolved anger in a parent, expressed through unpredictable displays of frustration and annoyance or rage, can quite effectively ruin a happy childhood – and set the next generation “on rage”!

It is in their own homes that children might be at most in danger, for it is at home they will learn about trust, and exercise the most trust. It is at home they will learn, or fail to learn, all about love. It is at home they will make the most mistakes and receive the most correction. It is at home that children will learn about fear and hurt and rejection.

Thanks for reading “You and Me” with Rod Smith

January 8, 2006

Betrayed while pregnant: Should I feel betrayed?

by Rod Smith

Reader’s Question: In the early stages of my pregnancy, I found out that my husband was accepting phone calls and gifts from an ex-girlfriend. This hurt terribly. He agreed it was not right and, although he would not be nasty to her, he agreed to cut off all contact. By chance, now months later, I overheard my husband on the phone to his ex and have now found out he never severed the contact and still has not. Am I crazy to feel betrayed?

Rod Smith’s Response: You are not crazy: you have been doubly betrayed. I amazed how often men will protect a woman they are NOT married to, while being quite comfortable with hurting a wife! Your husband would have been wise to shoo off the ex the first time she reared her destructive, seductive head.

I’d suggest face-to-face help with a mediator capable of asking your husband difficult questions. Were I contracted to assist, I’d demand a meeting with the woman, your husband and you, all in the same room. Understandably, having just delivered a child, you might not feel quite up to this.

Then, come to think of it, your husband probably would not agree to such a meeting. Men who deal in deception seldom welcome open dialogue. Besides, it might get nasty long before it gets nice!

Thanks for reading YOU AND ME with Rod Smith

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