Archive for November, 2006

November 30, 2006

My mother-in-law spoils our children and my wife won’t tell her to stop…

by Rod Smith

“My mother-in-law spoils our children and my wife won’t tell her to stop. We have been married for seven years and I am tired of her mother interfering in our lives and especially with spoiling the children. What should I do?”

When, Sir, did you lose the ability to speak for yourself? I trust you know that your mother-in-law’s power within your family might be a direct result of your unwillingness or inability to speak up for yourself.

Your wife’s mother is your mother-in-law: speak to her yourself.

I’d suggest that since you perceive your wife as the spokesperson for matters relating to your mother-in-law, that your assessment of how she treats your children might not be fair or accurate.

Before you launch into addressing this matter that is causing you distress, I’d suggest you get several opinions from friends who are men enough to have a mutual, respectful, and equal relationships with the mothers of their brides and the grandmothers of their children.

There are such men? Yes. I have met them in every culture I’ve had the joy of visiting.

November 27, 2006

When is love not love anymore…..? He has to see he needs help and his problem won’t let him….

by Rod Smith

“I love my sometimes- abusive boyfriend very much. I moved out and I know that was a good step. I still deeply love him. He won’t get help for his problems because he doesn’t understand he has an illness. The illness prevents from seeing it. It’s circular. How can you get through to someone like this without setting them off or making them perceive you as the enemy? How can someone get the professional help they need if they don’t see that they have a problem? The person who is abusive has to recognize the problem and be willing to seek help. No one can force it. ‘Sorry’ is are all we have sometimes, and if you love someone how can you turn your back on them, especially if you can see they need help?” (Letter edited)

Rod Response:

At some point you have to love yourself more than you love your boyfriend, otherwise the relationship will destroy you. How will I ever get you to see this?

Focus on your health and not on his. This is not selfish, it is wise.

Believe it or not, there are more important things than love. Your survival is one of them.

Something is deeply amiss when your love is so compelling it is self-destructive.

This is, of course, when is ceases to be love.

November 23, 2006

When your husband says he doesn’t love you anymore or want to be married anymore……

by Rod Smith

dsc_0642Of course you are going to fall apart, and mourn the loss of the future you thought you’d have.

You will feel like death itself and even welcome your own.

Then, when your mind somewhat clears, you’ll wonder what really occurred. You will question what you might have done to cause the marriage breakdown and wonder what you might have done to save it.

Then you will bargain with God, your husband, even your children, or with anyone who will listen as you urgently try to get things back to normal, and get yourself back into his heart, head, and bed.

And, when things somewhat settle, and you’ve gotten some rest, and you emerge from the initial impact of what has occurred, you will see that this is not about you, or what you did or did not do. You will see there that there is no real power in bargaining with him, or real value in your becoming whatever you think he’d prefer you to be.

You will see that, quite apart from whatever he decides to do, there is great power and value in picking up your life, one emotion at a time, and doing what is best for yourself and your children.

Call Rod now…..

November 23, 2006

I am in love with a co-worker and my husband…..

by Rod Smith

“I don’t know what to do. I fell in love with a coworker before he married, but it wasn’t until after he got married that we began our relationship. He said he loves me more than (he loves) his wife and that he regrets not being able to love me the way he loves me now. He regrets being married. I love him too. I am also married. He said he doesn’t love his wife, that he wants to be with me. I love my husband and this other guy! I broke up with my affair many times, but he keeps calling me. He he treats me so nicely. He is so sweet, nice, he cares, he is awesome. My husband has never treated me so well! I love my husband. I’ve been with him 11 years. I don’t know what to do. I don’t want to hurt my husband neither or his wife which is why I have ended this so many times. We always end up back together.” (Letter edited)

Rod’s Response: It appears your husband treats you better than you treat him. Your confusion will not cease while you cheat. I’d suggest you take responsibility for yourself and your marriage. Your flagrant infidelity makes mockery of both marriages.

November 21, 2006

I am insecure about her ex-husband……

by Rod Smith

“I am involved with a woman I have known since our early teens. She was married and got divorced. She has two children and I love them all very much. My relationships (with them) are fine but I feel great insecurity about her ex-husband. I tell myself that I must be better and bigger. I don’t think this is healthy. What can I do to make the feelings go away? What can my partner do to help?” (Letter edited)

Rod’s response: Insecurity is both pervasive and generic. It will rear its head whenever its host is threatened or challenged. I’d guess you’ve had similar feelings stirring within you long before you became romantically involved.

Your partner can do nothing since your feelings are your business. Don’t try to make them her business. This is not about her ex-husband.

While you compete with her former husband, your new family (if you marry) will not know you for who you are. I challenge you to establish your unique approach to love and parenting without reference to the man with whom you may share parenting responsibilities.

Your feelings will not go away until you appreciate your unique contribution to the children and their mother, a role which, at its best, will compliment the ex-husband’s role with his children.

November 18, 2006

Ten things victims of domestic abuse must learn to say and act upon…

by Rod Smith


I will not be contained.....

1. It is never acceptable for you to scream at, or hit, the children or me.
2. It is never acceptable for you to confine the children or me.
3. It is never acceptable for you to break things or throw things even if you own the house and everything in it.
4. It is not acceptable for you to cut me off from the world by taking my money or keys, phone, or personal items.
5. I will not ride in the car with you when you are angry or drunk.
6. It is never acceptable for you to force or manipulate me into sex or sexual practices I do not want.
7. I will not accept responsibility for your outbursts of anger or violence.
8. Being really sorry for your behavior is not enough – you must get professional help.
9. Forgiveness is not enough – you must get professional help.
10. When I tell you forgiveness is not enough, that I will not come back to you, don’t turn it on me and say I know nothing about forgiveness.

November 15, 2006

My wife is addicted to her cell phone — help!

by Rod Smith

My wife is constantly on her cell-phone. She is so “connected” with (text) messages and calls that it has more power over her than she realizes. It’s a drug. Even the children notice that she can hardly have a conversation without having one eye on the phone. Sometimes I want to flush it down the toilet. What should I do?

Push back will not help at all.....

Flushing it down the toilet will clog more than your plumbing.

Keep in mind that it is hardly ever possible to force or push people into change others desire for them. You might have noticed people have a way of exerting equal pressure in the opposite direction (they “push back”) when they feel coerced, cornered or trapped.

Therefore, I’d suggest you do as little as possible but to attempt to create the ambiance for a helpful conversation about your concern. Choose a relaxed, “unemotional” moment and gently, clearly state what it is that you think is an issue, then challenge your wife to consider the impact her response to her mobile phone is having upon her life and family.

It is hardly likely that this will be news to her, so challenge her to find her own way out of her electronic bondage (which of course, she might not consider a problem at all).

November 12, 2006

At this, the beginning of the week, I will decide to:

by Rod Smith

1. Be an agent of peace and goodwill, and supportive of all within my circle of influence
2. Be wise with the use of personal and shared resources
3. Be forgiving toward others, even when it is undeserved
4. Be kind, bold, and yet friendly
5. Be welcoming of children, patient with the elderly, hospitable to strangers, and considerate of the needs of those in my employ
6. Be helpful in and around the house
7. Be kind to my children’s teachers
8. Be outrageously generous
9. Be aware of the impact my life has upon others
10. Be grateful to all have taught me, encouraged me, and loved me.

November 10, 2006

Readers request to see my children — here they are…. Nathanael (4), Thulani (8)

by Rod Smith


November 10, 2006

My son (12) is so lethargic at school……

by Rod Smith

My child (12) has become less and less interested in school over the past few months. He is lethargic and you’d think school was the worst place on Earth to have to go. He has always loved school and I don’t want him to become totally disengaged. Could it be the onset of puberty that is causing him to be so different than he was but a few months ago?

Yes. It could be the result of some of the physical changes he is, and will continue to face, as a young man. Do not allow this to be your way of excusing his lack of interest in school. Address his lethargy with him face-to-face in the most loving and kind way you are capable. Talk with him about the attitudinal changes you have noticed, but offer him no excuse for the adaptations he will have to make in order to stay on top of his academic pursuits. Your son, if he is to be a success, will have to adjust to a lot more in his life than the onset of puberty. As confusing as this time may be for him, offering it to him as an excuse to be lazy will only add to his confusions. If his lethargy persists, take him to your pediatrician for a check-up.