Archive for November, 2008

November 12, 2008

Wife wants to go back to university….

by Rod Smith

“My wife (55) wants to go back to university now that our children are all grown up. I have not been too kind about this as I think it is a waste of our time. We have been very successful even without degrees. I am worried about her safety going back and forth every day to the campus. This has become quite an issue for us as we have always been united on everything.” (Edited)

dsc_0642It doesn’t take too much “reading between the lines” to see you are probably somewhat threatened by your wife’s natural desire for knowledge, freedom, and adventure. The “we” sounds very strong. Viewing your wife’s attendance at university as “a waste of our time” is a rather strong clue to the lockstep nature of the relationship. I’d suggest you get out of your wife’s way as soon as possible and become her greatest fan as she strives after her goals.

You are correct. You, and many others are “very successful even without degrees.” Just imagine what you might have done with one!

November 11, 2008

Your answer fell short…..

by Rod Smith

“I read your 9 November 2008 column and was struck that enquirer made the point that he lost his parent when he was six and needed space. Your reply fell short of constructive advice for his future relationships.

“It sounds as though the pain of his loss resulted in a barrier against further pain, so he avoids getting too close to people. This makes long-distance relationships ‘safe.’ Surely he needs to deal with the root of this to build a healthy, interactive relationship?

“As he is would not bode well for marriage a man and woman ‘cleave’ and become one flesh, where interaction, communication, commitment, and trust are key ingredients. No one can force him to face and deal with the root of his problem, but a healthy marital relationship, will require two emotionally and psychologically well individuals.

“I acknowledge his girlfriend might be too demanding, in which case she would also need to learn to establish healthy boundaries. I agree it may be best for the relationship to be ended, but the problems will still remain in future relationships if not addressed. We tend to drag baggage from our childhoods into adult relationships, often to our own detriment.”

November 10, 2008

He never picks up the phone….

by Rod Smith

“What do I do if I live a long way away from my husband and when the time goes on I phone him and he does answer the phone. Then, as the time goes by, if I phone him he will never pick up the phone. What does this blog4symbolize to a married woman who has husband like this?”

A lack of conversation (meaningful or otherwise), having limited time together, and experiencing avoidance from your husband is, I am sure, most painful for you. Living as a victim is surely worse.

Go to your husband. Have a face-to-face conversation. Assess the condition of your marriage. Many couples survive intentional, temporary separations, for matters of work, travel or study – and come out better off for it. Passive acceptance of your husband’s silence will get you and your marriage nowhere.

November 9, 2008

She wants to talk too often….

by Rod Smith

“I’ve been in a long-distance relationship with my girlfriend for almost a year now. I am a person who needs a lot of personal space, maybe because that’s how I was raised. I lost my parent when I was 6, and since then, I need space. My girlfriend likes to hear of every detail of my life. It’s enough for me if I talk to her once in couple of days but she doesn’t get it. She is too demanding for me. Is what I am asking really weird?” (Shortened)

dsc_0642Desiring room to move in any relationship is absolutely normal. What you want is not “weird,” and your initial mutual attraction is not at all surprising. The reasons you continued in the relationship once you felt overwhelmed by your girlfriend’s desire for connection might be where weirdness makes an entry. Attempting an explanation of what’s behind your desire for more “space” than needed by your girlfriend is pointless. Short of a miracle, this is a set-up for continued frustration for each of you. If you decide to end the liaison, do it by means of a face-to-face conversation rather than on the phone or, worse, by Email!

November 6, 2008


by Rod Smith

Tonight I had a haircut with my brother. We’re not “Salon Orange Moon” kind of people, but there we sat, young women working creams and smells into my 53 and his 59-year old scalps. We chatted, quite predictably, (actually a lot of our chat is quite predictable) about the fact we hadn’t had haircuts side-by-side in at least forty-five years.

We decided, or at least I did, that brothers should do this kind of thing more often so our next side-by-side hair appointment is scheduled for the latter part of 2038. This time we’ll only wait 30 years.

November 6, 2008

He preyed on me…..

by Rod Smith

“I read the 26 points and most of them relate to my situation. I was widowed 3 years ago after 30+ years of marriage. I was so very lost and it was suggested by a neighbor that a friend of his could help me with my plight. Two years on I am totally and utterly miserable, but feel unable to leave the situation. I don’t know why – perhaps its because I have never been alone to ‘find the real me’. He bombarded me with flowers, gifts, my son thought he’d walked into a florest shop! Very slowly he started to close in by saying that he didn’t see that much of me and I felt guilty – so eventually he was there every single day from 2pm onwards 7 days a week. If I went out to see a girlfriend during my day off from work he would ring me several times and if I didn’t hear or didn’t answer he would sulk (pout) and get ‘stroppy’ (ill-tempered). He accused me of having affairs with my colleagues, he read my emails, checked my phone. Before this all happened he wanted me to buy a house with him 1/3rd him 2/3rds me. (He got divorced last year 2007).

“Every holiday we have been on he has more or less ruined. If I fall asleep in the car he suddenly brakes to wake me up – says he is worried that I may injure myself if we have an accident! – my children hate him – he is coarse and abusive at times but comes across as a very nice man to others. His language is foul at times, he ripped his shirt off and grabbed a knife saying ‘use it on me’. His friends think he is Mr. Wonderful – this is just a short list of things he has done – he has hurt me physically but the worst thing of all is that he has played with my mind. I don’t know if its me half of the time because he says, ‘you don’t mean that, this is what you mean.’

“I believe he ‘preyed’ on me during the early stages of my loss and I was so alone I was grateful. He really did seem a nice person, but he has turned out to be something quite the opposite. I am still with him but don’t think it will be for much longer as he is getting fed up with me not making a commitment to him. I will not sell my house and buy one with him.

“I feel dreadful most days – so whoever reads this – please – if you know or know of someone who has recently been bereaved – tell them to beware – there are men out there that prey on the vulnerable.”

dsc_0642Four pointers to assist reader:

1. While this is not helpful now, a good rule of thumb is to NOT enter any new relationship until at least a year has passed after a divorce or the loss of a spouse. I believe one should wait for at least three years after a thirty-year marriage.

2. When things are “too good to be true” they almost always are. Wanting you home ALL the time, waking you up when you’re asleep in the car, checking your phone – all these are warning signs that you have met an abusive and controlling man. Control and love cannot co-exist. Run the other way no matter how many flowers he sends you.

3. Your future is not in this man’s hands, and nor is your future in the hands of any man or any relationship. You suggest he is “getting fed up” because you will not commit to him. It is time for your “fed-up-ness”  to drive you to some important changes you want. Your emotional well-being is more important to you and you do not have to wait around until he decides he’s ready to make a change. Ask your adult children to help you get out of this situation as soon as possible. I am sure they will more than run to your help.

4. Expose ALL violent behavior, all abusive behavior – no matter how “nice” the man is to others. No person ever deserves to go through what you are enduring.

November 2, 2008

What can I do to keep him?

by Rod Smith

“I have been in a relationship for three years and we also live together. Since last month we started fighting about everything. We had a talk last night and he told me he do not know how we can solve this problem. He wants me to loose weight and I do exercise but he still doesn’t seem to see that I’m trying to make him happy. I love him with everything I have do not want loose him. It looks like he does not want be with me no more. What can I do so I don’t loose him? He told me that I have changed and are not the same as i was when we met and when I told him that he changed he didn’t seem to agree. He doesn’t want to have sex with me. He does not hold me at night. He doesn’t tell me by himself that he loves me just when I tell him then he will reply with a loveless tone. Can you please tell me what i can do?”

Victims make most unattractive partners. When you begin to love yourself with “everything you have” you might stop living as a victim. Your over-dependence on this man for your happiness will ultimately drive him (and most men) away.