Archive for August 24th, 2009

August 24, 2009

He wants to take the children on honeymoon….

by Rod Smith

“My fiancée and I are discussing wedding options. It’s my first marriage, and his third. I dreamed of a big traditional wedding but considering it’s his third, I understand he has done a ‘big wedding’ twice so a smaller wedding would be appropriate. He has two daughters and I have a son. We then got to the topic of the honeymoon his daughter (12) is adamant they should come with. I feel I should draw the line. I am already giving up the big traditional wedding and feel that I would rather have a wonderful honeymoon alone with my husband. My fiancée agrees with the children and wants them with us overseas for two weeks on honeymoon. How do I deal with this?”

USA

USA

Welcome to your life after marriage. I can only assume your future husband feels incapable of taking a stand with his children or that he needs the diversion the children will bring. Either way this will be a rub long after the honeymoon is over.

But go ahead. Draw the line. Be aware you will probably not get your way.

More important than planning your honeymoon, I’d suggest you meet with both his ex-wives and gain some insight about how you all plan to co-parent the children.

ACT, Australia

ACT, Australia

Your fiance’s children have been through two marriages and are approaching a third. It sounds like there could be anger and insecurity within one of the daughters and perhaps the other too. You are entering a relationship where your wishes and values aren’t considered as important as future wife and potential friend of the girls. I am wondering whether seeking professional help for you both might be an option before decisions are put into place.

Midwest, USA

Midwest, USA

How wedding and honeymoon decisions are made will set the tone for how the two of you will do marriage. Identify your needs and expectations before the wedding. If you allow his 12 year old daughter to dictate who goes on YOUR honeymoon, she will continue to dictate your marital relationship. Being Flexible and negotiating well are essential components in healthy families, especially when two families join. Giving up what you need or desire most of the time, however, is not.

August 24, 2009

Three beers a night. He says I’m an alcoholic…

by Rod Smith

“My husband is nagging me about my two to three beers every night and a few cigarettes before dinner. He is telling me that I am an alcoholic and out of control. He has convinced my children (22 and 19) that I have a ‘big problem.’ He can have his gin tonic and cigars and my kids say nothing. When I open a beer I get the dirtiest look. They are giving me a complex and my husband is using it as a power tool. I am thinking of leaving for a while as it is blown out of proportion. How do I stop this madness?”

USA

USA

Leaving your family in order to drink a few beers every night may indicate alcoholism as your issue. But you are correct, two or three beers a day is no proof that you are an alcoholic. Yet, as a result of drinking your relationships are more stressed and your drinking is doing little to improve the atmosphere in your home.

If “two or three beers every night” is really not an issue then I’d suggest you stop for six months to demonstrate the powerlessness of alcohol over you. This done, your family will agree that drinking is a choice over which you have total control.

ACT, Australia

ACT, Australia

“Stop the madness”…what a profound statement you have made! After reading your email, I thought it was a great way to summarize the relational dynamics in your household. But not only in your household but everywhere, where power and control rule how we relate to one another. How we want to change another’s behavior because we are uncomfortable with our own. And how we hurt each other in the process. Your perspective is accurate – and changing the madness takes passion and courage and commitment because there is a way through.

Midwest, USA

Midwest, USA

Is it madness? Sometimes, although it may be hard to hear, our family, because they know us so well, are able to point out patterns of behavior that are destructive. If this is not the case, then stop drinking two to three beers nightly. You could stop altogether for a few weeks or you could limit your intake to one a night, five days a week. This should discourage the dirty looks and help you from developing a “complex” about it. If this is difficult for you to do then perhaps there is TRUTH to what they are saying. If they love you, listen to them.