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How do I make my man love me?


Q. Dear Elaine, I just can't get loved by my loved one and that realisation is keeping me frozen... I do feel like the person I am, which is not much. Since I met my husband and got closer to your culture I do see how the people I come from are ignorant in every aspects... Would love be back...? I don't believe there is much to love in me right now, at least. Anyway, I am miserable not to be able to offer my son two parents who love one another... It is the worst feeling to see there is nothing you can offer to your man that another woman cannot do better.

A. You must be in a lot of pain. But you have both the problem and the solution in your email to me. Let's identify your key comments.

"I just can't get loved by my loved one and that realisation for me is keeping me frozen... I do feel like the person that I am, which is not much...Anyway, I am miserable not to be able to offer my son two parents who love one another.."

First of all, how on earth can someone love what you are rejecting just now? You don't think much of yourself (your words) but expect your partner to find that low esteem attractive. That is not possible. No one will love you in your present state because true love begins inside of us. Until you really appreciate the unique and loveable being you are, you cannot appreciate others, neither can they love you in turn. Perhaps that's why you call others 'ignorant' because they are not seeing your low point of view. Yet that is a stereotype reflecting the negativity you feel inside of you.

Currently, you are not giving out much, you simply have needs - the need of another to love you. But just being needy isn't attractive. Just like how to have friends we have to first be a friend to others, being lovable comes from being able to be a lover, to forget ourself and to GIVE; to find out what our partners want and SHARE it with them, not just wait for them to love us or to fulfil our needs. Naturally, the more needy and worthless you feel, the less you will have it remedied, and the less you will have to give, because no one can make you happy if you are unhappy with yourself. You will always feel miserable and inadequate. YOU have to start the loving process first to get the love you seek.

Dealing With a Negative Situation

If your partner is having, or has had, an affair, then sitting in that demoralising situation wondering why he found someone more attractive won't help you. It only makes you feel worse: truly rejected, unwanted and unloved. You have to begin the slow process of finding out why you think you are not much, why you feel unloved and begin to appreciate yourself, a step at a time.

Once you begin to feel better about you, as a person, others will flock to you and your husband is more likely to notice and respect you. But the simple truth is that you will never find love until you love yourself, because you are offering something unlovable to others, something you don't care about, something you loathe. Yet you expect them to compensate for that loathing by loving you instead. You expect them to be excited about your substandard goods. Cart before horse, I'm afraid.

You are a wonderful, great looking woman. Pick yourself up and stop focusing on your partner. You will never be able to please him in this state. Keep saying to yourself that if he doesn't like you, there is always someone else and start to rebuild your confidence. Once attraction goes, it doesn't return, no matter what you do. Something essential is lost. You merely prolong the pain. To keep the relationship it has to be re-established on a different plain of mutual respect, and that's very hard to do when we are feeling unloved and resentful and the other party isn't really interested. Sadly, while you are waiting to please him further, he is already looking outside and the one thing these outside liaisons do to a relationship is to show what is missing from it, which makes reconciliation even harder.

Stop trying to be Perfect
Most important, stop being hard on yourself in trying to be a perfect parent for your child. The more you do that, the more inadequate you will feel trying to measure up. Life does what it likes and just because you cannot offer your son two parents doesn't mean he does not appreciate the individual love you each have to give him. Get rid of your desire for perfection and accept your situation as it is. Try to improve it in other ways instead of vainly holding on to an ideal which is draining your resources and sapping your confidence and esteem.

Will love be back? you ask. Yes it will, every time. Only you can bring love back into your life when you stop seeking approval, stop expecting people to love you to make up for your lack of self love, stop trying to be perfect and start giving to others and yourself, instead of just waiting to receive. Believe me, it would be a wholly new and fulfilling experience.

How can you make your man love you? You can't, so stop trying. Something is missing from your relationship and unless you find out what it is, the situation will only get worse. The real question here seems to be, "How can I love myself?" (you can find this article on www.confidence-guide.com). Once you work that out, things will begin to happen that you didn't even expect because you won't wait around for his love. However, do hang in there. It really does get better when you begin to look outwards, when you can see where you want to go and you begin to truly value the most important person in your world - YOU!

This has been blunt and straight, but I hope you find it of some value.

After 2 yrs I really want marriage from my boyfriend but he is unsure...


Q. We fight all the time and at the core of the fighting is the fact that I'm hurt that he is so unsure. It's had a downward spiral effect on the relationship. His family doesn't like me anymore because of the fighting. Our fights have just gotten more and more hurtful. What started out so wonderful is now a mess, but I love him and he loves me. He just can't commit to a future the way we are now, and I can't go any Ionger with no commitment.

A. If you fight all the time, that is not a good basis for a marriage anyway and being married won't make it better. Constant fights, for whatever reason is a sign of being unsuitable for each other; that your values are not in tune with each other and your relationship is not going anywhere. In fact, I think after two years together you both sense that the relationship is dying and fear that eventuality so you think being married will make things better while he perhaps believe that it won't.

It is his right not to commit to a future, if he does not want to, and he is entitled to have that accepted. However, it is your right to find someone else who will commit to you and share your values of emotional security. It is not your place to badger him into any kind of commitment. Such commitment must be mutual to work. As things stand now, your value is not being fulfilled because he won't commit, and his value is not being fulfilled, either, because you are badgering him to commit. Not very good. Either give him some space to actually miss you enough to reconsider his position, or leave him alone altogether and find someone whom you really love and who loves you enough to commit to you.

It seems that you might love him, but he doesn't love you as much, because when we truly love we would wish to commit to that person in some way. We wouldn't be working against them.

As you said, your fights have got more and more hurtful. That's not the basis for a loving relationship. It will just keep getting worse until the relationship dies. Time to follow your instincts and let it be; to find someone who matches you a little more in what you seek than to grow increasingly resentful, bitter and unattractive with someone who doesn't really value you to the same extent.

Why is my fiance pretending that we are 'just friends'?


Q. My best friend told me this yesterday: "We are in relationship for more than a year now and we have already planned to get married. But I was taken back, when he introduced me to his friends as his 'good friend'. Why should he hide our relationship? Why he has not introduced me as his fiancee? It hurt me so much - what could be the reason?" I think that's totally unfair. Any advice from your side?

A. That is not good or appropriate behaviour, if they are getting married. It shows a great deal of fear or a desire to live a pretend life, especially regarding his friends.

Let's take the fear first. Sometimes when people fear commitment they will drag out the plans for settling down, like the way the plans for the marriage is going; they will make all kinds of excuses about why the time is never right to settle down and they will be behaving differently from their partners. People who fear commitment and fear settling down also fear the responsibility of love: the caring, sharing and partnership side, though they love the excitement and sex attached to that friendship. They do not live in the present and really enjoy the moment. Instead they tend to fret about the future, and what effects committing to someone will have on their life. They also dread the consequences of their actions, any 'mistakes' that might come from what they do today. They simply live in fear of what could happen to pin them down to one person which then affects everything they do, especially living in a kind of denial.

It means that one partner is having to walk on eggshells to preserve the relationship, always having to go by what the other person desires instead of it being a mutual friendship. One person is always calling the shots, which leaves the other party feeling insecure, vulnerable and often unhappy, yet feeling impotent to do anything about the situation. As the other party is never in control where commitment-phobes are concerned, such a relationship will be always fraught with difficulties.

Secondly, if he is living two lives, that is a pretend one with his friends where he probably acts the eligible and available bachelor, while acting the potential groom with her, of course he would introduce her as his 'good friend'. That is what he probably told his friends when he is with them, that he has no real girlfriends. So when he is with her, he has to keep up the pretence and appearance of being single, otherwise he will lose credibility with his friends. Worse still, he could have another girlfriend/wife already which the friends know about so he has to explain this girl's presence in a non-threatening way.

Either way, it is not good. The only answer is to break off with him and let him know that she is prepared to take him back only when he is ready to commit or to acknowledge who she really is in public.
Otherwise she really should be seeking someone else. Things which start off badly in courtships do not get better on marriage. In fact, they get worse, so she would be better off out of there. If he is has so little love and respect for her that he would not be proud to show her off in public or acknowledge what she means to him then that is no relationship at all and does not augur well for their future.

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How do you talk to your boyfriend?


Many people in relationships find it difficult to talk to one another, perhaps through a lack of social skills, and women, in particular, often find it hard to talk to men either because of their upbringing, their inability to stick up for themselves or to be assertive in what they want. The end result is that communication between couples is often stilted, frustrating and highly inadequate for their needs. But if five simple steps are followed by women, talking to a lover would not seem so arduous.

The first thing to remember in any communication is mutual respect. If you have no respect for your boyfriend, you will judge him before he speaks, you will assume his motives for him and you will also assume his behaviour before he does it, which only makes matters much worse. Mutual respect includes trust, sincerity and honesty between a couple. Often women might accuse their boyfriends of certain behaviour but when they defend themselves they are not believed either. That's an absence of trust and when trust is gone, only the shell of a relationship would remain. The heart of it would be gone. If both people seek to treat each other with mutual respect, that is a fine place to start the communication and it is likely to lead to a more satisfactory outcome.

Second is open and sincere communication - no lies, no half truths and no resentment. Often women don't reveal their feelings because they fear how the men would react, they fear not being listened to or they fear their feelings being trivialised and not taken seriously. This keeps them quiet instead of being keen to share their anxieties and experiences. However, if the couple can start off with honest and sincere dialogue between them every step of the relationship, no one should feel reluctant to talk to their partner or fear disclosing their feelings. Try not to give mixed messages and be clear in what you're trying to say.

Third is exercising sensitivity. Often women are not really sensitive to the men's feelings when they are trying to talk to them, not appreciating that different genders approach problems differently. Women tend to focus on how they feel, how they hurt and what they want without taking their boyfriends' feelings into account. Yet in any relationship, communication is a two way process. When we are hurt, or have a particular issue, we have every right to put our thoughts and feelings to our partner, but not to ignore or put down theirs in turn. Hence, sensitivity becomes an important aspect in communication if women are to get the empathy and results they seek.

Fourth is to lower personal expectations when we are communicating in tricky situations.Allow the expectations to be mutually negotiated, not decided by one party. Often women will talk to men with all their needs to be fulfilled yet with no compromise in mind and a lot of assumptions and expectations around the men. That approach is too one-sided and will not yield much except from passive people. It is best to state the problem or issue simply, without too many expectations and then get a surprise as the two people come to an agreement, than to expect a lot and have them dashed, making the situation worse. We get the most from talking to partners with their needs in mind, not just with ours to be addressed.

Fifth, whatever you do, please avoid blame. It is so easy to blame a boyfriend for anything when a woman is looking for a scapegoat, but that would be a bad mistake! The minute the blame is given out, the other party stops listening and assumes the role of victim. From that moment on, only more blame will be piled on without any real solution being reached. One has to remember that the purpose of any communication is to find solutions, not to find scapegoats. These solutions get the relationship back on track and keep the parties more in tune with each other's needs.

If a woman can talk to a boyfriend with sensitivity and respect, while being open and honest with her feelings and also taking his feelings into account while avoiding blame, the communication between them will be far more useful and productive.

Help! My Guy is Flirting. What do I do?


Nothing hasty, that's for sure!

Imagine an everyday situation. You are at a party or reception, network or gathering, with your spouse or partner. Everything is going well for the first hour or so. But then, gradually, you begin to feel uncomfortable. You can clearly see that your man or woman has been latched like a limpet to the great looking guy or gal in the corner of the room for at least the past hour! You feel excluded, unwanted, rejected. In short, you feel terrible and you are not sure what to do with those feelings because making a scene or accusations would not be kosher. So you wait until you get home, fuming all the way in the wake of his smug smiles and innocent, quizzical looks. You can't wait to tell her what you saw, how selfish she is and how you believe she does not love you any more. He's is clearly a two-timer and 'something must be going on', etc., etc.

As much as that would make you feel better momentarily, such an approach, particularly the words, would not be advisable. Not only would you be thinking for your spouse/partner/lover, but you could be making rash accusations because those words would be expressing YOUR meaning and perception of the situation, not his/hers. People warm to others mainly because of the need for 4 things: They seek significance, appreciation, value and inclusion. Whoever treats us in those four ways have got us for life because those constitute the main elements of RESPECT. Your partner/lover could just be basking in the attention of some significance or value he/she might believe is absent from home, especially where they believe they are taken for granted, but actually straying from the nest could be the last thing on their mind.

We cannot be all things to all partners. No one person can ever fulfil all the emotional, occupational and intellectual demands of our lovers. There will always be something that person needs from outside the home to complete them as a vibrant, thinking, feeling person. It helps their development and sense of identity. Futile jealousy and control kill relationships. Only space and understanding keeps them fresh, meaningful and enjoyable.

Observations First

Back to the scene at the party. If you are feeling left out, one thing you could do, before you jump to judgement and evaluation, is to start with simple observation of the bare facts. "I saw you talking to that person for over an hour. You were clearly enjoying yourself, which is fine. But what effect would you expect that to have on me? As I didn't feel I was entirely welcome to join in, how do you suppose that makes me feel?" Then LISTEN.

Questions serve to both challenge and affirm the other person as valuable to you.

But that is only Step One. There are three more steps to go. Just merely having an argument serves no purpose except to keep the bitterness suppressed and your needs unfulfilled. Stage Two is to define your feelings clearly: e.g that you feel 'dejected', angry', 'excluded', 'invisible', whatever you like in that vein, but avoid victim words which suggest that he/she was actually doing something to you, or responsible for your reaction. They are responsible for their action and you are entirely responsible for your reaction to it. Always remember that. No one MAKES us do anything unless we are forced against our will.

Stage Three is the tricky bit: Stating exactly what you need from your lover at that moment. Often we talk a lot about what is wrong with our relationship, or with the other person's behaviour, but not how it can be put right. What would you like that person to DO? Then and there, tomorrow, this week? Not some vague time in the future. Specific things which can yield results and give your spouse a sense of fulfilment and pleasure doing something for you. If you are vague about your needs it becomes overwhelming for the other person to fulfil them and invites procrastination and denial. Don't tell him/her what you want, then refuse it, or question their sincerity as a kind of punishment when they offer. That merely keeps the resentment and bitterness going for no reason.

Avoiding judgement
Finally, ask nicely, don't demand or make veiled threats. Demands merely ignore the other person's needs in preference to your own which does not help in the long run. Just because you are together does not give either party the right to any demands. People also prefer to act when they feel respected and valued, not when they are taken for granted and expected to deliver. In this way, you not only state how you feel and then get what you BOTH want, you will also avoid evaluation and judgement before discussion, while recognising that whenever anyone appears more attractive and engaging than our partners, something is likely to be missing at home, or in that person! Being indignant might give temporary self-righteous relief, while suppressing the problem, but being communicative, appreciative and enquiring is more likely to keep the relationship intact.

These four steps are the key to resolving any tricky situation. Even if there is a lot of anger and argument at first, coming back to these basic steps in the end, will empower both parties, and can only result in a win-win situation and reduce unnecessary resentment and blame between them, especially when there is no such thing as a perfect person.

A woman seems to want my husband...


Q. My husband is a Marine. There's a woman who works with him that is being a little too friendly. She talks about her personal life to him and even ask him questions about me.....My question is: should I approach her and tell her to stay away from him? In my gut I feel as though she is just trying to get closer to him so that she can get him to cheat on me.

A. Insecurity is one of the biggest killers of relationships so it is not advisable to go blazing in warning her off. She could be very honest and is genuinely seeking a friend. It is not so strange to seek friends of the opposite sex during a divorce because that is when people are at their lowest and seek to be affirmed and reinforced. You have let your concerns known to your husband and, as long as you really trust him, then leave him to deal with the situation like an adult and not override him and treat him like a child by also attempting to deal with it yourself.

If your marriage is on a firm footing, if there is much love, affection and respect between you, then you seldom have to worry about a third party. No one leaves steak at home to chase after lesser cuts outside, so if you are feeling anxious about any new woman who comes near to your husband, what anxieties are you hiding from him and even from yourself? Don't you believe you are attractive enough to hold his attention? Do you believe he would be so shallow as to go after her at the first opportunity? What are your anxieties saying about the state of your relationship, because that is the most important question here, not the woman.

I was married for 33 years and for most of the time it didn't matter to me how many women came at my husband. That's their choice. But it did matter to me how HE reacted. That told me how much he cared for me, how much he respected me and the level of connection we had between us. I gave him space to be him because I knew that if he CHOSE to go after someone else, then we was giving me a very powerful message of where I fitted into his life and I would be gone too, such was my self love. So I never worried about others.

It is always easy to focus on third parties that come into any relationship, but those people are never important. The key issue is what are the couple really about, where are they going and what do they mean to each other? As a rule, women who are after men are seldom interested in their wives! If she is keen to know about you, she might genuinely feel alone and needs company. If she really needs a friend, why don't you befriend her too? In that way, she gains a new friend, you immediately neutralise her power and you might find that you even come to like her.

Not everyone is ever after our partner. Sometimes they genuinely need our help, but they go to the obvious places first: to get some attention. Our belief in outside interference is directly related to the level of insecurity we feel, the self love we lack and the genuine trust and respect we have for our partners. Where those are problematic, there will be much anxiety and fear lurking within the relationship.

Relax a little, trust more and love and affirm your man like hell. You will find that attitude to be the main protector against any perceived predator, much more than warning anyone off, which might then turn something innocent into something potentially lethal, causing more stress than its worth.

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What should I do about this guy? I love him so much


Q. I am still in love with my guy who left me 3 years ago. He just went away and I still love him. We havent been in contact much, but whenever I hear his name or see his photo anywhere there is a sudden rise in my heartbeat, a sad smile on my face. He doesn't know that I am still waiting for him. What should I do? I don't think I can get him back but how should I help myself?

A. It is very sad when one's life is on hold because of another person, especially when they are likely to be getting on with their life quite happily, and perhaps don't even remember you. There are many reasons why you feel that way, but the main one is a lack of closure. You said he simply went away so things have not been concluded properly which has left doubt and questions in your mind. Ones that are difficult to relinquish without his input.

However, for your own emotional health, that's not a good position to be in. You need to get on with your life now, otherwise you will remain in limbo, you will not feel good about yourself (in fact, you will always feel rejected, unwanted and inadequate) and you will become increasingly unattractive to others which makes it even harder to find another boyfriend. No one likes an unhappy person who just spends her life dreaming about someone else while life passes her by. So you will rob yourself of friends too. Most important, he is probably having a fantastic time with another woman right this moment while you are moping for him. So how's that helping you to feel valued and loved? You really have some important decisions to make soon.

However, the first thing you should do is to try to bring some closure to that part of your life. Get in touch with him again and ask if you could speak with him. If he doesn't want to meet you, write him a letter and put your honest thoughts. Once he sees you or reads your letter, he will show you how he feels. If he does nothing, then you have your answer, and need to put the past behind you and get on. You cannot MAKE someone love you and if they have gone away and are getting on with their life, it is foolish to put yours on hold for so long when you could have found someone too in that time; someone who truly values you, loves you and wants you.

The other reason why you have been living in his world is because you don't love yourself too much and need his love to compensate for that. If you really loved and appreciated who you were, you would accept that people come into our lives and they will leave our lives too. It is all part of the growing process and a sign of maturity. You would wish them well and move on. But you feel so inadequate, you want to go back into the past to make yourself worthy for him. But he made his decision three years ago and has moved on. What are you going to do? Hang back there forever? Do you really wish to go another three years like that? What will you do after six years and you have not met anyone else while he is enjoying his life? Is that all you are worth? If you loved yourself, truly, you would believe you are worth much more and look to the future.

We do not know how long we each have to live. Don't take your days for granted. Give thanks that he came into your life, make note of what you learned from the relationship and move forward with your head high to the next stage of your life. It could be very exciting, if you give yourself the chance to meet new people and find a new soulmate, but only you can make it happen. Life is ever moving and we have to move with it. There really is nothing happening back there.

The choice is yours: that your life is worth much more than just hankering after someone else, or just continue to do what you have been doing. Only you have the answer because it depends entirely on what you want for your life. He is already getting on with his.

My boyfriend is addicted to internet chatting. What can I do?


Your boyfriend is obviously bored, either in his life or in his relationship, and is seeking company online. He is not necessarily addicted. It could be that you are not talking about the things he enjoys and so he takes refuge on chat. Or that he needs extra stimulation in conversation and likes chat rooms. Either way, you are not getting the attention and he is neglecting his relationship. 

There are a few things you could do:

1. Let him know how you feel about it and ask him how HE would feel if most of your time was being taken up that way. Then ask what is missing in his life and if there are other things you could both be doing together.

2. Compromise on the time he could spend online, as long as there is equal time spent with you. So he could have a an hour each day chatting, perhaps, so long as you both share similar time together.

3. Join a chat room too and play him at his own game. Send him instant messages and things like that. It could give your conversations a new dimension and make them more interesting. There are all kinds of stimulating games you could play in this way that could spice up your relationship.

4. Tell him that you feel excluded from his company as he seem to have no time for you. If that continues, you will have to leave him to it, and see what he does.

Do bear in mind, though, that no one person can ever fulfil all aspects of our lives. We will always be seeking stimulation outside in one form or another. The main thing is to ensure balance in whatever you do. The Internet is also a novelty to many people. Sometimes the answer is simply to let it ride for a while until the novelty wears off, while you go out with friends, or find something equally interesting to do, rather than sitting around watching him. If you merely point out what he is doing, or nag him about it, he will get resentful and just keep doing it.

The more we get on with our life, the more attractive we seem to others, because they have to make the running to us! So, if all else fails, find a hobby too, or even someone who will give you the attention you deserve, and see the rapid change in his reaction when you are not so easily available! But the more you allow people to disregard your needs the more they will disrespect you. Time to start talking, at least, and see where it leads.

My Husband is Very Lazy - What Do I Do?


Q. My husband doesn't want to work. I'm working and providing everything in the house. Imagine I leave for work in the morning and i leave him in bed and i still have to come and cook supper for him whilst he spends his whole time doing nothing. is this fair? We've been married for a year and 6 months. He's 36 and I'm 29.

A. Your husband is obviously taking advantage because you are unhappy about your situation but appear mainly to be blaming him, while you reinforce his actions by allowing him to get away with his behaviour. Naturally, you will find someone else attractive in this instance because you are not getting much at home. But you need to sort home first before another relationship.

If you want change, you have to change YOURSELF first. You will not get change in your husband any other way. So, start off by telling him calmly that you have ended up doing everything and you need some help if you are to continue bringing in the money. Then you make a schedule of everything you both do, and clearly mark out what he has to do each week, if he wishes to stay at home. Tell him that the marriage is in danger if he does not play his part. Then put it on a trial for a couple of weeks, no more. When he completes his schedule, praise him for everything he does because it sounds as though he is not getting much affirmation just now with you being resentful of his behaviour. There is nothing for him to feel proud of and staying in bed is his way of shutting out your success and controlling the situation.

If nothing happens from his side, you then have to do something drastic to show him you are serious, otherwise you will simply end up getting more of the same forever and ever. After all, who wouldn't please himself if he had someone to not only look after him through working, but come home and look after him there, as well? I'm afraid you have to stop blaming him and give him some love - and ultimatums - instead. Blaming might make you feel temporarily better, but it resolves nothing at all except to make you out to be the bad guy, the opposite of what you really want. It also makes the relationship stressful for you both.

I think your husband has problems of low self-belief an self-esteem and so takes the easy way out by letting you get on with it. But you should not have put up with this behaviour beyond the first 3 months, otherwise it simply continues, as he thinks you'll always accept it so as not to upset anything. Time for a change, Carla. It's not easy to break a marriage but any man worth his salt would see that his value to his family lies in at least contributing. You really don't have a husband if he contributes nothing. You might as well be living on your own.

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How Can I Stop Worrying About my Boyfriend?


Q. Elaine, how can I stop worrying? I wish I could put fears I have about my boyfriend cheating out of my mind. I feel I'm not good enough for him and I know there are a few women who like him. He treats me wonderfully. There is no cause for me to doubt him. But I feel sick with worry sometimes.

A. Let me put some questions to you. Think about your replies carefully.
What effect has worrying had on what you worry about? Be honest here.
Has worrying made them any better?
Has worrying given you the RESULT you wanted?
Has worrying made you FEEL any better?

The TWO main reasons why we worry are:
1. A lack of faith in our abilities, competence and ourselves as individuals. We were probably not reinforced as children, and constantly scolded for our mistakes, so we seek perfection in everything we do, instead of relaxing and letting life take its course. In the process, we worry constantly about the consequences when things do not conform to expectations. This doesn't help because worry only keeps us from taking action and keep the problem unresolved.

2. We wish to control everything on our path. But when we just let go we are then in for some BIG surprises. We do not have all the answers to our lives. So the more we worry, the more we stop things from happening, while we become fearful and negative in the process. Tomorrow will happen, with or without us. Why worry about a time we might never even live to see, and which we cannot do anything about?

Let's look at the facts.

He fell in love with YOU, no one else.
He acts as if he loves you.
You love him too and want him in your life.
Though you 'feel' inadequate, you seem to be enough for him.

It means that if he wanted someone else, he would not be with you, so you can't blame him for anything yet. He CHOSE you. Why should he go after someone else? The main problem lies with your self-esteem. You don't think you are worthy and that will cause you a lot of pain if any of your relationships break, because you are depending on someone else for your happiness and affirmation instead of yourself.

Worry indicates a lack of confidence coupled with a desire for perfection and a fear of making mistakes. FEAR is at the root of it all. Once you let go of that fear and begin to appreciate people, to value love and GRATITUDE, life opens up for you. It means doing your best and damn the consequences; to feel proud of who you are and go for it. But that takes a while to develop when your resources are low and your desire for approval is high. Worrying is not good, as it is likely to turn into a self-fulfilling prophecy which you would have brought into effect all by yourself! In fact, your worrying will soon irritate him and drive him away to someone more confident and appealing.

Learn to love yourself and accept yourself as you are. Learn to know yourself too and where you're heading and you will stop worrying about your boyfriend. You will slowly realise that if, or when, he leaves you, there is likely to be someone better waiting, because you deserve it. You are acting as if he is the only man on earth because you don't love yourself enough. You feel he is the best you can get. But that's all in your head, caused by low self-esteem.

He might be the icing on your cake for now, but YOU are the cake. Start giving yourself some slack and appreciating the unique person you are. Begin to show appreciation for all your blessings by looking outward to others instead of merely focusing negatively on yourself and you won't feel so helpless. You will find that things will come into perspective and your fear will ease. You'll be grateful for what you have and make the most of it instead of reducing its value and taking it for granted.

There are tons of men out there for you and that's what you should begin to tell yourself daily. The more confident and self loving you are, the more attractive you will seem to them. If all you do is worry, you will become increasingly unhappy and unattractive. You will also begin to mistrust your boyfriend, and where there is mistrust, that's a shaky relationship in the making. Mistrust and fear are not the basis for any relationship. They only breed jealousy, insecurity and accusations.

There is nothing attractive about fear. It's love which makes us shine. The day you can say to yourself, "So what if he fancies someone else? He can bugger off", is the day you realise who you are, and the day you truly start to love both yourself and your boyfriend. Fear isn't love, it's control and soon becomes claustrophobic. When we truly love it is unconditional upon whatever the other person does. True love means that you don't spend time worrying about his actions. You just enjoy every moment of his company and give thanks that someone who loves you is actually in your life cherishing you and caring for you. Gradually, nothing else should matter except reciprocating that love.

Your boyfriend is already reinforcing your value to him. When will you stop knocking yourself and reinforce his judgement of you?

How should I deal with my husband and his best girlfriend?


Q. My husband and his best friend relationship bothers me alot. They have known each other since high school. He was in love all the time with her. But my husband wants to be a good friend to her still. He calls her his only friend and even offered to take care of her when she was pregnant, to support her and the baby and have them live with us. He even volunteered me to help take care of the baby! Once he informed me that he would be staying some nights at her place. I told him I didn't like the idea and felt uncomfortable about it. He didnt understand why and told me that the only way that he wouldn't stay at her place is if she won't allow him. What should I do?

A. How very stressful and uncomfortable this must be for you. Unhappiness is a health concern which quickly pulls you down, so don't put up with this any longer than you have to.

There are several issues here which need sorting quickly and only you can do them, regardless of how much he is to blame. First you need to ask him a question: If you had a boyfriend like that and stayed with him when you felt like it, would he, as your husband, be happy with it? His answer should tell you where he is now in his head and what you need to do with your life, because no man on earth would put up with a similar behaviour from a woman. Sounds like he has never been out of love with that woman and wants to have his cake and eat it. If he was willing to have her live in your home without even seeking your agreement, how do you know the baby isn't his?

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What your husband is doing is unhealthy, wrong and unacceptable, especially to you. If he is happy with you as his wife, there should be no room for a third person in your lives. Everyone has friends, but there is always a clear boundary between that friendship and the more intimate family relationship. It seems as though he is paying far more attention and care to his 'friend' than he is to you. What is lacking here is basic RESPECT. He seems to have none for you anymore because you have perhaps put up with so much of his behaviour, no matter how you are hurting, he expects you to put up with everything else he does, even when it is clearly inappropriate to your marriage.

When there is no respect in a relationship, there is not much else there either. It seems to be just a sham alliance between you. Why would any man who cares about his wife wishes to spend nights with another woman, whether they have sex or not? And how do you know they are not sleeping together? It sounds as though he has two wives and only you can put a stop to it for your own sanity. The next time he insists on sleeping over at his friend, you go away too and stay with someone without telling him when you are returning, and see how he feels when he returns to an empty house.

You really must do something about this situation because he is treating you very disrespectfully and, unless you treat yourself with some respect and love, how can he treat you otherwise? He is taking advantage of your good nature and you have to decide what you want for your life and do something about it soon because he will simply carry on that way and you just get more of the same. Do you wish to be second best to his friend forever? Do you wish to have your husband sleeping in someone else's house when he should be in yours? Stop putting up with unacceptable treatment and find the courage to act. Then he will have to decide whom he really wants. At least you have taken back some of your power by not talking to her anymore because as long as you are 'friends' with her, it gives him the approval to keep behaving badly. He can continue pretending that you don't mind. But she is not the issue. The key thing here is the both of you and what you want from each other. What kind of relationship do you have now? Something is very wrong and needs fixing, or you need to break altogether. Just focusing on her is not going to do anything because it takes two to tango.

When your husband married you he made a public commitment to you, not to your friend, to cherish and love you. It is time he got his priorities right, if he really cares for you. If he doesn't change his behaviour, then you have your answer, really, and it's up to you to act upon it. We can never change another person. We can only change ourselves to get the change we desire.

Good luck in whatever you do as it won't be easy.

Should women feel disappointed when anniversaries are forgotten?


Q. My husband has never really placed much importance on "occasions" but has certainly never forgotten one before. I reminded him about our 10th wedding anniversary as I truly think it is important and would like to have done something special. I was surprisingly disappointed. But he thinks it is not an issue at all and has done nothing to even apologise or attempt to redeem himself in anyway. Am I wrong to have feel let down?

A. You are not wrong to feel let down at all, but if your husband has never forgotten before and he also does not seem remorseful or apologetic for missing such a major occasion, it is likely that he has done it deliberately out of resentment for something else. This is the time to seek a very calm and quiet chat, which will be on four levels:

1. First, to affirm him and thank him for being a wonderful husband and for everything you've both enjoyed so far. Often when something goes wrong, we merely concentrate on the negatives and make things worse.

2. Then let him know how disappointed you were about him forgetting and how surprising that was for you, as it was not like him at all, from your experience.

3. Ask if he's feeling all right about things. Is there anything bothering him you might be able to help with? Is he really happy? And then LISTEN. It is not just about one party in the relationship, and often we focus on ourself a lot forgetting the other person's needs.

4. Tell him that you hope he can appreciate how disappointed you feel as you are proud of the marriage and naturally wish to celebrate it. You are also sure he would be disappointed if you forgot something very important to him. Ask if you can both do something else to make up for it soon. Then see what happens.

Expectations and their unfulfilment kill relationships by encouraging resentment and tit-for-tat behaviour. Yet, if we do not value and respect what matters to partners, what is the relationship about? If he is a very good husband otherwise, I would forgive this lapse, praise him to the skies and wait for the next occasion to see how he behaves. If it becomes a pattern, you may have real trouble brewing!

How do I deal with the 'Other Woman' in my house?


Q. My husband brings a woman to the house and introduces her to me as his friend. Now they are together. What can I do? Should I ask the friend about it? When we are at church she goes and gets him tea and if she is going to the shop he sits and waits for her. He even allows her to sit in the front of the car while me as is wife have to drive in the back. Should I confront her about it?

A. It must be a very painful time for you, having a woman in your life who is clearly being treated as a greater priority than you are. But do not confront her at all. That would not be wise. Instead, you should do two things immediately:

1. You tell her not to return to your house until you have talked with your husband.

2. Then you ask him for an explanation: of exactly where this woman fits into your lives. She did not take vows of loyalty and commitment, you both did, and that must be worth something still. You can also add that it will be either you or her if he hasn't got an answer.

You must be feeling really bad and excluded just now. Your husband is taking advantage of you and is treating you with a gross lack of respect. Yet at the heart of love is respect and when that goes, there is no love. However, this is not just his fault, it is yours too. You are probably putting up with unacceptable behaviour already because you believe you cannot do without him, or you fear the consequences of any action you might take. So he will keep pushing the boundaries of your patience and tolerance until you are completely edged out of that marriage.

Time for you to stop being a doormat and being passive and stand up for yourself, otherwise fear will leave you with nothing. Do not ask him to do anything. Make up three or four ultimatums and TELL him you need them to be done, otherwise you will have to leave him because he has no respect for your feelings. Even if it doesn't come to that, you would have asserted your rights as a wife. Remember that no one can treat you better than you treat yourself, and if you are taking anything he hands down, you have no respect for yourself either. If you do not react, the situation will simply get worse. By pretending she is your friend too, he validates his relationship with her and has no guilt. Worse still, he will use your 'friendship' with her to overstep the boundaries. Time to do something before you are completely replaced by someone else.

However, from another angle, it seems this lady has something to offer him which you are not giving him just now and you probably need to listen to his explanation of why he is behaving that way and find out what it is. He probably feels neglected, unloved or unwanted in attention - or simply feeling bored with the relationship - and is making up for it elsewhere. Are you the type that may be set in your ways and don't do certain things? Or is he the controlling type who feels the need to dominate women in some way?

Time for some self examination and radical action from both of you. If you do nothing, you will have a very painful and insecure time ahead of you watching this woman taking his attention and goodness knows what else. Good luck with that courage as it cannot be easy being the insensitive pastor's wife at this time.

Should I make him remove his chain?


Q. My boyfriend wears two silver chains on his wrist and never takes them off. The only problem is, one of them is from his ex girlfriend, the mother of his child and says "R loves A" on it. He hasn't been with "R" for over five years now. Also, I get on very well with his ex and love his son as my own - this is nothing to do with jealousy! I've hinted at it a couple of times but he's just brushed it off. Right, so, I want him to stop wearing this bloomin' chain! How should I ask him to take it off? Also, do you actually agree with me or do you think I should just let it go?

A. You might say that it is nothing to do with jealousy, but it is. Otherwise, you would not be at all bothered by it. The problem with any kind of jealousy is that it tends to destroy relationships by eating away at mutual trust and focusing on the perceived negatives while missing all the good things between the couple. He is not a child so you cannot make him stop wearing the chain unless he wants to, but you could lose him in the process of you keep pushing it.

Our past is very important to us. That past has helped your boyfriend to be the way he is, the man you like so much, and his past girlfriend helped to bring him to this point. Being jealous of a gift she gave him when they are no longer together, and he is clearly with you, is not worth your time and effort. I have three bracelets on my hand, all given by the significant men in my life and I would not part with any of them. They indicated that I was valued, loved and desired. They do not suggest that I still love or want any of my former partners. They are integral to my past and meant something in the giving, but they say nothing about my feelings now and where I am. Only my behaviour will indicate that. If any new man comes into my life to tell me to remove them, that would be negating what I value, ignoring my past, and dictating how I should behave. I would rather let them go than my bracelets because the first law of respect is to like that person as they are, not how we wish them to be. As you said, you met him with his chains and he courted you with his chains, having had that one for five years. Now you want him to take it off. Not good.

The only main thing which helps a relationship to last is giving each other SPACE to be who you are and wish to be. Anything else makes a relationship claustrophobic, causes undue anxiety and eventually drives partners away. I think you are saying more about your feelings of insecurity and vulnerability by feeling jealous of his chain, especially if you are good friends with the lady, than any motives your boyfriend might have. I am sure you would hope that if you gave him something you both treasure now that he would keep it forever as a memento, even if you broke up simply because he values you. There is nothing so strange about that.

If that was the only silver chain he wanted to wear, and nothing from you, I would be worried. But it does not sound as though that is the case, so I would simply relax and let him be who he wants to be. Rather than focusing on his chain while you miss the good things between you, I would try to get some balance back. You see, if he hasn't removed it already after your mentioning it, you will then seem like a jealous nag if you keep on about it. It will also be subconsciously affecting other things too between you. That is then likely to make him keep it on for the sheer hell of it. Be careful you do not focus on the chain to the detriment of your relationship. It really isn't worth it. Most important, jealousy and insecurity imply a lack of trust and lack of self love that is never attractive to a partner.

I think your obsession with his chain is a symptom of something else which is frustrating you just now, or that you feel resentful about and the chain has become a symbol of that frustration, perhaps a test of his love for you. Let it go, please. If you make it an issue you could lose even more in the bargain. Focus on loving him and showing him how much you value him by reinforcing what he values too. Who knows, one day, perhaps without you even noticing, he might not wish to wear it again.

I hate my boy friend. Please help me!


Q. I don't like my boy friend. He is scolding me for each and everything. I feel very bad. I don't want him but how to avoid him. Help me

A. Anyone who scolds you and tends to be negative towards you is not good for you. We can only grow and thrive in the right atmosphere and with the right people. A relationship should ENHANCE how your feel, not make you feel worse. If you feel badly with your boyfriend it is time to let him go and find someone who will uplift you, value you and treat you with respect.

Your boyfriend does not value or respect you, that's why he treats you like that. He clearly lacks self esteem, perhaps is secretly jealous of you and so uses you as a handy scapegoat to make himself feel better by putting you down and feeling superior, especially if you have a bright personality. The main question is: Do you value yourself enough to get out of that friendship and away from him before you become as negative as he is? Or do you feel so dependent on him emotionally that you would put up wit clearly inappropriate behaviour to be 'loved'.

The answer is up to you. You need to build your own confidence too so that you can recognise, and act upon, when someone is not right for you, when they do not really appreciate you or when they are abusing you.

Just tell him you don't wish to see him again and have nothing further to do with him. If you stay in that situation for much longer you will soon begin to behave as he expects you to and you will feel even worse. If he persists in seeing you, then you might need to tell someone, but you need to make it clear it is over, to allow your confidence to return, and to move on with your life.

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What do you do when your spouse or boyfriend is being rude (and he's half asleep or tired and don't mean to do it)?


Q. How do you handle this type of situation? Do you try to be understanding and sympathetic and give them some space or walk away? Do you confront them and hope to work it out? Do you wait until they've gotten some sleep or had their coffee to talk with them?

A. This is a tricky situation because when someone really cares for you, that is not consistent with negative behaviour. They might get mad sometimes, as we all do, but they are more interested in being loving and caring than always being grumpy and argumentative. In such cases, there is a marked lack of respect for the person on the receiving end of that bad attitude. And wherever respect is gone, then one person is always being used at the expense of another. Worse still, that is the beginning of the end for many relationships.

Your man sounds as though he has gotten into a pattern of behaviour which you have unwittingly reinforced down the years or months. Now he feels he has to continue it every time he gets up without thinking of how you might be feeling and the effect it might have on you. Slowly, you are becoming his scapegoat for how he feels and nothing will ever be any different, so long as he believes that he can carry on with that in your presence and you just accept it. You owe it to each other to think about mutual welfare and treat one other lovingly. If he is not recognising that, there are underlying problems which might need sorting.

It is always best to wait until someone is not too tired or have had some sleep to raise issues with them as they should be in a better frame of mind. But if you only see them when they are tired, or that is the only time they have, then conversations have to be made at such times.

It is perhaps time to do a balance sheet of your relationship. Ask yourself some uncomfortable questions which are not going to give comfortable answers. The first one should be: How much love and affection do I receive overall, compared to his grumpiness and moodiness? Often, as people become more negative, the degree of love and sex that they give their partner diminishes too, because one cannot be grumpy or angry and be loving at the same time! If there is increasing anger, the love gradually erodes too, and the relationship begins to feel more like a battleground than a partnership.

Next question is how 'happy' do you really feel overall? Or is it mainly stress and anxiety as you worry about how he is going to wake up next day? If the happiness is getting less and less, it is time to consider your options. Negative, grumpy behaviour which is constant is not good for anyone's health, let alone long term wellbeing. So you might find that a major problem is developing in your relationship which might require some drastic action. But only you have the answers.

My fellow is a rogue. Was I wrong to forgive him?


Q. I fell in love with a handsome man and soon afterwards I asked him to move in with me. I knew his past was a bit mysterious, but I never asked questions because I loved him. One month after living together, my credit card company called and asked if anyone had permission to withdraw cash advances against my credit card? He confessed to withdrawing $300 from my credit card. My heart sunk. I loved him, and so forgave him, but, in view of what he also did later on, was I wrong?

A. Two things you must always remember in life: You ALWAYS act correctly for that moment because you felt that was the only choice you had then, according to your needs, and NEVER dwell on past decisions because you cannot undo them. You cannot go back in time to change them, it only makes you miserable and, worst still, it actually makes you doubt future actions.

Love makes us do tons of things in life we sometimes wouldn't dream of doing because when we love, we really care, and so it is natural to forgive loved ones and try to protect them. But only you alone can work out whether you did the right thing because only you have all the facts about the partnership. However, from what you have said, the mere fact that he took your credit card without telling you anything suggests the kind of person he is - a user. If he had problems, he could have shared them with you and asked your advice. You might even have offered to help. But I guess his reason wasn't genuine either. So not only was he enjoying your hospitality in your place, but he expected you to provide money too. Not a genuine person who cared for you at all.

Love is supposed to include caring, sharing and protecting. If you really want an answer to see just how much he 'loved' you, recall all the times he did things for you, gave you money instead of taking it, looked after your welfare, etc. If you ended up doing far more for him than you received in return, you have your answer. That's no love. That's taking advantage.

Stop thinking about the past now. If you live back there, you cannot make much of your present either, and you will start losing out on new relationships. You made your decision and whatever happened after that was meant to happen. You couldn't prevent it. So just accept what life throws at you, act upon it and move on without backward glances, much more wiser for it. If you stop thinking about this negative part of your life and start thinking positively, you will attract someone that really suits you. If you keep thinking about your past and living in negativity you will simply keep attracting the same user types and repeat the pattern all over again.

The choice is yours, I'm afraid. So let it be, if you wish for a better life.

Does my husband have something to hide?


Q. My hubby works crazy hours and I'm really understanding as he pays all my bills, but Im tired of this crap, let me tell you. Today he's got a meeting, every Wednesday at 3.30pm. He texts me at like 5pm to say he's almost done and his cell is dying but he will be home soon........well you guessed it: 9.30pm and still no sign of him. Well I worry, so I call his work. They say 'oh he's just left'. Well why didn't he pick up a dang phone and call me? He calls like 9.35 and says 'I'm well on my way', and guess what? His cell phone's not so dead after all. We have a baby on the way and its gonna need his father, so how do I talk to him without it sounding as mad as I feel?

A. You might really hate me for saying this, but I do think he's having an affair. The statistics, sadly, also speak for themselves: most affairs occur when the partner is pregnant. The pattern you describe is too regular and distinct.

How do you know that he has not told someone to tell you that he has just left?

How do you know that the time is not actually being spent with someone at the office? How do you know that he is actually in the building when he calls you at 5pm? As you rightly say, if his cell phone is dying, what happens to all the other office phones? Why can't he call you on any of them and reassure you in some way? It sounds like someone told him you called, and so he left immediately. It seems as though he has primed someone at the office to reassure you.

His actions point to a particular activity between those hours which he does not wish to be interrupted in, hence his cell phone going out of use on those occasions, regularly. And it is the regularity that is troubling. I think there are loads of questions that need answering here and sometimes, when we are afraid of the answers, we are also afraid to ask the questions, or to see that other things we dread could be the cause. Pregnancy is never an easy time for anyone so, I believe that, for your own peace of mind, there is something you need to do, and soon.

The next time he calls you and tells you the same story about his phone etc., accept it. Then about an hour afterwards, invent a reason and go to his workplace. Say something like you being in a tight spot and just wanted his reassurance and couldn't wait until he got home. Then you will see if he is really there or not. If he is there, you might be able to discover where he is exactly in the building or why it seems to follow such a pattern all the time. Working overtime seldom follows such rigid patterns like 5-9.30pm, unless it is regular agreed work times. So that would bother me greatly.

Something doesn't seem right here. No doubt you do trust him very much. The real question is now: Is he still deserving of that trust? Only you and him can agree on that.

How to Tell Your Man You Love Someone Else!


There is never a good way to tell your man you love someone else because anything you say means hurt. So, regardless of how the words are couched in gentleness, sensitivity and compassion, it is still going to hurt and be interpreted in a negative way, for three main reasons.

First is the effect on the ego. Masculine ego takes a nosedive when that person feels they are no longer valued anymore. To be rejected for another MAN, especially, brings in the competitive element, and all that will immediately loom large will be sexual: the idea that another penis can pleasure the partner more than his. That is what affects men the most. How HAPPY their partners are going to be when they are with this new person, being loved by this person when they won't be loved by anyone, which makes them feel inadequate in their own capacity to please. This often breeds a lot of resentment and anger.

Second, loving someone else represents total rejection of that partner, what they have to offer, their protectiveness, care, nest building attributes. If they are still in love with the person who is leaving, that is doubly hard to take, because many people cannot imagine or see the reason why their spouse could dare fall for someone else when they have been such 'good' partners. Rejection appears to mean an immediate loss of usefulness, value and low self-perception, and is often very hard to deal with. That is why there is sometimes violence against women associated with a change in partners because some men lack self love and confidence so much, once they are perceived to be rejected by one partner, they interpret that as rejection by every woman on earth. They believe they are finished and turn aggressive as the ego cannot deal with such perceived loss of status and face.

Third, there is immediate uncertainty and fear of the future. Fear of being alone, of not being loved, of not having a 'life' anymore and fear of being unworthy to others. Fear is the dominant feeling when a break-up is threatened, and this fear affects everything else which follows. Fear makes it likely that partners will NOT listen to the reasons for the break, but put their own reasons in to justify how they feel and make themselves more self-righteous and victim-like. Most partners go in denial, refusing to believe that their actions might have had anything to do with the state of the relationship or the decision.

Partners deserve to be told when a new person is on the scene. They should be told factually, without too many reasons why, except that you have fallen out of love, perhaps no longer find them attractive, or just desire a different life - which are all your RIGHT. Emphasise how great they have been as partners, how much you appreciate what has been shared between you and how we all have to accept our emotions. If you start to find reasons relating to your partner why you love someone else, it will merely turn into useless accusations and blame, and escalate the situation negatively. Emphasise that feeling the way you do about your life, and your partner, and your need to grow and develop in a new way, is partly responsible for loving someone else. But it is YOUR desire for something new, something absent from the relationship, which you would like to discover, according to your needs and wants as a living, thinking, aspiring human being.

Once you have told them, DON'T hang around. Leave that person to deal with it in their own way, instead of being a constant reminder of what they have lost. That is why such disclosures are best left until after you have left the home or when you are actually leaving it. You can always communicate by phone, email or third parties later on. But to be still sharing the same space when you clearly love someone else, especially if that person is truly affected by it, is just rubbing salt into the wound and would create huge resentment and animosity.

There are numerous other ways to leave a partner but the main objective is to do it with sensitivity, empathy and gratitude for their presence in your life.

What do you think of a 38 year old woman having an affair with an 18 year old boy?


Q. I watched "Dr. Phil" tv show and they had a very interesting topic about having an affair with an older partner. The most interesting story was of a 38 year old woman and an 18 year old boy who happened to be her son's best friend. They fall in love with each other but, according to Dr. Phil, it is not appropriate. He questioned why the woman allowed that affair to happen which she knew it is wrong. Why is it that the society accepts when an older man fall in love with a young woman who is twice his age while others questioned an older woman when she falls in love with a younger guy. Isn't it unfair?

A. You have hit the nail on the head: the double standards enjoyed by men that appear to be quite proper when they do it, but improper when women do the same. After all, were it a man, this question would not be asked, it would be just taken for granted that men have a right to younger partners! Such censure of women is borne out of envy and jealousy at the changing behaviour between the sexes and the growing independence women are now enjoying.

First of all, in this case, both parties are adults. One might be more experienced than the other, but they are both consenting adults in the eyes of the law and that's the key thing which matters: that no law is being broken or any person being taken advantage of. What they do between them is their own business, so long as no one is being harmed. Furthermore, people are aging emotionally at a slower rate such that a 38 year old nowadays is still considered very young in thought and actions compared to someone similar, say, 40 years ago or more. The fact that older people are now sharing the activities and lifestyles of the young is also helping to throw them closer together in routine interactions. It is thus inevitable that there will be far more friendships between the generations than there were before, thanks to social networking sites and new technology.

If the young person is mature enough to deal with such an affair, he/she has to be allowed their free choice in the matter. The world is changing rapidly, the old values are disappearing while new ones take their place, especially regarding personal choices and freedoms. These two adults are free to do what they feel is right for them. Though many people might not regard their relationship as ideal, it is quite likely to be an exploratory phase for the young man, a key stage in his life which helps his own development, especially if it is a very enjoyable encounter. For the woman, it is probably an ego thing, needing to boost her feeling of worth at the thought of being appealing to a teenager, the same as how many men feel with 'trophy' partners on their arm. It boosts their confidence and self-esteem while making them feel more desirable to others.

My thoughts are that this is an 18 year old MAN and a 38 year old woman and they are entitled to make their own choices regarding each other, as they see fit without interference from others. The only inappropriate thing with this case relates to the fact that it is her son's best friend. This will then throw up other issues and spoil the relationship among the three of them. It will certainly become awkward between them, especially for her son. Such an affair should be with a stranger, not someone so close to home, as it will only bring disrespect, resentment and grief in the end.

Are Men Really Necessary?


I overheard one woman asking it of another recently and thought I would have to comment on it. Personally, I am surprised this question is even being asked, unless we pose it for women too! But we are moving in different times where people are becoming more self-sufficient and selfish, so it is easy to be lulled into a false sense of security regarding our need for others.

The one thing which is most noticeable about the world we live in is its balance. Everything has a time, a place and a cycle. There is always birth, growth, death and rebirth. Within that ordered world, with its predictable seasons and events, there is man and woman, deliberately created to complement each other in most ways, especially in the crucially important area of reproduction. Even if sperm alone was needed for reproducing without having a father figure as such, it would still need men to provide the sperm in the first place! So on that basis alone, men are very necessary.

Next is the emotional aspect of life. Human beings are social animals created to relate to others in an emotional way. Without others we would slowly go insane because we need others to affirm us, validate us and help establish our identity through the group. Above all, by being loved, we learn to love and appreciate ourselves too. Yes, there are many physical things we could do without men, but we wouldn't have these beautiful cities, for a start. There would be no one to build them. We would also die out within one generation because there would be no one to provide the sperm to enable fertilisation. We would become hardened, detached people in a very narcissistic way, focusing on ourselves instead of reaching out to others, and that is very limiting in itself. For example, success is only meaningful when it is shared with others.

Most importantly men are necessary to ensure that balance in society because one of the most enriching and reinforcing things in life is to be loved by another. In fact, some of the most miserable and isolated people are those who boast of being eternally single and not in need of anyone; that they can do without men, while they live lonely loveless lives of quiet desperation.  If you are drawn to men, there is nothing more life affirming and beautiful than to share that loving connection with a man. 
Of course men are necessary, it goes without saying! Quite simply, without men, women have no real value, and vice versa. We would have to say goodbye to our world, as we know it!

Men: Are they all the same?


"I married when I was eighteen, the marriage lasted seven years. I never married again, nor would I ever do so. Once bitten, twice shy! Do you agree, Elaine?"

A. No, I don't, actually. That is very sad because you are assuming that every man is exactly a clone of the other, behaving exactly as each other. That does not allow for uniqueness and individuality. I have a son who prides himself on just being him. I would hate him to be lumped with everyone else.

Would you say that you behave in exactly the same way as every other woman and view the world identically, or would you consider yourself an individual with your own thoughts and actions? I am sure you do. Yet we are quick to treat men as amorphous beings, merging into one another, once something goes wrong. If you also agree that marrying young is not a good idea, then hopefully, you would accept that being more mature would help you towards a better decision, not avoid marriage altogether.

Every setback in life is for our development. The lesson learned helps us to deal with the next setback, the next relationship, the next dilemma. When we deliberately stop that process with fear of being hurt instead of concentrating on the pleasure we might also have, we might not get hurt, but we wouldn't have the joys of an interaction either, robbing our life of its balance. Instead we are likely to hang back there in the past, reminding ourselves of old hurts, while having nothing but bitterness and scapegoats for company. That only makes us unattractive and bitter.

Everything in life makes us what we eventually become and you shouldn't miss out on something important simply because of past actions. Allow life to give you some surprises. As someone once said, 'The past is for reference, not for residence'. We have to let it go at some point if we are ever to fully enjoy the present.

I think all men are dogs!


Q. All they care about is satisfying their needs, and not the person. What does it say about a "man" that keeps trying to go out with loose girls that are too young for him? It is destructive when he cannot even stay committed to one woman. Could you trust someone like this? Maybe it's because I have had a bad experience, but I feel men are dogs that only care about themselves. And you? What is your honest opinion?

A. I have a couple of questions to ask you before I comment:
If you have a son or brother, would that statement apply to them too? Would it also apply to your father?
When we blanket people with negative and derogatory comments we tend to forget that stereotypes are awful things that do not take account of the individual, neither do they exclude your own family either!

Men are no more dogs than women are dogs, and there must have been a lot of women who have hurt men too. There are wonderful men, great men, sad men and low confidence men. No gender has a monoply on goodness. The reason why the man behaves as you have mentioned is because he has a difficult problem connecting emotionally with people. When we are emotionally weak, three things are likely to happen:

1. We have a very strong desire to prove ourselves, usually at the expense of others. We do not care whom we hurt in he process simply because we lack the emotional depth to appreciate the sad consequences of our actions. We tend to close out their pain in order to cope. We expect others to behave like us and so tend to please ourselves, rather than taking their feelings into account. It is also difficult to give the necessary respect and commitment required to lovers and partners because those values are integral to emotional awareness. Hence we would not understand why our actions are not appropriate, or considered wrong, without complete re-education and genuine love from those we care about.

2. We become very selfish. It is all about our needs and we fail to see the hurt we cause others by ignoring their feelings, desires and perspectives. It is not a malicious thing or necessarily deliberate. Emotional deficiency is just like any other illness which has a root cause. This person perhaps had little love and affection in childhood, perhaps was neglected or not taught certain responsibilities, or perhaps was not affirmed and reinforced as a valued person. It is then difficult for him to treat others with any love, respect or genuine affection because he cannot relate to other people's emotional needs, only their physical ones, hence the constant need for some kind of connection in the form of intimacy.

We just cannot give what we haven't got. Worst still, we often assume that everyone is like us in experience, values and expectations. Yet two strangers meeting to form a relationship is fraught with difficulty until both accommodate to each other. That is why expectations should be kept to a minimum in relationships while the learning process is in place in order for flexibility and adjustments to take effect.

3. We keep repeating the same negative patterns of behaviour because they give us the results we desire, despite the pain being caused. People who are emotionally deprived do not usually learn life lessons the way others do and so they seldom get the chance to alter their behaviour to something more positive. Instead, they are likely to believe that everyone else is 'wrong' and continue with the same behaviour, regardless of the consequences. Hence why the guy you mentioned keeps sleeping with women without acknowledging what he is doing, and cannot see how that is affecting you.

The only thing for you to do in such a circumstance is to find yourself someone else who matches the values and qualities you desire. But it is never really our place to stay with someone and blame them or vilify them just because they do not behave to our expectations. Each person is entitled to the life they want, just as you are entitled to yours. We might not like what others do, but it is then for us to choose the kind of people we wish to associate with, so that we can feel uplifted in the process. Blaming others and calling them names merely reducs us to their level and make us no better than they are, especially if we are prepared to put up with their bad behaviour, then chastise them for it instead of changing our own actions and getting out of there.

Yes, it is destructive when a person feels unable to commit and behave badly too. But constantly blaming them for it, while putting up with unacceptable behaviour won't get you the result you seek either, sadly. Furthermore, the way we treat others is the way they are likely to treat us too, in a vicious circle.