Whether it is children, relatives, religion, traditions, gifts, or a myriad of other things that pull your attention during this time of year, I have some things for you to think about regarding your priorities in these four short videos. Watch:
How can you forgive a parent for their many wrongdoings? Watch:
Read the transcript.
There are two kinds of people who have affairs. The first are just bad people. Their self-indulgence and untrustworthiness stems from low character, not a troubled marriage. If it feels good to them, they’ll do it.
It’s a dumb waste of money to spend time in counseling with a serial cheater. If your spouse has been unfaithful more than once and refuses to be held accountable for their actions, your appointment should not be with a marriage therapist – it should be with a divorce lawyer (and a really good one at that).
The second type of cheater isn’t “bad,” they simply may be going outside the marriage to have their needs met. Now, I want to make one thing perfectly clear: I’m not saying that there’s any excuse for someone to have an affair. Affairs are bad and there is no justification for breaching your vows. All I’m doing is giving an explanation for why some people have them.
I can’t tell you how many times callers on my show have told the lie, “My spouse’s affair came out of nowhere and took me completely by surprise.” I say “lie” because after a bit of questioning, they admit about 99.8 percent of the time that there were problems:
“He complained that we weren’t having sex.”
“She complained that I never listened or helped around the house…”
The bottom line: their spouse wasn’t being fed.
Typically, the person who has been cheated on jumps to blame instead of looking at their participation in their spouse’s fooling around. They make it all about how they’ve been hurt, and ignore the fact that they’ve betrayed their vows by not supporting or paying attention to their spouse.
If you can understand how you’ve contributed to a hungry spouse going out to a different restaurant, you can start making the menu better at your home, and the whole thing could be reversed. Blaming isn’t useful – explaining the issue(s) is.
Knowing whether it was an emotional or physical affair is also important. The distinction allows you to see what was missing in the marriage. What was so appealing about that person or situation?
One of the letters in my book, The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands, is from a high-paid, ex call girl. In the letter, she explains how most of the married men who came to her were not particularly focused on having sex. Instead, they wanted to have dates with wine, roses, hugging, talking, and taking baths together. Why? Because their wives didn’t act like their girlfriends.
So, with that in mind, let me give you some suggestions on how to be your husband’s girlfriend/wife’s boyfriend and affair-proof your marriage:
1. Choose wisely. If you’re dating someone who’s spent time going from sexual partner to sexual partner or shacked up before you met them, then their lifestyle is not one of monogamy. That’s one of the many reasons why I advise against people having a lot of sexual partners – it becomes easy to turn to because you’re so familiar with it.
2. Don’t ignore your spouse’s complaints. Whether it’s about housework, money, affection, in-laws, or texting, when your spouse tries to express the reasons for his or her unhappiness, you need to listen. You don’t have to necessarily agree with every point they’re bringing up, but you do need to acknowledge their discomfort and do something to improve the situation.
3. Don’t let sex fall off the radar. Sex is a big part of marriage, and people who are having regular, good sex with each other tend not to get as pissy about the small stuff. It’s amazing what a big eraser great sex is to small annoyances.
4. Wake up every morning, look at your spouse, and think about three things you could do to make them happy they’re alive and married to you. Show appreciation as opposed to having a complaint.
5. Put down the damn cell phone! Stop texting and talk to your spouse. It’s pretty crummy to feel second-fiddle to a smartphone.
6. Talk to your spouse as though you love them. You love this person – so act like it! Always ask yourself, “Would a person who loved this person behave/talk this way?”
7. Have fun family and marital rituals. Put the kids to bed and watch a movie, take walks, or play a game together. Just have some fun with each other.
If you do these things, the chances that one of you will have an affair will be somewhere between zero and none.
Couples who shack up before marriage are more likely to divorce, experience domestic violence, have sexual and emotional problems, and be involved in affairs. Yet, regardless of the statistics, people continue to do it.
The myth couples use to justify shacking up is that by living together before marriage, they can “test drive the car” and have a more satisfying and longer-lasting marriage. But it’s just the opposite. People shack up because they are skittish about commitment and, therefore, more likely to call it quits when problems arise.
In addition, couples who shack up actually lose objectivity because they’re not looking at the relationship from a distance. They literally haven’t had the “space” to step back and objectively consider whether this person is truly the best match for them. Instead, they sort of just drift into marriage.
Another reason not to shack up: You won’t have a healthy relationship with your extended family. A supportive extended family is one of the things that makes a marriage work. However, moms, dads, siblings, and other family members are not going to expend as much effort, caring, and commitment to you as a couple when it’s an iffy situation. People often forget that and then complain about their family not treating their shack-up stud or honey like family. Well hell, if you want them to be treated like family, make them family!
Quite frankly, if you shack up, you are basically saying that your future marriage isn’t valuable enough to be worth waiting and making tough sacrifices for. I love it when people shack up and then demand a traditional wedding. How can you choose to live in a tremendously untraditional way and still expect your parents to cough up the money for a traditional party? If a kid wants to slap the face of tradition, they are on their own.
Finally (and most importantly), shacking up hurts kids. If (and usually when) a woman gets pregnant in a shack-up situation, there is a high probability that the sperm donor will split within two years, which results in a never-married-single-mom raising a fatherless child. A guy who is screwing a woman without laying down his life for her doesn’t want to be a dad – he’s just getting off.
In my opinion, the best way to test your compatibility for marriage and reduce your chances of divorce to almost nothing is:
1) Don’t have sex until you’re married.
2) Date for at least one year before you get engaged.
3) Participate in a structured premarital counseling program which includes psychological testing.
However, I know most of you are not going to do that. So, operate at your own risk – or rather, the risk of your kids.
Parents may have secrets other people know about, but that have not been told to their children. When is it appropriate to tell your child something before someone else ‘lets the cat out of the bag’? Watch:
Read the transcript.
Meeting people on the Internet is not a very good plan. You can never know for sure who you’re talking to, and there has been plenty of research to show the dangers of developing a relationship with someone online.
However, reality and facts don’t seem to matter when emotions are involved. According to the journal Pediatrics, a third of teenagers reported having offline meetings with people they have met on the Internet. Now, their parents probably didn’t neglect to tell them, “Don’t do that!” A lot of kids are thrill-seekers, or they desperately want to connect with someone, oftentimes someone older. Not too many predators are even pretending to be kids anymore. Many flat-out admit that they’re adults.
Young girls who are abused (sexually or physically) or neglected (because their parents are either divorced or too busy with full-time careers) are the most likely to present themselves online in a sexual or provocative way. They do it to fill the space that their parents aren’t filling and to get attention. That’s the most vulnerable kind of kid. If someone is looking for a vulnerable teen with whom to start an online sexual discourse, they will most likely target someone who presents themselves provocatively. This also occurs with minor gay males, who are confused, scared, hiding, or being rejected by their parents.
So, how can you protect your kids from online predators? You have to be there to parent. It’s as simple as that. As research shows, installing Internet filtering software doesn’t really make that much of a difference – maltreated kids still find a way to intentionally seek the adult content and provocatively present themselves on social networking sites.
Like any other job, being a parent requires you to show up and put in effort. For example, in order to be a surgeon, you have to be in the operating room. As a parent, you need to be there when your child gets out of school to reduce the association between your adolescent’s risk factors and online behavior. Paying attention to your kids is the best medicine and best method of control. Kids who are loved and well taken care of, by and large, have more self-control and get into less trouble – online and elsewhere.
Is it better to stay in a loveless marriage or get out? That depends on if there are minor children still at home… Watch:
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What can a parent do when an adult child chooses poorly, but creates a beautiful grandchild? This grandmother doesn’t know what to do when her daughter keeps returning to her addict husband creating a destructive home life for her granddaughter. You know I’ve got an opinion on this! Watch:
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