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January 9, 2017


Monkey-Suit?  Roommate Entitlement, Domestic Violence



Dear Mrs. Web,

I am getting married in three months, my fiancée wants to have us dance the first dance together at the reception, my idea of hell.  I do not want 100 people watching as I dance around in a monkey suit with my new wife.   She is insists that we do this and I don’t want to dance.

In this culture, at this time, at wedding receptions, the bride and groom are expected to dance the first dance.  In other cultures, in other times, brides and grooms get carried around on chairs up on people’s shoulder, have had to carry big bags for all the money gifts, have had to tolerate having half the town whooping it up under their bridal window after they go to bed together for the first time,  and many other indignities and embarrassments.  These traditions are part of what makes up a culture.  They are not about what you want, they are about what is expected.  Tradition is important.  It is what forms the grounding for the rules of the culture.  Some fall by the wayside over time.  Sir,  you signed up for this one, and I recommend you purchase a comfortable pair of dancing shoes to match the monkey suit.




Dear Mrs. Web,

I am having roommate problems.  We share an apartment a couple of steps from campus.  My roommate and I have been together for two years.  She has not been the best roommate and I have let her get away with a lot.  She has been using, breaking, and taking my things for a long time and I haven’t  said much because I did not want to start a big confrontation.  Now she is refusing to pay all of her share of the rent.  She says she is not home as often as I am, so I should pay 2/3 and she wants to pay only 13.    What do I do?

You have an entitled user on your hands, this is a situation you helped create by not stopping her right at the beginning.  I recommend that you tell her that she needs to pay all her share of rent and any other expenses.  I recommend the book: Boundaries by Cloud and Townshed.  And I recommend that you find another roommate as soon as possible because this one probably isn’t going to be re-trainable.




Dear Mrs. Web 

I have been married for the past 4 years without children.  My husband is really loving and amazing man.  However he has had bouts of extreme abuse and violence with me as the target.   I had to go to the hospital once.  I have recently moved to the States.  He is still overseas.  I have met a man and we both have feelings for each other.   Now we are madly in love.  We have not been physically intimate.  My husband comes back next month.  What do I do? 

Your husband is a loving and amazing man who just happens to hurt you and who has put you in the hospital as a result of his fists?  What matters is not whether you have someone else, what matters is that you need to get away from this abusive, violent man.  I recommend that you contact your local Domestic Violence program to learn how to take steps to end the relationship safely.  Your husband broke the marital contract when he started to hurt you. 









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