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Neck-snapping Ogling, Acting Honorably, and My Baby's Father
Dear Mrs. Web,
Is staring at other women a "guy thing?" When we are out, my boyfriend just about snaps his neck to look at other women. He is usually checking out their features, and I am not talking about their winsome faces.
When I object he tells me it is a guy-thing and I need to get used to it. Is this normal?
Is it normal to be with one and check out the equipment and features of other models? Only if we are talking about cars Öand ÖokÖboats.
If your beloved is obviously evaluating the scenery for its topographical interest, and the scenery happens to be other women, he is being enormously rude. When you tell him you object and he single-mindedly continues, he is a boor. What are you doing spending time with a boor?
Dear Mrs. Web,
Before I head back to class, I wrote to you awhile back about hearing about a plan among some old friends to inflict property damage and even some bodily damage on a difficult teacher at my high school. He was also my least favorite teacher who I think, had had it in for me for a couple of years.
As you advised, I went to the principal and the teacher together and told them what I had heard. I said I wanted to pass it on because it sounded serious to me.
He approached me this week and thanked me for the tip. He actually offered his hand to me. I was shocked. I thought of this man as a mortal enemy and here he was reaching out his hand! I didnít know what to say so I just grasped his hand and shook it. I don't know what to think. What is your opinion?
When one acts honorably, one receives respect.
I recently broke off a 6-year relationship with my boyfriend. We have a 2-year-old child. I ended our relationship because he would not take an active interest in our child. He stopped by to see us perhaps a few times a month. I should have expected this because this is how he has treated his other children from his previous relationship. He also is not interested in any custody rights
I realize now that I was wrong to have a child and not be married. I want my child to have two parents. He has been calling me non-stop since our break up, it seems that he has become more interested since I decided to move on. I feel guilty in rejecting my childís father but her hasnít really changed. What should I do?
He is the babyís father. He will be in your life for the rest of your days. But he does not have to be a off again Ėon again romantic fixture in your life. Since he hasnít changed, there is no reason to have this man back as a life-mate.
There is a kind of man who really donít want to be connected to a woman, but donít like the thought of anyone else connecting with her. They consider women something akin to property. They tend to show action when the woman strikes out on her own. However, they have no ability to maintain a relationship.
In your shoes, I would end the relationship. Be careful, some men who treat women like property become violent when crossed. You may need restraining orders and a safe place to stay if he starts acting out.
Kissy-face, Break Them Up? Are Bald Men Still Attractive? Man-Worship
Dear Mrs. Web,
My boyfriend and I broke up about a month ago, because of a misunderstanding. He now knows the truth, but is involved with another woman. They have been dating about two weeks. How do I convince him to break up with her without hurting her?
You will hurt her. Emotions by definition and nature can hurt us. That is why we need to treat our own emotions and the emotions of others tenderly and with respect.
Dear Mrs Web
I hope you can give me some advice. I have known this man for about four years. We met through mutual friends while at college. Last year we saw each other in a nightclub and we ended up kissing, I felt a little bad about this because he is a friend of my former boyfriend and I did not want to get involved with him because of this reason.
I didn't see him again until autumn. I saw him a bar and we hit it off. By the end of the night we where kissing again. This has happened nearly every week, we meet at the bar and go off and kiss. My friends tell me he likes me and I know that he looks for me every week at the club and waits for me to arrive.
Last weekend I ended up back at his house and we had a lovely time, we didnít have sex, neither of us wanted that, but we did spend the night together. The next morning he was very shy and tried his best to avoid me. When I booked a taxi to go home we kissed and that was it.
We do have each otherís numbers and e-mails and I have rung him once before but he has never rung me but has mailed me a few times. I am confused, what is going on? Is this kissing on Saturday night when we are both half-drunk all he wants? I have no idea what to do.
Dear Mrs. Web says: "If you keep doing something and it doesnít get you what you want, it is time to stop."
It sounds like you go out every week, get drunk, and play no-strings kissy-face with a man who is happy to do the same. Kissy-face leads to sex. Everyone knows that. It works by increments. He already has you in bed; the sex is just a matter of time.
In your shoes, I would stop this silly situation and see whether the man is actually interested in the kissy-face or me. I would find some other place to go on Saturday night.
I also would make some decisions about what kind of relationship I want to have with him and the commitments I would need to sleep with him Ė because that is the direction you are heading.
Dear Mrs. Web,
My name is Steve and I have a question regarding men's
hairstyles. I am balding and decided four years ago to shave my head
completely bald for a cleaner look. I received a lot of positive
attention from women at the time.
However, over the last year or so I have noticed more men with longer hair and women paying less attention to bald-headed men. Are bald-headed men out and longhaired guys in?
Not as far as Dear Mrs. Web is concerned. I have noticed a number of bald men as well as a few balding ones receiving quite a bit of female attention. Bald men will never be out of style in my book. It is a classic look. There is something about high foreheadsÖ
Dear Mrs. Web,
I am 21 years old and have had a four-year relationship with a man a year older than me. We have a 1-year-old daughter. He recently left me for another woman, not for the first time.
This is the longest he has been gone. I love him so much and I am heartbroken. All that I want is for him to come back so we can be a family. How do I get him back and be a part of his childís life?
You canít get him to come back or be a part of his daughterís life. These are choices he makes that reflect his character (or lack of it) and moral center. This is the man you chose to be the father of your little one.
There is a difference between love and worship. Love is place where as adults we give and get in relationship. There is a commitment to each other and the marriage which supersedes all other desires and commitments. Worship, on the other hand, is a place where we give our hearts over to someone unconditionally, no matter what they do or how they behave. Women often sacrifice their integrity, their children, and their self-respect when they worship a man.
I have no idea why you would want this man in your life. He will introduce emotional mayhem, pain, and possibly even disease into your lives. He is an uncommitted cat-about. Donít waste your time. Find your self-respect and look for a decent, committed kind of guy.
Is He My Brother-in-Law? Dog Scooping, Rude in-Law, Choking in the Clinch, and Introvert or Snob?
Dear Mrs Web,
We have a good-natured argument in our family we were hoping you could settle.
Would the husband of my wife's sister be my considered my brother in-law?
Dear Mrs. Web thinks that the husband of your wifeís sister is your brother-in-law; unless you prefer to think of him as your sister-in-lawís husband. There are some people we would rather not claim as relatives!
The Random House Dictionary, Unabridged, Second Edition defines brother/sister in law to include the mates of the siblings of your spouse.This is the best my team of skilled and experienced researchers and genealogists could do!! (Thank you Suzan and Janney!)
I hope we won.
Dear Mrs. Web,
I have 2 dogs. They use our yard and I do clean it up 3 times a week. My next door neighbor wants me to clean up immediately after the dogs. I work full time and have two young children. I just canít do this every day. How often should I clean my yard? Would there be a law about this?
I think you need to call your local city hall or town office and find out what the local regulations are. Perhaps the zoning or pet licensing office would help. My impression is that on private property it is your call as long as you are not creating a health hazard. I imagine that would depend on the size and digestive systems of your dogs.
You are going to need to make a choice about what is more important, good neighbor relations or the more relaxed approach.
Dear Mrs. Web,
My fiancť and I are in the military. We are both in our early twenties. We want to marry and have decided to do it sooner, rather than later because we both could have a chance of being posted together on our next tour of duty.
We understand the commitment and both are considered by others to be mature for our ages. We have known each other for 9 months. We have not been able to get home to meet each otherís family and we will be forgoing a celebration wedding but it is important to us to be together.
My family has accepted our decision and understands our reasoning. My fiancťís father, on the other hand, objects to the marriage. He thinks we are too young and that we are rushing things. He is being very rude to us about it and is insulting my fiancť during his telephone calls. How can we stop him from being so nasty?
You cannot stop someone from being nasty. However, you can set limits on the behavior. This is, however, a job for your beloved. If you read my marriage archives you will see that I advocate that each member of the couple deal with the difficulties of their families directly and shield their beloved from it.
Limit setting begins by acknowledging that your donít agree, then placing the issue off limits to discussion. This can be done kindly and all the while reaffirming the relationship, love and caring.
How your future father-in-law responds is his issue and responsibility. He can behave himself and continue to talk to you or be nasty and hear a polite, "Sorry Dad, have to go!" You are most likely pushing his emotional buttons on this subject. Give him some room to reevaluate his behavior and his relationship with you both. Donít become too worked up, most people get stuck in their silliness a while but eventually break free.
Since you are getting married, you both should look at my page called Topics to discuss before Marriage.
Dear Mrs Web,
What makes some people choke under stress?
The pressure. Some thrive on it; others find the spotlight and the responsibility to be too much for them. It distracts them and scares them. The fear translates into a physical stiffness. Mentally they become less focused and more self-conscious. Thus, their performance deteriorates.
Dear Mrs. Web,
I am 34 years old and have been an introvert all my life. I simply feel more comfortable to talking to some people and tend to clam up around others. Since I have this shyness and insecurity, people sometimes think I act like a snob.
I feel bad about this and have few friends. Some people have told me I have a phony smile. It is bothering me that people I meet are getting the wrong impression. I want to make more friends. Help!
There are different kinds of clamming up. There is no reason as an introvert to have people come away with the impression that you are snobbish. You need to learn about the cues you are projecting and how to change them to your advantage. Do you have a good friend or sibling who would be brutally honest with you about how you project yourself? Someone who can watch you with a group and then debrief you?
I have had more shy people tell me that they have found that old chestnut of a book by Dale Carnegie: How to Win Friends and Influence People very helpful for overcoming shyness and learning people skills.
Others have told me the various Dale Carnegie courses have been very helpful. I have read the book but have never taken any of the courses. I have no personal interest in the program but pass this nugget of information along for your information.
Las Vegas Trip, Pregnant and Proud of It, and
He Beat Me Again
Dear Mrs. Web,
I have been invited to Las Vegas with my uncle and his wife. I am psyched. I have always wanted to go and here is my opportunity. My parents have been less than enthusiastic. They think it will be a poor influence on me. I am 19.
Although I cannot gamble, I can go partners with my uncle as long as they pull the lever. My parents are also concerned about me taking some of my college savings to fund this trip. I will more than replenish my funds when I get home. What do you think?
Dears Mrs Web would suggest that instead of giving your school money to the casino owners in Las Vegas you just mail it directly to me.
I canít help you here. Feeding slot machines my hard-earned money just doesnít do it for me. I would rather buy income property, or play the market. Now thereís some risk and challenge!
That said, it is your money and you had better come up with a plan you can fulfill that will satisfy both your parents. Overall however, I am rooting for your parents.
Dear Mrs Web,
I am recently married. We have three children from previous marriages. I am pregnant. My husband seems thrilled but he doesnít want to tell anyone yet. He says we went through this a few months ago when we thought I was pregnant and told a few friends and family. This time though, I have test results. He also says I am moody and difficult lately .
I want to share the news!
I would listen to the man, he said he was happy. He is acting happy, and he is just making sure everything is ok. Many people donít announce a pregnancy until the fourth or fifth month. Negotiate who gets told now, a few close relatives, and friends seem appropriate.
You are married and pregnant, mood swings are part of the package.
Dear Mrs Web,
Last night was the worst in my life. My boyfriend and I had an argument and he hit me. He was arrested and I decided not to press charges. This is not the first time, the other time he hit me, it was pretty bad, and I even have the scars.
We have already met both of our families and we were looking forward to getting married soon. However, I guess that will not happen now.
Dear Mrs Web, I love him a lot. I keep replaying the whole incident in my mind to see what I could have done to stop what happened yesterday. I have told him previously that we should leave rather than hurt each other.
Now I know that I may possibly never see him again and that is breaking my heart to pieces. I don't know what to do. Please help!
My dear, I know you are heartbroken. It is so hard to close your heart and mind when you had been open to someone. Sometimes the loneliness is overwhelming. Do you have a girlfriend or family member who can support you emotionally during this fragile time? Call them now and get connected. The future you had planned has shattered. Although it doesnít feel like it, this is the luckiest day of your life.
For if you had married this man who leaves scars, the beatings would have become more frequent and worse. Men and women are on their best behavior before the wedding; they deteriorate dramatically after the wedding.
Your future children would have been raised seeing their father punching and hitting their mother. If they were even more unfortunate, he would beat them too. You would have had hospitalizations and even violent death in your future.
No one should ever be hit. The fact that you are going over this awful episode trying to figure out how you could have handled him differently tells me you are still ready to shoulder some responsibility for your own beating. This is unhealthy thinking! You even let him off the hook legally! A women might be hit once by a man, but twice he has beaten you. You need to learn that no one should ever hit you.
I think you need to contact the nearest battered womenís shelter or big church and find someone with experience with battered women. You need to talk to someone who can help you straighten our your thinking. There is a great book with a difficult title called 10 Stupid Things Women Do. It is on my web site bookshelf. I recommend it as a first step to changing your thinking about what you will accept for behavior from any man, especially a beloved.
This man will be back sniffing around. Men donít often find willing, compliant, punching bags and they will be come back to dish out more of their love/hate mix. You will need to learn not to fall for this again. I donít want you to be emailing me from a rehab hospital in seven years to ask me how to put your life back together after he beat you and hurt your children too. I get enough of those letters already. Be strong!
Are Men More Selfish than Women? and
He is Disappearing into the Internet
Dear Mrs. Web,
I have often heard that men have a natural tendency to be selfish - is this true? In addition, I have been told men will ask for more and more of you Ė so if you give them an inch they would take a yard. Women, on the other hand, are considered to be unselfish and have a natural gift of giving.
Is this true?
Do men have a natural tendency for selfishness? My experience is that many humans have a natural tendency for selfishness. Some are male and some are female.
When I hear of women discussing or ranting about "selfish men," I think of men who have worked in the most dangerous, stultifying, jobs in the world to put bread on the table for their family. The mill workers, the steelworkers, the office workers, the construction workers, deep-sea divers and all those men who laid the railroads, or cleared hundreds of acres of land for farms. No, I donít think men are particularly selfish.
On the other hand, I think many women and some men sometimes have difficulty with boundaries. You should do things for your beloved because you want to or because you both agree. If you donít want to, you negotiate.
Men and women can be generous of heart or have a lack of boundaries. A truly giving man or woman does so because she or her wishes to give the beloved a gift from the self.
By the way, Dear Mr. Web is a much more generous and giving person than Dear Mrs. Web could ever hope to be.
Dear Mrs. Web
My husband spends all of his free time on the computer. He also works on computers all day at a company and even controls our home computer from his office. When he gets home, he literally goes right to our home computer and stays at it until the wee hours of the morning.
I have asked him to cut back and even come up with his own schedule. He thinks any options I put forth are too controlling. He developed a schedule, at my request, that would give us family time but unfortunately refused to stick by it and continues to spend all his free time on the computer.
I have been angry about his inability to live by his own schedule and again he told me I am too controlling. He continued to say that he would not live his life by a schedule and if he wanted to stay on the computer all evening every evening. This is what he did when he was single and it is what he wants to do with his life. I should just cooperate.
I asked him why he married me and he said he didnít know it would be like this. He now refuses to compromise and or go to counseling. I love him and want to spend my life with him but I need a whole man, not a shadow in the den.
I am asking for only half of his free time. Am I wrong? Am I too demanding? Don't I have the right to have an evening with my husband?
You have married an "addict" with another commitment greater than his marriage vows. I donít exactly know why you thought his behavior would change after marriage, generally people are their best before the marriage and their less attractive points emerge after the vows. People donít stop what they normally do just because they are married.
The Internet is a fascinating medium and computers, games and chat rooms as well as on-line relationships are easy substitutes for real life for some people. Itís TV only better.
Is he involved in pornography? Many Internet jockeys are. Most men who are involved in Internet pornography find it a more compelling attraction than a live, willing, loving woman does. They much rather have solitary sex with the images on their screen. These men are in a place where fantasy is real and they have little use for the messiness of real people and relationships. They are lost in cyberspace.
As a married woman, you have the right to negotiate not half but all his free time. Married people have those sorts of rights with each other. There are no free agents in a marriage. Your husband is so deep in his self-centeredness and "addictive" behaviors that he is not functioning as a normal, giving, present, human should.
This man refuses compromise and refuses to seek counseling. You donít have many choices. You can continue to live with this self-centered and sick behavior and have a marriage with what is essentially a non-person, much in the same way as an alcoholic is not present in a marriage.
Alternatively, you can act on your own. I would contact the Center for On-line Addictions. I would also find a recommended addictions and if needed pornography counselor. Ask around. Your minister, priest, or rabbi may have this information available. Counseling offices and minister waiting rooms are bulging these days with On-line "addicts" and Internet pornography users and the marriages that are ruined by them.
You are going to have to come to some decision whether you want to continue the farce you are calling a marriage.
Get some local help; visit the Internet addiction sites. Keep in touch. I wish you the best; you are in an extremely difficult situation. I am sorry. I know it is hard.
Dear Mrs. Web
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