Do you listen to podcasts?


Along with helping people and writing a blog, I produce a podcast with a colleague of mine. We talk about pop culture, mental health and relationships. We love each other and aren’t ashamed to let people know. We also like to laugh and hope if you listen you laugh as well. If you look to the right you will see a link to the podcast. I would be honored if you decided to listen in and subscribe. We are also always looking for interesting topics. If you have one feel free to suggest.

 

Doc David

http://www.headshrinkinc.com

 

momma’s boy alert…


QUESTION: I have been happily married to my husband for almost 10 years.  From the beginning, I have had issues with my mother in law in which no one (except my family) seems to think is a concern.  She is very manipulative, argumentative and verbally abusive via emails.  I have shown these to my husband and he said to just ignore it and all will be fine in a few days.

Recently, she blamed me for not giving her movie ideas that cost $5 or $10 for my husband for Christmas.  I thought of it after the fact but she told me way back in November she was doing gift cards so there was no reason for me to give her ideas.  She was mad that I had already bought all the movies.  The one that my husband did want was $25 and she refused to spend that much (but ended up getting it anyway).

She sent me emails saying that I can keep any present I bought for her and that if I gave it to her, she would embarrase me and give it back.  She ONLY wanted a gift card.  I don’t know what is right to do.  I have had enough of this hidden abuse.  I had a talk with my husband that I had enough and will no longer answer the phone when she calls, respond to any emails, participate in outings, and if she is around I will walk the dog or be busy.

With Christmas coming, I also said I will not be going over to her place.  Can you give me some advice. You cannot talk to this woman at all as it is all or nothing with her.  The most basic conversation always turns into an argument where she must be right or she stomps her feet and walks away like a toddler.

Any advise for me on how to handle her now that I put my foot down but she doesn’t know yet?  Additional important information would be that my husband will stand up to his boss and just give it to him but won’t stand up to me with his mother.  I told him to get a spine/backbone and stand up for his wife.

Advice?

ANSWER:

It’s because you married a momma’s boy. He is not willing to go against his mother for some reason or another. If what you say is true, I think it is totally appropriate to take actions to protect yourself. I would suggest you clearly give information to your husband about what you intend to do. You need to frame it in terms that it is about protecting you and ultimately to protect the relationship with your husband. If he is not willing to protect you then someone needs to.

Doc David

http://www.DavidSimonsen.net

It’s probably not your kid…


QUESTION;

Hi, interesting situation.  I have been married for 22 years and have four kids (all from this marriage) ranging from 4 (yes, really) to 21.  Our marriage has been through the stress of war, teenagers, and surprise babies.  Now we have a new issue; an old flame from college ran into me last month.  Nothing special, but she seemed very very nervous around me.  We dated for about six months, then broke up and I left school and joined the Army ending up going to every the Rangers, then SF.  I never heard anything from her after I left.  Over the course of a few days, she decided she should tell me something that she had kept secrete from me.  She had my child, and she let her be adopted by her aunt.  So, my question is what now (the child is 23), and how do I explain this to my wife, or should I?

ANSWER:

You have no idea if this person is telling you the truth, knows that the child is truly yours etc… It is potential drama that doesn’t even really need to dealt with. This woman could have contacted you throughout the years and she didn’t. I would suggest you move one because this 23 year old is living a life that doesn’t involve you and doesn’t need to be disturbed. While you may have the urge to do something I would suggest you fight it as nothing has happened for 23 years and nothing would have happened for another 23 despite the fact that you happened to run into her.

Doc David

http://www.DavidSimonsen.net

lust or love?


QUESTION:

Hey David, ive been at a crossroad for a little bit now and could use some helpful advice. I ma a college student and i met my current girlfriend about four months ago in school. We have come to love each other and be happy with each other without many problems at all. Our relationship is great up unitl this point ive been feeling hurt from what had happened about a week and a half ago.

I have always worried about her going and partying because i always had this bad feeling that she would do something with another guy or find someone else. I expressed how i felt to her and we talked about it and she assured me that would never happen. So about a week and a half ago she went over to her friends dorm and hung out. i tried calling her to talk to her about christmas break plans but she didnt pick up. i texted her a few times and left it at that. She later called me and asked if i was still up at 2 AM and wanted to see me. I met her in the lobby to my dorms ad she went on to talk about how she couldnt be wit hme because she couldnt handle a relationship right now. I told her i could step back or do anything to help her figure things out but she couldnt do it. After parting for a day i had gotten a text if she could come see me again. She came to me crying telling me she was drunk and went to some guys room. She told me that they kissed and she told him she cant do it and left to come see me and tell me because she felt so bad. We talked and agreed to get back together and to take it slow. Idk how i felt about her kissing another guy after the day she told me that she couldnt be with me.

She said she didnt know what she was doing because she was drunk. since then christmas break has hit and i will be away from her for a month. We are video chatting everyday to say intouch during break. I truly love her but idk if i can trust her because she kissed a dude a night after telling me she couldnt be with me! I feel that shes going to do it again. i talked to my mom about it and she was surprised. she told me its like when someone cheats that theyll always be a cheater. I treat her as best as i can and give her all the love i can everyday. We are happy together but since then idk how i feel about trusting her. It bothers me a ton when i think she could do that after what ive done and sacrificed for her. I really want to talk to her about it but idk what to say to her. Idk what to do and it kills me. It make me think “how could she love me if she could do that”? I am sorry for the long question but i could just use some advice.

 

ANSWER:

I think you have love confused with lust or hormones. After four months in my opinion this isn’t really love. You may care a great deal about her, but you are still getting to know her. Dating is about gathering information. I think you have gathered a great deal of information in the last few weeks. Now what do you do with the information. You can continue on in the relationship or not. Trust is a really important thing. If you find over and over that this trust thing is getting in the way then you are going to need to make a choice to move on. If you continue to let your emotions be in control then you are going to feel very horrible in this relationship. At some point you are going to need make a decision. I get that you care for her deeply, but she may not care as deeply for you as evidenced by her behavior. Pay attention to it.

Doc David

http://www.DavidSimonsen.net

Your wife needs your help…


QUESTION:

I have been married to my wife for 20 years now, and have struggled with her relationship with her family (oldest with 3 sisters, 1 brother). Most of them are takers, who expect us to “help” them out of bad situations “they” put themselves in. Here’s a quick rundown of some things that absolutely piss me off, and have made me bitter towards them:

1) Paid off brothers credit card ($1,100) but never paid back.
2) Cosigned for brother’s truck, fired from job and couldn’t pay. We paid 3 payments before trading it in (with our car) on new vehicle – lost $3,000.
3) Sold numerous pieces of furniture to all, yet were never paid.
4) Paid for mothers funeral, and everyone took years to pay us back ($1,000 each)
5) Sister stole blank check from our home
6) Sister stole my mother’s and wife’s mother’s coin collection from our home.
7) Think that brothers girlfriend stole money from my sons room while visiting
8) Numerous requests for money from all, while they all smoke and most of them drink and/or do drugs.
9) Bailed brother out from jail (DUI)
10) Bailed brother out from jail (Attempted Robbery)
11) Brother currently in jail for manufacturing Meth in truck (No Bond or would be bailed out again)
12) Brother, while in jail, asked wife to stop by house and straighten up. Turns out he and girlfriend had lab set up in trailer. Wife and sister in law cleaned it up and threw everything away to keep him from additional trouble even though neither knew anything about the severity of these actions.
13) Continue to put money on the books for brother and his girlfriend so they can get things. Also allow them to call, costing us as much as $150.00 a month extra in phone bills.
14) Wife is liaison for his lawyer and probation officer, often needing to meet with them to discuss the situation, yet can’t seem to find time for us.
15) Brother has lived with us several times, rent free, during his troubled times. Spent more time upstairs watching Nascar them trying to find a job.
16) Here’s a good one – wife didn’t want me to bring alcohol bottles into the house (don’t drink, just have a decorative globe that I wanted to put them in) but allowed brother to bring in beer.
17) Allowed brother’s previous girlfriend to spend the night, after we had previously discussed that this was not an option in front of our kids (12 and

My wife knows that they are abusing her and putting struggles into our marriage, but cannot tell them no on a consistent basis. I have suggested counseling, but she is hesitant. Add these issues onto the normal every day struggles (sex, money, kids, etc…) and to be honest, I want to pack up and leave and probably would have if I had no kids. I supply 75% of the family income, so many times I feel like a paycheck that all of them look forward to. We struggle with one-on-one time and intimacy issues as it is, and her devoting this much time and effort to her brothers situation, causes her stress and anguish, which as you can guess, falls back on me. Hard to hear your wife tell you she’s too tired in bed, when she’s spent most of the night trying to work on her brothers situation that HE put HIMSELF into……

Got anything for me?

 

ANSWER:
Let me inform you of something. Your wife HAS NO BOUNDARIES. All the things above suggest there are no boundaries she is keeping. I would also have to say that you have been a bit complicit in this as well. After the first couple times boundaries should have been put up, so it’s a bit unfair to simply say it’s all her when you have been by her side the whole time. I agree it’s time to get refocused. This means you probably should seek out a therapist to help you figure out how to implement serious enforceable boundaries. I would first suggest that when a crime happens you report it. You describe several crimes, but I don’t know if police were involved. I would also suggest you simply sit with your wife and let her know that you are going to help her face the challenges of her family and then do it. She has shown you over the years that she can’t. She probably will be relieved if you take a much more proactive role in protecting the family. If she fights you on it then THAT is what you take to counseling. She needs to figure out why bad/criminal behavior is okay when it comes to her family.

Doc David

http://www.davidsimonsen.net

Money can control you…


QUESTION:

Good day Dr,

I’m a 19 year old girl, the youngest of three girls. My sisters are 23 and 27. When I was 14, my dad moved to another country for work but he comes to visit from time to time. He’s generally a very reserved person and I guess that’s where I got my personality. I don’t think he’s ever directly said he loves me. Whenever he sort of does it’s in an sms and it’s worded like, “your mother and I love you”. My parents are quite strict and sometimes unreasonable. They have me under an 8pm curfew, weekend or not, but it’s not really my curfew because even if I’m not home by sunset they start calling me. If I’m at home and they know I’m there but I happen to not be in their site, they’ll call me! 😦

The reason I’m writing you is because my sister (23) is planning a trip to France and Germany  and I’d really like to join her. Problem is, my parents are already not too thrilled by the idea of her travelling. They always say no basically but she goes anyway and when she gets home, my dad freezes her allowances until she apologises. Whenever she travels, she gets in a lot of trouble. My dad has disowned her several times and told her to go to hell recently just because she (very politely) told him what she felt. I never really get to do anything I want because I’m afraid to be a disappointment. Whenever I go out and meet new people then tell them I have to go because I have a curfew, they think I’m just trying to escape them and don’t call me again 😦

I’m very scared to ask him. I know my mum is ok with it but she lives in his shadow and turns on me in a heartbeat when he makes a decision. Once,my other sister told my dad that I was out ‘partying’ when I really wasn’t and my dad sent me a lengthy sms about how I should be careful lest he changes his opinion of me. I feel like he doesn’t know me at all. He has this ideal picture of me in his head.

Anyway, I’m rambling. My question is: I want to send him an email (because a phone call would be heart-wrenching) asking him if it is ok for me to travel to Europe with my sister, and I’m not sure how to word it. Please keep in mind that my dad is very volatile and doesn’t hold my sister (23) in the highest regard because he doesn’t approve of her drinking, tattoos, piercings, etc.

Thanks a lot

 

ANSWER:

It seems that your dad cares for you, but doesn’t believe that you all have the ability to care for yourselves. You are at an age where if you wanted you could leave. It sounds like he uses his money as a way to have control of you. You are part of this just as much as he is. Do you want to stay in this kind of relationship? If you do then you will have to play by his rules. Your sister seems to have found an effective way to do what she wants and still stay connected with your father. You can send him an e-mail if you like, letting him know you are going. If you ask permission he will probably say no. You are an adult and now should be figuring out how to deal with your parents like an adult.

Doc David
http://www.DavidSimonsen.net

An important conversation to have…


QUESTION:

 

Hello,

My girlfriend wants to get married and I love her to death, however, she is older than me (I am 30, she is 36) and wants a child within two years. I do not know if I will be ready by then since there is still a lot I would rather do, especially if we are recently married, before children come into the picture. Also, it scares me to think about her being a mother at 40 and us being limited to perhaps only one child. Should I pursue this relationship if I don’t feel ready for giving her what she wants when she wants it? Or should I just commit to having kids, since I do want them inevitably…just in a few more years (four to five)?

Thanks,

JC

ANSWER:

In my opinion what is important is that you both want kids. The timing may not be perfect, but that might not be a big deal. It’s definitely a conversation that you should be having together. I would suggest premarital counseling as an avenue that would help you all have that conversation. You are at an age where having kids should probably be your focus more than yourself so it’s not unreasonable to have them sooner than later.

Doc David
http://www.DavidSimonsen.net