Relationships

My husband has become very stressed due to recent layoffs at his work. We’re already struggling to make ends meet. I feel like this has changed him. He’s irritable and everything I do seems to make him mad. Last week, he yelled at me in Walmart over parking in the wrong spot. This is not the person I married, and I don’t know how to get him back. What should I do? – Trouble in Paradise

Dear Trouble, Hardships in life are best handled by married partners who respect the situation and each other. When one partner succumbs to stress and lashes out repeatedly at his or her spouse, the marriage is threatened and something must be done to address the situation. The first thing that must be done in your case is to gain insight…

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Relationships

I’m in my early 30s and everyone around me seems to be getting ready to have kids. I’m now the only unmarried person in my social circle and I feel pressured to get married quickly so that I can have kids too. I’m currently in a relationship with a guy I like. We get along really well and I think he might propose soon. But is getting married to a decent person just so I can have kids the wrong reason to get married? I’m so conflicted, and don’t see another option. – Wanting Kids

Dear Wanting, Having and raising children is a wonderful part of most people’s lives – when the timing is right and when they make this decision on their own, without the influence of, or pressure from, anyone or anything else. When you say that you “feel pressured to get married,” as a therapist, I wonder from whom you feel this…

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Relationships

I’m madly in love with a person outside of my culture. This has saddened my mother. She’s been through so much in her life and has always given me anything I’ve asked for so I don’t want to hurt her. However, I’m in love with my boyfriend and want to spend the rest of my life with him. I know my mom wants me to marry within my culture but when I met my boyfriend I didn’t think I’d fall in love – I thought it would just be a summer fling. What should I do? – Daughter First

Dear Daughter, I sense a mixture of emotions in your message; while you’re madly in love with your boyfriend, you don’t want to hurt your mother who opposes this union. Being in the middle of two people you care about does not make for a happy situation. Finding happiness – and getting to a win-win-win situation – requires respecting everyone’s…

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Relationships

I thought I’d found “the one”. It was a long-distance relationship but we were in love and got married – he was my soulmate. It broke my heart when he couldn’t move to Canada, and we had to breakup. I’m seeing someone else now but I don’t believe in soulmates anymore. My friends think it’s wrong for me to be in a relationship when I think there’s someone better for me. I just want to happy. Please help. – Soulmates Aren’t Real

Dear Soulmates, You are fortunate to have fallen in love and married (albeit, for a shorter time than you wanted) a person you considered as your “soulmate.” I’m sure you have sweet memories of your times together with your ex. Cherish these memories, but realize that life goes on and so must you. For you to move forward, you should…

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Relationships

After dating my boyfriend for about 4 months, he wanted me to meet his parents. I’m not religious but his dad is a pastor, which made me super nervous. Needless to say, it didn’t go well and they told him I’m not a girl of quality!! Ouch. My boyfriend says he doesn’t care what they think and it’s a non-issue, but this is a huge problem for me. What should my next move be? – Girl of Quality

Dear Girl, Meeting a partner’s parents for the first time is no doubt nerve-wracking for the best of us. I mean, seeking approval from a partner’s parents is important and it is true that getting this approval usually results in a much closer romantic relationship. But what if approval is not given, as in your case? First of all, your…

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Relationships

I am a 40-year-old male suffering from Erectile Dysfunction. My wife says she still loves me and that it doesn’t matter that we’re not having sex, but I think it does. My urologist says there is no cure and that I should buy a pump or take up running. Please help. – Less of a man

Dear Less, Sexuality, and its expression with one’s lover leads to a wonderful connection between two people, so I agree with you: it does matter. As I see it, there are two issues to consider: the type of “erectile dysfunction” you may be experiencing and how, despite this concern, you and your wife can still have a sexually-healthy marriage. Typically,…

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