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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, November 8 2013 - Volume 41 Issue 45
Kiki with D: Who's your daddy?
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Kiki with D: Who's your daddy?

by D Smith - SGN Contributing Writer

Dear D,

I am a woman in my mid-30s and have never been married. However, I would like to have this experience in my life. I have a beautiful daughter who I have raised by myself and I sometimes feel I have failed her by not giving her the childhood I had with both parents. I have tried to find a person to share our lives with for most of hers. That brings me to my current 'Boo.'

I have been in a relationship with him for eight years. He is a wonderful man who I love very much. However, we became engaged four years ago and he won't set a date.

I took my ring off because I feel he doesn't want to marry me. When I mention it, he just avoids the conversation or plans a surprise trip to keep me from ending it. He was in a bad marriage before, and I think he's scared to try it with me. I think this is unfair and he should have faith and trust in me. Isn't that what a relationship is all about?

I don't know what to do.

Although he is good to my daughter, he is not a dad to her. They don't have a relationship that I would consider to be a close one.

Our relationship has suffered because of my closeness with my daughter. At times I think he's jealous of her. I actually feel guilty about it. Like it or not, I am a mother first.

As I read this back, I think: This is so obvious that it's time to move on. But I feel stuck.

I guess my question is, when is enough, enough? How do you move on when you thought you were going to spend your life with someone?
- Heartbroken in Seattle

Dear Heartbroken,

Sounds like you have a great boyfriend who isn't doing much to be a great husband. He loves you. He takes you on trips and does wonderful things for you. After eight years he still wants you. But obviously you want more.

I want you to make a decision about this relationship based on your needs, not your daughter's. I know that you're a mom first - and that's great - but you're not shopping for a new dad for your kid. You're looking for the right partner for you, someone who respects that you're a parent and can give you the support you need to do the job. If your partner bonds with your daughter, that's just a bonus.

Balance is the key in relationships like this one.

And because I'm prioritizing your needs, I keep coming back to the opening of your letter: 'I am in my mid-30s and have never been married. I would like to experience this in my life.' Daughter aside, you want a different relationship than the one you're in. I can't promise that something better is waiting if you leave - ending things with him is a risk, for sure - but you have to stay true to yourself. After eight years, your wants haven't changed. Get some final answers from him so that you can make a real decision. As for moving on, well, there's no easy fix. You'll need a new routine and some time to mourn. That's another letter for another day. You have to ask yourself, do you want a boo or a hubby, and is he up for the job?

Hope this helps. Remember be true to you, love yourself, encourage yourself and others. - D

Dear D,

My stay-at-home wife recently became friends with a stay-at-home dad (connected by our respective children). Initially, it was a play date here and there, but since the summer started, the frequency of play dates has increased and my wife has become friends with him and texts him often (very often). After a few days of feeling uneasy, I sat down with her and told her I was uncomfortable with the level of communication. She expressed her care for me and we moved forward.

The communication died down somewhat, but after a recent long day together, I let her know how I was feeling, that I was still upset. After a long argument, we both said some hurtful things and I strongly advised that the communication with him should cease. She now (of course) sees me as trying to control her. She is angrier at me than she has ever been and I am having an extremely hard time reconciling. She expressed the need for space but continues to make extremely hurtful comments. I am so afraid that this could potentially ruin our marriage.

I have attempted to move forward but she will not join me and shows no sign of doing it anytime soon. I am lost. I know she would never do anything physically but I felt that their connection was emotional and I was scared and threatened. She did tell me I have nothing to worry about, but I cannot change the way I feel. I felt awful when they were spending lots of time together, not just as a mom and dad - but as friends!
- Not Comfortable Dad

Dear Dad,

I'm extremely uncomfortable on your behalf. Really! But let's stop and think for a minute about why your wife might want to maintain a friendship with this guy. Sure, maybe she likes the male attention, but maybe it's more about having someone around who understands what it's like to feel isolated with kids. Maybe they bond about how much they dislike the neighbors, or about traffic on the way to the playground, or about & well, the life they share as stay-at-home parents.

We can't be everything to our partners no matter how hard we try. With that being said, there are a few things to remember. Try this.

The trick isn't to say, 'Honey, this makes me feel jealous and I want you to cut him off.' I mean, you can say that a little. But it might be more productive to say, 'We all need friends, but & is there anything I can do to be a better friend to you? Are you enjoying the stay-at-home lifestyle? Do you feel isolated? Are there things that we can do to preserve our friendship while you make new companions?'

It sounds like you guys have been fighting too much about this man instead of being better friends to each other. My advice (and this is just a first step) is to ask her about her day-to-day and how the two of you can be more respectful in your marriage. It'll take some work on both sides. And here's a hint: Telling her that you're scared is important. But remember, you want her to have friends - you just don't want to lose her. Once she trusts your motives, you can set some boundaries together. She will not feel like you're making demands and will see that you are just improving your marriage. It shows the two of you working together to strengthen your communicable bond.

Hope this helps. Remember be true to you, love yourself, encourage yourself and others. - D

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