Dear Feelings Doctor: I am always made out to be the bad guy for having my children do as they are told and follow the rules at our house. My wife never follows through with any limits or rules we set for them. Help!
— The Bad Guy in Santa Barbara
Dear Bad Guy: There is no I in team. That’s a tricky situation when the parents have different strategies on how to raise the children, and it goes on in every family.
First of all, kids thrive on rhythm. The word rhythm means regular rise and fall. Having a set of rules and boundaries that come from both parents will help them feel a sense of safety and comfort. Unity is of the utmost importance with you and your wife.
Put this on your list of things to do: Check in with each other on your "universal goals" as parents and standing strong as one solid team! This will help the entire family, and your children will know that they cannot use mom against dad any longer. The two of you will become that solid, loving, steady force in the family that is needed.
It is also an important lesson to teach your children to always try to keep your word and finish what you start.
Peace and happiness all around.
Dear Feelings Doctor: I have a big nagging problem! My best girlfriend is so pretty. I am 30 pounds heavier than her and 10 years younger. My husband talks about her all the time, flirts with her and they have more fun than anyone else in the room. I feel like a fat cow!
I am embarrassed about my body, and my friendship with her is on the outs. It's awful, and my husband doesn't see anything wrong. What to do now?
— Jealous in Los Angeles
Dear Jealous: Comparing ourselves to others is never a winning proposition. We all have hands and feet that look similar, but under a microscope, there is an individual stamp that makes each one of us unique, different and very necessary. Find that piece of yourself in your reflection, not in anyone else’s.
Begin to live your life on your terms, love who you are right now and things will shift in a natural way. You will begin noticing things about yourself that have been there all along, and your shine will return — no holding back any longer. Be you, your authentic self, dear girl. Everyone else is already taken.
Got a question for The Feelings Doctor? Click here to submit a question anonymously.
• • •
Imagine This ...
"I will not let anyone walk through my mind with their dirty feet." — Gandhi