Dear Feelings Doctor: I have been married for 11 years to my wife, but I have an issue. I saw my first love about one year ago, and we have been talking on the phone and by email. I am starting to have feelings for her, and I know she feels the same way about me. I have cheated one time with her, and my feelings are getting stronger every day. What should I do?
— Friend in Santa Barbara
Dear Friend: She is your ex for a reason, and perhaps you need to remind yourself “why” you broke up in the first place. Second, people usually think that the grass is greener on the other side of the street. Well, my friend, grass is just green — period.
Ask yourself how you would feel if your wife was doing the same thing that you are behind your back. Take those feelings of arousal that your ex is stirring up and bring them back home to your wife. Share that excitement with her and see what happens next. Perhaps new flames will begin to burn, and after 11 years, adding more sauce to the pot is a very good idea.
Everyone deserves the truth in their lives — especially you. Whatever your truth is, share it with those around you. Perhaps that will help you make a decision. Secrets keep everyone in the dark — where it is a challenge to really grow. Truth is what brings the light in, so everyone can see where they are going.
Dear Feelings Doctor: I have been married for 17 years, and my wife is a great person. The problem I have is that she nitpicks about everything. My boys and I are tired.
How do we tell her to stop in a nice way without her getting upset, or do we just tell her the way we feel? I’m at the point that I am ready to explode, and I don’t want to do that. It is getting bad, but I think she is just trying too hard to be a good mom and wife.
— Good Dad in Santa Barbara
Dear Good Dad: Sounds like a really good time for a “family meeting.” She may get upset about what you have to say; nevertheless, it is time for everything to be put out on the table. Your wife needs to hear these exact words from you and perhaps from your boys.
One of the things that families forget to do is just tell it like it is — kindly, of course. Everyone involved has his or her way of doing things that will never be exactly like anyone else! Let her hear your feelings about what is going on. She may be so busy running the household that she may think it is part of her duty as a mom to be the ringmaster. Parents often need to be reminded to catch your children being good. It’s amazing to see firsthand what a few kind words can do for the spirit.
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Imagine This ...
He said, “There are only two days in the year that nothing can be done. One is called yesterday and the other is called tomorrow, so today is the right day to love, believe, do and mostly live.” — Dalai Lama