Dear Willie D:
All of my friends and family think of my husband as Mr. Wonderful, but he is anything but that. They think of him that way because he’s nice and helpful. He’s the type who will help you move, or clean up after a party.
What they don’t know is that he’s verbally abusive to me, and does nothing around our house because he expects me to do everything. When people compliment me on how great he is, I just bite my tongue and agree. I feel like I’m trapped because I’ve been with him so long that he’s all I know. I’m also afraid of what he might do to me if I leave.
What should I do?
If you don’t have money to get your own place, ask a family member or friend to let you live with them temporarily until you can get on your feet, or go to a women’s shelter. They will support you and give you the resources you need to become self-sufficient and independent.
When you leave, take only the essential belongings you need, and leave when your husband is away from the house. He will be mad, and may try to cause you bodily harm, but don’t panic. All cowards use those tactics to maintain control. But the way you take back control is by leaving the situation, filing a restraining order, cutting off all contact and moving on with your life.
Do not accept the victim mentality. Take charge of your life, and give yourself permission to love yourself more than you’ve given yourself permission to allow someone to disrespect you and treat you like a servant.
WHY HAS MY GIRLFRIEND STOPPED TAKING PRIDE IN HER APPEARANCE?
Dear Willie D:
My girl used to keep herself up and take pride in her appearance. But as of late, I would say in the past three months, she hasn’t put much effort in the way she dresses or wears her hair. She rarely wears makeup these days. How do I talk to her about it without hurting her feelings?
There’s no easy way to tell your girl that she’s slipping with her appearance, so just be straightforward. You could start with something like, “Hey, is something going on with you that I should know about?” She’ll want to know why you asked that question, and that’s when you say, “Because lately you haven’t been paying much attention to your appearance like you usually do.”
If you liked a particular hairstyle she’s worn in the past, tell her, or compliment her on how nice she looks when she wears a certain pair of jeans. Be sure to remind her that you love her, and you’re asking because you’re concerned about her. She could be experiencing some form of depression, so handle her emotions with tenderness and understanding.
MY SON’S EXPECTATIONS DON’T MATCH HIS REALITY
Dear Willie D:
I'm a successful Realtor with 30 years of experience in the business. My son, who has been out with me on numerous showings and closings, now wants to get in the business. He is a bright kid. He graduated business college with a 3.8 GPA and started his own business when he was just 11 years old.
The problem is he wants to start his own residential real-estate company after having sold only two homes. I told him to get his feet wet and learn the business for a couple of years, then if he still wants to invest in his own company, he should.
I will say that he has the passion, tenacity and knowledge to do business deals, but he needs to expand his network of investors, brokers, lenders and agents first. He wants to take all of his savings ($42,000) and invest in his own company. He is dead-set on doing this. What can I say to him to get him to possibly open his eyes before he becomes entrepreneur roadkill?
Get one of your rich Realtor friends he respects to talk to him and offer to mentor him. Sometimes children respond better to people other than their parents.
Your son sounds determined. If he moves forward as planned, wish him well and give him as much support as you can. It’s always hard for a parent to stand by and watch his or her child make decisions deemed destructive, but we have to allow our children space to fall.
They have to get used to bumps and bruises so they’ll know how to manage pain on their own. That’s a good thing.
MY KIDS' NURSERY HIRED A MAN. SHOULD I BE CONCERNED?
Dear Willie D:
I'm in a new relationship going on two months. My girls attend a home nursery owned by my boyfriend’s mother’s best friend, who just hired a man to care for my kids and other small children.
I don’t feel comfortable with that arrangement. It’s sad to say, but I don’t trust men around small kids. My kids are only three and four years of age. They are very impressionable and gullible. The only men I trust them around are their father and my boyfriend. I understand that women can be predators also, but men are much more likely to violate a child than a woman would be.
I told my boyfriend about my concerns, and he told me to take it up with the owner. I feel as though it’s his place, not mine, because I met the owner through him and she is his family friend, not mine. Tell me who you think is right in this situation, and how you think this should be addressed with the owner?
You’re right: Serious discussions involving mutual friends that affect a spouse should almost always be initiated by the person who introduced the mutual friend to the spouse.
Why don’t you go talk to the owner and tell her your concerns? Maybe set some boundaries such as that the male employee can’t accompany your girls to the restroom, and he can’t be left alone with your girls without an adult female’s supervision.
Everybody has to earn a living, so before I try to get dude axed, I would probably take those steps first. Naw, I’m lying. I would yank my kids smooth up out of there. I’d be like Flavor Flav marching my kids to the car singing, “Can’t truss it!”
Ask Willie D anything at willied.com/ask-willie-d, and come back next Thursday for more of his best answers.