Dear Dr Nekia,
The guy I am seeing has a baby mama from hell. As long as her sonís father is single she doesnít want him and talks bad about him, but as soon as it looks like another woman is entering the picture, she tries to get him back. He knows that she does this, but all of his relationships fail because she guilt trips him into being at her beck and call.
One night she called around 11.30 saying that her son woke up crying and wonít go back to sleep and is calling out for his daddy. She refused to put him on the phone and insisted that he come over. After a while of things like this happening, any woman would get tired. But like I said, as soon as she thinks that he is single, she pushes him away and tells him that her son does not need him for anything.
I really do care about this man, but he is about to lose me too. I hear that she is talking trash about me and telling people how she is still number one in his life because he gives her whatever she wants and she can get him back whenever and it doesnít matter who he is with.
I doubt that people know the full story and the mind games that she plays, but in the end I have to look at my man some way too, because he is the one allowing her to send him on a ride. Am I wrong to want to just leave the situation?
Baby Mama Drama
Dear Baby Mama Drama,
Whether or not you decide to remain in your relationship should depend on a few things.
One, how long have you been together? Is it worth the hassle that it is going to take to sort things out?
Two, have you tried to discuss your true feelings with your man? Such a discussion should include possible solutions to the problem and ways in which you both can work together to reach these solutions. Because a child is at the centre of all of this, you must balance your own wants and needs with whatís in the best interest of his son.
Three, if your man has a history of sacrificing his relationships for the comfort of his sonís mom, then you may be in trouble here. Get details about his previous relationships, and ask him what, if anything, is different about those relationships and the one that you share with him.
Four, does your man want to change? You say that he admits to being aware of the games that his sonís mom plays on him, so why does he continue to fall for them every time?
Five, does he defend you? This may seem insignificant but it is not. How your man speaks about you will have a huge impact on the respect that his sonís mom will have for you. If he does not let her know that he will not tolerate personal attacks or jabs then she will continue and, worse, use that as evidence that he really does not care that much about you. When someone allows a person to manipulate and control situations, they are giving up their power to that person. When you co-parent, you come together for the best interest of the child. When you are being manipulated, the child is often used to get wants fulfilled. And to be honest, sometimes a parent just does not want to see the other parent happy.
It is clear that her affection for him is not genuine. If it were, she would not turn on him the moment she succeeded in ruining his relationships.
It will take some effort to get to the root of her behaviour and figure out how best to diffuse it so that the child is not harmed and your relationship can continue to grow.
This is why the first thing that you must do is to determine if the relationship is worth it. A good person does not equal a good partner. So your guy may be a good man but having a relationship with him may not be good for you. I would not worry so much about what his sonís mom is saying about you unless it harms you in some way, ie your business is affected or your reputation is smeared. It is not a personal attack on you, but an outlet that she uses to make herself feel special and significant.
Dear Dr Nekia,
My husband and I have not had sex in three months. He doesnít complain about it, and doesnít force the issue. We have never really been the kind of couple that needs to have sex all the time to be happy with one another. When I share this with my friends they think that it is crazy and insist that he must be cheating. I understand why they would think that but my husband and I spend lots of quality time together and enjoy life. Isnít it possible to be in love and happy without jumping on top of one another every two minutes?
Happy Without It
Dear Happy Without It,
I can see the point that your friends are trying to make, but their assumptions are based upon what women think we know about men and what men tend to project about themselves.
We live in a culture of over-sexualisation. Most everyone, at some time or another, uses it for stress relief, to feel good and as a substitute for genuine emotions. Men tend to be especially driven towards sex for these purposes, mainly because socialisation allows them much more freedom in sexual expression. They do not have the restrictions, guilt or expectations of chastity imposed on them as much as women do.
In fact, I would go a step further to say that many men equate their sexuality and their sex drive with their manhood. So when we encounter a man who does not place great emphasis on sex, it is so foreign to us that we automatically question if there is something wrong with him.
You and your husband do not have to be jumping one anotherís bones often to have a happy and fulfilling marriage. The bottom line is that your marriage is all your own. You and your husband get to determine what kind of marriage you would like to have, and what within that marriage is needed to make it lasting and enjoyable. Sex is a great way to connect intimately with your partner, and studies have shown that the happier you are as a couple, the more regularly you will have sex.
However, what is regular to you may not be what is regular to others. As well, some people are just not very sexual. I have encountered many men in counselling sessions who admit that most of their desire for having large amounts of sex with their partners is to fulfil some unspoken expectation.
It is not uncommon at all for couples to find joy and connection outside of the bedroom. If you and your husband are both content with your sex life, and you experience life together in many other ways that cause you to feel intimately connected, then do not let others plant seeds of doubt where there need not be any.
The truth is that while sex is an enjoyable way to add intimacy and a feeling of oneness to your relationship, it is not the only way. So as long as you both are on the same page, feel free to write the story of you. Who you are as a couple should not be defined by anyone elseís expectations or beliefs.
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