Featured Short Letter

This Week - My Daughter

I am divorced. Visitation with my daughter has been a nightmare. My ex-wife takes me to court twice a year trying everything she can to keep me from seeing my child. I thought this would pass. We are both remarried, but this behavior of hers continues.

There is absolutely no legitimate reason why I shouldn't be able to have a relationship with my daughter. To make matters worse, the judge is a female with a reputation as a man-hater. It's always the same thing in the courtroom; my ex-wife puts on the "poor pitiful me" show every time. I'm tired of wasting money on attorney's fees, not to mention being ordered to pay hers.

Marc

Marc, your ex-wife is attempting to erase you from her past. She is acting as if your child is hers with another man.

There are several things you can do short of paying more to an attorney. First, maintain a consistent attempt to see your daughter. Send cards, make calls, and show up. That accomplishes two things: it shows your determined mindset, and it may wear down your ex-wife and her new husband into letting you have reasonable visits.

Second, make sure your daughter knows how much you want to be in her life. Start a scrapbook and keep it in a positive light. Record memories of your visits with her, save copies of the cards you send and pictures of gifts you give. Bring a camera on visits and take pictures.

What our children most want is proof that we have never stopped loving them and never stopped wanting to be in their lives. What your daughter will most value in the future is the knowledge that you have been rooting for her all of her life.

Wayne & Tamara

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Last Week - Spoiled The Child

My boyfriend is gentle and kind, loving and respectful. Ninety-eight percent of the time everything is perfect. Once in awhile his temper flares. Then he curses, screams, and throws things.

He never harms me, but it is scary. I don't know what to do to calm him down. He suggested talking to his mother, which I did, but she used to just leave and take a walk. We are talking marriage, but I don't want to consider children with him if his anger isn't controlled.

Evette

Evette, your boyfriend's mother walked away from his anger, and that did two things. It reinforced his problem, and it prevented him from having to do anything about it. You, as an adult woman, are afraid. Magnify that fear by a hundred, and you'll understand what effect his anger will have on a child.

If he doesn't show anger in public or at work, that proves it can be controlled. There are many books and short courses on anger management. Insist he seek help and don't consider marriage until you see tangible evidence the help has worked. There is a price for marrying you, beyond love and honor, and this is the price.

Wayne

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Two Weeks Ago- Just Deserts

My father is estranged from my sister and me. When we were very young, he and my mother divorced. He did not pay child support or anything. Recently he came back into town and wants a relationship with us. He says he's changed. He says he is a Christian. He wants to get to know my sister and me better and be allowed to share in his grandchildren's lives.

As my sister and I are getting used to the idea of giving him a second chance, he admits to all of us he cheated on our mother repeatedly while they were married. He finally tells us he is presently involved with one of the women he had an affair with, and he hopes we'll get to know her and accept their relationship.

We told him this was too much for us to deal with. He thinks we're being selfish. Are my sister and I wrong for not being willing to accept this?

Paula

Paula, the most basic law of behavior is the law of consequences. If you don't study, you will fail the exam. In Christian terms, this law is expressed by "As you sow, so shall you reap." Your father is reaping what he sowed.

Justice means balancing the scales. Things should be fair. There is no fairness in what your biological father is asking. He wants to reap the benefits of having daughters and grandchildren when he was not there for you physically, emotionally, or financially. Justice does not require you to let him into your life or the lives of your children.

Perhaps you believe there is a higher requirement than justice. Forgiveness. Then by all means forgive, because forgiveness releases us from the pain and hurt which bind us. But nothing in the idea of forgiveness requires you to let someone who has injured you into your life so they can injure you again.

If forgiveness required that, you would never be permitted to escape people who do bad acts, and your life would be forfeited to them.

There is someone selfish here, and that someone is your biological father. He wants to use religion as a club to get his own way. The decision you and your sister made is just. It is in tune with the deepest law of behavior, the law of consequences.

Wayne & Tamara

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