Wow! Provoking issues we all struggle with this week. Kelly asks, “How do you do it all and have enough time at the end of the day to enjoy your partner?” Leila asks, “How do you help someone whose son is under the influence of a revengeful ex?” So many people struggle with weight related issues and, and Mary asks, “How do you know if you have a food addiction and what do you do about it?”
Dear Mary Jo,
I’m a full-time working mother struggling to be a good wife and a good mommy. At the end of the day I’m so exhausted all I want to do is go to sleep after my kids are in bed. My husband says that we don’t have sex enough. We have sex about once a week, which I thought was good but apparently he wants it more. How do I find the time and energy to make him happy, spend time with my kids, and balance everything in between?
You cannot do it all, and trying to do so will leave you feeling depleted and resentful. The question isn’t how to find more energy to make everyone happy, but to feel good about the time you have for your family and your husband. I think what your husband wants is more attention and priority for the two of you. Sex is a “catch all” and many times, it’s not the act of sex that’s missing as much as the lack of attention. This is what I want you to do; but make sure you share this with him as he has to participate if he wants to be more than a passive partner who isn’t getting attention.
- Plan a date night with your husband and take turns planning it.
- Talk to your husband about a housekeeper. You cannot do it all and place him as a priority. If he understands this, he will be onboard with hiring help.
- Begin taking some of the “chore load” you feel and redistributing it. The housekeeper can take a third, you can take a third and your husband can take a third. If your children are over the age of 4 years, they should have small chores to do as well.
- Have a rule that you and your husband hug at least 3 times a day. Get the kids involved so they can remind you. It makes kids feel secure and happy to see mom and dad hug, kiss and hold hands. Intimacy is based on touch.
Hi Mary Jo,
What advice would you give to a loving father that is not allowed to see his 15-year-old due to revenge? She poisoned him against his father.
I am sorry this is going on in your family.
- I would suggest the loving father continue to love his son by using every form of communication he is allowed to use.
- Sending his son emails or letters, and making every attempt to celebrate important events will help.
- Although she may have brainwashed his son up to a point, kids eventually see through their parents as they mature. The ex is actually hurting her son and herself with her revenge.
- I would discourage the loving father from saying negative or hurtful things about his son’s mother. Negativity voiced or focused on builds more negativity.
- There may be legal actions he can take as well…but you would need a lawyer to guide you with this matter.
Dear Mary Jo,
I think I’m addicted to food. How do I know if I need professional help?
Food addictions are real, and just as other addictions, they do not go away. People who suffer from them may have grown up with parents who were addicted to alcohol, smoking or drugs. Female food addicts were more likely abused emotionally, physically or sexually as children. Learning to manage them and continuing in recovery is the treatment of choice. Here are signs and symptoms of when you should seek help.
- People with food addictions develop a relationship with food that is for emotional comfort rather than satisfying true physical hunger.
- Craving specific foods and thinking about those foods in an effort to feel better.
- Food addicts aren’t satisfied with a normal portion, so they continue to eat even when full.
- Food addicts feel shame with being judged while eating, and many times they feel guilt over how much they eat.
- Food is a friend to a food addict. It replaces relationships and is a source of comfort.
If you have any or all of these symptoms, Mary, an Overeater’s Anonymous group is a wonderful place to begin changing your habits. These groups are everywhere and free to the public.
Life is full of struggles, and your questions provide answers to many who may be reluctant to ask.