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Ask Judge Lynn: The Rules

March 19, 2015 Ask Judge Lynn 63 Comments

Have you ever wanted to ask me a question about your relationship or family issues? Here your chance!

You can ask here by posting your question in the comment section. Check back later to see if I answered.

This page will also allow you to add your opinions on issues.

The Rules:

  • No legal questions.
  • It’s just me, so I won’t be able to answer them all:
  • Please don’t get offended.
  • This is a no nastiness zone. No ratchet behavior! LOL

Wants More Respect from wife

March 24, 2015 Uncategorized 4 Comments

Question:

 

I watch your show everyday as I am on SSID and lost my job due to budget cuts in 2013. First, I have to say that couples don’t know what marriage means when they want to divorce after three weeks. I will be married 34 years later this year, but due to my situation, it is putting a strain on my marriage to the point where I can see no other way out but to get a divorce. I have read your book, “Making Marriage Work.” but my wife is the type of person you have on your program who insists that I do all the work at home since she is the one with a job. The kicker is we have five cats and she pays more attention to them than she has given to me in a long time. Or, to put it another way, she makes me feel like an employee who should wait on her hand and foot, and I am getting very tired of it. Judge Lynn, I admire the work you do on your program, is there any hope for me? I would have sent a comment by Twitter or Facebook, but as difficult as it is to believe, I can’t afford them, even though it seems to be the only source of communication these days. What ever happened to email? I will patiently await your reply.

A loyal fan

 

Answer:

 First of all I have to admit to some things about myself that could color my opinion. I was raised in a house where my father worked and my mother did everything else. He did nothing around the house. He didn’t even pick up his clothes off the floor. But that’s the deal they cut. Dad made it clear when he married her that was what he needed. In return, he provided very well for her and us.

 Once I married, I worked full time and did 90% of the housework. I think my husband and I fell into that because that is the role both he and I knew from our families. We never talked about OUR new reality and how disproportionate that made our workloads. I must say though, that he tended to work longer hours so it was almost impossible to alter that.

 I am not sure how your household duties are split or if you simply do them all.  Nor do I know how many hours your wife works outside the home. Either way I think one of the most telling parts of your comment is that “You feel like an employee.” And she pays more attention to the cats than she does you.

 I don’t know if you and your wife argue about chore distribution but even if you do that’s probably missing the point. Looking at your situation from way over here I would say that the crux of the matter is you don’t feel valued. That your wife feels and acts in a way that demonstrates she doesn’t respect you.

 You are doing work that the world at large tends to devalue. Add that to the fact that you have spent so much of your life feeling the respect that people give to those who “make money” as opposed to beds. That loss you feel for what you used to do is real.

 All of that messes with your head.  You are dealing with a lot of negative feelings about something that is very central to your person and it doesn’t appear from what you said that your wife understands that.

 The first thing I would recommend is make sure you value you. Make sure you have things in your life that make you feel good about yourself. Do you have something you always wanted to pursue? Be it education, hobby, whatever it may be just so you don’t feel solely defined by what you do in the house.

 The second thing is make sure your wife understands just how devaluing her behavior is. This must be done calmly and cooly. Make sure she knows that in order to stay in this relationship you have to feel like a man in it. I don’t think that necessarily has to do with who does what chores but more with how she treats you, how she talks to you and how she deals with you.

 The cat thing is just wrong. Explain to her if things don’t change you believe it could end the marriage. Give her a chance to get it right. But make it clear that you deserve respect for what you bring to the table. I don’t know if she understands how you feel or not but the two of you need to talk about what the circumstances are doing to you more than you do about who’s doing the dishes.

 For what it’s worth I respect the fact that you’re holding down your end. Just Saying…

 

Best of Luck,

JLT

 

Self Esteem III: Expanding Your Self Esteem Sources

March 23, 2015 Uncategorized 10 Comments

 

Often when people find themselves caught in a relationship where they do not feel valued they get stuck on getting this one significant source to change his/her attitude toward them.

It is natural. Your marriage or your relationship with your significant other is the most intimate and constant one you have. It is hard to feel okay when the one person whose opinion means most to you doesn’t have a very high opinion of you (Or at least he doesn’t appear to)

You can’t change other people. People will however change when their circumstances do. You have to put yourself in a position of feeling better about yourself. 

The easier way to get started on that is to focus on other sources of feedback. The bigger your life is the more ways you’ll have to feel good about yourself. If it’s volunteering in your church, taking a course, reading a book, exercising … anything that focuses on you in a positive light  – do it.

They internet is a great place to start.. Not social media (Which is again looking for someone else to define your value) but they have so many fascinating things going on. Get good at something you’ve always wanted to do. Or just enjoy doing something even if you don’t do it well. The process of getting better at anything makes you feel better about everything. I can’t draw. Always wanted to. So one day I googled how to draw a sphere on youtube.  It sounds stupid but it focuses on something you can control. Adds to you …

 

IMG_1417

Support in groups are also good. When you get together with friends don’t spend all that time talking about all that unhappy you have going on at the house. Of course, you have a right to talk about it and you should share, but also uplift and branch out. What could the two of you do today that will make that feel small?

Just saying, work on those things that can work up your self worth without it having to work on him. When you change how you feel you change how you respond. It will help change how much what he does or does not do stings …

It is not a solution but a start. That alone, getting off dead stop center will help you feel better ….

 

Self Esteem II: Whittled Away Women

March 21, 2015 Uncategorized 5 Comments

Since I’ve started this Ask Judge Lynn thing I have gotten a lot of questions from women who, though their circumstances may be different, are feeling the same way. It’s something I often saw on Divorce Court and I call it The Whittled Away Woman.

Because I received so many posts about this and have so much to say about it I thought I would do a general reply that is longer  – as a part of my Self Esteem Series for women.

Lets me make this clear: This is not an anti man thing …. I firmly believe that if you root  for any one side of the gender divide both sides lose. I also believe that women and men are different.  We have different ways of feeling, different societal expectations and different types of pressures. Sometimes you have to address that. That’s what I am doing here.

Here’s what I’m hearing from Women I call Whittled Away:

They tell me that they are in a relationship (usually for a number of years) and as the years go by they feel less and less loved and valuable. They feel like they are working on a relationship all by themselves, that their partner seems to have little respect for their wants and needs and anything she does or says that is not what he wants, at best, goes Unheard or worse yet, results in anger.

They love the other person but they feel no love in return. They are trying hard, making compromises but it still doesn’t get them anywhere.

 

Dismissed, too, is what I often hear. Almost all of them have said something to their husbands or significant other about how they feel. They tell me their husband did not understand and instead of asking or considering what they said, their need was labeled as crazy, hysterical, over emotional, something she needs to get over. Needs not his are not only ignored but belittled.

Many of them expressed and ever growing doubt in their own value. Having gotten streams of negative input they start to question their own worth. They’ve lost their confidence. “How could I be any good if the guy I love more than life itself does nothing but criticize me?”

If this is you let me say this:

A. You are not alone, nor are you crazy or foolish.

B. More often than not the guy you’re with loves you more than he shows … but he’s gotten stuck. People do what works for them and sometimes when someone  (anyone) starts to get their way by being persistently negative, quick to anger or by ignoring others wants, it becomes a habit.

C. The GOOD NEWS: There are things you can do other than taking it or leaving the relationship. There are changes you can try in an effort to take the edges off the hurt and slowly work your way back to a more reasonable relationship ….. most of the time … not all of the time. Nothing works for everyone.

D. This is a place where you can come to share ideas and get encouragement.

E. But NONE OF THIS APPLIES TO ABUSIVE RELATIONSHIPS!!!  go to GoPuple.org or any domestic violence site and learn about what an abusive relationship is.

This is for women caught in the washing machine of a lopsided marriage who want to feel better about themselves and feel like they matter in their own home.

I hope the fact that you have read this and know you are not alone helps a little. It’s a complicated thing and there are a whole lot of different ways to approach it… Some will work for you some will work for others.

Share your stories. Share your ideas on how to make it better and I will share mine.

YOU MATTER.

Stay strong,

JLT

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ask Judge Lynn: “I Don’t Want To Talk To My Mother-In-Law To Be”

March 18, 2015 Ask Judge Lynn 11 Comments

QUESTION:

Hi Judge,

I have been with my fiance for over 3 years and we’re planning on getting married but his mother does not like me because he moved in with me. He suggested that we have a meeting with her but I’m not comfortable around his family and I would like your advice.

thanks

Tiarra

ANSWER:

You fiancé is right. If you marry this guy you are going to be a part of his family. You have to attempt to create a workable relationship with them.

Marriage is grown folks’ business. That means you have to be adult enough to sit down and work out your differences with other people. Even if it doesn’t work you have to be adult enough to try. What else can you do, spend your entire marriage ducking and dodging some of the most important people in your husband’s life? Talk about putting stress on a marriage. Time to woman up! Sit down and talk it out. And go with a positive attitude. Do it for the man you say you love so much you want to spend the rest f your life with him.

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