Dear Dr. Monique,
I have an issue with my husband wanting me to lose weight. He says he would prefer it if I lost about 20 pounds and then he would find me more attractive.
I do want to lose some weight for health reasons but now I find myself almost not wanting to because I don’t want him to dictate my sense of how I look. What would you recommend I do?
Not wanting to lose
Dear Not wanting to lose,
People are more likely to achieve their goals when the motivation comes from within rather than from external factors and perhaps your example could be one of the reasons why this is true. Try to remove your focus from your husband’s dictates and change the focus to your personal goals. Your letter suggests that you are interested in improving your health.
Therefore, rather than making weight loss your goal, shift it to health improvement.
Start an exercise program if you have not already done so and get some advice from your physician or reputable websites on healthier ways to eat. Get a friend involved who could share in the activities or at least keep you accountable. Yes, weight loss is a likely side effect from these changes but you will be the one enjoying the improved health and wellbeing, regardless of what your husband thinks about your change in weight.
Dear Dr. Monique,
I have been dating this guy for more than six years on an off but more on for the past three years. I love him and we got engaged a year ago. However, I recently discovered that he is married. My friends say that I should leave him but he keeps telling me that he plans to leave his wife. What should I do?
Dear Feeling confused,
I am sorry to hear about your predicament. You have been deceived and you have also been made an unwitting accomplice in causing distress to another woman. As hard as it may be I suggest you listen to your friends and take the high road. End your relationship with this man.
Firstly, statistically speaking, it is highly unlikely that he will leave his wife and if he was indeed planning to leave her why did he lie to you about the relationship in the first place?
Furthermore, do you really want to enter into a marriage with someone in which the foundation of your relationship was based on a lie? The road ahead will likely be difficult in the short term but I am confident in saying that it is a decision that you will be glad you made in the long run.
Dear Dr. Monique,
I have been dating someone for 15 years and we have two beautiful children. I would really like to get married and have a stable family unit but my boyfriend keeps making excuses to avoid marriage. Do you think there is any hope for him ever changing his mind or should I move on?
Should I stay or leave?
Dear Should I stay or leave?,
I am happy that you are able to enjoy your two children as a result of the relationship but since your boyfriend has been unable to commit to marriage with you despite a 15-year relationship and children, it is highly unlikely that he will ever be able to provide that stable unit that you yearn for.
In short, even if he does change his mind the foundation of the union may not lead to the healthy, happy stable marriage that you desire. Whether or not you should stay is somewhat more complicated given your children. I suggest you ask yourself this question to help decide on the best next step. Do you think that continuing the relationship provides the healthiest environment for your children? I am aware that this is not a simple answer but figuring it out may give you the direction that you need to move forward.
*Dr. Monique is an award-winning graduate of Harvard Medical School, who completed her residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology at Georgetown University Medical Center in Washington DC. She has years of experience in counseling and discussing relationship issues. Ask her your questions at firstname.lastname@example.org