heart-logo_web.pngDear Dr. Monique,
I hate my mother-in-law. This is causing a huge rift between my husband and me. I refuse to visit her because she has pictures of him and his exes plastered all over her house and she refuses to take them down. We have a son together and she has no pictures of him or us up. What should I do?
Struggling with Mother-in-Law

Dear Struggling with Mother-in-Law,
I am sorry to hear that you have such strong feelings against your mother-in-law. Sometimes relationships require a great deal of compromise and I believe that this is one such case. It is unlikely that you will be able to change your mother-in-law, but you can certainly try to change the way you view her. The fact is, your husband chose you over all his exes and it is likely that your relationship together limits the amount of time that he has available for her. She may very well be jealous of the relationship for those reasons. Discuss with your husband how often he would like you and your family to visit his mother and try to reach a reasonable compromise.  Allow him to make some visits with her on his own. Perhaps if you view her with empathy, being a mother yourself, the visits that you do make will be more tolerable.


Dear Dr. Monique,
I am a woman in my early 30s and I have been with my man for 10 years. The problem is, he is married. He is a great provider and I know he loves me but I want to get married and have kids. He has told me he is not leaving his wife. How can I make the steps towards leaving him?
Other Woman

Dear Other Woman,
Ending a relationship after so many years is often difficult regardless of the circumstance. However it is clear that this man cannot provide you with what you want. It might help for you to get a better perspective on the relationship. Perhaps he loves you but what kind of love does he have for you if he remains committed to another woman? I suggest that you seek out family members and friends on whom you can rely for much needed support during this transition. Consider getting involved in a new hobby or social group to help provide further distractions.  Regularly remind yourself of your goals in life and the reasons you need to leave this relationship. I congratulate you on making this choice.


Dear Dr. Monique,
My wife has asked me to consider an open marriage after 15 years of being together. She says she wants to explore her “sexuality,” which may or may not include other women. This might be every man’s dream but it’s not mine. What do I do?
Not My Dream

Dear Not My Dream,
Fifteen years ago when you married your wife I am pretty sure an open relationship was not a part of your vow. Hence it is understandable that you are uncomfortable with the suggestion. Maybe you can use this as an opportunity to strengthen your marriage. Try convincing her to explore her sexuality with you. But be prepared to do your homework. Consider purchasing some books on sex advice for couples. You might even consider the services of a sex therapist that you can see together. This will likely further enhance your sex life. Hopefully these measures will satisfy her sexuality within the union.


Dear Dr. Monique,
I am a 55-year old woman who recently got divorced after 30 years of marriage. He was my first boyfriend and sexual partner. I am deathly afraid of facing the dreaded dating world in my 50s. I feel so ancient and out of date. What can I do to regain my self esteem?
Divorced in My 50s

Dear Divorced in My 50s,
The dating world can be daunting at any age and likely more so in a situation such as yours. I believe that it is better to build your self-esteem outside of this environment. I suggest that you take some time to examine the things that you value and the things that make you feel good about yourself. Build on them, and concentrate your time and energy on things that you enjoy. Include some activities that involve meeting new people. Don’t try to seek out the dating world. But remain open if your new passion and zest for life leads a new man or men into your life.


Dear Dr. Monique,
Why do women believe they have to “settle” with a partner once they are in their 30s? Is it that the clock is running out of time and societal pressures cause them to settle?
Why Women Settle

Dear Why Women Settle,
Women may “settle” for a man at any age but despite the real concern that women in their 30s may have about their biological clock, there is no scientific evidence that women who marry later are more likely to “settle” for the wrong mate.  In fact some statistics show that women who get married at an older age, especially over the age of 25, are less likely to divorce.  Don’t worry about why or whether women settle. Just encourage those near and dear to you, not to do so.

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 D.C. She has years of experience in counseling and discussing relationship issues. Ask her your questions at drmonique@sfltimes.com