Dear Dr. Monique,
I am a new mother who is married to the most wonderful man I could ask for. The problem is, I do not trust him around our baby and I am paranoid about leaving our newborn son with him alone. My husband tells me that he feels awful about my not trusting his parenting skills and it is now affecting how we relate to each other as a couple. How can I relinquish some control in order to have a loving relationship with my husband?
Dear Nervous Mom,
I suspect that many new mothers have shared your concern. I might add that a number of mothers have complained to me about what they consider the less than adequate care that their spouses give to their young children when they are away. After I had children of my own, I must
confess I sometimes shared the same sentiment. On the other hand as a tired mother I was extremely grateful for the number of times my husband did diaper duty and bath time, and that despite my concerns the children did just fine.
This information, however, may do little to relieve your anxiety. So here are a few practical suggestions. Have a heart to heart with your husband about some of your fears, including your recognition that some of it may be paranoia. Next, you could start with sharing the childcare duties with your spouse while you are around. Then gradually give him more responsibility in your presence.
Hopefully these steps will allow you to feel more comfortable with relinquishing control, and have the additional benefit of allowing you both some bonding time as new parents. At the end of the exercise I certainly hope that both your confidence in your husband’s skills and your relationship will be strengthened.
Dear Dr. Monique,
I am a 33-year-old woman who recently met a 45-year-old man. He has never been married and has no children. He seems nice, but I am concerned about his status at his age. Am I being overly concerned?
Concerned Single Woman
Dear Concerned Single Woman,
As I read your letter I recall past warnings of my girlfriends: If he is in his 40s, never married and no children, beware! So since you already have concerns I advise you to do as you probably would in any unchartered territory: Proceed with caution! Every rule, however, has an exception. Furthermore, remember that a new relationship with a man does not have to lead to a dating relationship. Therefore do not allow him or yourself to put any pressure on the relationship. If you think that he is worth getting to know better as a friend, go ahead and do so. It is highly likely that the friendship will clarify why he is in that particular situation. Moreover, the friendship can likely give you a clear signal on whether you should allow the relationship to progress, or frankly, you should run the other way.
Dear Dr. Monique,
I recently found out my wife created another Facebook account under a pseudonym. When I confronted her she says it’s in lighthearted fun and that I don’t give her any attention. The latter may be true but I can’t seem to trust her and get nervous when I see her going on the computer. How should I handle this?
Dear Nervous Husband,
Unfortunately in this cyber age it is completely possible for your wife to have an extramarital relationship without leaving your own home and
social media can provide one such opportunity. I therefore understand your nervousness. However don’t forget you have the home court advantage and you should let your wife know your discomfort and express it. Make every effort to understand her need for this alter ego. You have also admitted that you do not give her enough attention. Perhaps you could use this platform to “friend her” and you could have a special online relationship with your wife. This fantasy may provide the little extra spice that she may need in your relationship and keep her at home with you.
Dr. Monique, 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., has years of experience in counseling and discussing relationship issues. Send your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org