Dear: Parenting 911

Last year around Christmas we lost my Father in law. He was a very sweet and genuine man. My husband Jason does not have the fondest memories of his father, but my son Seth does. Walter was an awesome Grandpa. He was funny, goofy, and the ever reigning practical joke- King. I met Walter only a month before Jason and I got married. For most of our dating relationship I never even knew he existed. I was aware that Jason’s mother left Walter when Jason was very young. From what I’ve been told: she was a bit loony: however Walter insists that she was suffering from some mental illness associated with Jason’s birth. He also has implied on several occasions: that she was unhappy for several years after Walter returned from war. Jason believes his father was abusive, not to him but her. 

I don’t know what to believe.I just know I have a son, who is heartbroken. A father in law who is hated, loved, and missed: and a husband who does not deal with any of it.

My son Seth started school this year. Last week he learned all about Memorial day, and what it means. He was taught that it is a day we show an extra bit of gratitude and thanks to our Veterans. Seth knows his Grandpa was in a war: and now wants to celebrate his life, and heroism. Jason refuses to acknowledge his father as anything but a bad memory….

Help Please…….

Sincerely: I don’t care just fill-er-up


Dear: Fill-er-up

First congratulations on seeing where this could impact the sweet little sponge: that is your 5 year old son. That age is so full of impact having, and defining moments. Seth is trying to first figure out his spot on the family tree. Who to mimic, who to ignore, as well as who to love. As a parent and much like Walter, you LOVE unconditionally. If I had to guess: I would say it is very likely that you we’re loved unconditionally as well. Jason see’s parenting, and the bond there-in as “conditional”….. Jason see’s parenting, as a choice he makes everyday to participate in Seth’s life. In both you and Jason’s life someone, or several someones,impacted your life: your way of thinking, the way YOU would describe parenting.

Jason’s jaded view is not necessarily wrong ( for him ). He is allowed to feel that way, he is allowed to hurt, and even to be angry. However what he is NOT allowed to do: is apply those feelings to his way of parenting. That is not only bad for Seth, but as you are feeling right now- bad for your PARENTAL UNIT, and relationship. My advice for dealing with Jason……..HAVE A SERIOUS TALK.

Guidelines to said discussion: 

A) Do not be threatening, judgmental, or brash. Remember: He is not wrong for his feelings. He is however accountable for how he exhibits them.

B) Ask him what he thinks is the truth about his mother’s absence. Why did she leave?, If he can’t / won’t tell you, perhaps he needs to visit the idea of talking to someone professionally. Cognitive therapy is a structured way of dealing with things that you could not and should not personally take on- or attempt to advise on. 

C) Explain your feelings to him, give him a chance to react like a grown up, and parent.

D) Continue to be his loving wife but…..BE A MOTHER FIRST. Always put what’s best for Seth ahead of what’s easier, what’s nice, and what’s best for the husband. A mother that puts herself or partner first is NEVER happy and often loses both in the long run. A partner can be talked to, helped to see right from wrong, and comprehend things in a way a child can not. We can’t always fix the damage we cause to our children……Your husband is proof……

( “Editor’s note” When saying “Be a mother first”, it is not because I, or anyone else would think you would not: because in all fairness your first inclination in the face of such a problem was to seek advice. That is the stuff GREAT moms are made of…)


What an exciting time, when they start growing up, and realizing all the things that make the world go round, and all the people to thank for why it still does. Seth is absorbing his surroundings with intensity and the hunger to learn every day.

What he learns is obviously very important. Since as parents you are his First roll model’s, it is imperative to be good ones. Our actions are our children’s first ideas about how to think, act, love, hate, and be.

Regardless of how “Jason” feels about Walter, Memorial day is much more than one man. We as American’s are lucky enough to have a long list- including a whole wall and so many more tributes to our veterans and fallen soldiers. We are lucky to have veterans and fallen soldiers at all. Show Seth some pictures via the internet, or in person if you can. Showing him a great respect for lives given, people wounded, and battles fought with courage, and honor: is a great way to help him participate in the holiday while honoring, and paying respect to a man he loved. 

I believe even your husband can’t argue with the the meaning of the day. I’m sure there are a few things he could find a way to participate in himself.

Memorial day is a wonderful chance to show Seth the blessings of giving back.$$$$$$$$$$

Or find other programs in which to volunteer. 

If his Grandfathers grave is not to far away, or if maybe he was laid to rest in a cemetery specifically for war veterans- perhaps paying a visit with fresh flowers or a special flag with Seth would be a nice outing. 

Hope some of it helps and maybe through the years, Jason will come around to. Happy Memorial Day !!!


Hey Lady is excited to announce!!!!!

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ReciPee’d OFF!!

Hey Lady:

My fiancee Matt and I are recently engaged, he is about to graduate soon from Harvard, and I will follow next year. We just moved into our first apartment just of campus. I come from a very low income household and put myself through college with grants, loans, and hard work. Matt on the other hand comes from money. He is definitely used to the finer things in life, and he was raised to have a certain mentality. He is a great man don’t get me wrong, but then there’s his MOTHER; I don’t even know where to begin on this subject. His mother was introduced to me after a year of dating. As a freshman I did not see all the red flags of a serious “Mamma’s Boy”. Early into my Sophomore year I began to see some things that made me wonder, but now it’s become a nightmare. He lived off campus a.k.a. (AT HOME) his Freshman year, then on campus his second year, then off campus and had 2 other male roommates. The time of off campus living is where things began getting weird. I noticed that there was always two days worth of meals prepared and labeled with heating instructions and all, in his fridge at all times. Upon spending a night there I was greeted with a not so welcoming glare as his mom walked into his room to hand deliver his next two days of breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I hadn’t met her before, and I believe that was because he was embarrassed about their tight knit bond. As our eyes met that morning I realized she was going to be a fun one, and that “Matty Matt” as she so lovingly called him was in fact the worse possible “mamma’s boy” cliche walking and talking in 100 mile radius. After she picked up his laundry and we had formally been introduced, she looked at him and said “next time try giving me a call before I come over and nearly have a heart attack.” and walked out. 

I am “heart attack worthy?”:Really? speeding up to now, we announced our engagement over Easter dinner and were met with smiling faces, congratulations, and happiness……Except Mrs. Y’vania her disapproving glare almost turned me to stone on the spot.

We moved into our new place about 6 months ago. Matt and I are very much in love and share numerous things in common including that we can not cook to save our lives. I rarely ate enough growing up and when I did it was because I was waiting tables at a restaurant for tuition money, and they fed me twice when I worked a double. He has never had to. His family is mixed nationalities, Portuguese and Italian, and that is what he is used to eating. I can barely make a burger. 

As of lately I have tried to prepare a few meals I thought he would like but with no luck, recipes are not easy to come by, at least not ones that don’t involve hours of preparation and some know how on what I’m doing. I even asked his mom for just a few of the recipes I know are his favorites, she exclaimed matter of factly that “Those are family recipes, and although you two may be engaged, you are NOT family yet, and anything can happen”. Stunned and hurt I went on my way tale between my legs and with a heavy heart. I have tried being nice asking for tips etc.she is IMPOSSIBLE… So Hey Lady I really need your help, what do I do?


                                                                                               ReciPEE’d OFF


Dear ReciPEE’d OFF:

It seems you have two rather large issues to confront head on. One as I’m sure you realize is going to require a bit of finesse and possibly even out smarting your self proclaimed nemesis. The bond between mother and son is a very intricate thing. Dad’s often refuse to coddle their sons and even tend to want to “toughen them up”. While their mother as motherly roles go are the ones who nurture, hug, hold, and “mother” their children, often into adulthood. A son knows that if his heart is broken by a girl his mother is the one who will dry his tears, mend his heart, and probably advise him on what he “should” look for in a mate. While a mother feels more often than not that “if” she has raised a great man, he will find a worthy soul mate, but also that it only takes but one evil female to undo ALL her years of hard work. Usually moms are extreme because they have wiped the tears, kissed the “boo boo’s”, and scared away countless boogie men, ghosts, and other beasts. However in this case there is a whole other element to this mother. Plainly she seems to be  a devious, selfish, and impractical woman. Hearing you not mention a father. I am going to assume he is either out of the picture now, or possibly never was in it. If he is he has probably learned it is easier for him to smile nod and agree, than to argue, make a fuss or disagree. Chances are your fiancee has learned the same, add to that the “mamma’s boy” aspect as you quite perfectly put it, and you have a recipe all right. A recipe for disaster….. First you must have the lines of communication wide open, after all this is the man you are going to marry. He must hear it from your mouth that YOU will come first in his life once you are married. As it should be. His mother will always be his mother, they do not have to fight for their love it is natural, they do not have to weather storms that face their household since it is your and his household that will be battered by future storms. Their love is a very different, still very beautiful yet long standing love. They have spent years building this relationship between them to get it so strong and unfailing. Now that you two are about to embark on a life time of love and love lessons, it is you and him that need to build your foundation strong and unwavering. That will take time, uninterrupted time. I do not mean he should choose, or ignore his mother. However letting him know how you feel is important. But the way you do it is also important. You cannot come to him with an accusative, or attacking approach. He will automatically want to defend his mother and her actions, even if they are wrong. You need to treat this like an egg toss. Gently tossing the fragile subject out toward him, cautiously and with genuine care and concern for the safety of such a sensitive thing hoping his outstretched hands will rise to catch your concern. Then standing at a safe distance you hope and wait patiently for this breakable subject to be returned to you with the same reverence and care. Once you and your man have talked and set clear boundaries, charted a course of action, and come to see things from one another’s point of view, then you will feel much less like your rivaling her alone and more like your coaching her as a team into the (new) world of the both of you.

As for the cooking, personally I love to cook. I have never had a teacher or been one to follow recipes; however there are many ways to approach this and come out looking like Betty freaking Crocker. First since there are ethnic challenges, probably ingredients you have never heard of, or words or instructions in the recipe, that might get lost in translation. So I strongly advise the following. Usually there are cooking classes offered all over the place, especially in and around Boston. If they are not pocket friendly often there are free ones, you may have to dig but they are there. Also make friends with the older woman of the small communities, they are the best teachers. Ask your friends that are Italian or Portuguese if their family members might show you a few things. Take him to restaurants that feature dishes you know he loves and find out what he really can not do without. Then there is this secret weapon.

And several others like it, simply type copy cat recipe into your search engine and BAM…Every place you love, every dish, sauce, dressing, you name it they help you recreate it. I am sure once you learn a few, you will be cooking in no time. And knowing you went the extra mile for him, is the secret ingredient. Hope this helps Bon Appetite!

                                                                   Sincerely: Hey Lady

!!Love him with a metaphor, or point the psycho toward the door!!

Hey Lady

I have been with my fiance for six years two of which we’ve been engaged. We were childhood sweethearts and he is my first love. We went our separate ways after two years of dating as teens. After years of going back and forth a child was conceived and born while we were not together. We each had one failed marriage and a few more kids under our belts when our paths crossed again. This time we both fell deeply in love with each other, and attempted to make it really work this time,or so I thought.

After a first great year and only a few “tiny” incidents to which I believed he was cheating or lying or both, I knew something was definitely up.

I began to see patterns in his behavior…Scary patterns. Once headed into the second years end, I began getting undeniable proof of his ” Extra curricular activities” and his character. I began to attempt reasoning much of his odd behavior away, after all we had a child together and he was/is my first love. “Surely this was meant to be.” I would tell myself, “I just have to help him realize it.” among other reasoning. Now we are nearing our six year anniversary with two years engaged, and things are to obvious to deny.

In the past year he has only gotten worse, and more daring with his wrong doings. Everything from cheating multiple times, to stealing much needed money right from my accounts. Add to that the incessant lying almost pathologically, and I decided it needed to end. So three months ago I attempted just that, and something in him seemed to change. He began asking me questions with almost real sincerity.Questions on how to change etc. Even going so far as to say that “He did not realize how bad his actions and way of thinking had become.” and that “He believed he needed professional help.” A new man?, A scared man?,A brilliantly scheming man? That I do not know. The most recent of his questions caught me off guard, as with tears in his eyes he asked what it is I feel about him and his actions, how he wants to understand my feelings about him and our currant relationship. Asking me to explain them in “dumb man terms” as he put it. At that moment I was at a loss for descriptive words. I later asked myself the question and determined that I feel drained, used,and empty. I feel I have nothing more to give to him or us. However I am afraid if I just use those words he will feel that I have given up, and no longer seek a solution but will himself throw in the towel. I feel that explaining with a great analogy or metaphor is the best option. But I am no good with those kinds of things. So Hey Lady: In your opinion what is the best analogy or metaphor to use, or am I just wasting my time and energy on a hopeless cause?


                                                                           Speechless in Southie



Hey Speechless in Southie

First things first, you need to decide if this relationship is even worth a well thought out analogy or metaphor.

The indiscretions you spoke about seem that not of just mindless escapades, but instead grander scale and far more complex in nature. I would not hesitate to step so far out onto a ledge as to say, he seems to exhibit many red flagged tell tale signs of sociopathic tendencies. Now before we jump the gun and diagnose as we are not doctor’s let me first say that there are several types of sociopathy. Some of those sociopaths are actually possibly fixable, yet one of which will only lead to self destruction and other horrific consequences if you do not END IT NOW, today, HELL YESTERDAY even. I say this with full confidence as I have had first hand experience with exactly such a sociopath.

I strongly advise you do some research on the subject immediately, especially since there are children involved. I highly recommend the following reading material.

This will not only help you distinguish if he is in fact a sociopath, and if so what type he is. You will gain knowledge and insight into your EXACT situation. At this point you need to decide for yourself whether it is an analogy you need or a clean break and possibly even a therapist to help undo the damages you may not even be aware he has inflicted. I know this sounds very serious, and that is because IT IS! These types of people who consistantly lie, cheat, and steal, from the people they “love” are NOT normal human beings. They are dangerous and lack sympathy, empathy, and conscience, in essence disconnected from reality……..Again DANGEROUS.

However if at this point you reach the conclusion that holding on is the best choice then the following analogy has been effective for me and a personal favorite to share for quite some time.

Depending on your fiance’s level of comprehension this can be done one of two ways both successfully. If he learns best hands on, he may be both a visual and auditory learner. If that is the case I advise the following.

(Materials needed)

Old or outdated checkbook, monopoly or play money, Index cards, a sharpie and a pen.

With the sharpie I want you to write on the index cards boldly on one side use a positive emotion such as HAPPY flip the card and write SAD, on another write, SELF CONFIDENT on the other side WORTHLESS or whatever feelings pertain to you. Use specific examples from your experiences and relationship together throughout this entire demonstration, for best result. 

Place those cards in a pile in front of him positive emotions facing up. Also give him the checkbook and pen. Lastly take the “play money” and disperse it evenly between you so you both have an even amount of money sitting in front of you.

 Now explain to him that the piles simulate how your relationship started, what or how you both came into it equally and happy. Then ask him to start writing checks (you may help jog his memory). Tell him to write an action starting with positive first could be something like a wonderful surprise date night etc. and with that action he is to put an amount he would deem fair. So it should look like some what like this…

Pay to the order of: Speechless in Southie                                 Amount{ $35.00}

For: Surprise date night

You get the idea. Now you ask him to (use your actual experiences as the (FOR:) part of the check. When he finishes the first check happily take it from him and pick a positive index card to place in front of you.

Now ask him to write a check to himself with a negative action or something hes done to hurt you, and an amount equal to or more than the positive check. Looking similar to this:

  • Pay to the order of:SELF                                         Amount {$40.00}

         For: Cheating (specific time)

Take the check cash it with the money in front of you and hand it to him. Now turn the positive card over to show a negative emotion.

Continue repeating this method until you are out of money and all you have is stack of negative emotion index cards and cashed checks. Now ask him to continue writing checks to himself…….. He will begin to see where your going with this if he has any resemblance of a brain at all, he should actually have caught on quite a while ago. But for the sake of the very real possibility he is not to bright you will then begin to explain the following in “dumb man terms”…….

A relationship is like an emotional bank account. When you do good things, and treat me right, it is like your making a deposit. Include examples.

When you Lie, Cheat, Steal, or treat me badly, it is like making a withdrawal from the account. Again USE EXAMPLES.

Then explain that at this point he has withdrawn so much more then he has deposited that he has left you and your emotional account completely drained, leaving you nothing but a negative balance, and a continuous flow of bad checks you are unable to cash.

Remind him of how his real bank account works if he continues to overdraw his account and never deposits, eventually the account will be closed and his credit will be ruined. AND THAT THE SAME APPLIES TO HIM. 

If this fails as well then I highly suggest closing his account, denying a line of credit to him, and seriously consider this…… 

Undoubtedly I am sure there are many other much more suitable “investors” out there who would love to open a long term account at THE BANK OF SPEECHLESS IN SOUTHIE……Perhaps someone looking towards creating a nest egg??? After all isn’t that the type of guy more likely to be thinking long term? If nothing else that is definitely the kind of person planning for a future with someone special. So I beg you please DO NOT EVER make someone a PRIORITY to you if you are only an OPTION to them.  Best wishes & Positive energy.                                     


                                                              ❤ Lady<3