154. I feel so upset right now...
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Dear Dr. Smith

I feel so upset right now, I am almost in tears. My mother just shared with me something that has been going on for more than 15 years. Her husband is in a relationship with another woman. She is married to an individual who never cared for her or her children, yet she remains faithfully in the marriage. He has a good paying job, but refuses to help her out with the finances of the home.

My mother is timid and allows her husband to treat her with disrespect, including domestic violence; while at the same time he wants her to treat him like a king. Her youngest daughter is me and I am now 30 years old, but we have been enduring this from childhood. What can I do, how can you help us?

Dear Broken Daughter,
I read your email and it expressed the pain in your heart. I can imagine how devastating this news must have been for you and your family. Based on what you have said about your dad's behavior, your mother might just have to take things into her own hands and act. She cannot allow her husband to hold her in bondage for ever. You should compose yourself and give your mother all the support she needs, help her not to fall apart. Maturity, strength and good judgment must prevail.

I would suggest that the children organize a family meeting, try and get your dad to attend and discuss the issues that are affecting the family. If he refuse to attend or fails to cooperate, then you should help your mother to get to the point where she say; enough is enough and move on. The Bible says, "Ephraim is joined to idol, let him alone" (Hos 4: 17).

In any event, you may need to work with your Mom to help her get beyond her pain or charter a new course of action. In all of this I would strongly recommend that you seek the help of a professional counselor.

May God bless you all and may He give you the peace your soul so much craved for. I will be praying for you.

God bless.

Dr. Smith
For more information about Dr. Smith's services go to www.familyfixers.org