- The Washington Times - Thursday, January 1, 2009

Dear Ms. Vicki,

Why does my girlfriend allow her 4-year-old son to sleep in her bed with her? Every time I spend the night with her, I wake up to find the little tike in bed with us, and this makes me uncomfortable.

Women with children should face the fact that that makes dating tough. Most guys are afraid to date them. I’m a dude who tries to give every woman an opportunity to be dated. I like this woman a lot, and I can’t say I’m ready to take it to the next level and make a commitment even though I respect her a lot for serving her country.

It surely doesn’t help that she allows her son to sleep with her. I think the little fella thinks he’s her man or something. She doesn’t realize she is sending him the wrong message by allowing him to do this?

Help single mothers by giving them some insight on this issue. Let them know that it’s tough being with a woman who already has children. When they have a guy who is interested in them, they shouldn’t have their children interfering. In my book, they really lose points when they do this. — The Single Woman’s Man

Dear SWM,

Dude, you act as if you are doing single women a favor. My hats are off to most single women, who are doing what it takes two parents to do.

Here’s the deal regarding you bestowing your manly presence upon single women: I think you are wrong for spending the night with a woman when you know her children are present. Yes, she allowed you, but you could do the right thing and decline the offer out of respect for her because of her children.

You say she shouldn’t allow her son to sleep in her bed. What you need to realize is, it’s her house and it’s her bed. She can let her son sleep with her if she wishes.

I get letters from people who say, “Ms. Vicki, you need to get with today’s time; single people are getting their groove on.” Trust me. I get it. I know what single people are doing. However, because you are calling yourself the single woman’s man, you should show some class and take your girlfriend somewhere else so you can be alone with her instead of being intrusive in her home.

Stop acting as if you are doing single women with children a favor by dating them. If it’s a hassle for you, don’t date them. It sounds as if your girlfriend has it “going on.” She is doing a great job and great things without you.

Dear Ms. Vicki,

I’m in a terrible relationship with my Army boyfriend. I am losing weight, and my hair has been falling out because I just don’t trust him. He keeps saying he wants to marry me, and then he changes his mind. I’ve caught him cheating on me several times, and he always apologizes and tells me he loves me and wants to be with me. As soon as I forgive him, the whole cycle starts all over again.

I really want my children to know who their father is and to know their parents were married and truly loved each other. I did not know who my father was. He was never around. All I want to do is to erase that family curse because it seems that in my family, none of the fathers were there for their children.

I just don’t know how much more of this I can take. It’s hurting me too bad. He never comes home from work until late. He always says he had duty or was in the field. Other people in his unit tell a completely different story, and he will get mad when I find out the truth.

There are times when he won’t even come home the entire weekend, especially on the 1st and 15th. He will be missing in action and show up smelling like dirty women.

Ms. Vicki, how much is too much? Should I keep trying to hold on to this fool of mine or just let go? — Foolish Woman in Love

Dear Foolish in Love,

This is a dead relationship that’s going nowhere. You are holding on to nothing. If I had $1 for every letter I receive like yours, I would be a wealthy woman. Your Army boyfriend is missing in action more than he is around, and he doesn’t even come home on paydays. Additionally, he is gone for days and doesn’t even call to let you know where he is.

Allow me to be honest with you and ask you this question: Why are you settling for this? I know you said you want your children to know their father. However, what your children need is to see a father who shows respect and love for their mother.

Their father is not a great testament to this. What they are seeing is their mother being stressed out about a relationship. You are not happy. Your hair is falling out, and you are losing weight. I think you are in denial about this relationship, and I also think you deserve better.

You must learn to love yourself before you can love someone else. By staying in this relationship, you are showing that you don’t have high regard for yourself. You have children with this man, and he will always be part of your life for that reason. You need to have a positive relationship with him. You can have this without being a couple.

My quick advice is to start reading self-help books and saying positive self-affirmations all through the day. You could start by saying, “I am worthy of a healthy, happy relationship.” Your local bookstore will offer a wealth of self-help books that will be advantageous for you.

Finally, there is no time like the present. Kick the zero to the curb; there is a hero out there for you.

Vicki Johnson is a licensed clinical social worker, military spouse and mother of three. Her Dear Ms. Vicki column runs in The Washington Times Thursdays and Sundays. Contact her at [email protected]

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