Relationship: Trisha and Ebert – Broken Sacred Rules and Love Baby

Background: Trisha and Ebert both come from conservative, traditional, strict religious families.  Trisha and Ebert are both non-practicing people, but are fairly active members of their orthodox religious community, mostly to keep their parents happy and for business connections.  Trisha and Ebert have been together for over a year and have a modern romantic relationship,ie., premarital sexual relations, but no one in their families knows this about them. This fact would be catastrophic for both of them, especially Trisha. Trisha and Ebert both have financially lucrative jobs, yet both still live with their parents. They love each other, but for whatever reason, do not wish to marry each other.  

Problem: Trisha is 4 months pregnant, starting to show, and wants to keep the baby and raise it by herself, without benefit of marriage.  Ebert is willing to marry Trisha, but admits he is only open to the idea of marrying Trisha because of the baby on the horizon. He wants the baby to carry his last name in any event.  They both desire for Ebert to be involved in parenting, but only as a ‘lives elsewhere’ dad. There is nothing about this scenario that will sit well with The Parents and In Laws, nor their orthodox religious community.

Question:  How can Trisha and Ebert move on with their modern lives without alienating their family and religious community?

Dr. Vaune’s Advice:  This one is easy. They can’t. Trisha and Ebert have to put on some very big boy and big girl pants and realize that there will be a *hit storm when the word gets out – and it will, and likely very soon.  Next, Trisha needs to get her own home asap, in anticipation of being kicked out of her parents. Ebert might as well do the same. They would be wise to consider living near one another for mutual support and parenting facility. Short of changing jobs, moving out of town, and never introducing the baby to its grand-parents, there is no point is trying to conceal the pregnancy or baby after it is born, too many people are likely to find out and talk, since both Trisha and Ebert work in the community. Also, these days it is hella difficult to pull off that kind of secret.  If both of them leave town tongues will wag anyway. That kind of tongue wagging often makes stories much more ’interesting’ than they already are, so who needs that nonsense?

Both Trisha and Ebert could benefit from counseling if only to clarify why they are both commitment wary.  If they come by it naturally, then at least they are being true to themselves. If it is a result to some subconscious issue or real experience, then they might benefit from working that stuff out and then reconsidering whether to tie the knot.

Their parents will need time to make their peace with the situation, and will likely love the child after getting over the shock and embarrassment they will experience.  The community will either take a hard line to enforce their rules and exclude Trisha and Ebert (and ergo, baby) or open their hearts and minds with love and forgiveness and welcome a new member into the community.  Typically though, rules and punishment are favored and implemented over love and forgiveness in these types of organizations. After all, if they let Trisha and Ebert get away with breaking the rules how will they be able to keep all the others in line?  Only time will tell. But, time heals all wounds eventually, right?

*Disclaimer: These are real problems, but fake names.

What are your thoughts on this matter?

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Marriage: Mindy and Mark-Is One Enough?

Background: Mindy and Mark dated for two years and have been married for 4 years. They both are happy with the marriage and are committed to keeping it intact. Before they were married Mark still allowed himself sexual experiences with other women while also having sex with Mindy.  Mindy was aware of his sexual behavior while they dated. Since marriage Mark has been faithful to his wife. They have sex everyday, and even after 4 years, often have sex 2 or 3 (or more) times per day. Mark has always had a very strong sexual appetite and has more than once asked Mindy if they could have a three-some or go to orgys.

 So far, Mark is adamant that he has not had sexual relations with anyone outside of their marriage. He also claims that he just likes the physicality of sex and does not want to impose excessively on his wife, whom her loves and respects and is aware is reaching her limits. He has no interest in developing an emotional relationship with anyone else and does not want to hurt his wife.  Mark has tried porn sites so he can masturbate, but finds this does not deeply satisfy him, nor give the range of physical experience he desires.

Problem: Mindy knows Mark has a sexual appetite that is much stronger than hers.  She is afraid she cannot satisfy him on her own but is not the least bit interested in having a three-some of any kind or participating in a orgy.  She believes Mark loves her and is not interested in developing another relationship. However, she is growing resentful of his sexual demands and finds that the amount of sex they have is ruining the experience of it for her. For Mindy it is just too much sex already. Mindy wants Mark to be satisfied sexually but is conflicted about letting him have sex outside of their marriage.  They both are concerned about the others needs and understand that those needs conflict.

Questions:  Whose needs are more important? How can both these people get what they need and stay happily married?  

Dr. Vaune’s Advice:  The first question is the easy one.  Both of their needs are important with neither being more important.  They are simply both important. It makes no sense to get into issues about emotional vs. physical needs and I do not stand with the crowd that always puts the man’s needs first.  That only works for the man, and only so far even for him. Once his mate becomes depressed, or resentful, or angry, he won’t be happy anyway. So a larger and more equitable view is necessary for a reasonably fair solution that takes into account both partners needs.  Mark is showing good form by restraining himself out of respect and consideration for his wife. Mindy is showing good faith by recognizing her limits, yet wanting her husband to be fulfilled beyond her reasonable capacity to accommodate.

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The second question is trickier.  This couple needs to discuss options.  If Mindy is confident Mark is immune to developing emotional connections with another woman with whom he has sexual relations, then perhaps they can reach an agreement about parameters and boundaries that would allow Mark to ‘work out’ his physical needs.

They should also discuss whether or not Mindy needs to know when Mark is going on a sexual adventure, how that should be handled between them – the protocol, so everything is on the up and up. If Mindy becomes concerned at any time about Marks escapades, Mark must stop and find some other way to ‘work out’…like wrestling, martial arts, mixed martial arts, or at the gym, etc. until Mindy’s concern passes.

Also, Mark needs to be held accountable to not have repeat experiences with the same person, therefore limiting the odds he might get attached, and must  always practice safe sex, and perhaps limit himself to times when his wife says she has had enough for now. I must say, this subject is covered at length in The Life Mate Questions book.  This is a critical topic that this couple would have been wiser to have had open conversation about prior to marriage.  But, hey,  better late than never, no?

*Disclaimer: These are real problems, but fake names.

What are your thoughts on this matter?

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Will this impasse end their relationship? Kal and Beverly: All or Nothing?

Background:  Kal and Beverly dated for almost 3 years prior to moving in together; they have been happily living together for 2 years in an comfortable apartment in the city where they met while in grad school. Neither has been married before and neither has children.  They are the same age, and at the time of this inquiry they are 29 years old. Both are working and intend to continue working even after they start their family. Both are able to telecommute for their jobs and work from home. Both intend to equally share in raising the children.  They have been discussing marriage and both are keen on the idea except…

Image result for rural vs city living

The problem: Kal is from a rural area where he happily grew up and would like to return, buy a big plot of land, and start and raise his family in the fresh open air, with lots of space, a big garden and some farm animals, just as he was raised.  Beverly grew up in a suburb of a huge mega-city. She prefers city life with all the variety of people, cultures, shopping and activities a big city offers, and wants to raise her children in such an environment. Though Kal and Beverly love each other and do not currently have other major divergences, they each are adamant about where they would be willing to live and raise children.  This conflict has put their hopes of marrying each other in jeopardy.

Question: How can this impasse be resolved so that both Kal and Beverly can contentedly live with the decision?

Dr. Vaune’s Relationship Advice:  There are several possible solutions to this problem:

  1. They can flip a coin and the loser promises to give it a go without resentment and with a joyous and cooperative attitude; after all, maybe something new and different will be good for him/her.
  2. They can live in the country while the children are, let’s say, under 9 years of age and Kal can get his gentleman’s farm going. At that time, funds allowing, they can take an apartment in the city where the kids can spend weekends spreading their cultural wings.
  3. They can choose to live somewhere in between the urban cultural center and rural lands, get a house with enough land for Kal to express his essential farming tendencies, yet Beverly can easily drive into the heart of the city whenever she likes.
  4. They can live in the city and spend their weekends at a smaller place in the country.  This would preclude having animals, unless someone else cares for them, but at least Kal could get his country fix on a regular basis.

It is important for any couple to keep in mind that raising the children will be only a portion of their married life together.  In this instance, sure, with proper parenting the kids can benefit from either scenario and be well equipped citizens of the world. Since neither of them is tied to a particular work location, and they both feel very strongly about their lifestyle values, why not take advantage of both.  Not everything in life has to be all or nothing. The children will likely benefit from an especially rich set of childhood memories if they are able to experience both environments; both Kal and Beverly get to provide what they value most to their children—and they get to keep each other.

What are your thoughts on this matter?  Please share in the comments.


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