Dear MsBehaved: Jonna Ivin Answers It For You

Dear Ms. Behaved

I have been divorced for three years. My oldest son prefers to stay in my home while my other two children stay mostly with their mother. My ex says the only reason my son enjoys my house more is because I let him play video games “all night long” This is not the case. He’s allowed to play video games after his home work is done and the games have to be turned off when he goes to bed. (His bedtime here is 10:00.) The video games do not interfere with his grades (he mostly gets C’s) and he plays during recess at school so he gets plenty of exercise. How do I tell my ex that our 9 year old is fine and that she should quit trying to make rules in my house?

-Todd (Sacramento, CA)

Dear Todd,

Your nine year old son sits in front of the television until ten o’clock at night playing video games and you think him getting “mostly C’s” is okay? First off, why is a nine year old up at ten o’clock at night?

I don’t have children, but my best guess is that most kids get home from school around three o’clock or so. He no doubt jams through his homework, which obviously no one is checking or his grades would be better than “mostly C’s” and then for the next six hours… SIX HOURS… he zones out in front of the television. You say he gets enough exercise at recess. Are you joking? Do you really think this is okay? Do you think you are providing the best you can for your child? It sounds to me like you are using video games as your babysitter.

The reason your ex-wife is trying to make rules in your house is because clearly there are none. Begin a parent is about what is best for your child. It’s not about trying to be the cool one so you son likes your house better than your ex-wife’s. You, my friend, seriously need to grow up and start being the dad and not the buddy.

Your son is not the only one who needs to focus on his education, it sounds like you could use some help too by enrolling in parenting classes. I have no doubt that you love your son, but I also think you are getting some satisfaction in knowing that your son likes your house better than Mommy’s and in gaining that satisfaction you are willing to put your needs above your sons. Not his wants, his needs. He needs help with his school work. He needs exercise and healthy meals. (You didn’t say what he eats but something tells me pizza and McDonalds is a staple at your house.) Most of all he needs interaction, attention and guidance from his father. It’s time to stop playing games.

Dear Ms. Behaved,

My girlfriend thinks I’m over weight. We’ve been together for about two years. She’s constantly “suggesting” that I join a gym or quit eating so many midnight snacks. She’s never rude about it but her hints are driving me nuts. I’m 5’6″ and weigh approximately 220. I admit that I’m a little chubby and perhaps I could stand to lose a few pounds but I feel fine. Our sex life has been a little stagnant lately and I’m not sure if she’s just not attracted to me anymore. Should I tell her to just let it go because “this is me,” or should I find someone else who will love me for me, chubby and all. Your input is appreciated.

-Ginger (Louisiana)

Dear Ginger,

I don’t think either option of telling her “this is just me” or finding someone else who will love you for you is the right one. Here’s the deal and I’ll just tell it to you straight, I think your girlfriend loves you and is simply concerned for your health. 5’6” and 220 pounds is not a little chubby, it’s unhealthy.

You said yourself that her hints are never rude, so I can only assume they are coming from love. Why not take one of her suggestions and see what happens? I have written in the past that trying to get someone else to change is usually pretty pointless as we are only capable of changing ourselves but well meaning loved ones always want to try. If you can make some small changes, you may be happy with the results.

You mentioned that you’ve been together for two years. Were you this size when you met? If so she was attracted to you as you were, so maybe something else is going on in the bedroom. If you have put on a significant amount of weight in the last two years, then perhaps something else is going on with you? Could this be the real problem and the weight gain is the result?

The two of you should speak openly about your relationship and find out what’s underneath your weight gain and her lack of interest in the bedroom. Get to the bottom of the emotional stuff and then work on the physical. Maybe joining a gym together, taking walks, or going on a bike ride could give you time to bond and get closer while improving your health. When midnight rolls around you can replace your trip to the fridge with a trip down south!

(Featured image source)

Jonna is here to help you over the mid-week hump every Wednesday.  Send your questions about  love, relationships, life, and grabbing life by the balls to jonna@msbehaved.com.  Read more of her posts here.

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Comments

  1. Love you, Jonna but I’m 5′ 6″ and 250#, work out 5 days a week and eat loads of vegetables. I’m all for promoting a healthy lifestyle for all bodies, but making assumptions about this person’s health and lifestyle based solely on their weight is kinda uncool. “Being concerned about a fat person’s health” based solely on appearances is condescending and icky, since you’d probably never do that to a thin person who may have a totally unhealthy lifestyle (but it doesn’t show on their body). I’m all for this person pursuing healthy choices but the reality is they may or may not lead to major weightloss depending on WHY they are fat. It’s a question of whether their partner is legitimately concerned for their health or simply not attracted to a fat person- if it’s the latter, it might be time to move on.

  2. I’m picking up what you’re putting down, B. This 5’0” 97lb lady agrees. Weight is the most visible, but the most accurate, health indicator.

    Once upon a time, I was about 30lbs heavier. I didn’t get there by eating kale and hitting the gym, it took a lot of couch time and queso. Calorie reduction + exercise = weight loss worked in this instance. It’s the example that is always cited, and the assumption is that if you’re fat, it’s your comeuppance for being lazy and glutenous. Do something with yourself, you slob! Here, buy this diet book / meal plan/ exercise equipment / lie.

    • I totally get that shitty lifestyle can lead to weight gain, but obviously it’s not the only reason people are fat (nor is saint like behavior the only reason people are thin). It’s important to examine WHY people have shitty lifestyles too- there’s huge factors related to economics and class, bullshitty food in our country, etc. The reason people are fatter now is because we don’t have a society that supports being active and eating well unless you have the time/money/resources to pursue a healthy lifestyle. And I guess I’m just sick of having to justify my weight/health/body to nosy fucks who don’t know me from Adam. I just spent two hours re-writing a post about health at every size for the fifth time, so clearly it’s a mild obsession for me as a fat person in the field of public health.

      But seriously- can you imagine if someone was like “You shouldn’t eat that donut, because as an African American/Latino/Inuit/Whatever you have a much greater risk of diabetes!” And if a person has the kind of metabolism where they can put away donuts while remaining thin, it’s never like “STAGE A HEALTH INTERVENTION WITH THIS GLUTTON!” but “SIGH I WISH I COULD DO THAAAAT!” Just saying.

      • Dude, are we allowed to say Eskimo?

      • shannonhumphreys says:

        Not trying to detract from the conversation, but I’m on Sarah’s train right now. Do I need to start giving my son “Inuit kisses”? I need to know because this comes up fairly often in my day to day, and I don’t want to be teaching him the nose rubbing equivalent of like, “Indian burns” or something!

      • Looks like the jury’s still out on Eskimo: http://www.uaf.edu/anlc/resources/inuit-eskimo/

      • Originally I wrote Eskimo changed it to Inuit after Sarah’s comment because I forgot that Eskimo is controversial (I generally try to be respectful about that sort of thing.) Another messy one is Indian for Native American, since it’s generally frowned upon, but several of my NA friends have reclaimed it (or the more political NDN) but eh…I’m white, I just do the best I can.

  3. I am five four and a half and I weigh 120. I have magical powers that enable me to loose weight and keep it off. Sorry guys. If you’re fat, ha ha. I’m pretty and you’re not and you’ll never get to wear cute dresses and giggle at champagne parties. So go cry about it all night long with your Kevin Costner movies. You’re doomed forever fat people. There’s nothing you can do about it! Ha Ha Ha!

  4. Here’s the bottom line: everyone’s body belongs to only them and they are the only people who have a say in what happens to it. It’s one thing to care about your partner’s health, it’s another to decide for them how they should live their life. Healthy behaviors are great, and yes, they’re great for you, but it’s entirely Ginger’s decision how to care for Ginger’s body. Girlfriend is stepping over the line in a fairly patronizing and obnoxious way, even if she’s not being officially rude about it, and Ginger should have a conversation with her that establishes some boundaries around the issue. If she can’t handle it, girlfriend should take a hike.

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