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Messages By: dixiebrit


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September 12, 2005, 2:02 pm CDT

Americans, BEWARE!

 As a former expat American who lived in the London, England area for many years, I saw more and more of my fellow expats rudely awakened to the fact that, despite the language similarities and other home touches, when you leave the USA, you are NOT in America anymore and your kids and you are subject to the laws (or lack thereof) of whatever country you are in. 

When you go on a cruise, you are subject to laws of the sea and the laws of the country of registry that the cruiseliner belongs to.   When you enter another country, even one that seems like "home", don't take for granted that they are going to look at your under-18s the same way as they would be viewed at home.  If the drinking age in that country is 16, your kids could be in bars getting slipped rohypnol or other date-rape drugs.  If the sex laws in that country are extremely liberal, your child could be raped (even if it seemed like consent) because it is allowed in that country. 

Americans who travel abroad or even work abroad need to be better informed as to their rights as parents and about other social laws that will affect their families and themselves.  In England, children can go on welfare at age 16, whether they need it or not, just because they don't like the rules at home.  Many expat families found out the hard way that, even though their children were not legally allowed to live/work in the UK without the parent's visa, they could move out, be given public housing and funds, and not subject to any of their parents' rules.  They could even go and get abortions or RU-486 without parental consent and the parent couldn't get access to the child's medical records once they had reached the age of 16.  If you think things are the same as back home because it is comfortable, think again.  There will be a rude awakening, and it is our responsibility to be as informed as possible before we subject ourselves and our families to the laws of a foreign country. 

As for Natalee Holloway, her parents and those of her peers should never have allowed a senior trip to a property of the Netherlands, one of the most liberal countries with easily accessible drugs, alcohol and sex laws aimed at about as irresponsible behavior with these things as there is.  Americans who go to these places uninformed are asking for trouble.
 

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September 12, 2005, 2:25 pm CDT

You've Got to be Carefully Taught

 Ultimately, this attitude is down to the parents.  People don't start out this way.  Yes, of course, we are all fascinated by attractive people, but when we are children, our attitudes toward others are formed by how our parents treat others and what they teach us about treating others right.

When I was five years old, my parents divorced.  By the time I was eight, we had moved back to my mother's hometown to be nearer to family.  My sister and I were ostracized, not because we were unattractive or unintelligent (no good excuse), but because we were from a broken home in a small town.  We even had kids tell us that we were not allowed to play with them (nor they with us) because we didn't have a daddy.  Both my sister and I found this utterly ridiculous and an excuse for others to be snots.  They used their parents' attitudes to invalidate our right to feelings.  Parents start this behavior and they can stop it before it starts.

Years later, when my first marriage failed because of abuse, I moved back with my son to that same town to care for my grandmother.  I was sure that attitudes had changed and that the few friends I had there would not treat me or mine the way I was treated as a child.  I was wrong.  When my divorce became final, all of a sudden my friends, who had been so supportive, didn't want me around anymore.  I determined that when I was no longer needed, I would move to a more enlightened area, which I did. 

By the time my son started school, I had drummed into him that we treat people the way we want to be treated and we never call names or treat others unkindly.  All through his school career this was an emphasis.  I hoped I had made a difference and that others could feel good about my son and that none would have cause to think of him as the "mean kid".  Imagine how I felt when my son decided to fill a Mormon mission at age 19 and we had hundreds of people from all walks of life, many of whom I didn't know, attend his farewell service and reception and wish him well!  I am not taking the credit for my son's ability to make friends, but I do know, because he told me, that he never forgot my admonition to treat others kindly, that unkindness was unacceptable, and that he could make a difference to someone by treating them right. 

Kindness is the cure.  Parents who start their children out with attitudes of unkindness and discrimination are the cause.
 

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worried
January 11, 2006, 11:08 pm CST

Old Flames should stay out of New Life

Old flames are great if you are both single and free, but when others (spouses, children) are involved, perhaps they should fade into the background gracefully.  Sure, we all have a history, myself included.  I had a wonderful boyfriend years ago.  We were very close and came close to being more than just dates occassionally.  However, once he married another woman, I stayed out of his life.  Even though he was miserable (and several mutual friends informed me of this), I stayed out of it.  It was not my place to mess with his marriage.  Now that he is divorced, he has contacted me, but I am no longer free.  I have been friendly, but not taken it back to what it was, simply because I have a greater interest in being honest with my husband.  He is the man I made my vows with and who has the right to expect my fidelity.  I will always give him this.

Another problem I have is that my husband has a "flame" in his past that never really got started.  It never ceases to amaze me to know that my husband is crazy about this woman, now married with two children, who has never really given him the fulfillment that he thinks she has.  She is the most coniving and self-serving person I have ever met, and pretty much kept him on the string, both before and after our marriage, as a her "boyfriend in a jar" for whenever she was bored or wanted someone to do something for her.  She buddied up to my mother-in-law in order to secure a bequest in the will.  She is totally faithful to her husband as far as the actual sex act is concerned, but has few female friends because she always cozies up to their hubbies in order to get loads of attention.  She is the type of woman most women hate -- rubbing her body up and down to get attention and asking every male in the room if she looks too fat having recently given birth, etc., flirting blatantly and then dissing the wives whenever she gets a chance. 

Thankfully, we have now moved hundreds of miles away from this person and she has not nearly the access to my darling hubby she did.  However, I recently (by accident because he left it up on my computer) found out that  he had been corresponding with her by email.  I didn't want to know it. 

He seems to still think she is his ideal, although he loves me and our two children.  He talks about getting together with her when both their spouses die, something I find very upsetting.  Her replies to him have been friendly but not that interested, but she usually throws in something that keeps him looking for this love affair that was never there.  He told me once that they did try to make it something more than friends, but it didn't work out and she really wasn't interested in him.  He, on the other hand, carried a torch for her for years and kept seeing her after she married someone else because SHE instigated it -- her husband works odd hours and she was "bored".    I finally had to tell him that I didn't wish to see her or hear her name mentioned ever again, because of things she had done when I was out  of our home at church or other appointments.   I also felt that she was a major cause of dissension between us. 

I prefer to try and treat him with positive reinforcement.  He doesn't know that I know about this and I choose not to make it a fight and a big issue.  Still, I cannot deny that I am very hurt by the knowledge that he has kept in touch with her this past year since our move.  If she were a decent woman, she would realize that she owes her own husband a great deal more respect and that this correspondence must stop.  However, I cannot hope for decency on her part, so I figure I can only kill her memory with loving kindness.  He never had from her what he thinks he had, but he HAS had a very loving relationship with me and will continue to do so if I can help it. 

I would like some ideas on how to get this woman out of his life without contacting her (wouldn't do any good and she would probably tell him all about it) or letting on to him and perhaps having a big unnecessary fight.  Any pertinent suggestions would be helpful.  Thanks.
 

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January 11, 2006, 11:21 pm CST

Boy, Are Guys Ever Dumb??!!

Quote From: agoodheart

  

 I just recently got married and my husband wanted me to meet all of his friends from his past and to his present. My husband's 1st wife couldn't except any of my husband's friends. I, at first was still wondering on some of them. Some of the women he claims he wants to remain friends with even if he dated or didn't date just had off and on encounters to fulfil that need you know. One gal I accepted all ready because he dated her years ago back in his younger days and she is married to 1 of his classmate now. Then this other gal he didn't date but messed with the "encounter". He claims they're just friends now and she as a boyfriend and he had to deal with how she is with my husband also. He had to accept to. So I'm suppose to meet her sometime here so we'll see how that goes. I don't think I have anything to worry about but I do know 1 thing I won't let their friendship ruin my marriage. She even calls when she needs something to borrow or something like that. Can't she depend on boyfriend, boytfriend family, your family or even her other friends? I guess some cling to the past for help you know. Am I being too much about this or making a mountain over  a mole hill here? I know I need to protect myself, right? 

 Your husband has done what mine did, quite innocently.  Most guys do want you to meet their friends, just as you would want him to meet many of yours.  However, when it comes to the exes and unrequited unfulfilled flames, you really have to watch things.  Go by your own radar, honey.  Women know women, and most guys just don't get it.  

My own DH just doesn't believe that women are conniving, probably because he really never had that much experience with girls before we got married.  He was painfully shy during his teens and, by the time he developed a full-blown crush on someone, it was someone who could not commit to one person because she is an attention fiend and has to have all the male attention she can get, plus she wants big, strong, rich, social-climbing opportunities in her men, so my DH didn't qualify. 

Still, these women aren't clinging to the past for help -- they want to keep as many guys on the string as they can because it gives them a sense of personal power.  They love being able to get any of their friends' hubbies or boyfriends to pay more attention to them than they do their own wives/girlfriends.  They also are unfair to their own partners and expect them to roll over and play dead while they pull this stuff.  Of course, this "helpless female" (my eye!) can depend on herself, her boyfriend, her family, but the key is she wants to get YOUR guy to do something for her to prove her worth.  Tell him that she is OUT now that you are married and she is with someone else.  He made his vows to you -- not her.  He needs to grow a backbone.  YES, protect yourself.  Decide what it is you want out of this relationship and then fight for it!
 

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