Mother-in-law shows marked degree of disrespect

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Dear Carla,

A few weeks ago I was reading your column online and I was seething at the number of people who accused you of male bashing when the mom expressed her anger with her child’s father getting married yet does not financially provide for his child. You hit the nail on the head when you said there are many men here in Bermuda who do not take care of their responsibilities to their children. People in this community need to wake up…this Island is FULL of deadbeats. And they drive nice cars, go to work every day, party in the clubs, shower their wives or girlfriends with gifts yet do nothing for their children but because they don’t ‘look’ like deadbeats others have a hard time believing that that is exactly what they are! I would like to throw this challenge out to the good males out there who know their friends don’t take care of their kids…tell them they are wrong! They helped create their children…now take care of them! Every day I see where mothers are struggling to put food on the table yet these worthless men contribute nothing without an ounce of guilt. To them I would like to say: STAND UP AND TAKE CARE OF YOUR RESPONSIBILITIES! And for those who think I’m male bashing, you are wrong because I am a male myself. Keep up the good work Carla, and thanks for your honesty. WATCHING

Dear Carla,

I have an issue that has been grating on my nerves for quite some time now. Yes, it's my mother-in-law. She has a habit that gets right under my skin. I am the mother of a five-year old-boy and a three-year-old daughter. I don't have a degree, but my husband is a professional with several. My children are exceptionally intelligent for their age. Whenever people comment on this (at family gatherings, etc.) my mother-in-law is quick to point out that they get their intelligence from their daddy. Carla, it's SO annoying! I don't doubt that they get some of it from him as he is quite smart too. However, I was the one who put in the hard work during their early years, teaching them their numbers, letters, etc. I don't understand why she feels the need to always point this out to people, making me feel inferior in the process. How do I talk to her about this in a diplomatic way? NO ONE’S DUMMY

Dear No One,

While I can see how her comments annoy you, she probably means no harm but instead is just a proud nana. However, there are two ways you can handle this. Tell her how her comments make you feel. Let her know that you think that she is being demeaning and disrespectful because although you do not have a college degree, it by in no way means that you are dumb. There are many successful people on this Island and overseas who have conceptualised many great ventures…without that piece of paper that is deemed by many as a status symbol. If this does not work, you could always take another approach but it may cause ripples. Next time she says it in front of others say something like: “Yes they get the genes from his daddy…and that’s the same place he got his from.” Bet you she stops then!

Dear Carla,

I recently found out that my longtime boyfriend secretly had a child with another woman. The baby is a few months old. I had no clue that she was even pregnant much less for my man as I do not know her personally and she is not in my social circle. I found out about the baby through talk and approached him. He fully admitted that the child was “most likely” his. We have no children. I cried and cried over this. He begged me not to leave him as we have been together for almost a decade. Honestly, it is difficult to walk away because I love this man deeply. I contacted the girl and she says there is no doubt in her mind that the child is his. I have tons of questions but my boyfriend refuses to offer an answers. He says I am too emotional to talk to right now. But answers will offer me clarity and he just doesn’t seem to understand that. Now here’s another thing that is bothering me. He refuses to take a paternity test. I think he should in light of his “most likely” answer. Assuming the baby is his, he should pay for the child. But I just do not understand why he refuses to do the testing. Females these days can be tricky and I would think that he would want a definitive answer. Do you think that I am being too pushy? CRIED OUT

Dear Cried,

Kudos to you for staying because I do not think that I could have. Now are you being pushy? Yes. This is not your child, it’s theirs. Since you chose to stay with him you need to support him in whatever decisions he takes, whether you agree with them or not. If the baby ends up not being his then they will have to deal with the results. It is not your problem. The most you can do is try to support him as best as you can. Now you mentioned that you were very emotional. Have you sought the support you need to get through this situation because it seems as if the baby is not going anywhere anytime soon. Are you going to be able to handle the questions when they come your way…and the silent stares because after all, this is Bermuda, where everyone grins in your face and has so much to say behind your back? I hope you are willing to accept this child into your life. Remember it is innocent and had no say on how it got here.

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Published Apr 15, 2013 at 10:00 am (Updated Apr 15, 2013 at 10:48 am)

Mother-in-law shows marked degree of disrespect

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