Dear Cindy,

I’ve been married for 10 long years and have two kids. I really don’t have any problems with my husband because he is loving and caring especially with me. But things changed when my husband decided to go abroad and I really miss him.

Then one day, I met this guy who is much younger than I am. Things happened so fast that before I knew it, I had fallen for this guy. I knew that this was wrong but I didn’t know how to avoid him. But finally, I had the guts to tell him it was all over because I had to choose my husband and my family.

What I don’t understand is that I felt jealous when I found out that he has a new girlfriend. I can’t erase (what we had) from my mind.

I really don’t want to dwell on this feeling because it’s a waste of time. We have communication up to now because he wants us to remain friends. Is this all right? Please help me. Sometimes I feel depressed about this.

Rizza

Dear Rizza,

You did right when you chose your family over this younger guy, because before God’s eyes, this was the right choice and the only choice.

Let me jolt you back to your reality. You have a loving and caring husband and I am sure your children are a joy as well. I have no doubt you have many other blessings that you should be thankful for. This is where you should be focusing all your energies on. Nurturing your family will not only benefit them. You will also discover that there is greater joy and fulfillment in doing this.

Rizza, by putting your situation in the proper perspective will help you come to terms with how you are feeling and help you finally put this regrettable episode of your life behind you. When you allowed yourself to fall for this guy, you invested time and emotions, making yourself vulnerable. This explains your depression over his having a girlfriend. But face it, this is and should not be, part of your reality. Now cut the strings and let go. Sever all ties from this chapter of your life. What do you hope to gain from holding on?

I strongly urge you to humbly come before the Lord in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. This will give you inner peace as you restore your relationship with the Lord and put you in a state of grace to protect from further temptations. Seek your family’s forgiveness. True repentance is when you are able to humbly acknowledge your mistake before those whom you have wronged.

God bless,

Cindy

Mom wants to manage her negative emotions

Dear Dr. Dana,

I have two toddlers. At their age, they are always into mischief and sometimes hurt themselves. They are also picky eaters.

My husband is an overseas Filipino worker so most of the time I stand as the mother as well as the father to my children. I find it hard to control and discipline them.

I want to learn how to manage my negative emotions because sometimes I shout and spank them.

Virgie

Dear Virgie,

Most children experience difficult periods of tantrums and food fussiness. Try to remember that these times are normal phases of growing up and will one day pass.

During mealtimes, anticipate that your children will make a mess and prepare for it; offer fussy eaters a greater variety of foods. Try to ignore temper tantrum if possible, or distract the child.

Being a parent brings out a range of powerful emotions, not all of them positive. Your feelings of love, happiness and pride may quickly turn into anger, hate and guilt, depending on factors such as tiredness and your degree of support. Some parents believe that physical discipline such as spanking, is for the child’s own good. Other parents, when angry or stressed, may lashed out at their child.

But we must remember that children are dependent on their parents for love and care, and never deserved to be hit or physically abused. They also learn from example. By using physical discipline, you are teaching the child to resolve conflict with violence. Your child can only learn self-control and respect for others if you show them how it’s done.

If you feel rising anger because of your child’s temper tantrum or endless crying, you need to take time out to deal with your feelings. You can either walk around or go outside, see to it that your child is in a safe place. Inhale deeply and exhale slowly and steadily. Count your breaths to focus your attention. Call a friend or relative and ask for help. If your child is old enough to understand, explain why you were angry and had to leave them alone for a while.

It is important to mange these negative emotions effectively, so that you can enjoy parenting and maintain a safe, happy home for your child. It may be helpful to talk to other parents. You’ll soon discover that parenting is difficult for everyone, not just for you.

Very truly yours,

Dr. Dana R. Sesante