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Training Wheels

I am a woman who was married for 15 years. Unfortunately, my husband left me for another woman, my best friend. Recently I have found myself drawn to a friend who has entered my heart.

He is a very God-loving individual, a friend always there in my adversities. In him, I find almost all the qualities of an ideal man, yet I sense despair in myself that is hard to explain. Why? Because this man is a priest! How do you explain my attraction to him, and how do I know what I feel is something else?


Geneva, each generation of adolescent girls goes crazy over male pop idols. These young men usually have a vulnerable, non-threatening quality, and the girls coo over them as they might coo over a puppy.

It is not surprising that you are drawn to this priest. He is caring, empathetic, and everything your husband was not. He will never let you down. It is his vocation. In a sense, he is like the "starter males" teenage girls pine for. He is a man who is totally safe.

But being excessively close to him is not likely to be good for either of you. When you are ready for a man for yourself, remember the qualities you didn't find in your husband, and look for the qualities you admire in your priest.

Wayne & Tamara

At Play

My son is having problems with a boy who lives next door. This young man is a year younger than my son, but about a head shorter. Because my son is much taller than other children his age, we taught him never to use his size to threaten or bully other children.

I was physically abused as a child, and thus believe that violence has no place in our home. I guess you would call us pacifists. We raised our son this way, believing violence settles nothing and breeds more violence.

This neighbor boy is quick to anger. There have been times when he hit, pushed, or tackled my son with little or no provocation. We tried to handle this in a friendly manner and encouraged our son to talk to this child's parents. They turn a blind eye and a deaf ear to what is happening.

Their response is for my son not to play with theirs if they cannot get along. Today, the boys were drawing with chalk on our driveway when this child wiped his chalky hands all over my son's shirt. My son in turn made a small chalk spot on the boy's shirt. This boy got quite angry and shoved my son down, scraping his leg and giving him a sore ankle.

This angered my son. He has turned the other cheek too many times, but I am at a loss to know how to handle this situation.


Madelyn, it's time to think through the implications of your decision. What is happening is not cause to contact juvenile authorities, your neighbors are unresponsive, and you have disarmed your son. What are the options?

As an adult, you can intervene to maintain order. Or you can let your son defend himself. With his good nature, there is no reason to feel he would take advantage of the situation.

If you watch puppies playing hard, you will see them shove, push, and gnash their teeth at one another, but no one gets seriously hurt. The rough and tumble of young boys is like this. This is normal, not the circumstance that produces a physical abuser.

Knowing your son cannot hit back encourages the smaller boy to throw his weight around, and puts your son in the same position you were in as a child. You cannot disarm your child and then fail to protect him.

Wayne & Tamara

Wayne & Tamara are also the authors of Cheating in a Nutshell, What Infidelity Does to the Victim, available from Amazon, Apple, and most booksellers.


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