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Ex-etiquette: Keep or leave husband who lied bigtime about his finances?

Parents / Family Living /

Q. After being married for a year I found out my husband was further in debt than he confided prior to our marriage. I now understand why he never wanted to buy a house -- he's hundreds of thousands in debt. If he had been honest I would have married him anyway, just would have waited until his finances were more in order. I couldn't take it, ...Read more

Ask Mr. Dad: Some lessons for son's transition to middle school

Parents / Family Living /

Dear Mr. Dad: My son is starting middle school next week. His previous school was K-5 so this is a new one for him. He's nervous and, honestly, so am I. He's a smart kid but has always had trouble finishing assignments and turning work in on time. I'm worried that if he does the same in middle school, he'll be setting himself up for even more ...Read more

Ex-etiquette: She let boyfriend move in without telling kids' dad

Parents / Family Living /

Q: I have been going through a divorce for four years. There's a lot of financial stuff and my ex is dragging his feet, so I've moved on to another relationship. My ex is demanding that my children not be around my boyfriend. I want to cooperate, but he moved in with me six months ago. I didn't tell my ex because he is so jealous and has a ...Read more

Ex-etiquette: Should couple keep running business together after they split?

Parents / Family Living /

Q. My partner and I have decided to split up after 11 years of being together. We have no children, but we do have a business we built from the ground up. Neither of us wants to give up the business, and we are considering continuing to work together once one of us moves out of the house. Do you think this is a good idea? What's good ex-...Read more

Ask Mr. Dad: Stay calm, and answer 5-year-old's questions about sex

Parents / Family Living /

Dear Mr. Dad. I have a five-year old daughter who is obsessed with sex. Every day she's got a new question that I don't know how to answer, like, "How do babies get in there?" and "What's sex?" She's fascinated by other kids' private parts and spends a lot of time touching her own. How can I answer her questions, and how can I keep her from ...Read more

Ask Mr. Dad: As marriage approaches, fiance's son is rebelling

Parents / Family Living /

Dear Mr. Dad: I'm engaged to an amazing man with a 9-year old son who's with him every other weekend. When I first started going out with his father, the boy and I got along great. But the closer we get to the marriage, the worse things get between us. I've tried to talk with him about it, but he just screams at me that, "You're not my mother!" ...Read more

Ex-etiquette: ABCs for helping son adjust to new school, family upheaval

Parents / Family Living /

Q. School is starting in a few weeks, and my son will be attending a different school. His mother and I just broke up. We have to sell the house and move. Do you have any tips to make changing schools easier on my son and on his mother and me?

A: Because the first rule of good ex-etiquette is put the children first, let's start with your son. ...Read more

Ex-etiquette: Interacting with an ex who makes you come unglued

Parents / Family Living /

Q.: I understand the importance of both parents interacting in the best interest of their child, but anticipating a conversation with my son's father makes my stomach queasy. So much so that I recently suggested he pick our son up at my mother's house. Is that good ex-etiquette?

A.: That's not a bad idea if your relationship is so volatile ...Read more

Ask Mr. Dad: Approach of due date has him expecting anxiety

Parents / Family Living /

Dear Mr. Dad: I'm 34 and my wife is just a few weeks away from giving birth to our first baby. I'm excited about becoming a dad, but my anxiety levels over the past week have been through the roof, and sometimes I feel like I'm having a heart attack. On top of my shortness of breath and dizziness, I'm also breaking out in hives. I've seen my ...Read more

Ex-etiquette: Restraining order, distance are roadblocks to child visits

Parents / Family Living /

Q. My ex and I have two children under three. She now lives an hour and half away from me. It was a difficult break-up, and there's a restraining order against me that lists the kids. I have high blood pressure, and I also had a stroke right around the time she left. Rehabilitation was difficult, but I'm back driving now and working as a ...Read more

Ask Mr. Dad: Block that tablet for a 1 year old; here's what builds smarts

Parents / Family Living /

Dear Mr. Dad: My husband and I are new parents, and our baby is going to have his first birthday in a few weeks. We both work in tech and we're really excited about getting a tablet for him. There seem to be so many options out there and we're a little overwhelmed. Should we get an iPad or is there a better choice for toddlers?

A: Yes, the ...Read more

Ex-etiquette: Dad badmouthing Mom adds to problem

Parents / Family Living /

Q. My child's mother and I were never married. We weren't even together by the time our son was born. He is now eighteen months old, and we share custody. Let me be blunt. She's a terrible mother. She smokes pot all the time -- always has. She has never been able to hold down a job. I'm afraid my son will get hurt because she doesn't pay ...Read more

Ask Mr. Dad: Preparing Rover to be a good dog with baby

Parents / Family Living /

Dear Mr. Dad: I'm pregnant with our first child and I'm due in about four moinths. One of the things I'm worried about is our dog, a 150-pound male mastiff, who is truly a part of our family and not just a pet. Some friends of ours say that it's dangerous to have a giant dog around a newborn and that we should start looking for a new home for ...Read more

Ask Mr. Dad: Give up the guilt over baby son's fall

Parents / Family Living /

Dear Mr. Dad: I've got a six-month-old son who doesn't sleep very well. As part of my calming-him-down-in-the-middle-of-the-night routine, I walk around the house rocking him. A few nights ago, I lay down on the couch with him on my chest. He fell asleep and I didn't want to wake him by standing up so I fell asleep, too. Maybe an hour later I ...Read more

Ex-etiquette: Mom wants to keep ex's name when she remarries

Parents / Family Living /

Q. When I divorced 10 years ago, I kept my married name because we had two children and I wanted to have the same last name as my kids as they grew up. I'm going to remarry next month, and I'd like to continue to use my ex-husband's name, even though my children are now 15 and 17. My fiance has kids of his own and completely understands my ...Read more

Ask Mr. Dad: Enjoy the water and safety this summer

Parents / Family Living /

Dear Mr. Dad: My 4-year old twins are crazy about swimming or floating or doing pretty much anything in and around water. On one hand, I'm thrilled. I swam in high-school and college, and I'm looking forward to having them follow in my footsteps. On the other, I'm scared. I'm a stay-at-home mom, and there is no way I can keep an eye on them ...Read more

Ex-etiquette: Dad upset to find ex, son in his house after school

Parents / Family Living /

Q. I came home from work early yesterday and found my ex and our 10-year-old son in my house. They were sitting in his room talking, but I think it was wrong that she was there. We have not been together for two years, and our son spends a week with me and a week with her. She does not have a key, it's not even a house we have lived in ...Read more

Ask Mr. Dad: Beyond DadBod: Why men's health is a woman's issue

Parents / Family Living /

Dear Mr. Dad: My husband doesn't exercise, he eats tons of fried foods and sugary drinks, and hasn't been to see a doctor in years. Worse than that, our two sons, ages 8 and 10, are following in their dad's footsteps. I'm really worried. Why won't my husband take better care of himself?

A: I really wish I had an answer to that question, but the...Read more

Ex-etiquette: Mom's view that her own Dad and ex share faults is clouding picture

Parents / Family Living /

Q. My ex is driving me crazy. He reminds me so much of my father -- who also drives me crazy. My dad had substance abuse problems for most of my life and has never quite gotten it together. My ex is just the same. He's far more educated that his job requires, he's always late to everything, his house is a mess, but the kids love to be there! ...Read more

Ex-etiquette: If BBQ makes ex uncomfortable at graduation, cook up a compromise

Parents / Family Living /

Q. My daughter is graduating this weekend, and her father and I are at odds as to how to handle the celebration afterwards. I want everyone to come over to my home for a casual BBQ, and he wants to take everyone out to dinner. My daughter tells me she would prefer the BBQ, but understands her father might be uncomfortable at my home now that I...Read more


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