Dr. Reality Steve

“Dr. Reality Steve” & Live Video Chat Tonight at 9:00pm EST/6:00pm PST

Pretty amazing to think we’re less than 2 weeks away from the “Bachelorette” finale. Seems like just yesterday we were getting a drunk McDill firing roses at pictures on the wall and stumbling around the pool in his speedo. Who am I kidding? That seems like it was 3 years ago. Funny to even think that was this season. And then right when we end, “Bachelor in Paradise 2” starts up the following Sunday, Aug. 2nd. In case you haven’t seen your episode-by-episode spoilers, you can go check them out. One minor thing updated today in that there was a 4th date in episode 1 according to the BIP 2 Press Release
that ABC sent out yesterday. So we get a 2 night, 4 hour premiere. The first night will see Ashley I. and Jared’s date, followed by Jade and Tanner’s. Then that episode, Ashley S. will get taken to the hospital from heat exhaustion and Dan will go with her. On Monday’s episode will be Clare and Mikey’s awkward date doing yoga, then Ashley S. and Dan go on a date. Like I mentioned, the dates may be out of order. I just write what I’m told about what dates are on what episode. Should be an interesting season of BIP 2, however two nights a week is overkill. Especially when the dates on that show are so boring and they barely give any time to them. Oh well.

See you all later on tonight for the weekly live video chat at 9:00pm EST/6:00pm PST. The regular schedule of recaps (Tuesday’s), “Reader Emails” (Wednesday’s), and “Dr. Reality Steve” & video chats (Thursday’s) will continue through the end of BIP 2. Once BIP 2 is over, probably take a week off and start back up with “Daily Links” through the end of the year, all while spoiling the “Bachelor” in real time. So that’ll be your schedule for the rest of the calendar year. Here’s today’s “Dr. Reality Steve.” Enjoy…
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Hello Dr. Reality!

Hope you get this message in time for Thursday. It is about a ugly situation. Glad you are feeling advicecy.

It is about my sister. We both are older in our 40’s . She started a family with older guy and had two children. This is the only children for them which made it like a miracle for both. BUUUUUT he started becoming weird with the daughter when she turned 2.5 years old before brother was born. Wanting to bathe with her and walking around the house nude. When boy was born he did not seem to be as interested. My sister decided to leave him but he made her return when judge from small town believed she had kidnapped them. She came back and that is when CPS got involved and found from daughter that worse things were going on. My sister did not know because father was able to make it seem normal to the young daughter.

The family court found him guilty of the sexual abuse which in family court it is just a misdemeanor in NY and gave full custody to the mother. We are from Puerto Rico but judge said my sister cannot take the children there without father’s consent. UGH! So she is stuck in this his small town where children have access to his family and friends but not ours even though all my sister tried to do was to protect her daughter from her creepy father.

So what about this situation where father of the 2 children sexually abused infant daughter who is now 6 years old (her brother is 3yo) but father has contact with them through supervised visitations. Supervisors are his friends who don’t believe the family court findings and don’t really supervise. The father is allowed to take daughter to the house where the abuse happened and to the beach with his “supervisors”. This is a case of a small town family court judge who does not believe 60yo father is a sexual predator and was just innocently inserting fingers in daughter and taking baths with her but not with son. Father corroborated the findings himself.

What are your recommendations for my sister the mother? Father likes to literally pick up and carry daughter every time he comes for the visits in front of mother during pick ups and drop offs. Daughter is a big six year old. There seems to be “grooming behaviors” but the judge does not seem worried or understanding of sexual abuse. We have tried every organization in this small town in upper state NY but father is established and connected so most organizations disappear after a while. Only a rape prevention organization still backs us up but judge listens to them but still allows father ample contact with daughter. Daughter has now boundary issues in her first grade classroom, due to father’s constant blurring of her boundaries.

Whatever advise you have or anyone else would be great because I am here with my sister in this small town and trying to see out of the vicious circle this whole situation has become!

Ugly Gross Humans!!! UGH!

Comment: Whoa. I don’t know anything about the court systems in NY or what you should/can do from here, but that’s awful. Dude should be locked up and put away if he’s been doing that for years. You said he was charged with a misdemeanor of sexual abuse, but yet he still gets supervised visits with the child and you think the behavior is still continuing? I’m baffled. CPS? The cops? Anything to get her away from him. He’s a monster. I hope you can somehow figure this out.
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Hi Reality Steve,

Here’s another one for you from the younger crowd – your welcome. 😉
I am 22, and have been married for 3 years (yes – you read that right, I got married at 19). My husband is only a year older than me. We were both raised in conservative Christian homes and taught not to date, no sex, etc, until marriage – you get the picture. I met and started dating my husband at 17, engaged at 18, married at 19.

Not long after getting married (by that, I mean a few weeks), I began expressing to him that I wish we hadn’t gotten married, said fuck you to his family and just moved in with each other instead of being pressured to get married because we *gasp* had sex outside of marriage (God forbid).

My husband is an incredible guy, he is a good friend to me, he is so kind and dedicated, loving and loyal but also needy and desperate. But I feel stuck. Trapped, helpless. The longer I stay, the more depressed I get. I am not sexually attracted to him anymore, I feel like I have grown out of our relationship and am realizing the gravity of my situation. I feel like I can’t go anywhere or do anything since we’re married. Help! At the same time, I feel comfortable in the relationship and I know I could be reasonably happy if I stayed for the rest of my life, but I feel like I will always regret the what-if’s, the experiences of being young and finding yourself if I stay. I feel like I’m taking the easy way out by staying, but also the hard way out for me because that way only I get hurt – I don’t have to break his heart if I stay.

I feel like I have everything I ever dreamed of: the house, the car, the great husband, I have my fairytale and I am panicking. This goes beyond the honeymoon period wearing off, the “choose to love, choose to commit”. I can’t leave because I feel so dependent on him, but I’m only 22 and if I’m already feeling this way, will I get over it or be subjected to a long miserable marriage like my parents? I just don’t know how I could ever leave after starting a family with this man, and the fact that we’re still friends. Help Reality Steve! I really don’t know what to do or where to go from here.

-Young and (not yet) divorced?! Sh*t….

(PS my husband and I have a very candid relationship, he knows how I feel but tells me I can just choose to love him everyday and that’s just marriage, and he will do anything to keep me – including changing his whole personality probably because HE is confident that I am THE ONE for HIM)

Comment: The good thing is you acknowledge you got married too early and without much thought. Being pressured into getting married by his family because you had sex is wrong on a lot of levels, but it’s happened and you have to deal with it. So where do you go from here?

The good thing is you’re one of the few who’s emailed me who has already spoken to their significant other about the problem. He knows this is how you feel. It’s a start. Do you think you’re not sexually attracted to him anymore because it’s something about him physically (doesn’t work out any more, lazy, etc) or do you think it has more to do with being young and realizing “Oh sh**, I can only have sex with one man the rest of my life?” Sounds like more of the latter that you’ve hit a FOMO part of your life and you don’t know what to do.

Yes, you got married early under “pressure” from outside forces, but does it mean you should give up this quickly? That’s all up to you. I’m sure it’s not ideal right now and you’re second guessing your decision, but I’d give it more time.

Hearing him say he’d change his whole personality to keep you sounds weird. Why? For what? He is who he is. Even if he does change, it won’t last forever. So you aren’t miserable, but you aren’t happy either. You’re just kinda blah right now. I think you might just be going through a phase. Is there anything in particular that brought this all up? Did something happen?

Whatever you do, I wouldn’t start having kids with him until this part is resolved. Because yes, once you have kids, whatever you’re feeling now will be multiplied by 100 if kids are involved and you might stick around in a marriage you don’t want to be in just BECAUSE of the kids, and that’s no fun. You basically have laid it all out there already – you have the life you wanted and what you dreamed of. Is it that bad that you need to leave? Hey, if it is, then do it. But this sounds more like just a phase to me. Unless there’s major stuff you’re not telling me. Stick it out for a little longer and see if you’re still feeling this 6 months/1 year from now. But definitely don’t decide to have kids if you’re still in this mindset. That’ll compound your problems.
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Dear Dr RS,

I’ve been married since I was 25 so I never went through the dating app or dating multiple people stage. However, my best friend is 32 and is actively dating, hoping to find her husband. The majority of her dates come from one of the many dating apps. The last guy she dated ended up only lasting about 4 months or so. Around 2 months they weren’t exclusive but she realized she was starting to like him a lot so she stopped talking/seeing anyone else. When the “relationship” ended she felt like she might have missed out by dropping the others and was upset to be starting over again. Now she’s back to where she was, been dating a guy around 3 months, they haven’t had an exclusivity talk or anything but they see each other a few times a week and are constantly texting when they don’t see each other, talk about when they’re seeing each other next, etc. There’s another guy she’s dating that she likes but not as much as the first and it’s not moving as quickly (she’s slept with the first, not the second).

I think it’s also not moving as quickly because she likes the 1st guy more. She’s hesitant to stop seeing him though and has been asking me my opinion. Part of me says to keep seeing both until if/when she becomes exclusive this way she won’t be as hurt if the first never reaches exclusivity. The other part of me says that if she continues with the 2nd she’ll probably sleep with him soon and the 1st guy might consider it cheating. Even though it’s obviously not cheating, they’re together a lot he might just think it’s assumed they’re not seeing anyone else. If she did sleep with the 2nd would he have a right to be upset? Would he even need to know? The mature thing would be to have a conversation with him about their status but she thinks it’s a little soon to have that conversation and doesn’t want to scare him away since they seem to be doing so well.

My husbands pretty useless for advice, he was 24 when we met, 27 when we were married, plus he just makes jokes about it so I figured I would ask for your opinion.

Thanks for your help!

Comment: Interesting. That’s kinda the whole part of dating. You see who you connect with and then decide if you want to be exclusive. Does it mean in the beginning of dating them you cut yourselves off to everyone else? Depends on the person, but I would think a majority of people would answer “no.” Personally I usually do, but I think I’m in the minority. In her case if she’s seeing both men and it’s still early, no, she doesn’t need to tell him she’s seeing someone else. If he asks, it’s up to her whether she wants to lie or not. But she’s at 3 months with the first guy so I would think she/they should know whether or not they want to continue doing what they’re doing or be exclusive, no? Especially since you said she’s seeing him a few times a week. Does she even want to be exclusive with him? If she does, then it shouldn’t matter about cutting the second guy loose.

If she becomes exclusive with guy #1 and it doesn’t work out, she can’t beat herself up for letting the #2 guy go or cutting off other potential guys. It’s just what happens. My advice is to sh** or get off the pot with guy #1. They’re seeing each other a few times a week, they’re having sex, and it’s been 3 months. If he’s “scared” off by that, then he doesn’t want to be with your friend exclusively. They’ve seen each other enough in those three months to where I’d say now is a good time to bring it up. I’d say she should know whether or not she wants to be exclusive with him.
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Dr. Steve,

Hi! Hope all is well. I’m hoping you can tell me what to do. A week ago today I found out my mom has having an affair (she is still married to my dad). She tried to deny it, but my sisters and I have proof that she is. I won’t say the proof because it’s pretty disgusting. Anyway, this past Saturday my sisters told my dad (I was at work that night so I wasn’t there when they told him). Anyway, my dad already had an idea like my sisters and I did for years, but we never had any proof up until a week ago. Things could be better if my mom actually would be honest and not lie. She can’t even keep her lies straight.

Here is my question for you. At the end of September my mom and I are supposed to go to TN together. I want to go because it’s a free trip and the only thing I have to pay for is my food and the activities I do, she had paid for the hotel. Anyway, I’m afraid my dad may get upset with me if I go with her. He would never tell me not to go or would lead on he’s upset. I understand that my parents marriage was never good. My whole life I always thought my parents had an odd marriage. They never hugged each other or kissed each other. Never told each other they loved each other. I do think my dad is upset with this affair, but hasn’t mentioned to my mom because even if he does, she will deny it.

Should I go on the trip or should I just stay home?

Comment: I think the whole affair should be discussed with everybody before that trip.

So you and your sisters know, your dad knows, but your mom doesn’t know that all of you know. She needs to. And if she denies it like you said she will, then present this evidence you have.

In terms of the trip to TN, are you mad enough at your mom that you don’t even want to go? Or is it more about you’ll feel like you’re taking mom’s side over dad’s and you’re feeling guilty? What’s the trip for? Is it just a weekend thing? Or is this something major that’s been planned for a long time and it some week long thing? A lot of things to sort out before you get to the trip in the first place. I’d tell your dad he should probably bring this up. However if he refuses to, then he can’t possibly be mad at you for going with your mom. It’s on him now knowing his wife is cheating on him to call her out on it. If he doesn’t and continues to sit around in what you call an “odd marriage,” then everything will just continue as it’s always been. I’d say something if I were him, but it’s looking like he won’t if that’s the way their marriage has been the whole time.
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7 Comments

7 Comments

  1. rob22

    July 16, 2015 at 9:53 AM

    For the woman with the 32 year old friend. I had to re-check that, because after reading it, I though you must have said 22. Your friend has a very immature approach to dating. Seems like she wants to have her cake and eat it too. She wants the long term relationship, but is afraid of getting exclusive and missing out on anything. You can’t have it both ways. Long term relationships do involve risk. If you are unwilling to take a risk, then long term relationships are going to be tough to have.

    All the particulars aside, a good approach to dating is to just date non-exclusive until you want to be exclusive. After 3 months, or so, if you aren’t really wanting to be exclusive, then don’t be. But it is a bit of a red flag, if you don’t want to be exclusive at 3 months, that this is never going to be much of a long term relationship anyway.

    It sounds as if she might be in her own head because of the prior experience where she feels like she “lost time” by be exclusive & had to start over again. Look, that’s the chance you have to take in order to have a long term relationship & eventually marry. If you want that kind of relationship, you’re going to have to get exclusive first. So, if that’s what you want, and this is a guy you want to be exclusive with, then have the talk.

    Keep in mind that if your friend really wants a relationship that ends up in marriage, she’s going to have to treat dating seriously. If this guy is not the guy after 3 months, and that’s the issue, then cut him loose. No farting around with people that aren’t possible long term partners. But I do think that around three months is the time to make that call on a guy. Either you’re going exclusive or you’re cutting him loose. Don’t be super strict on three months, but it’s pretty close to the right time to make that call.

  2. kmannone723

    July 16, 2015 at 9:54 AM

    To friend of dating 2 guys girl: A good rule of thumb and I usually follow it myself is if you are seeing someone frequently for about 3 months and haven’t had the “exclusivity” talk they don’t get in your pants. If a guy is willing to stick around for 3 months to get into your pants is almost always willing to be exclusive. Pretty much I look at 3,6, 9, and 12 as important relationship milestones where I look for certain things like at the 6 month mark I look for potential roadblocks to a potential marriage(also the timing when if I can see a future with the guy I would accept a proposal or a move in invite)

  3. rob22

    July 16, 2015 at 9:56 AM

    To the woman with the child molester ex-husband. I have familiarity with how this all works. This is purely a legal issue, and unfortunately the judge has the final say. But, a good lawyer can help & that’s what you really need the most. Someone to advocate for you.

  4. jay2

    July 16, 2015 at 11:32 AM

    Woman from PR with child molester relative: Get a good lawyer again and start building a new case ASAP. You gotta keep documenting everything that’s happening. Write down things like: when he took the kid away (date and hour), for how long, what he did, things that the kid said when she returned home, so you have enough proof in court of what/when. Be very factual, stick to the facts. Keep those records as accurately as possible because you will need it. You gotta be very diligent about it. I would reach out to the PR embassy in NY or any PR chamber of commerce and ask for help finding a good attorney. Negotiate and work on a payment plan with them because it’s not gonna be cheap.
    Talk to the attorney about moving to another town or state and start a new case, you don’t have to move all the way to PR but maybe getting your case seen by another judge. Escalate it to a different judge. Look for other organizations focused on molested children besides the one you are working with and ask for a second opinion on what your choices are. You are not out of choices yet but you gotta work hard finding them. The most important thing is not to give up.

  5. rob22

    July 16, 2015 at 2:58 PM

    I totally agree with what @jay2 said. You need to stay on this & find new/better resources to continue the fight.

    I thought about this some more. You definitely noted that this was some backwater town with a backwater judge. Because I cannot imagine a judge anywhere in any of the cities I’ve lived in allow this to happen. Judges get really cranky with child molesters. First of all, they’re usually in jail and out of the picture. But, if they get out, then they’d need a lot of positive reports from a lot of different professionals in order to get even monitored visits. Monitored visits almost always means monitored by Child Protective Services or a third party contracted by CPS. Monitored visits by “friends” aren’t really monitored visits.

    That’s where this whole thing goes sideways. Judges would always drop the hammer on any violations on monitored visits by a convicted child molester & would never allow the monitor to be anyone personally known by the parent. The other weird thing you mentioned is about getting convicted in “family court”. Child molestation/abuse is a felony, as you described the violation, that’s heard in Superior Court. I’m not sure what the deal is with that. Family court determines custody, visitations, etc. Not sure how Family Court would be involved in a child molestation case. They’d certainly use the results of that trial to determine actions relative to custody, etc. Very weird, but I know every state is different.

    Still, it feels like there has to be some recourse for you to take it to another level. It also feels like your legal representation must be very sub-par for this to get to this point. Is this some local/yokel lawyer that doesn’t want to offend the judge? If this is judicial misconduct by the judge, especially if he’s giving favoritism for some reason, that avenue should be explored. In our area there have been some small town judges that have misbehaved for some time. But when the facts got out & the media ran with them, the judges were out the door. Judges are not immune from accountability.

  6. jay2

    July 17, 2015 at 9:35 AM

    Thank you Rob22, you are always the best!

    22 year old woman married young:
    You can still find yourself while being married. Being married doesn’t kill your chances of living great adventures (together or alone) and finding yourself. I have learned that your marriage or a relationship is not a solution to finding yourself and knowing yourself better.
    The grass isn’t greener outside of your marriage, believe me. Every man will have virtues and vices, the same way that all women have them. There is no perfect man. With every boyfriend you’ll have to put up with something you don’t like.
    It seems to me that you are having the doubts of “what if” which are normal. Particularly if you have been married for 3 years is normal that the crazy passion with which you started the marriage, fades a bit because sexual tension/excitement is inversely correlated to intimacy. You guys know each other very well, you have a lot of intimacy by now so there is less excitement. Completely normal. But in my opinion intimacy is always better.
    Here’s what I would do:
    1) evaluate what’s important to you in a guy (e.g. kindness, dependability, chemistry) and rank them in order of importance. Write 5 at most. Don’t make a long list with 20.
    2) evaluate what’s a deal breaker to you in a guy. e.g. alcoholic, verbally abusive, etc. By dealbreakers I mean things that you would never put up with, no matter how much in love you are.
    If your husband has some of the characteristics on 1) and zero on 2) then you are with the right guy. It is that simple.
    No guy will be perfect. You will always have to compromise on something.
    You said that your husband is kind and dedicated, loving and loyal (that’s a lot of good stuff. When you are in your 30’s is very hard to find kind, dedicated, loving and loyal guys because all of them are married!) but also needy and desperate (is that a dealbreaker for you?). what does your gut tell you when all other voices are silent?
    At the end of the day, you have only one life to live so good luck! any decision you make, staying or leaving, will be the right one for you. Don’t look back once you make a decision.

  7. exmrsbundy

    July 17, 2015 at 10:49 PM

    Woman from PR. Whew, there is so much I could write on this subject I will struggle to condense so bear with me. First, I’m not suggesting you are doing this but in divorce and custody battles, false accusations of abuse of a child against a spouse are shockingly high. I’m not gonna lie–your easy use of the lexicon (e.g, the father’s “corroboration” and the father’s “grooming”) could be cause for alarm for the judge in your case. Unfortunately, because the little girl is only six, criminal courts hesitate to use them as witnesses, even in their own cases. Still, since CPS found substantiation I’m concerned the father wasn’t punished more heavily. Even in worst case scenarios like these, misdemeanors in NY are punishable by a 3 to 12 month prison sentence. As for where to turn, prolonged court battles are almost as harmful as abuse (sounds wrong but it’s the truth) so you want to pick your battles. You never said how she came to CPS’ attention and/or what followed. If someone had or were to have in the future suggestions for a physical exam for this little girl for purposes of proof, that IS as bad as molestation in the first place. The good news is that there is tons of info, just google child advocates for example. For specifics about why the courts might be acting the way they are, go look at http://www.ipt-forensics.com/library/saadcd.htm. Good luck. I hope everything works out and that I haven’t made things worse with all this stuff.

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