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Ask Dr. Tseday: February 3, 2010

CMD from Philippines asks: I got married at 18 and changed my religion to do so. I’m now 39. I’ve never been happy in my marriage. My husband and his family have been mistreating me for many years. I’ve been asking for divorce since our separation four years ago. I depend on him financially, but he only gives me $350 a month. Since it is not enough, I’ve had to work to support myself and our five children. But I still can’t survive. The stress has landed me in a hospital. My family has the financial means to help me, but my mother won’t help unless I change back to my original religion. I don’t want to change my religion and I’m suffering as a result. Can you give me an advice that would change my life and my children’s lives?

Dr. Tseday responds: Raising five children is an awesome responsibility. It is particularly difficult for you because you have not established yourself to become self-sufficient financially and economically. Being in this state will force you to depend on others, and if you choose not to depend on others, it’ll cause you and your children great difficulty, pain, and problems. Since your primary duty is your children, you have the obligation to do everything possible, everything in your power to care for them and provide for them. Because of that, what you think and feel, what you want, and what you think ought to be all become secondary to their well-being. My suggestion to you is to do whatever it takes to get close to your family so you can have their support and financial assistance. Make peace with your mother and do what she asks of you so she can help you and the children. You can go back to what you want to believe and want to become after you have established yourself and after the children have grown. Make it easy on yourself. Make it easy on them. You are a mother first. Your conviction is not more important than the well-being of your children. That is my advice to you. Please take good care of yourself.

About the author

Dr. Tseday is a clinical psychologist and one of the country's leading experts in marriage, relationships, and self development. She advocates a unique and at times controversial approach to the dynamics of marriage and personal development, the necessary element for a successful relationship. Read more »

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