You’ve seen celebrity clinical psychologist Dr. Sherry Blake, author of The Single Married Woman: True Stories of Why Women Feel All Alone in Their Marriages, keep the Braxton sisters calm on the hit show Braxton Family Values. Now it’s your turn to sit in her chair…

Dear Dr. Sherry,

I’m in a relationship with a pastor and a great guy. My issue with him is his relationship with my sons and daughter. We have been dating for a year and a half now and he doesn’t want to meet them. Every time they call me he seems to be upset about it. He makes excuses as to why he doesn’t want to engage in anything with them. He has offered marriage if I will walk away from them. They are all grown and I have to say that I was given a great set—five boys and one girl. His family, on the other hand, doesn’t communicate that often. I have really tried to stay away and let them do their own thing, and for the most part, I have been successful. The other day my youngest asked me to borrow $10 for gas and I gave it to him. It was my last until I got to the bank. He went crazy! I’m tired of it. I don’t want to leave but I feel like he’s making me choose between him or my kids.


My Kids Or My Man

Dear Sis,

This man is offering to marry you on the condition that you walk away from your children?! He has offered you an ultimatum of him versus your kids. Really!? Are you seriously considering allowing a man to stop you from having a relationship with your own children? The fact that you have dated for a year and a half and he has not yet met your children is a flaming red flag. Not only has he not met them yet, but he has made it clear that he does not want to do so. This bright, neon flashing warning sign is right in your face!

What he is doing is setting you up to control and abuse you. You are a prime candidate for abuse because you are still with him and entertaining his request due to your emotional involvement with him. The first step in an abusive relationship is to separate you from your children and other family and friends. Once your relationships with loved ones are severed, you are emotionally dependent on him. Abuse usually starts mildly and can increase gradually in intensity over time. He will began to tell you what you are and are not going to do. Abuse often starts out as verbal before moving to physical. When this occurs, women are often isolated without a support system. Due to shame and embarrassment, women live with the abuse. You must ask yourself, are you willing to subject yourself to abuse and live your life without your children? That is one hell of a price to pay for a man. Your children are priceless. They are your children. This man is someone who has some real emotional issues. What he is asking of you does not suggest love on any level. What he is showing is nothing more than selfishness and a need for control. Do not let his issues become yours. Remember, when someone shows you who they are, believe them! – Dr. Sherry

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