Dear Shaunti, I am constantly butting heads with my 14 year-old daughter. Yesterday, she asked if she could go to a concert with a group of kids that I don’t know. With her friend’s 16 year-old brother as the driver! I said “no” to that idea before she even finished talking! She’s been pouting ever since. She complains that I have too many “arbitrary” rules and don’t explain myself. I tell her the fact that I’m her dad is the… Read more

Dear Shaunti, My 16-year-old son came home an hour past curfew over the weekend – walked in like it was no big deal! “Hey, sorry my battery was dead so I couldn’t text you.” And then when he saw how upset we were he was like, “It was only an hour!” We said, “Yeah, well, that was an hour we spent wondering if you were in a ditch somewhere!” We took away his car privileges for two weeks and he… Read more

Dear Shaunti, We have young kids, and often I’m so exhausted that I just want to go to sleep without my husband trying to start something. Most of the time I have absolutely no interest in sex late at night, after running afternoon carpool, juggling karate and ballet lessons, making dinner, helping with homework (my husband helps too), and returning work emails. But my husband gets upset when I tell him to please leave me alone. Seriously? It’s nothing personal!… Read more

Dear Shaunti, Undoubtedly, the most effective punishment for my teenage daughter is taking away her cell phone. There’s just one little problem: she freaks out when I do. I’m certain I’d get less of a freak-out if I ordered her to sleep in a box in the yard for a week (hmmm…) What’s her deal? It’s not like she doesn’t see these kids in school! I’ll sign this letter with the name I’m best known for around the house these… Read more

Dear Shaunti, I just got out of a big meeting where one of my male co-workers got super annoyed with me and I don’t know why. We’re trying to land a big contract and he was presenting his strategy to the group and our boss. A couple of times, I politely asked why he came to a particular decision, so he could explain it. I felt like everyone would benefit from the clarification. But the last time I asked why… Read more

Dear Shaunti, I’m about to pull my very tired hair out. My wife and I know we shouldn’t go to bed angry, but our arguments only get worse the later they go. I love my wife, but I truly can’t think straight after 11pm. Last night, I got so angry I said some hurtful things I shouldn’t have said. I told my wife I needed some time to process but my wife kept insisting we couldn’t go to bed mad…. Read more

Dear Shaunti, I can hardly write this, I’m so upset by one of your columns. You shared that it was important for a woman to “take care of herself” for her husband, and that it was “the effort that mattered” not the results. First of all, this is a dangerous throwback to 1950’s America where the little woman was supposed to greet the conquering hero at the door in a skirt and high heels. The notion that a woman should have to do that makes me sick. But more important, I am deeply skeptical of your contention that the effort is what matters to men. Any man who says he wants his wife to take care of herself, is really saying that he wants the Sports Illustrated supermodel and if she doesn’t meet that standard, it’s time to trade her in for a newer model. I cannot believe that someone with your experience and education would be so susceptible to misogynistic propaganda. How can you possibly defend what these men are saying? Read more

Dear Shaunti, I wish my husband were more romantic. I love spending time with him—we work out together and go to the movies, you know, normal couple stuff—but some of my best friends have husbands who plan candlelit dinners or whisk them off on romantic getaways a lot. My best friend’s boyfriend just surprised her with a picnic on the Commons downtown over the weekend. And my husband? He asked me if I wanted to go hit golf balls. Sometimes I’m like: seriously? Golf balls?! What happened to the candlelight dinners, you know? Read more

Dear Shaunti, How do I get my wife to not play games, and just share what she’s thinking? Two days ago, we dropped off our youngest child at college, so my wife and I planned two days of empty-nester sightseeing on the way back. Yesterday was fine, but this morning, my wife seemed down, but she wouldn’t tell me why. It drives me nuts when she does that. I asked about four times, and finally she told me she was… Read more

Dear Shaunti, I feel like my husband is a total avoider. When we get into an argument, all he wants to do is ignore the situation and escape to the TV room. He doesn’t care that we need to talk it through. What can I do to get him to talk to me? Read more

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