Lead him not into temptation…
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Dear Counsellor,

My husband convinced me to let his cousin's adopted daughter from the country move in, because she wants to live in town and go to college, and she could also help with babysitting. But since this girl has been here, she has done nothing but tempt my husband and I know I'm not crazy.

She wears the skimpiest clothes and when she's listening to music she will dance along, and I've caught my husband looking a few times. While I don't want to deny her the opportunity, I can't afford for her to ruin my marriage, because I know what the temptations of the flesh are like. I have spoken to her about the dressing, but she only laughs and says she's young, and that's what young people wear. Am I wrong for wanting her gone, before there's trouble?

Thanks for joining on The Couch. You are correct to be protective of your family and your space. Once you are uncomfortable, there's reason enough to address the situation. Yes, temptation is real. And men are indeed visual beings. This is why sex workers dress the way they do, to lure clients with their revealing, skimpy clothes. This is your home, your personal space, it should be a safe environment indeed. The Bible says, "Abstain from all appearance of evil." (1 Thessalonians 5:22). That means where we see a threat, stay away from it.

As I say to couples often, you are each other's protector. A husband is not the sole protector of his wife or family. A wife protects her husband and family too, from situations that she discerns as a threat. Men at times are oblivious to traps being set. Though husbands will think their wives are making much ado about nothing, at times it's a sixth sense prompting them to alert their husbands to a threat. I've also heard women say, "We women know how we women are, and what we women do to get men".

It's a prudent wife that finds a smart, strategic way to protect her husband from the snare that's being laid for him. Yes, your husband also has a responsibility to be smart about protecting himself, his home, and securing your comfort. But know that in a man's composition, oftentimes a woman isn't seen as a threat.

My advice to you:

Speak to your husband again: Let him know that you are simply uncomfortable with the situation. You will want his support before you do anything though so that there's no division between the two of you. If a division arises between the two of you over this, it would be a part of a "trap" being sprung. So be strategic with what you say — let him know you're simply concerned about the changing atmosphere in your home. It's not that you are accusing him, or distrusting him, you're restoring tranquillity to your personal space. It isn't that you don't want to be kind and compassionate to the young lady, but the family's security comes first.

Speak to the young lady again: Explain to her that you want the best for her, but the tranquillity of your personal space comes first. Let her know that both your husband and yourself want the best for her, but you've both decided she will have to go if she cannot comply. It may be that you could read the riot act to her before asking her to leave. You could give her another opportunity to comply with your rules. Tell her that when she's there in the house, she must remain in her space, (if she has a room for herself) and when she comes out, let it be brief and only when she's appropriately dressed. If she violates your rules once, then she will be told to leave.

I pray for your wisdom and that you all will enjoy a happily ever after story.


Get on The Counsellor's Couch with Rev Christopher Brodber, who is a counsellor and minister of religion. E-mail questions to allwoman@jamaicaobserver.com.

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