Ask Demetria: "I asked my husband to move his former wife's urn."

"Why don't you love me?"

"My husband’s first wife died. They had two kids. We live in his house. He keeps his wife’s urn in the living room. I requested that “she” be moved, and he and the kids are upset. Am I wrong?" —Anonymous

So when it comes to relationships, it’s not always about right or wrong. Sometimes it’s “Am I happy, and/or is my partner happy?” Or “How do I keep or restore peace and get my needs met, too?”

But if you want an answer in terms of rightness or wrongness, I don’t think you’re inherently wrong for asking. I do think it’s a sensitive subject that you may not have handled in the best way.

For starters, I’m not sure why the kids were involved in this discussion, given its sensitive nature. This should have been a subject that you broached with your husband and worked out between the two of you and then approached the kids as a united front. That would have gone over better than having you—whom they may not have taken to as a second mother yet—approach the topic with them on your own.

I also think that while you’ve chosen to focus on the urn, the urn isn’t really your issue. You used some interesting language to refer to the home you live in with your husband: “his.” You’re married. You live there with your husband and stepchildren, to whom you are a full-time mom. It’s curious tome that you don’t consider your dwelling your home. But I can also understand how that could be.

You moved into a home that your spouse once shared with his previous wife. Unless he and the kids did some major renovations and interior decorating, that house has his ex-wife’s stamp on the furniture, the decor and maybe even the dishes (hopefully y’all got a new bed). If this is the case, I’m not surprised you don’t consider the place “ours.”

I’m choosing to believe that you’re a reasonable person. And I’m going to guess, based on your query, that you may feel overshadowed by the memory of a deceased woman, which is understandable.

If you feel that your new family isn’t making room for you in their lives, then that needs to be addressed, not just the urn. The urn is just a symbol of a larger issue, and even if it’s moved to a place where you don’t have to see it daily, your feeling of being an outsider won’t change.

When you asked about moving the urn, your family didn’t hear “There’s not enough room for me here.” They heard, “You don’t respect my ex-wife and our mother.” Given that, I get why they are mad.

Read the full story on The Root 

Ask Demetria: My BFF Isn't Happy for My Pregnancy


Dear Demetria:

My best friend and I were living together when I met my boyfriend. When I became pregnant, he started to stay over every night because I got off work late and he was concerned for my safety. She started to become very distant and eventually moved out.

After she left, she called to say that we should split the remaining bills three ways because my boyfriend was always there while I was at work. Needless to say, I told her I wasn’t interested in being friends anymore. I also felt like she wasn’t happy for me to have a baby, which always pissed me off. Am I wrong? —Anonymous

Yes, you are wrong, entirely and unequivocally. I’m going to give you the benefit of the doubt that you are so excited about, focused on and consumed with this pending baby that you’ve become distracted and dropped the ball.

Take a step back for a moment and consider this scenario from your best friend’s perspective. She and her bestie moved in together with hopes of having a fun bachelorette pad. You get a boyfriend soon thereafter, which isn’t a bad thing, and then you became pregnant. Life happens. But she signed on for two adults to live together. Not you and your man and a crying newborn.

Having a boyfriend is fine. But having him there “every night”? Not so much. Every time she wanted to run from the bedroom to the kitchen or the bedroom to the bathroom, she had to throw on some pants or a robe, lest she flash her goods to your man. It meant that when she came home from work, she couldn’t just chill out, braless, in front of the TV to enjoy Scandal. It meant that she had to turn up the stereo to drown out the sound of you and your man getting it on. It meant that she couldn’t ever just be comfortable in her own home anymore, unless she was secluded in her room. That’s no way to live.

If your man was at the house “every night” and, if she is to be believed, was also there while you were at work—did you give him a key?—that means he lived there. You moved him in as the third roommate without discussing it with your roommate. If you wanted to cover his bills, so be it. But you had your friend picking up your man’s financial slack. And you started a family while you were living down the hall and said nothing to her about it. That’s why she was distant. The baby didn’t have anything to do with it.

Now, about your boyfriend. I’m concerned about your situation.

Read more on The Root 

Ask Demetria: I Fought My Brother's GF at Thanksgiving Dinner

On a scale of 1-10, how did your brawl measure up to The Color Purple's Thanksgiving? Well, this is a first.

A reader wrote in this morning about a brawl that broke out over Thanksgiving dinner:

Got in a physical fight at T'giving dinner with my brother’s girlfriend. I am getting married in 3 weeks and bro is threatening to drop out unless [the girlfriend and I] makeup. Family is with him. I hate this and her and that I am in this wretched situation. Should I just chalk it up and reconcile?

Um… I couldn’t focus. She was asking about whether she should reconcile, but something is off about this story, starting with what could bring grown women to blows at Thanksgiving dinner?  So I asked…

“What in Hova's name was so important that you and your bro's lady came to blows at Thanksgiving?”


She explained:

 [The girlfriend] is very rude and belligerent and started cursing around kids/elders. I told her to watch her language because of the folks present and she decided that I was the one. I told her she needs to act like a lady and walked away. She followed and put hands on me. And I showed her what they do…


Is it me? Or something is off here?

I responded:



Ok. So you tell me if I’m wrong, here. Family will usually rally around family and against an outsider, unless the family member is dead wrong. I can’t see an outsider woman, even if she’s the GF of the favorite son, cursing in front of granny and the grandbabies, then putting her hands on family at Thanksgiving dinner, and family going against family to side with the outsider. This version of events doesn’t even make sense.

But whatever. The questions was whether she should apologize to her bro’s GF so that he will participate in the upcoming wedding. To which I answered:

You gotta decide what's more worth it to you: family peace or withholding and apology on principle.

And what I should have said that I didn’t:

If the whole family is siding against you over someone not family and they think you’re wrong about an event they witnessed, yeah, you’re probably very wrong. So just go on and apologize to keep the peace and your bro in the wedding.

Your thoughts? 

Ask Demetria: My Family Is Divided Over a Rape Accusation

Family matters. Occasionally, readers have queries that don’t fit conveniently into the ask.FM box. My general rule, is that if it’s too long to fit, it’s a question that requires coaching (or maybe therapy) instead of a quick answer. (If you have a question that falls into the in-need-of-coaching category, hit me up: coachedbybelle at gmail dot com. PLEASE NOTE: there is a fee.)

This one, I made an exception for. A man wrote in to say that his female cousin recently claimed that he father raped her 9 years ago. The family is deeply divided over the issue and certain factions have stopped speaking to each other for more than 8 months.

I provided an in depth answer to him privately, and it was to get a therapist involved ASAP. (You’ll understand after you read his story.) Because this is a deeply personal story, I did ask if it was okay to share it since he contacted me privately. He asked that I would:

"I use to think the movie Precious was overly dramatic and distant until my cousin became my real life "Precious". I hope this story will inspire others to ban together as family should and be courageous in a fight against family curses."

Without further hesitation:

My family has been left divided over a rape claim. My cousin, 23, claimed her father raped her when she was 14. She has decided to press charges against her father. My cousin told investigators she tried to fight off her father when the rape took place. She has been tested for HIV twice a year since she was 16 and by God's grace tests negative.

Her mother, my aunt, did not take her seriously and immediately dismissed her claim. In fact, she laughed.  Half of my family, including me, support my cousin, while others like my grandmother and her own mother do not. This has left us divided and some of us have not spoken in over eight months.

Here is some back story to this entire situation. My cousin’s father has 10 kids with 5 different women, including my aunt. He is currently married to one of this women women, and yes, you guessed it, it's not my aunt. Yet, my aunt insists that he will divorce this woman and eventually put a ring on her finger.

Here is the shocker...

Two years ago my aunt discovered she was HIV positive. This was 8 years into her now rekindled relationship with my cousin’s (still married) father. He claims he is negative, but refuses to get tested.

Despite all of these details, certain family members choose to negate his history and reject my cousin’s claims. Furthermore, her mother feels that her daughter’s negative status is proof that her father is an innocent man.

I have decided to hold a family “Iyanla, Fix Our Life” type of meeting/intervention, but my significant other thinks it's a bad idea. Is it?

What do you think?