Ask Robin

DISCLAIMER: “ASK ROBIN” is not intended to be or replace face to face counseling. You may email Robin to ask questions. Your email may or may not be selected for print. The names and case specifics will be changed to protect those involved. Please make your questions brief and to the point. The answers given are limited and not meant to be therapeutic in nature.

Dear Robin,

My husband was recently killed in Iraq. I have three small children. My oldest is in the second grade and is acting out, not concentrating and the teacher believes he is ADHD. I’ve noticed these changes in behaviors after his father left and then an increase after the funeral. I never saw him as ADHD before now. I guess I want to believe the teacher, but I’m not sure what is going on. How long will he take to get over this, and how can I help him?


If you haven’t noticed problems until this year, I would certainly seek out professional help for him. It sounds like grief, but he needs to be assessed. Children sometimes seem ADHD when they are grieving and have problems concentrating. I would get all of your children into a grief support group, if they are old enough to benefit. You did not mention where you are from. Here in San Antonio we have the “Children’s Bereavement Center of South Texas.” They are also on line at One of the best things for grieving children is to normalize their feelings and group does just that. CBCST staff members are caring professionals and can tell you if he needs one on one therapy. I hope you can find a similar place for your children if you are not from this area. One thing you want to remember is to celebrate his life. A grief center or grief therapist can help you do that. Some of the things I’ve seen are presents under the tree with all the non tangible gifts he has given your children, a memory book, or a pillow with his picture imprinted. Thank you so much for your family’s sacrifice. We often thank the military members, but forget the sacrifice the families also give to our great country.

Dear Robin,

My marriage is on the rocks and I have tried to get my husband to go to therapy, but he refuses. He claims to be a man of God, but feels therapy is not the answer. The thing that really drives me crazy is his attitude towards me. He says over and over again I’m not the submissive wife I need to be, that’s the main reason for our struggles. If I would be more submissive things would be better. What do I do? I refuse to be a doormat. Katie


Men often struggle with seeking help. In addition, he may fear the secular views may conflict with his belief system if he is trying to be a man of God. I would encourage you to seek therapy for yourself and maybe change what you have control of. As you find ways to see things differently, this may help your marriage. God doesn’t want you to be a doormat either. His view of marriage is both summiting to each other. That part is often let out! CLICK HERE to get a copy of my “Marital Contract” I give to couples I see. This gives a great reference as to biblical standards for marriage. Approach him in love and mention how you have found this to be interesting. I will pray for his heart to open.

Dear Robin,

I have a family member diagnosed with Schizophrenic. My family feels she is possessed (they won’t say it), but they do feel it is a spiritual thing. I believe there is really something wrong. I don’t know how to help her. She gets on medicine then says she forgets to continue the pills. She also feels it is a spiritual issue and says God is healing her. What would you suggest? Thanks, Monica


Schizophrenia is a terrible disease. Modern medicine has made great strides in reducing the symptoms associated with this and many other disorders. One great option is Risperdal Consta, maybe you can encourage the family to consult with their doctor on this. Persons non adherent to medicine regiments find this helpful in remaining compliance. This shot last approximately two weeks and has minimal side effects compared to the older psychotropic medications. As to the spiritual side of mental illness, I use 1 John 4:1-3 as a way to test the spirits. If she is possessed it will be very difficult for her to personally claim Jesus Christ came in the flesh. Persons will mental illnesses often find comfort in this scripture, as they sometimes too struggle with this spiritual question themselves. I don’t question God’s ability to heal instantly; however, let’s also recognize the gifts he has given all doctors to treat us. You may be the very person to normalize this situation for her. God bless you for your concerns and discerning there is more to this situation.

Dear Robin,

I recently found a pornography video in my husband’s sock drawer. As I investigated more I found emails directing him to these web sites and his history on the computer was erased, making me suspicious of his online conduct. I feel violated, cheated on and I wonder what he is thinking now when we make love. This has really affected me. I approached him and he denied going to those web sites and said the video was something he was going to share with me. He latter made a comment “most men do this.” Am I overreacting? Alexa


I am so sorry your trust has been broken. Let’s see what the bible says about this. In Matthew 5:27, Jesus was very clear in saying “any one that looks at a woman with lust in his eye has committed adultery.” Your feelings are justified and I would highly encourage both of you to seek Christian counseling as soon as possible. This is a very common problem with the availability and secrecy of the computers, but it still is sin in God’s eyes. You did not mention your husband’s relationship with God. I hope he is a believer and will be open to God’s truth.

Dear Robin,

My 15 year old son is out of control and refuses to follow our house rules. If his mother or I give him direction he seems to do very opposite. He refuses to do the chores and comes and goes as he pleases. We have tried so many things and have talked to him over and over again. I hate the stress my wife is dealing with. She refuses to go to bed with me, waiting up for him to ensure his safety. What can we do? Mike


Many times at this age if teenagers view the rules as controlling and they will resist and cause grief to parents. I suggest limiting the rules to the minimal. Have set consequences and stick to them, and allow him to choose as many choices as possible. This not only takes away the power struggle, but allows him to learn life consequences to his own choices. This prepares him to be a responsible adult. For example: You may have him do his own laundry for a chore. If he chooses to not complete this task, he runs out of clean clothes. This is a natural consequence for his choice. If he comes home late for supper, he makes his own, versus mom’s cooking in the microwave. I commend you Mike for seeking answers for your family. You sound like a concerned father and a loving husband. Hang in there.