Advice on morals and manners.

Advice on morals and manners.

Advice on morals and manners.

Advice on manners and morals.
March 6 2003 10:52 AM

Think Casablanca

9_dearprudence_01

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Greetings!

I am in need of sound advice and good judgment. A situation has arisen that has left me flabbergasted, to say the least. I will start by saying I am happily married. (How many times have you heard that?) I went out with a friend from work a few weeks ago who knows that I am married, and at the end of the evening, he kissed me. Having had a few drinks, my wits were slowed, so the kiss happened. But once my brain caught up with my body, I stopped and pulled away. That he kissed me has left me astounded and wondering about the implications about what it could mean. My question to you is: What do you believe the intentions are of a person who makes a move on someone who is married? Until that moment, I had my own happy belief that being married made me safe from advances from others. I'm inclined to believe that his motivation was purely physical, which would make this a lot easier for me to deal with. But there is the small chance that it wasn't just physical, and I wonder how plausible you think that is and if you think I should ask him. Ever since then, I have been wrought with guilt at the thoughts I have when I think of him. A married person shouldn't be daydreaming about someone else. Is it wrong to develop crushes, even though one is married? I would never commit adultery, and I love my husband and can't imagine my life without him in it, but ...

—Flabbergasted

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Dear Flab,

Save yourself some time and heartbreak. Interpret things in the simplest way possible. Just as the drinks you consumed slowed your wits, the drinks HE had undoubtedly emboldened him in the let's-get-amorous department. The implications you are searching for are not so hard to understand. He didn't care that you were married and most likely was hoping for a fling. And some men think married women are the safest flingees. Crushes are, Prudie supposes, somewhat common with people who are married. As for asking him what it all meant, please don't do that unless you're looking to kick off an affair. Or ... he might possibly answer, "The Jim Beam made me do it," in which case you don't get the compliment you're looking for, and he is embarrassed. Until you get over this, hum to yourself "As Time Goes By," with the famous line, "A kiss is just a kiss ..."

—Prudie, sensibly

Prudence,

My husband and I have a great sex life. Recently he developed a silk fetish and always wants me to wear something silky to bed. We also recently made a bet that he lost, and his punishment was to wear my underwear to work. He absolutely loved the feeling of my silk underwear and wants to wear them all the time. He has even asked me to buy him some of his own. I have no fear of him being a transvestite or gay; he is very heterosexual. Is this fetish common, and should I be concerned?

—Michelle

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Dear Mich,

If this new wrinkle in your marriage doesn't bother you, it doesn't bother Prudie. And you are right that ladies' undies on men is merely gender-bending, not a sign of homosexuality or transvestitism. If one is not bound by "traditional" gender roles, the preference for silk, as opposed to cotton, is not too hard to track. And, yes, a silk fetish is common and certainly benign. It would be interesting to see what would happen if Fruit of the Loom started making skivvies in silk.

—Prudie, softly

Dear Prudence,

I have a wonderful job and a wonderful husband, but I am miserable. It's just too much responsibility for me, and, admittedly, I'm a perfectionist. I cannot seem to balance commitment to my professional life, which includes volunteer work, with the desire to be everything that my husband needs in a wife. Not wanting to fail or be lackluster in either arena, I keep thinking of ditching one or the other, but making the choice seems hard. I keep thinking that I should just adjust and get on with it while counting my blessings, but I've been married for over four years now, and it has not gotten any easier. What do you suggest?

—Divided

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Dear Div,

Prudie doesn't mean to sound like a broken record, but life is choices. (For young readers: A record is what preceded the CD.) You need to prioritize and figure out what has the most meaning to you, then edit your life accordingly. You might even get a handle on your perfectionism by doing a short stint with a psychologist. Surely there's a way to deal with both career and marriage so that you need not eliminate one in favor of the other. You might even talk to some women you know who seem to doing both successfully. Your work/marriage dilemma is not unmanageable; it just requires adjustment.

—Prudie, dually

Dear Prudence,

Wouldn't it be considered rude if you were sitting at your computer and every time your spouse walked into the room, you quickly closed up whatever it was you were looking at and started to play solitaire? Or to spend most of the weekend on your computer instead of helping out with all the necessary yard work, wood splitting and house cleaning that needs to be done? What can I do? I'm so sick of it.

—Laura

Dear Laur,

"Rude" is not the first word that comes to mind about a man who quickly switches to solitaire. Your spouse is obviously ditching a dating site, porn, or e-mail from secret friends. To bring this issue to a head, you can inform your cyberjockey that he is not fooling anyone about doing something of which he is ashamed. Furthermore, you might suggest that he weigh the value of whatever excitements he's looking at on the little screen against a continuing relationship with you. And you might suggest that he would have some good thinking time as he did the yard work, wood splitting, and house cleaning.

—Prudie, correctively