Click here to read a transcript of Prudie's live weekly chat with readers at Washingtonpost.com.
I am a married man in my 30s, and I have known for some time now that I am quite well-endowed. Though my past girlfriends and wife have been enthusiastic about it, my problem is with how my wife treats this personal information. She discusses my size quite openly with her friends, which I understand is part of her "girl talk." However, I recently found out that she told a female acquaintance whom she'd met for the first time! I am a fairly introverted person, and knowing that our friends have this information affects my social interaction with them. I have brought this issue up with her and asked her to tone it down, but her argument is that she is sharing something positive about me, and therefore it causes no harm. My wife and I have an otherwise stable and loving marriage, and I do not want this issue to be a bone of contention. How can I get my wife to stop broadcasting this? Or should I just accept it?
Bone of contention, indeed. At least this isn't a version of the disappointing HBO series Hung, and she hasn't offered to become your pimp. I agree that your wife's blabbing to every woman of her acquaintance that you're packing is a violation of the sanctity your marriage, even if it doesn't rise to the level of making you want to pack your bags. She should realize it's actually contrary to her self-interest to advertise your asset so widely, since she's going to tantalize some women to want to join this members-only club. It's also awfully rigid of her to dismiss your complaint that you feel no one looks you in the face because everyone has their eyes on the prize. Since her boasting is not petering out, perhaps she will better understand your beef if you offer her an analogy. Ask her to imagine how she would feel if you started telling all the males you know that her nipples are irresistibly pert and perky. If she says that's nuts, and not the same thing at all, ask her to elucidate why not, since you, too, want to reveal something complimentary about her private parts. Tell her you wouldn't actually do this because such intimate facts belong to the married couple, not the world. And add that since she so values your endowment, if she wants it to grow, not shrink, she needs to protect it better.
Our 3-year-old has recently developed what can only be described as a jacket phobia. Every morning, before we leave the house to take him to day care, the donning of his jacket is accompanied by terrified screams and his begging us not to make him wear his coat. It is disturbing and a little heartbreaking when your child sobs the words, "No jacket, no jacket," as you wrestle it onto his tiny frame. We've asked him why he doesn't want to wear the jacket, but his linguistic skills are lacking. I've investigated his jacket to make sure that there are no pins or anything of that sort. He often doesn't like to change the shirt he has slept in (especially if it bears the likeness of a favorite character), but this is always minor. The jacket issue goes well beyond this, and my wife and I are getting worried. What should we do?
To him, it's not a jacket; it's a straitjacket. I bet you and your wife have clothes hanging in your own closets that make you feel uncomfortable or unattractive; just imagine someone telling you every morning before work that you have to put on the offending garment. Unless you're in the North Pole and without the jacket your son risks hypothermia, just let him be chilly on the ride to day care. Sure, to you he's being irrational; welcome to having a 3-year-old. But a 3-year-old is entitled to have some choice in his life. Even at the best possible day care, he gets little ability to exercise his will. He can't stay extra long in the sandbox or look at ants, because everyone has to stick to a schedule. So you should not only let him win this one, but tell him you understand. You can say, "I know you don't like this jacket, sweetie, but we'll keep it in the car in case you get cold." You could even let him pick out a sweater or sweatshirt he likes better. I've recommended it several times, but Haim Ginott's Between Parent and Childdoes a wonderful job of helping you see the world from a child's perspective and giving strategies for gently guiding your offspring.