A: He was able to tell you what he wanted and you were open enough to call him master, or handcuff him, or dress up as Dora the Explorer. Now he has to be open enough to hear your honest reaction, which was "Blech!" Sure, you don't have to put it that way, but he has to accept that this particular experiment had the effect of making you want to flee from the bedroom. It's not a put down for you to explain your reaction to his particular desire. It may be that you two are ultimately incompatible in the bedroom. It may be that he has a whole range of fantasies and one of those would jibe better with yours. And maybe there's something in your personal spice rack that would shake things up.
Q. Adult Parental Favoritism: My mother has always favored my sibling. I was always aware of the unbalanced generosity and I moved past it in later years. Ten years ago my father passed away and left a generous life insurance. My mother has bought my sibling a car; paid for my niece’s and nephew’s college, cars, clothes; and carried my sibling and spouse when they ran short of money. I had an accident that left me off work for two years and nothing was offered me except best wishes. Fast forward to the last year and a half—she has spent most of her money on sibling and herself. My sibling is now about to lose their house and she is asking me to help them. I said no; when I was down nothing was offered me. She then asked me if I would assist her if the need arose, I said yes but thought to myself just bare bones assistance. Am I being selfish? I feel much guilt because I never really went without and I have a good income and retirement set aside. Do you think there is something I should do for my sibling? I am in my first house they are in their third, a McMansion and totally upside down. They have bought Corvettes, 4x4s, campers, boats while we buy Toyotas we drive for 10 years.
A: Ah, the revenge of the disfavored child! I love this mash up of Aesop and Grimm. It's the ant and the grasshopper with a Cinderella twist. You have nothing whatsoever to feel guilty about. You have always taken care of yourself—even through an extended recovery—while your sibling was indulged. It doesn't sound as if your sibling had any qualms about this disparity, not even when you were flat on your back. Sure, I think there's something you can do for him or her. Express your sympathy, then explain some of the rules of frugal living that have allowed you to get to this point in life so comfortably.
Q. Re: Married and sexually confused: Poor her, she is married to the one straight guy in the universe who wouldn't find that hot. :-(
A: Ha! Others are asking how is this different from someone saying, "I tried to let you know early on, but maybe I should have been clearer about monogamy not really being for me." That's a good point, but if one partner is on the verge of an affair—for whatever reason—better to address this in the marriage first.
Q. Wedding Date: Is it wrong for Guy to ask Girl, an ex-girlfriend who is now married to someone else, to be his date to a family wedding? Guy says it's not that kind of date and shouldn't be a big deal to just go as friends. Girl says it's completely inappropriate and not respectful of her marriage, plus gives off the wrong impression. For background, Guy and Girl broke up years ago and now live in cities on opposite coasts. The wedding is taking place in their hometown, and Girl would know a couple of family members but does not know the couple getting married.
A: I don't know if you're Guy, Girl, bride, or groom in this scenario. What I do know is that one benefit of marriage is that you get to stop dating. In fact, it's generally accepted as a requirement. (Not that this chat, or any other chat, would confirm that assertion.)
Q. Desperately Seeking Children: My husband and I married in our mid-30s, so the inevitable questions started popping up, like, "When are you going to have a baby?" and "Are you going to adopt?" One of these regular questioners is my boss. My husband and I would love to have a baby of our own or adopt. However, I have multiple health issues (I also had radiation and chemotherapy as a toddler) and I'm now almost 38. I can't be rude to my boss, but I really feel like it's none of her business.
A: This is such an unfortunately common question. People who are badgered about this should just tell their questioners they don't care to discuss such private matters. But your variation is that your busybody is your boss. Right you are that this is absolutely none of her business. But she's your supervisor, so there could be blowback if you blow her off. The next time she brings this up, ask if you can go into her office briefly. Tell her you know she's asking out of affection and concern, but you need to end this particular line of conversation because you want to keep your personal life out of the office. Then take it to a higher-up if she won't let this go.
Q. Re: Boyfriend's kink is not my thing: My husband's fantasy involves me dressing up in ways that I find ridiculous and somewhat uncomfortable—complete turnoffs for me. Over the years, I have seen how happy it makes him. It also makes him unbelievably generous in bed. I resisted for a long time and felt disrespected by him because he really wanted me to do these things. I more willingly participate in these fantasies with him because they have helped us communicate better, they make him happy, and I get a lot more positive, engaged attention from him than I have ever gotten from anyone else sexually. It has taken a lot for me to do this, but I'm very glad I have.
A: Thanks for this perspective. It does make me very grateful my husband doesn't suggest I get into something more interesting than my usual Jockey for gals.
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