cereta: Laura Cereta (cereta)
[personal profile] cereta
Dear Amy: I am a married woman. My husband and his younger sister are of a Mediterranean nationality. Family relationships are "closer" there, I think, than those in North America or Europe.

I was shocked to see my husband and his sister in our bathroom together. She was putting on makeup, he was brushing his teeth.

We were in a hurry to leave the house, but there was a half-bath downstairs that one of them could have used.

I have been in the bathroom with my own older brother, but it was to install new toilets -- something practical -- not to do something "intimate," that, in my opinion, is only for a husband and wife to share.

I felt very "strange" about this situation. Then it happened a second time. I have decided that if it happens again, I will join them in the bathroom and put on my makeup or brush my teeth with them to see if they understand that I'm disturbed by this situation.

-- Too Close!

Dear Too Close!: If brushing one's teeth or putting on makeup is considered an uncomfortably intimate act that only married partners should share, then we need to completely revamp sexual education in this country.

I don't think this is an ethnic thing or a national characteristic.

I think this is a "you" problem.

Taking your letter at face value, these two siblings were basically sharing a mirror.

Many siblings that grew up in close households and perhaps shared a bathroom with other family members throughout their childhoods wouldn't think twice about sharing their bathroom ablutions.

Because this bothers you so much, you should probably express your concern directly to these two, instead of passively trying to get your message across. But you should also anticipate some bewilderment on their part.
cereta: Laura Cereta (cereta)
[personal profile] cereta
DEAR ABBY: My husband refuses to wear headphones. This means that when we sit in the living room together, I must put up with the blaring noise of whatever he is watching.

I do a lot of writing, and in order to think, I need silence. I have tried earplugs, but they don't muffle enough of the noise. Now, when I have had enough, I leave the room. This results in us being in two separate places, which he hates. Is there another solution I may be overlooking? -- LOUD IN MAINE

DEAR LOUD: You might try noise-canceling headphones. However, if that doesn't work, because you need to "hear" in your head the sentences you are trying to write, you may have to do your writing when your husband is not at home.
cereta: Laura Cereta (cereta)
[personal profile] cereta
DEAR ABBY: I recently got married to a wonderful man who is 19 years younger than I am. He's the love of my life. The problem is, he sleeps totally on one side of the bed and isn't affectionate at night except when we are making love. Then he is amazing -- affectionate, sensitive, and very attentive and kind.

He says his mother was very cold toward him, and he was reared by his grandparents, who loved him, but were not "touchy-feely." He treats me like a queen, Abby. Should I just forget about it and be content sleeping un-hugged and un-held all night? -- ON MY SIDE IN MARYLAND

DEAR ON YOUR SIDE: No, you should talk to your husband and explain what your needs are. Although the sex is wonderful, many people -- of both sexes, by the way -- need to feel the warmth of human contact. Because he treats you like a queen, tell him you need more, and perhaps he will make more of an effort on your side of the bed and outside the bedroom.
cereta: Laura Cereta (cereta)
[personal profile] cereta
DEAR ABBY: I am a gay man. My friend "Brian" and I have known each other for 10 years. We dated for a while, but realized we are better off as friends. We have lived together for the past several years and are now considering getting married because my job has better benefits. My question is, is a marriage of convenience legal? -- GOING TO THE CHAPEL?

DEAR GOING: Marriages of convenience have been happening since the institution of marriage was invented. That said, however, this is a question you should address to a lawyer to make sure that if you decide to marry Brian, you'll be going to the chapel instead of going to the hoosegow for insurance fraud.
cereta: Laura Cereta (cereta)
[personal profile] cereta
DEAR ABBY: I'm in my early 30s and recently met a very attractive woman my age. We are planning to get married. She wants us to be married as soon as possible because she has been divorced for the last seven years.

My problem is, she's extremely secretive about her past, especially the period between her divorce and our meeting. I have been open with her about my past, but when I ask about hers, she refuses to discuss it and says it has nothing to do with our relationship.

I have a feeling there may be something nasty she's hiding. I'm afraid I'm heading into a trap, but my love for her makes it tough to consider breaking up. Am I being too demanding? -- CONCERNED GUY IN THE SOUTH

DEAR CONCERNED GUY: If your intuition is screaming that your girlfriend's desire for a hasty marriage could spell trouble in the future, you should pay close attention to it. It is not "too demanding" to want to know what one's fiancee has been doing for the last seven years. Under no circumstances should you marry this woman without first talking to a lawyer, who I am sure will suggest doing a background check and/or drafting an ironclad prenuptial agreement.
cereta: Laura Cereta (cereta)
[personal profile] cereta
Note: I changed the subject line a little to make it less pejorative. I'm also kind of stuck on the trigger warning, so I'm just going to call it a general clusterfuck and point to the subject line.

Points to subject line )
minoanmiss: Minoan lady watching the Thera eruption (Lady and Eruption)
[personal profile] minoanmiss
This is the one which sent me on today's Advice Column Adventure. Another doozy. Abortion in this country, good grief. Read more... )
cereta: Laura Cereta (cereta)
[personal profile] cereta
DEAR ABBY: I am sure this issue affects many people, but I have not seen it addressed in your column. Oftentimes married partners are separated by many years in age. Eventually the older of them has to enter a long-term care facility due to a mental/physical defect.

Even though the bond and love that kept them together over the years still exists, the younger still has physical and emotional needs that can no longer be met by the older spouse. What are the ethics in the younger one having a "friend with benefits" to address those needs, if it's done discreetly without causing embarrassment and humiliation to the older spouse? -- FRIENDS WITH BENEFITS

DEAR FRIENDS: This is a highly personal decision that no one can make for anyone else. While many readers may disagree, I see nothing wrong with taking care of yourself as long as you remember you have a moral obligation to support your spouse "'til death do you part." To me that means visiting and spending time with your spouse every day to ensure his/her needs are taken care of in a compassionate and diligent manner, and to let the person know he or she is loved.
cereta: Laura Cereta (cereta)
[personal profile] cereta
Note:Making a judgment call on the second trigger warning there.

Verbal abuse and victim-blaming )
cereta: Laura Cereta (cereta)
[personal profile] cereta
Dear Annie: For the past year, my wife, "Janie," has been getting hot flashes. She is always broiling in the house while the rest of the family freezes. She insists on keeping the temperature at 70, while the rest of us are most comfortable at 74. She recently purchased warm slippers for everyone and suggested we wear long sleeves.

Annie, I like to wear T-shirts and walk barefoot. I work long hours, and when I come home, I like to shed most of my clothes. I pay the mortgage and should not be freezing in my own home. Our family doctor said the hot flashes could last for years. I say she is disrespectful to all of us. She says I am insensitive. We are at an impasse.

I found out she is looking for an apartment. I love my wife and beg you to help us before it's too late. — Upstate New York Where It's 20 Degrees Outside

Dear New York: You think you're uncomfortable? Imagine how your wife feels with an internal thermostat that periodically sets her on fire. The U.S. Dept. of Energy recommends that your home thermostat be set at 68 degrees in winter (78 degrees in summer). You can warm up more easily than your wife can cool down.

We recommend a compromise. You offer to be comfortable in sweats if she will speak to her doctor about medication to control her hot flashes or visit a health food store for more natural remedies. A pair of slippers and some hot cocoa seems a small price to pay to save your marriage.

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