My fiancée and I are happy, but there are things that I don't know how to discuss, sexually.
She's not a sexual person, and I’m the complete opposite. There’s stuff that I’m into, that I have difficulty revealing.
I feel awkward about what I'm into. But I want to talk about them without feeling uncomfortable.
How do I do this and stop dwelling on uncomfortable thoughts?
It’ll be far more disturbing to your fiancée to find out after you’re married, that you’re into some sexual practices that upset her.
Secrets can undo a happy relationship. They imply that you didn’t trust her enough to share sensitive information, and she can’t trust that you’re not hiding things.
So you must be open and honest with her. Also, you need some close confiding talks about how deep your “opposite” feelings go and how you two can be comfortable together sexually.
If your secret will likely be shocking to her, talk to a counsellor about it in order to better understand yourself and this particular desire.
Then, gently open up a dialogue – about your different sexual attitudes, any unusual previous experiences you both had, what you each expect, and want from your sexual relationship.
You may need to see a sex therapist together to explore all this, but that can be a huge benefit to your relationship.
My wife and I almost never argue except for major blowouts over clutter.
Our children are all young adults but my wife keeps enough of their toys to staff a daycare. She keeps things they never even used.
The floor of our spare bedroom was covered with toys, boxes of baby blankets, papers to be filed, and baby clothes.
Recently, we had a major argument because I put the clothes and blankets in spare-room drawers and stored the toys on basement shelves.
The spare room has other uses but was made unusable. Meanwhile, our children have no emotional attachment to these toys.
My wife seemed paranoid that I’d thrown something out. She didn’t want the toys in the basement and was angry that I didn't leave it for her to handle.
But the room had been in that state for months.
To add to the stress, I'm going for major cancer surgery in two weeks and need a sense of order around me – it’s the one thing I can control right now.
But we've had similar issues over clutter since we've been married. She’s refused counselling for it.
She’s keeping things for the grandchildren but there are none in sight, and we can afford to buy new toys when babies come.
Clutter’s a tough issue because what seems so logical to one side is deeply disturbing to the other.
It’s about control, and stems from embedded emotional needs – her for surrounding herself with objects of sentimental value (her own babies and children, her past), you for managing your environment.
Finding a place for everything makes sense, while throwing things out could’ve been disastrous to your relationship at a time when that’s worse than the clutter.
Focus now on your health and recovery after surgery.
When healed, ask each child to help you out by taking their own stuff and keeping what they want for their future children and give away the rest to kids who need those items now.
Perhaps if she went to a woman’s shelter and saw children playing with some of the toys, her sentimental needs would be fulfilled.
FEEDBACK Regarding the “Devastated Mom” whose son’s girlfriend is controlling (March 2):
Reader – “These parents should respect his decision to live his life differently then they choose to live theirs.
“This mother and her son’s girlfriend are both controlling – the mother wants the son to live “her way,” as does the girlfriend.
“Based on my own experience, the mother continuing to reach out is likely to distance the son further.
“I suspect he knows his mother won’t accept his choice, and it’s easier to just ignore her.
“An adult child doesn’t need to put up with bad behaviour from a parent just because it’s the parent.
“He needs to figure things out for himself and the mother (parents) should give him space to do so.
“She needs counselling to accept that her role as mother is now done. If she wants a future relationship, she needs to learn to accept his choices.”
Tip of the day:
Secrets are damaging to an intimate relationship, especially if they’re about intimacy.