I have a gay nephew to whom I was very close until an argument ended our relationship. I've known he was gay for a long time and we talked about it openly. A few years ago I made a bad comment about his relationship. I apologized to both him and his partner, but his partner failed to report my apology to him. Now we no longer talk or have any contact. Also he's said a lot of hurtful gossip about me and my family. What should I do about this??
Badmouthing someone's partner is a no-no for any couple to accept, and needed clearing up long ago. That said, there's no statute of limitations on apologies. Send your nephew a note stressing how sorry you are for offending him and his partner, how much you miss your previous contact, and deeply regret your remarks which were insensitive and wrong. Since you mention sexual orientation, it suggests your "bad comment" had some connection. Make sure you cover off any bigotry that may have been perceived from your remarks.
I just discovered last week that my wife has been having an affair. It's been very traumatic, especially when I discovered two days after confronting her, that she was still communicating secretly with him. Against her wishes I called him. I'm afraid that she's still in love with this guy. While I was preparing to leave she begged me to stay. She then told me that she's been abused as a child and had recently been having flashbacks. I stayed. We're starting counselling tomorrow. She has a problem with telling the truth and I'm not sure that I want to stay in a relationship without trust. We've been married 24 years and dated for nine years before that. How do I tell if she's being straight with me? Is there really a chance to mend a marriage that has been ripped apart like this?
- Sudden Shock
You've already spent three decades with a woman whom, you say, has trouble with truth-telling. That's too big an investment to give up, without an attempt to get past this affair. An experienced marriage therapist will easily recognize any fictional tales that arise during your sessions. The facts you need to know are how the affair started, and why. Her former abuse may well be a factor in having triggered insecurities, anxieties and a desire for escapism. While your trust may be too shattered to accept this, you should at least give the therapy process enough time to understand what caused your wife to risk the marriage.
I'm 30, married for 12 years to a wonderful man, who's 39, with children aged 11, 10 and 4. I love my husband dearly but the problem arises when making love. I do take birth control pills and blame them for my low libido. However, my hubby demands sex every other night; I feel overwhelmed. Between taking care of kids, the house and part-time work, bills, etc., I go to bed for rest. I'm so preoccupied with my thoughts, I sometimes reject his touching. Also, every time he touches me, it’s suggestive - grabbing my breasts or tickling me sexually. I suggest kissing and cuddling, rather than coming on so pushy, but he gets upset and angry. He won't go for counselling, because having low libido is my problem, not his. How do I make him understand that I need longer to get turned on? He's a very understanding person otherwise.
- Turned Off
This is about a silent power struggle as much as about your libido, so outside help is likely the only way you two can resolve the gap between his sexual grabbing and your rejection. And you need more than marriage counselling help. A woman handling three children and part-time work needs household help, with hubby either pitching in his full share or helping pay for some cleaning services. A couple with a busy household and youngsters needs occasional babysitting help – e.g. for a "date night" every few weeks. Just getting out to a movie together can ease your crowded thoughts and be a start to feeling more a couple than two individuals battling for separate needs - he for sex, you for rest. His "demand" for sex indicates this is a couples' problem, not yours alone. Either you work it out with professional guidance, or you're heading for a growing impasse.
Tip of the day:
It's never too late to apologize again for a mistake.