My partner and I have had a robust sexual relationship for three years and have often thought of marriage in future.
But I can't bring myself to tell her that I’m only sexually aroused when I’m thinking of baseball games where the home team wins in the bottom of the ninth while stealing home plate with two strikes on the player in the batter's box.
Is this something I can cure through talk therapy?
Lots of people use fantasies to increase sexual arousal. Far fewer people use rock-music lyrics (“Paradise by the Dashboard Light” by MeatLoaf) as obviously titillating questions for advice columnists… especially so early in the baseball season.
However, since fantasies do worry some people, for their sake I’ll answer you:
Tell her your fantasy. Don’t say it’s the only thing on your mind when making love with her. Instead, ask what excites her, besides your colourful imagination.
I’m a grandma of two young children from my only daughter.
After her marriage to a narcissistic man, I experienced a boycott against my sharing time with my grandchildren.
My daughter’s concerned about this issue, but does little to resolve it.
Both she and my husband (her father) have very low-key personalities when dealing with her powerful and high-earning husband.
Meanwhile, he’s threatening to send us to jail when we request that he treat her and the children well.
He banned us from visiting our grandchildren at their home. He also gets angry when my daughter visits us in our home.
This situation has gone on for almost eight years. I went to different counsellors, even my family doctor knows about the situation.
Last year, my daughter tried to divorce him after her husband made a false accusation of assault that caused my daughter to be arrested and deprived of seeing her children for three weeks.
We felt huge frustration, with our hands tied against doing anything.
Is there any law to recognize the grandparents’ right to share time with their children?
We want to avoid all confrontation with this man.
My daughter and my grandchildren are our only family here.
He may feel threatened himself by your closeness to your daughter, but an incident that resulted in her going to jail, is extreme.
It must’ve involved an ugly scene - huge argument, threats, some action that police believed was an assault.
Even if she lashed back at him (and paid for it), this is a terribly frightening, traumatic environment for the children.
He’s a threatening controller, and has extreme anger towards you, your husband, and towards his wife, too.
The financial security he offers isn’t worth the toll on everyone involved.
Depending on where you live, there may be some legal recourse to grandparents’ rights (there are also associations promoting this).
In the U.S., state laws differ - in California, for example, a grandparent can ask the court for “reasonable visitation” with a grandchild… if there was a pre-existing “bond that’s in the best interest of the grandchild, balanced with the rights of the parents to make decisions about their child.”
To me, if these facts are not one-sided, this situation is more about protecting the children and your daughter from further abuse. Just allowing them visits with you isn’t enough, though your daughter needs emotional support.
Talk to a lawyer about the best course to take – perhaps a safe plan for her to leave with the children and charge him with emotional abuse, to his wife and children, whom he’ll still have to help support.
FEEDBACK Regarding the man who wonders if his affair can survive after he’s divorced (March 31):
Reader – “Sometimes you need to put the hammer down.
“Consequences are extreme for those who disregard wedding vows. Lives are ruined, families destroyed, children damaged for many years, if not forever.
“It might’ve been best to tell this man, Gee, that's what you get when you’re unfaithful.
“His lover still "distrusts" him, just as she did when he’d say he couldn’t see her sometimes – well, duh!
“Call them out on their horrible deeds, Ellie.
“Coddling advice doesn't make a positive difference.”
Ellie – I told him to try being on his own for awhile – no wife, no lover.
But no, I didn’t verbally hammer him for cheating. I suggested he figure out if he’s even capable of being a loyal partner, or just cuts and runs, repeatedly.
Insight to his own flaws will have more impact than scolding.
Tip of the day:
Sexual fantasies can be more fun when shared willingly.