I’m from Hong Kong and was in a long distance relationship of nine years with my best friend of 14 years. I applied for immigration to his city because we loved each other.
Unfortunately, I ignored all the warning signs. My boyfriend was friends with all his ex’es - he had several and he also had "flings” with several others while in the relationship with me.
He dismissed those as mindless one-night stands. If I ever protested too much, he’d label me “close-minded” and ask me to be friends with his ex’es as well. We’d end up fighting about this.
Several months before my move there, he broke off with me. He blamed me as “possessive, jealous, and emotionally erratic.”
I’ve been heartbroken and wish I’d behaved better. Reading your advice columns, I realize how foolish I’ve been that I didn’t recognize how much of a doormat I’d turned into.
I now see that I was uncomfortable with his relationships with the ex's yet didn’t put my foot down. Who knows… had I done it maybe I could’ve still made a changed man out of him?
Now I have no boyfriend, no best friend, and my plan to move there cannot be undone. I’ll be the lonely one in my new city.
The situation has changed, but you still need advice. No one can “change” another simply by putting a foot down in a dispute. Especially when their differences involve the other person (your boyfriend) believing he can behave as he wants and make excuses for it.
Going separate ways is the only possible change-maker, IF he had realized he’d blown off a great relationship and friendship and wanted to try again. That hasn’t happened.
It’d be a mistake, when you move to his city, for you to try to get back together. A guy who cheats on you is not your best friend. A boyfriend who turns everything around to be your fault - and claims you’re emotionally unstable – is not a great candidate for a long-term future.
Stick with your realization that you’ll never be “a doormat” again, for him or anyone else.
My wife and I have sex two or three times a month. I’d prefer more and have told her this. However, I’ve caught her on a few occasions masturbating. She doesn't realize that I’ve seen her. Why would she rather do this than make love?
She tells me that sex with me is wonderful and amazing! And that she just doesn't have the same sex drive. But now that I’ve caught her, it’s got me confused.
You’ve only witnessed an action without telling her or trying to discuss it. For all you know, she masturbates in order to maintain her libido for when you do make love together.
There are a variety of reasons why people masturbate, so don’t jump to conclusions. She may, like you, feel awkward about raising this whole topic, but perhaps your sexual routines need a change of some sort – more foreplay, or less, or some different positions, or some fantasy chat…
You won’t know until you talk to her, openly. But don’t start the conversation by accusing her of masturbating. Ask her what you both can do to spice up the sex you have together.
Make some suggestions, e.g. about mutual stimulation, choosing different times/locales such as in the shower, or a date night at a hotel. Also, read a sex manual together (The Joy of Sex, by Dr. Alex Comfort).
I frequently eat out with friends and we split the bill evenly. But I disagree with the constant assumption that I should tip at 15 per cent.
Separate checks aren’t always an option. When I voice my opposition, I’m treated like a leper, with sermons on tipping wait staff “properly.”
I suggest splitting the cost of the food and each person tips what they want to. However, it’s the assumption of what I should do that gets to me. I don’t agree that tipping is a "right” of wait staff.
You’ve come to a reasonable solution, with everyone tipping on his or her own. Yet you want to change others’ attitudes - exactly what you resent being done towards you.
You’re correct that you’re entitled to your own; so accept that they’re entitled to theirs. These are friends, so state your position once, politely cut off the “sermons,” and tip as you please.
Tip of the day:
When a partner blames you for all differences, the relationship’s doomed.