When my boyfriend of 18 months suggests sex early in the evening, and I'm not in the mood, he accepts only briefly.
He repeatedly attempts to coax me (mostly with words) and I gently deny, then he makes a larger advancement towards the end of the night.
I'll stop the advancement, disappointing him, and then he’s unwilling to accept any cuddling.
I've read from various sources that I should communicate early and honestly, but I feel something’s amiss. Is there a better way to tell him No?
You’re both talking but neither of you is communicating. That would mean having an honest conversation about when and how often each of you generally wants to have sex.
Otherwise, if this current tug-of-wills continues, the relationship won’t last.
So show interest in what drives him – e.g. does he want sex that often because of desire, or boredom, or a very strong libido?
Then explain some of your reasons for denial – e.g. overtired from work/family, or low level libido?
If you’re going to stay together, the next step is caring about the other’s feelings, and compromise on both sides. That’s communication.
I wish I’d read things you’ve written, about people in relationships being wrongly accused of negative behaviours, a couple of decades ago!
My sister started confronting me on how I offended her, yet she appeared to be doing what she was accusing me of. I was constantly defending myself.
Then my husband started being punitive for things he said I did wrong, and accusing me of lying or being self-serving. My children also behaved like this.
It was hard for me to stay sane and focused since I was constantly told that the common denominator was me. Yet I was the person who worked, cooked, cleaned, shopped, organized, hosted, and cared for aging relatives, while suffering from a chronic disease.
Luckily, I had a job that required logical thinking and some good friends, which kept me grounded.
When everything became clear, my sister was revealed as petty and jealous, and my husband had been having an affair for years where he was pretending to be independently wealthy.
He kept losing jobs, spent all our money, and ran up bills, and made such a fool of me in a community where I had been volunteering, that I had to leave. It’s had a terrible effect on our children who can't trust me, yet I’m the only one there for them.
I’ve cut my sister (which means my entire extended family as they don't want to get involved), and my ex-husband’s gone. I’m left with no one that shows me affection.
It never occurred to me that if I was constantly defending myself to everyone that maybe it wasn't me. Maybe it was others who saw what they could do to me and they joined in.
I now realize that it’s not only important to recognize this transference of blame, but you also have to cut it out from the first person, before others see that they can also treat you this way.
Now that you have confidence in yourself – plus good friends – your strengths and trustworthiness will become obvious to your children.
It’s a relationship you want to re-build if at all possible, for everyone’s benefit.
Focus on the future; you’ve surmounted the past. When you meet new people, be alert to not fall back into old patterns of accepting illogical and shabby treatment.
My great-niece is having a bridal shower on the same day as my birthday. I'm gong to be 79.
My daughter feels we should have my party around noon that day, then go to my niece to celebrate her shower at 2pm.
I did not care for this and she thinks I'm wrong and behaving like a big baby. Your thoughts?
Turning 79 is a first-class milestone, and no wonder you’re somewhat sensitive about it!
But, as with all turning points into the next decade, people tend to get reflective, even a little anxious, and that’s not unusual at all when nearing 80.
However, in our society and many others in the world, a wedding is the ultimate turning point, and brides get special notice.
Yet this day is still being devoted to both of you – and you first!
It’s a fine honour to you, and should make for a very full, happy day.
Tip of the day:
Communication goes beyond saying No to sex, and calls for coming to mutual understanding.