Dear Annie: Over the last 12 months, I have lost 160 pounds. That's great, but the more weight I lose, the worse my live-in boyfriend becomes. It's reached the point where he cannot pass by without touching me in some inappropriate way. Even in public.
We've been together five years. He constantly wants sex no matter what and gets furious if I decline. He will even wake me up from a dead sleep. When I protest, he accuses me of having affairs.
We are planning a wedding, and I have a lot on my mind and am quite busy. I don't have the energy for the amount of sex he wants. He says I wasn't like this in the beginning of our relationship, which may be true, but he has definitely turned into a sex addict. I hate it when he gets angry at me for not wanting to "perform." There are times I give in just to stop the whining, but truthfully, it makes me feel violated.
I think my weight loss has caused some major insecurity for him. How do I convince him that saying "no" on occasion does not mean I love him any less? Marrying a Sex Addict
Dear Marrying a Sex Addict: Your perception of the situation is dead-on. Your boyfriend is feeling insecure about your weight loss, and he is using sex to maintain some control over you. No wonder you feel violated. His insecurities will not be alleviated by a marriage license, so before you walk down the aisle, we strongly urge you to get couples counseling. Good luck.
Dear Annie: One of my employees is having a housewarming party. He gave everyone in the office cute, handmade invitations. The invitation also listed the store where he and his wife are registered for gifts.
Traditionally, our office takes a collection for gifts. So far, we've only done weddings and the birth of a baby. The collection is so that no one person feels they have to purchase a gift if they don't want to. Also, many employees have said they feel uncomfortable essentially being told to bring a gift.
Am I right in thinking a registry for a housewarming is inappropriate? If so, what is the best way to explain it to the employee? Sweating in Arizona
Dear Arizona: These days, there is a registry for everything, appropriate or not. Many people do not object, because it means there is no guesswork about what the recipient wants. Since you are co-workers and not personal friends, you are under no obligation to participate, but if the office staff chooses to give a housewarming gift, it should be handled the same way you handle wedding or shower presents.
Dear Annie: I read your response to "Anonymous," the adoptee who gets depressed on her birthday. Your reaction was no different than that of society at large -- that adopted children should forever be grateful. How loving and supportive are parents who, instead of validating the feelings and emotions of their child, tell her she is being selfish not to celebrate her birthday?
A person's birthday belongs to them, and they should get to do what they want, in the manner they choose. My birth was a day of sadness, when a young woman had no alternative but to sign over her parental rights to strangers. I was in foster care for months. I can't expect anyone who is not adopted to understand how we feel. But I also don't expect you to tell us how we should feel. It's not your place. L.M.
Dear L.M.: Then it's a good thing Kathy is adopted and has an adoptive niece and nephew, so we know whereof we speak. Not every adoption experience is positive, and we understand why some are reluctant to celebrate. But "Anonymous" was obsessive about her birthday and getting worse, which is why we recommended counseling. Our advice stands.
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