DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS: Along with many rules about things like crumbs, grass, fingerprints, showering time (no more than three minutes) and not speaking to my daughter UNLESS it's to chasten her, this is what I have to put with sexually. My partner has OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder). He expects me to perform sexual acts upon him at specific times during the week like clockwork -- Thursdays by eight o'clock every week, and Saturdays. If I say no, I get the silent treatment or worse. Last week I told him no, and he said he just sat in a hot car for an hour and brought me supper. In other words, I "owe" him sex. I was very hurt, as I often am by him. I've told him I can't live like this any more and need to leave. Pretty much, he told me I will leave with nothing. Most of my paycheque goes to him already. He said, "Prove it." He has major control issues and I just don't know what to do. He promised things would be great when my daughter and he moved in four years ago. Advice please! -- Controlled By Him, Winnipeg
Dear Controlled: Four years of this! What makes you think you have to put up with this extremely unhealthy situation another week? It's very bad for you and your daughter -- abusive and confidence-destroying. Luckily, you have a job and may be able to afford something else. If you only have part-time work, look for full-time or a second part-time job. And, if you simply can't get enough money to live, talk to social assistance, because it's imperative you get out fast. What you're calling sex is not normal lovemaking between a couple, but service. You're being treated like a sex slave, and it's not a consensual game. You have got into a bad situation and need help getting out, so speak to supportive family and friends who may help. If you can't seem to budge, call Osborne House (942-3052) for counselling and ask to talk about mental abuse. Rather than discussing leaving strategy with this man who intends to keep your possessions, get yourself to a lawyer. Call Manitoba Legal Aid (1-800-2612960) if you haven't the money. Do whatever is necessary to get out with your possessions, and look for therapy for both you and your daughter. Psychiatrists are free on medicare with a referral from your physician; psychologists may be covered if your workplace has group insurance.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I met a very sweet woman through a mutual friend and his wife, who were playing matchmaker for us. They set us up within a group of eight invited for dinner. We liked each other immediately and thought we were complying with their wishes by going out for coffee after dinner. We talked for hours and hours and ended up coming to my place, and she stayed the night. It was sexual and warm and wonderful. Everything felt quite natural and we spent the weekend together and we are dating now. But, her priggish girlfriend who set us up is coming down on her girlfriend by telling her she "gave in" too early. I phoned my buddy and told him to tell his wife to butt out. My new girlfriend is now feeling like she's "cheap" in her friend's eyes, and we should stop having sex for a while! I think she should tell her friend off instead of allowing her to spoil our sexual enjoyment. We are all adults in our early 30s. Now my gf is mad at me for making the call to my friend, the husband. What do you think? -- Sir Lancelot, St. James
Dear Sir L.: Most grown women would tell this Nosy Parker woman friend to back right off. But it was your girlfriend's phone decision to make, if she wanted to. You shouldn't take over the role of acting for a woman who should be doing her own boundary-setting. It's not a good sign that she's willing to stop having sex with you to try to please her girlfriend's sense of morality. Why is she telling her girlfriend every detail anyway? She is in her 30s, not high-school age. Sex should be a private topic between the two of you at this age. Look, people have sex when they feel intimate -- you reached that stage after talking for hours and hours, feeling a very strong connection. Some people don't get there until they've seen each other for a much longer time. It varies for each couple unless they're having one-night sex for recreation. You were not doing that.
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