Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: My husband has "flirtations" every few years. I guess we got married too young. Usually, it’s just a physical crush on someone he thinks is cute at his work, or on TV. He mentions it to me, so I won’t think he’s hiding things from him, or acting on it, but he’s baiting me. Predictably, I get jealous, we fight, and it’s over.
Telling me about having desire for these women has hurt me. The confessions eased his conscience — and I think he liked the fights and make-up sex. But I reached a point where I’d had enough last November.
He started again mentioning a new woman after Christmas. So, I started mentioning whenever I thought a guy on TV or in a movie, was hot. I have always loved the look of a well-muscled man. It turns out my skinny husband hates that, because he is a string-bean — a string-bean I happen to love!
Now things have really gone sour. He stopped mentioning the girl at work after I started pointing out gorgeous muscled men to him.
Last night it had been so long since we had sex — at least a week — and he’s an every-night kind of guy. So, I asked him straight out if he would make love to me. He turned his back and spoke a phrase I’ve never heard from him before: "No, I’m not in the mood."
All he does now is watch movies, play computer games and pout. What is so wrong? He hurt me with his "attractions" for years, and I hung in there.
— Frustrated Young Wife, Wolseley
Dear Frustrated: He thinks you don’t like the look of his string-bean body, and he never knew that before. He may have thought you saw him as slim, handsome and hot. Now he knows you’re turned on by muscle men — and he’s certainly not that type. That brought on self-consciousness — the enemy of great sex.
Your young husband doesn’t have a very strong ego, and was crushed. Clearly, he can only dish it out, not take it — at least for a week or so. Since you two have been daily lovers, it may take a little soothing of his ego by letting him hear the things you do find attractive about him, before he caves and you’re having sex again.
Now you have a clue as to why he was forever telling you about other women. He wanted you to get jealous to see proof you thought he was attractive and desired him. it’s time for some heart-to-heart talks about why you fell for each other in the first place, what you like and love about each other, and what underlies the sexual attraction that has kept you daily lovers until now.
Then both of you have to promise to stop goading each other, secure in the knowledge you have love and feel passion for each other, and don’t want anybody else.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I’m an annoying guy some of the time because I speak my mind without a filter — I’m a blurter. It was a "problem" at school but the few friends I have like me and put up with it. Home schooling is best for me, for that reason and others.
The problem is I can get hurt feelings just like anybody else and people outside the family think I should be able to take it, if I can dish it out. How can I get control of this?
— Blurting Problem, St. Boniface
Dear Blurter: First, it’s clear you have the insight to handle this problem to a degree. You must teach yourself to slow down and not answer every delicate question that comes your way.
Let’s say someone asks you for an honest opinion. You must ask for a few minutes to think. Then silently ask yourself if your answer would be useful. For instance, if your sister is dressed and ready to go out wearing the special lime green outfit she bought for the occasion, it’s not useful to tell her it makes her pale face look greenish.
It may be accurate, but it could hurt her and cause her to feel horrible and stay home. It could do some damage to your closeness with her as a brother.
Another question to ask yourself is, "Will my answer hurt this person unnecessarily?" If it’s not wise to answer, say "I can’t answer this question easily. Could you please ask somebody else this one?"
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Each year, the Free Press publishes more than 1,000 letters to Miss Lonelyhearts and her responses to the life and relationship questions that come her way.