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Woman takes stand, feels pressured

Dear Abby: I hope you will print this because I'm sure many women share this dilemma. My boyfriend, whom I adore and who is one of the kindest men on Earth, wants me to perform a certain sex act on him. While I understand that many people – and I don't judge them – enjoy it, I am not one of them. I would feel degraded if I even tried it.

He says he won't pressure me about it, yet he talks about it a lot. Just listening to him talk about it puts unwanted pressure on me. I have tried to be honest with him. I told him I don't want to do this, but I'm afraid if I don't, it will damage my relationship with him. However, if I give in, I'll end up feeling self-loathing and resentment. Either way, it will be damaging. We're in our 40s. Please offer any advice you might have. – Worried in California

Dear Worried: You are indeed not alone in this dilemma. You should not have to do anything you are uncomfortable with. The next time your boyfriend raises the subject, turn the discussion to amorous activities you both enjoy. Then suggest that instead of this particular sex act, you engage in his "No. 2 favorite."

Dear Abby: I'm a 51-year-old woman with a question. What do you recommend a person do or say when being lied to? I'm not talking about the little white lies we all tell to spare someone's feelings, smooth things over, etc.

I once had a 21-year-old man tell me that he was a veteran of a war that had been over for 10 years! I felt like an idiot pretending to believe him and knew he'd be laughing at me later, but frankly, I felt scared to confront him. – Heard A Whopper

Dear Heard A Whopper: If you have reason to feel that the person talking to you is being untruthful, be polite and end the conversation. And if your intuition tells you the person is someone to be afraid of, put as much distance between you as possible and avoid that person in the future.

Dear Abby: I am a plus-sized woman. I am loud and boisterous, and I like to surround myself with similar women. However, there is a problem I am now facing.

Many of my friends have made amazing transformations and gotten fit. I am fully supportive and impressed, but I see the price they are paying. They are no longer confident and vivacious. They have become timid, approval-seeking shells of their previous selves.

Why do newly thin women forget how awesome their personalities used to be? – Big Beauty in Illinois

Dear Big Beauty: Not knowing your friends, I can't answer for them. But it is possible that having become "transformed and fit," they no longer feel they need their loud and boisterous personas to compete for attention.

Dear Abby: When I was growing up, my father would ask my mother what she wanted, and then he would buy the opposite. For example, if she wanted a brown sofa, he would buy a blue one.

One day I realized that he acts the same way toward me. He will ask my opinion about the color of something – like an appliance – then buy the opposite color. Is there a name for this behavior? – Anonymous in Atlanta

Dear Anonymous: Yes, there is. It is called "passive aggression," and it's a way of demonstrating veiled hostility without being directly confrontational.

Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Write Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

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