Short Answers, July 1
Paula Forman and Jeff Johnson
Sunday, July 1, 2018
HELLO HOUSTON, WE HAVE A PROBLEM
Dear Short Answers: After our third child was born, my wife decided that she wasn’t all that interested in sex anymore. She’s made it abundantly clear to me that it’s not my fault — she’s just not interested any more. There doesn’t seem to be anything that I can do to change her mind — and I’ve tried everything. Given her position, would it be wrong for me to fool around? And do you think I should tell her in advance? I don’t want it to sound like an ultimatum because I’m not planning on leaving her. I just don’t plan to be celibate for the rest of my life. — Horny Husband
Dear HH: Yes, you have a problem, but your solution makes it a car crash. She either has a physical or emotional issue that needs to be addressed. Start with her OB-GYN. If she is unwilling to discuss with her doctor then insist on counseling — for both of you.
Dear Short Answers: What do you think about taking a gap year between high school and college? My son wants to spend a year in Europe, which we can afford. But I’m afraid that he won’t eventually go to college if he stops going to school and enjoys himself too much. How do I give him this bit of freedom but make it miserable enough so that he goes back to school? — Nervous
Dear Nervous: For most kids, a gap year is a great growing up thing. And most parents share your fears. Our advice is to tell your son you have every confidence in him and that you respect his choices but you will provide modest living expenses for 12 months only. Then stick to both parts — modest and 12 months. Hopefully his college choice is squared away before his year abroad. So hard to assemble applications and so easy to miss deadlines while “traveling.”
“LIGHTEN UP” DEPARTMENT
Dear Short Answers: When is your child too old to bring into a public restroom of the opposite sex? I was in a men’s room yesterday and a man had brought his daughter with him who seemed to be about 5 or 6 years old. She was very inquisitive and asked very loudly “What are all these men doing?” Would I have been within my rights to ask the man to take his daughter someplace else? — Uncomfortable
Dear Uncomfortable: A little empathy please. And then a sense of humor. We can assume that there was no other reasonable choice and no person to leave her with — that’s the empathy part. And rather than ask the man to take his daughter elsewhere, you could have answered her question (that’s the humor part).
NOT ALL QUESTIONS REQUIRE AN ANSWER
Dear Short Answers: I recently had some minor cosmetic surgery and all my friends have told me how great I look and ask me, “What’s your secret?” Should I tell them the truth or make something up? I hate to lie, but I don’t think it’s any of their business. — I Feel Pretty
Dear Pretty: Ain’t nobody’s business but your own. Say whatever … a good night’s sleep … or just smile.
Life is complicated. “Short Answers” isn’t. Send a question about whatever is bothering you to firstname.lastname@example.org or go to www.shortanswers.net and a psychologist and sociologist will answer. A selection of the best questions will be printed every Sunday in The Daily Reflector.