“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

Braidwood, IL

#1 May 31, 2014
DEAR AMY: My wife and I have been together for 25 years. We have four beautiful children. We started dating just after high school. I had had only one previous sexual partner and told her everything. She told me about several people she'd been with, mostly mutual friends from high school.

I've since found out that there were several more. I've asked her for full disclosure, and she refuses. She says I don't have the right to ask her.

With our 25th high school reunion coming up, I feel I have a right to know. Do you think I have a right to know?-- Unhappy Husband

DEAR UNHAPPY: In theory, I think you have a right to know about your wife's previous sexual partners.

In actuality, I think you carry the potential for making your 25th high school reunion exciting, to say the least. But instead of worrying about ancient history, you should dance to your favorite Milli Vanilli song and try your hardest to have a great time.

Surely your wife is nervous about your reaction to this list -- as well as possibly embarrassed by how busy she was in high school.

After 25 years of togetherness, the power of these liaisons should diminish. I'm left to conclude that there is more underneath the surface of this query, even if you are not sure what that is.

The burden is on you to convince her that you can be trusted with this information. I don't think you're there. A marriage counselor could help to mediate this -- after your reunion.

DEAR AMY: I am a 28-year-old married woman, and I live across the country from my family. I visit as often as I can, probably two to three times a year. I obviously want a relationship with my parents and other adult siblings.

My family has always been dysfunctional. My parents fight a lot, and my mother nags my father to no end. He ignores her until she yells, and then he yells. Whenever I am there, I find myself in the middle of their disputes, trying to help them communicate -- to no avail.

They both complain to me about everything the other parent does.

They have been married for 38 years and only seem to grow more annoyed with each other. My mother is too proud for therapy, and my father will never leave her because his own father abandoned him.

What can I do to make our visits more pleasant? My husband and I are expecting our first child this year, and we don't want our kids around this type of behavior!-- Annoyed

DEAR ANNOYED: The first thing you should do to protect yourself is to not stay with your parents during your visits home. The stress of staying with them in their home during their visits could make everything worse.

You need to establish a new way of interacting with them, instead of becoming both the symptom carrier and the mediator for the family dysfunction.

You should respond to your mother by saying, "Mom, I'm sorry. I cannot help you. I'm worried about you. Please get professional help to deal with this. I can help you find someone to talk to." Repeat as often as necessary.

You should redirect their attention when they act up and also give them a warning that you need for things to be at least minimally peaceful during your visits.

When things get crazy, you have to be brave enough to leave the scene. Be calm, steady, get your coat and go. I'm not saying that you should be unsympathetic, but that you should not let your parents draw you in. You cannot fix their relationship.

DEAR AMY: "John" is a Silicon Valley worker who complained about a co-worker who routinely copied his clothing style.

That guy should start his own consulting business on the side. He could do well dressing those of us who work in tech fields and don't know what we're doing, fashionwise.-- In the Valley

DEAR VALLEY: If "pulled from the rummage bin" was a definable fashion style, tech workers would have it made.

I like your suggestion.

“reign in blood”

Since: May 09

United States

#2 May 31, 2014
1- Haha, you married the school s1ut. Skip the reunion, you won't reunite with anyone your wife hasn't slept with

2- Stop visiting
tiredofit

Los Angeles, CA

#3 May 31, 2014
1. After 25 years I doubt they will be ogling each other and conjuring up very old memories of some drunken party where they hooked up. More likely will be the "gosh she/he sure looks older".

Also don't think it's any of his business who she was with 25 years ago. Talk about trying to start trouble that's totally out of line.

“...,to wit”

Since: Jun 09

Location hidden

#4 May 31, 2014
It is a bell which cannot be unrung . The wife should keep quiet
Kuuipo

Salinas, CA

#5 May 31, 2014
LW1: I do not understand why this would concern you after 25 years of marriage. To answer your question, I don't think you have "a right to know" anything and it sounds like you resent the fact that she had more sexual experience than you. The healthy thing to do, IMHO, is to let this go. Because I don't see it going anywhere good.

LW2: Your parents have established this nasty way of relating to each other and it will not be easy to fix it. However, you should definitely refuse to be drawn into the middle of it as much as possible. Amy had some good suggestions.
Pippa

Hancock, NY

#6 May 31, 2014
1: " In theory, I think you have a right to know about your wife's previous sexual partners." Right.(sarcasm here) For some reason, I thought advice counselors usually say that what happened before a marriage or beginning of a relationship is not the spouse's business. He already knew she'd had other sexual relationships. I don't see any reason why this guy's wife needs to name all her previous boyfriends or who she slept with. All he needs to know is that she's now a faithful wife. If he can believe she is (but I suspect that's at the root of all this angst), then he should think about that and forget about the past. How would he like it if she pestered him in the same way? I know. He SAYS he told her everything but why should she believe him if he pesters her like this? Is he trying to make himself feel better for holding back something from her? Or as I suspect, he really doesn't trust her now and suspects she isn't faithful. Perhaps he needs to see a therapist to understand why he can't get past this. What she did and with whom should not be bothering him 25 years on.

2: What Amy said. I don't know why the lw feels she needs to help her parents fix their marriage. I was in this same kind of situation when I was in high school. Parents yelling at each other and then each one coming to me separately to tell my why they were right and the other one was wrong. I couldn't leave and what does a teenager know anyway? So I agree the lw should not stay at her parents' home during her visits. Get a motel room and then tell whichever parent who complains to her that she can't solve their marital problems for them.

3: Amy is insulting techies' dress style. This is so wrong. Styles change. Cleanliness and grooming don't. As long as they're modestly dressed, clean, and decently groomed, why does it matter? So some guy wears wing tips with jeans? So what? It may be the next new fashion someplace. I won't know because I don't care.

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