My mother-in-law is obsessed with looks. It’s driving me crazy. She’s been retired for years and works out six days per week for at least an hour each day. She also eats less than 1,000 calories a day. I think she has an eating disorder and needs professional help.
Realistically, I know that she’s an adult and her eating doesn’t affect me, but when we spend time with her and my father-in-law, it’s honestly unbearable. The conversation always ends up on her fit body, her nice teeth or her nice clothes. I often find myself feeling really stressed if I know I’m going to be seeing her, as I want to match her in attractiveness and style. The worst was when she met a family member’s naturally thin, statuesque girlfriend and fawned over her all evening. The girl became visibly uncomfortable and began to avoid my MIL, which embarrassed me.
My husband shrugs off this behavior, and my father-in-law seems to just ignore it, but I’m annoyed by her personal showboating and obsession with looks. Also, I can sense her judging my clothes and body—I’m “curvy,” as some would say, and it’s odd that she always wants to talk about how much she exercises and how little food she needs to eat—and I worry about having female kids for her to influence. I almost want to move to a different town before we start a family. Any advice on dealing with this woman?
No Thanks, Grandma!
You’re not going to be able to teach her to love herself or to love body diversity. She’s too old to disavow beauty standards and learn body positivity. What you can do for yourself, No Thanks, is be curvy and confident in spite of her negative influence. I think that she’s bothered by your nerve to love yourself in spite of your extra weight, and that’s why she’s always talking fitness with you.
Continue to love yourself, but not as a way to get on her nerves. Do it because the second you start trying to keep up or compete with her, you’ll be tempted to starve yourself or work out too much. Change the subject when she starts talking about fitness and dieting—or, you could always tell her straight up that you don’t wanna discuss that stuff with her.
But more than anything, don’t try to keep up with this woman. She sounds like she has a lot of work to do before she can be happy with herself, and she’s going to drag you down with her.
I’m trying to introduce some new stuff in the bedroom, and my boyfriend is not having it! Basically, I want to use my toy while we make love, but he is definitely not comfortable with it. I don’t know what his problem is—he just says he doesn’t “wanna do that tonight,” and then I go to bed unsatisfied. How do I get him to warm up to doing something different?
Buzz, I’ve been there. My ex hated my vibrator, because he felt that he—and only he—should be allowed to pleasure me fully during intercourse. The truth is only 20 percent of women are able to have orgasms through vaginal stimulation alone, and the clitoris is the only body part that exists only to give a person pleasure. It has no other function besides providing a good feeling.
My ex only admitted his insecurities years after we broke up, so don’t think that your man is gonna confess right now. I’m positive that’s the issue, though. Explain to him that if he is truly invested in your sexual satisfaction, bringing a toy into bed should not be a problem. The toy only enhances what he’s doing; it’s like the pink sauce at Cali N Tito’s. And it’s not like you wanna dump him for your toy. Obviously, you wanna have the best sex you can with the person you’re dating, and that’s all the toy is helping you to do. Tell him that.
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