Editor’s Note: We’re running items from some of Jyl’s old columns until a new advice columnist checks in.
I work in a big company—not super huge, but big enough to blend in. I started at a really low-level position and have worked my way up a couple of rungs very slowly over the last couple of years. I am very happy where I am and comfortable in the idea that I can continue to grow here. My bosses have no idea who I am, and I am just fine with that. When I get to a position where they need to, they will know me, and I’m sure we will all get along just fine.So, in the meantime, I have had occasion, more than once, to meet the wife of one of the bosses. I can’t get into how or why, because I am that afraid of this getting out. I was in the right place at the right time to help this woman out with something incredibly small and menial first, and the second time in a way that really, really helped her out. It was not a big deal to me, and I would have done this for anybody in the situation, because that’s the kind of person I am. But she really made a big deal out of it, and she said she really wanted to find a way to thank me. I was still clueless the whole time as to what was happening, but then there was the moment where the lightbulb went off and I realized she was hitting on me.I know this sounds made up, and I know that I should provide some kind of evidence, but I am telling you I just can’t—too scared. She was not hinting at anything, she just straight up invited me to sleep with her. I smiled and thanked her and politely got the hell out of there, but now I am afraid that somebody might find out. I am very happy where I am, and I have no desire to get another job, and I probably couldn’t get paid or be as happy somewhere else even if I tried.She said that I was being naïve and that I wasn’t the only one, and she also tried to tell me that her husband knew and he was fine with it. She is super attractive, but I don’t think I could sleep with her even if I wanted to. Now when I see her she is always flirting, and it freaks me out. Any advice on how to make this stop?
It’s unfortunate that this woman gets off on the power trip, but I think you’re handling it just fine. If I thought it was worth making waves, I would tell you to be direct and tell her to knock it off; I’m fairly certain that there is a case to be made that what she is doing is illegal. Unfortunately, I don’t think a guy in your situation is likely to get anywhere with that kind of complaint, and since you are happy with your job, your best bet is to avoid making waves and just wait until she finds another target for her affections. Continue to be the good citizen that you are, and hopefully she will get bored and move on.
Got a tough one for ya. So, I’m at the point where I want to end things with my current GF. There’s a lot that’s good about our relationship, but there are some serious issues. She has big issues with anxiety, depression and self-image that I can’t handle. Problem is, she’s aware of all these things and is also super insecure about them. How do you end something with someone when what they’re insecure about is, in fact, the cause of the end of the relationship?
I don’t want to make her feel worse, and I want to be as compassionate as possible because I do care for her. It’s just even harder because she’s aware of the difficulties she puts on the relationship but doesn’t work to remedy them. I feel like if I’m honest with her about why I want to break up with her, it’ll just reinforce her low self-image and insecurities… but its true! Should I be honest about my reasons?
Tough Love Sounds Just Tough
Yes. It will be difficult, but your honesty may actually get her on the right track. What she really needs is to work on these insecurities. She should probably get professional help, but regardless of how she does it, she needs to get happy (or at least comfortable) with herself before she finds happiness or comfort in somebody else. You’re supposed to be her partner, not her shrink. It’s not fair of her to expect you to be both. And, you said it yourself: she is not working on the problems she knows she’s bringing to the relationship. And frankly, you’re not helping her by enabling her, either. Do what you need to do. Do it honestly, do it quickly, and wish her well.
I would appreciate it if you would edit this question and take out the specifics before you answer. I think you’ll agree that the details might be a bit damning, and I know my significant other reads your column at least semi-regularly, so I don’t want to take any chances. So, that being said, here goes: My partner and I have been together for a few years. We will probably get married, though whenever the subject comes up we both sort of talk about it like it’s going to happen at some point and neither of us is in a big hurry. Things between us are mostly great and mostly very easy. We enjoy each other’s company, get along with friends and family and all that. And our sex life is pretty great. We have explored some fantasies and opened up a lot, and it has been fun.
My partner has a particular kink (that we are not going to mention here for the sake of anonymity) that I do not particularly love, but am happy to indulge him or her on occasion. The problem is that it is rather involved, as you can imagine, and, frankly, I just don’t have the energy for it all the time. He or she has started to request it more and more often, and I find myself starting to grow weary of it, which is causing me to become somewhat resentful. Whenever I start to want to decline the request, I look into my partner’s eyes, see the effect the very idea of this particular scenario has, and then I acquiesce. Don’t get me wrong. It’s not that I hate doing this, or that I don’t mostly enjoy it. It’s just that sometimes I would like a quickie, or just regular, easy, fun sex, without all the bells and whistles. I am trying to be a giving partner, but really, I am getting tired of this. What should I do?
The only thing you can do is be honest with your partner about this, TS. I think once he or she (this has not been an easy charade to keep up, just so you know) realizes that the growing frequency of this request is making it tedious for you, he or she may back off of the request a bit. It’s nice that you are so willing to be so giving, but let’s face it, this is hardly standard sex play by anyone’s definition, and it is quite involved. You need to make your own request now, TS. Tell your partner that you need more vanilla, more often. Tell him or her that the frequency is taking the excitement out of it for you, and that you are basically less inclined to have sex at all now, out of fear that it will turn into a big production. You have as much as said that you are sometimes avoiding sex at all at this point, though I don’t think you even realized that you did. Go back and read your original letter. Anyway, you have a great relationship and you love each other, and there is no reason why you should be afraid to address this directly. Good luck.
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