Si­b­ling wrestling crosses bound­aries

SundayXtra - - LIFE / SCIENCE -

Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: My hus­band of four years just met his half-sis­ter for the first time this past week­end. It all was go­ing well, if a bit un­com­fort­able and over­whelm­ing at times, as she and her hus­band stayed at our place.

A few times my hus­band and this half-sis­ter would wres­tle, and I found it highly in­ap­pro­pri­ate be­cause he’s 36 and she’s 28. He doesn’t do this with his other sis­ters.

Also, once she squeezed be­tween her hus­band and my hus­band, prac­ti­cally sit­ting on his lap. I voiced my dis­com­fort, and it hap­pened again last night when we were out with friends: they started wrestling while we were leav­ing. I asked them re­peat­edly to stop and cool it, and they didn’t. He tore into me when he got home, say­ing I should just ac­cept it and I ba­si­cally had no right to voice my feel­ings.

Now we’re be­ing civil, but I can tell he’s up­set with me. I’ve apol­o­gized, and they both said they’re OK with it, and it’s com­fort­able for them and left it at that. This sit­u­a­tion is very new to him, and I get the fact that it’s like a shiny new toy or event and there is ex­cite­ment, but it has been very in­ap­pro­pri­ate, I think. Any ad­vice? — Si­b­ling Wrestling, Win­nipeg Dear Si­b­ling Wrestling: Ask him what kind of re­la­tion­ship he wants with his half-sis­ter. If he says “brother and sis­ter” like you’re an id­iot, then in­form him that’s not what any broth­ers and sis­ters do past a young age be­cause it can bor­der on sex­ual. Ask him if he’s at­tracted to his younger sis­ter be­cause it seems like that by the way they are act­ing.

Tell him a quick hug hello or good­bye would be as phys­i­cal as adult sib­lings get. There have to be bound­aries. Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I was on a hol­i­day in an­other prov­ince with my part­ner and ac­ci­den­tally bumped into my guy’s ex and his part­ner who were stay­ing in the same ho­tel.

We had din­ner with them, since it seemed like the friendly and civ­i­lized thing to do, but soon there were sparks fly­ing where there shouldn’t have been. (By the way, we are both gay cou­ples.) I no­ticed my part­ner was flirt­ing with his ex. There was no mis­tak­ing the nu­ances, in­side jokes and ref­er­ences to old times.

I was an­gry and whis­pered in my part­ner’s ear that I was leav­ing and stood to go, and he pulled my wrist down to stay.

I said, “Don’t you man­han­dle me!” and took off for our room. He didn’t come back up to our room for two hours.

When he got there, I pre­tended to be sleep­ing. In the morn­ing, he de­nied all wrong­do­ing and said I was rude. The rest of the hol­i­day was OK but lacked warmth.

We are back in Win­nipeg, and he’s still act­ing cold to­ward me. Do I owe him an apol­ogy as he says? — Still Jeal­ous and Hurt­ing, Win­nipeg Dear Still Jeal­ous and Hurt­ing: The best de­fence is a good of­fence? Not re­ally. That is your part­ner’s tac­tic, but it’s not work­ing.

By flirt­ing over din­ner and then stay­ing two more hours af­ter you left, he was in­sen­si­tive and mean. He could have said hon­estly, “My part­ner has left be­cause he feels we are flirt­ing, and his feel­ings are hurt. Here’s money for our half of din­ner, and please en­joy dessert on us. Bye now.” But in­stead, he chose to sit there with the other cou­ple.

Now he’s got you to the point where you al­most think this is your fault. Back away from that stance im­me­di­ately. Have it out with him, and have a full dis­cus­sion where you ex­press your true feel­ings and he ex­presses his, too. Flirt­ing with old part­ners in front of a newer part­ner is very hurt­ful be­hav­iour. Don’t let him get away with it by apol­o­giz­ing to him. Please send your ques­tions and com­ments to love­coach@hot­ or Miss Lonelyhearts c/o the Win­nipeg Free Press, 1355 Moun­tain Ave., Win­nipeg, MB, R2X 3B6.

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