Boast­ing is an­noy­ing, but envy doesn’t help

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - PAUSE & PLAY -

Q-A cou­ple whom we’ve known since col­lege years, and be­came close later when we all had kids, seem to have re­cently be­come richer though they haven’t said how.

They def­i­nitely spend much more freely.

They’ve also be­come an­noy­ing. Now, ev­ery­thing they talk about or do seems to re­late to money.

Af­ter the Christ­mas/New Year hol­i­days, the wife was flash­ing a new di­a­mond neck­lace, though we were just go­ing to a movie. She ob­vi­ously wanted to show it off to me.

She then in­sisted on ask­ing what I got for Christ­mas. Sud­denly my new much-wanted iPad seemed in­signif­i­cant, though I was thrilled when my hus­band gave it to me.

She knew it was a big pur­chase for his salary, given all the other ex­penses, like tick­ets for spe­cial Christ­mas pro­duc­tions for our whole fam­ily.

Af­ter the movie, they also an­nounced their plans to take their kids to Dis­ney World for March Break, and to Dis­ney Land in the sum­mer. “They need to see them both,” he said, as if that’s what ev­ery­one should and can do.

Their two young sons even got snotty, putting down our younger kids’ new games com­pared to their Star Wars’ ro­bots.

If I say some­thing I’ll just sound jeal­ous. But if I don’t, I’m not sure the friend­ship will last.

An­noyed in Ari­zona

A-Cut them some slack on their new ex­cite­ment.

You are feel­ing some envy, and that’s pretty nat­u­ral.

But if it per­sists, envy can erode not only your friend­ship, but also your ap­pre­ci­a­tion of the good life that you have. Dis­tance a lit­tle if they con­tinue to boast. Hope­fully, they’ll be­come more dis­creet as the nov­elty of in­creased af­flu­ence set­tles down. Oth­er­wise, you’ll prob­a­bly dis­tance more.

If your friend asks why, tell her that you’re happy for their suc­cess, but that her chil­dren are also mak­ing oth­ers un­com­fort­able with their brag­ging and com­par­isons.

Q-My wife and I have been mar­ried for 35 years, and had ter­rific sex for 28 of them.

She was beau­ti­ful and smart when we met, and she still is at 65. We fell in love, we both en­joyed very good ca­reers, and we trav­elled to­gether when­ever pos­si­ble.

Our one daugh­ter’s been liv­ing on her own for five years. Seven years ago, my wife lost all in­ter­est in sex, and won’t say why or dis­cuss it.

She avoids doc­tors, so won’t con­sider any hor­mone treat­ments if that’s what’s needed. Yet she’s still very con­cerned with her looks, takes a lot of sup­ple­ments, ex­er­cises, and is in great shape.

When I try to talk to her about miss­ing sex, she shuts me down. She knows I’m still aroused by her and have no per­for­mance is­sues.

I’m still af­fec­tion­ate with her. We’re both work­ing less, so we spend a lot of time to­gether, and go out to­gether with friends.

Why would she turn off sex with­out even talk­ing to me about it?

Miss­ing Sex

A-She’s al­low­ing af­fec­tion block­ing the old pas­sion.

She may see her­self in a dif­fer­ent phase of life – daugh­ter gone, work less de­mand­ing, watch­ful about ag­ing... all af­fect­ing her self-im­age.

She’d ben­e­fit from talk­ing to a coun­selor.

Grow­ing older is in­evitable. But, by shut­ting down sex (un­less the rea­son is very strong), she’s miss­ing sig­nif­i­cant ben­e­fits to phys­i­cal health and emo­tional well be­ing.

Yet ag­ing well to­gether can be a beau­ti­ful life phase where in­ti­macy may be mod­i­fied but doesn’t have to be ex­cluded.

If she won’t talk to some­one and tell you about it, then go your­self to learn how to deal with this change.

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