Boasting is annoying, but envy doesn’t help
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?
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.