Ask Amy

Dear Amy: What should I do if my sig­nif icant other isn’t sup­port­ive of sur­gi­cal/cos­metic changes that I want to make to my body?

The Denver Post - - FEATURES - By Amy Dick­in­son

I’ve flat-out asked him how he would feel if I got lip in­jec­tions (just to test the wa­ters). I want other, more ex­treme pro­ce­dures as well.

He told me that if I had some­thing like that done, he would leave me.

I’ve been in a re­la­tion­ship with him for four years, so it kind of hurts my feel­ings that he would drop all that just be­cause I wanted to make a change to my body so that I won’t feel as in­se­cure in it.

He says it would make him feel that I’m not who he thought I was and that it’s vain to do these things. Do you think his feel­ings are jus­ti­fied? — Cu­ri­ous about Col­la­gen

Dear Cu­ri­ous: I’m not sure why you are ask­ing me about your boyfriend’s feel­ings. He has given you his hon­est opinion, and he (and I) shouldn’t have to jus­tify his feel­ings.

The down­side of your choice to “test the wa­ters” in this way is that you don’t seem to have pre­pared your­self for the an­swer.

It is your body. You shouldn’t feel com­pelled to dis­cuss your choice with any­one in ad­vance.

I’m not a fan of cos­metic pro­ce­dures (cer­tainly “ex­treme” ones), but if some­one I loved wanted to do this, and if they could af­ford it and it didn’t harm their health, I’d tell them to have at it.

I sug­gest that you do what you want to do. Don’t ask your boyfriend to weigh in be­fore­hand, and don’t ask for his opinion or ap­proval af­ter­ward.

Dear Amy: My boyfriend and I (age 50 and 48) are talk­ing about get­ting mar­ried next year. He is a kind, sweet, smart and re­spon­si­ble per­son, and I’m ut­terly be­sot­ted.

The part that has me con­cerned is that his best friend is his mother. He is very in­tro­verted and so he doesn’t have any­one he just “hangs out” with. His whole so­cial life is go­ing to church on Sun­days with his par­ents, singing in the choir, and me. He was pre­vi­ously mar­ried, and be­fore his wife passed away, his whole world re­volved around her (his wife).

This all hit me when he talked about dis­cussing some­thing with his mom that I thought should have been dis­cussed with me first.

His mom is a lovely, sen­si­ble per­son, and we get along great. I’ve just never been in­volved with some­one who is so close to his mom. My own mom passed away when I was in my 20s, and my fa­ther and I are not close. He has yet to meet my dad, or most of my broth­ers.

I’m not sure how to get my head around the idea that his mother re­ally is his best friend — the per­son he goes to first for ad­vice and com­fort, the way you would your best friend.

He holds down a good job, has his own place, never asks for money, etc. But this just seems odd to me. Or am I the odd one? What are your thoughts? — An­other Amy

Dear Amy: You say that in your guy’s pre­vi­ous mar­riage, his world re­volved around his wife. It is vi­tal in func­tion­ing mar­riages for the cou­ple to be at the cen­ter of the cou­ple’s world. This means that spouses should share im­por­tant in­for­ma­tion with one an­other be­fore bring­ing in oth­ers — best friends or fam­ily.

In terms of the friend­ship be­tween this mother and son, I think that many peo­ple would con­sider a par­ent or sib­ling to be their best friend. (I cer­tainly felt that way about my own mother.) This best friend­ship should not su­per­sede the re­la­tion­ship be­tween spouses, how­ever.

Un­der­stand that at this junc­ture you hold im­por­tant in­for­ma­tion about your guy. He might be able to make ad­just­ments to bring you into his fam­ily cir­cle, but his re­la­tion­ship with his par­ents may be­come even more im­por­tant and cen­tral to his life as they age and need him more.

This is truly a case of “if you marry him, you will marry his mother.”

Dear Amy: “Wait­ing for Sorry” re­ported her his­tory of men­tal ill­ness, and her need for her mother to ac­knowl­edge it.

Thank you for try­ing to re­duce the stigma sur­round­ing men­tal ill­ness. The stigma is what keeps many peo­ple from ac­knowl­edg­ing this re­al­ity. — Bipo­lar

Dear Bipo­lar: Ev­ery time some­one talks openly about hav­ing a men­tal ill­ness, it helps to re­duce the stigma. We’re get­ting there.

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