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How Can I Stop Sleeping With My Wife's Dad, And Other Advice Column Questions

How Can I Stop Sleeping With My Wife's Dad, And Other Advice Column Questions
This week, a letter writer who is having an affair with his father-in-law, a manager who believes they have a psychic connection with their assistant and a sister who will not stop sharing unsolicited photographs of baby poop.
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There are too many excellent advice columns to keep up with, so we're committed to bringing you links to the best advice column questions and answers every week. Here's a roundup of the most interesting, thought-provoking and surprising questions that our favorite columnists addressed in recent days.

How Can I Stop Sleeping With My Wife's Dad?

Here's my situation. In my last year of college, I met the most beautiful and intelligent girl I've even known…

Fast-forward two very busy years deciding where to live, buying a house, getting married and landing two incredible high-paying jobs in our career field, we are now living "the dream."

We settled down in my wife's hometown and often see her parents on Sunday for dinner. Six months ago, we were at her parent's home for Sunday dinner as usual. … While we were eating, her father's phone beeped with a particular sound indicating a message… Because I'm a very secretly closeted bisexual man with very limited experience with men, I recognized the beep from a particular gay hookup site I used a few times before meeting my wife…

A few days later, I saw her father at the hardware store. He invited me to go to a small coffeehouse to talk… Turns out that he is a very secretly closeted gay man. He and my mother-in-law married very young due to a pregnancy, and he didn't know himself very well sexually yet. He stays in the closet, plays it straight because he loves his family and career and wants to keep all of it for himself and for them…

The following weekend, I went up to my father-in-law's cabin with him alone, not unusual, but this time we made love. We both knew this might happen, and neither of us tried to stop it. We spent the weekend together and had the best time connecting while both feeling incredibly guilty about it. This new aspect of our relationship has continued for the last six months and, fortunately, nobody suspects anything, but it's wearing me down. I know I can't have my cake and eat it, too, but I don't know how to "quit him," as Jack Twist would say. Also, it doesn't help that he's a very handsome, fit and muscular man in his early 40's. He never lost his college athlete physique. Please advise how to stop this relationship.


Annie Lane advises the letter writer to stop hiding the affair. "Sit down with your father-in-law and agree on how and when to come clean to both your wives, ideally sooner rather than later," she writes. "They will no doubt be devastated and blindsided by this news — and it will take immense courage on both your parts — but you have few alternatives." Read the rest of her answer.

Should I Try To Convince My Assistant, Whom I Had A Powerful Premonition About, To Turn Down Her New Job Offer?

I had a dream the other day that my assistant was about to resign. For the next few days, every time I talked to her, I halfway held my breath knowing that the next thing she was going to say to me was goodbye. And yet it wasn't. She did ask to speak to me about several sensitive matters. They all turned out to be various business dealings that we were handling -- until she wanted to talk about something else.

A week after having that premonition, my assistant told me she had "bittersweet news.” I knew what was next. She had, in fact, found a new job. She handled sharing the news with me well, and, of course, I wasn't surprised. It's so weird. I really did know before she said a word. People have called me clairvoyant. I don't know about that. I do know that my assistant and I are in alignment, and I knew what was going to happen. Because we work so well together, I'm wondering if I should try to get her to stay. What do I do with this uncanny awareness that I have?


Harriette Cole discourages the letter writer from trying to get their assistant to stay. "Plan together for what needs to happen before she leaves," she writes. "As far as your sixth sense, use it to help guide your steps, not to stop others from living their lives." Read the rest of her answer.

What Should I Do About My Seething Resentment For My Colleagues After My Husband's Job With My Company Didn't Work Out?

Four years ago, my husband joined the small company I've worked at for decades. He had issues with his supervisor, brought tension home, and ultimately left. I am still here, working daily with the people who screwed him over and the jerk who basically pushed him out and took his job. I don't think my husband was blameless, but I do think he was set up for failure in many ways.

Since he left, I've made a great effort to separate my work world ("Hey, how are you?") from my home life ("Yeah, I saw that jerk again today"). I've done a masterful job of compartmentalizing and not "feeling" the frustration I have with my employers for putting him in this position, and with him for letting this happen. Thank goodness I've managed to continue to work mostly from home.

I've pretty much moved on personally, but professionally I still struggle to work honestly and openly with certain supervisors, or to even look directly at the snake who took his job. Do you have any advice? I've worked here for 25 years and have a position of influence and authority. But I regularly think about retiring just to not have to see those people again.

[The Washington Post]

Karla L. Miller counsels the letter writer not to let their husband's experience poison their own. "I'm not sure you're compartmentalizing quite as well as you think," she writes. "You haven't interfered or crossed any boundaries at work, but your internal boundaries could use some protecting.” Read the rest of her answer.

What Should I Do About My Sister's Refusal To Stop Sending Me Photographs Of Her Baby's Bodily Fluids?

I have always had an extremely sensitive stomach and a complete aversion to the sight and smell of feces, vomit, and blood. I have actually fainted several times and as a child, my brothers could trigger me to throw up by making retching noises. Which is why I do not understand my sister's insistent need to bombard me with pics of my niece's diaper blowout and other disgusting things.

I have already dropped out of the family chat because my sister can't connect the dots that posting these pictures is unwanted and unwelcome. I have told her to stop and she finds my request amusing. She says she is helping me because how else will I learn when I have a baby myself (and that condescending smugness is another kettle of fish). I hit my limit when my sister texted me that she had the “cutest" thing to show me right before a big meeting. It was a picture of my niece's green diarrhea. I ended up dry heaving into a trash can. I managed not to do it in front of my superiors but it was a near miss. I am furious with my sister and we had a huge fight over the phone. I told her that fascination with this wasn't normal and it was disgusting and she needed to quit it. She took that as me calling her baby disgusting. Now we aren't talking but everyone in the family is. My father has a birthday coming up and I am thinking of skipping because I am afraid my sister will pull some stunt. What should I do?


Jenée Desmond-Harris points out that it's generally understood that people do not want to see unsolicited photographs of poop. "Go to the birthday but don't even put your purse down," she writes. "Be ready to leave the moment she says or shows something that turns your stomach." Read the rest of her answer.

Am I Wrong To Want To Turn Down My Fiancé’s Parents' Offer To Fund Our Wedding, But Only If I Change My Hair?

I am a 30-year-old woman. I've been with my fiancé for almost seven years.

When we first met, my hair was platinum blonde. Now that I am a hairstylist, I enjoy playing around with my hair color and have come to love dark blue.

I've been blue for a few years now and it didn't seem like a big deal.

Yesterday, my fiancé broke the news to me that his parents are refusing to pay for the wedding venue if my hair is anything except my natural color.

I was completely taken aback.

There's a laundry list: They don't approve of my tattoos, my recent weight gain due to some serious health issues (I had discussed my health problems privately with his mother), and that I'm not making as much money as I should be (hairstylists are struggling right now because we're in a recession)!

This family has been loving toward me this entire relationship, and all of a sudden I've found out how they really feel…

His mom has been extremely apologetic to me (through text), but I honestly don't want anything to do with them.

My fiancé feels the same way.

It's to the point that we're about to elope without telling anyone.

Is it wrong of me to stand my ground and say no to his parents?

I appreciate them helping out with the wedding, but I don't want the help if they have stipulations.

[Tribune Content Agency]

Amy Dickinson endorses the letter's plan to get married without her fiancé’s parents' financial help. "Unless you are unethical, dangerous, or in an unhealthy relationship with their son, there is simply no legitimate reason for them to share any negative views about you to anyone," she writes. Read the rest of her answer.

Does Objecting To My Husband's Unfriending Of Me On Facebook Make Me Closed-Minded?

Out of nowhere, my husband announced he thinks we should unfriend each other on Facebook. I got upset and told him it would make me feel insecure about us, because I think there is no reason for it. I find it very suspicious, and if there is a reason, I think we should split up. He unfriended me anyway. He called me closed-minded and said I value Facebook over our marriage. Is he right?


Abigail Van Buren rules that the letter writer's husband's behavior is a red flag. "When a spouse does what your husband has done, it's usually because he doesn't want his partner to see what he is posting and doesn't want to be monitored," she writes. "You need to discuss this further so he can explain his reasons." Read the rest of her answer.

Read our last week's column here


  1. cd 1 day ago

    To the guy having an affair with his father in law, the next time you're pleasuring your wife anally, just say "this reminds me of a funny story".

  2. Brian Blake 1 day ago

    I agree that unfriending your spouse is not necessary unless ulterior motives are at play. He must think she is really naive, or dumb, but I also disagree that a spouse should be “monitoring” each other like parents do to children, too. Get some counseling, hopefully couple counseling, to work through the origination of the mistrust and a trained outside perspective of your relationship.

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