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Ah, But You Still Can Break Free

Dear Ann Landers: I’ve really gotten myself into a mess. I’m a 16-year-old girl who is having sex with my boyfriend, who is 18. I’ll call him “Ed.”

I’m what you’d call a nice girl, I think. I don’t smoke or do drugs or any of that stuff. My grades are good.

After Ed and I had been dating for a few months, it just seemed natural to have sex with him. He didn’t pressure me. I wanted to as much as he did. We’re using birth control pills and condoms, so I’m not worried about getting pregnant. What I’m worried about is how I feel now about Ed and me.

I don’t want to keep on doing this. I told Ed I want to stop, but he doesn’t. I don’t enjoy going out with him anymore because I know every date will mean more sex. My parents know what’s going on, and my dad can hardly look at me. The other day, he said he wanted to have Ed arrested for statutory rape. Some days, I wish he would. It looks as if it’s the only way I can get out of this situation.

I thought I was in love with Ed, but now I know it was more physical than anything else. I had heard people say it’s dumb to have sex at my age, but I wouldn’t listen. I’d give anything to undo what I’ve done. Please, Ann, keep telling people what a big mistake it is to have sex too soon. If only one girl like me listens, it will be worth the pain I went through to write this letter. - Messed Up in Michigan

Dear Friend in Michigan: You’ve done a wonderful thing by putting your sad experience down on paper. I’m sure you’ve helped many teenagers think more seriously about what they are doing.

My advice to you is stop seeing Ed at once. He is using you for his own selfish pleasure. The fact that you’ve told him you want to stop having sex and he refuses to respect your wishes should tell you a lot about what sort of person he is.

You are going to have a far better life without that guy, and your family will be delighted. Call it a victory, dear. Hold your head up, and view it as a learning experience.

Dear Ann Landers: About that woman whose husband preferred his brother’s company over hers. I was in a similar situation.

In the 16 months that I was married to “Al,” I had his family as house guests in our small apartment on three separate occasions for a total of five months. I played hostess and cooked the meals while they were “on vacation” and barely reached into their pockets. The final straw came when Al announced his mother was planning a 10-week visit. I suggested a compromise - four weeks. He refused. This bothered me so much, I wondered if I wanted to stay married. I asked him to see a marriage counselor with me. He wouldn’t do that, either. Al told me if I didn’t like it, I could pack my bags.

My husband made a choice, and it wasn’t me. His mother stayed for her vacation while our marriage crumbled. I left shortly afterward, knowing our life together meant nothing to him. When a spouse does not see marriage as an equal partnership, there’s only one thing to do - walk away. - Lesson Learned in N.Y.

Dear N.Y.: It doesn’t appear to me as if you’ve lost much. Your ex sounds like a domineering tyrant. Lucky you to be free of him.


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