Dear Annie: I am a 25-year-old who has been married for a few years, and I still love my wife as much as the day I met her. The problem is, I am having sexual fantasies about her mother.
My mother-in-law is happily married and has no idea about my feelings.
I am a good person and have never been in any kind of trouble with the law or anything of the sort. So my question is, why am I having these feelings? I’ve tried to block them out, but I can’t. – Oregon
Dear Oregon: You’ve been watching too much cable TV. If your mother-in-law is attractive, you are seeing her as an available female instead of as “Mom.” You need to recalibrate your impression of her, and you can do that by making a concerted effort to substitute more “motherly” images in your head. Imagine her baking pies and cleaning spit-up. Think of her as your future children’s grandmother, with white hair and wrinkles. Whatever images you can put in your brain that will replace the sexual ones you have now will help.
Dear Annie: What can I say to my 10-year-old daughter, who came home from school today and told me a classmate is having a birthday party and invited every girl in the class except her? I am at a loss for words. – Sad Mom
Dear Mom: Is it possible your daughter’s invitation was lost? This happens more often than you might think. Also, many schools have a policy that doesn’t allow children to single out and exclude one classmate in this manner. It’s a form of bullying.
If your daughter’s school has such a policy, you can discuss this with the principal. But if the bottom line is simply that the birthday girl doesn’t like your daughter, you need to tell your child that life isn’t always fair, even for good people, and it will help to learn positive ways to cope with disappointment. Perhaps on the day of the party, you and your daughter could do something special together.