Dear Annie: For the past three summers, my friend “Don” has spent a few days with me at our family beach house. The second year, he hinted about visiting again and was pleased when I invited him back. Soon, he began referring to “his room” at the beach house and making regular comments about “next year.” I didn’t know how to respond, so I ignored the comments, even though I thought he was being a little presumptuous.
This summer, I told Don that I had invited another friend and his wife to join me at the summerhouse. His response was that all of us could go. Annie, even though there’s enough room, I want to have only this other couple. But all I could think to say to Don was “maybe.”
I’m guessing that his feelings are hurt, but I’m a little annoyed. What should I do? – Awkward in Idaho
Dear Idaho: You do not owe Don an invitation or an apology, nor are you responsible for whatever assumptions he has made about being entitled to stay at your beach house. Two invitations make you a generous host, not his lifetime roommate. Continue to be friendly, but say nothing more about the summer place unless you are ready to invite him again. This is not your fault.
Dear Annie: I can identify with “Married to an Octopus.” I have been married for 30 years and grabbed for most of them. Explaining that this was more of an assault and an embarrassment rather than a form of affection fell on deaf ears.
Here’s what finally worked for me. I started grabbing him and saying, “Does this feel nice?” I wasn’t rough, but the mere threat to my husband’s manhood finally drove home the point that his octopus hands were unpleasant.
I also would like to suggest to “Married” that her lack of interest in sex may be less about her health and more about a negative association she has developed with her husband’s touch. – Hands Off
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