DEAR ABBY: Im incredibly fond of my friend Russell. He is always supportive, considerate and kind to me. However, I know that he is into S&M, and this worries me, as I cant reconcile the two different people: a gentle person with someone wanting to dominate and possibly hurt a woman in bed.
By JEANNE PHILLIPS
Should I be worried that Russell is hiding a dark side that will eventually come out and ruin our friendship? Worried Friend in Australia
DEAR WORRIED: You and Russell must be very close friends if he is describing his sexual practices with you. My experts tell me that acting out on aggressive fantasies does not necessarily mean a person IS aggressive.
As long as your relationship remains platonic, what he does in the bedroom shouldnt affect it. But if youre considering taking your friendship with Russell to another level, its important that you talk further about this. If this isnt something youre interested in exploring and it isnt for everyone then draw the line or move on.
Moms actions hurting teen
DEAR ABBY: Im a 14-year-old girl, and my mother just got home from rehab. I have been living with my grandmother for a year and a half.
I want to tell my mother my feelings, but I dont want to hurt her. I love her, but Im still not over what she has done. She is barely home. She has meetings, and she likes to stay with her boyfriend. I think its too soon. She came home only a week ago. What do I do, Abby? Confused Teen
DEAR CONFUSED: You have my sympathy. I hope your mothers rehabilitation will be successful. Its good that she is going to meetings, and I agree with you that its too soon for her to be staying with her boyfriend.
However, shes unlikely to accept hearing it from you or me, which is why you should talk to your grandmother about your feelings. Your mother might accept it if she hears from your grandmother that should there be any bumps in her relationship with this man and there usually are a few that they could jeopardize her sobriety.
Too many kisses?
DEAR ABBY: I have a 19-month-old son, Nicky. He stays at my in-laws house most days while my husband and I work. Lately, Ive noticed when I go to pick him up that Grandma and Grandpa like to give him kiss attacks, where they hold him hostage and give him several kisses.
Sometimes he lets them, and its not a problem. Other times he squirms, whines and tells them no. Its painful to watch, especially when they respond with, I know youre not going to like this, but Im going to do it anyway.
I think this is a huge violation of my sons boundaries. It teaches him he should just give in because nobody cares that hes uncomfortable. My husband thinks that Nicky is too young to understand and that its not going to hurt him to have extra affection.
Im an affectionate person who likes to hug and kiss my son, too, but if hes not in the mood, I let him be. Who is right? Loving Mommy in Colorado
DEAR LOVING MOMMY: You are. Affection is something welcome. If you dont want it, its not affection. The most significant issues in child development have to do with nurturing and building trust. However well meant, holding a child hostage is more a display of power than affection.
If your in-laws stopped attacking, your son would be more likely to seek their affection when he wants it. A better way to demonstrate their love for him would be to do something creative, like draw a picture showing their affection for him.
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