Q: I’m happily married to the man of my dreams. We met after I had gone through a particularly difficult breakup, and I often credit him with “saving” me. We’ve been together 15 years and have two beautiful children.
While we both have professional careers, I also write romance novels as a hobby and side business. With every book authors write, a tiny part of their lives sneaks into their characters, storyline, etc. When my husband reads my novels, as he does often, he becomes sullen, withdrawn and angry. He can’t seem to understand that 99 percent of what I’ve written is fiction. He’s convinced that everything I write is somehow linked to an old boyfriend or actual events.
This is causing hurt feelings and resentment from both of us. Should I give up writing, or should he learn to deal with it? — Happily Ever After
A: It’s a fact that talented writers have active fantasy lives. Authors who come to mind would be Mary Shelley, who created “Frankenstein,” Anne Rice and her vampires, E.L. James, who shared her S&M fantasies with the world — and countless male authors including John le Carre, Daniel Defoe and William Shakespeare. (Obviously, Ian Fleming did not do everything that his character, James Bond, did.)
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Ideally, your husband, the man of your dreams, should be able to tell you if something bothers him without sulking. And if he trusts you, he should be able to accept that what you are writing is fiction. If that’s not the case, rather than your giving up writing, your husband should quit reading your books.
Q: My son chose his cousin, “Tim,” as best man for his wedding. Tim gave a speech about how my son was like a little brother to him and mentioned some of the pranks he would play on my son. It was extremely funny, but the reality is that the pranks were quite cruel.
My nephew got very drunk at the wedding, and while my son was dancing with his new bride, a final prank was pulled. Tim approached my son from behind and gave him a huge “wedgie,” which tore my son’s expensive wedding pants apart. My son was very angry. His new bride appeared shocked, and it was a terrible ending to an otherwise beautiful wedding.
My sister promised me that Tim would “make it right.” It’s now four weeks later, and I have learned that my son immediately apologized to his cousin for his reaction (which was understandable). Tim did not apologize and has not accepted any accountability. I thought perhaps his wedding gift would cover the cost of the pants, but my son says it was less than the cost of the thank-you gift my son and his wife gave my nephew.
My sister and her son are frugal, and she now says that her son needs to save his money. Any suggestions other than Judge Judy? — Wedding Wedgie
A: Only this: In the interest of family harmony, step back and stay out of it. Your nephew appears to have poor judgment, but how your son and his bride choose to handle what happened is their problem, not yours.
Write Dear Abby at DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.