Dear Annie: I am having a hard time forgetting my boyfriend's past. Before we met, he subscribed to girlie magazines, went to strip clubs, bought lap dances, etc. I've always felt those things are degrading to women. He also says he fantasizes about other women.
Whenever I see him staring at a hot girl, it makes me think of his past. I do believe he loves me, but I can't help it. This is causing problems in our relationship. How do I get beyond this? - Hard Time Forgiving
Dear Hard Time: A lot of men subscribe to girlie magazines and have visited strip clubs. As long as he has stopped doing these things, we wouldn't worry about that part of his past. Fantasizing is common (women do it, too) and is not a concern unless he acts on it, although he would be wise to stop discussing his fantasies, since you become so upset.
You and your boyfriend could look into couples counseling to see whether that can help you work through this. But if you cannot let go of his past, we hope you will let go of him. You both deserve a relationship where you feel secure and not judged.
Dear Annie: Is there a polite way to tell family and friends that you don't want a Christmas gift? My wife and I are getting up there in years. If we need or want something, we buy it. All we really want is quality time with our family members, not useless gifts. -- Salem Ore.
Dear Salem: It is perfectly okay to tell your family and friends that this year you'd like nothing more than a gift of their time. Don't make comments about how useless their material gifts would be. Say only that at this point you cherish visits with the important people in your lives. If these same people choose to buy you something anyway, accept it graciously, say thank you, and then donate it to charity.
Dear Annie: This is in regard to "Proud Mom," who didn't like it when people attempted to touch her baby. There are quite a few places where she can find signs that attach to car seats and strollers saying, "Please Don't Touch the Baby." I found plenty offered online, and she could even make her own. Of course, it won't stop everyone, but it may help. - Completely Understand
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