The Speaker of Your House


My boyfriend and I keep arguing about politics. He’s very left of center, and I’m not so much. We used to appreciate each other’s differences, but now I feel like he’s disrespectful to me. He says my beliefs are just “wrong” and that I’m not capable of thinking things through enough. I love him and think that he’s a lot of what I want in a man, but I feel like he views me as inferior to him. I don’t know how to make this better. -On The Rocks

There’s no guarantee that you can make this better, but your next step should be finding out whether it’s possible. Plenty of couples coexist at different ends of the political spectrum, but the key is genuine respect, tolerance and affection.

It sounds like his view of your beliefs has started to infect his view of you as a whole, which can poison a relationship permanently. Tell him so. And ask him whether these political differences prevent him from seeing you how he used to see you, and whether things have changed irrevocably. Most importantly, convey that the condescending tone simply doesn’t feel good to you. Whether he’s willing and able to change it will tell you a lot.

Lose the Friendship and the Dress?

My friend is angry I lost her dress. I took it on vacation for a destination wedding, and probably left it in the hotel. It’s gone. I’ve offered her the money, but she seems to think that’s not enough, because she can’t get a dress like that anymore. I feel bad about it, of course, but I’m starting to get annoyed. I don’t know what else to do. -Trouble in Friendland

There’s not much more you can do other than try your best to replace the dress, and if that’s not possible, give her a reasonable amount of cash to get the equivalent now.

But your attitude about it can go a long way. I’m guessing she’s feeling insulted because she doesn’t think you’ve been taking it seriously or perhaps haven’t adequately apologized. Call the hotel and try to track it down. Search online for the most similar match you can find. Offer to take her shopping so she can find another one that makes her happy, and treat her to a nice, apologetic lunch. Tell her you screwed up and you really want to make it better because your friendship means so much to you and you’d hate to think that you’ve blown it — and that you’re truly sorry, but that it’s not in your budget to do much more.

Dr. Andrea Bonior writes Express' advice column, Baggage Check.
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