I have reason to believe that my sister-in-law is gay. My husband (her brother) and I have never discussed her sexual orientation, but we are both accepting of homosexuality.
Because her being gay has no bearing on my life, I largely feel I should never bring it up. However, in a way, if the subject were broached, perhaps she would feel more comfortable coming out, and I would not feel that the topic was taboo around my husband.
Should I bring it up to him or let it continue to rest?
Okay With Gays
If everything is really okay, then what is that elephant doing in your living room?
I gather from your letter that you are wondering whether you should have this conversation with your husband (not his sister), and I can't think of why you wouldn't. In my experience, husbands and wives discuss all sorts of things that have no direct bearing on their lives, and I agree with you that broaching the subject might put it "out there" in a way that proves positive.
You: "Honey, have you ever thought that Nancy might be gay?"
He: "No. I don't know what you're talking about."
You: "Well, would it bother you if she did happen to be gay?"
He: "Come to think of it, it wouldn't bother me at all."
See? Now it's out there. Time to move on to other topics.
I have been living with my boyfriend for 16 months, and we get along great.
The problem is that I am 16 years older than he is (I'm 46 and he's 30) and have a huge trust problem. He has never given me any reason not to trust him and he said he never will, but I can't stop thinking that he is going to start looking for someone younger than me.
He says age doesn't matter and I shouldn't worry about it, but I can't help it. I get upset whenever he goes anywhere by himself. I know that we each need alone time, but I can't help worrying that while he's out he's going to find someone else. He says he isn't looking.
He is seriously into porn, loves to view Web cams online, goes to strip clubs and looks at every woman on the street when we go out. He says it's just him and that it shouldn't bother me. But the whole trust thing comes into play again.
I know if I don't learn to trust him I will lose him. I want to trust him but I don't know how.
Can you help?
Your boyfriend has set this up so that your only option is to get over yourself and completely accept his choices.
This doesn't sound like the makings of a balanced relationship, and unless you develop a stronger sense of yourself, you're not going to get what you say you want, which is to trust him. If you say to your guy, "I want to trust you, but I don't know how," and he responds by saying, "I'm going out to a strip club, honey, don't wait up," then you don't have any common ground upon which to build this trust.
Your guy has given you the benefit of absolute clarity. If his only answer to you is that you need to change, and if you can't change, then you know what you need to do -- pack it in.
In response to the tall 9-year-old who was constantly fielding questions about whether she played basketball -- this is the best comeback I've heard yet.
Q: You're pretty tall. Are you a basketball player?
A: No. Are you a jockey?
R.A. Williams, Albuquerque
That's one snappy comeback, all right. I'll feature more in future columns.
Write to Amy Dickinson at firstname.lastname@example.org or Ask Amy, Chicago Tribune, TT500, 435 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago, Ill. 60611.
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