His naked face

Joey Garcia

I’m baffled by my marital situation and afraid that whatever I do will turn out wrong. My husband and I have been married nearly 23 years. He is a good man, supportive of my creative endeavors, and never makes me feel inferior. But he’s extremely needy. He calls me three times a day at work. If I don’t answer, he keeps texting until I do. I have health issues but none so severe as to justify his worry that I might be hurt or in an accident and unable to contact him. I’m a responsible, communicative person. He’s suffocating me. When I’ve tried to talk about this, he asks if the reason I don’t want him to check on me is because I’m hiding something. He refuses to go to counseling. Please help!

For 23 years you’ve tolerated your husband’s control issues. What changed? Knowing that juicy detail would help. Without specifics, I’m left wondering if your health problems are new and have triggered a fear of abandonment in your man. Or whether he feels guilty about something he’s doing or has done and he thinks that it justifies putting you on lockdown. Or whether your man has always been compulsive but you shrugged it off, until now.

If your illness is long-standing and his phone habits ingrained, we should talk about your comfort level with honesty. You said that he never makes you feel inferior. But isn’t that what he’s trying to do when you mention his calls and he responds by accusing you of hiding something? And doesn’t labeling him as needy make him inferior while also downplaying his scary behavior? I know you’re scared because you said you’re suffocating.

There’s a difference between clinginess and control. Think of it this way: You are trying to cling to your sanity and the image you have of the man you married. He is trying to control his anxiety by controlling your behavior. Since he refuses to go to counseling, go alone. He might eventually be inspired to join you. But if not, at least you will have a better understanding of yourself and your marriage so you can choose the best next steps.

My husband and his brothers had a beard growing contest and my husband kept the beard. I hate everything about it: the way it feels when he kisses me, the way his food gets tangled in it when he eats. I also hate tasting my lady juice on his beard after he goes down on me. I don’t feel like I can dictate how he styles himself, but I can’t stand eating with him anymore. He gets lots of compliments but I want his naked face back. Advice?

Appeal to the competitive side of his personality. Suggest a contest. You win and he shaves. He wins and, well, you’ll have to think of something you know he’s craving and surrender it. Alternatively, you can tell him directly that you miss his naked face and how just thinking about it makes you want to get naked with him. If that doesn’t inspire him to grab his razor, take his hand and lead him to it.

Meditation of the week
“Friendship is the hardest thing in the world to explain. It’s not something you learn in school. But if you haven’t learned the meaning of friendship, you really haven’t learned anything,” said Muhammad Ali. Do you have a friend in you?

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