DEAR ABBY: My boyfriend and I have been dating for a year. When we got together he had just gotten out of a five-year relationship. He says he loves me, but he recently told me that she was better in bed than I am!
I have lost confidence in our relationship and don't enjoy making love with him now, knowing I don't measure up. His ex was better looking than I am, but I don't understand why he would say that. I have told him he hurt my feelings, but he doesn't care. What do I do now? -- HURT IN BIG SKY COUNTRY
DEAR HURT: Now you ask yourself whether you want to continue a relationship with someone so tactless that he would drop a bomb on you like that one. It's telling that when you let him know you were hurt, he let you know he didn't care.
There are diplomatic ways for partners to communicate what they prefer when they are intimate. One of them involves positive reinforcement when their partner does something right. Another is simply saying in plain English what feels good. It appears that your boyfriend is insensitive to the max, my dear. But what you do about it is something no one but you can decide.
DEAR ABBY: I have been married 11 years to my husband, who is one of nine children. My sister-in-law has asked me for a copy of one of our wedding pictures, which is the last time all of them were together. Since the wedding, one of my husband's sibs has died and another is serving a long stretch in prison.
The problem is, she wants to digitally remove me from the picture! I don't want to give my sister-in-law a copy knowing I'll be edited out. It's hurtful, and after all these years it makes me feel like she hasn't fully accepted me as part of the family. Am I overreacting? -- BLOCKED OUT IN TEXAS
DEAR BLOCKED OUT: Your sister-in-law wasn't very diplomatic, but what she is trying to memorialize is the last time her biological family was intact. The situation is poignant, really. My advice is not to take this personally. Give her the picture before any hard feelings "develop."
DEAR ABBY: My 12-year-old niece, "Amanda," is on her cell phone constantly. She is the smartest kid I know, but she is failing her classes and has started to lie about everything. I raised her until she was 5 -- I was only 12 myself when I started -- so I am very close to her. Or so I thought.
Amanda lives with her dad and stepmom, who are doing their best to raise her, but nothing is working. When she was growing up she never lied, and I mean never. I have told her not to be afraid to talk to me about anything, but she hasn't, and it hurts me that she can't come to me. What do you suggest I do? -- WORRIED AUNT IN WASHINGTON
DEAR WORRIED AUNT: Speak to Amanda's father and suggest that he confiscate her cell phone until her grades improve. If she is texting instead of paying attention in class, and talking instead of doing her homework, that would be a step in the right direction. And continue to tell your niece that if she needs to talk to you about "anything," you are -- and will always be -- there for her.
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