DEAR NATALIE: My husband and our nanny have been getting close. A little too close if you ask me. She is 22-years-old and very pretty. I am a lawyer and work long hours, so she is in our home with him many nights of the week. Because of Covid-19, he often works from home. This never bothered me until recently. I saw her flirting with him the other night when I came home from work. She was holding my daughter and asking him all sorts of questions about his business and wanted to know if he could privately mentor her. I was sick. I don’t think he thought I could hear them. I confronted him and he seemed truly shocked that I would even think that she was flirting or that he would be interested. But, trust me, I know what I felt in my gut. How do I nip this in the bud? She is a great nanny -- I’ll give her that -- but this nonsense has to stop.
DEAR NANNY ISSUES: Well, there are two ways to play this. You can either believe your husband and give this situation a second chance, or you can believe your instincts. I wouldn’t be comfortable with her asking questions about “private mentoring” and I certainly wouldn’t be OK with him entertaining that idea. You need to make these boundaries very clear to your husband. This is your family and the nanny is supposed to be a support to that system, not a threat. I also find it disturbing because she is a very young woman and who knows what part of that conversation you could have missed. She may have felt coerced into saying something to appease him. I would refrain from placing the majority of the blame onto her and instead redirect your attention to your husband’s motives. He needs to recognize that there is a power differential here when having a 22-year-old young woman working for him. He needs to not only respect the boundaries of your marriage, but also those between himself and her. If that doesn’t work and she is becoming too much of a distraction, you may have to help her find another job and look for another nanny... or another husband.
DEAR NATALIE: My boyfriend and I have been together for a little over a year and the sexual chemistry we have is hot. However, outside of the bedroom, we don’t really have that much in common. We come from very different backgrounds and find ourselves struggling to connect. But I really do care about him and the sex is amazing. My friends keep telling me that I shouldn’t waste my time on a guy that isn’t marriage material. I do want a family down the road -- I’m 28 -- and I am wondering if maybe my friends are right? I really do enjoy his company and just not sure what to do? —SAY YES TO THE SEX
DEAR SAY YES TO THE SEX: While it is true that you can’t build a long-lasting relationship on sex alone, I can also understand why the sex has kept you together -- especially during a pandemic. But it is also important to note that sexual intimacy can come in waves, moving in and out of relationships during various stages and phases of life together. So what is it that can be the glue when the passion dims from time to time? The question isn’t so much do you love this guy -- but do you like him? People may scoff at that question, but liking someone is very underrated. Do you have common interests? Do you laugh at the same things? Do you have the same vision of the future? Do you both want children? Take a refrain from the sex for awhile and see if there’s anything else there. If not, you may want to reconsider what it is you are looking for in a long-term partner. There is nothing wrong with passion being one of the central components that keeps you together. But it can’t be the only one.
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