DEAR ABBY: I'm a fiercely independent and headstrong woman. I have recently begun dating my childhood sweetheart, "Jess," again after 20 years. Jess is traditional and would prefer I surrender my independence and allow him to take the "man's" role. We are trying to compromise, but now another issue has come up.
My best friend, "Wendell," recently proposed to his girlfriend and asked me to be his best woman at the wedding. Of course I accepted. I'm excited about the honor he has bestowed upon me, and I will be wearing a tuxedo and stiletto heels.
Jess is totally against it. He says Wendell is treating me like I'm a man and I'm going along with it. Every time the subject comes up, Jess gets angry. He hasn't met Wendell yet, and I would love more than anything for my two special guys to get along. What am I to do? -- ON THE SPOT IN WALDORF, MD.
DEAR ON THE SPOT: Before you go much further with Jess, it is important that you clearly understand not only what he feels a "man's role" is, but also exactly what he thinks a woman's role should be. Your relationship with him would be a lot healthier if he could accept you just as you are -- and from your description of what's going on, I'm not sure he's flexible enough to do that.
It appears that Jess' thinking is firmly rooted in the 1930s. He may be a lovely person, but from my perspective, his definition of "compromise" is for you to assume the role of a female of that era. Women have come a long way since then, and I don't think assuming that role would be healthy for you.