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Sharing the bills

Neil RosenthalVail CO, Colorado

Dear Neil: I got out of a ten year relationship, and five months later got into another one. After four months, I decided to take a chance and we moved in together. I have three children, two of which are teenagers, and there are expenses, house cleaning chores and cooking needs-none of which my new man is helping with. He hasn’t offered any money to help run the house. What do I say to communicate to him that he needs to pitch in and help out financially? – Strapped in San Antonio, TexasDear San Antonio: Apparently you decided to live together before you talked through the arrangements and rules you were both agreeing to, which could mean you are still attached to your ex. Regardless, you’re going to have to risk the relationship and have a very honest talk with him about what you want, what you need and what you expect from him-regarding household chores, cooking and cleaning up, who pays the groceries, utilities, rent or mortgage, other household expenses and any unexpected expenses, such as car tires, medical and dental bills, new furniture and the like. Because of your children, there are more of you than there are of him, so that will become a consideration in this discussion, as will your respective incomes – and your standards about neatness and cleanliness may be very different from his – and all of that has to be negotiated more or less equitably between the two of you. This is a potential risk to the relationship because clearly you haven’t had this talk, and just as clearly the two of you don’t see eye to eye on what’s equitable and fair. But this talk is required-not elective-because if you don’t have this conversation, the amount of resentment and anger that will build in you will likely destroy the relationship anyway. This whole issue will be a good test whether you and this new man have the potential for a healthy future together. Look for two things: Is he being essentially fair, and does he look out for you and your kids, or is he only looking out for himself?Dear Neil: From my own experience, I have become aware that achieving orgasm during intercourse is difficult for many women – and frequently results in disappointment and disillusionment. Instead of an expression of mutual love, it becomes an act of service or duty for the woman, who afterwards must contain her unrelieved sexual tension. After 27 years of marriage, I am still hoping that my dream of the ultimate orgasm in unison with my partner during intercourse will be realized. Any helpful guidance you have on this topic will be appreciated.- Wanting Help In New ZealandDear New Zealand: Since the female organ most often needs direct and prolonged stimulation in order to be brought to orgasm, relatively few women climax during lovemaking. Typically, a woman requires a loving and patient partner who can stimulate her manually, orally or with an adult toy – and keep her stimulated. Either that, or she needs an affectionate and caring partner who will hold, kiss and caresses her while she stimulates herself. When you reach the “point of no return,” that’s the perfect time to invite your husband in. Don’t contain your unrelieved sexual tension. Ask your husband to do something about it, either right before or right after lovemaking. If after 27 years of marriage, you still haven’t realized your sexual dream, perhaps you might consider trying it a different way?Neil Rosenthal is a licensed marriage and family therapist in Boulder. He can be reached at (303) 758-8777 or e-mail at his Web site http://www.heartrelationships.com


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