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Best of Boston 2009

Ask Dr. Lovemonkey: Politenessman

Dr. Lovemonkey answers your questions
By DR. LOVEMONKEY  |  January 28, 2009

Dear Dr. Lovemonkey,
I have been divorced from this man for a while, but this still puzzles the heck out of me. After having lusty, wonderful sex, both before and after marriage, this humdinger of a lover would thank me. What the hell was that?
Graceless, I guess

Dear Graceless,
Perhaps he is a very polite person. I assume the source of your puzzlement is the idea of being "thanked" by your spouse for an act of sexual congress. This seems to indicate that the other person was performing for your benefit. Thanking someone (or offering them a "tip") might be appropriate after having sex with a prostitute. Sex, when done correctly, is something that people do for each other's mutual enjoyment, and when really done right, it has all sorts of deeper and more mysterious elements that go far beyond mere "mutual enjoyment." You are correct in sensing that the idea of "thank you" within this context doesn't make sense. Maybe that's why you are now divorced from this man.

Dear Dr. Lovemonkey,
In the past six months, I have reconnected with a guy I knew (and briefly went out with) when I was in high school. We have both been married, and divorced, and are in our late 20s. He is wonderful in so many ways, and is definitely interested in marrying me (I have one small daughter, and he's great with her, too). There is one element that I am uneasy about. He constantly asks me about every boyfriend, relationship, and sexual experience I've ever had. He wants to know everything and in great detail. He will interrogate me this way for hours, in person, on the phone, and has gotten me so frustrated that I have hung up on him (and subsequently apologized). He insists that he "needs to know," but why does he "need to know"? It seems there is some serious insecurity here, but I just don't know how to deal with it, because he is relentless. Have you any advice on this?
Feeling Unfairly Pressured

Dear Feeling,
You need to seriously reconsider this relationship. I'm sure that he is nice, charming, thoughtful, and all that, but the obsession with your past relationships sounds far more dangerous than a bit of insecurity. This is the sort of syndrome typical of people who engage in domestic violence. Talk to people who work in domestic violence. They will tell you that most relationships that end in violence begin with just this type of bullying and obsessive behavior. You should not apologize for hanging up on him when he is badgering and psychologically torturing you. You should suggest a good therapist for him and demand that he go. Dr. Lovemonkey suspects it's too late for that, and if he is as relentless as you indicate, he has already lost control. This is a big, big red flag, and I implore you take steps to be safe.

Dear Dr. Lovemonkey,
Where I work, there is a "business casual" dress code. I like to dress a little more formally than that, and I am constantly being asked by coworkers, "Hey, how come you're so dressed up?", or "Are you going to a big event tonight?" I sometimes feel like I'm the one that's improperly dressed. What should I do?
Taking Umbrage

Dear Taking umbrage,
Tell your co-workers that you're terribly sorry about your dress, but your jockstrap and turban are still at the dry cleaners.

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