Dear Abby: My boyfriend is divorced. His ex’s name is tattooed on his arm. Although I don’t like it, I realize that it was long ago and before I came into the picture.
As we have grown closer over the last two years, I’m often tempted to ask him to have it removed or covered up. I think it’s tacky, and I don’t like it AT ALL. I know I can’t demand he remove it, but would a gentle request do? Or should I wait until I have more of a formal status in his life? – Looking Away in the South
Dear Looking Away: Tattoo removal isn’t as easy as waving a magic wand and presto! – it’s gone. The process can take several sessions, can be quite painful, and it must be done by a professional. If this is so important to you that you would put him through that, then ask him nicely. When you do it is up to you. You could jokingly ask him to have a circle with a diagonal line through it added to his ex’s name.
Dear Abby: My best friend of 25 years just got engaged. I suspect her fiance is gay or there’s something seriously wrong with him. They have been dating for eight months and he hasn’t once tried to have sex with her. He has used every excuse under the sun as to why (bad back, tired, etc.).
He recently proposed to her in a public place in front of his family. I don’t think he knows the real her, and I don’t think she understands the serious implications of her decision to marry him when sexual intimacy was so important to her before. She once told me she would not marry a man without first having sex with him, and that a sexless life is her biggest fear. I feel I should speak up as her best friend. Should I? – Seeing Red Flags in Georgia
Dear Seeing: Yes. And when you do, urge her to get into premarital counseling with her fiance. During the sessions, matters like sex, finances and child-rearing should be discussed so there won’t be any “surprises” later. Repeat your suggestion, if necessary, until she reaches the altar. Let’s hope she listens to you because his fatigue and bad back won’t magically disappear after they say “I do.”
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips.