Author: Amy Alkon

Malice In Wonderland

I am 36, with one son, and I had been dating a wonderful man for a year. We were planning on moving in together and discussing marriage… until one day I said to him, out of anger, “No wonder your wife divorced you and your daughter doesn’t speak to you!” That was two months ago. I have sent a steady stream of cards and flowers expressing how sorry I am for what I said, but he says we’re done. I started counseling because he told me I have an anger management problem and he can’t live with someone like me. I just can’t live with myself knowing I lost the man of my dreams. I’m queasy, and I’ve dropped 17 pounds in two months. Is a man really worth this? — Heat Of The Moment There are times in a man’s life when he comes to understand what “I love you” really means; in this case, “I’d like to tear out your liver with my bare hands, cut it up into hors d’oeuvre-sized pieces, and feed it back to you on Ritz crackers.” OK, sure, you apologized — which is the equivalent of saying, “I mean, ‘I’d like to tear out your liver, etcetera, etcetera… Snookums.’” The guy trusted you enough to show you all the little broken pieces in him, and you rewarded him by gathering them up,...

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Gapes of wrath

My wife of six months is the love of my life and everything I want in a woman. We\’ve been together two years and have a 6-month-old son. The problem is, and always has been, my looking at other women. I don\’t usually realize I\’m doing it, but my wife catches me and is now just waiting to catch me. Honestly, when I look at them, I don\’t have any sort of intentions, it\’s just something I do. Yet, my wife is now threatening divorce because she believes it means I don\’t love her. I realize I\’m doing something horrible, and I\’ve mostly quit, which takes a lot of conscious effort, and that\’s what\’s worrying me. Is something wrong with me? Should I get professional help? — Wandering Eyes You\’re only looking at women, not chasing them down telling them you\’ll meet them behind the bowling alley … just as soon as you can park your stroller-bound son with somebody you trust; say, that guy lying in the doorway with the sign, \”Will baby-sit for gin.\” OK, so, if you\’re with your wife, and your head swivels around like that girl\’s in The Exorcist, you have, let\’s say, a few manners issues. Think about how you\’d feel if your wife were always walking down the street with a cartoon dotted line from her eyes to every passing guy\’s package:...

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Office macks

I\’ve been in a relationship with a wonderful man for three years. Last year, I met a really great co-worker, \”Brian,\” who\’s also in a serious relationship. We hit it off from the start. We talked about our stressful work environment and quickly began hanging out outside the office — getting coffee, going to lunch and happy hour. We\’ve discussed our mutual attraction and, on occasion, have flirted past the point of friendship. However, we want to stay friends and not jeopardize what we each have at home. How do I tell my boyfriend about my friendship with Brian without hurting his feelings? I believe honesty is always the best policy, and I\’m afraid if I start hiding feelings or keeping secrets from my boyfriend it could lead to other bad behavior on my part. — Ready To Come Clean Whenever I write that honesty actually isn\’t the best policy, I get piles of e-mail from people who\’ve heard 75 different therapists earnestly tell some TV chat-tron that you can\’t have \”real intimacy\” with your partner if you don\’t spill everything. Please. If two people lack closeness, are they really going to bond over the news that one of them has taken to bumping uglies in the janitor\’s closet with some third person? Brian started out as your \”office husband,\” that one special person you share your life with,...

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For Bitter Or For Worse

Since I was old enough to date I’ve been practicing serial monogamy and loving it. The excitement is always high, and I never have to experience the boredom of the old shoe. I’m 32 now and wondering how long I can realistically keep this up. What’s your take on serial monogamy? Have I ruined my chances of ever being happy with just one man forever? — Worried “Being happy with just one man forever” sounds great in concept, but in practice, it often plays out like standing in the one line that doesn’t move at Customs. Yet, going from relationship to relationship — having a ball instead of a ball and chain — is frowned upon … even, a little bit, by you. Perhaps, deep down, you buy into the Puritan Work Ethic approach to relationships: the idea that a “real” adult relationship means spending a lifetime slaving away in the hot fields of couples counseling, and trying everything from tantric yoga to Kama Sutra Pilates to relocate that lost spark. This romantic hardship worship — the assumption that you’re a better person if you tough it out — should remind you of lectures you must’ve gotten as a girl: “You know, young lady, Grandpa crawled on his hands and knees over 10 miles of broken glass to get to school every day!” “Gee, thanks, Gramps, good to know,...

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Chasing Jamey

Earlier this year, I met what I thought was a sweet, kind, caring man. After a whirlwind romance, he proposed, we got engaged and moved in together. Shortly afterward, I discovered he\’d shaved 10 years off his age. He said he was 42; he\’s actually 52 (I\’m 32). I then began snooping on his computer. Here\’s my problem: He seems addicted to Internet porn. Not just any porn, gay porn. He has five separate e-mail aliases and belongs to 67 gay porn sites. He has used gay phone sex and gay personals. When I confronted him, he said he was \”not gay in the least.\” He is very underendowed, and this was the reason he gave for looking at naked men. He claims he pretends that he has what they have while \”entertaining himself.\” I don\’t buy it, but I\’m wondering if maybe it is possible for a heterosexual man to not be gay and be addicted to this type of porn. — Concerned Fiancée This guy\’s straight like I\’m a vegetarian. Okay, so there\’s a freshly slaughtered cow taking up my entire refrigerator/freezer. It\’s just there for those times I can\’t help but eat a dead animal (like when it\’s too hard to spear on a fork while it\’s still running around). But, maybe your fiance\’s just \”bi-curious.\” Very, very, very bi-curious. The problem is he doesn\’t seem...

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UPCOMING COMMUNITY EVENTS

  1. Alan Saldana Headlines Levity Live

    August 23 @ 7:00 pm - August 25 @ 8:30 pm
  2. Help & Hope for Early Stage Alzheimer’s/Dementia

    August 24 @ 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
  3. The Speakeasy Project: American Roadhouse

    August 24 @ 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm
  4. The Speakeasy Project: American Roadhouse

    August 25 @ 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm
  5. Morning Stretch to Classic Rock

    August 26 @ 8:00 am - 8:45 am
  6. First 5 Neighborhoods for Learning, Powered by Interface Open House in Ventura

    August 26 @ 9:00 am - 3:00 pm
  7. First 5 Neighborhoods for Learning, Powered by Interface Open House

    August 26 @ 9:00 am - 3:00 pm
  8. Engage & Enlighten event features United Nations Special Rapporteur David Kaye

    August 26 @ 5:30 pm - 7:30 pm
  9. Dancer’s Body Barre

    August 26 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
  10. Egyptian Belly Dancing

    August 26 @ 8:00 pm - 9:00 pm