Saturday, August 21, 2010

Stepmother Wants Changes

How do you kiss family members? "Want My Husband's Lips for Myself" wrote in to Dear Margo:

My husband and I married earlier this year, and we have a great relationship. We both came into the marriage with children.
She means minor children. Mistake!

The one thing that seems to be driving me crazy is that my husband kisses his 5-year-old daughter on the lips. It’s just a peck, but it aggravates me to no end.
You didn’t know this before you got married? Or did you expect wedding cake would change him?

I have a daughter, and I always kiss her on the cheek.
That's you and your daughter. Every family is different.

I have mentioned that I’m totally against the gesture; he said he will do so until the day he dies. Fine, but I feel this is intruding on our relationship, as I see it being a sexual gesture and very inappropriate.
Then leave.

Dear Margo responded:

I agree with you and have always found it kind of creepy. But I have seen many people kiss their children like this, and I don’t think it’s seductive. Gestures mean different things to different people. To your husband, kissing on the lips is his sign of affection. To you, it’s a boundary violation.
Look, I wouldn’t do it either. I'm too busy feeling my sisters' boobs (I'm kidding), but she had to have known about it before she married him.

I once noticed, while I was at a party where the hosts were two gay men and most of the guests were gay men, that my friend (one of the hosts) was greeting all of his gay male friends with a peck on the lips. I turned to my girlfriend of the time and told her I wanted to be able to kiss all of our female guests on the lips at our next party. She didn't go for it. She was willing to let me kiss all of our male guests on the lips, since that is what my friend did. Or rather, because she knew I wouldn't.

I would open the discussion with him in a new way. Perhaps the act itself is less meaningful than his resistance to granting your request. Does he resist your suggestions in general?
It’s not really a suggestion on her part, and again, she knew this was the way it is.

Is there guilt about divorcing the child’s mother?
Yes.

Ask yourself why you feel so possessive of his lips and whether it is hard to share his affection.
She feels possessive of his lips because she married him. But she shouldn't have.

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