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Our advice team dives into the murky waters of sharing responsibilities as a married couple. By Harry Jaffe, Louise Jaffe

Dear Harry and Louise:

My wife and I have two cars. We switch back and forth driving them, so there is no “his” or “her” car. Recently she scraped the side of one of the cars while getting it out of her parking garage—something I predicted would happen, by the way. It’s been two weeks, and she still has not taken it in to be fixed. I’m worried that rust will set in, but she appears in no rush to get it fixed. I’m considering taking time off of work to do it, but I think it’s unfair. My view is that the “Colin Powell-Iraq-Pottery-Barn Rule” should be in effect—you break it, you own it—so it should be her responsibility to get it fixed.

What do you suggest? How should we handle this?

Disappointed in DC

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Posted at 09:14 AM/ET, 12/01/2011 | Permalink | Comments ()
Our husband-and-wife team advises a reader stuck in the middle of her friends' relationship drama. By Harry Jaffe, Louise Jaffe

Dear Harry and Louise:

My friend Sue is a thin, blond, anxiety-ridden girl who talks about her boyfriend, Noah, nonstop. He’s an attractive film major. They have been dating for three years. At the beginning of this year, I was very close with another girl, Hannah. She would show me texts from Noah along the lines of: "I like you." And: "We can make this work, I but I have a girlfriend, so we would have to keep it on the down-low."

I was so surprised. Hannah never acted on it, and I didn't hear much more. I would still see Noah and Sue together, and Sue seemed as obsessed with him as always—so I thought it petered out.

Yesterday I had the displeasure of running into Hannah at a party. The first thing she did was brag to me about how much Noah had been texting her again, along the same lines as back in September. I don't know if it ever stopped, or if I am just hearing about it again. And I don't think she has relented to his requests of late-night sexcapades. But just the fact that Noah is asking sounds like cheating to me.

Do I tell Sue? Do I tell Noah I know what’s up? Deliver some sort of ultimatum? Or do I do nothing at all and let fate play out?

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Posted at 11:04 AM/ET, 11/28/2011 | Permalink | Comments ()
Washingtonian’s advice-giving couple chats with Bruce DePuyt. By Washingtonian Staff

Yesterday Washingtonian’s Harry and Louise chatted with NewsChannel 8’s Bruce DePuyt about their new column. Skip to the 15:00 minute mark to see the couple’s interview. Watch it here:

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Posted at 10:06 AM/ET, 11/28/2011 | Permalink | Comments ()
Our advice team weighs in on how to resolve a family dispute during the holidays. By Harry Jaffe, Louise Jaffe

Dear Harry and Louise:

Four years ago, we were visiting my parents in Florida when my brother-in-law had a run in with my son, who was 11 at the time. My son was running across the living room when my brother-in-law stuck out his foot and tripped him. My son wasn’t hurt badly, but he came up crying. “Why did you trip me?” he asked. My brother-in-law thinks of himself as a jokester, and he probably didn’t mean to hurt my son. But he said, “I didn’t trip you. You’re a klutz. You fell down.” My son, who’s small for his age, couldn’t believe it and said, “Uncle Stu, you stuck your foot out.” Instead of admitting it or laughing it off, Stu replied, “You’re a liar. Don’t be such a girl!”

I didn’t see this, but my wife was in the room. She was aghast. I asked my brother-in-law to apologize so we could move on. He refused. We have not spoken since.

My mom has invited us to Thanksgiving dinner. It would the first time we would be with my brother-in-law. My wife wants to make peace, but my son is still wounded, and I never got my apology.

Should we go to dinner?

Feuding Father

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Posted at 11:02 AM/ET, 11/21/2011 | Permalink | Comments ()
Our advice columnists counsel a man on the delicate issue of boosting his wife’s body image. By Harry Jaffe, Louise Jaffe

Dear Harry and Louise:

My wife and I were whispering sweet nothings to each other in bed one recent morning. Feeling quite tender and very much in love, I stroked the small of her back and told her how much I appreciated the softness of her skin.

“How does my butt feel?” she asked.

“Perfect,” I responded without skipping a beat. “Taut and soft and round, as always.”

“Don’t worry,” she said. “I’ll start running again and get it back the way it used to be.”

“But it’s great the way it is,” I said. “You don’t need to work out for my benefit.”

“Thanks,” she responded, “but your opinion doesn’t count.”

What’s a guy to do?


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Posted at 04:23 PM/ET, 11/16/2011 | Permalink | Comments ()
Our husband-and-wife team advises a reader on how to turn “her” house into “their” home.

Dear Harry and Louise:

After three and a half years with each other, my boyfriend and I recently moved in together. Since the house I’ve lived in for the past five years was more spacious and cost-effective than anything we looked at, we decided to go ahead and live there instead of getting a new place that would be “ours.” But he’s been making comments here and there about how he feels a bit like he’s just living in my house, rather than us sharing it equally.  

Besides just saying so, what can I do to make him feel more like this house is just as much his as it is mine?

Hopeful Homemaker

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Posted at 09:57 AM/ET, 11/14/2011 | Permalink | Comments ()
Our husband-and-wife team advises a man who just wants to vent, dammit. By Harry Jaffe, Louise Jaffe

Dear Harry and Louise,

I’ve got this new asshole boss. He’s young and cocky, and he’s making all sorts of big changes at the firm. I’m working longer hours, and since I’m not a roll-with-the-punches sort of guy, it’s becoming a consuming thing for me—and for my wife. She listens, to a point, but she’s increasingly tired of hearing me vent about the office and my bastard of a boss. At first she would empathize and help me come up with solutions, but now she seems to be frustrated that I’m not solving the problem after all this time. Lately, all she says is, “You really should talk to a therapist.” I can understand the impulse, because there’s somewhat of an imbalance here—I have a hard time focusing much on her problems these days. But what the hell? Every time there’s a real problem in my life, I’m supposed to take my conversation to a shrink? My wife is always touting the importance of talking—well, this is what talking is for. Solace, understanding, working through a situation. This is what I need from her—my lover, my friend, my partner. Is this unreasonable to ask?

Solace Seeker

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Posted at 10:47 AM/ET, 11/10/2011 | Permalink | Comments ()
Our husband-and-wife team weighs in on whether there’s an honorable way to end a short relationship. By Harry Jaffe, Louise Jaffe

Dear Harry and Louise:

After four fun-filled and often passionate months with Tre, I realized, quite suddenly, that it was all the time I wanted to spend with him. There was no fault, blame, complaints, discord, bad behavior, or body odor . . . just the realization that we were not a match for all time. I knew this would be pretty shocking news to him, given our relative bliss and lots of time spent together in said four months. He lives 90 minutes from me and planned to come to my house for the weekend when I felt I had to tell him. I dreaded delivering my declaration and tried to do it in the most gentle and honest way possible. I did not want to say it over the phone, e-mail, or mailed letter—it was too big for that. So he came as planned for the weekend, and we went out for a very nice Friday evening (that did not end in any passion). When he sensed something was up with me when I took him his coffee the next morning, I told him as best I could of my realization. I was very clear and left no room for negotiation, which fortunately he did not try to engage in.

After he left, I received the expected barrage of texts and e-mails wondering what the hell happened. He also thought I was completely wrong in how, when, and where I broke up with him (though he offered no suggestion of an alternative). To reiterate, that day—like the four months we had together—was gentle and respectful between us.

So, how does one most honorably end a short, albeit intense (and very copacetic) relationship? I hope I never have to do it again, but just in case . . .

Not the Bad Guy

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Posted at 09:34 AM/ET, 11/07/2011 | Permalink | Comments ()
Our husband-and-wife team weighs in on whether committing to raising a child, but not to a marriage, can provide a strong-enough family foundation. By Harry Jaffe, Louise Jaffe

Dear Harry and Louise:

I have a friend who is very much in love with her boyfriend. Do you think it’s okay for these two people who are living together and in love to have a baby but not get married or plan on getting married?

Friend of Lovers

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Posted at 11:47 AM/ET, 11/04/2011 | Permalink | Comments ()
Our husband-and-wife team advises a reader whose best friend’s penchant for crazy women has put him in an awkward position. By Harry Jaffe, Louise Jaffe

Dear Harry and Louise:

One of my best friends tends to date girls that are crazy hot—by which I mean both crazy and hot. He’s been dating his current girlfriend for more than a year now, and the trend has, to say the least, continued. A couple weeks ago after a night out drinking at bars, I went back to my buddy’s place with him, his crazy girlfriend, and another friend. My two friends went outside for a cigarette, leaving me alone with Little Miss Cuckoo. She started to come on to me. I stood up and said we should go outside and check on our buddies, but she pushed me back into my chair, mounted me, and kissed me. I gently removed her and walked outside to join my friends. I have not mentioned the situation to anyone. If I tell her boyfriend, she denies it and I’m the bad guy. If I don’t tell him, I’m not being honest with my friend. What are my options?

Concerned Friend

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Posted at 11:47 AM/ET, 11/04/2011 | Permalink | Comments ()