Dear Amy: I’ve been married for 23 years to a really mellow guy who had always been very private.
We haven’t had a good physical relationship in a decade because of his medical issues.
I assumed he had just lost interest, and I almost gave up.
We seemed to be rounding the corner to a more loving relationship, but there was something nagging at me.
I noticed he was on his phone a lot.
Last year, he created an account on Twitter.
He said he had no interest in chatting with people.
I decided to go on Twitter, and I found that he was sharing his life story with 75 random people.
His bio sounds like a dating site. He never mentions being married.
Then I noticed two females that he had one-on-one dialogues with.
One seemed to ignore him, but with the other, they are in contact 8 to 12 times a day.
He sent her a meme of cartoon rabbits “doing it” on hump day and made some inappropriate comments.
He shared a lot of his private life, including things I didn’t even know he cared about.
This has created a huge issue for me.
He said she was just a random person and he didn’t even notice her photo or bio, which is quite sexual.
Am I making a big deal out of this?
It doesn’t help that these women are 20 years younger than I am.
— Twitter Widow
Dear Widow: Anyone can attach any avatar or picture to their profile on social media. (One of mine is of a giant donut.) Anyone can pose, pretend, or create an alter-ego, as your husband seems to have done.
The woman he is communicating with might not be a woman — or anything “she” claims to be.
So, in that sense, your husband is right: These people are truly “random.”
Many people create “voices” on social media that might be unfamiliar to family members. It is a great space to try out jokes, express opinions, or bring up matters that might surprise people who know you personally.
The “randomness” of the connection makes it seem like a safe space to create a version of yourself that is more assured than the flawed person people who know you see.
Your husband wants to flirt and to be flirted with.
Now that you have discovered this about him, I hope you can use this episode to encourage him toward more of a connection between the two of you.
Ask him how he would feel if you were flirting or exchanging sexual banter with strangers. Ask if he could bring some of that energy to your marriage.
Dear Amy: I have an etiquette question.
I’ve recently graduated from my local community college (after 27 years of taking classes off and on) with a degree in studio art.
My classes were rather informal, with teachers being called by their first names.
Now that I’ve moved on to a university for my BFA, I was wondering if I should call my teachers “Professor ____.”
Classes are small in size, with 10 or fewer students.
I guess I’m asking because I know that I’m older than three of my professors, and I was always taught to use deferential titles.
Dear Kara: I vote for “Professor,” unless directed otherwise.
Age is immaterial. (I say this with the personal knowledge that if you keep going long enough, you will simply be older than everyone.)
One reason to use this title would be because every time you do, you will be reminded of your own very hard-won status as a student headed toward a bachelor’s degree in fine arts.
You’ve progressed far enough to be taught by credentialed experts in their field, who have earned an honorific (your community college professors earned it, too — and they expressed their own preferences).
Credentials and professional titles aside, “teacher” and “student” are the highest callings any of us could follow. Congratulations!
Dear Amy: “Sick of it All” described their extreme isolation because of the pandemic. I totally disagree with your advice to “tiptoe” back into the world.
I am older with underlying health issues. I am extremely careful and will not risk being around unvaccinated people. I take walks with other vaccinated people, socialize outside, and go to the library.
— My Health Comes First
Dear First: The things you are doing are exactly the kind of things I advised “Sick of it All” to do. You have tiptoed back into the world, and seem to be doing well.
(You can email Amy Dickinson at [email protected] or send a letter to Ask Amy, P.O. Box 194, Freeville, NY 13068. You can also follow her on Twitter @askingamy or Facebook.)
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