Q: I have been with ÒAmandaÓ for 5 years. She and I have a wonderful relationship, good jobs and loads of friends. Life is not a problem the way we are now. Amanda is very masculine, which is fine with me, IÕve always been rather attracted to women who are butch looking. Our problem started last year when Amanda started saying she is a gender queer. She still thinks she is gay, but she says she might want to go through the whole sex change thing. I know that she has been seeing a counselor for a long time, but she said it had noting to do with me, childhood stuff. She never mentioned the gender thing.
Now she has started taking male hormones and is working out so she looked more like a man. Not a problem for me. My problem is that she says she wants to have her breast removed and possibly go through the whole sex change operation. I donÕt want to be married to a male. If I was attracted to male, I would have gotten married and been intimate with males. I am not attracted to men and she wants to become one. She says she is the same person underneath it all so it shouldnÕt make a difference. But it does. I donÕt think I could stay with her if she did the sex change thing. Now she says I must not love her, but I do. ItÕs just that I love a woman not a man.
I canÕt see any way out. If I say no, Amanda wonÕt be happy. If she goes through with the operation I donÕt think I can stay with her. What do we do? Please donÕt suggest therapy as I donÕt trust therapists.
No Man for Me
A: I agree you have quite a dilemma. There is no easy answer. If you meet AmandaÕs needs (to have the sex change operation) you believe your relationship is over. If she doesnÕt have the sex change operation she may be resentful that you stopped her. The most the two of you can do at this point is to have dialogues about your feelings and possible options. This would be easier with someone from the outside who could help you through this difficult dilemma. If not a therapist, do you have a clergy or someone else you trust who could help you deal with this difficult issue?
Q: Joe, who is a good friend of mine (a friend not a lover), has a dog that nobody can stand. This dog is some kind of 65-pound mutt that is out of control. Here are just a few of the problems: when you come into the house the dog jumps all over me, sometimes he almost knocks me down. Meanwhile, Joe is screaming and yelling at the dog to stop. The dog grabs my sleeve and starts pulling me into the house. This dog has even ripped my clothing doing this. Once in the house he barks continually, he growls if you get to close to anything that he is eating or chewing on. He once bit my hand and drew blood. At the time, the dog had brought me a toy to throw, so I was getting ready to throw it for him.
He is like this with everyone, not just me. I donÕt even want to come over anymore, but Joe just thinks I am crazy. He thinks the dog is his baby. He has taken his dog to obedience school a couple of times, to no avail. How do I convince Joe to get his dog under control so he doesnÕt hurt someone?
A: The first thing I would do is to always meet Joe somewhere other than at his house. I am a dog lover and I wouldnÕt choose to deal with what you have described. If Joe wants to change his dogÕs behavior, he might look into hiring someone who deals with dog psychology. What has worked for me, in helping to control my dogs, is the show and book called, “The Dog Whisperer.” (No, IÕm not being paid to say this.) I was able to change several negative behaviors that my two large dogs had, now, I can take them anyplace without bothering anyone. I think they are much happier, too. “The Dog Whisperer” has books videos and a television show. The book might be a good gift for Joe and his dog.