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Baggage Check: Hubby has some questions to answer

By Andrea Bonior
Andrea Bonior
Andrea Bonior (that's BONN-yer!) is a licensed clinical psychologist, professor, and writer. She completed her M.A. and Ph.D. in clinical psychology focusing on individual and group psychotherapy for young adults and specializing in the treatment of anxiety disorders and depression.

Q: My husband of a year and a half is pushing me to get a boob job. At first he said it was to boost my self-confidence. But now he says he’s not unhappy with my boobs but he’d be “happier if they were bigger.” He says he gives me everything, so why can’t I do one thing for him. He’s generally a good guy, and I do want to look good for him, but I don’t want to have surgery.

Trying to see his side here is difficult. (He’s a boob obsessed with boobs – how meta!)

We have a reasonable responsibility to try to remain attractive for our spouses, but that certainly doesn’t include being forced into surgery to give us entirely different bodies. Ironic that he hid behind the “boost your self-confidence” hogwash, when he’s the one knocking it down in the first place.

I can’t imagine anything short of counseling to work through this. Themes to start with: why he feels that he has more say over your body than you do, why he feels there’s such an imbalance in who’s done what for whom, and whether he has a distorted body image or a porn addiction that is changing what he needs in order to get aroused.

A problem with the boss

Q: My general manager at work keeps messing with me. First, I asked her about my specific work schedule, and she gave it to me. Then yesterday, she asked who gave me the authority to go home early. She denied she did! I even forwarded her the email she’d sent me, but her reply was that I “look bored on this job.” Then when the date was wrong in a staff memo I typed, she blamed me, when once again it was her fault. I think she is jeopardizing my job with the owner. I just don’t know how to deal with her or what her problem is.

I’m sorry you’re feeling trapped. We may never know her problem, but engaging her will only inflame whatever it is. If there is an additional manager or even someone higher than her that can be your comrade in this, you’ll be better off.

But you’ll win their favor – and the owner’s – not by getting into fights with your general manager or venting to them, but by continuing to do your job as professionally as possible. That will leave her criticisms looking more and more outlandish and not in line with reality.

Andrea Bonior is a psychologist and author of “The Friendship Fix.”
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