Dear Amy. Last summer my niece come to stay with me. She was 18 at the time.
I could tell that one of my adult friends, “Stan,” was attracted to her, so I asked him not to have sex with her.
A few months later, my niece told me that Stan had had sex with her and that she didn’t like it and was uncomfortable with it.
She asked me not to mention it to him. Finally, she told me that she had worked it out and that they had stopped.
I was annoyed with Stan because I had specifically asked him not to do this. He said it was unfair of me to ask him, since she was not a minor.
I told him it would have been better if he had spoken to me about it instead of me having to find out about it from my niece, who is upset about it.
It has really affected our relationship, and I’m not sure if it can be repaired.
Stan says that if he had to do it over again, he would do the same, even though I had asked him not to.
— Angry Aunt
Dear Angry: Your tone conveys a sense of ownership, rather than concern, regarding this teenager.
You are not your niece’s sexual gatekeeper. On the other hand, you cast your friend as a predator, and your concern obviously has been well-placed. But shouldn’t you have talked to your niece about this in advance, instead of wasting your breath on him?
Your attention should now be focused entirely on your niece’s well-being. She is quite obviously (and understandably) confused about the nature of this sexual relationship. Is she OK? Is this OK? She might not know, and rather than you dictating to her, you should be as nonjudgmental as possible, so she will feel comfortable talking with you about it.
Accompany her to a health clinic to make sure she has birth control counseling and STD tests.
Talk to her about consent. She has the right to decide what she wants to do, sexually. If she doesn’t consent, her choice must be respected, and if she didn’t consent to whatever transpired last summer, then she has the right to go to the police.
In terms of possibly repairing your relationship with “Stan,” I can’t imagine why you would want to. Even if — strictly speaking — his behavior wasn’t illegal, unethical, or even any of your business — if you don’t like hanging out with an unrepentant horn dog, then there is no reason to maintain the friendship.
Dear Amy: I am 74-year-old happily married woman.
My three adult daughters went in on a birthday gift for me, and what they chose was a (sex toy) vibrator!
I never indicated a need for this, and I am both shocked and insulted. So is my husband.
How should I react to this? The cat “Stanley” likes it and purrs when I place it on his side.
— Upset Mom
Dear Upset: You should contact your daughters, as a group, and ask an open-ended question: “Ladies: What were you thinking? What’s this about?”
They may respond, “Oh, Mom, get it together — it was a joke!” To which you can say, “Really? Please explain to me exactly what the joke is here, because I’m not getting it. On the other hand, it seems to be working for Stanley. He’s never been happier.”
Attach a video of the cat with his new sex toy, which should help to make your point, leavened with some humor.
Dear Amy: My friend and her family help me out with projects around my house.
Recently her husband has developed “wandering hands.”
I give everyone a hug and thank them before they leave, and he has started grabbing my backside when I hug him. I’m disgusted by this. It makes me angry and uncomfortable. I’ve told him numerous times to stop and have threatened to tell his wife.
He says I won’t. It’s a sticky situation, as his wife is ill and I can’t imagine adding more to her already full plate.
I’m also afraid she won’t believe me and that it will be the end of our friendship.
I’ve never given him any reason to believe that I’m even remotely interested in him. How do I stop this unwelcome behavior and maintain my friendship?
Dear Upset: Hire someone else to help around the house. Keep your distance from this man.
If he does this again, call him out immediately and in front of others.