Ask Micah


Caught in Action

Dear Micah,

I have a bit of an embarrassing question so pleased do not use the name in my email.  My husband and I enjoy a healthy sex life.  This fact is now becoming a bit of a problem now that our children are older, aged 4, 6, and 10.  Four times now they have walked in on us in embarrassing situations.  The last one was mortifying.  Let’s just say it involved the dining room table and a grandmother who did not call us before hand to say she was bringing the kids home early!  UGH!  So embarrassing.  I tried asking my girlfriends about how they handle this but all I ever get out of them is how they can’t believe we do it as much as we do.  Did I mention we have a VERY healthy sex life?!  We are just not the after bedtime kind of people.  I miss the days of cribs, nursery school, and cartoons occupying their every minute.  Have any good suggestions for me?

PS:  I don’t think my mother-in-law is every going to look at us the same way again either!

Sign me,

Embarrassed

Dear Embarrassed,

Never be embarrassed by having a partner that you want all the time and that wants you all the time.  Anyone acting outraged about that or mystified about that just isn’t as lucky as you are.  I think that you need to just be pretty upfront about it all.  Your ten year old is old enough to comprehend.  Tell him or her that Mommy and Daddy need their alone time.  Tell him/her that you’re sure he/she knows several friends that have divorced parents and that your alone time with Daddy is a good thing—a thing that helps keep the two of you loving each other and staying together and that you need all of the kids help in preserving that alone time.  Tell all of your children that a closed bedroom door, (or office door, or garage door, or bathroom door) means that no one can just walk in.  Knocking has to be the mutual respect for everyone in the household.  You and your husband also have to respect that rule as well.  In a few years your kids will be exploring themselves privately in their rooms and you will not want to walk in on that either!  Ask your ten year old to help you keep the younger kids occupied and corralled whenever you and Dad need to be alone.  You don’t have to say “We are having sex,” the kids will eventually realize that as they each reach an age where they start to understand what is really going on.  Just tell them “Dad and I have to talk about some things”  Or “Dad needs my help with something,”  and then request privacy and to be left alone for half an hour.  Give them a show to watch or send them out to play, making sure the 10 year old is watching the younger two.  Possibly give the ten year old an allowance increase for being a helpful big brother/sister.  That will be all the incentive he/she needs.  I have found that letting my son watch his favorite shows on TV, combined with a key-only door lock on my office door, helps a lot.  Put locks on your bedroom door too if they aren’t already there.  Keep those home fires burning and you’ll have a happy life.  And remember do not be embarrassed if your kids figure it out.  You are showing them what a healthy loving marriage looks like.  That might embarrass some people but those people are idiots.  Part of your job is to teach your children about life, love, and family.  If the worst thing that ever happens in their childhood is that they knew their parents loved each other and had lots of sex then they’ve had a pretty great upbringing.  Remember you are demonstrating how couples relate to each other.  Teaching them that parents need alone time to continue to grow and foster their marriage is a wonderful thing to teach them.  So get some locks from Lowe’s and go get your freak on!

A Debt is a Debt

Dear Micah,

I borrowed $1000 from my sister a year ago.  I paid her back half of it a month later, but the other $500 I didn’t have at that time.  I paid her another $200 over the course of time and I just owe her $300 now.  But I also paid her way to go with me on a trip I had to take for work when I didn’t want to go alone.  I know I had to have spent more than the $300 on that.  So are we even now, or do I still owe her?  My cousin mentioned the other day to me in passing that my sister had mentioned I still owed her the money, but I have been thinking that the trip paid for it.  What do you think?

Deanna

Dear Deanna,

You still owe her $300.  That trip was more for you than her.  You didn’t want to go alone and so you paid her way so that she didn’t come out of pocket to be your companion.  She did not come to you and say “Can I go?  Will you pay my way?”  That trip was to help you out and should not be considered a repayment of the debt.  If it was going to be you should have asked her at the time, “Can I pay your way to go with me and that’ll be the rest of the money I owe you?”  I bet she would have said she’d prefer the cash and to skip the trip.  And if your cousin has heard mention of the debt recently then its probably really bothering your sister that it hasn’t been paid.  Pay it now if you can.  If you can’t at least acknowledge that you know it still exists and that will ease her mind.  Hell she might even forgive the debt herself and call the trip compensation for it.  But that has to be her decision to do, you can’t just assume it.  She probably doesn’t even care about the three hundred, its just that she feels like you have forgotten it and that’s gnawing at her enough to speak about it.  So acknowledge the debt and see what she does.  Most of the time people care far less about the money than the principle of the thing.

The Grieving Grabbers

Micah,

I read about how you lost your spouse earlier this year.  I lost mine a couple months ago.  I am wondering if you encountered the same kind of thing that I have going on.  People keeps asking me for things that belonged to him.  Relatives want certain family items that have been in their family a long time.  A Co-worker want a keepsake that used to sit on his desk.  Friends have asked for things here and there.  I don’t mind parting with some things but at the same time its kind of disrespectful I think to come over here and ask for my dead husband’s things.  I don’t know how to respond.

Grieving

Dear Grieving,

You respond by saying, “I am not making any decisions on parting with anything for a year.”  One year out some things will mean a great deal to you and some things won’t.  I had a few people who wanted a keepsake to remember my husband by.  Some people I gave something to and some I didn’t.  It depended on how close they really were to him and how much sentimental value I placed on the specific item myself.  I have given some stuff away, but some things that I didn’t want I put in storage because although I was pretty sure I didn’t want to see these things on a daily basis, I wasn’t sure I really wanted to never see them again.  So, I rented a storage unit and took some things to it.  I’ll make those decisions a year or two down the road.  So far, I have only given away two things I regret giving away, but they aren’t so detrimental that it haunts me.  Use my experience to hold onto your memories and just tell anyone that asks that you aren’t making any decisions like that at this time.  If you have children, you must also take that into account.  You may not want a particular item, but one day his son or daughter might.  You owe his children the right of first refusal on all the big sentimental things.

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