Dear Amy: I recently married a great guy. He loves me and loves my children (from a previous marriage) like his own.
When we first started dating, we disclosed a lot of our past to each other.
We were drinking, and he told me a couple of vulgar sexual things about one particular ex. I'm having a hard time moving past it.
He claims he doesn't remember telling me that, because he was drinking.
Also, due to my own digging through his social media (I admit it), I saw pictures and posts he would write to this same girl, and other girls.
Before me, he had a few one-night stands, drank way too much (hence the one-night stands), and would comment on lots of women's sexy Instagram and Facebook pictures.
I cannot get over his past behavior.
I overthink everything. Why doesn't he take as many pictures of us as he did with his exes? Why doesn't he write the things to me that he did to other girls? Does he think I'm as sexy as the girls he commented on?
He tells me he loves me way more than he ever loved any girl, and that he only did those things because he had nothing positive in his life.
In the four years I've known him, he is a completely changed man. He has stopped drinking and smoking, and is a responsible, hardworking man who says he has everything he has ever wanted in life.
But I need help moving past his past. I've read self-help books and talked to close friends, but I still have this nagging feeling.
Is it my gut telling me that something isn't right? After all, a tiger can't change its stripes.
— Tortured by the Past
Dear Tortured: I don't know what these books and friends told you, but my main question is: Are you capable of change?
I believe that you are.
Your husband has changed.
And now it's your turn.
Your choice to dig into his social media history seems to have triggered extreme self-esteem issues. He has told you: "That was drunk-me. This is sober-me."
Your husband's past belongs to him. You don't really have the right to claim it, shape it, or to let his past dominate your future.
Your husband isn't sexually vulgar with you because he is sober. He doesn't objectify you the way he objectified random women on Instagram because he knows you. He loves you. He is happy, you're the mother of the children he loves, and he is no longer that lonely dude drunk-scrolling into the void.
You could work through this with a counselor but know this: While it is important for you to pay attention to your own instincts, your insecurity and jealousy could actually poison what sounds like a good thing.
You should communicate your wants, needs, and desires (vulgar or otherwise) to him, and he should be transparent and patient with you.
Trust is a choice. It's one you really should make.
Dear Amy: I'm a fan. I'm responding to "Faithful Reader," who objects to using "they" as a singular pronoun.
News flash for them and other readers: "They" has always been a singular pronoun. People use it all the time. They now only object to the intentional use of it, because they don't like having their views of gender or language challenged.
Dear Upset: "Faithful Reader" is one of many, many people who have complained over my use of the word "they" when referring to an individual. The refrain is always the same: "'They' is plural!"
The subtext is also familiar and is exactly as you describe.
"Faithful Reader" suggested using the word "ye" as a gender-neutral singular pronoun, and while I responded positively to that idea, it is not for Faithful Reader, or me, to assign specific words describing anyone (but ourselves).
Dear Amy: "Just Curious" wanted to know how to show people one photo on their phone, but then prevent them from scrolling through additional photos.
I no longer have that problem, as I have created a folder I titled "shareable."
When I find the one or few pictures I want to show, I quickly select them and move them to that folder, and then just show the folder.
At the end of the night, I remove them from the folder so it's ready for my next show and tell. I no longer worry about anyone seeing more than I was offering.
— Never Embarrassed
Dear Never: Great tip! Amy quickly searches: "how to create a folder."