By Debra Macleod, B.A., LL.B.,
Sex & Relationship Author

I’m getting married next summer, but there’s a nasty issue between my maid of honor and my fiancé’s best man. They used to date (my fiancé and I actually met through them) but now they’ve broken up. It was a messy breakup since he cheated on her, they’re on terrible terms, and are both threatening to boycott our wedding if they have to stand up together. I told my fiancé it was only fair for him to ask his friend to step down (since he’s the jerk), but he doesn’t agree and now we’re arguing. What should I do? I don’t think my friend should have to stand up with a guy who treated her so badly.

Ah, I’m partially out of my league: With regard to the logistics of the ceremony, including presenting this ex-couple with options so they’re not paired together, I’d encourage you to consult a wedding etiquette specialist. These folks are experts at negotiating awkward wedding issues. Just do it soon! But now to what I think is the larger and more important issue, which is the fact that you and your fiancé are arguing over this. It pains me that lovebirds like you are being drawn into this drama. If your marriage is to last longer than the wedding ceremony, the two of you must learn to insulate your relationship from other peoples’ problems. Regardless of how this situation resolves itself, you and your fiancé should use this opportunity to have a heart-to-heart about prioritizing and protecting your relationship. That involves respecting and empathizing with each other’s feelings, compromising, and presenting a united front to friends and family. Realize that this issue will be a transitory one: your marriage, however, will last forever. If you can turn this argument into a chance to showcase the insight and skills your marriage will need to survive, you’ll be the wiser (and happier) for it.

My fiancé and I have been together for four years and living together for two. Since we got engaged last year, I’ve noticed that our sex life is cooling down. I’ve asked him about it, but he says he doesn’t notice a difference. I’m worried this is going to get worse after we’re married, since it seems that the change has happened since the engagement. What can I do to make the sex as hot and heavy as it used to be?

The bad news is that there’s probably nothing you can do to make the sex as “hot and heavy” as it was in first year that you were together. The good news is that this mild cool-down isn’t just normal, it’s also necessary if your relationship/marriage is to deepen in meaning, strength, and—yes—sexual intimacy. Sure, there may be a connection between your engagement and the cool-down, but that could be a good thing. Perhaps sealing the deal has made both of you subconsciously relax and realize that your commitment is for real. Perhaps you’re both starting to sense the gravity of marriage and it’s preoccupying you. Or perhaps your long-term relationship is simply moving out of the hormonal stage. Those are all positive, healthy changes that a couple can expect to experience. You didn’t say that you or he weren’t satisfied with your sex life; you simply said that, after four years, it’s starting to cool down. Don’t make this a bigger issue than it is. Relax, keep your perspective, and use your common sense. Sex is going to change over the years that you’re together—just wait ‘til you bring your first baby home! As long as you and your husband enjoy a mutually-satisfying sex life and keep intimacy a priority, all will be well. You don’t have to experience fireworks every night!

How do I get over my jealousy? Whenever my fiancé talks to a pretty woman (cashiers, waitresses, whatever) I feel a mixture of insecurity, anger, and helplessness. My fiancé seems to think it’s funny and puffs out his chest like it’s a joke.

Believe it or not, your fiancé’s reaction may be a good one. In my experience, men who are out to make their partner’s jealous are more subtle about it. My guess is that he’s doing his best to marginalize your jealousy because he knows it’s unfounded and doesn’t know how else to handle it. You’ve also indicated the type of pretty girls he’s talking to—cashiers and waitresses that you and he encounter in the normal course of a day—so it’s not like he’s trolling the bars at closing-time looking for “hot babes.” I think you need to cut yourself some slack here. Jealousy is a normal emotion and it’s at its strongest in the early years of a relationship. When you feel it, turn your thoughts to all the ways your fiancé makes you feel like you’re “the one.” Although some degree of jealousy is normal, you must maintain your perspective, use your common sense, and keep it in-check so it doesn’t start to consume you.

Debra Macleod is an internationally published author of five sex & relationship guides. Her sixth book will be out in 2010. She is a contributor to Cosmopolitan, Bridal Guide, Men’s Health, Playboy, and Fox TV. Having just moved to Calgary, Debra can be seen on Global TV, Breakfast Television and Shaw TV, and heard on the VIBE 98.5 fm. She is also the host of “Love S.O.S” spice-it-up intimacy seminars for women. Debra has been married for nine years and she and her husband, Don, have a son.

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