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Ask Michael Cohen: How to Avoid Sticky Relationship Issues

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I'm writing to you because my mother is a fan of this column and she said I should ask Michael, so here goes it. I have been dating this really amazing girl for nearly two years. Admittedly, I probably have spoiled her a bit. We go on great trips, eat at all the in spots and I get her great gifts. But there is something I'm beginning to find really annoying -- her obsession with handbags. She is spending close to six figures buying handbags. I gave her my closet to house them and I'm using the linen closet for everything but my suits. How do I stop the insanity? Gregory M., New York City

Before you read my reply, thank your mother for her good advice and know there are going to be a lot of angry shop girls along Madison Avenue. Here's the deal -- your girlfriend is a handbag junkie and if you've watched any of those addiction shows that are all over television, you'll know that addicts need help and they can't do it solo.

First, cut off the payment source for these purchases which I tend to think may be your credit card. Let her know that you are in this with her and come to a joint agreement that maybe purchasing a bag or two every season is the goal. Also agree together to put a financial cap as well on the purchase prices.

That should save both of you a great deal of money.

Secondly, you can sell some of the handbag horde and use that money to buy new stuff or even better, donate that money to hungry mouths and show your girlfriend how many meals a pocketbook can buy. I did this with my sneaker obsession and it was very much the reality check I needed.

Lastly, if you both make no headway with any of the above, some counseling may do the deed.

My boyfriend is a stay-at-home guy which is awesome because that's what I always wanted. I'm a doctor and he is more or less a house husband. I give him an allowance and a credit card and he basically runs all the things that have to do with our home life. I like coming home to a clean house, a full fridge, food on the table or dinner reservations. Now, he tells me he's bored, feels unfulfilled and wants a job. I'm happy the way things are. Am I wrong? Leondro P., Miami

I don't think there is a wrong or right in this situation. Every couple has an ebb and flow and take on roles in the relationship. But here is what I do know -- in a healthy relationship, both people are listening to each other.

You're a doctor and I suspect may be able to afford a housekeeper, which is sort of the profile you have described of your boyfriend. I would encourage him to get a job as I am beginning to think that he is struggling with his value in life. On the other hand, you could have a conversation and explain that what he does at home is more valuable than maybe you've expressed and having a home managed by him is something you value immensely. Either way, the topic should be addressed or I can assure you, turmoil is headed your way.

If you guys split up over over this, the great thing about my job is that I love Whole Foods and can write at home.

I have been married for five years to the same woman I dated for 10 years prior to our marriage so we've been together 15 years. She's also the only person I have had sex with in 15 years and I have no other way to say this, but I am bored. I've been thinking about asking her to bring in a third person or maybe go to one of those swinger parties. I wanted to try anal sex and when I did, she freaked out and accused me of being bi-sexual. I don't know what to do anymore, but I feel like I may be prone to cheating. What should I do? Name Withheld

We've got an issue here. First, a round of applause to you for not cheating and thinking this through. Let me tell you what cheating gets you -- shame and a really big monthly alimony payment. You need to be upfront about how you feel in the same way you were with me in your question. Please, don't suggest threesomes and swinger parties. It really gives off the vibe that you are not attracted to her and not just physically, but mentally and emotionally as well.

Suggest changing up the times and places you have sex and that may mean being adventurous -- check into a hotel, get into a jacuzzi together, drink champagne and feed each other strawberries. Have sex outdoors or in the back seat of your car. Make a date in the morning to have sex that night so that you can both think about that prospect all day and come home raring to go. Use your imagination.

As for anal sex, that's something you have to bring on slowly with a female. Make sure there's lots of foreplay, anal included, to educate her. Go gently and slowly -- it should help change her mind. Please let her know that anal sex between two heterosexual people has absolutely nothing to do with being bisexual. It will just add new interest and excitement to your sex life. She needs to get down with today's sexual revolution.

Again, whatever you do, don't cheat. You have 15 years of a really good life and many more headed that way. Ruining it with a sexual encounter is just not worth the damage it will cause.