Annie's Mailbox for Feb. 14, 2011: Can't get over fiancee's sexual past

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Dear Readers: Happy Valentine's Day to one and all, along with our special good wishes to the veterans in VA hospitals around the country. And our particular thanks to those readers who have taken the time to send valentines, visit the vets and volunteer at VA facilities. Bless each and every one of you.

Dear Annie: I am in my mid-20s and am engaged to my wonderful fiancee, "Bella," who is the same age. I love and trust her with all my heart.

Bella has been my only sexual partner. The problem is, before we met, she had been somewhat intimate with other men, including having oral sex. Even though she told me about it a year ago, it still bothers me. I feel jealous, as well as angry with the guys because I know that during some of these encounters Bella was drunk.

I know these things are in the past and can't be changed. Talking about it sometimes helps, but Bella gets upset and tries to change the subject. I am working on it, and it's a little better, but is it wrong for the thoughts to bother me?

— Confused Fiancé

Dear Confused: It's not wrong to be bothered, but it is not a good idea to keep conjuring up these thoughts in your head. By their mid-20s, most girls (and guys) have had some degree of experience. You need to absolve Bella and forget about things she did before she met you. Don't deliberately bring these thoughts to mind, and if they should surface anyway, immediately substitute the image of the "other guy" for images of you and Bella. If you still need to talk about it, see a professional. Bella is tired of feeling guilty for things she cannot change, and that should not be part of her life with you. If you cannot put this behind you, please rethink the marriage.

Dear Annie: I am the events coordinator in my office of 12. One of my tasks is to remember all the staff birthdays, which I then post on our monthly office calendar so everyone knows whose birthday is next. I also collect money for a card and cake, and if the birthday celebrant isn't in that day, we do it when they return. I have done this task for the past two years.

This year my birthday fell during my vacation. When I came back, no one remembered my birthday, and I received neither a card nor cake. I feel slighted. How am I supposed to cheerfully do this for the next person when I was totally ignored? I want to tell my co-workers to find someone else to do this job. Am I being childish?

— Forgotten in California

Dear California: Since you do all the card buying and cake supplying, it is not surprising that no one did this for you. They don't consider it their job. It isn't personal. You are one of those rare folks who have a knack for taking care of their co-workers, but most people are not so conscientious. You have a few choices to deal with this: You can give up the position. You can assign yourself a "deputy coordinator" who will handle your birthday and those that fall during your vacation. Or you can demonstrate your sense of humor and buy yourself a card and cake.

Dear Annie: Recently, a wife wrote that her husband would rather watch porn than have sex with her. I would like to explain why this may be happening.

I am a married man, and my wife often tells me she is tired and can we wait. "Not tonight, dear." Then, when she does want sex, she tells me not to take too long. After being rejected so often, a guy loses interest in having sex with his wife. At least the husband is still faithful, even if he prefers porn.

— Lost in El Paso

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