Q: I am 39; my wife is 35. We have been married for seven years. In that time, she has put on about 30 to 40 pounds and gone from a size 7 to a size 12. She works out but has bad eating habits. On the other hand, I am 6-foot-1 and fit. I go to the gym three times a week, and I have been told that I look younger than my wife. Is it wrong of me to want my wife to slim down? I don't look at her the same: Her body does not turn me on at all. Is there something wrong with me or her? I think we are headed for divorce - and she can tell something is wrong. Any suggestions?
Steve: Do you love her? If the answer is yes, then you need to get to work. Don't tell her she's fat. Do tell her that you want to spend your life with her and are concerned about her health. Then work on it together. Hire a personal trainer who will craft workouts and diets for each of you. If you are in it together, it will be easier for her to adopt a healthier lifestyle.
Mia: Tread lightly, friend. Really lightly. I'm sure your wife knows she's gained weight, so mentioning it could be very hurtful. I'd try some new activities together, like taking up bike riding or getting a puppy that needs lots of walks. And maybe if you do more of the cooking, you can make healthier meals that you both enjoy.
Q: My husband and I are vegans, but every year for Christmas my father-in-law sends us a box of those awful Hickory Farms sausages. We give it away or throw it out. He's made jokes about our lifestyle in the past, and I think this is his mean-spirited way of mocking us. I have asked my husband to speak to him about it, but he just shrugs it off. My in-laws live pretty far away, and we only see them about three times a year, but I am thinking of telling my father-in-law off the next time we get together. What do you think I should say?
Mia: Absolutely nothing. If your husband won't talk to his dad, I'd leave it alone. Just keep throwing them away. And perhaps start sending him a tofurky for Christmas.
Steve: It's possible your father-in-law has a strange sense of humor. But Mia's right, there's no up side to starting a fight that is bound to cause trouble with your husband. Maybe you can carve the sausages into little Christmas ornaments.
Steve is a 50-something married man who's been around the block. Mia is a 20-something single immersed in the Center City dating scene. They may not agree, but they have plenty of answers. If you'd like an answer to your romantic troubles, e-mail them at S&M@phillynews.com or write: S&M c/o Daily News, Box 7788, Philadelphia, PA 19101.