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Reality Check: Parental PDA

Q. It bothers me when my husband pinches my butt or grabs at me, particularly in front of our kids. I know he thinks he's being affectionate, but how can I tame his groping ways?

A.
Are you sure you really want to? Just kidding. It's nice that your husband is obviously attracted to you, but I understand your thumbs-down on love, adolescent style. You can help him graduate to subtler displays of affection by steering his advances rather than flat-out rejecting them.

When he starts in with the pinching and groping, take his hand and say, in your sexy voice, "Save that for tonight for me." This way you're returning his affection with a little discreet flirting, which is always a good thing between spouses, and you're also gently telling him to knock off the frisky hands.

You could also employ the old catch-him-doing-something-right method of reinforcing good behavior (you know, the one that is so useful with toddlers). Whenever my husband happened to kiss me on the neck, I would stop whatever I was doing and enjoy it, to let him know that was the thing that would always get my attention.

As far as being affectionate in front of the kids, as long as you keep it clean it's one of the nicest things you can do for your children. And although they'll cover their eyes and pretend to gag whenever you kiss or hug, they like seeing that the parents who love them also love each other.

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