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Dear Uncle Mat


I have a girlfriend whose husband has been diagnosed with the “Madonna Whore” complex. Actually, his doctor says he has an Oedipal Complex, but after watching Sex and the City, she’s convinced it’s less about wanting sex with his mother and more about viewing her as the future mother of his children.

— Speechless about sexless

Dear Speechless,

What do you suppose Guy Ritchie calls it? She might begin by telling him that he will have to have sex with her at some point if she is going to be the future mother of his children. Unless he is liberal about the definition of “his children.” Sometimes the obvious needs pointing out.

You listed two complexes. Did the doctor diagnose both or did she pick one of them out? The Madonna Whore complex is very different from an Oedipus complex. A man with the Madonna Whore complex cannot have sex with his wife because it is dirty and he holds her to a higher standard. He has chosen a wife as a supplement for the perfect mother he lacked as a child. He will seek sex outside of the marriage if he is horny. If she believes this to be her husband’s problem, does she also think he is sleeping with other women? An Oedipus complex stems from wanting to have sex with his mother and hating his father for being the man to do the deed. According to Freud, men then lose this desire in adolesence because they realize they love their penis and are afraid their dad will cut it off for lusting after mom. If he had both a distant mother and father, I suppose he could have both as an adult. That is a guess. I am not a psychologist and it seems best that he is seeing one. Your girlfriend might consider consulting a professional as well. If his doctor is not a sex specialist, then they might want to ask for a referral and an opportunity to counsel individually and as a couple. They already seem to be communicating about the issue. This is a good start.

Sex and the City is witty and colorful (or boring), but hardly a handbook on how to fix a marriage. It’s more like a guide on how to shop well, order annoying cocktails, and sleep with idealized, inferior men previously ruined by their mothers, evil prom dates, or society in general. Not exactly what every girl needs. Please try and remember: TV is entertainment, Tyra is a model, someone pays for the news, Jason Bateman is still hot, and falling anvils will kill coyotes.

Much luck and love,

Your Uncle Mat

My two best friends, “Sarah” and “Nancy,” are always fighting. Sarah disapproves of just about everything Nancy does, while Nancy complains that Sarah is a snob and a bitch. I think they are both cool, but I totally live in fear of my social life. How in the hell do I fix this?

— In the Middle

Dear Stuck,

Ditch the rock and the hard place. Do you have a boyfriend, girlfriend, or husband? How do they feel about the situation?

I know lots of cool people I cannot be friends with. They are called social acquaintances. As you get older your priorities and interests will change. You might find you dislike the people around you. Maybe it’s you, maybe it’s them, but it is time for change and for you to find new friends.

Try making other plans next weekend. Break the routine. Don’t do whatever the three of you usually do. If you normally go out for drinks or shopping and lunch, then you should go to the movies or a play. You most likely have other friends or potential friends. Make plans with them and develop those relationships into stronger bonds. Begin to slowly put a polite distance between you and the bickering duo. You don’t have to throw out your BFF charm bracelet, just change or add names.

If you can’t bear to live without them and really want to reconcile your triangle of love, watch some Sex and the City reruns. I understand them to be very informative about BFFs.

Much love and pinky promises,

Your Uncle Mat

P.S. I also think the movie Heathers can be a helpful resource for troubled friendships.

Uncle Mat answers questions about relationships, sex, pets, and art. Email him at dear or Your true identity is safe with him.


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