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Man's behavior might be a 'Southern thing'

By Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

Dear Amy: My boyfriend and I rekindled our relationship a year ago, after many years apart. We now are (supposed to be) in a committed, exclusive (but long-distance) relationship. We are both mature, divorced adults, and we love each other.

Recently, I visited him at his home for three weeks. We had a wonderful time.

He has been talking a lot about "Miranda," whose mother died months ago. He said he'd invited her to his home for drinks and "breaks," while her husband stayed home with the "baby" (who turned out to be a 13-year-old).

During a visit, after a party at his home (her husband had left); "Miranda" put her arms around my boyfriend's neck while his hands were on her hips, and they kissed repeatedly on the lips. This made me wonder what they do when they are alone, which they often are.

I privately complained to my boyfriend. I felt it was disrespectful and hurtful. I asked him how he would feel if I was kissing another man like that.

He said: "It's a Southern thing. Her mother just died."

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Then he blamed me for being jealous. I told him that where I come from, we have boundaries, respect for other people's feelings and relationships and that we treat others the way we would like to be treated.

Every time he brings up the kissing incident and compares it to another grandmotherly friend who kisses him on the check, we disagree, and I burst into tears.

Is this a "Southern thing"? How should I handle it if it happens again?

--Southern Exposure

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