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Help! My Husband Gave Me a Hickey

Ask Demetria: The first thing to do is find out why he's so insecure that he has to mark his territory.

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It's very curious to me that your husband would specifically mention your co-workers as he figuratively patted himself on the back for branding you. It leads me to wonder what's going on in your office that he clearly feels threatened by.

Is there a male co-worker you've been talking about more often than usual, and your husband wants to send him a signal -- you know, in addition to your wedding band -- that you are unavailable? Were you recently acknowledged or promoted, maybe (further) surpassing your husband's income, and he wants to undermine your success?

You need to have a serious talk with your man. Explain to your husband that leaving a hickey on your neck, or anywhere else it could be seen by colleagues, is completely unacceptable, and you do not want it to happen again. Ever. This isn't asking a lot from him.

You also need to find out why he did this. From your letter, it sounds as if it's the first time this has happened, so ask him what's going on to suddenly cause him to act out this way now.

Don't let him off the hook if he claims he was "just fooling around" or accuses you of "making a big deal" out of nothing. If he's old enough to be married, he's old enough to know better. Further, embarrassing you at work isn't "nothing." Together, you two need to address whatever insecurity he has so this doesn't happen again.

Good luck!

Demetria L. Lucas is a contributing editor to The Root, a life coach and the author of A Belle in Brooklyn: The Go-to Girl for Advice on Living Your Best Single Life. She answers your dating and relationship questions on The Root each week. Feel free to ask anything at askdemetria@theroot.com.

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