Every week, Dear Prudence answers additional questions from readers, just for Slate Plus members.
Q. Boyfriend is full of hot air: I moved in with my boyfriend about six months ago and it’s been mostly good.
The one thing I just can’t get over is the fact that he farts in front of me all the time. He never did this when we were dating. On top of it, he is extremely gassy. When I brought the subject up, he said it was because he was eating a lot of dairy and he tried to avoid it around me because he knew it would cause gas. When I told him he should go to the bathroom, or at least another room to do it, he told me it was a natural bodily function and he didn’t want to try to stop it. He even implied that he was mad that I would try to tell him what to do. When I asked him to reduce his dairy intake, he said he didn’t want to do that on a regular basis.
Prudie, is this normal? I didn’t grow up around boys. Both my mother and father were very private about their bathroom activities and bodily functions. I don’t think I’ve ever even heard them burp loudly. This just seems so rude and frankly unhygienic. What should I do?
A: Oh, God. I don’t know if it’s normal. It probably is for many couples. And yes, it’s a bodily function that he can’t help. But that doesn’t matter! You can’t be in a relationship in which you’re disgusted multiple times a day. People decide they’re incompatible for all kinds of reasons: One partner is vegan and someone else isn’t; one partner is an introvert and one is an extrovert; one wants to play video games five hours a day and the other thinks that’s a waste of time. You are allowed to decide that being assaulted by farts all day is not part of the life you want.
Recently my boyfriend of more than a year and I went out for drinks then came back to his place. We made love and fell asleep naked next to each other. Then, in the middle of the night, I woke up to the sound of my own fart, two farts, actually. The next morning, we both acted normal. He didn’t say anything, and neither did I. We even went to the movies at his suggestion. I am so incredibly mortified about this. I’m sure he heard it, because he is a light sleeper. I don’t know if I should talk about it, because he hasn’t brought it up. Even if he wants to bring it up, it’s probably awkward for him. What should I do?