Friday, July 18, 2008

"Since You Asked" -- July 18, 2008 Edition

DEAR ELLIE: My nephew, 33, has frequently been in trouble: stealing, driving under influence, driving while suspended, violence, drugs. He'd stolen a considerable sum from his aunt at 18 while she was staying in his parents' home. He was brought up an only child among alcohol and verbal abuse. He's physically assaulted his mother and father on several occasions, but they do nothing about it.

He threatened me on three occasions. He'd later call and apologize and I'd forgive him. Last January he and other relatives were intoxicated and playing music loudly. When asked to turn it down, he threw his aunt onto the ground and stopped only when threatened with the police being called.

I've banned him from my home and any association with me. Other relatives did the same. His parents want me to come over (he's there daily) but I've said no -- not until he gets anger management and does the right thing with his aunt. I feel tough love is the only way.



You’re right. So you need advice because…?

Actually, I can offer one correction/suggestion: “tough love” isn’t the only way. Try this one: another stint in jail with Big Bubba bending him over at shower time.

Best “anger management” I’ve ever heard of. He won’t be smacking his family around much when he can’t walk fast enough to catch them.

DEAR AMY: I am a single, successful professional. I am a quite pretty woman who has been dating a man for more than two years.

Sadly, I thought I was in a serious, committed relationship. Was I ever mistaken!

My boyfriend and I had developed what I thought was a solid relationship. Our families meshed and our children from each side became good friends. We even went to church together and spent most weekends together.

The problem is that I recently found my so-called boyfriend's profile on a popular Internet dating site.

I sensed something was wrong in the relationship. I decided to do a bit of investigation, and my PhD research training came in handy.

Anyone in my position can imagine the feeling of sadness and depression the minute I saw pictures of him smiling and flirting online.

The saddest part is that he was "advertising" for a relationship that is exactly what we had together. He denies participating in the exchanges with women, even though his profile has been up for months.

I recommend to all women who think something may be odd with their so-called boyfriend to do a quick search on the most popular Internet dating sites to see what comes up.

My blood is still frozen from finding his picture, name and profile asking for all of the qualities in a woman that I already possessed.



This guy sounds like a prize dick, all right (according to your letter, anyway). But I have to wonder if all these pseudo-sly references to your education mightn’t have had something to do with his, er, “wanderlust.” (Let’s see, do you happen to have a Ph.D. by chance?? Now, what kind of degree is it again? Is it a – I’m just guessing here – Ph.D.?? Wow, we’d never have known! You were so subtle about it!)

Your letter paints your guy as a dishonest creep, but I’m afraid it also reveals you to be slightly immodest, pious and faintly smug. These aren’t qualities men look for, pigs though they may be. And though you think that “anyone in your position can imagine” your feelings, to read your brochure letter, there’s nobody in your position besides you—you’ve built up your own little diamond pedestal.

You didn’t mention when his profile on this “popular Internet dating site” was last updated. Did your professor forget to teach you about dates in your many, many book-larnin’ classes? This might have been a profile he wrote long ago and never took down. It doesn’t necessarily mean he logs in every day.

And since when does it take a Ph.D. to operate the Internet? Since when does it take so much as education? Or even brains?? Have you seen how many people read the Drudge Report??

DEAR MISS MANNERS: My matron of honor, my sister, will be (if all goes well) six months pregnant at the time of my wedding. Her husband will be in attendance and will want to claim his place as the father of the child. However, their wife, one of my oldest friends, will also be in attendance with her then-15-week-old baby, also born of their shared husband.

While their lifestyle is not for me, I do not find it my place to condemn them, but rather to rejoice in the happiness my sister's choice has brought her.

It is the concern of my fiancé, however, that if their relationship comes to light, older and more conservative members of his family may look upon us with ill favor or denounce us outright because we did not denounce the three of them, opting instead to invite them to our union.

My own concern is that people are not so socially put out that they cannot enjoy themselves and celebrate with us our happy marriage—whether that be the groom, fretting for his relatives; my brother-in-law, temporarily disavowing a great happiness in his life; or my fiance's family, trying to figure out what the world has come to, or some such.

I agree with my sister that it might not become an issue if we do not announce their relationship to one another in introducing them, but as the newborn will be the only child at the wedding, and my sister will be the only (obviously) pregnant woman, parentage seems to be an obvious point of conversation.

It seems that it would disturb the fewest people to have my brother-in-law practice restraint of joy for a few hours, but it would be a more openly joyous occasion if we were not putting effort into denying the truth. I have agreed to abide by your judgment, and I believe that my sister's family will, as well.



Wait a minute: are both your sister and this other woman actually married to this guy?? If so, they have a problem of their own: the laws against bigamy. But I’m going to assume you mean that they’ve just had some sort of commitment ceremony, in which case their life is their own beeswax and you hit on the solution to this dilemma without even noticing it. You said that the problem lies with your fiancés “older and more conservative” family members.

Well, they’re old and they’ll be dead soon. Who the hell cares what they think?

Simple, ain't it? Don’t thank me.

DEAR MARGO: I'm engaged to a man I love ferociously. However, over the past four years his ex-girlfriend has caused a lot of trouble by attacking me verbally and also threatening me on three occasions. My fiance claims their relationship is almost familial since they've known each other since they were in diapers. But ... they have been intimate on two occasions.

He failed to stop her attacks against me on all three occasions, but he does say each time that he will no longer talk to her until full apologies are made. Well, this is the fourth time -- still no apology to me -- and they have kissed and made up, so to speak, and now laugh on the phone together in front of me about how insecure I am.

I am heartbroken that this close to our wedding he is still allowing this person to negatively affect us. I don't want to leave him, but I don't know whether there is any other answer. Am I wrong to ask him to cut her out of his life once and for all?



Maybe this is the end?? Golly, do you think so?

I’m still wondering why you didn’t cut this squid loose after the first time he didn’t stand up for you. And why you love him at all, much less “ferociously.” He’s obviously indifferent at best and a lizard at worst. He probably gets off on having his spitfire psycho of an “ex”-girlfriend threaten the other women he becomes involved with. They’re probably still very much a couple, and this is a sick little game they play, like some European sexual thriller or something.

I’ll bet he wears her panty hose and a dog collar, too. Break it off.

DEAR ELLIE: I'm early 50s, in a committed relationship with a man, 60, for 13 years. I've discovered his affair with an 80-year-old woman whom he'd befriended four years ago. They started a secret romance when her partner died suddenly in January. He took her to casinos, her social events, church, etc.

During the past two years, I had many losses of family and jobs, went into a depression and withdrew attention from my boyfriend. We went on vacation last January; I discovered he was planning this same vacation with the older woman. When confronted, he denied anything but friendship between them.

The woman contacted me, calling him a liar, claiming they were sexually intimate. We've been going to couples counseling. The counselor believes that theirs was a spiritual relationship and that he can still contact her. She said it's the 30-year age difference that makes this so devastating to me.

He says he wants to work it out and that he'll be there for me always. Things are 100 percent better, but I still have doubts. I don't know the whole truth. He swears nothing happened, she says different.



First of all:


Second of all, it’s sort of normal to turn to a friend when your partner suddenly withdraws. What is NOT normal, however, is to begin an affair with an 80-year-old woman unless you’re 80 years old yourself. That’s just a little strange, not to mention dangerous for the older person: what if they break a hip?? Now it’s entirely possible that he’s telling the truth and the old gal is just out to make trouble. But at the very least, it’s unnatural and sneaky for him to be planning a vacation with her behind your back (you say you had to “confront” him, which implies that he wasn’t exactly forthcoming about it).

Thirdly, what kind of hippie-dippie therapist are you guys seeing that would encourage this kind of shit?! “Since it’s a spiritual relationship he can still contact her??” Spiritual? WTF?! Is this a séance or something? Unless he’s giving this woman Holy Communion or Last Rites, there’s nothing “spiritual” about this. It’s based on duplicity and it needs to stop. Besides, a partner should be sensitive to your feelings, and if this relationship makes you uncomfortable, he owes it to you as his long-term partner to put your needs first.

If he refuses to do that, maybe you should set him free. And hopefully Harold and Maude will be very happy together.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

In the Dear Amy column are you sure she has a PHD? She seems like such a modest person. She has been married before, you'd think she'd learn to be a better judge of character, I mean she's sooo smart oh yes and pretty!
The Miss Manners query prods me to ask one question: Who the Hell brings a 15 week old baby to a wedding?
The Dear Margo one has me flabbergasted. From the second sentence: For the past four (4) count them four years. What are the two occasions they were intimate, night and day?
In the last one she withdrew "attention" read sex for two whole years and expected the guy to wait. He must be a catch if all he could get was 80 year old va jay jay. Ewww is right.
You have a hidden talent Aaron. Think of the money you could make as a marriage counselor. ed

3:00 PM  
Blogger Aaron said...

Your confidence is touching, Ed! But I'm afraid the first time somebody started whining, I'd smack them shitless.

I wondered after I read that first letter just who had filed for divorce...I couldn't imagine living with a prissy know-it-all. Did it once, never again (well, he was a drunk, too, so that made the parting easier).

The last one just creeped me out so much...the thought of the other woman as some sort of 80-year-old Alex from "Fatal Attraction" is like something out of a nightmare!

4:26 PM  
Blogger American Girl said...

I am going to say, "I ferociously love you," for the rest of my life.

12:20 AM  
Blogger Aaron said...

It would have made more sense if she'd said she "loved him feverishly like a monkey."

THAT I could handle...but "ferociously" just made it sound like she was going to bite him repeatedly.

Of course, given the context of the letter, he might like that...

1:35 PM  
Blogger Java said...

You have a special talent Aaron. Yes, I think you SHOULD become a marriage and family counselor. It would be a special niche market, though. A marriage counselor who smacks the shit out of the whiney. If the whining ones don't like it, the ones who have to live with them will.

7:06 PM  
Blogger Aaron said...

Well, it's true I could always use the extra money...maybe I could be like Doris the Dominatrix in "Eating Raoul."

"Marriage counseling with just a hint of force."

I'll start designing my display ad now!

10:10 AM  

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