Friday, September 19, 2008

Since You Asked -- September 19, 2008

DEAR MARGO: I'm at a loss as to how to deal with my husband's behavior. He's never been an animal person, and I get that, so when our family pet suddenly died I knew he wouldn't mourn much. What shocked me was his blatant disregard for my grief. I flat-out told him I needed some comfort, I'm in tears, and he said, "I'm not in a comforting mood." Basically, he left me alone to deal with the vet, the remains and the children.

I tried writing him a letter saying that I know he does not understand my grief, but as my husband I expect him to be there when I need him. He ignored my letter and appears to think that if he ignores this it will go away. Is there any hope or any way that he'll see that while we won't always agree on something, sometimes I'm going to need his support anyway? Or should I just find another support system?



To answer your questions in order:



Next time, leave your husband at the vet. You’ll get more affection from the dead dog.

DEAR ELLIE: I'm mid-40s, widowed for four years and together for three with a woman who'd never been in a long-term relationship. I understood that we loved and accepted one another unconditionally.

On our wedding night three weeks ago, she ignored me to spend time with her guests. I paid for everything. I bought the home and she brought heavy debt from traveling the casino circuit. At home with no guests, she adores me. If her friends visit or we go out, I feel I'm "the guy who's with her this time."

There's five to 10 years age gap with myself, my wife and her many friends. We're intimate frequently, three to four episodes weekly. One of our visitors is flirty with her. She basks in it and volunteered that our intimacy isn't always "good." This was startling to me. When confronted, she apologized, then later denied everything.

I can't find the right words for my issues, and our verbal fights escalate. I feel our bond is distorted. I'm trying to stay open to fixing this, but my gut says run for it.



The time to "run for it" would have been three weeks ago. I have to wonder why you entered into marriage—which is a legally binding agreement—with somebody who appears to have gambling debts, essentially buying a “pig in a poke.” “For love” would be a nice answer, but even you couldn't keep a straight face saying it. She sounds like a superficial whore. Her remarks to her friend about your sex life were waaaaay out of line. She had no business sharing something like that, especially with an opposite-sex friend, unless she’d already talked to you. There are some things that a partner has a right to hear first.

Then again, I also wonder about somebody who refers to his intimate encounters as “episodes.” Are you filming those as a TV pilot or something??

There's a reason we trust our gut feelings--yours are quite tardy, but no less accurate. Since the deal's down, you need to try to make it work. And this is serious shit: if you allow her to keep behaving this way, you’ll resent her more and more. And if you ask her to change, she’ll feel that you’re being overly possessive and controlling, since she’s used to doing what she damned well pleases. Why should she stop now, especially now that she’s comfortably kept? Sorry, but that’s what it amounts to.

Try counseling for a while—but keep a lawyer’s number handy and research your options.


DEAR ELLIE: My father makes me feel imperfect, and insecure. He left when I was 4 (20 years ago). Periodically, he comes into my life and tells me everything about me is wrong -- my weight, career choice, etc. He's divorced (again) and wants to see more of me.



Someone (mmm, maybe you??) should remind Delusional Daddy that he forfeited his right to dictate to you when he took that Long Walk for a Newspaper and didn’t come back.

Your career choice is really none of his business at this point, and unless he knows you well enough to suggest something that would make you happier (and I doubt he does, since it sounds like he only comes around when he’s between wives and he “suddenly has time for you again”), he needs to butt the fuck out.

As far as the weight, those things tend to be hereditary. No doubt the world is seeing more of him these days, too.

DEAR MISS MANNERS: I raise guide dogs, and I love it. We talk to the public and educate many on the kind of work the dogs do.

While I love talking to people about our precious puppies, I do not know how to respond when someone comes up in a high-pitched voice and says — no, squeals — "Oh, my god, what a cute puppy. How old are you? What's your name!?"

While I realize the sight of a dog is quite rare, I mean, so few people ever get to see one, how should I respond?

I usually just say, "Oh, this is Fido, and he is 10 months old," but I would really like to let them know that they are quite possibly the most irritating people on the face of the planet. Should I say something sarcastic like, "Oh, sorry, I haven't taught him to speak English yet"?


Yes, why don’t you do that? That will convey to the other folks, directly and succinctly, what your letter already proves: that you spend so much time with animals because you have no "people" skills. And you're wrong: they are not "the most irritating people on the planet"--at least as long as you're alive.

You should try horses next. I hear equestrians are just a hoot, so it should suit your personality admirably.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

The man in the first letter couldn't show his emotions. He must have been raised as many are that a male must bury his feelings or he will appear weak.
The next guy is an idiot. He was with her for three years and still blind to her many faults until after the wedding. I know he thouhgt she would change, pleeese! He should get out and run not walk to a lawyer.
The letter where the Dad wants to see more of her but wants her to lose weight. Tell him to make up his mind. When he says your too fat she should say your ugly. When he says I don't like your job choice. Tell him he doesn't have to do her job so it's not up to him.
Love the answer to the last letter. She has to be the most obnoxious person around. She educates the public on what a seeing eye dog does. So let me guess, uh...they help the blind? ed

10:21 AM  
Blogger Aaron said...

It occurred to me after I wrote my answers that maybe the first guy resents what he sees as a surplus of affection for animals, and maybe, in his mind, not enough for him. Then again, he needs to speak up if that's the case. The second guy is, indeed stupid. The third one probably holds out hope of having a loving father and hasn't reached the age yet where you realize if he isn't by now, he never will be. She should tell him to shove off.

The last one was just a bitch--I'm surrounded by people like that occasionally, and have no problem telling them so.

10:29 AM  

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