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Friday, November 18, 2011

SL Letter of the Day: Why Aren't They Both Named "Dan" Then?

Posted by on Fri, Nov 18, 2011 at 4:55 PM

I'm sure you get gushy thank you emails all the time, but holding my infant son, I had to write to you.

You saved my marriage and made these two beautiful little boys possible. They are smart, healthy and happy and living with two parents that love them (and each other) very much.

Several few years ago, stress and sucky jobs played havoc on my husband and me. He lost himself and had a stupid affair. My mom and sister were appalled, but because I'd been reading you since college, I knew that, even if it felt like it, it wasn't the end of world.

With recommitment and some therapy, we are happy. And we have these two incredible children.

Thank you!

Longtime Reader

Just kidding about that headline, LR. Thanks for the wonderful note and the amazing pictures. Sure beats a jar to the head. All the best to you and your boys—all three of 'em.


Comments (50) RSS

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emma's bee 1
Aww, sweet!
Posted by emma's bee on November 18, 2011 at 5:09 PM · Report this
I think you should ask her to write back and talk about her best advice for other people going through this. What is their sex life like now, and how did they get there?
Posted by EricaP on November 18, 2011 at 5:35 PM · Report this
I used to think that infidelity was unforgivable but have been turned around thanks to this column. I still hope it never happens to me.
Posted by wetdog2 on November 18, 2011 at 5:48 PM · Report this
venomlash 5
Dude, we all heard about the cranky paranoid transsexual jar-thrower. Can we call you "Jarhead" if you keep bringing it up.
Posted by venomlash on November 18, 2011 at 8:08 PM · Report this
It worked for me, too! I had an affair a year ago after 8 happy years with my husband. I confessed it all, worried that I'd ruined a beautiful marriage. Instead, my husband, a seasoned Dan Savage follower, said, "Oh, you just cheated? Thank goodness; I thought it was something serious."

It led to a discussion about how we were still in love after all these years, and how we have been kind, supportive partners to each other, and that's what counts. If we want to have some outside fun every once in awhile? Meh.

Now we're expecting a little boy and couldn't be happier.

Dan Savage: doing his part, saving traditional straight marriages and families.
Posted by MichelleZB on November 18, 2011 at 8:38 PM · Report this
thecheesegirl 7
Dan definitely saved my marriage on at least three separate occasions. Thanks, Dan!
Posted by thecheesegirl on November 18, 2011 at 9:37 PM · Report this
sirkowski 8
Oprah will not be pleased.
Posted by sirkowski on November 18, 2011 at 9:52 PM · Report this

Cool if he has helped save marriages. But especially cool that he has likely helped save lives. Thank you, Dan.
Speaking as a parent of a gay son, I really wanna thank you.
Posted by Fire Chief on November 18, 2011 at 10:35 PM · Report this
Dan does seem to illicit a kind of impotent rage from all quarters from outraged conservatives to spastic she-males.
Posted by Doot on November 19, 2011 at 1:57 AM · Report this
slomopomo 16
Posted by slomopomo on November 19, 2011 at 5:16 AM · Report this
Doot's comment elicits "Doh!"
Posted by Ivan on November 19, 2011 at 5:38 AM · Report this
It was a PLASTIC jar, okay Dan? GEEZ.
Posted by oskomena on November 19, 2011 at 5:40 AM · Report this
Dan's advice column has made my marriage happier and a hell of a lot more fun.

And can everyone back off of him for mentioning the stupid, stupid trans nutjobs? It's happened twice. The last time being just a few days ago. If it had happened to you, you'd still be talking about it too. Stop being so cool and righteous.
Posted by jade on November 19, 2011 at 5:50 AM · Report this
Vince 21
I think it would be funny if you wore a combat helmet to your next lecture. Cover it in glitter first.
Posted by Vince on November 19, 2011 at 6:26 AM · Report this
Dan Savage: a light to look to when traditional marriage sails uncharted waters. :-)

I suppose some of the more radical sexual minority activists dislike him because they sense this 'square' and 'traditional' interest in helping people actually achieve happiness.

Just as some of the more radical traditional, family values activists dislike him because they sense his 'radical' and 'sex-addicted' interest in helping people actually achieve happiness.
Posted by ankylosaur on November 19, 2011 at 6:36 AM · Report this
Vince 23
@22 I think you're on to something. There are many people who resent other's happiness. Jealousy is ugly.
Posted by Vince on November 19, 2011 at 7:24 AM · Report this
Gou Tongzhi 24
5 anonymous trolls with idiot comments that everyone else ignores? Come on, people. Too demure. We can step this up into the snippy trollwank the comments section so often longs to be here. Where's Seattle Blueballs when you really need him?
Posted by Gou Tongzhi on November 19, 2011 at 7:34 AM · Report this
Ms Erica - An interesting thought, although one might want to be careful that such a question not manifest a sense of entitlement to be pushy.
Posted by vennominon on November 19, 2011 at 7:56 AM · Report this
@25 Dan might come off as pushy if he asked for that? He often asks advice-seekers to provide more information... But I guess you're right that she didn't ask for any advice, so maybe it would be out of line to ask her to share more about her life.
Posted by EricaP on November 19, 2011 at 9:14 AM · Report this
Mr Ven (@ EricaP), the LW might always say no, if she feels she hasn't got any big insights or if she'd rather keep them to herself.

Personally I'm glad they managed to find themselves again. Wish them luck further with their children (not good to solidify marriages, but a worthwhile experience per se, with surprising ups and downs).
Posted by ankylosaur on November 19, 2011 at 10:20 AM · Report this
@27 "I'm glad they managed to find themselves again." I guess I'm wondering if they did, or if the husband has merely been shamed into renouncing extramarital sex. Since they're of the age to be making babies, "stress and sucky jobs" are probably going to make another appearance. Has she accepted that something about their sex & intimacy probably has to change, to keep one or both of them from straying the next time? What changes is she prepared to accept? Do they have outside daycare to increase the opportunities and desire for sex in a house with young children? I see danger in her dismissal of his affair as "losing himself." Now that he's "found," does he no longer have the impulse to fuck other people? Or does he just have even more reason to cover up the evidence of the next affair, lest she listen to her sister and mother next time?
Posted by EricaP on November 19, 2011 at 12:25 PM · Report this
I'm confused. Is comment 13 really Dan? I've never seen him comment anonymously. And was the thrown jar glass or plastic? The transgressive trans-person claimed plastic, but now "Dan" is calling it a glass jar aimed at his head.

Sorry if I foolishly fell for the anono-troll appropriating Dan's name in comment 13, but if the jar really was glass, not plastic, I'll resume being angry at the glitter-twat.
Posted by Functional Atheist on November 19, 2011 at 2:17 PM · Report this
@30, @19: It was really plastic, according to the claim of the GBer, but my entitled tone was in jest. I still think throwing a jar at someone, whatever material it might be, is pretty ridiculous.
Posted by oskomena on November 19, 2011 at 2:27 PM · Report this
No, anono-troll appropriates Dan's name alot. No one knows if the jar was glass or plastic since there's conflicting information coming from both sides. I'm not exactly ready to believe Rose Pedals, the glitter bomber, though. One thing no one has brought up about this whole incident yet is that Rose Pedals knows Tobi-Hill-Meyer, the blogger who broke the story about Dan getting glitter bombed. So it looks like Meyer and Rose Pedals probably planned this whole drama of glittering Dan to get page views for Bilerico, the blog where Meyer posted the story. Also Rose Pedals has posted on slog, bilerico, and her twitter that she regrets she didn't get to cause more physical harm to Dan. So apparently saying an un-PC word is horribly offensive, but wishing injury on another person is not.
Posted by kv on November 19, 2011 at 2:45 PM · Report this
"an un-PC word"...

One that has, apparently, been PC in the past, and who knows, will become PC again at some time in the future...

I'm a straight old lady, living in the kind of place that sexual minorities come from, rather than flock to. So far as I know, I don't know any transgendered people. I vote, write letters, sign petitions, and do whatever I can to make sure they get and retain all civil rights, all legal protections, enjoyed by anyone else. I speak up against hate speech, stupid jokes, disrespectful or exploitative portrayals of transgendered people if I come across them.

However, chances are, I'm going to get some details wrong. I'm not transgendered, I don't know what it's like, and I'm not tuned in to the transgender community (if one exists; I don't know). My support will not be perfect.

If that's not good enough, too damn bad, it's all I've got.
Posted by agony on November 19, 2011 at 3:25 PM · Report this
It is SO weird to read about myself and my situation being discussed by commentators on Slog. I appreciate the suggestion that I'm being played for a fool. However, since I didn't lay out our whole detailed history - and don't plan to - I can't too be upset.
I saw your post @EricaP asking what advice I'd give people in a similar situation and was planning a thoughtful response. I'm less inclined to do so now because without laying out every detail, I don't think I could ever satisfy those questions; let alone address the smart ass remarks.
Let me say this: every situation and relationship is unique. Any one finding themself in such an unenviable position has to really take a step back and evaluate the entire relationship and their own behavior as well as their partners. It requires you to be both dispassionately analytical and to think with your heart. That contradiction alone tore me up for a while. 
You have to consider many factors; children, as Dan frequently mentions, play a very large role in that. How long you've been together; what you know of yourself, your partner and your relationship; your partner's willingness to admit mistakes; your willingness to admit mistakes.... It's a very hard decision. One that too many advice professionals distill down to their version of DTMFA. Dan helped me see that the knee-jerk reaction of "kick his ass to the curb, take him for all he is worth" wasn't the only option. 

When I said "he lost himself", I probably should have said, we lost each other. We got lucky; we had a good marriage and a strong bond before and we let it go but we were able to get it back. I'm so grateful for all the years of sensible advice. And as for Dan saving traditional straight relationships, I don't think there is anything terrible gendered about our situation.

As for why aren't they named Dan, well, I didn't tell you their middle names.
Posted by it's_me on November 19, 2011 at 3:29 PM · Report this
Ms Me, any remark about Mr Savage saving traditional straight relationships, I'd guess, was intended not as any sort of comment about your individual situation, but had more to do with those self-appointed "defenders" of traditional marriage who savage Mr Savage as being Among Marriage's Greatest Enemies. I suspect that Ms Gallagher and her cohorts would dearly like to erase your very existence.
Posted by vennominon on November 19, 2011 at 4:03 PM · Report this
Ms Erica/Mr Ank - It just occurred to me for starters that some LWs would provide the details that interested Ms Erica without being asked. She might not have thought of it, or she might have had reservations about how much to make public. Had the question been put, she might always have declined, but it can be rather awkward when someone has (even indirectly) done one a great favour to decline a request, particularly if the request contains a hint of You Owe Me.
Posted by vennominon on November 19, 2011 at 4:17 PM · Report this
It'sme@35 - apologies if my questions were out of line; I honestly thought they were rhetorical at this point because I didn't think you were reading. I'll just follow ankylosaur in wishing you all the best in the future.
Posted by EricaP on November 19, 2011 at 6:36 PM · Report this
BEG 39
@21 FTW
Posted by BEG!/browneyedgirl65 on November 19, 2011 at 7:54 PM · Report this
you never pass up a an opportunity to publish a bit of self-congratulation, do you, Dan? that ugly horse face of yours is attached to a freakishly gigantic head.
Posted by legacy builder on November 19, 2011 at 8:28 PM · Report this
@Erica, it's ok. I'm actually more annoyed at the anon comments. The glitterbomb thing is ridiculous.
It IS really weird to see something so personal become a rhetorical debate. It's a very odd feeling. Your questions, however, are completely valid based on the information given.

It's a daily struggle to keep intimacy in any marriage during those stressful newborn-infant months. Getting up every two hours or so plus dealing with breastfeeding and what that does to your hormones is draining. Sometimes the closest we get to sex is "I'll have a dirty dream about you if you have one about me". But we TALK about it, and we know that these sleepless nights don't last that long.

How do I know he won't cheat again? How do I know I won't, really? I don't. And there's nothing I can do to change that. So we do what we can each day to maintain a connection with each other. We had to rebuild trust and remember why we chose to be together in the first place - rediscovering what we loved about each other. And that would never have happened if it weren't for Dan because pretty much everyone else acted like an infidelity was the end of the world.
Posted by it's_me on November 19, 2011 at 9:56 PM · Report this
@40 fuck off
Posted by it's_me on November 19, 2011 at 9:57 PM · Report this
As somebody who's gotten past the infidelity, just want to let "it's me" know that while a lot of people talk the "have some self respect and dump the bastard" talk, many many marriages survive this, and some get better because of it. There's a big disconnect between the cultural conversation we are willing to have in public, and the real lives that most of us live.
Posted by agony on November 20, 2011 at 7:32 AM · Report this
@34, that PC-words become un-PC (and maybe even stage a comeback at some point) is part of the problem of associating hate with the words rather than with the haters.

I wished all activists would notice that. But since some of them are too busy hating haters and actually acting on that hatred to actually find out who is or isn't a hater, and whether hating is the best strategy against them, I don't think this will happen.

Some kinds of activism are just about being young and impressionable.
Posted by ankylosaur on November 20, 2011 at 7:38 AM · Report this
@41(it'sme), who wrote:
Sometimes the closest we get to sex is "I'll have a dirty dream about you if you have one about me".

Boy, do I remember situations like that! (Cue to Maurice Chevalier singing "I Remember It Well" in Gigi).

Like all the others here, I'm glad you found a new source of energy and intimacy. Yes, you can never be sure that he (or you) will never cheat again. But nobody ever can in any relationship. In this, you are just like everyone else: you can trust but not know.

Whatever happens in your future, I'm sure your experience throughout this problem will illuminate your path. Light is a good thing; the clearer one sees, the better one's heart can see where to go. Keep enjoying each other!
Posted by ankylosaur on November 20, 2011 at 8:10 AM · Report this
43 - man, sour grapes much? Why not just write "It's killing me to have to stay faithful to my wife and dammit if I have to so does everybody else"?
Posted by agony on November 20, 2011 at 8:33 AM · Report this
This is a place for direct expression of opinions. But is it too much to ask that one of the tiny number of things that are off the table be "FuckYourself, Cunt"? Seriously.
Posted by seeker6079 on November 20, 2011 at 9:40 AM · Report this
@44 wise words
Posted by EricaP on November 20, 2011 at 11:19 AM · Report this
seandr 53
@42: Thanks for your letter and comments. Makes me happy to know there are smart, strong, and open-minded women like you out there.
Posted by seandr on November 20, 2011 at 11:41 AM · Report this
Thanks, Agony, Ericap, seeker, and anklyosaur!
Posted by it's_me on November 20, 2011 at 12:30 PM · Report this
You too, Seandr. I have my moments :)
Posted by it's_me on November 20, 2011 at 2:02 PM · Report this
@47,49, I don't think that's how anger works. This little troll simply enjoys writing angry comments in pseudo-poetic garb (note the allusions! the alliteration! the lines! the metaphors!) and s/he'll go on making them no matter what. Anger feeds on itself, like the ouroboros.

S/He just enjoys hating Dan too much for this to change in any way. If this implies also dishing out on those who seek Dan's advice, so be it. Anything looks good in one's own palace of mirrors.
Posted by ankylosaur on November 20, 2011 at 3:48 PM · Report this
seandr 58
@57: Your sex life must really suck.
Posted by seandr on November 20, 2011 at 5:11 PM · Report this
@58, it stinks -- like dog shit. :-)
Posted by ankylosaur on November 20, 2011 at 10:36 PM · Report this
gosh, girl, the anger drips from every line you write

how can you miss it?

you must have left your spectacles upstairs in Mom's room

that's the only explanation

anger anger anger anger anger anger anger anger

that's all there is, every line of it

anger anger anger anger anger anger anger anger

not a single bit of empathy or anything human

not anything that is not judgmental and lost in self-adoration

just anger anger anger anger anger

and a little bit of anger to sweaten the deal
Posted by ankylosaur on November 20, 2011 at 10:40 PM · Report this
geoz 61
ok wait... so you DO write the headlines? Because you were saying you didn't two weeks ago. Fess up Danny boy.
Posted by geoz on November 21, 2011 at 6:39 AM · Report this
Thank you for showing me the way to enlightenment. I hope that once I renounce fornication, "get religion" (will any one do?) and become a productive member of society I'll be just as happy as you seem to be...
Posted by Mthrfckr on November 21, 2011 at 12:27 PM · Report this
@63, indeed, when looking at the example they give... it's scary to think they imagine they're attractive, in some sense.
Posted by ankylosaur on November 21, 2011 at 4:23 PM · Report this
@61 -- bloggers generally title their own posts.

Writers almost never write the headlines that appear in print.
Posted by midwaypete on November 22, 2011 at 7:06 PM · Report this

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