Savage Love Jul 6, 2016 at 4:00 am

Scenes from a Marriage


Wait...there are no comments yet? Uh...

Well, LW1's marriage is definitely over, like Dan said.

The question is whether he can get over his anger and build a new working one with his wife. It might end up being better, because it won't be built on lies, but it's hard to know. He seems a fairly level-headed guy, for this level of revelation, so it seems like there's some hope.
Creep: so, contacting someone post-hookup is not only no longer required, it is actually creepy?
How do people form relationships?
LW1:H&D, Hopeful advice from a thousand nuns wouldn't keep me in a marriage like this! Life is too short to live in a constant state of compromise and betrayal! Why not find a lady who will play within your bounds, instead of being a doormat and letting her do whatever and whoever she feels like? She doesn't give a fuck about you, it's all about her. I'm not saying your next partner needs to be 100% faithful (if you can work out a compromise, "fuck the occasional guy with my knowledge" kind of deal – if you even want to.) But sorry. Your "wife" is a lying sack of shit and always will be. Get out and find someone, anyone better while you're still breathing.

LW2:Creep, YES! For Pete's sake call the guy up! Gonna let you in on a little secret...the vast majority of guys, even the really good looking ones, rarely get calls from women, so it's kind of a special treat. He fucked you once, so there must have been at least a bit of attraction there (and I'm assuming you're not coyote ugly.) Nothing ventured, nothing gained...but have a plan..."Hey, Bob. I had a really good time last some tickets to the community theater all-Munchkin cast production of Urinetown, wanna go? And if, by some channce, he turns you down, don't take it just means the time isn't right this time. The occasional rejection is the price of playing the game. Gotta develop that "water off a duck's back" attitude & try, try again.
LW1 - I side with the optimists. Once you found out about your being lied to, nothing else changed except what you feel. Face it, she is someone who needs to have sex with others and can cut you out of the process to have it. The expectation that she was supposed to be monogamous probably scared the shit out of her, and she made a monumentally bad decision. Realize, the other simple option is that she is a cheating piece of shit. And would you really have had the feelings you expressed and raised the kids you did if she was a CPOS?

I am not in any way defending lying. But as someone who did have hidden BDSM activities (in my case, seeing prodommes although my wife knew i was into BDSM befre we married and i tried several times to get her to engage but she felt that nice girls don't spank or pee on their hubbies, no matter how much their hubbies want it!)

And then at some point, trying to get my wife into participating, I had to let her know about what was and had happened in our marriage. It was coming out that opened the communication that allowed us to get to where we are today. I was a jackass (I just did the dishes so I am entitles to use the past tense) but we got thru it by talking. I had to let out that I seen prodommes. And not just that, that I would continue to do so in the future and it would ave to be open. The first time she sat at the computer with me looking at prodommes and deciding which one she wanted to accompany me to see was thrilling. When we swung and found cuckold play, it was better still. Now she knows that nice girls fuck who they want, spank and pee or find someone to pee on their cuckold husbands and much much more.

If you leave her you will face the prospect of finding someone new. Will you wind up with someone you are far less connected with? Who, once you have a new relationship, may cheat on you, or may just not fit as well as your current wife? Or may be fabulous and bring to you new levels? Who knows.

But if you work thru this big pile of hurt and cheating, then you have a relationship that survived the fire. But to get to that spot, you need to get beyond the hurt and you need to work out a new arrangement. She is not going to stop having sex with others, so that needs to be a part of your going forward if you don't immediately go to divorce court.

Finally the positively touching way you describe the relationship with your wife,sounds like if she had worked out the terms of the sex with others before it became cheating, then you would be in a pretty great relationship. You can choose to be hurt, or you can move on, with or without her. I'd try to make it work with her. Just me though (I'd positively get off on her escapades)
By the way, Cat in fez@1, you're kinda cute! Aaaackk! Ppbffft!

Sorry. Hairball.
By the way, you say you can't process it but that is you can't process it NOW. and you have had ONE counseling session. But the red flag is her promise to be faithful in the future, I don't think she is going to be capable of it so you cannot build on that commitment.
LW1 I am so sorry for the pain and heartbreak you are going through. Whatever ultimately happens, I wish you and your family the best. Like you, I am a committed monogamist in a long term
Marriage with two perfect children. I honestly have no fucking clue what I would do if I found out something like you did. I think it is commendable and
Noteworthy that you can even think about the love you have for your wife and about the wellbeing of your children. I know for me, the greatest pain in finding out about betrayal like that would not be about the fact of sexual infidelity, but about the discovery that my partner could deliberately hurt me so badly, for any reason whatsoever. I don't know if I would want to keep living with somone who could do that to me. But what makes it so hard, and what glib "DTMFA" commenters don't understand, is that the same person who did that also loves you and supports you and gave birth to your children and parents them and shares their soul with you in a thousand ways. If you decide to leave no reasonable person could blame you. But if you decide to try and heal your marriage, don't ever let anyone make you feel like a chump about it. It would take an amazing act of generosity and be a great demonstration of courage and faith and dedication to your family. Good luck, either way.
Donny@5, you know all the right moves.
LW 1 :
You want to forgive her. She wants to be forgiven. Work through it. Maybe spend time apart if it's possible. Get an apartment, stay with a friend, or vice versa. Distance makes the heart grow fonder. If you just see each other during counseling and overlap coparenting duties you can better see why you are together. And then when you are apart you can decide if you want to work it out or if you like being alone. Because if you split you will be alone. Not necessarily always but potentially. Weigh your risks and rewards. I think a compromise on sex would be the best solution.
HAD; so sorry for the deep betrayal
from your wife. Good answer Dan.
Linda@7; I have similar feelings, finding out about this behaviour would be devastating.
I've been the child in this relationship, introduced and even taken to dine at the home of an outside partner and left to read in the library while You Know What occurred upstairs.

Part of the problem here is that it's so gendred. Female infidelity has become A Blow Against The Patriarchy and Male infidelity Deadly Sin #8. (Rumpole's junior, Mizz Liz Probert, was calling it that way even before the turn of the millenium.) Normally I shouldn't mind how OS couples care to organize themselves, except that they will go and make rules and laws that punish SS people for OS misconduct. But I'll steer clear of the sexual aspect for that reason.

I suppose LW1 could study Dame Iris - in Murdochland, marriages tend to survive affairs on levels close to those of W1. But the difficulty (to pick to most non-gendred thing I can) in keeping the marriage going is that M1 has modeled Contempt for the children involved. To remain married probably requires a sacrifice on LW's part that is far more likely to do the sacrificer harm than to do the children good. But, staying or leaving, more counseling please for LW1 individually lest he take it out on the children (my mother did) and this situation turns into the Cracker episode "White Ghost".

I'm just hoping that the advice isn't for LW1 to Embrace His Inner Cuckold (or, even worse, Create one that didn't exist) or Be Thankful Because He Gets Benefits from her outside adventures. That latter strikes me as a particularly Reaganesque idea, which makes it really strange to keep hearing Mr Savage's pounding the drum for it.
Despite the “Dan and the experts” party line I would like to examine LW1’s wife through the sex addict glasses.
Were her extra marital relationships compulsive in a way that she knew she’s doing something wrong yet couldn’t stop it, then feel really shitty about herself only to do it again few days later?
Either way, I suspect her pattern started long before you’ve met. For good or bad, she may have tried but couldn’t stop yet wanted a “real” life, like the “story” Dan alluded to. She probably grew up in an environment were women were not supposed to be kinky, let alone poly. Not to minimize her insincerity and manipulative ways, just saying where she may be coming from.

That she is “repentant and relieved that I finally know” is likely to be true. She must have lived in constant fear- again, she is the one to be blamed for it, fear nevertheless- and whatever the outcome is, she knows she’ll have to face her issues as well as the consequences, whatever they may be.

As for “she promises that she will be faithful from now on” – and I assume by “faithful” LW means no sex with anyone other than him- well, for good or bad I seriously doubt it.
I enrolled in the program in order to arrest “compulsive” behavior/s like most others. And like most others I didn’t go there because I wanted to. It took me few trials to find a group I felt somewhat comfortable to be in, and another six months to think I’m comfortable enough to tell my story. Even then I was sweating nervously just like Richard Nixon in his first televised debate with JFK.

Things got much better after two years. It’s a marathon, not a sprint.
Listening to others- something I was never good at- made me realize how similar our struggles and joys are despite the different genders, orientations, background, and so on. And sex is only part of our whole selves.
With that in mind I’d like to point that LW’s wife need for secretive (or not) emotional connections seem to be just as strong as sexual. Looks like she had sex wth some guys just so she can keep it as emails only.

So what’s now? For the sake of both of you and the kids I’d suggest therapy together and alone, as there’s a lot to process here.
Give space to each other and also have designated times you’re on your own.
Attending meetings of any kind, not only SAA, can also be good. Talk about your life, listen to others, do introspective step work.
Decide what you take and leave, don’t be cruel to yourself by counting sobriety days, and always add things you like to your outer circle.

See your marriage now as a business necessity of some sort. You’re there for the kids and hope to proceed in a somewhat civilized way regardless of the outcome.

Avoid the calls to open the relationship, slam the door, or anything else right away. Try and work it out first despite the difficulties. If all fails at least you tried, learned new things about yourself and others, and acquired new tools to help you cope with whatever may be coming your way.
Ms Guera - Your conclusion reminds me of Miss Brodie when her set is about to enter the senior side of the school and the girls have to opt for either a Classical or a Modern education. Very neatly done.
Ven- as usual your references leave me feeling desperately uninformed. I do so enjoy your posts, even so.
CMD thank you for sharing a little of your experience with SAA. I don't know about the woman in this letter, but I have no doubt that for some people harmful promiscuity can be a compulsive, addictive behavior (mandatory disclaimer- not all sluts have an addiction disorder! Promiscuity is not a sign of poor mental health! Ad infinitum!) I also have a little experience with a different 12 step program and found it to be very helpful - even though I opted not to stay with it long term.
@5: Donny Klicious, you and Cat in Fez were made for each other! Aaak-oop! Ptttbbbbt!

My opinion on HAD and his wife as to keeping their marriage going, now that they both know the truth about HAD's wife's frequent infidelity is what they both value in staying together, and making their relationship continue. But that is something they BOTH have to work on mutually. HAD doesn't sound like he's cool with his wife's having multiple sex partners, as he's found out recently. And they have their children to think about, as well. I hope it works out for the best, especially after 17 years.
LW1: Whether your marriage is over is entirely up to you. Seems like your wife managed to give you both what you wanted for 17 years. You can have what you both want for a lifetime more if you can decide what you want doesn't include sexual fidelity.

Of course, she could have chosen to be honest with you sooner, but then you'd have been done 15 years ago. If your last 15 years were pretty good, maybe not being aware of the "infidelity" is a small (retroactive) price of admission.
I openly admit, however (re: HAD) that the only thing I ever did right in my one disastrous marriage was my firmly set decision NOT to ever bear children with my abusive spouse (whereas, by contrast HAD states his has been wonderfully loving, and the sex with his wife has been great over the past 17 years, and they have been married twice as long). So I'm probably not the best person to ask for advice on marriage and parenthood, but thank you Dan, LWs, regular bloggers, and others for giving me this opportunity to try my best anyway, however clumsily.
"Perfect children" *guffaw*

HAD: Can't wait to hear the guespert's advice, but I agree with Dan. You need to decide which is more important to you: this woman with whom you've had a "wonderful life together" for 17 years, or a hypothetical woman who is monogamous. Your wife is not faithful by nature and she never will be. Can you accept that, lay out rules re: safety and level of honesty expected (some people feel most comfortable with full disclosure, some prefer DADT), possibly embrace that an open relationship is open for you too, and embark on a changed relationship with her, which does not include an expectation of what she isn't willing to deliver? ("Yes" and "no" are both acceptable answers.)
Winelover @4: Your situation is different from HAD's. HAD was having kinky sex with his wife. He wasn't denying her needs that she then felt compelled to go get met elsewhere. Your comment @6 is dead on though. He should NOT accept her promise to never cheat again. She will, they both know it, and he'll be doubly devastated if he falls for it again. Fool me twice, shame on me, should be his guiding principle here.

CMD @12: Thanks for your perspective.
Venn @11.
The LW says he wants to work it out..
I see Dan trying to achieve that. If the LW had posed an open question, "what should I do?", DTMFA would have been uttered by many.
Maybe she won't change Fan@19, maybe she will. If she does some work on herself, following CMD's suggestions or by going into intense therapy, understanding her behaviour.. change is possible.
Ms Lava - And I provided a suggestion for heading in that direction, even though I don't think preserving this marriage is likely to be in the children's best interests. It certainly won't be in the children's best interests if the couple glosses over the contempt issue, and in my experience most couples in this situation are inclined to do just that.

To be quite clear, I could see preserving the household as a possible best option if the couple can co-parent successfully. If divorcing would put an economic or even a psychic strain on the family (aaagh - the F-word!) [question to the really-long-time followers; before Mr Savage became the corporate behemoth he is today - I could make a political comparison here, but I won't - was he more inclined to consider economics in his responses?], it's not necessary. But the Happy-Face Temporary Bandage (waiting for the kiddywinkles to turn 18), which occasionally works for other problems, is less of a potential good choice here.

C1 has modeled (inadvertently on LW1's side) W1's spousal contempt presumably as the normal Way of Marriage. If they both really-really-really-really-REALLY want a genuinely good marriage and not just some fantasy of one, I see that as a major hurdle, possibly the largest. Most people would probably rather have the fantasy, and LW1 does seem to provide a worrying (however understandable it might be) inclination to Magical Thinking.
Ms Guera - I think I must have a secret horror of sounding like Mr Gore, and so almost always choose to explain less rather than more. Here's the longer version:

When students at the Marcia Blaine School for Girls finished the equivalent of elementary or perhaps middle school, they had to choose from two educational tracks, Classical being the more rigourous (Mary MacGregor was denied because her marks were insufficient). Of Miss Brodie's set, only the athletic Eunice Gardiner stood out to be on the Modern side, because she wanted to learn modern languages instead of Latin or Greek and have the extra emphasis on sports (being the only Brodie girl of any use to the school ideal of the Team Spirit - "Everyone agreed that Eunice was so good at games she could not help it."). Miss Brodie, in preparing her set for The Choice, would be careful to say, "There is nothing wrong with a Modern education," or "Modern and Classical; they are equal," but her own preference between the two was indisputably clear, even to the dim Mary.
Fresh @2-

That's not how I read it. When people are young/immature, they do feel some pressure to play it cool. I remember doing this myself though it embarrasses me to think about it. The idea is that you want to present yourself as young and free and cool and independent, etc. It's silly that we can't just say we like things and people when we like those things and people, but that's what immaturity is. So this LW left without any attempt to get the guy's phone number because she wanted to seem so cool (the sort of spirited girl that would just fly into your life for a night of fun and then fly out again without a second thought), and then afterwards realized that this was silly. It would've been much better to just say, "hey, this was fun. Can we do it again sometime?" but then of course you risk the chance of the guy saying no or giving you the number but not calling etc- and learning to handle rejection gracefully is also part of maturity, etc. It's understandable that she did this, considering it's her first ever hookup.

So the part that she worries might be creepy is that AFTERWARDS she's looking him up on FB and Tinder. There is no way she can contact him again without him knowing that she actually went home, thought about all of this, looked for him in various places, then found him, considered contacting him, then decided to take the plunge. All of which is absolutely NORMAL behavior, but totally destroys the (very immature) image that she has projected of herself as this spirited love 'em and leave 'em woman. It's a little like losing face. I suspect she hasn't really thought it through this way and instead asks if it's creepy because she needs permission from Dan that looking him up and contacting him afterwards is still totally cool and perfectly normal and she doesn't have to be embarrassed about it.

I think the whole thing is sort of charming, but maybe it's made me wistful for my own youth.
I could never forgive someone for lying like that for so long. I would not be able to separate things the way Dan suggests. I think it's a good idea for people to go into a marriage with a healthy sense of what to expect from one another and how to navigate other encounters or desires, but straight out deceit - that's dangerous. When you are literally trusting someone with your health and they are exposing you to risks without your knowledge, that's unforgivable to me. An unexpected infidelity that is immediately confessed- that's not something that would end my marriage. It would be a cause to have a conversation about what we can do from here on out to take precautions. Or an open arrangement in which we are both comfortable with the terms- that's fine too. But ongoing decades long deceit- especially when there are children- and in this case including a person that is known to the family. OMG. It's the stuff I have nightmares about.

I agree with Dan that she could be a good person otherwise- they have had a happy marriage and a happy family. I wonder if they'll work it out. But she should've been up front about this from the beginning. I bet the secretive nature of her affairs is part of the excitement. The husband sounds reasonable. He doesn't say whether or not he would've been OK with an open arrangement, but since they are already kinky, I can't see why else she wouldn't have at least brought it up. It must be that deceiving him is part of her kicks. Why else bring her lover around their children? It's just such a violation. It's like some people really don't understand that they are playing around with people's actual lives.

Hope there's a follow up.
HAD, There's a forgotten children's book by Louise Fitzhugh, written in 1974, and the message that the eleven-year-old protagonist has to learn is the title: Nobody's Family Is Going To Change. She finally comes to the realization that the only behavior she can change is her own--in how she reacts to the people she loves never being the way she wishes they were. She can change her own reactions, but she can't change their actions.

Nora Ephron once summed up some of the lessons she'd learned through life and one was: "People have only one way of being."

So it is up to you to decide what you want to do, whether you can move past this, if your wife is sufficiently sorry for the pain she's caused you. You can weigh the good against the bad, consider how good the good really was/is and how bad the bad really is/was. You have learned something that has turned your world upside down and it would be a good idea to sit with it for a little bit and let it sink in before reacting in any way.

I agree with those who say your wife isn't going to change--she's not wired for monogamy, and if you extract a promise from her, she'll probably cheat again, Then she'll feel like a guilty piece of shit and you'll feel angry and betrayed and hurt. So if you two try to work things out--and it sounds like you have something pretty good and some compelling reasons to try and make it work--know that you'll have to redefine your notion of what a marriage is or how it works.

I hope you find happiness, however it works out.

Monogamy is overrated in my opinion.

Honesty is not.

My ex is my ex because she was dishonest as a matter of course. At the beginning of our relationship, I laid down a condition that monogamy was a prerequisite if we were going to have a relationship. She agreed.

And then she cheated at her first opportunity. She hid this from me for a year, until we were living together. Something happened. I called her out, and she confessed. And then she gaslighted me. I was young and inexperienced, and I fell for it.

We were together two more years, and she cheated on me constantly from what I was later told. I don't know how I never caught anything. After I put two and two together I never spoke to her again. I could do that, because we were young and not as invested in each other as are you and your wife, so your situation is far more complicated.

My gut says that ending the marriage, or not, is entirely your call. Couples counseling is all well and good, but she should also be undergoing intensive therapy on her own (and making progress!!!!!) given her history.

It sounds like you want to stay together. I understand. But for the love of God, go into it with your eyes open. There are plenty of us in healthy, happy relationships that are not exactly monogamous, or where monogamy was never even a thought.

As others have said, it seems clear that your wife is simply incapable of being monogamous. That's not a dealbreaker if you decide that it is not, and if she proves herself capable of abiding by any conditions you may impose, but I dont know if she is capable of respecting you, or your rules.

Hiding and sneaking are corrosive behaviors, as you well know, and from your letter it's clear that she has a problem and that is 90 percent on her. She made it your problem to a certain extent when she bore your children, but she is responsible to make herself a better person if you decide to allow her to remain your wife.

But I see no reason why you have to make that decision now.

I wish you luck. You're going to need it.
"she is responsible to make herself a better person if you decide to allow her to remain your wife."

But by this point she is who she is, and not a "better person", so try to not believe that she desires to be anyone but the woman you married.
Here's my question for HAD. I know it's a hard one, maybe even an impossible one, but here goes:

Back when you were first thinking about marriage, if Mrs. HAD had come to you and said "I really don't think I'm wired for monogamy. I can't imagine having sex only with you for the rest of my life. Do you still want to marry me knowing that I'm likely to have boyfriends on the side.?" If she had said that, what would your answer have been? If your answer would have been, as I think it would have been, "no, I'm looking for a monogamous marriage. You should have told me sooner before I was so invested," then your marriage is over. I am so sorry. But if there's any possibility that you would have answered yes and then worked out the details, then your marriage does have a chance. It doesn't excuse her lying, but you do have some possibility of working it out.
Savage has given some bad advice over the years but his advice to letter one was ridiculous. The only advice Dan should have given that poor guy is run, first to a divorce lawyer and then to a shrink to help figure out why he would even consider staying with someone who has betrayed him so utterly and who is incapable of being faithful. Dan says she cheated with her genitals. That is bullshit she has lied to him every day of their marriage.
The poor guy says they have two children. No she has two children and he has two possibilities. The other thing he needs to do is DNA testing. Anyone a vile and deceitful as this woman is certainly capable of passing off her lover's children to her unsuspecting husband.
I read thru a few of the comments and am stunned at the number of people willing to justify this woman's actions. It is shocking.
@29 My point was that now, if they stay together, everything (?) is out in the open so she has no reason to lie about who she is. Conversely, if more secrets come out, or if she shows him that she is anything less than 100 percent repentant of her past behavior, he should hire the nastiest divorce lawyer he can find and grind her bones into dust.
klydeodewengi @ 31

I think you’re mistaking “people willing to justify this woman's actions” with advice addressing HAD’s desire to work it out and stay together.
DNA tests and consulting with divorce lawyers are something he should look into.
Yet going all war right now is not likely to help with any healing and understanding of any involved. Again, it may not work but at least give it a try.
Possible HAD’s wife payback program
Not to be implemented right away, about two years from now after some soul searching and assuming a mutual decision to stay together and open the marriage:
Wife helps hubby find casual sex partners every now and then. If she continues meeting other men, two women for hubby for every man she meets.
If I understand the timeline and assuming HAD now knows everything: In year 3 of their relationship they got married and she started her affair. In year 8 she stopped the physical affair.

For the last 9 years she has had two one-night-stands, along with a bunch of phone sex and online flirting. And she maintained an intimate but not physical relationship with this older guy, and made him a friend of the family.

With all that in mind, I would ask her her some serious questions: what happened in year 8 to end their affair? What are her thoughts on safer sex? Did she get tested for STIs in secret all those years? Did she trust to fate? What sort of sexual relationships does she want in the future? Where does BDSM fit in? Where does her marriage fit in?

In addition to joint counseling, I think they would both benefit from individual counseling to figure out what they want out of life and relationships and whether these two people, now being their true selves, are compatible.

Also, BiDanFan @19 raised the issue of HAD's "perfect children."

It sounds to me like HAD had a lot invested in seeing his life, his wife, his marriage, and his children as perfect. People aren’t perfect. That doesn’t mean you have to settle for something you don’t want, in the case of a relationship. You do, however, have to be willing to see people as they really are, rather than as you wish they were.
@19 Even if she were to agree to new rules, why should he believe her? She's already re-promised to be faithful.
Yes, well spotted by Ms Fan, and a regular annuity of half a point to Ms Erica for declining to go down the oh-so-easy road of overpraising her own offspring. (If more people were like Ms Erica, the F-word would be a much greater institution than it is today.) But also a quarter of a point to Ms Cute for being a good sport about one's declining to Listen and Believe when she has provided accounts of the many perfections (or, as Mr Collins would say, amiable qualifications) of the Miss Cutes.

And as long as we're back to children, I was quite serious earlier about the danger of LW1's taking it out on them. I didn't know it at the time, but it was confirmed later that my mother did retaliate against me for my father's affairs, at least while she was still trying to save the marriage (with a Happy-Face Bandage). The one thing I can say in some sort of attempt at being as fair as possible is that she thought I knew what was going on and deliberately didn't tell her, but I had no clue there was boinking involved.
Oh, and that reminds me of a depressing news story I saw. As a side effect of a lengthy and vicious custody battle, the judge in the case has forbidden a ten-year-old girl who had won just over two-thirds of the junior tournaments she'd entered from playing more than one round (or five hours) of golf a week, and has barred her from receiving professional lessons, both for a year.
Sooo...he gets a paternity test and maybe discovers that one or both of the children are not his biologic semi-clones. Then what? What good does it do him? What good does it do gor the (faultless) kids.

Please -- won't somebody think of the choldren!!!
Personally, I wouldn't go down the path of paternity testing. Biology shouldn't necessarily matter when it comes to children that you've loved since they were tadpoles. If the news wasn't all that positive, no matter how hard LW would try, there would be some subconscious prejudice there. The children shouldn't suffer for their incubator's mistakes.
@39 - Jinx!
@19 BiDanFan: I nominate you as official winner of the HAD thread! Kudos, well said, and summarized.
HAD: (re: @19) That's it, right there. I couldn't say it any better. I hope everything works out for the best. Good luck.
@36 cgd: You have a good point, but I think BiDanFan is emphasizing what HAD considers important, here: whether to stay married to someone he knows is unfaithful under new ground rules, or move on after 17 years.
@35: Granted, that's just what he knows about and it'd be hard to convince him that that was and would be the extent of it.

@36: Exactly, she's actively told him she can not be monogamous, has not ever. Trying to dictate that sort of monogamy with her at this point of their relationship is foolish and naive.
I have to agree with EmmaLiz @25 and IDOHorses @28 that the marriage deal-breaker here isn't the long-term infidelity, it's the chronic dishonesty. SAD says his wife is now "repentant and relieved" and ready to turn over a new leaf...but it's going to take a lot of joint counseling for them to rebuild his shattered trust, plus an effort on wife's part to prove that she is trustworthy. Other posters have said that SAD should just accept that the relationship is not going to be monogamous, and make his decision to stay or go based on that fact. But isn't that synonymous with saying that she's not capable of being honest, since she's promised him monogamy going forward? If it were me, I'd be wondering what other important stuff she was hiding from me, after almost two decades and two "perfect" children together.

CMD @12, thanks for your insider's perspective on SAA. Of course, the wife would have to commit to engaging in the program and doing the very hard emotional work it entails. This letter reminded me of that old joke: How many psychiatrists does it take to change a lightbulb? -Only one, but it takes a very long time, and the lightbulb has to WANT to change.

I'll echo CTMC @39 that a paternity test is a very bad idea. Poor guy is already shattered by finding out the truth about his wife. The last thing he needs is to find out his kids have a different bio-dad. He loves them and they love him - that's what truly defines fatherhood. He and his wife will have a difficult enough time patching their marriage back together (assuming he is emotionally up to that challenge) without any additional drama around paternity.
capricornius @ 44
Some more insider information:
“the marriage deal-breaker here isn't the long-term infidelity, it's the chronic dishonesty”
These two often go hand in hand. A person with a long streak of a specific repeating shameful act of some sort may develop a dual moral system. One as they want to be seen by the world, the other is coping with a controlled-or-not habit they feel they have to hide and rationalize it for themselves over the years.

Some here might point the latter at the husband. I think he’s certainly not perfect, as opposed to the children, and should face his own insecurities, unrealistic expectations and other shticks. While relevant and should also be addressed his is not the main plot here, at least not right now.

In other news:
Wales failed to become the new Iceland.
HAD's wife conducted a five year relationship with another man at the start of their marriage, and thereafter maintained a non-physical relationship with that man. She had sex with two different men, allegedly one time only with each, at some unspecified time in the past. More recently, she has maintained sexual flirtations online.

I note this, because if there is any reason to think that HAD and his wife might be able to get past these infidelities it is because much of this illicit sex took place nearly ten years ago, and she's has been more recently satisfied with online outlets. Of course, this assumes she has come completely clean about her extramarital affairs, and it presumes that online sexual encounters were o.k. in this context.

But I suspect these betrayals are going to be too much to sustain this relationship. Particularly so if staying committed requires HAD to open up his marriage when his preference is monogamy, and more so if his wife starts conducting an active extramarital sex life, while he struggles to find any outside partners. Of course there are other forms of openness, but if illicit aspects of extramarital sex is what motivates HAD's wife then there may not be any good compromise.

@31/klydeodewengi: Interesting point to suggest DNA testing of his children. As HAD writes, his wife's sex partner "is a man I know. She has introduced our children to him." Perhaps that introduction was made so this man might get to meet his biological children?
SublimeAfterglow @ 46
“she has been more recently satisfied with online outlets”
Whether right or wrong there are often-different attitudes towards behaviors that involve “infidelity” as opposed to others, say gambling. In the infidelity category the main sub division is likely to be actual physical contact.
Online activities with others, as well as alone, can also be consuming and provide similar hits as the skin-2-skin related ones.

“and more so if his wife starts conducting an active extramarital sex life, while he struggles to find any outside partners.”
My payback program was serious, though I’d suggest taking a mutual timeout and discussing all matters first in context of the entire relationship tune up experiment.
Too many people are reading way too much into the phrase "perfect children." Ask a parent who's traveling with her or his kids what they're like and you'll get a realistic assessment. Ask a parent who's been away from his or her kids for a while and you'll get some variant on "perfect." It doesn't describe child: it describes how you feel about them.
Last sentence: "the child." Sorry.
Ooof...the potential paternity issue didn't even cross my mind. As others have said, if HAD moves forward his eyes need to be wide open. A person who can lie to their partner over and over again is a person you need to be wary of.
AE Houseman, "Ask a parent who's been away from his or her kids for a while and you'll get some variant on "perfect."

Nope. My kids have strong personalities, both of them, and I love them dearly, but I wouldn't have used any variant on "perfect" for them since they were six months old. Besides, HAD hasn't been away from his kids, unless he's emotionally distant from them. Do you have kids yourself? And would you describe them as "some variant on 'perfect.'?
When people say things like "We have a wonderful life together and two perfect children" the perfection of the children is not something to be parsed. It's just a throwaway, what most people would say. The children and their perfection or lack of it are not the point of the letter or the problem HAD wrote in about. Saying you have "two perfect children" is like answering the question "how are you," with, "fine thanks." It doesn't mean anything at all in the context in which it was used.

People frequently start their podcast questions by saying something like "I'm a 24-year-old straight cis female living on the east coast," and then go on to talk about something that has nothing to do with being cis or 24-years old or living in any particular geographic location. People feel the need to use these little verbal place holders, and describing your children as "perfect" when they're not the point is typical and undeserving of comment or criticism.
The lw was trying to say he thought that his life was one thing only to discover it was something else. But I doubt that the think he thought wrongly about was how close to perfect his children are.
@12 One thing I've learned about sexual addiction is that generally, it's sex-focused behavior that cannot be contained by the obvious consequences; that is, destructive sex. Like other addictions, it needs to grow, but generally speaking 17 years is a long time, and she did too good of a job of hiding it. What we have is a more-or-less garden variety, er... "slut". She likes to fuck and doesn't believe that a wedding ring creates a magical "husbands, vibrators, and tampons only" shield around her vagina. That's not so unusual.

What should husband do? Sadly, there's no changing the wife, she is who she is; her ability to become "faithful" is about as developed as his ability to be cool being with his wife fucking other dudes. Guess which wall will crumble first in the war of wills?

Sure, you can fight on for the relationship; but that's pride - no one wants to be a quitter, especially if the alternative is to be 45 and single. But both of you are better off being who you are - and fucking on your own terms - than the alternative.
All right, so he loves his kids and wouldn't change a thing about them. He calls them "perfect." He sounds like a great dad (who just found out his wife is a slut). Could everybody just relax?
"Perfect" is often, though probably not here, a pink flag word for me - way too many parental control freaks use it when describing their children to others. I'd put the most permissible stretch at about "delightful", which is actually true maybe one time in ten.

Remember, as Elizabeth Bennet tells Mr Darcy when he wonders how well she has estimated his character during their two dances at the Netherfield ball, "I must not decide on my own performance." At the same ball, recall Mr Bennet at supper, when Mary, having barely made it through one song, is about to begin another, and his stopping her, "You have delighted us long enough. Let the other young ladies have time to exhibit."
@57 this guy I know in spokane: What?! I'm just agreeing with BiDanFan and others. Have another donut and some decaf. He's my two cents more: HAD sounds like a doting father. I'm both happy (re: he's got great kids) and sorry for him (about his wife's long term unfaithfulness). They're both adults, however, and can take it from there.
@58: Awwwww-----*sigh*---crap, not again! Please excuse another typo. Make that: "Here's my two cents more..." Bless those of you who already got what I meant.
I think my fingers become dyslexic when it comes to typing.
@27 nocutename: How on Earth did I miss your beautiful post? This is so true, so freeing, and why I have begun focusing more on improving my life by staying healthy and happy, and less on what my sibs or anyone else might think of me after five decades. Amen!
Louise Fitzhugh: c.1974 Nobody's Family is Going to Change. Thank you--I have taken note and will look for it in my local bookstores and libraries.
LW 1 The problem with your marriage isn't your wife's unfaithfulness, it is her dishonesty. Relationships are built on trust. Your wife is untrustworthy.
Don't stay for the children. Divorced people can be great parents.
Your wife sounds like a very good liar. I would be surprised if this was the only thing she has lied to you about.
Do what you think is best for you. Stay or go, but do it for yourself.

LW 2 Send that message.
klydeodewengi @31: Can you point to any comment "justifying" the wife's actions?

CMD @34: Your idea would only work if HAD actually wants to have sex with other women. It's a strong possibility he's naturally monogamous, which is why I said "possibly" @19.

CGD @36: Because it's easier to believe a realistic promise than an unrealistic one.

Capricornius @44: I believe Mrs HAD intends to go forth and be monogamous, or at least at the time she made the promise she intended to keep it. But I don't believe her future actions will match up to her present intentions. She's cheated in every relationship she's ever had. Her inability to resist temptation is almost certain to override her promise, once HAD forgives her and they settle back into their routine. I wouldn't say she's incapable of being honest; I'd say she's incapable of being faithful, so better for her to be honest about it. (Agree that if it is, indeed, the thrill of deception that gets her off, DTMFA is the only choice.)

Nocute @52: I disagree. I think most parents would say they had two terrific children, two wonderful children, two beautiful children, etc. Not "perfect." Anyone who thinks their children are "perfect" is demonstrating that they're not completely in touch with reality. (Which was the point of HAD's letter -- discovering that his "perfect" marriage was not.)

Sportlandia @54: You forgot speculums.
AuntieGriz @42: Thank you!
He also forgot babies, Fan.
I would never ever call my children prefect, because they just aren't. To have perfect kids, that must be heaven.
Ms Lava @65 - It might be until you felt the wight of expectation to live up to them.
Lava @64: Ha! Right you are. And her own fingers, and douche nozzles, and smuggled drugs...
Would have been simpler to just say "no sex with anyone else." (Which would also cover sex not involving penetration of her vagina, which I assume hubby would also disapprove of.)
HAD - I'm sorry. I think it's important to determine whether your wife has a generally bad character, and if the deception continued into other areas, if you're thinking about staying. If an open relationship might work for you, and your family is otherwise good, and you can keep from acting disrespectfully to your wife, then maybe you might find a lifestyle that works for you, and a big "get out of jail free card" if you make some fuck up of your own. But you sound kind of monogamous, eager to hear it can be possible again, and proud that you could offer that kind of commitment yourself. If that means a lot to you, and you can find absolutely no happiness in the thought of your wife with others, then maybe move on. Doesn't have to be immediately, you could try looking for the next Mrs Right in a poly way, or while living as platonic spouses. But generally single people want a partner to be living as a single (dad). And your wife acted like a shithead by lying about sex. Tell her she needs to come out as poly.

CREEP - Erm maybe he wants to see you to but he doens't even have the benefit of knowing where you live! Go back and knock on his door and tape a note with your number if he isn't home.
HAD: This must be incredibly painful and a "Sophie's choice" of sorts. I agree with all of the people who have said that your wife cant be monogamous. Possible but not probable. Its looks like its either accept it and manage it to something you both can live with or go your own ways. I know there are some who relish this lifestyle of their wife dating and I suspect that no one really knows how many couples do this. If you decide to manage it I would think there need to be ground rules and consequences. If you arent ready to walk away, then you accept what ever she does. The alternative is years of angst and self punishment. She lied and covered it up. They say it isnt cheating if you know, but you didnt know and she hid it from you. What kind of life do you want to live? I suspect it isnt the way this one is turning out. Take a deep breath and move forward in a direction that lets you look yourself in the mirror no matter which way that is. Good luck (and I wish there was a way for all of us to know which way that ends up)
Ugh, the thing about HADs situation, and admittedly Dan is just arguing a devil's advocate position but anyway.. is that even if you can get to a point where you accept that your wife is completely incapable of monogamy for more than half an hour and you are happy with that it does not change the fact that she completely lied to you for a really long time. She had a choice to treat you like someone she loved, or even as first among many and decided not to. Repeatedly. Being in a marriage is not just about sexual access rights, it's about building a life with someone who is your very good friend, if a good friend of mine was this explicitly dishonest with me in a way that they clearly knew would upset me and just didn't give a crap I would be done with that friend. Esther Perels addition did not seem useful at all to me, I know the cultural default is not always right, but in this case Esther just bent herself into pretzels trying to accommodate the wife being a shithead.

There are other kinky fish in the sea who will treat you better, get free so you can have a chance to find them.
Holy moly on the "perfect kids" debate. Way back at #7 I echoed the LW's words by saying I was also a long term married monogamist with two perfect children... Now I feel obliged to disclose that no, I do not actually live under the delusion that my children are some sort of supernatural beings or members of a superior race or time travelers from a future in which humanity has achieved perfection - whatever that might mean. I agree with whoever said above that having "perfect children" is like saying "I'm doing great thanks" when asked how you are doing. As a matter of fact, my perfect children are in the throes of adolescence and driving me up the wall daily. It's all I can do some days not to smack thier smug little faces. Yet, I described them as "perfect" to strangers on the Internet. All that means is "I love them and I'm not interested in discussing thier shortcomings when it is utterly irrelevant."
gueralinda, you describe your children as perfect and your marriage as monogamous, while adding this comment @7: "I honestly have no fucking clue what I would do if I found out something like you did."

As someone who went through a less intense version of that discovery, my perspective has shifted on fairy tale happy endings with perfect spouses and perfect children and perfect neighborhoods with perfect schools.

Now my friends are kinky like me, my kids and spouse and lover (and their other partners) are human like me, and I get my happiness from small pleasures like a walk in the sun, rather than by contemplating that I've checked off the boxes for my happy ending. Not that you're doing that, but just to say that I speak from my own experience when I warn against describing anything beyond "this sunny day" as perfect. Call me superstitious.
@58 (again): Double jeezeus--! I meant @56 this guy I know in spokane, not @57 vennominon (sorry, ven!)---and that was sans wine. Oy vey! Now I really am going to consume some alcohol with tonight's dinner, and a movie: Some Like it Hot with Marilyn, Tony, and Jack. Zow-IE!

Maybe you can all vouch for my application for veteran's PTSD-related disability compensation (from 25 years ago and entirely another story for another time)..? Obviously, I don't type so well, either----even when I'm sober (I can see your eyes rolling from here, Hunter).
Ms Grizelda - Fortunately you mentioned whom you were addressing, which made it clear. I hope you enjoyed your evening.
Euro alert
Some Germans are bitter after what may be viewed as an unfair, humiliating defeat signed in France.
Mx Wanna - Didn't France win the last time they hosted a major competition, or the time before that at least?

I wonder whether a Murray win or loss Sunday will have any effect either way on the English-Scottish tension of late.
Mr. Venn- They indeed hosted and won the world cup in 1998. Two years later France also won the European championship, co-hosted by Holland and Belgium.
Rather “the last time and the time after.”

Murray is our mayor, and he looks a bit like Paul Scholes or vice versa.…

Bridge if I may… We used to play “spades” while in high school. Spade is the trump; one round of bidding and numbers only. My (cards-playing) partner and myself joined a bridge club while hs seniors. He continued, did very well, international competitions and such, but unfortunately died some 15 years ago.

@75 vennominon: Marilyn, Tony, and Jack et. al in Some Like it Hot were great. I'm moving on to It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World (1963) tonight as a needed comical escape route. It's an old sentimental favorite, and the title seems most appropriate for current local, regional, certainly national, and world situations. I have been suffering some weird triggers lately, thus my post-Navy PTSD concerns (from 25 years ago). I am feeling more and more like Alan Alda's Captain Benjamin Franklin ("Hawkeye") Pierce from M*A*S*H*, as he once explained to Dr. Sydney Freedman: "I have to laugh. It helps keep me from screaming."
Auntie Griz: I'm sorry *hugs*. I think even the sanest of us are reeling from recent events in various corners of the world.
Ms Grizelda - Whatever gets you through.

Mx Wanna - Ah, yes; one can often tell who was a spades player because they say "cut" instead of "ruff" for trumping. It confuses bridge-only people. Our local newspaper ran a spades column for about a year, but it didn't take.
Late to the party, as usual (timezone issues). Let me just chime in on HAD's sad predicament by offering a cautionary tale (long, I know, but I'm probably the last to comment), and also this advice:

RUN. The sooner you get out, the less damage you will internalize, and the more hope you have of ever being able to trust or love again.

I am projecting, of course, but based on my experience, you're in the early stages of pain—i.e.: shock—and though you can still see a window to happiness, you are unable to take decisive action. You may still see your wife with love and desire, based on the years of living in a fantasy. It's so easy to run to that window, as it confirms your hopes. You may even find a sort of renewed "deep connection" with your wife based on the novelty of emotional purges and a closeness from "honest" conversations. You may even have some hot make-up sex, which will make you think you're making progress.

But these feelings are an illusion that will only delay your exit, and compound the damage. Eventually, if you stay—and unless the two of you do an expert job of processing this, which, given the naïvité exhibited on both your parts in previous years, isn't very likely (sorry)—you will only become accustomed to your discomfort, and you may possibly wind up a resentful, broken yet passive zombie like me.

After I learned of my wife's long-term affair—which began some ten years ago now—she acted ashamed and devastated, and made promises and avowals of love. Yet she continued to lie about it, and the bonds between her and her lover only became stronger. She could't bring herself to end it, nor could she quit me, whom she claimed to love deeply; just not in a physical way. I was in such a shocked state, so deeply hurt (yes, I know I was naïve, but I trusted her completely), that I couldn't manage to act in any direction. I only wanted what we once had (or what I thought we once had). As I learned more (you bet I snooped; how could I trust anything she said?), the words between them, and later, the videos, haunted my dreams and eventually all my waking hours. I became utterly paralyzed.

Then she asked if we could just stop having sex. It's a request you can't really argue with, can you? In today's terms, it is the “revocation of consent”. It was also a total rejection of myself as desirable, even to the one who married me and still proclaimed love for me.

At this point, Dan's advice—had I asked for it—would likely have been for me to seek extramarital fun. But I didn't want sex with someone else. I longed for the connection and reinforcement of love I thought we shared. It wasn't long before the thought of her in any sexual way became a trigger for pain—the mere sight of her body became linked in my mind with his face, and worse. Deeper and deeper into the dark I sunk. The only solace was the friendly, quotidian banter we engaged in about anything but our relationship. Total avoidance was less painful and awkward, so we just ignored it. Another big mistake. She seems to think I'm doing fine.

My self-esteem and self-confidence was so low I couldn't find a way to save myself; to say nothing of trying to look elsewhere. The depression resulted in me self-medicating with food, gaining weight, and becoming physically even less attractive than I apparently was to my wife. The anti-depressants that killed my libido did nothing for my pain, so I weened off them (my therapist has since found something a bit better, with no side-affects, but I'm not much happier). I have essentially admitted that my sexual life is over.

We're still married, ten years later, though now in a long-distance arrangement. I even visit her every couple of months to exchange custody of our dog. She's still seeing her lover, and if her personal ads are anything to go by, they see themselves as a "very sexually active hetero couple, looking for some bisexual threesome fun." Meanwhile, we Skype and message every day, and though she always signs off with "I love you", I'm unable to return the sentiment. I can't love anymore.

Even desire seems to have gone. The sight of an appealing woman often invokes the opposite of lust. I still have a vestigial libido, but at this point gay porn, for its absence of nude women (which brings up emotional wounds), is all I can take. I've become something like the male version of an abused woman who becomes what was once called a "man-hater". I don't trust love. I don't trust romance. I don't trust "trust". The transactional game of relationships—where love is entirely conditional, and played only for one's own benefit—is offensive to me. I find women and nice-looking men I encounter as attractive as wildflowers; something nature has created which makes the world more beautiful, something to perhaps admire, but with which I am unable to interact physically or emotionally. I enjoy Dan's column and his podcast, and reading all your comments. For me it's like visiting The Museum of Feeling Humans. Like visiting the camp of another tribe; fascinatingly similar, yet fundamentally alien. It's a small world, after all.

So to HAD, my advice is: Feel the rage, and act on it. It may be the only thing that can save you.


I’m afraid yours is the sanest advice here. I’m so sorry.
Mr Fagel - I'll agree with Ms Cummins, and wish you could cross-examine the Expert Witness.
The women's singles final was eerily reminiscent of the 1987 final of the same score. Ms Williams hit aces; Ms Navratilova got close to 90% of her first serves in. Each faced one break point in the match, and, after escaping with a hold at 3-all in the second set, got the critical break thanks to unforced errors the game after.
I had hoped Dan would have said, "she was dishonest and that's the biggest, most corrosive element to this story." And to recognize she may now realize that honesty is how she wants to live her life, but that it will take counseling, practice and the occasional screwup for his wife to change how she lives her life in full view.

I also didn't hear HAD say that he wasn't open to a more open relationship, just that he was really saddened by what was going on without his knowledge. Lastly, I heard him clearly that they have a good and loving relationship that they are both interested in.

Maybe she won't be able to be honest about her needs, maybe he won't be able to forgive 17 years of deceit in this area (I didn't hear other broad issues) and so maybe they won't stay together, but I have hope they will be honest and heal and find a compromise they can both be comfortable with and be happy again, in full view, with no dishonesty.
Gasper - Dude you sound like the kind of guy who just flips out on everyone you know with an Uzi at some point. I have no idea why you are choosing (yes you are choosing she isn't forcing you or to blame for your decision) to stay married to your wife. I'm not used to seeing the complete opposite of Dan's permissiveness towards cheating. I don't agree with Dan that cheating is an ubiquitous kind of bad behavior, a little like pitching a screaming fit. But I definitely don't agree with you that cheating completely destroys others, like violent assault does, either.

I think the sane people are telling HAD to 1) focus on what makes him happy and 2) figure out the boundaries he needs to keep himself happy.

Yeah rage is as valid an emotion as any. But never an excuse to hurt others. If you need to wallow in it to "make yourself" stay away from the stuff that hurts you, fine. So long as you're not blaming everyone else for your unhappiness, so long as you're remembering that no one is going to make you happy but your own self.

That's not the way everyone works, though. When it's not some huge crisis, people simply avoid the things that don't work for them, no need to rage. For someone who complains that others' love is conditional, you seem fine staying married to someone who stopped meeting YOUR conditions to get "I love you" back. Healthy people are affectionate. Not martyrs or slaves who do what YOU want with magical unconditional love.

Depression sucks. I hope you get help. And a divorce. And the ability to interact with people who don't need to shit all over others. So maybe you can have a sex life again.
GF@82; Torture yourself already. You skpe everyday? why are you hanging onto her like this. And checking her ads, that is seriously stupid.
If you have to see her every few months because of your dog, then that should be it. And divorce her.
Let her go and find a new life for yourself.
GF @ 82
You seem pretty lonely. Ever talked to anyone about your stuff- people in similar situations, trusted friends, family?
There are some issues you’ll have to look into yourself: if you suffer so much why continue, are you taken advantage of, dependency or not, did you always have homosexuals tendency and may be happier living with a man, and so many more…

It takes time to figure things out and one has to regain confidence in order to do so. Doing it all on your own is likely to be even harder.
Unfortunately neither pills nor a weekend workshop with a renowned expert offer a sustained solution. And be aware that sustainability also means withdrawals, demoralization, flash backs, and the like from time to time.

Lots of sweat and tears, but also joy and achievements.
@80 Bi Dan Fan and @81 vennominon: Thank you and bless you both.
I have said many prayers, shed plenty of tears, and can only hope.
Sitting and meditating in my sweet little car helps a lot.
@82 GasparFagel: I'm so sorry. I can empathize. I stayed unhappily married for 9 years too long before I finally broke free (I made a vow earlier to Dan and everyone here with Savage Love--so this is it on any recaps).
I hope all works out well for you and that you can heal.
So, nobody's going to comment on the fact that adding a one-night stand on social media is not creepy, but showing up unannounced at their house is mega creepy?

Gaspar @82: Add my sympathies; that sounds like a horrible situation. I agree with the commenters who have said divorce now; stop the daily skyping now; get some counseling now. How dare your wife continue to say "I love you" after all she has put you through. "Thanks for continuing to be my doormat" is what she means by that. I wish you strength.
I have just seen a week-old report of the BLM sit-in during Toronto Pride (my sympathies to Ms Cute, who is likely in a tricky position), and rather wonder that there was no mention of it here - or did I just miss it?
Ever loyal to conceptual continuity, Hugo managed to carry his title-free streak in the club level to the international arena.
That said, he’s not the one to be blamed on either front. His colleague on the other side was phenomenal today. Ronaldo’s injury may have been a deliberate attack.

At least there were no pk’s.
Another positive outcome: very likely to be my last football-related post in here for another month or more.
BiDanFan @92, I try to keep up, but I don't understand who showed up at whose house unannounced. Was that in the letter? Was that in the comments?
CMD; for a minute I thought you were losing it. Who the hell is Hugo, I ask myself. Ah, then I realize it's the soccer.
EricaP @95:

That would have been Philophile @68 RE CREEP, the second LW who wanted permission to get in touch with a hookup. Dan said to send him a note. Philophile said to knock on his door.
ah, thanks, Alison!
EricaP @95:
There’s an exchange program going on.
Round-football questions will be answered promptly.
"If you have to see her every few months because of your dog"

As much as I love my pets, "dog custody" is absolutely an excuse to stay in someone's physical presence and not about the dog itself.
@92 BiDanFan: I missed that. Yes, that is creepy. Ew!

@100 & @101: No contest--my cat joined my beloved, fully packed up car and me when leaving my abusive spouse. I'm the better cook, and my culinary skills as well as my physical and mental health since my divorce have only improved. Dumb luck that.
It looks as if there's a dreadful Republican party platform brewing.
@104 vennominon: I shudder to think so, but *sigh* there are definitely inexcusably ominous signs. SCOTUS Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg has stated online (Yahoo) that she'd leave the country if Trump sleazed control of the White House. Heaven forbid! Attention all alleged Bernie Sanders supporters suddenly for Trump: What the hell?!?
Flo, of cartoonist Wiley Miller's Non Sequitur fame, where are you? We need your ejection spring and trapdoor dropping Offshore Diner booth seats, preferably at the GOP Convention, and for easily swayed, especially stupid voters.
@105 marilynsue: Lucky we are, indeed, and thank you.
@104 "Dreadful Republican Platform" is redundant.

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