I once knew a person who said she was an empath. It was confusing to me, because she didn't seem to me to be very empathetic. She seemed, instead, to have the (selective) ability to take everybody else's problems and make them all about her — they were feeling bad, therefore she felt bad, and that was now the problem everyone around her had to deal with.
LW, I'm not saying you're like this, but I do think your relationship with your friend seems based on the idea that since you both feel everything a lot, you need to be incredibly sensitive to the possibility that any feeling might become a crisis. Maybe there's a way to agree that although feelings are important parts of life, they aren't all emergencies. And friends are great to talk about your feelings with, but friends aren't daily crisis management teams. If you have a problem with a friend, by all means talk about it — as long as you're both trying to actually solve the problem. Marinating in feelings (about a problem) with another person can be a very emotionally satisfying pastime, but no two people can do that forever if the problem isn't also approaching a solution.
It's all well and good to be sensitive to other people's emotional vulnerabilities, but YOU have the right to expect basic human decency. Regardless of whatever her issues may be, she has no right to treat you like shit because of them. Being emotionally fragile is not carte blance for her to dump her mess on you. Enduring abuse does not help an abuser get better.
The more you apologize and try to clarify when she gives you the cold shoulder for not reading her mind, the more you incentivize her abhorrent behavior with attention and understanding that would be much better spent on someone worthwhile--YOU.
Tell your so-called "friend" to go fuck herself.
GOD I could've written empath's letter. I was like, "Holy shit this is me from 5 years ago!"
Boundaries are your NEW best friend. Make a boundary, see how it goes. If they don't handle it well, set more boundaries. This could very likely end in cutting them out of your life. And if you're already ready to do that, go ahead! By all means. But if you feel like you want to give them more time to turn around (AND if you feel the need,* as I did, to say, "Hey I did everything I could!")... Then boundaries, boundaries, and more boundaries. (*This isn't necessarily the healthiest way; it's just up to you. You know yourself best!)
For me, it ended with basically not being able to talk to my ex-BFF at all anymore. Because she continually showed me she did not respect me or my feelings... She was time and again passive-aggressive... I could go on! But you know what, I'm glad that I tried with her a little longer. (And reached back out to try again a few years after we "broke up.") Because now I know I did everything I could to try and stay connected to this person I used to feel so close to. But ultimately she made it very clear... This was not going to work. And I needed to put my emotional well-being first (finally!!).
It sounds like like the friend is using "empath" to mean "easily upset/offended". Not so much feeling other ppls emotions as going overboard with her own emotional and actual responses. The lw and friends sound young to me, I'm guessing early 20s since she mentioned a bridal party, though without that mention I'd guess teens. As the response said, basically everyone (except socio/psychopaths) are empathic. Like so many things in life it's more of a scale rather than "some ppl like me and my friends are empaths and some ppl aren't". Part of growing up, though is seeing things in shades of grey rather than easily delineated categories. Part of growing up is also learning to set boundaries as well as realizing that there are going to be be ppl in your life who try to place responsibility for their happiness on you. As much as you care about someone and want to make them happy, each person is ultimately responsible for their own happiness. The lw seems to be starting to realize it isn't selfish to set reasonable boundaries for your own happiness. She just has to decide what she ultimately wants in regards to this friend, realize she can't make someone else happy and shouldn't feel guilty for setting any boundaries for her own comfort (including ending the friendship), and let that dictate how she moves forward.
In case anyone's interested in reading Lori Gottlieb's (excellent) advice column, it's in The Atlantic.
There are lots of us living in handmaiden states who are completely freaked out by those laws and vehemently opposed to them. I am one. Cantgo is welcome to stay overnight at my suburburn Atlanta home, no charge. email@example.com
Louisiana is red too btw. And their Democratic Party governor is about to sign an abortion bill as well, so if you are boycotting all states with backwards abortion bills, you might want to cancel your trip altogether.
GOP legislators in WA state just introduced an antichoice bill as well. No way it's going to pass, but no reason to rest on your laurels.
I think businesses should boycott the south. As for individuals, plenty of reason not to move there (especially if you have a uterus) but there is nothing wrong with visiting. The cities in the south are as blue as the cities in WA, only the food is better and the culture/population is more diverse.
Some 70% of the counties in WA are Republican majority. It just happens that blue King County is bigger than most of the smaller red counties combined. So your state house and senate are around 55% blue which is pretty safe, but not so safe I'd get all complacent about it. Those bills in the south didn't happen overnight.
Atlanta is an amazing city (with a vibrant LGBT scene btw). It's split up into several counties, half of which went over 80% Dem in the last election, the other half were well above 50%. You will not stumble into a red area. All the big cities in Georgia are blue- Savannah, Macon, Richmond, etc. Rather than boycotting an entire state and dismissing all the people who live there who are victims of the Republicans, instead visit the beautiful place and spend your money in the blue areas, locally (avoiding chains) and support the NNAF affiliates (that Dan mentions, THANKS DAN!) doing the hard work there on the front lines.
I just mention Georgia because if you like NOLA, you'll probably like Atlanta.
BTW, Dan mentions Alabama, Missouri and Ohio, but not Georgia- the fund affiliate there is called Women In Need.
Empathetic and empath are not the same. Being an empath means you feel the feelings of other people, not just relate or sympathize with them as someone who is empathetic would. Since this is considered a metaphysical thing, like being clairvoyan or some other intuitive ability, it would seem Dan is the wrong one to ask about such matters. That being said EMPATH, you friend sounds like a control freak in empath clothing. Remember most true empathy eventually learn how to shield themselves. Don’t be fooled
Empathetic and empath are not the same. Being an empath means you feel the feelings of other people, not just relate or sympathize with them as someone wis empathetic wood. Since this is considered a metaphysical thing, like being clairvoyan or some other intuitive ability, it would seem Dan is the wrong one to ask about such matters. That being said EMPATH, you friend sounds like a control freak in empath clothing. Remember most true empathy eventually learn how to shield themselves. Don’t be fooled
Sorry it posted twice
Since most sources place the percentage of people with that condition in the low single digits, I'm not sure what to make of LW's claim that she, her maid of honor and "most of [her] friends" are all empaths.
@12 " I'm not sure what to make of...."
I am. They're all crawling up each other's butts about their feelings, and reinforcing each other's mental health issues, both real and imagined.
Friend apparently feels entitled to LW's time and attention whenever she wants it, while LW feels entitled to blow off any commitments she has made, thus disregarding the time, convenience, and feelings of her friends. I'd call them both the opposite of empaths - they are so caught up in their own feelings that they aren't paying much attention to those of anyone else.
Yes, LW, boundaries. But also be respectful of the boundaries of others - if a person is hurt because you bailed on them, that's not them imposing on you, but a consequence of your disrespectful behaviour. They are as much in their rights to limit their exposure to you, as you are to limit your exposure to those who YOU find it difficult to deal with. You absolutely do have the right to protect yourself, but so does everyone else.
CANTGO Wants to avoid “Handmaid” states, but has Louisiana as a destination. That’s like trying to avoid eggs in your omelet.
LW1, best way round this is to not make plans.
My added two cents to EMPATH: FANMOHA = "Find A New Maid of Honor Already", and put her on call block as I have had to do in dealing with my controlling, manipulative older sisters. I have had no choice but to cut them out of my life altogether (all my oldest sister wants to do is start and prolong fights; with my older sister it's all about herself. It's like having to deal with two spoiled, narcissistic children with severe ADD who will never grow up). My relationship with them is just too unhealthy to continue. Instead, I am working on bettering myself and finding peace in what excites me. EMPATH's bestie sounds ultra-clingy to exhausting. Good luck, EMPATH.
@7 EmmaLiz: Thank you for offering a healthy insight to red states and counties. I really feel sorry for people in southern blue cities (Atlanta, Georgia for one; Austin, Texas for two) surrounded by rabid MAGA cap wearers. A good old high school friend of mine has fibromyalgia, can't get the proper care for it here, and is moving back to Texas to be near relatives. I can't help but wonder how much better her healthcare situation would be under Texas state legislature and conservative views.
Deanna Troi is/was an empath (and that is a made-up story); EMPATH and her friends are in gay parlance "Drama Queens" - make a note of it.
It is all fine to be someone that acknowledges the emotional vulnerability of their friends and acts in a responsive way to their needs - but as friends, not as carers or therapists.
It is also a fact that some people experience mental health problems that include presenting with emotional vulnerability, this doesn't make them bad people but it doesn't mean that they have superpowers.
Having grown up with a parent that made everything about their emotional state, I have plenty of experience with this behaviour. You need to stop fueling it by giving it attention, and go fix yourself.
Someone that insists that their emotional crises must control you are existing on the abuser spectrum and they are making their problems become yours. That isn't in the scope of friendship.
You are not offering anyone help by letting their emotional problems become yours, you are just fueling the flames. This risks creating a toxic co-dependency.
Work on fixing yourself. I'm not convinced that you are emotionally ready for marriage.
I'm sorry. I must have made a wrong turn. I thought I logged on to a sex advice column, but I seem to have stumbled into some sort of psyco-babble marathon. I'll let myself out...
@18: What kind of sex advice were you looking for?
Truck @17: Word.
GBrooks @18: Sorry. Do you want your money back?
Oh Dan! Remember years ago when you started as a Weird Sex advice columnist? Did you ever think you'd end up here, advising people on emotional boundaries in friendships?
CANTGO: These are my tips to avoid supporting the people who perpetuate the awfulness in the red states and in much of the US.
1) Stay in the cities, and find lodging in the college towns along the way. Spend your entertainment dollars exclusively in those college towns as well - at their cafes, bars, local music, etc.
2) Eat Asian, Mexican, or African-American cuisine along the way, especially in the South. Avoid all chain restaurants and try supporting only the independent restaurants run by immigrants and people of color. Most Asian & Mexican restaurants are run by immigrant families. And many African-American Southern or soul-food restaurants are mom & pop operations. Food is better in those places anyway.
3) If you have a Costco membership, get your gas from Costco. Get road-trip supplies & gear there too. Costco is a good company that pays its workers well.
4) In much of the South, Walmart is the sole retailer in any given town, and dominates groceries too. So if you need to shop at any grocery in the South, Publix is an OK option. (It's not perfect, but it is employee-owned and provides health coverage for same-sex couples regardless of where they were married).
5) If you have to do any fast-food, avoid Chick-Fil-A first and foremost. Sadly the majority of major US fast-food chains are major Republican donors. But there are a few that aren't, and a quick online search says that Chipotle and Dairy Queen skew liberal.
Have a great trip, and once you're in New Orleans, don't spend a single dollar on the grope-y vomit-frat-boy rape-y tourist hell of Bourbon Street. Instead, try to connect with the African-American locals and ask where their favorite Cajun joints are for truly great local fare or great local bars. Folks in New Orleans are always proud to tell you where to go.
gbrooks, Dan branches out, you must know that. This week it’s Bridal Party and Travel advice.
Heading South: Boston and Provincetown should be your destination!
CANTGO — Your dollars are your soldiers. Do your research, seek out WIC-owned businesses, and pay in cash.
WOC-owned, that is.
Calling oneself an 'empath' sounds like laying the perfect groundwork for being a massive passive/aggressive ahole, (emphasis on the aggressive). You see, in a society where being loud, aggressive and direct has been outlawed, or at least frowned on, many people have decided to hide their aggression in the most passive of wrappings. You're not responsible for a friend's distress if they don't let you know it's happening. This applies ESPECIALLY in relationships where there are a host of issues, like sex and mutual futures, that aren't part of regular friendships. I've had lovers be passive aggressive, and I've had friends be passive aggressive, and if you put up with enough of it, you may actually find you are serving ALL the people in your life, and yet they get to flip out and let you down at will. This is a lousy place to be, since many passive aggressive people, being actually aggressive but without the courage to actually face and state their feelings and make corrections based on those discussions, don't actually give a F about other people, or their dysfunction makes problem-solving impossible. I've been jettisoning a lot of baggage the last few years, and shooting for some real long shots for me personally. It's starting to feel real good, being on point for those who are on point with me. It's a bit anal, and you don't want to overdo it, or start judging the friends you do need, but cutting loose the worst offenders, at least to the extent you can, actually becomes essential. At some point it stops being a choice. Looking back on long periods of wasted time with emotional leeches (and political dominant jerks which abound in wealthy Seattle and America) and wondering what you could have done with that time is another not-good state to find oneself in. All these things exaggerate with age, and people who don't hold themselves together either solve their problems or get worse, and there is a LOT of addiction and malaise in this society. One life to live. Don't waste it catering to the unconsoleable. DOn't waste it catering to right-wing scumbags either, even if they are in your family. It seems like I constantly biting my tongue around particular jerks, simply because they get offended by a multitude of societal realities they don't want to analyze in any depth.
@7 EmmaLiz - I didn't know about that bill :( one of the things that recently reminded me not to feel so complacent in WA was all the sherriffs who openly said they wouldn't enforce the gun control laws that were passed. A quick article search re what I'm referring to:
@9 made me realize rather than empathic I should've used empathetic, but originally that "sounded" wrong (like I was mixing it up with pathetic). I don't think most ppl have some range of (as @17 said) Deanna Troi- like powers.
@23 Jack - thanks for the tips
Good advice from Lori Gottlieb. This sounds very exhausting.
LW, being a friend is being available to each other, it doesn’t mean being called on 24/7 and guilt trips. Friendships change, and it sounds like this one is in trouble.
Feeling empathy for others and receiving it, doesn’t mean we all drop our bundles all over each other. Or expect others to be available when ever we wish them to be.
It’s good you are developing stronger boundaries, now you need to enforce them.
In my experience, when someone claims to be "An Empath(TM)," what it means is they don't know how to regulate their own emotions.
LW, you acknowledge upfront that you have severe anxiety, but blame your lack of follow-through on your empathy, despite it being an extremely common symptom of anxiety. Sometimes the simplest answer is the correct one. If you've been working with the same therapist for a while but still haven't crossed this pretty short bridge, maybe it's time to find a new therapist. Good luck.
Being aware of other people's emotions and caring about that doesn't make you an empath, it makes you considerate. Being aware of your emotions down to the smallest irritation, believing they are all important and valid, and letting them drive your actions and interactions doesn't make you an empath, it makes you a drama queen.
Also, side note, cell phones are awful, and this is a perfect example: they make people believe that immediate connection any time they want it is some sort of inalienable right. Go off and figure your shit out, talk to your friend later.
Is this what the kids are like today? Because, to use the lingo of my twenties, it sounds like a major drag.
Ooooh, this situation is painfully familiar to me. Btw, somebody once called me an empath too, and the thing they were referring to, was my bad habit of taking responsibility for other people's feelings. I don't do that anymore, and I now have a lot of healthy empathy for other people.
I was the on-call free "therapist" friend, in more than one friendship sadly. Always there to provide support and reassurance. At some point, the constant giving and not getting much back would make our interactions unsustainable. And, each time, any attempt on my part to set reasonable boundaries really upset the other party. And, no, they'd never come out and actually say it directly. Who's going to actually say "I need you to be available to serve my needs constantly and have few or none of your own?" So instead it would be passive hinting or silent treatment.
Anyway, it took some effort to undo the habit of taking on the responsibility of fixing it when one of those people would get mad at me for breaking the unspoken rule that I should always be on-call for them. It was not MY job to make them not be mad. It was THEIR job to be reasonable about boundaries that I set.
Reasonable people respect reasonable boundaries. It is not your job to make your friend reasonable. You don't have to coax her or explain to her why she should be reasonable. YOU DON'T HAVE TO DO ALL THE EMOTIONAL LABOR.
It's perfectly reasonable to say, "If you're in crisis can you please include that in your voicemail or receiving message so I have a way of knowing that you're in crisis?" And a functional friend would accept that. If she does not, that's not your problem, it's hers.
So keep setting your boundaries and making it clear that you expect them to be respected. And if she keeps being a nightmare about it, then remember that DTMFA applies to friendships too.
As for the wedding, even though it's a horrible breech of etiquette, maybe you should ask her to step down as maid of honour. You don't need that kind of emotional instability around you on your wedding day. If you can't bring yourself to remove her from your wedding, do you have a stable friend or family member who can act as a buffer, if she starts shit during the wedding?
Such a very interesting column and even more interesting comments...and all I have is a tangent:
"she called me late this past Friday night—just once, with no subsequent voice mail, text message, or follow-up call. On Monday morning, I sent her a text message...my failure to return her call...tried to lay down some protocols for reaching out in an emergency situation (leave me a voice mail and send a follow-up text)"
Is it normal now that people need a protocol in order to respond to a phone call (in less than 3 days)?
I originally hail from flyover country (still home to countless friends) and have to roll my eyes when I hear people like this (probably otherwise perfectly kind and sensible) Canadian talk about not wanting to even stop for gas in states like Ohio. What impact do you think refusing to pay for a tank of gas will have on a woman's right to choose? Too often these kinds of pronouncements mostly come across as self-righteous grandstanding. Does this person apply the same moral standards to other travel destinations? Would they ever visit Mexico or China? And have they looked at the appalling way that Canada has treated (and continues to treat) its indigenous population?
Personally, I almost never allow a country's politics to influence my travel choices. Before going someplace, I ask myself two questions: 1) what is the likelihood that my refusing to travel there will result in a policy change, and 2) to what extent will the money I spend be used to facilitate those policies? In the case of the first point, if there is a coordinated boycott afoot, it might, and I won't travel. And for the second point, I would not travel to countries where the dollars are going to be collected by the government and then used to finance human rights abuses.
In this case, a refusal to travel to these states fails across the board. Beyond public statements made by a few directors, there is currently no boycott, and none of the money spent on a trip will have any direct role in sustaining these policies: eating at a restaurant in the South does not hamper a woman's right to choose.
I'll tell you what not traveling there WILL do -- it will guarantee this person won't have any healthy interactions with the people who live there and so can remain ignorant about them. It will serve to safeguard this person's prejudices without helping any of the people who need actually need it.
Great comment, @ 7.
LW 2, while you seem well-intentioned, I will tell you that it is reductive and tiresome to lump states all together as red/blue, good/bad, etc. There are morons and creeps in the "bluest" of blue states, and there are amazing-hearted people in the "reddest" states who are saddened by the rightward lurch their states have taken. There also are plenty of people in both don't really care one way or the other and will treat you like a human being and not a political cartoon. They may actually enjoy talking to you about, you know, Canada or whatever.
This is probably going to seem insensitive but this Empath thing sounds like a load of mostly crap. It feels like the gluten craze, where all of a sudden everyone was gluten-free and wanted to wax poetic about their Trials and Tribulations in the Evil Gluten world. Were some people really intolerant to gluten? Yes. Was everyone? Hell no.
The way you can tell this is crap is that most of her friends are empaths too. Seems highly unlikely that an extremely rare trait would manifest in one friend group. Much more likely that people read about empaths having so many feelings and being so attuned to others and all of a sudden everyone wants to be an empath and talk about it at parties and then use it to excuse their shitty behavior.
I was exasperated by lactose intolerance, annoyed by gluten intolerance, and expect to be disgusted with "empaths". Especially because they're making it harder for people who actually have the issue to be taken seriously.
It's not even about there being good people / bad people everywhere (tho that's true too)- it's about the fact that mostly we are talking about blue urban areas and red rural areas. It's stupid to give the advice to go hiking in Washington to avoid Republicans. Most of the Cascades are red, most of the Olympics are red, part of Rainier is red, Mt St Helens is red, etc.
Atlanta, Austin, NOLA- they are all just as blue as Portland, Seattle, San Francisco. And in all of them, the map gets more and more red as you exit the urban area. Oregon and Washington are ONLY blue overall because the states are so sparsely populated, and that's a matter of history (being as far west as you can go and last to settle) rather than of political culture.
IME, politically active libs/lefties in red states seem to have a clearer and more accurate (and less smug/complacent/outdated) view of the current political moment than those in blue states precisely because they are on the front lines of it.
There is a kind of mirror synesthesia that makes a person perceive the touch sensation of what they see others experience. So if the synesthetic person sees someone else touch snow, the synesthetic person will feel the temperature/texture etc touch of snow on their own fingers. I've heard this as called being an "empath". It's incredibly rare, and there's no way a person's entire social circle could contain several of these people just by chance, perhaps if they were related. I've never heard of a similar thing that exists for emotions. When I google, I just find sci-fi references and pop psychology stuff about "highly sensitive" people. My guess is that it's a new trend like how a couple years ago everyone was on and on about how they were introverts and could therefore be excused for being flakey on social plans.
Ooh! I remember this one! Not the column, the person in my own life. I'd come home from work, checked my messages, then gotten myself something to eat and something to read before attending to calling people back. (This in the days of telephone answering machines but email, and certainly no texts.) When the phone rang, it was my friend wanting to know why I hadn't called her back. Just relaxing for a bit, was my reply. She said she needed an immediate call back. I hadn't thought it was that important, was my defense. She told me how hurt she was that I didn't know that all phone calls from her were important. Mind you, she wasn't just hurt if we did end up going to the restaurant I liked. She was hurt if I so much as wanted to and just brought it up.
It went on like that. She was hurt when I wanted to go to the restaurant I liked instead of the one she liked. She was hurt when I didn't immediately agree with her about everything.
I don't know what made me wake up one day and realize that if a man got me to do everything he wanted by threatening to hit me, I'd have recognized immediately the manipulation for what it was. But when this shy, sweet, sensitive person got her feelings hurt when I so much as wanted to talk about something interesting that had happened to me, and she wanted to tell me how that made her feel left out, I didn't notice what a manipulative bitch she was.
I did learn. When, many years later, a newish acquaintance I was beginning to make friends with told me I'd hurt her feelings over something on facebook, when she defended herself by explaining that she was very sensitive, I thought to myself, have enough sense to be embarrassed. Don't say you're sensitive like you're proud. It's like announcing you're stupid.
I always learn something from this column. Today's gem is that "empath" is the new "sensitive." Neither is anything to be proud of.
Agony @13, I love you and this coent 3000. I also liked the description @1 of the person who used supposed empathy to make other people's problems all about her. This sounds a lot like what EMPATH and her friend are up to and it is just about the opposite of empathy, at least in the positive sense.
Me @40, Check your comments before posting. You suck at typing on your phone.
Just want to add here... Empathy is sensitivity to others' feelings. Not to your own. Empathy does not mean sensitivity. To be empathetic is share the feelings of others- you'd need to be pretty damn resilient. Because the world is a brutal place full of overwhelming suffering and injustice and most of us learn to defend ourselves by not feeling it all the time. Empathy also means that you'd need to be open-hearted and share in joy- something hard to do with thick skin. This is why there are so few people who are truly empathetic, it's a balancing act- how to stay open to the feelings of others without hardening yourself. So it annoys me a bit if the word is being watered down to just mean "sensitive" or "selfish". I don't see anything in the letter that indicates that either of these people are 'empaths'. The friend sounds selfish and needy. The LW sounds like she's going out of her way to be there for the friend at all costs and to regulate her behavior to accommodate her friend which really doesn't have anything to do with sharing her friend's emotions.
Seems like the friend here and the bf from the other letter (the one who wanted hours long middle of the night phone calls) are made for each other. And the two LWs seem to have similar problems learning how to balance their own health with the neediness of the people in their lives.
wtf? empath? you and all your friends? i think you just triggered me.
EMPATH: Enlist in the military, go to boot camp, stop making excuses for why you are flaky as shit. You're clearly not an empath because you have no clue how your behavior affects those around you. Get off your bullshit.
CANTGO: Get off your bullshit also. An arbitrary definition of "Handmaid States" should probably be based on, I dunno, your own research into specific laws that you find problematic, rather that your vague and uninformed ideas about what states are filled solely with good progressive liberals and which states are populated solely by cis white men who want to take rights away from women and minorities. In the real world, some of those people are your neighbors on Bloor Street, and some of the fiercest progressive advocates you'll meet are delivering sermons in Mobile, AL. I'm unsure if you are aware, but those other people-shaped things that move and talk like you are just as human as you are.
CANTGO the only way the people in the "handmaid states" will be able to take back their lives from a regressive patriarchal government, is through self suffiemcy. Which partly depends on outside dollars like your. Sure there are lots of horrible women out there too, but hopefully with some research you can learn about women owned businesses that you can support on your drive through, and hope that you did even a little bit to contribute to positive change.
@22: Weird Sex is easy. It's having to put up with the personal drama of the other (or two, three, four, ....) person(s) involved that's the challenge.
Deanna Troi is rolling in her space-grave at this misuse of the term Empath.
Summers are lovely in Washington State? Well, it looks like the month of May has now become "summer". June to October is a season that should be called "pea soup", with September kicking off "autumn". Yeah, May is quite nice but what's aright around the corner certainly isn't.
@48 laughs in Houston
Enjoy your beautiful summers.
Also, come visit us in November. Want to talk about a blue city in the South? Houston will welcome you with open arms and barbacoa tacos. You’re always welcome, of course, but if you find July in the PNW uncomfortable you definitely don’t want to try it here.
Except EmmaLiz @42, the person from the other letter is a gay man.
Talk of weddings always makes me very nervous.
LW1, if you insist on this, then do it right.
You can’t have your MofH a woman you have such a dysfunctional relationship with. Not a good omen for your marriage, I’d suggest.
Ffs don’t put your guy thru all this drama around choice, it’s on you to deal with this emotional mess you have allowed to develop.
Meet with this woman and tell her straight. You love her. You are not happy with all the emotional manipulation she plays. That her self serving tantrums are hurting you, just when you need her strong support to make your wedding day worthwhile.
That you are thinking she isn’t the right choice to be your MofH, because that person needs to be the bride’s back up person, their wing woman, and she isn’t being that person.
Maybe don’t meet her. Maybe text her, so you don’t go get all empath when she starts looking sour.
Then leave it with her. See how she responds. Don’t mention to anyone else you have suggested this, ie; that she withdraw or gets fired from the MofH job.. see how your friend responds first. She may do the ol’ radio silence, manipulation being her game.
So in your head you give her so many days to respond. If she doesn’t, then text again, saying this is important to you.. it’s a wedding.. can she please respond. Does she want to meet to talk.
There is no easy way out of the sludge you’ve got yourself into. This is not a healthy woman to woman relationship, and if you are a big enough girl to get married then same goes for having adult women friendships. This sounds like the weirdo hysterical behaviour some adolescent girls get into.
Ms Lava - I was just about to respond to Mizz Liz, "It is true that BF's orientation isn't specified, only that LW himself presents as gay," when you jumped in first with an unsubstantiated assumption.
Although I suspect that in this case you are correct about the (for LW) Cosmic Significance of her Selection of MOH, I would avoid generalizing that importance.
But I do like Mizz Liz's idea that Prosecuting Counsel BF is bi; I shall consider him so, and wish him a lengthy Covenant Marriage with a woman quite like this letter's MOH.
An unsubstantiated assumption Mr Venn? Maybe so. Sixth sense, hunch, women’s intuition, call it what you will, I’d bet on it the ex bf in the other letter is gay.
I know the other person is a gay man. Since there is no chance that these two partners of entirely different LWs will ever meet, their various sexualities are the least of the reasons why they can't hook up. The point was that the dynamics of both relationships are similar, not that I really intended to play matchmaker, cmon guys.
@47 Counselor Troi would be turning over, but the TNG timeline sadly no longer exists, thanks to the reboot. (Or are there now parallel Trek universes, where TOS-TNG-etc. continues as well as the Chris Pine Trek -- as in Mirror Mirror?)
@ 55 - Hunter, I'm with you on this one. It sounds like both of these friends need a good slapping. In the olden days when I was young, people would try to overcome their personality flaws and sort themselves out; now, it's perfectly fine to flake out on plans at the last minute or not return calls for several days as long as you have "but I'm a special snowflake" as a handy excuse. Enough already.
@54 / Dadddy
I agree that "patriarchy" and "clump of cells" are bad arguments.
As for "my body, my choice," pregnancy is going to dramatically alter someone's body in every case. Bodily autonomy is about much more than just serious health risks or issues. It's not just about not having a child, it's about about avoiding the permanent and painful alterations to the body that gestation and delivery entail.
And yes, the nanny state purports to regulate what we do with our own bodies with respect to drugs and whatnot. That doesn't mean it should.
Oh, and speaking of snowflakes - to the Torontonian who doesn't want to sully himself by driving through red states. You live in the province that elected that asshole Doug Ford to be your leader, so you're not really in a position to judge others, are you?
It’s not that bad @58, well it is funny having someone kicking you from the insides and it does hurt getting them out. Breastfeeding is lovely, and my body returned fine to pre pregnancy shape. For me, after six kids no stretch marks. Then for years on Mother’s Day you get sweet little hand drawn cards.
Mr D @54, ‘ my supposed allies’, you got it arse about. Men are women’s allies. Typical. Insert yourself into the story.
Why do women have to convince others of anything? It stops with ‘This is my body, and I will decide if and when a child grows inside it.’
Good to see some protests happening in the US. It’s like watching a horror movie, after all the gains for women over the last decades, these controlling pigs try it on. Why Brett was installed in the Supreme Court. It’s planned and there’s trump, an arch womaniser who has arranged how many abortions for women?
Women have to mobilise. Go on sex strikes. Make big big noises because this is only going to get worse. Fight On Sisters!
As if a woman has to justify abortion. Does any man have any idea what that choice is like for so many women? Fuck off out of our uteruses.
Thank you Daddy @54. I live in one of those red states that just passed a law that is not as bad as the others, in that there are exceptions for rape, incest, threat to the mother's physical well being, fetal death, ectopic pregnancies, and pregnancies that are not medically viable (the baby will die shortly after birth.) Also, it states no abortions after the doc detects a heartbeat but if you use one of the loopholes around that the absolute cutoff is 20 weeks. I'm pro-choice but I got raked over the coals for saying that people who are pro choice should at least be able to recognize that it is human, and that calling it a parasite, tumor, or whatever else is insanely insensitive to women who miscarry at that stage. As far as my body, my choice, pregnancy takes a huge toll on the body. Not just women who have life-threatening health problems, and I'm not talking about stretch marks. In my state, 1400 women a year die from complications of pregnancy or childbirth. The woman risks her life every time she is pregnant. Courts have ruled more than once that police are not obligated to risk their life to protect students during a school shooting. Organs can't be harvested from a corpse to save someone's life without permission. No fucking way is it okay for the government to tell women they MUST risk their life for the sake of that clump of cells when people that signed up for it can't be compelled to risk their lives for kids who are already born, and dead people are given more bodily autonomy than pregnant women.
Who are you @63? the women’s march is not what I’m talking about. So? Politics. You continue to show such a shallow understanding of women, and your wish to divide us.
Over this, taking away a woman’s right to Abortion, you will see American Women stand up, as one. There are only two groups on this one. Those for it or those against it.
This is not the time for you to play your silly games. This is a major, major infringement on women’s autonomy. This is a fight, and it’s not on gender or political lines. Women aren’t going backwards, and those who think they can make that happen will find out what noise women can make.
Why does CANTGO claim it’s “almost impossible” to avoid Georgia, Alabama and Ohio on that trip? One could very easily drive through Michigan, Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee and Mississippi. Do they need a map or were they just looking to be praised for avoiding the shitty abortion ban states?
And this week's Lucky @69 Award winner is.......
Win over the conservatives, ha.
I saw pictures of millions and millions of Polish women in the streets demonstrating against anti abortion laws. The laws got changed.
Can’t you read. No woman owes any reason for an abortion to anyone.
@60 & @61 LavaGirl: Rock ON, Lava!! Spot on as always.
@69 BiChicagoMama: Hearty congrats to BiChicagoMama for scoring this week's Lucky @69 Award! Savor the coveted honors, and may a vast abundance of sheer decadence come your way soon.:)
You might feel that the biological realities of it (my body my choice) is an irrelevant argument when it's not your body. I'm a female, here to tell you that yes, legislation that treats MY BODY as an incubator does in fact affect me and the way I feel about it- language that resonates with loads of women, hence the popularity of that slogan. If it's not about my body then you can take it out of my body and it shouldn't be a problem.
And while I don't want to be a parent, I have been responsible for raising children and if I were a man it's possible I might even be open to parenting my own. What freaks me the fuck out about it - EQUALLY AS MUCH- is the idea that the thing will grow inside my body, then rip me open coming out (which has been life threatening for many people I know) and then expect to suck on my fucking tits for months thereafter while I sit around with stitches on my vag. THIS IS ABOUT MY BODY.
BTW I have to come back to laugh at the idea that women don't have abortions to protect their bodies. Most women who have abortions are mothers already you know. Pregnancy and childbirth and recovery take a full year of your life, whether or not you become a parent afterwards. And here in Texas, the maternal mortality rate is pretty fucking high.
Seriously it's not just about parenthood. It's about the horror - seriously feels like a horror movie when I think of the powerlessness involved- of considering that I could have this teeny little parasite growing in me that could be easily removed, and then a bunch of assholes that have nothing to do with my life can come in and tell me that I must spend the next nearly a year of my life with it growing bigger and bigger inside of me until it literally has to rip me open to come out, after which time it will continue to feed upon my body. And no, I get no say in this. I have to submit my body to this horror. Oh, and it might kill me or cause some long term damage, etc. Also the loss of income and activity for that time.
I mean seriously if you don't think it's about bodily autonomy and the biology of it every bit as much as it is about the parenting thereafter (adoption is a thing, man) then it's only because you can't imagine it ever happening to YOUR body. And if that slogan doesn't resonate with you, pause to consider that it does resonate with plenty of other people (you know, the ones with the actual bodies in question).
They make women in comas incubators. Children. Women in prison. It's absolutely about the ability to control your own body.
@72 EmmaLiz: Agreed and seconded. I had to fight my ass off back in my 20s and 30s to uphold my choice not to ever bear children. Blessedly, my parents were among the few who were loving and supportive of my decision. I have no regrets, especially now in the Err of Trump.
It's like former First Lady Betty Ford once said, "Babies are a blessing, not a duty."
Oh dear, they don’t rip you open and I only had stitches with the first one, because I was lying on my back. If a woman gives birth while being upright in some ways, hey, gravity helps here.
Oh EL , I do know what you mean though. Years after my fertile days ended, I’d still have dreams I was pregnant and have to go thru another labour. It’s intense. Then a dear baby is at the other end of it.
Why don’t these people put as much energy into looking after land, the earth instead of policing women’s Sexuality? Massive storms there now I read and very destructive tornadoes. Can’t these people notice what the hell is going on? Worse yr after yr.
@74, continued, to EmmaLiz, @72: I also agree with you, too, about pregnancy, labor, childbirth and delivery. I have never been a fan of it ever happening within my body. The physical process really sucks for a woman while a man physiologically gets off scot-free upon conception. Men and boys never experience it so they shouldn't make our choices whether or not to reproduce. Period. If RepubliKKKan men with such extreme views on anti-abortion so militantly insist on remaining draconian misogynist pigs, then there should be no sex for them (and notice how sexually unattractive the biggest of repeat offenders usually are)?
I can't help but imagine just how utopian this planet would have been like if Fred Trump had gotten a vasectomy and MaryAnne Cloud Trump had gotten an abortion.
It’s your sperm mate, take responsibility for it. Once it hits an egg, yes, you are then Mr Has No Part In The Decision.
Get the snip or you know, try celibacy.
Yes it concerns men because without access to safe abortions, more babies will be born. They still have no power over any decisions a woman makes, once she is impregnated. If she wants the baby, then yes the man must contribute to that child’s survival. You think you have the right to spread seed and not be responsible for any fruiting? Isn’t your deal you won’t be with a woman who is not on bc? Don’t mind the woman is interfering with her bio systems.
Daddy I don't know what that has to do with anything I said. I'm not trying to make you have children. Who the fuck are you talking to? I'm responding to your stupid statement that "my body my choice" is a ridiculous slogan because the desire to abort is all about avoidance of parenthood and has nothing to do with concern for what it does to your body and your legal right to bodily autonomy. If you don't want to have children, don't have them. I certainly would never try to make you a father. And if you don't want to knock anyone up, wrap it and pull out. There are a million other ways to cum.
Malevolent @31/Ciods @32: Yes, it certainly sounded like that to me. Thanks to this column, I now know that if anyone says "I'm an empath" they mean "You will forever be walking on eggshells around me" and steer clear of that person.
Curious @34: Welcome back! Yes, I'd assume that a missed call with no voice mail or follow-up text was a butt dial or similar mistake.
Lava @50: So they're made-for-each-other BFFs. EmmaLiz @53: Word, sometimes people are too damn literal.
Dadddy @54: "My body my choice:
For a small percentage of women with serious health issues related to pregnancy, abortion IS about their body. For everyone else, it's about avoiding the enormous, life-altering responsibility that comes AFTER the infant is born. THAT's what's at stake here - the choice not to be a parent."
Have you seriously missed that many otherwise healthy women want abortions because they want to avoid the pregnancy itself?? If it was JUST about not raising a baby, they'd go through all that and give it up for adoption, as is another currently available choice. Abortion IS about not having to have something growing in your body for nine months, with the attendant hormonal chaos, then pushing it out your vagina over a period of excruciating hours. Can you not even imagine the torture you're expecting women to go through gladly, to have a baby they don't even want? It is both about not wanting a baby and not wanting a pregnancy.
And you're seriously comparing the experience I just described to flashing or taking drugs? Dude.
Dadddy @62: Dude. If I had ever got pregnant, I would have had an abortion and yes, Mr I Have A Male Body, Always Have And Always Will, wanting to keep my figure WOULD have been among the myriad reasons for doing so. Now you know.
No, Dadddy @67. Why would we be lying? Women can easily avoid parenthood by giving their children up for adoption. The fact that we ALSO want abortion to be an option proves that you are wrong about our motives. Not wanting to endure pregnancy is reason enough. Your "logic" does not counter forced birth arguments. Try listening to women for a change.
"I'm an empath" is a pretentious way to say "I'm a toxic, passive-aggressive asshole with no concept of personal boundaries".
And yeah. Men have it absolutely within their power to not become fathers. Having to pay money is not even remotely on the same level as being forced to give birth.
Oh and another example, Dadddy: When I was with my ex, he wanted to have a kid. I suggested we could adopt. That should convince you that for some of us, it IS more about avoiding the pregnancy and childbirth bit than avoiding the raising-a-kid bit.
Fan @82, did it need commenting on? EmmaLiz knew she’d done wrong by suggesting cross orientation mating, so it was sorted. Sometimes I think you’d have made a good mum.
Lava @86, I type replies to the posts in order, so if I'd typed a comment on something and then someone else addresses it further down the thread, sometimes I leave what I was going to say, and sometimes I delete it.
And no, EmmaLiz didn't "know she'd done wrong." She wasn't being serious. So I guess I did need to comment on it!
None of this NEEDS commenting on, if you really want to get pedantic. ;)
Actually I take it back. When someone is suffering under the misconception that women are perfectly fine giving birth to children they don't want, they just don't want to raise them afterwards, that needs commenting on.
"Empath" maps very close to "Drama Queen", both of which are on Team Emotional Narcissism.
@35 pythag3, re: the “appalling” treatment of First Nations People in Canada. I’ll be the first to admit we historically treated our FN people abhorrently. We stole their ancestral lands and forced them to live on reserves. They were infected with white diseases, some claim deliberately, and many of them died. Our residential schools were a black chapter of which I, and most Canadians, are deeply ashamed. Children were forced away from their families, beaten for speaking their languages, and in many cases physically, emotionally and sexually abused. Some never came home and their families were never told how they died.
We did not, however, lead them on American-style forced death marches like the Trail of Tears, nor massacre them like Wounded Knee. We have paid tens of thousands EACH in reparations to survivors and descendants of survivors of residential schools and we’ve agreed to a settlement for Sixties Scoop adoptees. Americans have not paid reparations to the descendants of the slaves who built their country.
Today our status First Nations People enjoy free healthcare, including prescription drugs which is not part of our universal healthcare system. They get free post-secondary education. (Some are denied it due to the funds already being fully distributed. Which is a long debate, the bands distribute their own funding and the chiefs of those bands often drive luxury vehicles and live in mansions. But many many status youth get a free university/trade education.) They pay no sales taxes on reserve, including cigarettes and gasoline, which are horrendously high in Canada. If they live and work on reserve they pay no income tax. (Some reserves have few opportunities but many have developed successful tourism that provides a lot of jobs).
Admittedly Canadians still have work to do, FN People certainly experience social and institutional racism.
The benefits for FN People cost taxpayers a horrendous amount. I pay about 40% income tax, in addition to ridiculous sales taxes. I would argue our First Nations People are treated far better than American minorities and perhaps have more opportunities than many American citizens.
Ms Lava - While of course you could well be right, I suspect that you are viewing this with an OS mind set. Here's a piece of the Straight-Gay Divide for you. Suppose that eight monosexual people form a regular bridge game, but that they all bring their spouses to an annual party. If all the couples at that party were OS, it would be a very good bet that everyone in the room would be straight. Make it eight SS couples, and mathematically it would be below 5% that they were all lesbian or gay. (I don't know how one might want to try to calculate social factors.)
This brings us to the podcast call this week from the OS-wed bi men whose wife's lesbian and gay friends (I think he specified they were all her friends) occasionally make negative remarks about bisexuals. I was doing paperwork at the time, and am not sure what the exact terminology was, although I do recall wondering what sort of remarks were mad, whether they were comments that did not need too great a stretch to be called biphobic or whether they were more along the line of (and I expect Ms Ods to recall this as well as Ms Cute) Mary Crawford's comment in favour of the discontinuation of daily prayers being read at Sotherton, ending with, " - especially if the poor chaplain were not worth looking at - and, in those days, I fancy parsons were very inferour even to what they are now." Presently came Julia's remark to Edmund that it was a pity he was not yet ordained, as Maria and Mr Rushworth looked quite ready for their engagement to be fulfilled, and Fanny's wonderment that Miss Crawford contented herself with the apology that, had she known Edmund was to be a clergyman, she'd have spoken of the cloth with more respect.
I much regretted that that wasn't the one call there usually is in which Mr Savage phones the caller back. It would have been very interesting to establish the exact nature of their friendships, whether the remarks were prejudiced, ignorant or merely unkind, and why he wasn't out as bi already. Mr Savage gave his standard CTFOA response, but left it there.
M? Dawn @59 - HIMself? A bold shot - and possibly a flattering one.
"I'd assume that a missed call with no voice mail or follow-up text was a butt dial or similar mistake."
Oh, maybe you're right, perhaps I incorrectly took the "subsequent" in
"she called...just once, with no SUBSEQUENT voice mail, text message, or follow-up call"
to mean she left a message the first time.
I miss the days of yore when people didn't have caller ID technology and I could phone and not leave a message and not have my call appear in their electronic records. As nice as knowing who called me is, it was nice being able to try to get through to business-people without leaving a trail of attempts.
Borg @90: In the UK the top rate of tax is 45%. I would not call 40% horrendous, particularly given that your medical costs are zero.
Venn @91: I disagree with your estimate of how many heterosexual people are OS-coupled with bisexuals. I suspect it would be more than zero in eight. Hell, thinking of my own friends group, it would be closer to six in eight! Though I accept that my friends group includes more queers than the general population.
Dusk @59: Credit to Venn for calling my attention to your post. If everyone moved house whenever the place we lived elected someone shitty, we'd all be living at the bottom of the ocean. Where perhaps the human race belongs.
@61 sure. my mom had several abortions. if she'd been in America when she was pregnant with me, it would have been myself as well.
@94, BiDanFan, I suppose “horrendous” is a subjective term, I would call both 40 and 45% horrendous though. I’m actually not in the top bracket, the top for my province is 47%, which also meets my subjective criteria for horrendous taxation;)
Canadians are very fortunate to have low-cost healthcare, but there are costs. In many provinces we’ve adopted a 2-tier system, for example, unless you want to wait 18 months for a free MRI before you can even get on a surgical wait list that’s equally long, you must pay for the MRI. Prescription medications and many services at the doctor’s office also cost money. I don’t know much about the associated costs of the British healthcare system, but I agree we’re both very fortunate and our costs are very low, especially compared with for-profit systems.
I know this First Nations/healthcare discussion has ranged far off topic. I just sympathise with the LW, this trend of anti-choice misogyny in parts of America is incredibly upsetting to myself and my friends. Like the LW, I don’t see much we can do about it besides think carefully about where we spend our money. The point I was try to make re:pythag was that we acknowledge our horrendous treatment of FN People, we’ve committed to doing better, and we’re opening our wallets to do it.
Hey EMPATH, you and your friend are over-therapized babies. Start working on your stiff upper lip.
I feel it could have been stated a little more clearly that 'empath' as used by the LW is firmly within the purview of bullshit pseudoscience and mystical claptrap. Many people are highly empathetic, but they do not have special powers that enable them to feel other people's emotions or pain in a what amounts to a form of psychic super-power.
Given that Dan, quite rightly, calls out religious bullshit, it would be nice to call out mystical bullshit too. Mysticism is just another form of religious/magical thinking and I suspect the LW and her friends are fooling themselves if not other people. Magic doesn't exist.
This belief in a magical powers really goes to the heart of the LW's problems. It all sounds highly immature ... two young people whose problems I do not deny, but who are indulging in a circus of drama and offence, while assigning a level of importance to themselves by claiming to be 'empaths' that they simply do not have. It sounds a bit brutal and old-fashioned to say 'grow up', but ... grow up?
I don't recommend a blanket boycott of e.g. Alabaman goods/services any more than I recommend a blanket boycott of Israeli goods - it's too scattershot an approach that's more likely to harm people in relatively marginal positions (exactly because they're most vulnerable) or people actively backing your cause who happen to live in problematic places (thus actively denying resources to the people best positioned to help) than it is to pressure religious zealots who care more about imaginary abstractions - or power - than the actual well-being of human people. It's SIMPLER to boycott a region, but it's more effective, with less collateral damage, to boycott specific bad actors (individuals, corporations) who are supporting harmful policies/politicians. Find lodging operated by people who support bodily autonomy rights for people with uteruses.
And don't worry about gas stations - you're doing far more harm by burning fuel to travel at all (abandoning the notion that people should travel long distances using petroleum, for any reasons other than emergencies or true necessity for sustainability-focused global production models, especially in personal, petrol-burning motor vehicles rather than mass transit or electric vehicles powered entirely by renewable electricity, is going to be a necessary part of surviving our climate catastrophe), so if you can make peace with that, I wouldn't sweat whether the franchise operator or petrol conglomerate might be anti-abortion. And Louisiana itself is a Handmaid state, so you're already not boycotting them given your destination.
@96 As a fellow Canadian I strongly dispute the notion than we pay 'horrendous' levels of tax. If we actually paid a little more, and in particular asked the wealthiest sections of society to pay dramatically more, we would be able to afford to cover far more, and have a society that socially just. Canada's tax regime is middle of the pack.
We live in a world of plenty, surrounded by people driving pick-up trucks, with a TV in every room in the house, with refrigerators people could live in they're so huge, with cottages in Muskokas the size of mansions, and we persuade ourselves, with the help of our politicians, that we're too poor to afford to pay for a socially just society. It's bullshit, and if you believe it you've been conned by the right. My parents grew up in a world where nobody had a car. We didn't even have a fridge or washing machine in our house until the mid 1970s. That was normal ... in a lower middle class, not working class, family (this was in the UK before I emigrated). And at that time there was a a full social safety net, an outstanding healthcare system, free education all the way through university, and so much more. We could afford it then, we can afford it now.
And sure ... not everyone has 5 TVs and 2 SUVs and a cottage, but a HELL of a lot of people do. And maybe they've worked hard for it. I'm far from a communist. But you get what you pay for. Hard right, low taxation jurisdictions have bad public education, bad public healthcare and middle to working class people who are treated like crap and have no chance of escaping the trap they're in. The fruits of decades of 'we can't afford the tax' thinking can be seen in the American south and in the President of the United States and Ontario's premier right now. Underlying Trump and Ford is a justifiable working class rage about social injustice which is being directed in all the wrong places by racists and populist demagogues.
So be thankful for the very reasonable tax jurisdiction you live in, which pays for the pretty damn good but not perfect healthcare, education and welfare systems we have, which make Canada a pretty fine place to live, at least until Ford and Scheer turn us into Alabama North.
Adding to BiDanFan@85: in the USA, nearly all states have safe haven laws that allows parents to surrender newborns to the state. As such, abortion is really almost NEVER about not raising a child, it's about ending a pregnancy - which is also what abortion technically is (reproductive slavery advocates have intentionally confused the issue by commonly referring to "aborting a baby/fetus", but in fact one aborts a pregnancy). Adoption or other forms of severing parental rights and responsibilities are not alternatives to abortion, as those do not end a pregnancy for someone who does not wish to be pregnant.
@23: I was with you on your travel suggestions for CANTGO until this one: "try to connect with the African-American locals and ask where their favorite Cajun joints are..." Um, really? Why would African Americans in New Orleans be experts on the food of rural Cajun-country Louisiana. I think you need a geography lesson. And one on the demographics and culture of New Orleans. African-Americans are generally NOT Cajun. And Western Louisiana, which IS predominantly Cajun, is overwhelmingly conservative and Trump supporters.
I don't believe in the word "empath." Almost everyone has the capacity for empathy. If you have so much empathy you can't disconnect yourself from others, that's like... a disorder. And if you know it's a disorder, it's fine, but it seems a lot of people are slapping the label "empath" on themselves as an excuse for being weird.
Anyway I linked my codependent friend to this letter. Thankfully my situation isn't as bad as this but my friend keeps doing stupid shit like contacting my parents to say I'm in a bad mood. I believe they are willing to listen and change but something is wrong with them because they just do not understand how social interaction is supposed to work at times.
Good one, Last Comment. Sometimes straight up is all you got if people have no idea about boundaries.
It’s why I take so much care as an older woman taking in any new friends or lovers. People come into one’s life assuming so much, and I really value peace over all.
I hope this LW can take all the kicks up the arse she’s been given here, because she needs to straighten up and deal with her friend’s attitudes and behaviours or kiss a nice smooth Wedding goodbye. The MofH will make it all about her somehow, and new husband will start to question whether he’s made the right choice.
@Daddy, regarding men doing dangerous work: there is no law saying they MUST continue in that line of work if they get hired and decide that the risk level is unacceptable, their boss is an abusive asshole, it is too tiring, or they just don't like it. No one is trying to get rid of OSHA. The fact that some men work dangerous jobs is a complete red herring in a discussion about abortion laws. I think the fact that we are talking about LAWS, not just abortion in general, is sometimes forgotten.
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