I go with A. And she's a taco short of a combination plate.


I think I need a drink after reading that. And a quiet room where I can vent my feelings. All dolled up of course.




It would have been a real bummer to get booked into a mexican jail on assault charges.

But then again, this LW has clearly never been responsible for their actions - they want to stomp about and have tantrums like a 2 year old and be able to pretend nothing happened the next morning.


Let us hope the LW's husband reads SLLOTD. Or someone recognizes him and hands him a copy of Dan's answer.


No matter who the cuckoo(s) is/are in this story, everyone will be better off.


Yep! What 1-6 said.


I think my favorite detail is "this blond woman female"


I see what you did there, Dan Savage. Good move.


This LW reminds me of the wife of a man I dated... Many people with BPD go to therapy and manage to lead good lives. She is not one.


To quote Riviera, which I binge-watched a few weeks ago, “I’m still trying to figure out which one of you sold your soul, and which one’s the Devil.”

If LW is telling an accurate story, everyone sucks here. Is LW better off without her hubby and in-laws, or are they better off without her? Le sigh. It’s so hard to tell sometimes. Probably they’re all better off without each other...except then maybe they’d be inflicted on other people. A frightening thought.


@10: Neither is that man you dated.


Tantrums are unacceptable. The rest... wow.


I think the letter is fake. But it is wildly entertaining. Bring on the movie.



I’m going with: the LW and the in-laws are ALL toxic. Isn’t it the most likely scenario?


Oh, for an update on this situation five years later.

An update from anyone involved except SQE, that is.


I remember this one. Still a very entertaining read. I wish I could think it was a fake, but I'm all too sure it's most depressingly real. I'm kind of surprised that she wrote Dan instead of going on "Maury," but maybe she punched the person who books the guests for the show, and wasn't allowed on.




@16 I think the most likely scenario is that LW is a non-stop self-absorbed drama queen and the family is completely sick of her, and that she was never drugged, but simply ate something earlier that upset her stomach (as happens in foreign countries with some regularity), and because LW must externalize all her problems and find someone to blame, she found her regular punching bag: her partner.


I kind of wondered if it was actually written by the husband (hopefully ex-husband now).


Jayzuz, how did I not have any memory of this one?

... and that's the exact moment I realized Dan Savage drugged me!

@8 I know!


I think this is my favorite response in this space ever.


Yes, totally normal to respond to a bad day at work by coming home and shrieking, crying, and throwing oneself on the floor like a toddler. You’re super normal, LW, and your man’s family are all evil, EVIL, I tell you!!!



I only read the first couple paragraphs because wine and late nights and sleepy and I think it will be amusing to see how off/on I am later, but here's my gut reaction to the first couple paragraphs:

1 If your relatives have problematic spouses and you'd prefer them to not attend family functions, then you probably should not invite EITHER. There's really no way to say "leave your spouse at home" that will not contribute to the drama. Just don't invite said relative, and have a private talk later about how why.

2 She was not invited b/c of fears she'd ruin the wedding, make it all about her. Here's guesing that's what happened.

Tune in same bat time, same bat channel. This forum makes me feel boring a lot but other times, thank fucking god. Why no more blueberry fetishizers or women who want worms up their pussies? Was everyone overly sheltered in high school? That's where you work this shit out, folks.


I don't think an entire family would conspire to drug the LW but one person could. With that said, the quantity of exclamation points certainly supports that she comes home from work yelling and screaming. And why would she threaten to divorce the husband if he went to the wedding on his own. If I hated my in-laws but loved my spouse and it was clear that my spouse loved me and wasn't going to be turned against me (to use a soap opera/reality TV phrase that seems very fitting for the context of this letter of the day) then I would have no problems with the spouse going alone. I would use the time by myself to do shit I like to do that my spouse doesn't like to do.


If you are embarrassed for your husband to tell his family about your behaviour at home, that is your subconscious hinting that there is something wrong with the way you behave. Plus I'm pretty sure that it's not tantrums about work that your husband is relating to his family. You didn't want the family at your wedding but get upset that they don't want you in their photos? Inclusion and in this case exclusion, goes both ways. What did you actually do to get banished upstairs? I am not buying your version of events. This family doesn't sound obsessive at all. Maybe it seems that way to you because in contrast yours want nothing to do with you? Lastly, you always marry your partners family, even if you do exclude them from your wedding.


It's Mexico, the land of easily available cheap high powered sedatives. Only rank amateurs would go with vomit inducing meds. Clearly she made the mistake of vacationing with normal people. Kudos to her for doing exactly what they thought she'd do, it's often difficult to live up to the expectations of in-laws.


NO NO NO! Dan, this will not do! You cannot post this letter from 2014 without any kind of followup. Sheesh.


"I kicked his ass out . . . Ten minutes later security and bridesmaids are opening my door . . . a security officer asked if I was okay. I swore and told them all to get the f##k out of my room and let me sleep. . . Not one person tried to checked on me."

LOL. If this letter isn't fake, or written by a friend of the spouse or the in-laws, SQE is seriously immature and obtuse about her violent behavior.


Dear god, woman, GET HELP. YOU are the problem. YOU are a monster. If his family drugged you, I can't blame them. Hope he took that month off to get away from you, and hope you got some advice later that included the words "GET HELP"!


@ 3: Yup. Picked it at the screaming and crying in reaction to a bad day at work. Rest of the letter confirmed it. The poor guy she's married to. Here's hoping he dumped her arse and is now with someone nice.


Raindrop @12: No, because -he- didn't have BPD, his wife did. I am confused by your comment.

Roseanne @32: I was unsympathetic from the moment she objectified her own husband, eye rolling at the point she threatened to divorce him for attending the wedding without her and then saying she didn't want to go, and DYMSA (dump your motherfucking self already) from the point when she had to be warned to "be on her best behaviour" due to her established history of acting like a tantruming toddler. "I waited until I was in a closed room with my husband and freaked out. I demanded to know what the hell they were talking about!" Um, that's exactly what they were talking about! I would love a follow up. If she didn't get help, my bet -- my hope -- is that she's incarcerated and can't do any more damage to the general populace.


If ever anyone needs evidence that meth ruins lives...


I stand by my 2014 comments on this one.




What a doozy. Not sure how I missed this one when it originally ran, so thanks Dan for picking a great one from the archives for a re-run. I want to think the letter is fake, but what bothers me most is how believable it is.

I wouldn't put it past some people to slip a sedative to a difficult guest in the hopes that she would go back to her hotel room and sleep it off. It's stupid, because you don't know how the person is going to respond to whatever you drug them with or how much they're going to consume before noticing that something is amiss, but it's definitely plausible.

Many people who come from toxic families can end up in abusive relationships because being treated badly feels normal to them.


Malevolent @37, yes, that would answer the question "how did he end up marrying this nightmare?".


This letter started out unremarkable... then it got emotionally abusive but nothing very unusual... then it got extremely controlling and overly dramatic and she punched him in the face. Uh.... okay. This letter is EXACTLY what everyone who is afraid of women is afraid of. I'm guessing she thinks her behavior is justified because she's so passionate and loves her husband so much or whatever, but it's not. The only person responsible for her emotional fragility is herself.


Whatever else can be said about this woman, there's something to be said for the idea that one should be able to rage and fume in one's own home, get it out of her system IN PRIVATE. It should have been no one's business but her and her husband's, and he was wrong to blab.

Let's leave out the whole food poisoning thing for a bit. There was a destination wedding that she wasn't invited to, wasn't even told about.


Now * this * is a good rerun! Oy gevalt.


Why in the world would anyone not want to not invite this wonderful woman?

I gave up after a few paragraphs.


DRF @40, I disagree. Based on this letter, this woman is verbally abusing her husband. One should be able to rage and fume in one's own home -when one is alone-. This woman has zero awareness, zero concern for the way these outbursts are affecting her husband. She also admits to arguing, going to bed angry, and expecting her husband to have just forgotten about it the next day. One -should- be able to confide in one's family when one is being abused. I don't blame them at all for asking him to make the plans secretly and leave her at home. This man wasn't "blabbing," he was seeking emotional support. It's classic toxic masculinity to say that men should suffer this sort of thing in silence. She needs, at bare minimum, anger management help and he needs some therapy to figure out why he put up with this.


Amending @43, I don't blame the family for not wanting this abuser at the wedding. I do blame them for putting the husband into the impossible position of planning to attend a destination wedding without his abusive wife's knowledge.


If I ever teach composition, I'm going to assign 'write a nine-sentence paragraph in which every sentence ends on an exclamation point. Write it in character--it must be funny. And plausible' (!). Dan did exceptionally well to tease it out to four or five.

Well, wow. What a story! I don't know what happened. I do know the wife has temper tantrums--and her husband has been at his wits' end, and has told his family all about them. Some good advice for the lw: curb your tantrums! And slap with the open hand!?--(!). I'm not sure what she does now. If she wants to save her marriage, I think she should approach her husband with the promise that she will try not to argue, not to lose her temper and to look at things from his point of view. She should apologise for her past anger and egotism, and aim to get to the bottom of what he has said to his family about her (and of how everyone behaved in Mexico ('Mexico!)). (!) !


@37. Malevolent Al. Yes--I can also believe someone drugged her to get her out the way. Which would have been terrible.


@ DRF 40, I’m with BiDanFan. In the best of circumstances it’s a balancing act to have a home feel like a sanctuary for multiple people to whom that might mean different things...My long term partner is a middle aged tantrum thrower and while there are some similarities to toddlers, it’s far more dramatic and violent (not towards me, but towards his stuff/our home). It’s very upsetting to see someone that worked up and sounding at least slightly detached from reality (if one is having a tantrum in middle age the odds are high that they are not seeing the triggering situation clearly) even if you know they are “not upset with you”. The LW makes it her husband’s business and he can confide in whomever he likes. He needs support. Not to mention the need to call this behavior exactly what it is, and not enable or cover for the LW (not that the husband should go around throwing her under the bus by gossiping. She needs real help). Also his family (and scores of other things/people that make it more than just LW’s business) probably trigger LW but she plays it cool until she gets home. So he might also share with them to try to find ways to not trigger LW...(many people who know my partner think he’s the life of the party and have no idea what goes on at home)

Also OMG, I hope he got out. Unlike my partner, who also started out believing that it was his business and since he wasn’t upset with me I shouldn’t be affected, long ago sought help and has made and continues to make tons of progress. LW sounds like a hopeless case.


"I should be able to do whatever I want in the comfort of my own home! That means if I have a bad day at work, for example, I should be able to stomp my feet, scream, cry, anything—even have "tantrums" like a two-year-old child—and if my husband whom I trust happens to be in the home, he should respect my choices! ... I thought we could trust each other enough to keep certain things private!"

A spouse insisting "don't you dare tell any of your friends or family about the way I treat you in private!" is a huge red flag for abuse, and the closed-fist punch is the smoking gun.


Between this LW and the "does no really mean no and does cheating really mean cheating?" guy from Monday I'm wondering if there was an intentional theme this week: Unreliable narrators who still can't make themselves sound sympathetic.

I sincerely hope this woman has spent the past years in therapy. And that her poor husband was able to see getting punched in the face at a wedding as the final red flag and got a divorce.


It is refreshing to be able to give Mr Savage an unqualified vote of approval. Maybe Henry Tilney doped her out of irritation from seeing all those exclamation points (recalling his telling Catherine Morland that the style of letter-writing among women he found to be perfect except in three particulars - she, taking him seriously, was not so sure - a general deficiency of subject, a very frequent ignorance of grammar, and a total inattention to stops).


"I should be able to do whatever I want in the comfort of my own home! That means if I have a bad day at work, for example, I should be able to stomp my feet, scream, cry, anything—even have "tantrums" like a two-year-old child—and if my husband whom I trust happens to be in the home, he should respect my choices!”

This right here makes me think that either this is fake or the letter was written by someone close to her. I have a hard time believing that anyone could write this and read what they wrote and not understand what is wrong with this behavior.

All in all, this reeks of some deep psychological problems, likely a personality disorder. LW, it's not your fault you're so effed up, but your choices now are your responsibility. If you care one iota about the people in your life, please get yourself to a good therapist and keep an open mind. Clearly, continuing your life like this is only going to make you and everyone around you miserable.


I'm kind of with @16 and @34 here. First, the guy married this woman and was clinging to her after she punched him. Second, he agreed to exclude his family from his wedding. Third, have I mentioned that he married her, probably within a month or two of meeting her? I'm not guessing anyone involved is healthy. And when I see two people this dysfunctional together, I often see other signs of substance abuse.

My guess is that, in addition to her other obvious issues, this woman, her husband, and probably his family were - in 2014 - badly in need of some rehab. By now, at least one or two are probably dead. Hey, maybe I'm wrong, but nobody from this shitshow of a family will be writing in to give us an update (internet access sucks when you live under a highway overpass), so you'll never prove me wrong.


Wow, way to go dark @52.

That being said, I would not be surprised to learn that the husband has or has developed a substance abuse problem trying to deal with her.

For those of you who believe this letter to be a fake, I will say that I have, unfortunately, had several friends throughout my life that were indeed this incapable of seeing their own flaws and their own part in their misery. Denial can be amazingly strong, and when you are disfunctional at this level you need to constantly find new grievances and conspiracies so that you can maintain this level of cognitive dissonance. Although I can certainly see someone drugging this nightmare in the hopes that she wouldn't ruin the wedding (not condoning, but I could see it happening), I am quite certain that she got food poisoning and decided that this would be a great opportunity to further isolate and drive a wedge between her husband and his family.


Some of Dan's finest work.

I've known people like this IRL, unfortunately, and I believe the letter was real. I agree that the guy is clearly emotionally unhealthy, but think that's true of most people who stay in abusive relationships -- which in no way alters their status as victims. I see nothing to suggest substance abuse.

Quick question for the other commenters, though. I can understand why a person might write a fake letter, but some have suggested her husband or his family might have authored it. If so, what would the motive possibly be? "Ha! Look, we adopted your persona and wrote into an advice columnist, but exaggerated your behavior and made you sound more obtuse than you actually are. What a sick burn! And see, he sided with us in a roundabout way."


@33 BiDanFan - Big yes to all of that as well. She sounds appalling.


Beesting @47: Glad your husband is getting help. I, too, once thought like him -- it's unhealthy to keep anger bottled up and repressed -- and it was one of my partners who opened my eyes to the fact that it can be triggering to people who are forced to witness it, even if you don't intend it to be directed -at- them. There are better ways of dealing with stress than making your beloved partner afraid of you!

Cyne @48: Not to mention that the husband should "respect her choices" to deal with stress by flying into violent rages, but she doesn't need to respect his choice to ask trusted family members for advice regarding his wife's violent rages. This entire letter is me, me, me.

BabyRae @49, amen.


@48 EXACTLY what I was thinking. Let's play this out from the other side:

Dear Dan,

I recently got married in Mexico, and during planning my husband and I were discussing guests (which, with a destination wedding, you can imagine we try to keep it small). Here's where the problem comes in. I love my brother, but the woman he's married to is abusive to him and us, throws tantrums over the tiniest offenses, and turns every family event into a complete shitshow. And worse, I know how hard it is on my brother, and we hate seeing him treated like he is. So my husband suggested not inviting them (they eloped, so fair's fair!) But it's my wedding! I wanted my brother there! So... well, we did something kind of bad. We invited him and tried to get him to keep it a secret (I know!). But he told her at the last minute, and she threatened to divorce him if she wasn't invited.
So when she got there, it was pretty awkward. Nobody really felt comfortable around her (and she seemed so on edge nobody wanted her blowing up), and I had wedding stuff to take care of. The wedding went off without a hitch, but afterward somebody made a comment about them eloping and shortly after she stomped up to her room. We talked with my brother for a while, and he brought up a special book of photos he'd put together, and said he would grab it. He came back down shortly after that looking like a kicked puppy, and my maid-of-honor took it upon herself to gather the other bridesmaids and go get the album themselves. They got to my brother's room to find she'd destroyed it. In the ensuing altercation (and stuff, including the album, being thrown off the balcony) security showed up. She was screaming and cursing, and security asked my bridesmaids to leave and let them take care of things, so they came back down.
It wasn't long until she came back downstairs, barefoot and in a robe and pajamas, and walks up to my brother and PUNCHES HIM IN THE FACE! Then she stomps off, and after we all check on my brother, he goes looking for her. He comes back later to say she'd gotten her own room for the remainder of the trip. I'll be honest, I was secretly hoping that would be the end for them. We convinced him to take some time off and spend with us to see figure out what he needs to do.
The next couple days she didn't appear from her room (and neither did a few other people due to a nasty sickness that went around), and it was... well, wonderful. It's like I got my brother back for a bit.
He called a few days after getting back to say his wife flipped out about taking that time off work and spending it with us, instead saying she wants to take time off with him and cutting us off. She is so obviously trying to isolate him and I wish he would see that!
So now to the question: I want my brother in my life, and I want to offer my support so if he does want to leave, we're there, but... she's ruined every family event AND EVEN MY WEDDING! I don't want to invite her to any other family get-togethers, but I know they are a package deal. Cutting them out only helps her isolate him. So what should we do?


I'd go with C: She's a damn crazy mess AND her in-laws are bitches.


Personally, I don't think she was drugged, and I don't think she got food poisoning. I think she made up this illness because she likes drama, needs to be the victim, and needs an excuse to act out. I think she's so crazy she convinced herself she was really drugged when she was probably just slightly tipsy.


pythag3 @54 - I'd imagine the motive would be something like "look at this crazy person! See how crazy they look? Aren't they just nuts? Well, this is how you look to the rest of us."


It's entirely possible that this letter was written by someone who witnessed the actions of a close friend or family member's wife; someone that the husband confided in. It's written in that way that implies that someone is really, really, trying to get the attitude and behavior across and what someone assumes goes through the minds of people who act like that. The reality, is that most destructive people do not see themselves that starkly. They don't. They would have written themselves as much nicer because they do not perceive themselves as being in the wrong. It wouldn't be: "I get to come home and throw tantrums...", it would be: "I get to come home and be a little upset at times..."

If the LW did do these things and wrote this? That's just truly disturbing.

62 that's what happens when "nice girls" become wives and attend family gatherings...


Pollyc @62, what gives you the idea that this person was ever nice? I don't understand your comment.


Having a mental illness is not your fault and nothing to be ashamed of. SQE, you should see a psychiatrist, because mental health care could greatly improve your quality of life. The behavior you've described - regularly throwing tantrums, threatening divorce over not being invited, throwing a photo album out a window, punching your husband in the face - is not normal, and it's not surprising that your husband has been leaning on his family for emotional support, given the impact this probably has on him. Don't go to a lawyer, SQE, go to a qualified mental health professional. They are here to help people like you!


I will just say that having a mental illness is not a choice, but failing to seek help is a choice (when one has the means to afford such help, like the LW seems to by paying for a trip to a resort). It's still not something to be ashamed of, but ignoring warning signs and the adverse reactions of those you care about is not out of your control. It's in your power to try to get better, LW. Take the opportunity while you still have options.


Oops, I forgot this was an old letter for a minute there. Very entertaining, but I do hope she got help at some point.


@63, BiDanFan... Sorry, I shouldn't have assumed that the comment would be understood. I meant more like an r/nicegirls type of nice girl, meaning the type of girl who always THINKS she's a really nice person and generally only is when it means they get EXACTLY what they want. She fits that archetype to a T, here, what with her tantrums and hysterical/controlling behavior and her general belief that AS his wife, she should be allowed to act whatever way she pleases, and treat him however she pleases as well.


@63, BiDanFan, it's a Reddit thing. Not nice girls, but "nice girls".


I'm with everyone else - EXCELLENT pick for a re-run.


PollyC @67-@68: Ah, I missed the significance of the quotation marks. A female counterpart to the Nice Guy who thinks minimal manners obligate women to have sex with him, then? Someone with a framed needlepoint of "If you can't handle me at my worst, you don't deserve me at my best"? Which I'd bet is this LW's personal motto. Got it now! :)

(See also, the "I'm not like other girls" girl, who is exactly like other girls in not being a one-dimensional gender stereotype, but unlike them in thinking so little of her fellow women and thus playing right into misogyny.)


rofl BiDanFan @70, you nailed it down, all right! It's definitely just the kind of selfish mindset that this LW represents! If this weren't written so long ago, I'd think that this entire thing was SPECIFICALLY tailored to fit into r/nicegirls, but sadly...what with the gaslighting/blame shifting, divorce threats, attempts at isolation, the deliberate destruction of property, and lame excuses for escalating into a full-on VIOLENT attack all being SPOT-ON indicators for an abusive wouldn't shock me if she thought she could explain away her behavior and then show her husband the letter, saying, "See?Dan agrees with ME!"

Her describing her perfect catch as "disgustingly sexy" didn't sit well with me, either. I hope he wriggled out of the net!


There really isn't any situation where regularly throwing tantrums is ok. And having your family let your spouse know all of the things they do that upset you - insane.

They should be racing each other to see who can get divorce papers in order first. He blames his family for everything when he talks to her and blames her for everything when he talks to his family, What a spineless little shit. And the entitlement on her part - yeesh.

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