Savage Love

Blowing Up

Comments

1

"Honey, I know we were all set to buy a house, and the market is low right now too! But.. here's the thing.. there's this blowjob I could get from this woman I'm not even attracted to so..."

2

I think the real point of the COVID quarantine is to LIMIT your exposure to possible carriers, not to become a hermit and live in a cave. Seeing (even fucking) one woman isn’t totally risk-free, but if you are both careful in all other aspects of your life, and not doing something stupid like attending Trump rallies, that’s a step that I would categorize as acceptable. Life is never risk-free and if you live your life in fear, you miss out on the best stuff.

3

Right On Dan, re LW1. Yes, the woman needs to be shut down, and if your partner won’t do it, LW, then you need to ask him why. She sounds seriously unhinged, if she’s doing all that without any prompting from your partner.
Is there? And if there is why, why would he want such a desperate woman in his life. Few issues going on here, LW, and it’s understandable you’re feeling insecure about the situation.
Re the house buying, I’m with Dan here too. Might be time to wait, see how the markets fair. No point in getting a mortgage on a house that’s worth twenty percent less in a year’s time. Talk to those who know about these things.

4

@1 jack chandlier: WA-HOOOOOOOO!!!! Congrats again on scoring this week's Savage Love: Blowing Up FIRDT Award! Bask yet in the envied glory of leading the comment thread. :)
@2 DonnyKlicious: WA-HOOOOOOOO!!!!! Congrats on scoring the SECNOD (coined officially by nocutename) Award! Savor the honors being among those leading the conversation. :)
I agree with your comments 100%. Spot on and Kudos! Hugs, positrons, VW beeps, and an "Aaack-oop!" each to you and Mr. Bill the Cat :)

Does this make Griz THIRDT?

5

@1: Hugs, positrons, and vW beeps for you, too, jack, if you want them....
@3 LavaGirl: WA-HOOOOOOO!!!! You beat me to it--congratulations on scoring this week's THIRDT Award! Savor the newfound honors. Big hugs, positrons, and VW beeps :)

6

@3 LavaGirl: Agreed and seconded on your comments to Dan re LW1's situation. Good grief, Charlie Brown! The former female coworker sounds like Alex Forrest (Glenn Close's role) from Fatal Attraction! Yikes! I'd wait on the house buying right now, too.
Happy Winter Solstice Down Under. Stay warm. Big hugs, positrons, and VW beeps. :)

Dan the Man: Spot on advice to all LWs. I have one question regarding your response to LW2 LOST, what is a glory hole?

7

Bunnies on the boiler.
Spoiler.

Small huge dick short bigger bigger smaller coworker dick. Bunnies boiled bunnies on the huge longer shorter not interested dick.

If they were not bunnies on the boil what were they?
He had heard of a third but he never asked about it. It was a blowjob on the job.

If a married unhappy unhappy unhinged married coworker former coworker cannot sext and try what she can what can she do?

Let LW lie Let LW lay LW LW LW LWLWLW R-L-R-L R>1.

8

Yes Grizelda, why is this man encouraging this disturbed woman, and making his partner, the LW, feel bad about herself. What’s his game? Doesn’t he see the danger here. Like Dan said, she’s behaving like this now, imagine how she’s going to behave once she blows him. She’ll move in!

9

@6. slomo. Yes.

/break/
Dan, Lava and Griz have all seen the problem with the would-be cocksucking coworker: it's that she texts constantly. It doesn't have to be more than that. DPRESSD is entitled to demand that her partner delete his coworker's number, shut her down immediately, cease all but the most formal contact (if necessary) at work. And she should ask why he hasn't already. (It sounded to me as if he gave her his number when his guard was down, and he didn't know how to say 'no'; she sprang on him how they wouldn't be in close contact any more, and that now nothing stood in the way of their flirting).

The situation has arisen, and the lw's priorities have got painfully and confusingly scrambled, because she isn't sure of her rights in her relationship. She is within her rights to ask her partner to desist from any activity that threatens their primary bond. This could be anything: fucking anyone else, flirting with anyone else, drug abuse, three-hour long nightly conversations with his mother, three-hour long sessions of watching baseball every night. She did not trade in these rights because she's agreed to 'open' in principle, because she doesn't want to marry, because they don't have a child. (And, to turn the sock inside-out, if or when they do have a child, she will not have an automatic card to renege on her agreement to openness). Good luck to the lw in gaining self-confidence and self-belief, in talking with her partner, in shutting down the incontinent texter, in tackling her depression and in beginning her weight loss.

10

LOST: sex can help in a time of loss, but you shouldn't have sex unless you want to.

Nothing you've said about the woman you've connected with makes her sound unreasonable. She isn't obviously setting you up as her therapist. Or savior. She hopes to use you, respectfully and in a negotiated way, for something. If you do fuck her brains out, and it doesn't help with her bereavement (let's say she was bereaved), it won't be on you. But don't do it unless you want.

11

NBOD should tell her long-distance guy when she has in-person sex with someone else. This is probably what he understands by 'having sex with someone else'. I'm aware this isn't the irreproachably ethical answer; but it will give her the best chance of holding onto a liaison that gives her something now and might develop.

Longer term, the answer is closer to what Dan says. Neither of her COVID set-ups, the booty caller or Mr Long Distance, sound like the person she wants to be with for the long haul (or one of the two, three, many persons). Perhaps she wants to be with a woman? She didn't seem to be taking that possibility seriously (with the remark about eating out pussy). Is this to do with her job? And she would know better than us why she isn't out at work--if she isn't? Are firemen or male paramedics so homophobic?

12

LW1's mental health isn't good enough right now for her partner to be sexual with anyone else, even just flirting. She should say that to him--using those very words, if necessary. This should stop the other woman's texts and nudes.

13

DPRESSD - Firstly, it is absolutely fair to suggest to your partner that, because of your current mental state, you would prefer he didn't flirt with anyone else for the time being, or, at the very least, that any such flirtation not take interfere with your time together. It's not unreasonable to ask for support, and you are not burdening him by asking him to focus his attention on you now when you need it.

Secondly, definitely ask about changing meds. It can take quite a few gos to get the right medication, and SSRIs (if that's what you're on) are not effective for about half of the population. (They made me feel kind of numb, but definitely not better - it was melatonin that worked for me). Also be very wary of any doctor who just wants you to keep taking pills long term (more than year) - medication has its place, but it's not actually a cure for depression, it just makes things a bit better while you get therapy.

Finally, look after yourself with the same love and kindness you would show your best friend. Eating well and exercising really do help as well (better than any pill, in my personal experience), and don't cause nearly as many unwanted side effects. I also found it enormously helpful to try to notice when I was in a good mood, and accepting that bad moods are normal and natural, and you're allowed to have them. Depression can be a nasty disease, but you will get better one day, and I sincerely hope that day will be soon.

14

LOST - According to Freud, the two principal human drives are Eros and Thanatos. Sex and death. There's nothing like a good fuck to remind the recently bereaved that there is joy to be had in life. Be that good fuck (if your friend wants you to be, of course)

15

NBOD - Better out than in (the closet), I always say. It's always easier to be your whole self and let other people decide if they like who that is than to try to be who you think they want you to be. And, yeah, tell Mr Long Distance about Booty Call - his reaction will be a good indication of how suitable a prospect he is.

16

@2, DK I like the way you think.

@7, I like your poetry.

17

DPRESSD is on medication for depression, yet she seems the sanest person in this scenario. First you've got the other woman, who is obsessive and, as Slomo said, likely a boiler of bunnies. She is in an unhappy marriage and has no friends, and she's bombarding this random, married, uninterested former co-worker with texts and nudes. Block! Run! Then you have the husband, who at minimum is boundary challenged, as Dan says, but about which we can't be sure. We only have DPRESSD's version of events and of course her husband is going to tell her that he's not interested and that he's not encouraging this flirtation. Is he boundary challenged, too much of a doormat to tell her he's not interested and she needs to stop? Is he selfishly toying with this woman's emotions by encouraging the flirtation when he has no interest in proceeding? Or is he cheating? None of these is a good look. DPRESSD should put any big commitments with this man on hold until he deals with the situation.

Indeed, LOST should take the lead of the person they're interested in. I learned in this column about "widow's fire." The kindest thing to do may be to have passionate sex, at this woman's initiation, to help her forget temporarily about her grief. It would be rude to pursue sex if she's got her mind on other things, but patronising to turn her down.
Also, sex while wearing a mask!? Two weeks of strict quarantine would be worth it to be able to kiss, IMO.

NBOD, I can understand why you wouldn't want to risk the further objectification of your co-workers by coming out at work, but men you are dating are different. I get that perhaps people in your past have slut-shamed you for being bisexual, which is why you wouldn't want to lead with this. But you do need to disclose at some point because, as Dan says, why would you want to get vested in someone and then learn they are biphobic? NBOD could test the waters by bringing up bisexuality in a general sense -- perhaps mention a real or fabricated bisexual ex, then ask how the prospective partner would feel about dating a bisexual -- then bolt if the answer is not to her liking. As for your phone buddy, no you are not breaking any rules by not disclosing phone sex, but ethical non-monogamy isn't about "rules," it's about honesty and connection. Would this guy want to know about a phone sex buddy? How will you know if you don't tell him about your phone sex buddy? Again, perhaps ask, "would you want to know about people I'm having a non-physical sexual relationship with." Only by talking about it will you learn what each other's expectations, boundaries and dealbreakers are. And if phone sex is NBD for you but a disclosure requirement for him, better to find that out now.

18

@17 BDF - I reckon DPRESSD's partner sees himself as a bit of a white knight, and thinks he's 'helping' both his girlfriend and his poor, unhappily married, friendless former co-worker. In fact, he's short-changing his live-in partner, and leading his ex-colleague on. Still, he gets a nice ego boost, so there's that, I suppose.

19

@17, partner, not husband.

20

@18. Pan. If he thinks something like, 'I'll never again be able to get an NSA blowjob', well, he's not getting an NSA blowjob here.

21

Quite a disturbing story all up, and LW, I think you have to take the bull by the horns and say enough is enough.
Your weight, meds and decisions about house buying, are part of this picture.. this woman, however, is a real threat, to both of you. Tell your partner to get his head out of his arse and face what a dangerous person he has let loose in your relationship, in your home, via her texts at all hours.. and that he need to deal with her, now. As in cut all contact. Threaten to tell her husband if she gets any loopier.

22

Pan @18, that is a reasonable read of the situation. Not the only possible read though.

One thing which may or may not be a red herring (ha) is her reference to his huge dick. His dick is huge. How does she know this? Or is she just fantasising a dick which is huge, since most people would not fantasise the object of their crush having a small dick. Hmm.

Harriet @20, I'm less inclined to agree with this take, because indeed, he is not getting the NSA blowjob. Unless he is allowing this because he is in fact getting the blowjobs. Either way it is not NSA, is it really? Being bombarded with texts night and day would be something many would consider a string.

23

DPRESSED - Sounds like you've expressed that you were uncomfortable with the situation and Mr. D's way of reassuring you was to say that he only wanted a blowjob from his coworker, not to leave you for her. I believe what he needs to hear is that you are not just afraid that he will leave you, but you are afraid that he will stay with you and treat you badly. That he is hurting you with his inability exercise enough self control to conduct a flirtation or open relationship with respect for you. And be specific about what help you need, and be ready to hear a "no".. figure out what you need in order to be happy in this relationship and ready to leave if you can't have a happy relationship with him, if he's not willing to exercise that much restraint for you.
(It's unclear whether Mr D just met this coworker when transferred, or if she was an old coworker, I believe the former is more plausible).

LOST - Don't avoid sex that she initiates because you think it would be bad for her, but definitely avoid it (politely) if it doesn't feel right for you. I think it always helps to ask what a potential partner wants, be clear about what we want, and not to expect anything.. If you are worried it may be bad for her at a bad time in her life, the more passive and patient you can act the better, better no surprises than bad surprises, take baby steps. If she wants you to take more of a lead then she should be able to ask for it.

NBOD - I'm sorry that you can't trust the people in your life to know more about you. Especially as a first responder, you don't want to distrust your colleagues while you are working together in critical, time sensitive conditions. You "put up with enough bullshit without [coming out]"... I would think this would be a reason to talk to your superiors even if you don't come out and get more harassment, or to look into an alternate career for your own well being if you are working with such unprofessional first responders, before your reputation is dragged down with theirs.

And why waste time with guys who might turn out to be biphobic or be hiding jealousy issues? Why not tell them everything, so they can do you the favor of letting you know if they have some secret ugliness so you don't have to waste time on them if they can't get over your bisexuality or nonmonogamy and accept you for the awesome kind honest person you are? If you feel fetishized you can just tell them that you need to be with someone who cares more about queer issues.. It generally takes much good communication to be ethical about nonmonogamy and try to balance being honest with not hurting anyone's feelings.

24

@22 BDF - It's not unheard of for men to share their dick pics to anyone who shows an interest in seeing them (or, for some men, anyone who might conceivably show an interest), even if they're not particularly interested in allowing a more personal inspection. Who doesn't like being told they've got a nice dick? This particular guy seems to enjoy attention, and Ms Textalot has sent nudes.

And look, not to be too harsh on the guy, it's hard being involved with someone who is depressed (or, at least, it's hard to be involved with me when I'm depressed). If he's got a bit of a saviour complex going on, he's probably realising he can't save DEPRESSD (only she can, and it'll take as much time as it takes) and along comes poor, unhappy, friendless Ms Textalot who tells him she needs him and wants him. Hopefully he will realise that a) while he can't save DEPRESSD, he can support her while she helps herself get better and b) he can't save Ms Textalot either, and the only future she offers him is being the next shmuck she's unhappily married to. If I had to make that choice, I'd go with DPRESSD, who is at least self-aware enough to realise she's ill, and is taking steps to get better. But then again, I don't have a saviour complex.

25

'Send dick pics to' or 'share dick pics with' It's hard to proofread after a joint or two...

26

This week's column was really amazing. Out of the ballpark. 5 star. Really very admirable as well as entertaining.

27

DPRESSD didn't say whether her partner wants to be blown by text-woman, but text-woman knows he has a “huge dick” so I guess we need to infer that he does...

So I would like to observe that while DPRESSD says she's open even to him /sleeping/ "with someone else at some point", the end of the letter makes it pretty clear that that point is not now.

It sounds like DPRESSD needs to say she needs a closed relationship until she can get her depression and self-esteem in order. (DPRESSD, there are therapists that specialize in self-esteem.)

/Break/
Leaving one's phone on when one doesn't want to receive communications seems inherently problematic to me. But I guess if there are communications that one (unlike me) /does/ need or want at all hours, then one is left with the burden of being assaulted by them whenever someone in the universe hasn't yet been trained not to. I know this is obvious, it just freaks me out to imagine dealing with something that would affect so much (being awoken is problematic since I have insomnia) but be impossible to control.

/Break/
Re: the New York Health Department’s recommendations
Personally I find it difficult to get motivated to have sex without kissing, let alone in a cleanroom 'bunny suit' through a gloryhole.

/Break/
"my need for an open relationship...asked me to tell him if I slept with someone else. I agreed because I'm not sleeping with anyone at the moment due to COVID-19"

It would be a lot simpler if you didn't keep a secret which is only easy to keep because of COVID-19; I favor not kicking cans down the road. Address the cans as they appear and your path will not become cluttered with them.

28

L-dub 1 it sounds like you've found yourself in a pretty standard open/poly shitshow. Sounds like it's kinda killing you. Maybe it's time to be less 'evolved,' and more well, in this case, sane. Get yourself out of that rat bastard situation.

L-dub 2, stop being an overthinking, oversensitive, paternalistic dickhead. You both want to have sex. So... just fuck already!

L-dub 3, don't listen to Dan. You can meet and fuck during Covid without having to use full body condoms and a glory hole. Yes, it's a risk. Welcome to the new normal.

29

@28... oops. Last two comments were both for l-dub 2.

L-dub 3, you just sounded stupid to me. I couldn't really concentrate on your (stupid sounding) problems. Good luck!

30

Phi @23, possibly because I didn't want this situation to be any more of a shitshow than it already is, I read it as he worked with this woman, he transferred to another location/office/department, they swapped contact details to stay in touch, and now she's constantly texting him. If I misread it and they -currently- work together, then holy HR nightmares, Batman. DPRESSD should insist that he stop this quasi-affair now, and start looking to transfer again.
I agree that whatever else may be going on, he is not being very considerate about her feelings. Part of any kind of open relationship is making sure your primary partner has no reason to feel threatened, and he's not doing a good enough job of reassuring her. "He continues to tell me he has no desire to spend his life with anyone else but me," well, great, but he is clearly telling this other woman porkies about his level of interest, so how can DPRESSD believe him?
I would also encourage DPRESSD to consider whether she really wants an open relationship. It doesn't sound like she'd handle one well. Sure, they may both "want to sleep with someone else at some point," but the vast majority of committed couples put those desires aside. Wanting and doing are two different things.

Pan @24, I'm not part of the dick-pic generation, so I suppose I may be viewing the possibility that she asked for a dick pic and he obliged more negatively than most would. I would note, however, that as far as DPRESSD has been told, the nudes are one-way only, which feels deceptive to me. And did she give Mr D permission to share those nudes with his partner?
So we go back to the most benign case scenario, and we still come back to her texting at all hours of the day and night. The bare minimum he needs to do is put his phone on silent and only respond when it does not interrupt his time with DPRESSD. He needs to prioritise this woman over someone he doesn't even fancy. Save one needy woman at a time, guy.

31

DPRESSD: (Content note for discussion of weight/exercise) Agreed on the boudary setting. Since you've implicated your weight gain in both your mood generally and feeling insecure (noting that I think you have reason to feel such even if your self esteem was great) about this situation specifically, I'll address that a bit, as Dan did not. Antidepressants precipitate significant weight gain in around a quarter of people who take them, and while switching to different medications can help, it's not a specific medication or even class of medications (e.g. SSRIs) with that side effect - ALL antidepressants can prompt weight gain. Prevailing theories are that the mediation of neurotransmitter action characteristic of antidepressants can impact both propioception (and specifically hunger/satiation signaling) and basal metabolism. Strictly speaking, antidepressants don't directly cause weight gain - you're not storing excess calories included in the pills, nor do they somehow induce your body to absorb more calories from the same foods as you would were you not taking them. Rather, they screw up people's established concept of how much they need to eat, prompting a subset of people to regularly eat more than they need to eat to replace energy expended and repair body tissues. Weight gain isn't necessarily a problem, but in cases where it is, it can be managed, avoided, and/or reversed.

If you're not already getting regular exercise, finding a way to work some into your routine is a great idea. I'm not necessarily talking anything intensive or requiring a gym membership - a daily walk at lunchtime can be enormousely helpful. It's not so much about burning excess calories, rather regular exercise can help improve the function of appetite and satiation signaling (which might be impacted by antidepressant drugs), and it can also help with mood and self-image/self esteem regardless of your weight or body size. I found it impossible to stick to a gym workout regimen, and my depressive episodes were a complicating factor, as I can usually stick with a routine for a while, but I'm eventually derailed by some sort of life disruption (including depressive episodes), and once I stop, I find it much harder to get back in the habit, let it slide, and suddenly I haven't worked out in six months. So my solution was to bicycle everywhere for transportation, integrating exercise into my daily life in an unavoidable way. Not everybody can or has to make that radical a shift (though I highly recommend commuting by bicycle to anyone for whom it is technically possible - since I've habituated, I love it, even avoiding carpooling when that's an option, and do it year-round, in Wisconsin i.e. snowy and cold winters and plenty or rain throughout the year), but an accessible, low-barrier (no workout clothes, memberships, extra showers, machines or routines to learn, etc.) activity like a daily walk can be a way to set a habit that's easy to stick to. Walking short trips instead of driving is another way to get a similar effect without a set schedule if that's difficult to stick to.

If you don't have a history with or current symptoms of an eating disorder (and specifically a nervous-type disorder that may be triggered by detailed food monitoring), a calorie-tracking app could be hugely helpful, especially when paired with an activity tracker that will give a better estimate of your daily metabolism. Because one of the ways antidepressants precipitate weight gain is by screwing with your ability to sense when you've eaten enough, it can help to have an external guideline. That said, it's not a good idea for everyone - if logging EVERYTHING (literally everything one consumes, and it's most accurate when taking the time to weigh ingredients when cooking oneself - which is an added annoyance, though once one has been doing it a while, estimating amounts becomes more accurate - and rarely eating out, as food prepared by other people is an unknown variable) and sticking to the calorie limit is difficult, a logging app may prompt avoidance/shame cycles of avoiding logging food or consciously 'cheating' to make the app numbers look good (which is avoidance, in this case of accurate but upsetting information about one's nutrient consumption), then shame over that, which could trigger underlying disordered eating tendencies or exacerbate issues like depression and anxiety. I found calorie tracking helpful less in the sense of actively and consciously restricting my diet and more in the sense of getting a better idea of what's actually in the food I eat (and beer I drink), regarding calories and other nutrients. I don't consciously restrict my calories, rather I focus on getting recommended amounts of fiber and protien and avoiding excessive amounts of simple sugars, and that plus the better knowledge of the nutrients in various foods I routinely consume floating around my brain in the background made the rest balance out more or less automatically.

I hope that was helpful to anyone reading, and best wishes for setting boundaries and sorting your mental health to whatever degree is possible, DPRESSD!

32

@27: Regarding phones, unwanted messages during certain periods, and necessary messages also during those periods, there are technical solutions to that problem. For at least several versions now, Android has had scheduled Do Not Disturb periods that also allow for exceptions - alarms, reminders, messages or calls from specific contacts, alerts from specific apps, etc. Presumably iOS has some.similsr functionality. I, too, suffer from sleep problems that make being awakened a very serious problem for me, and the ability to set qualified DND periods has been hugely helpful. If you haven't, definitely check out the options your phone offers, and whether any missing functionality can be achieved with third-party apps.

33

BiDsn@22~ “...Being bombarded with texts night and day would be something many would consider a string...”

More like a rope...

@22~ “... His dick is huge. How does she know this?...”

Reference Rolling Stones’ “Sticky Fingers” album cover...

34

@32 JohnH
Thanks for the tip. Should I ever encounter something I wish to receive while I'm asleep I'll avail myself of the proper options to enable that. For now the Off button is sufficient for me.

35

The phrase itself (quoting Dan) "Blowing up someone's phone" seems to me to invite victimhood by the phoneholder.

As Dan said, he could have simply "told this woman to knock it off and, if she didn’t...blocked her number."

If people don't take these steps, they're the one blowing up their own phone. The universe contains infinite reasons to set boundaries. If someone won't obey your boundaries and yet you won't block them, then something is messed up with your choosing that relationship.

36

re: LW1, two things strike me as a bit odd:
1) She says they both agree they'll want to open up their relationship 'eventually', and...
2) She says her partner says he is not sexually attracted to the woman who keeps sexting him, sending him nude selfies, and talking about his huge cock

It seems to me that they're both kidding themselves: her that she's comfortable in an open relationship, him that he's not at all sexually attracted to the co-worker. If he's not interested, how did his cock size come up, and why is she sending him nudes? Unless she's literally completely insane, he's got to have been giving her some form of encouragement

Like BDF/@30, I read the letter that he's moved locations, so at least part of the attraction for both the man and his co-worker is probably the inability to actually act on their urges any time soon. But agree with the prevailing opinion that he should, one way or another, address the 'constant' incoming texts from the co-worker. And that the LW is well within her rights to ask for that

37

Like Trump is doing to a whole country, LW1, about a deadly pandemic, your partner is gaslighting you. He says he’s not attracted to this woman, and that he only wants to be with you, then he lets this woman continue to intrude in your life together, unnerving you, making you doubt yourself and your perceptions. You sure you want to buy a property with a man who treats you this way?
Then we don’t know which of your feelings you’ve shared with him. Does he know that this woman’s intrusions are freaking you out, that you are not ok with him having sexual contact with others at this time. Maybe as RH @36, suggests, being open is not really your thing, yet you say the words that it is.

38

Environment is important, LW, to help keep our moods stable. We are allowed to want our homes a place of refuge and peace, where our weight etc is not always highlighted. And this is what your partner is letting happen, in your home, LW1. He’s not facilitating your comfort, accepting you and your fifty extra pounds because he loves you.
So what gives here, with this man.
In the words of the delicious Ryan Gosling in ‘Crazy, Stupid, Love,’ I’d be asking this man of yours, LW1,
‘you in or you out.’

39

Excellent analysis RationalHuman.
"But right now I’m not confident enough to be okay with him being sexual with another person even if it’s just texts."
It doesn't sound like she likes open relationships, but it might just be this open relationship when she's already stressed out. Going from "we need an open relationship" to "no sexting" is a big leap.

I think Mr D is saying that he's 'not sexually attracted' and 'no desire to spend his life with anyone else' because he thinks that she is just worried about him leaving, while she is actually feeling disrespected and unappreciated and like she doesn't want him to stick around while he's treating her badly or can't meet her needs.. but she needs to be able to articulate those needs and ask him for help, before expecting him to meet her needs.. And she shouldn't stay with him if she's starting to feel like their rules don't fit anymore and he feels just as bad about monogamy.. if he doesn't want to try monogamy, it's definitely her responsibility to say she changed her mind and leave if she decided she needs monogamy now. But there might be some other compromise that could work here, "cheating" exists even in open relationships.. maybe you can have sex with someone in a hotel every couple months or years, but not ever a crazy disrespectful person, not ever in the shared bed etc.. not share details, or share only when asked.. maybe they could find a compromise or rules that work..

It's fine and within our rights to ask for whatever we want, whatever that is, porn or sexting or non monogamy or monogamy or gifts or other services or unusual freedoms! But it's also fine for our partner to say "no", so it's important to figure out what we need, so we know when to leave a bad relationship. She doesn't say what she needs in the letter, except she wants him to stop sexting let alone anything more, right now. Maybe she wanted to be secure enough to handle an open relationship without jealousy, but she isn't, she needs to accept her feelings and level with Mr D without blaming him.

40

It’s a classic example of where a woman’s mind goes, a non model perfect woman I’m talking about.
Straight to it’s on her and her failings instead of telling her guy to shit or get off the pot. Go then, go get his blow job, just keep it out of her face.
This man is being cruel, and stupid. Indulging a friendless, unhappy in marriage person, he’s asking for trouble and potentially bringing it down on the LW’s head. Instead of being justifiable pissed off about this bizarre situation and telling him to deal with his mess or take a hike, the LW goes further down on herself.
LW, as trite as it sounds, we got to love ourselves first, and expect others to treat us with respect and care as we do them. So what, you’ve gained a bit of weight, it’s still you. Love our body always, as is. Doesn’t mean we don’t keep looking to stay healthy.

41

I think LW1's partner is gaslighting her. If he really isn't interested in this woman who doesn't he simply block her number? Boom no more messages.
At the very least he likes getting his ego stroked. I bet he's banging the other woman and is lying about it. He's showing the LW the messages to fuck with her. He knows she depressed so he is purposely exasperating her.

42

L1: I'd want to know how MP1 treats or reacts to women in general, but the first thing that came to mind on the limited information provided is that he knows or thinks OW1 can make trouble for him. LW1 seems basically reasonable.

L2: There's no good answer. Being as passive as possible and giving FP2 all the initiative in the situation is some form of damage control but can't guarantee he'll emerged unscathed. This is a little like the question of whether Anne Elliot should have entered an engagement of indefinite length to Captain Wentworth in Persuasion. Well done to Mr Savage and Ms Phile for being open to the idea that LW2 may not want to go through with it on meeting in person.

L3: LW3 seems heroic rather than kind. Basic agreement with Mr Savage's line, with the added caveat that it's possible for a mono-bi pairing to be not a good match because of that difference without either of the two being phobic.

43

Dashing @41: I had similar thoughts. I find it unlikely that the cow orker is behaving in this way with zero encouragement. Even Alex Forrest was encouraged by Dan Gallagher actually fucking her before she arrived at the bunny boiling phase of the relationship.

But then I thought: LW1 may be reading these comments, and so speculation about what the blighter may or may not already have done may be detrimental to her state of mind. Even so, she probaby ought to realize that he's not "not sexually attracted" to the woman, since the woman apparently celebrates the heftiness of his penis. There has been a chain of events.

LW1 has ample reason to get pissed off at her husband and insist that he knock it off.

44

No Jews, no nazis, not even actual sex in any of the questions.
I’m taking this week off, wishing everyone happiness, good health, and long life.

45

Just a couple of points - @37 LavaGirl and @41 Dashing - you both say DPRESSD's partner is gaslighting her, not simply lying to her about his attraction to Ms Textalot. This worries me because you might be right, and gaslighting is a form of abuse. If DPRESSD has any reason to believe her partner is using this situation to manipulate her, or is actively and deliberately undermining her mental health, then she needs to start planning to leave as quickly and safely as possible. She should not discuss this with her partner, she should instead call a trusted friend, family member or domestic abuse support service and organise to leave this relationship immediately. People with mental health problems are often particularly vulnerable to domestic abusers, and if he is gaslighting her, it is unlikely he will stop there. DPRESSD, if you are reading this, and you have any reason to suspect your partner is actively undermining you, discuss his behaviour with your therapist at your next appointment, and start planning your exit strategy.

On another matter, I am disturbed that the term 'bunny boiler' is being thrown around to describe Ms Textalot. It is an offensive phrase used to stigmatise people with mental health issues, and it is quite possible to condemn Ms Textalot's inappropriate and intrusive behaviour without using it. And that's even without considering how misogynistic it is.

46

@22. Bi. The only real question in this case is why her bf has not shut down the importunate coworker's nudes and texts. (What to do is not a real question--what to do is a slamdunk. DPRESSD should seek to prevail on her partner to shut the coworker's texts down).

My sense is that he is as inexperienced in poly or 'open' as she is, and maybe he's liable to hurt her feelings. He's encouraging, or not putting a halt to the texts, and showing them to her, because they're an ego boost for him. There are slightly darker possibilities, like he's holding them over her as a quasi-threat: look, I can go and get sucked off any time; you had better accept the relationship on my terms ... or see what will happen. Some sort of thought or fear he's doing this on her part will be playing badly into her mental health. I think she should just ask her partner where his head is. If the BJ proposals are just flattering--say she never talks about oral arousingly with him, evinces comparatively little pleasure in them, or does them rarely--well, she can say, sure, yes, that's flattering--she can sympathise--then she can ask him to shut the out-of-control texter down.

@24. Pan. I agree it's possible he's sent the texter dick pics.

47

@30. Bi. I agree it's likeliest he was transferred away from working in proximity to the texter, and she choose that moment to initiate or step up the flirtation.

It's not 100% to me that the texter knows DPRESSD's bf is impressively hung. Her thought-process here could be, 'OK, she sucks him off, but his endowment is that of an Arizona mule--no way she's leaving it at that one time'. Or, despite herself, she's turned on by the thought of another woman sucking on her man's huge cock. The other possibility is that the over-active texter has seen pictures. This could be the explanation of why he hasn't cut her off--he fears an inquest, a tribunal, harassment charges, sacking. But there's no real problem here. Not yet. DPRESSD asks him whether he's sent dick pics; and, if he has, forgives him and tells him to inform the texter that the flirtation's been fun, but that it must end. With her nudes, Texter has skin in the employment lawyers' dossiers, too--and quite possibly she would take 'the flirtation has run its course' as an answer.

If DPRESSD wants to redraw the boundaries of what 'flirtation' means, she can--after shooing Texter from the scene.

48

@31. John Horstman. Yes, that was a very useful post. I've gained weight when depressed, but I knew I was comfort-eating. The point about antidepressants interfering with propioception re how much you've eaten, or have to eat, is the key takeaway.

@42. venn. LOST's fear was that he would be imposing upon, or using, his recently bereaved lockdown friend. The risk is the other way round--that with her 'widow's fire', she uses him. He should ask for clarity in what they're getting into. Let's say that he only has sex with women with whom he's seriously considering a LTR, and that he habitually waits 3-6 months after meeting them. He could /consider/ accelerating the timetable in this case; but there are lots of reasons to try to be on the same page as his friend as to what they'd be getting out of hooking up.

49

Fubar@43~ Cow Orker as in, “Hey, Darius, let’s pick us up some longneck beers and go ork a few cows tonight!”

50

DPRESSD and Mr D don't seem to speak demeaningly to each other, except as RationalHuman noted their actions and words aren't matching well. I don't think he's abusing her by sexting, or by sharing his sexting with her, and I don't think that she's abusing him by promising him an open relationship only to take it back when he gets interested in someone else. I think that DPRESSD can check, by telling him without blame when she feels hurt and seeing if he responds with concern and willingness to compromise, or if he speaks with anger or defends his actions without acknowledging her feelings or by attacking her. And get ready to leave if he doesn't care about her feelings. But he might be concerned that she was only saying that she wanted an open relationship until they bought a house together or had a kid, then change her mind when he was in too deep. He doesn't have to stay with her because she developed depression, and it speaks well of him that he has, it's hard to be a care giver. But if she is getting depressed as a reaction to him because she is staying in a nonmonogamous situation that's bad for her just to try to stay with a guy who cares about nonmonogamy, I'm not sure how he could recognize it, or what he could do besides refrain from buying a house or having kids until they have dealt with nonmonogamy better, or they agree on monogamy. But it sounds like a recent depression, maybe even related to this particular woman that's been taking up so much of their attention? This could be a good opportunity to start talking about nonmonogamy in a good way for them both, as Dan's answer addressed in detail. A+ answer. Hopefully at least one of them can have a hookup without distressing the other, or even in a way they could bond, before house or kids, or come to agree that monogamy is better for them. I'm assuming neither has hooked up yet, that they only flirt with others, haven't encountered much problem with their arrangement before, and they've been together a few years, there's a lot missing from the letter.

51

Just for a bit of context on my previous comment, I was gaslighted by my abusive ex while I was suffering from clinical depression. It was deeply unsettling to be told that I wasn't really upset by his incredibly selfish behaviour, by his neglect, and by his cruelty, but that I was just depressed, and, in fact, I was lucky he was even letting me stay (in the house I was paying the rent on - he had convinced me that I 'owed' him for the minimal amount of care he gave me.) That he was also violent and controlling is not really relevant. Depression has a nasty way of convincing its sufferers that they are unlovable and a waste of space, and I am still very angry that that man saw my illness and used it to use me and hurt me. It doesn't appear to me that Mr D is gaslighting DPRESSD, but it didn't appear to me that I was being gaslighted, either. That I am still worried, nearly a year after I escaped from that bastard, that I missed something obvious in DPRESSD's letter is an indication, I think, of how insidious and destructive gaslighting can be. I also think I may have just understood what 'triggered' means.

52

No, Pan @45, the term "bunny boiler" is not used to stigmatise people with mental health issues. It is used to describe a particular behaviour, one which Ms Textalot is indeed engaging in. The implication is not that the person is mentally ill, it is that they are obsessed and potentially dangerous. Good point that we rarely hear men being called this term. Fear not, though, there are whole generations out there who haven't seen Fatal Attraction so this term should go by the wayside soon. I'm sorry you endured an abusive relationship and glad you are free.

53

Pan @45: Wow, that's a horrible experience and I'm sorry you went through it.

Re. the rabbit term you dislike: our popular culture is replete with terms that originated in movies and TV. As BDF suggested @52, this is one of them. It's associated with specific behaviour that was portrayed by a woman, but I don't think that makes it misogynistic per se any more than "He's baaaack" would be misandristic. It certainly could be applied to men.

54

M?? Harriet - That's the reality; I was considering the spin. If it doesn't go well, LW has picked up that it will be easy to package as His Fault.

I had two Murdochian thoughts. The closest to a parallel to the situation is from Nuns and Soldiers when the recently widowed Gertrude took up with the much younger Tim, breaking up with him twice before finally settling into a new partnership. My first thought as to what LW2 might do was to lament that he couldn't just go volunteer for medical research, the way Jake did in Under the Net, where he befriended Hugo and they ended up staying so long as volunteers for researchers for a cold cure, each having the cold and the cure in turn, that eventually they were kicked out. It's a pity LW2 can't kick the meeting down the road a few months.

55

NBOD - Am I the only one who assumed that LW's long-distance booty call was a lesbian?

56

JibeHo @55. they are both men the LW is talking of. I think. Though it is a confusing letter in ways.

57

Yes JibeHo, maybe you’re right.
“ Neither of them knows about the other, and neither know I’m bisexual.” Makes this letter more difficult to navigate.

58

Pan Sapien @51, true, gaslighting is insidious and most of us have had it done to us in various degrees of severity, since childhood. It can be hard to discern, because some people are practiced and clever at it.
The man here, to me, is not being honest with the LW. He’s using this other woman, the unhinged one, to get his message across, whatever it is, rather than saying straight up what he’s feeling.
If this is his idea of how to conduct an open relationship, he’s clueless. And if they serious, both need to do some reading on ethical behaviour around multiple relationships.

59

"It was deeply unsettling to be told that I wasn't really upset by his incredibly selfish behaviour, by his neglect, and by his cruelty, but that I was just depressed, and, in fact, I was lucky he was even letting me stay"
I got that too, my partner saying I didn't really love him even though I said I did.. that I didn't have much reason to be upset about being called a slut and a cheater a lot because Cicero said it was good to express anger, even though I wasn't sleeping with anyone else. I shouldn't be hurt about being called inhuman or a cunt or bitch or having my stuff threatened because I deserved it, it was my fault for not moving into the place he got us even though he kept changing his mind and demanding the key back, somehow I should have moved in anyway. Y'know a lot of the same stuff you described that makes no sense. I thought it was mental illness, it progressed rapidly in our second year together.. I hoped it was not a brain tumor.. I don't understand what someone could get by acting this way, I don't see how it could be intentional to cry and get angry so much when calm assurance feels so much better.. Maybe you are still upset about your experience because you still don't see your breakup as a gift, that you don't have to deal with his misery and social & emotional difficulties anymore, and feel compassion that he is stuck with himself?

" It doesn't appear to me that Mr D is gaslighting DPRESSD, but it didn't appear to me that I was being gaslighted, either."
It was bad that your ex 1) didn't believe your feelings, told you what you felt instead 2) blamed his bad behavior on your depression 3) said that you had less rights to your residence than he 4) said that no one else would appreciate you and generally 5) spoke demeaningly toward you, didn't notice or care he was attacking you and habitually calm down and apologize 6) acted violently, however that happened. The rest is a little vague, but it's clear there were some warning flags, it's good to memorize and think about responding to them better if you ever see anything like that again.. That helped me feel calmer.

60

Jibe @55, no, but on first read I thought NBOD was a man. Phone sex buddy might be female, but NBOD talks about "the men in my life knowing I eat pussy," which made me read them as both men.

61

Fan. I thought the LW a man also, at first. Then Dan called them a woman and who ever all the players are, NBOD, don’t hide who you are from people. Up to you re these two, already in play. In future yes, straight up and say it with pride, with a capital P.

62

NBOD, I’ll amend my above comment. I think you need to tell the newer relationship man, the truth. It’s only short term, pandemic mode is on, and as Dan has said, if he’s biphobic or not really ok with you wanting to be open, best to find out now and best to find out by technology, not face to face.
The other connection, I’m going with JibeHo here, that this is a woman. This situation could be more complex, being long term. Is she a lesbian? Has she indicated to you she would never go with a bisexual woman?
The answer is simple. Screen people upfront for those who can’t deal with your bisexuality. If you tell your current lovers the truth, close them down pronto if they so much as blink about your truth. Their problem.

63

Donny @49: The term "cow orker" was popular on Usenet. Yes, I really am that old. Before there was SLOG I hung out on alt.folklore.urban while pretending to work.

64

DEPRESSD: "It doesn’t totally bother me."

If that's what you're telling your boyfriend, he's probably making the mistake of believing you.

65

"ups yours odds of attracting a guy who fetishizes your bisexuality"

I'd kill to find a lady who fetishizes whatever the fuck I am.

66

BDF @60 and Lava: Her line "Neither knows about the other and neither one knows I’m bisexual" struck me as odd. Like the letter is about her having two "lovers" that don't know about each other, and then she just throws in the bisexual comment seemingly out of the blue. If the lesbian thinks she's gay and the guy thinks she's straight, then neither know she's bisexual, and that makes the letter make a whole lot more sense.

67

Dadddy @65: Fetlife is full of women who fetishize Daddy Doms. The only problem is that many of them are young and inexperienced.

68

Tick tick...

69

Tick, TOCK!

70

totally underserved. I will my vast fortune to Feed My Starving Wallabies.

71

@68 fubar: I see what you did there. Bless you. :)
@69 WA-HOOOOOOO!!!!! Heartfelt congratulations to DonnyKlicious, on scoring this week's delecious Lucky @69 Award! All the best you and the starving wallabies. :)

Okay--who's ready for the Big Hunsky? Lava--are you seeking a sexy mountain man?
Tick...tick...tick...

72

@71: Ahhhhhhh, shit! There Griz goes again with typos. And I have no alcohol consumption to blame it on, either. Make that: "WA-HOOOOOOO!!!!! Heartfelt congratulations to DonnyKllicious on scoring this week's delicious Lucky @69 Award! All the best to you and the starving wallabies." :)

73

Fubar @63, the comic Dilbert also referred cow-orkers, I believe hyphenated. Perhaps Scott Adams hung out on Usenet too? Wouldn't surprise me.

Dadddy @64, she says "it doesn't totally bother me," not "it totally doesn't bother me," meaning it partially bothers her. But yes, I'm with you, she should be more up front about it partially bothering her. It is bothersome behaviour and she is entitled to speak up -- even if she weren't feeling insecure/jealous, which she is, this is not appropriate and somebody needs to say so. (Unless the Rashomon factor is at play and the texting isn't excessive, but her insecurity would lead her to see ANY communication with "her man" as excessive; and/or he is sharing every text with DPRESSD instead of keeping the details to himself, which is possible because why did he show her the nudes? Boundary challenged or manipulative?; and/or he's fibbing about feeling sorry for her and sending back as many texts as he's getting, which would make the number of texts she's sending the right amount. Face value may not be the real story here, but either way speaking up is her first step.)

Jibe @66, the bisexual comment jarred me as well, but try reading it as two men, neither of whom she has told (a) that the other exists or (b) that she's bisexual and you'll see it still makes sense. (If she were indeed female, the phone buddy would know NBOD eats pussy, would she not?)

Donny @69, congrats on the magic number! I hope you'll share it with Fubar, who set it up for you. Er, so to speak.

74

Yes JibeHo. She also called one a gentleman and the other a booth call. Why not say second gentleman.
This LW wrote this letter quickly, I feel, in a moment of disquiet, at her double life.

75

Right Fan. I’ll have to read it again. How did I miss that? The brain is fading.

76

Booty.. when I wrote biohobic above, my phone didn’t recognise that word. That’s how widespread bi-erasure is.

77

Jesus. When I wrote biphobic above.. / and again now.

78

I know I don't post much here any more, so apologies if I'm repeating other ideas, but my first thought on reading DPRESSD's letter, besides "yeah, I've been there with the weight gain fro SSRI's," was: Is her POSSLQ accepting all this sexting on a work phone? Because if he is, there's a serious HR violation there, and if it's a work phone there's also a chance his employer is monitoring the activity, putting his job at risk and possibly risking a lawsuit. (And the sexter's, but let's stipulate for the moment we don't give a shit about her.) I am guessing DPRESSD doesn't want to be with someone who not only cheats emotionally, which is what he's doing, but also is unemployed. She needs to bring the hammer down on this, By any means necessary short of murder.

79

Lava @74, yes, quickly, without proofreading and possibly after a drink or joint or three.

80

Me drink, Fan? I’ll cop to the rest.
Oh, you talking about the LW.
After reading the letter again, in the morning light, I still think it could be a woman, the booty call.

81

The LW says, ‘neither of them know I am bi sexual..’ if her lovers are both men, then here, she would have said, ‘neither of them know I eat pussy’ ? Then she throws us by saying ‘men in her life.’ Confusing letter.

82

Who NBOD’s lovers are is confusing.. the state this woman is in, is not. She’s feeling cornered by the men at work and by the men in her life.
Fan and other bi women, how does she throw off these fears, and protect herself going forward? Easy for me to talk of solutions, when I don’t know the experience of being a bisexual person. I was married to one, though his bi ness, was to my reckoning, low. Like the LW last week, his preference was for women.
Maybe our savage thread last week has prompted our girl here to write in, suddenly realising how she was living her life as a lie, and not being comfortable with it?
Her job is stressful and full of male smartarse etc comments, perhaps. Intense job with mostly men as her workmates. One gets the picture.
The men in her life, though, she needs to expect that they treat her differently. With respect and acceptance.

83

Lava @80, yes, I wouldn't put money on it. Very disjointed letter from someone who definitely sounds confused about it all. Regardless of whether there's one man or two, she is hiding herself and sounds defensive about it.

As to my advice as a fellow bi gal, I sympathise with her having to live a double life of sorts, and be closeted at work. No doubt she is already getting too much of the wrong kind of attention, being a (presumably) young woman surrounded by men. If they find out she likes girls there will be no end to the harassment. I completely agree that this is carrying over to her personal life, and shouldn't. If she has to separate her work and personal lives, so be it. Have more than one Facebook profile perhaps, and a Tinder profile that reveals her sexuality but not her identity, in case of cow-orkers stumbling across it. She's carrying a very big chip on her shoulder and this will affect her getting close to people. As for the long-distance relationship, is this a Mr Right Now or could she see it going somewhere? Also, presuming both these lovers are male, it is possible she is heteroromantic. Does she experience feelings for women, does she want a relationship with a woman or does she just want a varied sex life that includes pussy on occasion? I think it's important she find a queer-friendly social life outside of work, so she can learn to be more comfortable with who she is, and not be so resistant to people getting to know the real her.

83

Why would he have his work phone in use at home, Robin8, @78. He does sound off with his ego fairies, so anything is possible.
Silly little games, and he’s playing on DPRESSED’s low self esteem. Take yourself off to women’s groups LW, online ones at the moment. Get some feedback in the moment, because this ‘partner’ of yours is indulging himself, putting you both at risk of noboundaries lady going full out in your faces, and not Taking Care of You. Big part of an intimacy is expecting mutual care. You need to insist on it or leave. Don’t buy a place with him, unless he wakes up to himself and his manipulations. God. Never ending messes and dramas.

84

Great advice, Fan. Yes, there is that chip. She needs a cosy scene to feel safe in.

85

I guess I never saw Fatal Attraction.. but a male bunny boiler doesn't sound right. Male stalkers-turned-vengeful will more likely rape or kill you, than boil your bunny. But women can be dangerous too.. bunny boiling seems to make it a little trite, but I haven't seen the movie..

86

I saw bits of that movie, Philo, don’t like either actor in it, and both were toxic parts. She lost it and boiled his family’s bunny. Other shit went down as well. She lost it big time, it wasn’t trite. I’d be moving state, address unknown.

87

@85 Philophile & @86 LavaGirl: From 1987 came Fatal Attraction---brrrrr! Yes, indeed, what a toxic film. Ellen Hamilton Latzen portrayed the little daughter, Ellen Gallagher (opposite Michael Douglas and Anne Archer who played her parents, Dan and Beth Gallagher), caught in the middle of the ugly affair, and whose beloved pet got boiled by a mentally unhinged Alex Forrest (Glenn Close) out of a fit of jealous revenge.
On a brighter cinematic note, two years later young Ellen Hamilton Latzen played Ruby Sue, one of many kids parented by Cousin Eddie and Catherine, in National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation (1989). Yuletide festivities Griswold style.

88

Grizelda. Spooky energy, that movie, bet it woke a few people up to the perils of sneaking off to have affairs. Big Moral Lesson to finish off the eighties.. And poor bunny! You’d be hard pressed to find a bunny easily in my state of Queensland, as they illegal to keep as pets. Boiled guinea pig doesn’t have the same oomf to it.

89

Wtf. I’ve just seen a clip online about untold right wing bikers riding into Seattle, yesterday, to break up the barricades. Geez.

90

Did it happen? Nothing on slog about it. Scary guy telling us thousands of bikers, and we see them in videos, turning up to release the trumpets in the city from the anarchists.

91

@88 LavaGirl: Fatal Attraction really shook up my father when it came out to theaters. He didn't like Thelma & Louise (1991) either. I knew he'd had one affair during the late 70's / early 80's during his one marriage of 55 years to my mother. It wasn't until recently that I learned through my oldest sister that Dad had had at least two other affairs with women in Seattle. Whether or not the affairs were when our family still lived in the city or after we'd moved north, I don't know. This newly found out news saddens me. It makes me wonder if my father's unfaithfulness to my mother was partly why she was so hypercritical of me. My Dad had patience for me that she did not.
Agreed on the poor, ill-fated Gallagher bunny--he didn't deserve such a cruel ending.
@89 LavaGirl: The neofascists are definitely out in force, peddling disinformation (pun intended).

92

My father had affairs too, Grizelda. It was standard for many men back then, you know, little wife goes a tad loony stuck at home with the kids and the house work.
Then, we can’t know their full stories, keeping families together over the years is hard work. And yes, the poor women, financially dependent having stopped their work to rear kids etc.
Now Pence is praying the Virus away, where we heard that before.

93

@92 LavaGirl: I can recall one particular afternoon annoying my mother seemingly without trying. I don't remember what I did, exactly, but back then it didn't take much for me to displease her. (I really did have a "Kevin McAllister / Home Alone" upbringing). She looked at me in exasperation and said, 'I can't wait until YOU have a daughter of your own!'
Then I shocked her with the following calmly voiced retort: 'Fine. Then I won't have any kids at all.'
I couldn't help but imagine my mother years later, gleefully humiliating me in front of any daughter or son I might have had, cheerfully bringing up the stupidest things I had ever said or done as a child at home or at public school. Or worse yet, the very likely possibility of her harshly criticizing my parenting methods or comparing any children of mine to any of her five existing grandchildren, something I had quietly observed as my three older siblings had families of their own, and there were favorites. My remaining childless by choice--especially during my one abusive marriage---is a decision I haven't regretted.

I'm ready for the Great Fall of the Trump / Pence Evil Empire.

94

Yes. My mother interfered with my mothering, Griz, it caused many problems with my first child, when I was a single mother, my son who has died.
I moved away from her, with my family, thirty years ago. Sad, not to have family around when my other children were growing up.
I value my daughter, and our friendship, and seldom say things about her mothering. And if I do, I do it away from the children, and she does respect my opinions. Some of the time. She’s a strong woman, running a family with her partner. I know the work load.

95

Yes, Fatal Attraction was a warning to many: Don't cheat on your wife! I don't think my father cheated; my mother complained he was "married to his job."

Funny. My younger sister used to snoop through my parents' hiding places every year before Christmas to discover what the presents would be. I preferred to let it be a surprise. Recently she complained that her sons had snooped in her closet and seen their presents and all of us were like, "Hah! Serves you right!"

96

@LavaGirl #83 Why wouldn't he bring his work phone home? Lots of people have two mobile phones, one wirk-issued and one personal. I did for many years. The sexter would have the guy's work number (company directory. All I was saying was, that was my first thought.

97

You could be right, Robin8, this guy doesn’t seem in charge of the situation, so he could well be using his work phone and his personal one. Or work emails, for the photos.
It sounds a dysfunctional relationship to me, and him calling it on buying property together seems the only healthy move mentioned in this letter. The LW blames herself for this rude intrusion into her home, and he doesn’t deal with it. A reset on boundaries is needed, couples therapy could be used to do that.
/ I think my dad followed Dan’s advice, do what you need to do to stay sane. My parents were intellectually mismatched, neither really ‘met’ the other deeply. Yet they got their shit together to keep our family going.
My dad died at fifty one, my mother at ninety eight.
You do the math.

98

Hope everyone is staying safe out there.

99

....and the winner of the Big Hunsky IS!!!!!!!!...........