I can hear steam whistling out of Dave Segal's ears from here.


"On the third hard"

That's what I would call a Freudian slip.

Stop thinking about it and act, woman!


Pretty sure Dan meant discreet not discrete, and surprised the copy editor didn’t catch that.


And in case LW is not aware, a legal separation does not require you to move out or even fully divorce.


I'd keep it quiet if only to avoid giving the husband potential ammunition to use if the divorce is ugly and they were to wind up in court.


EMPTY is SSOAA's ghost of Christmas Future.

EMPTY, your relationship has grown toxic, but not so much that you can't imagine staying in this situation through the coming year. Definitely, do not make things worse by creating unnecessary drama, or providing him incentive to make the next year difficult for you. What your soon to be ex-husband doesn't know won't hurt him, and will keep the peace between you. By keeping a low profile to your independent sex life, you will be able to have your dick and fuck it too.


If she left him, but still lives there (and if they can keep it civil), she can still fuck him.
Must she (they?) remain monogamous?
A. Other than stds and pregnancies
what's the diff?


@8 -- " ...and will never have sex with him again."
Well, other than that.


Just be polite, discreet, cordial, and try to make the home a pleasant experience for the both of you while you're still there. He deserves that respect. Avoid pouting.


So.. She refuses to have sex with him because he won't do what she wants, he seems nice enough to let her live with him while she saves money to start on her own, she seems to think he's monogamous.. and she wants to cheat on him so she saves herself "unnecessary drama" of being honest.

She better not get caught. He might not be so keen to wait for divorce.


All of the above considered, this point may be obvious: don't bring anybody home with you.


@11 It's pretty clear from what she's written that it's him that refuses to have sex with her, for example "he hasn’t been interested in my body in ages" not the other way around like you seem to have taken it.


This is what makes me think the LW is an absolute failure at communication just like my mother is/was. (If she is still alive ..)

"Do I need to disclose to my husband that I am no longer participating in sexual monogamy (aka celibacy) with him?"

This tells me point blank she is not telling him what is going on; and just like my mother she plans to move out one day without telling him what's going on. Why do people do this? Fear that he'll kick her out on the street now.

Dan is wrong but that's okay because this kind of behavior shouldn't be the norm.


What is 'D'? Is it dick? By any chance? I think my advice would be to have sex, preferentially, with the guys you go for in their houses. By all means be discreet--it doesn't sound as if you, the lw, are the sort to go out the way to upset your ex, soon-to-be-ex-husband. He has no claim on you--not at all on what you do, but he maybe has a marginal and residual claim on your not rubbing his face in it. Good luck and hope you break your fast!


Yeah she should not have sex or bring her boyfriends over; it's not her house clearly. Which if she was getting a divorce wouldn't you think she would have some ownership of it?

Clearly we don't have all the facts


@14, 16 I think you might be projecting on a situation unlike the one in your family. LW has already informed her husband that their marriage is over, and that she will move out as soon as she financially can. That's not exactly springing it on him. And there are reasons why it might not be her house too - he could've owned it before their marriage, or they rent, or he gets to live in the house but it belongs to a trust. None of which actually matter to the situation at hand.


Move out. You've left the marriage, leave the guy. Even if you have to live with other people. Then you can both move on. Divorce doesn't have to be an ugly drawn out thing but you to to GTFO of your place.


@17 Clearly the LW has not informed her if she is asking if she needs to disclose to her "husband" that she will no longer be monogamous.

If she had done this the first time; he would already know that there is no expectation of monogamy because the relationship would be over. It sounds just like she moved into another room and is preparing to move out and didn't tell him.

I can actually understand why people would pull this dick move; because they are afraid of being homeless. That is life; if he kicks you out he kicks you out. He doesn't have to; but then he would also be in the loop.

I am no child; lived a hard life and have seen women pull lots of dick moves in order to protect themselves. Including forgetting that you broke up with them because they found out no one will take them in.

So What LW needs to do here is.

Inform her Husband properly she is done; she can do this by serving him divorce papers. It's a very clear message that cannot be misunderstood.

Move out

If you can't move out because you can't afford it that is your problem after you you give him the papers that is on you.


Yes LW, you can go and get some D. Treat your soon to be ex husband, now housemate, with respect and sensitivity, as you go about your adventures. Enjoy.


No you don’t have to tell him, LW. Unless he’s a total idiot he might work out for himself that you will be off adventuring, just don’t rub his nose in it. Be civil and as affectionate as you can muster while you save money.


LW, can you go flatting? You don't really need a place to yourself, you can get a room in a flat. It can also be a nice way of making new friends.


LW, you're avoiding the unpleasant parts of divorce, but you gotta just get it over with. Start doing the paperwork. Start looking for a place to stay, even if it's with roommates - promise yourself some good dick as a reward once you've accomplished a few milestones in the divorce process.


Lawyer! Get a lawyer! Ask the lawyer!


"Do I need to disclose to my husband that I am no longer participating in sexual monogamy"

Huh? You said your marriage is over and you are saving up to get your own place. That you are no longer sexually monogamous should be implied, this is a pretty standard feature of a divorce. You have very clearly informed him that you intend to divorce him, right? If you have informed him and somehow he somehow thinks you are still sexually monogamous, then informing him that you're not is very necessary drama. If you haven't, you really should and this way more important than worrying about the logistics about getting some d.

Anyhow, being both discreet and discrete about your relationships would be sound advice.


Absurdist @12: Yes. If she wants to be considerate she can only go to their place. But EMPTY, I would say in answer to your question, "Do I have to tell him I won't be monogamous", that you already have told him. You told him the marriage is over. That means the vows, including forsaking all others, are null and void. You're no longer in a relationship, you can bang whoever you want.

Dum @several, this woman isn't your mother and she didn't do what your mother did. She has been clear with her husband that the marriage is over; that she is now his roommate, until she can afford to realise her intention of moving out. We can further assume that her husband is not your father and is OK with this arrangement, otherwise he'd have asked her to move out. Yes, this is kind of him, which is why she owes him the courtesy of being discreet.

Also, why have so many commenters assumed that, despite her saying she can't afford to move out right now, that she CAN afford to move in with roommates? LW: "I can't afford to move out." Commenters: "Move out." Hello?


As a thought experiment, I'm looking at this letter from Mr. EMPTY's point of view. His marriage has been terrible for a few years. Maybe it was the terrible marriage that led to the lack of sex. Maybe it was the lack of sex that led to the terrible marriage. They've been fighting. Sometimes his wife says things about how unhappy she is. Not much changes. They haven't been having sex. Not much changes. She announces that they've broken up. Not much changes. She starts sleeping in the spare room. Not much changes. She announces that they're not only broken up, but that she's filing for divorce and moving out at some undetermined date in the future. Not much changes. What is he supposed to think when (if) she announces that she's seeing other men? I'd guess that he'll think that it's one more step in the continuing argument where nothing really changes.

That's why commenters are telling her to do something radically different-- like move out. BiDan is absolutely right that EMPTY stated from the start that she can't afford to move out, but commenters are pointing out that "can't afford it" can mean different things. She certainly can't afford to move out and be as comfortable as she is. (A spare bedroom in a place with a bathroom and a kitchen sounds like heaven in one of America's high rent cities.) EMPTY might consider moving to another city and another job, or going home to an even more miserable existence living with parents or taking a place where she shares a room with others and the bathroom is down the hall. Point is that there are people who earn even less than she does who are getting by. What are they doing that she's not?


Fichu @28, my point is that even if the sex dried up, Mr EMPTY might care about his wife as a person to not want to see her crashing on a couch in a student hovel when he has (when they have) a spare room. Amicable breakups are a thing. Sharing space post breakup until -suitable-, not just emergency, accommodation can be found are a thing. This arrangement is working for them. "You've been miserable for three years, now make yourself even more miserable" isn't very empathetic.


Agree @16, dumnogenus. We don’t have all the facts. Disagree she shouldn’t have sex.
Why after a ten year marriage does she have to save up and move out. The house should be half hers.
LW, I read a lot of bitterness in your letter, and that is not a good emotion to sit in. We don’t know why you have to leave your home, etc etc,
Don’t get stuck living there and being resentful. You could have a talk with him, create boundaries re each other’s new lives side by side, and how respecting each other’s privacy will be important so both of you can move on. You don’t have to mention sex or respond if he asks specifically about it. That would be private, remind him.


This is barely a question. Just fuck at other people's places. Its not that hard.


Move the fuck out. Wherever you move to will be better than living there.


@32 p.s.
And by wherever I mean wherever in the world. Deal with whatever moving means. Just do.


I would think about this, as I don't know how petty your husband is. Make sure you have a legal separation going and speak to a lawyer to make sure that if you start seeing someone and your husband catches on that he can't use that in the divorce to make it seemed like you're cheating on him and make out better in the end. Maybe that's not an issue I've never been divorced and I know the rules vary from state to state but You just have to be careful.


dumnogenus @16, LavaGirl @30: Even if LW is entitled to half the house, she cannot force her husband to move out, and disposition of the house would be part of a divorce agreement, which takes time.

LW has let her husband know the marriage is over and that she's moving out. She's entitled to all the D she can get - and should get - because she's no longer in a committed relationship with her ex.

At the same time, LW should be consistently clear about the marriage being over, and this not just being a spat. That means not just sleeping in the spare bedroom, but also not sharing meals, laundry, etc. In other words, end the relationship, and let friends and family know it's over.

As Grafik mentioned @5, legal separation does not require one to move out. Doing things like closing joint bank accounts can help establish legal separation.

There is no mention of children, so even if EMPTY gets caught full of D, it will have no impact on the eventual divorce. Allegations of cheating do not affect property distribution. But as Dan said, LW can be considerate by being discreet.


Curious @32, and you know this how?
Seriously, spoken like someone who has never lived in a place so grotty there were parasites, or noise all night, or intermittent heat and/or water, or a crackhouse next door. You cannot say for certain that living arrangements that don't involve one's ex in the next room are worse than every other possible alternative. She has her own room currently; that's a better situation than she might be facing out in the world. I agree she should make it a priority. A year will drive both of them nuts.

Star @34, good point and a sobering one.


I was in a very similar situation at the end of my marriage, and a couple months before I moved out for good I had a fling with another woman, but to me it just didn’t feel right. In my mind the split wasn’t “official” yet, and I hadn’t really processed the end of the marriage, even though, like LW, the sex had been over for years. Even though I consider myself sexually adventurous and have had my share of NSA hookups while I was single, I have an old-school set of morals that basically said, “You’ve gone years without sex, another four or five months won’t kill you while you’re still living under the same roof. Once I moved out, even though we were still technically married, I felt totally comfortable with finally getting back into the swing of sex with others. You might find yourself feeling the same way. Or not. Give it a discreet shot and see how you feel about it. Just don’t dive headfirst into a “rebound” relationship with the first swinging dick that darkens your doorway.


Move out, into your parents or a family member's home. If you're looking for a new job, get out of NYC/SF or whatever city you are in. Or be homeless and surf your friend's couches. 1 year is waaaay too long. Bringing another dude home is only going to make everyone feel worse in the long run (and won't be a good look if you have to go to divorce court). If you stay there, the two of you will probably definitely fuck a few more times (more than you did during your marraige, natch). Signed, the guy who needed 3 months to move out with his ex.


This is another one of the letters where tone is an issue. She may be a saint, but the lw comes off as insensitive and obnoxious ("I used my words and told him our marriage is over and that I am looking for a job that pays more so I can afford to leave"). Well, yes, using one's words is a good idea, and this sentence may be trying to distill many long conversations, but it doesn't engender much sympathy for her (at least, in me).

So she's sleeping in the guest bedroom, and as far as she is concerned "will never have sex with him again," although it sounded as though the husband is the one who never wants to have sex with her (again).

I would have liked to have had some more financial details. If she's staying in their home for at least another year as she saves up enough to move out, is she still contributing to the mortgage or rent? If she isn't, she is a guest. If she is, they are roommates. Guests are under a greater obligation to abide by house rules, to not upset their hosts, to know that they are staying somewhere due to someone else's hospitality, not because they are owed a place to stay; roommates or housemates are equal partners who need to abide by mutually established rules and norms of behavior.

Either way, it is inconsiderate to make one's fellow housemates uncomfortable by bringing casual sex partners home, especially if the person bringing them home doesn't know them well, and can't vouch for them, or if there are a lot of different people passing through. But not only is it inconsiderate under ordinary conditions; it sounds like this would be salt in her still-current-husband's wounds. After all, she "told him [their] marriage is over," which makes it sound like this was a unilateral decision which he may not be happy about, and I don't know that he's clear on the new definitions of their marriage ("Do I need to disclose to my husband that I am no longer participating in sexual monogamy (aka celibacy) with him? On one hand, it seems like such an announcement would cause unnecessary drama for basically no purpose"). If she has to disclose to her husband that she is no longer considering herself bound to the formerly-agreed-up terms of their relationship, then that means that he thinks those terms are still operative. That suggests that he would find the appearance of all that "dick" she can't do without on the premises disturbing.

She doesn't want to cause "drama" by telling him she's going to fuck other people? What does she think the reaction/mood in the house will be when her husband has to regularly confront the men she's bringing home and flaunting? Or her going out on a date and coming home the next day wearing the same clothes. Or whatever else makes it clear that she's fucking other men?

She says she doesn't want to tell him because that would cause drama "for no purpose;" that's disingenuous: she doesn't want to cause drama because he's likely to not allow her to continue living in the house for a year while she saves enough to move out. There is a definite purpose in her not disclosing, and it's for her husband's benefit, to spare him pain (which could be "no purpose"), but to make her own life easier and more affordable. But does she really think that he won't either notice or care that she's openly having sex with other men, presumably in their home (her other option is "sneaking around and sleeping with other men before I actually divorce or even move out"), so I assume that what she wants to do is to have people over or leave on announced dates or not come home at night. This should be her own business, but if her husband doesn't know she's considering herself available, he should be told.

She's selfish and she's cowardly. Discretion is the order of the day. Kindness is important. Consideration for the feelings of housemates and husbands is a big deal. She's not being honest with him and she's not even being honest with herself.


What @31 said. Basically OP can fuck other people, don't have to tell the STBX, don't bring anyone home, just do it outside the house. That's it.


Thanks fubar @35. Assuming it is both their house, he can’t kick her out either or complain about her single woman lifestyle. If it gets too difficult for him, he could move out.


Here's another question for EMPTY: If your husband brought a woman home that you didn't know and had sex with her in what used to be your shared bed, are you okay with that? Would it cause any drama (unnecessary or otherwise)?


Sounds like a nasty situation and let’s hope they don’t spend the next year being difficult with each other.
I agree nocute, the tone here is negative and sounds revenge like, which after three years of her husband having no interest in having sex with the LW, is understandable. Why spend another minute though trying to lick her wounds by involving him?
A year is a long time LW, so don’t waste it on petty revenge. As many here have said, be respectful of your soon to be ex husband’s feelings, as you live your new life.


@36 BiDanFan
I do deserve that particularly given how frequently I complain about projections people make into letters.

Honestly it was largely just that I think that cohabiting after breaking up is usually doomed to be exponentially worse than moving, so it's a stock soapbox of mine.

And it's actually the opposite of that I've "never lived in a place" that's horrible. I have. Of all kinds. But few I think would cause more pain than it would for one or both of most ex-couples to cohabitate.

I was also influenced by (as our own nocutename says @39) the LW's "[ing] off as insensitive and obnoxious". I suspect she cares more about things like the inconvenience of moving, the potential for her standard of living to be even a bit less comfortable and upscale, etc. than she cares about things like emotional pain for her live-in ex. In short I do not believe her that her options are all that limited, let alone of the sort you accused me of never living with.

But maybe you're right, maybe the person her letter made me think she was isn't who she is, in which case I'm one of those people that drive me crazy by reading things into letters. But I do have a tendency to not buy into the premises of unsympathetic letters.

@39 nocutename


None of us know just how hard it would be for the LW to move out right now. I do think she should try really really really hard to move out, and that she sounds insensitive. And, if she does start having sex with other people I hope she's okay with him doing that as well.


DEPENDS ON YOUR STATE. You may be assuming fault/liability in divorce proceedings if you have sex with other people while you're still married, though alienation of affection is also usually a strike against in states that assign fault for adultery. But, seriously, talk to your divorce attorney before sleeping with anyone else, whether you tell your soon-to-be-ex-husband or not.


@3: Technically either work! (Considerate is seperate i.e. not at home OR considerate is secret.)

That said, it's been corrected.


Nocute @39: The "I used my words" phrasing suggests to me only that she is a regular reader of Dan, anticipated what his advice would be and specified that she had already done this. "I will never have sex with him again" sounded, yes, a bit bitter, but also intended to get across that she would not be exposing her future ex-husband to STIs, the main argument against the "get your needs met discreetly elsewhere" approach Dan often recommends. As for the rest of your post, your ifs are predicated on her bringing men home, which many of us have advised her to just not do -- to have sex elsewhere, "drama" problem solved. However, you may be right that what she is really asking is "if he catches me sneaking around, I mean discreetly having a sex life off premises, will he be within his rights to make me homeless? If he does 'catch' me, can I tell him Dan Savage said this was okay?"

I also agree that a lot of information is missing. If the fourth hand is that she suspects he will kick her out if he catches her banging other men, I revise my impression of this relationship as potentially functional enough for them to share a space while living separate lives.

Curious @44, thanks for that explanation. And now for one of mine: after my last cohabiting breakup, my ex lived with me for six months (and didn't completely remove his stuff for 15!), and we didn't even have a spare room, so I see EMPTY's situation as potentially quite tenable. Potentially. I agree it's far from ideal but I like to take LWs' at their words, and this one's words were "I can't afford to move out." Again, annoyingly, we don't have enough information to make judgments beyond this. What can and can't she actually afford? Do they own or rent? Is she currently working or does step one of this one-year plan involve getting a job? Or paying off debts that are scuppering her credit rating? Do she and hubby fight or have they evolved into platonic friends? Without knowing these answers we can't know what staying for a year would be like, and we can't know what leaving would be like. And we don't know if EMPTY is an asshole or a longtime Savage Love reader who gets annoyed by long rambling letters so decided to keep hers concise.

Personally, with so many missing pieces that prevent speculation about questions she didn't ask, I prefer to stick to the one she did ask. Q: Do I need to tell my future ex husband I'm no longer going to maintain sexual fidelity? A: You already have, so, no.


Property settlements are never affected by infidelity. Parenting plans usually aren’t either, but there can be clauses imposing time limits for introducing new partners to the kids. No fault divorce is standard in every state.

Which isn’t to say that unhappy people won’t try to punish their divorcing spouse and make them look bad in court and some attorneys will go along with their client’s wishes to do so.


She certainly seems to want the answer that she doesn't "have to" disclose. What does she intend to do with the answer? It seems plausible that she anticipates getting caught, being asked, "Why didn't you tell me?" and being able to respond, "Dan Savage said I didn't have to!"

The thing that jumped out most was that "it might feel gross" to sneak around. It doesn't feel gross now, but she'd really rather tell him and risk drama rather than see how it feels and then say something?


Venn @50, yes. Seems odd that the only two options she sees are announcing and "sneaking," instead of just doing her thing discreetly, neither rubbing his face in it nor hiding, and trusting him to not care. It might feel gross? Baby steps perhaps -- go on a Tinder date, no sex, and see how that feels. Or find a sex worker perhaps if she wants a guaranteed drama-free shag.


@48 BiDanFan
"my ex lived with me for six months...potentially quite tenable"

Honestly I think few people are as healthy as you and your most recent live-in ex, so be careful about extrapolating from what you can do, wonder woman(1)! I woulda have a completely different reaction to the LW if, for example, she was poly.

(1) Tone alert: please know I said this not in a sarcastic, but in a reverent, tone of voice.


@52 p.s.
"she was poly"

Er, "there were poly". Since that might imply the emotional skills to deal with such a situation. Also by "they" I would be signaling that the LW's proposal calls for not concern about her so much as concern about her husband.


Curious @52, we were not poly. And no, it wasn't all sunshine and smiles. It was annoying to be under each other's feet. Fortunately he spent a lot of time out of the flat, which made it a lot easier, and the breakup itself was reasonably amicable. I'm not in any way suggesting this would be an easy thing for most former couples. I'm just saying that in the scheme of things, I've lived in FAR worse situations than having an ex in the next room, which may or may not be the case for this woman; we can't draw that conclusion.

Compliment taken as intended! :) Hope you had a happy Thanksgiving, Curious.


How exactly is she going to be discreet? He's gonna know if she didn't sleep at home. She's either sleeping with a guy or sleeping somewhere she should be trying to live.


Is this man capable of violence LW, that’s the first question I’d be asking myself. No point in going out for random D, if you might wind up dead.
To answer your question, Sportlandia, because a third comment and you’re being civilised. She doesn’t have to hide her new life, so discreet is not to lie or hide. The LW has ended the marriage, ol boy hasn’t been available for sex for three years now. If she stays out overnight then that’s what housemates do.. and he will just have to cop it. What’s the bet he’s getting a bit on the side himself.
Whatever you do LW, lose the attitude, the resentment, because it won’t help going forward.


Might have been better if she’d written a longer letter, Fan. Then we would have a clearer story. As is, it’s dicey. Because the LW is steeped in so much emotion about her marriage ending her anger at him.. for what is my question. Why no sex. Why did she wait three years to notice. It feels like a prison of their own making and she wants to/ has to stay in it for another year. More prison time.


Lava @ 57 - Also, some people have sex in the afternoon/early evening and don't need to sleep over.


Oops, I meant @ 56.


A problem here LW, is, are you sure you have emotionally left the marriage because the emotion in your letter indicates you haven’t. So what is your game plan to not wind yourself in knots getting involved with other men while still leaving this one? Go have sex, be careful if it’s nsa, re physical danger and STIs. You can’t be doing this out of revenge because it’ll come back to bite you on the bum. Sounds like you’ve put up with enough, so clear the deck. De attach from this man as you stay living with him and look after you.


Sex in the afternoon, Ricardo! Sounds delightful. Another lifetime perhaps?


Sorry. Yes I know that. Best time for sex too. Still. If she wants to stay out she can stay out unless ol boy has got absolute power and it’s to him she needs to ask about the rules of house living. Why ask Dan, ask us? She’s mad as fuck and if she can’t pummel his head she’ll fuck other men and he’ll smell it.


@56 how magnanimous of you.


I’m here to help.


Sporty @55, I think you are taking the phrase "sleep together" too literally. She goes to dude's house, she bangs dude, she puts her clothes on and comes home. File under world's easiest problem to solve.

Lava @56, yes. Is this guy controlling? Is he capable of violence? Will he keep his nose out of her business or ask where she's been? Again, baby steps are a good starting point. Go on a Tinder date, no sex. If he grills her on her whereabouts, then I will agree with Curious that she might do better taking her chances with the bedbugs.

Lava @60, another good call. She's resentful and it does seem likely part of her motivation is to get revenge on this guy for depriving her of sex. In order for that to work, he WILL need to know what she's up to. Hence her impulse to blab. Another reason sex workers might be a better option -- she can revenge fuck them all she wants with no hurt feelings on their end.


We tend to help the person who wrote. But when they're this unsympathetic I make sure to focus on the way things look to the other party.

I went back and re-read the short letter again. And nocutename@39 again (from which we can hopefully not be concerned she'll bring them to their joint home).

This new re-reading I was re-struct by that EMPTY's damn question is whether to disclose that they are "no longer participating in sexual monogamy" after she already "told him our marriage is over". If the later were actually clear, the former would be implied. I would note the common tendency of people to say words they don't mean in anger; so for all we know it's not yet clear she meant what she said while he thinks this is just part of a pattern from which things will again be as they were before.

I was spurred to do the re-reading seeing LavaGirl and BiDanFan discuss concerns the husband might get violent. Because from my unsympathetic perspective on the letter writer, I think we should be at least as concerned about what would lead to violence in some (and lead to a bitterly toxic atmosphere in most): his emotional pain knowing what was happening and being reminded of it every moment they still cohabited.

It's difficult enough for most people to heal from something even without the pain of such reminders.

In the context of the letter, "due to an affordable housing shortage in my city" didn't feel sympathetic to me either. I imagine she's living in a country somewhat comparable to the US. I live in one of the very tightest housing markets in the US. I think I'm probably biased because odds are I'm a lot smarter than the letter writer (no offense intended to her, I'm a lot smarter most), but in my experience one can find something that fits whatever she's paying now, without health and safety concerns, if one takes time, if one is willing to compromise on things like location and amenities and luxuriousness. I've been poor, but still avoided squalor and "bedbugs" and other "parasites".(1)

More importantly, after a certain baseline, amenities and luxuriousness don't really make people happier as they think they will. But the emotional pain of her husband will really make him very very unhappy, and I think she's somewhere between indifferent to and eager for that.

(1) I never had a "crackhouse next door", but there was a meth house a few houses away; somehow the cops got confused or something and knocked /our/ door down instead, which our landlord didn't love, and we had to go. Thankfully I managed to convince the cops not to shoot my beloved dog while having a room full of shotguns pointed at my head. (Note: this was still better than living with someone who dumped me would be.)


Just want to point out that in many places bedbugs aren't necessarily a sign of poverty or squalor -- especially in the New York area, homes of all socioeconomic levels can increasingly expect issues with bedbugs. This increase has been happening since DDT (which is not only bad for animals like birds of prey, it can also lead to numerous cancers and birth defects in humans) was banned, but has only really been reported on recently. The only bright side is that unlike all the other blood-sucking parasites that target humans, bedbugs don't seem to actually transmit any diseases. They're more of a (serious, blood-sucking) nuisance than a public health crisis. But again -- nowadays, even rich people can get bedbugs. Especially where I live.


In fact, some quite well-off family friends of mine who live in a fancy apartment off Riverside Drive got bedbugs a few years ago. It can really happen to anyone if you live in certain areas.


True; bedbugs are not exclusive to substandard housing. More squirming, embarrassed full disclosure: the first squalorific apartment I lived in bequeathed me with head lice, which were super hard to get rid of. (I also had a crackhouse a few doors down, and lived in a complex with illegal drug dealers and a serial killer. Awkwardness with an ex? Bring it!)

Curious @66, to clarify, nothing in the letter suggests the husband would get violent; nothing in the letter suggests much of anything, so it was worth noting because it would affect the advice. The general advice is, live your life but be discreet; if she feared reprisals, either physical or verbal, that advice would not hold.
Good point that with so much information omitted, the obvious "you told him the marriage is over, that implies the fidelity is over too" may not be so obvious. Does she have a history of telling him the marriage is over and storming off to sleep in the spare room, only to make up the next day? I'm coming round to your way of thinking that -she- isn't someone I'd want to be sharing space with. Perhaps he should move out!


Really curious, you’re smarter than most.. how do you arrive at that conclusion?
The man hasn’t been interested in the LW sexually for three years, why are his feelings important to consider past common decency to not bring men home. The man has neglected her feelings, she is stopping pretending they had a marriage at all for the last few yrs.
Not sure why so many think she should cop it sweet for another year. If you’re looking at it from his side, then why has he not found her sexually attractive, is there someone else. And, wouldn’t it be resonable, given he stopped the sex, to wish soon to be ex wife well, and hope she finds a man who does desire her? Why should this guy be treated with such concern, he doesn’t want her.


Not only is she looking for a new place to live, she wants a better job.
LW, your husband has treated you badly, you have every right to go forth and fuck.. however, we don’t know enough about your story. What country you are in, how unhinged this man might get, what is the status of home ownership/ renting.
Someone above suggested it, go see a lawyer/ check laws re divorce and property settlement in your state/ country. No point in losing any material share which is yours.
Personally, I’d be out the door. Away from this man and clear, so I could start the emotional repair on myself. Sharing a house with others would be preferable to me, than continuing sharing with him. Because it would be a toxic environment, and I’d have spent enough time there.
I’m not you. Don’t waste any more life on this dysfunctional relationship. You deserve better.


@69 BiDanFan
Congratulations, and I'm asking the Universe to please number this comment 69 again like it did for us a week or two ago. I was sad Griz was sick also because I wanted to see what she'd make of two #69 comments in one thread. Or Dan himself snatching one!

"Perhaps he should move out"

For all we know neither one can afford to love there alone or would want to live there with a roommate, so maybe if either move out they both move out. But I'd still very much want move out unless there was a serial killer next door (though honestly, by the time one knows that they don't anymore hopefully).


@72 p.s. oh damn, thought I had a shot at following that 69

@70 LavaGirl
"Really curious, you’re smarter than most.. how do you arrive at that conclusion?"

First, my point @66 was that I shouldn't extrapolate from what I could do to what she could do, my intent wasn't to brag. But I see that regardless of my intent it /was/ bragging, and I do apologize for the rudeness of doing so.

Second, I'm surprised you asked; I'm used to being told by even people who only read me that they know I am.

But since you ask, and since I'm busy, the quickest answer is that I've seen my scores on a great number of tests. Including an IQ test (I know most people don't see theirs, but in school I was working on something quite a bit after hours and no one else was there and a door to a room with a file cabinet was open and I couldn't resist). (You may recall a month ago I criticized IQ test validity for adults, so let's not waste time criticizing tests, I've got rheems of criticisms of tests but not rheems of spare time; this was only my quick answer. I'm just smart. Feel free to think otherwise, please, LavaGirl.)

And it's not that great anyway. Being smart isn't what the saying says is bliss. What's in the heart is what's most important, not what's in the head.


One thing I've noticed, is that's when interacting with someone IN PERSON, I think it's pretty easy to tell exactly how smart someone is...if they're less smart than I am. OTOH, when someone is smarter than me, I just have a sense that they are, but it's exponentially more difficult to quantify how much more.

This only applies to in-person. I think in writing one has far far less to go on, so I totally see where LG would be coming from. And if I felt something like indignance in her tone, I also own that I deserved it for having bragged. Again, I'm sorry, I was a jerk!


Lava @70, who do you see recommending that she stay celibate for another year? The debate I see is between take Dan's advice of have a sex life discreetly and considerately versus move out now regardless of her finances. I don't see anyone saying stay in the spare room for another year but don't have sex with anyone.

Curious @72, yes, we found out about the serial killer when he was caught. Not only did he live in our complex, he worked with my roommate. Scary stuff and we were robbed as well, which led to finally vacating the premises.

And I was amused to see a variant of Muphry's Law in action when you wrote "I'm a lot smarter most." The universe has its way of taking people down a peg or two when appropriate! :) EMPTY's IQ is yet another bit of information we have no way of knowing from her brief letter. I agree with you: how smart someone is is far less important than how empathetic they are. We have a number of highly "intelligent" people in key positions in our government who are terrible human beings.


Oh and amending @69, I mistyped "illegal drugs" for "illegal guns" which IMO are far worse.


@69 BiDanFan
"I also had a crackhouse a few doors down"

That does sound dreadful, but I still think my having a meth house nearby was even worse. Meth culture is the lowest, "Breaking Bad"-ist.

@76 BiDanFan
Agreed, I have little problem with most illegals drugs, and big problems with someone who needs their guns to be illegal ones.

@75 BiDanFan
"he worked with my roommate. Scary stuff"

That sounds terrifying.

"The universe has its way of taking people down a peg or two when appropriate!"

Yes I deserved it. In defense of my jerk-ness, I've had an absurdly shitty week, and I think Seasonal Affective Disorder has piled on. I think I subconsciously tried to make myself feel a little less abjectly down.

I know that this isn't a place where the subject is talking about ourselves. But I do have an odd view of doing so. I notice most people aren't comfortable talking about their weaknesses. Whereas I am, and my principle is that if someone is comfortable talking about their weaknesses they get the right to talk about their strengths. (But again, not here, I know, sorry.)

There are I think perhaps hundreds of kinds of intelligence. I just happen to excel in some kinds that intelligence tests reflect. Oh, I'm good at other things too, but I'll shut up about that and fulfill my principle:

I sucked at most sports. I put in a great deal of time and effort, and there were a few sports I excelled at, but generally I demonstrated little natural aptitude.

I thought I would write fiction but when I tried I found I couldn't.

More generally making art isn't something I'm good at. (I don't imagine this is helped by that I have Aphantasia, which means I do "not possess a functioning mind's eye and cannot voluntarily visualize imagery"(1).

I think this is enough penance. There's lots of other things I'm great at and lots of other things I suck at. Like everyone I guess? Anyway, I cherish not being average at everything, I think that would be very dull. I'd love to be great at some of the things I suck at, but I wouldn't want to trade any of the things I'm great at to do so.

And I said "most people", not "most people here". I think this commentariate is quite a bit smarter than average (with a few exceptions). I think y'all are also vastly better writers than average (though not everyone). Just about everyone here shines in some or many ways.



curious2@77 I'm sorry to hear about your S.A.D. I hope you feel better soon. Do you have a sun lamp?


@78 CalliopeMuse
Thanks Calli, I do have a really good sun lamp, and in prior years it always totally did the trick! (But this year I can't use it because I've got serious eye issues and avoiding blindness has to be my priority, I just learned a couple weeks ago. Life can be /so/ complicated!)


Curious @77, I will join you in opining that the regular SL commenters, with very few exceptions, strike me as more intelligent than average, which isn't surprising because we are people who like to write about stuff and analyse the human condition. So yes, while your comment did come across as pompous I can't disagree with the substance of it! Hope you find a solution for your SAD.


Mr Curious @74 - That seems somewhat Ramsayan. You'll remember To the Lighthouse and Mr Ramsay, who in the Alphabet of Thought had arrived firmly at Q and still made occasional forays in quest of R. On such a model, one having reached Q would seem much more easily able to distinguish whether a new acquaintance were at K or L than whether it were V or W.

I recall getting bogged down remarkably quickly in a conversation about our relative intelligence with my most successful bridge protégé. From here, I'm not sure whether to go into different varieties of intelligence or to work on hammering out the differences and the relationship between instinct and insight.


@81 vennominon
"You'll remember To the Lighthouse and Mr Ramsay..."

Funniest line ever.


@51 Calli
"I don't think actual porn addiction is as uncommon as you think it is"

Ok, maybe you are right. But in your example:

"I knew several young people...residential treatment who were effectively addicted to many internet-related things."

I don't know if "porn addicted" is the absolute best way to describe them. Not just because it's only one of a number of "internet-related things"; maybe they're just generally obsessive-compulsive and masturbation was just a normal human need sitting there innocently waiting to join the party and bring a little joy to it.

But yes, "porn addicted" is /a/ way to describe this, even if not the best.

Now on a tangent, more generally, when discussing "porn addiction" I think we need to bear in mind that this concept not infrequently is wielded as male-bashing. (Not that some women don't enjoy porn too.) There's precious little male-bashing that doesn't just reside in the minds of the MRA, but I think this is a case where it's valid to remind those that love men that this is part of who men are. And to respect that as fully as I scold men who don't respect women to respect women.

Now changing the topic back to the letter; I don't recall seeing any info that made me think that the husband is actually a porn addict; while THE WIFE SAYS that's what he was seeing a therapist for who knows if he was, and who knows if the therapist was treating him for the real kind or the (as you say yourself) more common trumped up kind.


@83 oops posted to wrong thread sorry!

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