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Welcome back! No witty pre-question banter today, there’s questions to answer and lives to change! Let’s get to it.
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How do you tell your friend their kid is an asshole and you want to smack both of them? –Kendra, Colorado Springs
Kendra, sweetie, honey, baby, darling. Let me ask you something. How do you imagine this scenario playing out for you? Do you think you’re going to clue your friend in to this fact and the heavens are going to part, a choir of angels will start singing and their face will light up? Do you think they’ll look at you with tears in their eyes and say “You’re right. I- I never could admit it before now, but. My kid. My kid is a fucking asshole!”?
Kendra, I’m going to assume you don’t have kids, because if you did, you would already be well aware of this fact, but ALL KIDS ARE ASSHOLES! All of them. Every. Last. One. No exceptions. Your friend’s kids are assholes. My friend’s kids are assholes. I have two kids of my own and they are the biggest assholes I know! But guess what, they’re mine. And the deal you sign when those little jerk wads come burrowing out of your body is that you will love them like no other, no matter what. Now, some people have mastered this to the point where they actually have convinced themselves that their kids can do no wrong, but don’t fall for it. Even those parents know their kids are assholes. ESPECIALLY those parents know their kids are assholes. That’s why they have to defend them so viciously. But let’s get real here for a second. Why are we confining this to kids? Adults are assholes too! The only difference is adults have learned how to hide it or use it to their advantage by now, while kids still haven’t been taught these skills. Asshole training doesn’t happen until around puberty.
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So here’s the deal. Approaching the parents will do nothing but get you some brand new press-ons lodged in your cheek bone, so let’s avoid that scenario. You have a few options here. How good of a friend are they, really? If it’s true that you don’t have kids and they do, this is the perfect time to cut ties. It happens all the time! No one wants to hang out with the couple that brings their kids everywhere. Ghost on them, believe me, it will not be the worst thing to happen to them in their child-rearing lives. In fact, cutting down on their friend list might be exactly what they have in mind. “Okay Timmy, get in there and make sure we’re never invited to another one of these stupid potlucks again! Mom’s cooking’s better on 3, ready? Break!” But let’s say you can’t just drop out of their lives. Maybe they’re also your cousin, maybe they gave you a kidney, maybe they know where you buried the body. Whatever the case may be, if you’re stuck with them in your life, try to remember that you were just like this at one point in time. Take joy in the certain beauty that only a kid screaming into the abyss of all that is unfair and unjust with this world can bring and remember, one day, the woman standing behind the little brat with the dead look in her eyes could very well be you.
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How do you deal with a double life? I have a secret Instagram account filled with sexy selfies that my husband doesn’t know about. I really enjoy having this dirty little secret that makes me feel sexier and it’s all in innocent fun. I want him to be involved with this part of my life somehow but if I told him and he didn’t approve, I would be very upset and probably end up creating another secret account that I would end up hiding from him. – Tiffy, San Francisco.
Hi Tif, can I call you Tif? Tif, this is a complex question. If you had just asked me how to bring your husband into this world with you, I would have had a completely different answer, but since you mentioned that if he disapproved you would likely continue it without his knowledge, it changes the game somewhat. Allow me to weigh in here and say that, I have nothing wrong with the idea of a secret online identity. You think Staci is my real name? Come on people, who spells it with an “I”??? I see no problem with creating a persona that allows you a safe way to explore a side of you that you may not otherwise get to. The real question here is your husband and his knowledge or involvement.
Look, we’re not living in an age of demure females acquiescing to their husbands, are we? Yet at the same time, communication is key to a successful marriage. I can’t get into all the possible forms marriages take, for instance, some couples choose to remain in the dark about their spouse’s extra-curricular activities, but let’s say, for the sake of argument, your husband would prefer to know what was going on in your life. If this person is a partner to you in every sense of the word, someone who you trust, love and presumably raise a family with, you should tell him. Now, I am not saying you give him the right to tell you to stop. Spouses don’t have to agree on everything, and this may be a knock-down, drag out fight. But, if you explain to him why you started doing it in the first place and what it means to you and then, honestly, with all the love in your heart, explain that this is not something you are willing to stop, then you’ve said it. It’s out there, the decision on how to respond is his. The thing is, a lot of times we feel like we need to protect a loved one from something that could potentially hurt them. We neglect to remember that they are adults who have dealt with difficult situations before. We are strong, resilient people. Much stronger than we get credit for sometimes, and these loved ones deserve the right to make their life choices based on all the information available to them, not laboring under some cloud of “protection” that conveniently doubles as a way to allow you to keep doing whatever it is you want to do.
Now, on the flip side, if you feel that you can’t tell him, I think you need to analyze what that means about your marriage. Think about why it is you started doing it in the first place. Were you looking for some fairly innocent flirtatious fun? Or did you need validation that you feel you weren’t getting at home? If you feel that explaining to him how much this means to you still won’t influence him into “allowing” you to keep doing it, then perhaps you shouldn’t tell him, but then, why continue to be with someone that won’t embrace all aspects of your life? Don’t you deserve someone who would be willing to deal with a little uncomfortableness in order to be with you?
I am not saying this is going to be easy. This may be the hardest conversation you have with your husband. With marriage, raising kids and running a household, couples may fight over the ways to get there, but usually everyone is gunning for the same results. This however, this is different. This is saying to someone you love. “I need this for me, and it may not make sense to you, you may not like it, in fact, you may even hate it. It serves no direct purpose towards our family life together but yet, it makes me feel good.” It takes a lot to hear that and truly understand it. You may need to compromise a little, you may need to lay down some ground rules. You may, in fact, wish you had never told him. But, if you can say it to him, and he can truly hear it, the only thing left to do is to figure out the next step together.