Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

“My Boyfriend Just Told Me He’s Married”

It’s time again for Shortcuts. For every question, I’ll give my advice in three sentences or less, because sometimes the answer to a person’s question is so obvious and the need to hear it so great, being as clear and frank as possible is simply the best way to go. Today we discuss discovering a secret wife, terrible table manners, and making it official.

I could give all the details but I’m at work and am hurt, pissed, and angry, so I’ll make a long story short. I have been dating this guy for eight months. We only go out in the day. I live in Brooklyn but he took me all the way out to Jersey. I have never been to his house, never met his mom or any other family expect for his cousin whose house he always invites me to. He told me he still lives with his mom. He never gave me anything for any of the holidays. When I asked why, he said it was because he doesn’t celebrate them. He said he wanted to spend Valentine’s Day with his mom. He said he doesn’t want someone who is always depending on him to say, “Let’s go out,” and that I should make suggestions, too, but every time I do he says he is busy. He said it’s not intentional. Then, the funny thing is that, after seven months, he told me he was married but it wasn’t for love, it was just to help her with paperwork. — Furious

 
Um, that isn’t a question but here’s my advice to you: this guy is married — and for more than just “paperwork” or else he wouldn’t be shy about showing you his place, introducing you to his family, and making himself available on holidays and when you invite him out — so you need to MOA and be a little smarter about whom you date in the future. If a guy’s behavior seems suspicious, there’s probably a good reason, and if he says he wants to spend Valentine’s Day with his mom, don’t spend another four months wondering why you’ve never seen where he lives.

I try to be tolerant of people’s quirks because none of us is perfect. However, I have a cousin whose table manners include licking his plate, sticking his finger in his nose, talking with food in his mouth and eating salad and olives with his fingers. My cousin does not have any medical condition that can explain this behavior. He has a Ph.D. and he is in his 60s.Am I required to accept invitations to dine at his house because I am his cousin? If I am allowed to repeatedly decline such invitations, what would be a polite and kind thing to say when he asks for a reason? Is there a better way to deal with this situation than just avoiding him?

Thank you for the work you do and any advice you can give me. — Perplexed

 
There is no law that requires cousins to accept all dinner invitations to each other’s homes. Politely decline any invitations that would put you directly next to or near him at a dinner table, and instead suggest get-togethers than don’t involve food (like miniature golf or karaoke), that involve food that’s eaten in the dark (like at a movie theater), or that involve food like a corn dog where it’s virtually impossible to eat it any more crudely than anyone else eating food-on-a-stick. If he asks for a reason for your sudden avoidance of intimate, sit-down meals with him, just tell him you’ve developed IBS and feel anxious eating away from home or around other people.

I’m 27 and my boyfriend is turning 29 this year. He and I have been friends since I was 18, started dating when I was 20, moved in together when I was 22, and had a child together when I was 23. I’ve been waiting nearly a decade for him to propose; this is insane. Everyone around me is getting hitched. I’m feeling the pressure. I’ve asked him once, “Don’t you think its time for us to make it official?” He still ignores my question. I felt very humiliated to have to ask. But I think it’s my right to know where this relationship is going. We’ve been through a lot, and I’m just tired of giving him hints and nothing happening. Please help! — Tired of Waiting

 
Yeah, he’s not going to propose. I suggest you ask him yourself to marry you and if he says no, MOA. After a decade and one child together, if the guy isn’t ready to marry you now, he likely never will be.

*If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, send me your letters at wendy@dearwendy.com and be sure to follow me on Twitter and ‘like’ me on Facebook.

297 comments… add one
  • katie

    katie June 15, 2012, 9:17 am

    YES SHORTCUTS ARE BACK THEY ARE MY FAVORITE!!!!

    ok, now to actually read them.

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    • katie

      katie June 15, 2012, 9:26 am

      ok,

      LW1- he got you. just get over it, and try to be a lot smarter next time.

      LW2- its funny that this is such a huge issue. i mean i get that its icky, but its such an issue that you dont want to eat with this person ever again? i think thats kind of funny. anyway, WWS

      LW3- i second that you propose to him!

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      • CatsMeow

        CatsMeow June 15, 2012, 10:48 am

        Ha! WWS. It took me a minute to remember what that one meant.

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      • JK

        JK June 15, 2012, 10:51 am

        Glad to see it´s catching on… I may just have to copyright it. 🙂

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      • katie

        katie June 15, 2012, 11:00 am

        im making sure it catches on. lol. i used it yesterday too!

        your welcome.

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      • JK

        JK June 15, 2012, 4:47 pm

        Thanks katie!!!

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    • dandywarhol

      dandywarhol June 15, 2012, 11:22 am

      I know, I missed these!

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      • katie

        katie June 15, 2012, 11:27 am

        i actually love that they arent every friday. its like an awesome surprise when they are here. haha.

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    • Moneypenny

      Moneypenny June 15, 2012, 12:47 pm

      Yay, I love shortcuts too!

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  • avatar

    lets_be_honest June 15, 2012, 9:27 am

    Oh man. Some goodies today. #2 was pretty dumb. #1, I actually know someone who married to give the guy a green card. They were really good family friends I guess. Anyway, she had a boyfriend the whole time. They would even hang out together. So no, this guy isn’t married just for paperwork if you ask me. #3, yea, you feel like you look dumb for good reason. I commend you for trying this long, but time’s up. Follow Wendy’s advice.

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    • Moneypenny

      Moneypenny June 15, 2012, 12:52 pm

      Yeah, I have a friend who married someone to help her with her greencard. They live together, and are good friends (who also hook up as far as I know), but he dates other women too. I guess he keeps his relationships open… I don’t know all the details, but that’s just what I’ve observed. I agree, It sounds to me like this guy married for more than just paperwork.

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  • avatar

    kerrycontrary June 15, 2012, 9:35 am

    LW3-Wendy’s right that he’s not going to propose, but I feel that this is a little more complicated than MOA. I mean if anyone childless woman had said she had been with the same guy for 10 years of course we would all say MOA, but you two have a child together and you’ve been living together. So you have this family situation set up pretty nicely. If you two were to split right now it would be the equivalent of getting a divorce. So why do you want to get married? Because all of your friends do? Because you feel like your man isn’t truely committed to you until you are officially husband and wife? Don’t get me wrong I believe in marriage, but are you willing to break up your family and uproot your child’s life just so you don’t “look stupid”?

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    • avatar

      lets_be_honest June 15, 2012, 9:38 am

      I don’t think that’s fair. Why should she be forced to stay in a relationship that isn’t satisying her? She wants to be married, he doesn’t even respond when she mentions it? That’s a jerk move. How many times have we said on here that you don’t stay in a marriage just for the kids. Why should it be any different here?

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      • katie

        katie June 15, 2012, 9:47 am

        i think its because she specifically said how all her friends are getting married, and she feels some kind of “pressure” to do as well.

        also, it is a little odd that they have been together so long but marriage just now as come up as an issue- assuming thats the case, i guess. she says that she has been waiting for nearly a decade, but has he known about this? if this girl has just gone her whole relationship with him happily, had a kid, everything is great and now all of a sudden because her friends are getting married she wants to as well, that is messed up.

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      • avatar

        kerrycontrary June 15, 2012, 9:50 am

        Thank you! You said it better. I understand not wanting to get married at 23 when you just had a baby with someone, because you’re 23. I mean we could’ve gotten into “well maybe you should’ve discussed marriage before moving in together, or before you had a BABY” but there’s no handbook for life so everyone makes mistakes.

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      • katie

        katie June 15, 2012, 9:56 am

        yep.

        its fine to be with someone long term without getting married. its fine to get married. its fine to leave someone if you really want to get married and they do not.

        its not fine to completely rock the boat of your, your partner, and your childs life because you feel left out.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest June 15, 2012, 10:06 am

        Ok, fair enough. I find it hard to believe she has never expressed a desire to marry in 10 years when she says she’s been waiting a decade though. But yea, if she wants it only because everyone else is, that’s silly. I just don’t think that’s the way it is.

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      • JK

        JK June 15, 2012, 10:12 am

        How long have you been reading DW? 😀
        It never ceases to amaze me the amount of women that expect their guy to read their mind, guess what they want out of the r/ship etc.
        Of course there´s no way of knowing exactly what happened in this case.

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      • JK

        JK June 15, 2012, 10:40 am

        Rereading the letter: “I´ve been waiting nearly a decade for him to propose…” “I´ve asked him once “Don’t you think its time for us to make it official?”” It really doesn´t sound like they´ve had any serious conversation about their plans.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest June 15, 2012, 11:01 am

        True. But (why am I so defensive of this lw??) a lot of women don’t want to “pressure” their SO to marry. They want it to be his idea. I had a gf who never brought it up, they’d talk about the future, but she never brought up marriage. She wanted to know that when he proposed, it was entirely his idea with no pressure from her. Side note, they are so cute. Married for a few years with a kid now, so I don’t think she was an idiot. however, she didn’t wait 10 years either.

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      • katie

        katie June 15, 2012, 11:06 am

        … i think, because you have just recently decided you are OK with getting married, you feel that you have to justify this other girl getting married too.

        its not a bad thing. just remember that your deciding to get married for the right reasons, you have (presumably) had serious conversations with your SO about it, and have agreed together.

        this girl could be just another crazy who wants a white dress, which is a really sad theme among a lot of women… wasn’t it your friend who literally planned her whole wedding without the guy even proposing or something? for every woman who gets married for the right reasons, atleast one (probably like 3) get married for terrible, terrible reasons.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest June 15, 2012, 11:15 am

        Fine, but there’s no proof she isn’t the one who wants it for the right reasons either.

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      • katie

        katie June 15, 2012, 11:20 am

        i totally agree- like i said below, i just dont like how its external things that are making her want to get married, rather then an internal thing…

        go us for having two conversations going at once.. lol

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      • katie

        katie June 15, 2012, 10:20 am

        i agree. i atleast hope that in 10 years of being together they would have talked about where they see their respective lives and their future together… i hope.

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      • TaraMonster

        TaraMonster June 15, 2012, 11:31 am

        I’ve been with my boyfriend for 7+ years. I was 19 when we met. The idea of marriage came up when we were first dating, but it was never serious because we were babies. It was more like “One day we’re going to buy a brownstone and have a huge library and fill it with all the books we’re reading as English majors because we think we’re big fancy intellectuals! Then we’ll talk all day about Ginsberg and will pay the bills with the money we make off selling our fabulous novels, which will become movies… yay! *bubbles kittens hearts*”

        Only in the past 2 years have we been having serious talks about marriage. Obviously this is different from the LW because they’ve only talked about it once and they have a kid, but I don’t think this is a clear cut MOA situation. All my friends are getting married too. We’re going to a wedding tomorrow. The pressure is ON and it’s real and it’s annoying. So I get that, but what LW needs to do is think about WHY it’s bugging her, and most importantly TALK TO HER BOYFRIEND ABOUT IT.

        Seriously, LW, stop being such a chicken. I actually don’t think YOU should flat out ask him to marry you, but I do think you should sit him down and flat out say “I want to have a serious talk about marriage.” Then tell him what you’re thinking and feeling -including the pressure because all your friends are getting hitched- and see what he says. You will have your answer in his response.

        And full disclosure- I love my guy. I want to be with him until I have saggy boobs and he has saggy balls. We talk about getting married in the near future. But we have several things that need to be handled first because he and I have been saddled with certain responsibilities from a young age that are complicated and not good to bring into a marriage. To be very brief: both of our mothers are mentally ill and cannot support themselves financially. Add that to the emotional issues we each have because of growing up in such tumultuous environments and we have some unique emotional obstacles to tackle.

        I say all this because I understand extenuating circumstances, but it is ESSENTIAL, and I cannot emphasize this enough, that you are open, honest, and communicate with him. If you have difficulty in that area I suggest couples therapy and/or the following books. Hold Me Tight by Sue Johnson, and DW house favorite: The Five Love Languages.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest June 15, 2012, 11:37 am

        Great! Perfect way of describing how your friends are doing it now, coupled with getting old enough to actually do it, without making it sound juvenile.

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      • bittergaymark

        bittergaymark June 15, 2012, 12:53 pm

        LBH, She should have thought of all that BEFORE having the fucking baby. No, seriously. She MADE this bed. She should lie in it.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest June 15, 2012, 12:58 pm

        When you accidentally get pregnant at only 23, I assume marriage is the last thing on your mind, and not a wise move. Listen, if this LW was 40 saying this, I’d agree with you. They had a baby, presumably long before they would have planned to, and made the best of it, saw how their relationship progressed, and now she’s ready for marriage. Admit it, you’d be tearing her a new one if she said she made a huge mistake and got married as soon as she got pregnant because she thought she had to.

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      • avatar

        ele4phant June 15, 2012, 1:03 pm

        So, she made the bed because she had the baby? How amazing that she is able to sexually reproduce, and at will!

        Look, it appears the baby was a surprise, and that they were fairly young and somewhat unprepared. But the guy was just as complicit in creating this life, and then sticking around for a decade of being her partner and a father, I don’t think she’s out of bounds for wanting marriage. If he’s doesn’t, well obviously discussions need to be had.

        But he “made this bed” just as much as she did.

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      • avatar

        ele4phant June 15, 2012, 1:04 pm

        *reproduce asexually.

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      • bittergaymark

        bittergaymark June 15, 2012, 1:12 pm

        Um, I simply didn’t sound to me like it was an accidental pregnancy to me. It really didn’t. They’d been together for three years at that point. And living together for one… Add in the fact that she didn’t say “we weathered the storm” of an unexpectedly pregnancy — and it all made me think they just simply decided to have a child together. And hey, that’s fine. But then don’t start whining about how your aren’t married YEARS later.

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      • avatar

        ele4phant June 15, 2012, 3:57 pm

        You are right to point out that we are making discussions about whether or not this child was planned, so my bad.

        However, I don’t see how that drastically changes things. Why is it all on her to accept the situation? If this child was planned, wasn’t HE part of making the situation? If he wasn’t interested in marriage, why didn’t he bring that up before going along with things? I don’t think its crazy to assume that the GF you create a family with may one day want to put it in writing. If he wasn’t interested in that, it should have been up to him to bring it up before “this bed was made.”

        I’m not excusing her from her part in this mess, but he doesn’t get a pass either.

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      • bittergaymark

        bittergaymark June 15, 2012, 5:11 pm

        Eh, they probably both fucking suck. But SHE is the one complaining about NOT being married. He apparently doesn’t have a problem with things just staying as they are. Frankly, he’s been abundantly clear that he is NOT into marriage if they’ve been together this long and he’s NEVER been brought up. If marriage has always been so important to her, then she shouldn’t have acted like it meant nothing to her for all these years…

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      • avatar

        ele4phant June 15, 2012, 5:20 pm

        I guess we will have to agree to disagree. If marriage was so unimportant to him, I think the onus should at least be partly on him to say “I love you, I want to make a life with you, have a family, all that jazz. But I’m not interested in marriage. Ever. That cool with you?”

        We can hem and haw about the declining rates in marriage and the increases in divorce, but at this point and time, I’d say marriage is still the default expectation. In thirty years – maybe not. But right now its not unreasonable to assume a decade long relationship, with a child, is headed towards the altar at some point.

        So if someone doesn’t want that, never intends to go there, it should be on them to say something, as they are the one with the less common mindset. Certainly before you agree to father a child.

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      • bittergaymark

        bittergaymark June 15, 2012, 5:30 pm

        But you have no basis whatsoever that he DIDN’T say that….

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      • avatar

        ele4phant June 15, 2012, 5:39 pm

        Well going by your logic that the LW didn’t write about it, we can assume it didn’t happen, right?

        I mean, you’re assuming the child was planned because she didn’t say “We weathered an unexpected pregnancy”, so I guess I can assume because she didn’t say “We talked about marriage at one point, and he said he loved me and was committed but wasn’t interested in getting married” that that conversation didn’t happen either.

        Obviously, if they did talk about it and she changed her mind, well bad on her.

        But since the letter didn’t say anything about it…guess it didn’t happen.

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      • bittergaymark

        bittergaymark June 15, 2012, 5:47 pm

        Actually, rereading the letter, you could be right. Whatever. I still say if she wanted to get married so badly, she’d have been wise to push for it a bit harder before playing happy family for seven years…

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      • avatar

        ele4phant June 15, 2012, 5:55 pm

        Okay well, my arguement is he should have piped up about not wanting to get married before he started shacking, having a family, and playing house for seven years.

        It would have been wise for him to assume that likely this woman would want marriage at some point (as the majority of people do), and as he doesn’t, he shouldn’t let things get too far before finding out if she’s on the same page.

        So…agree to disagree.

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    • avatar

      kerrycontrary June 15, 2012, 9:49 am

      I don’t think she should stay in the relationship if she doesn’t want to, I was more questioning WHY she wants to get married now, as opposed to earlier. Some people want to get married just because all of their friends are or they feel this societal pressure. I think if the LW feels that marriage is a priority in her life then yes she should leave her current boyfriend and find someone who also wants to get married. The letter just wasn’t long enough to determine her motivations for getting married.

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    • Just Max

      Just Max June 15, 2012, 9:49 am

      I would also like to know _why_ she wants to get married. I know a few couples that are a family, without a marriage certificate. And they seem to be doing pretty well. One of the couples has been together for over 13 years. I also know a girl that all she talks about is getting married, because that’s “what you do in your early 30s, and then you can have the kids before you hit 40, and…” blah blah; there is a checklist involved.
      Anyway, what I am trying to say is that kerrycontrary brings up a valid question. 😉

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    • avatar

      Flake June 15, 2012, 9:52 am

      I agree..She wants to know where the relationship is going? You have been together for 10 years, live together, have a child together, and I am assuming that the only thing missing is a piece of paper? Where else do you want this relationship to go? You would literally break what you have for an official ”wife” title? If you are concerned about your common assets, go see a lawyer and make sure both of you have a will.
      Also, so many times the LWs here are told to look at the SO’s actions, not words. As far as I see you already are as much of a family as any other. And by the way, chances are most of your friends’ marriages are not going to last as long as your ”unofficial” relationship has.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest June 15, 2012, 10:12 am

        I hear everyone’s points about WHY, and I agree they are alread a family, but I think we’re discrediting the fact that some people want to be married because they want to be married. Its obviously more than just a “piece of paper” to a lot of people, even ones who already have “families.”

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      • caitie_didnt

        caitie_didnt June 15, 2012, 10:28 am

        I agree…..marriage is important to a lot of people for a variety of reasons. For some people it’s a statement of commitment greater than cohabitation, some people think it’s important for legal reasons, some for religious reasons and others for the sake of “tradition”. Wanting to get married for reasons beyond “I want a white dress and a big party” are totally valid and deserve just as much respect as valid reasons for not wanting to get married i.e. “I don’t believe in the institution of marriage”. Everyone always says “well it’s just a piece of paper, why is it such a big deal”? but the flip side of that is: if you think it’s just a piece of paper then why would you refuse to get married if it’s important to your partner? The LW didn’t include enough detail for us to guess at her real motivations for wanting to get married but it’s pretty ridiculous of us to jump all over her with this “it’s just a piece of paper” dismissiveness.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest June 15, 2012, 10:34 am

        Perfectly said.
        I have finally come around to the idea of marrying. Well, I’ve always thought it was in our cards, just ready now. I already have a kid. He already treats her like his own. We already have a lovely home. We have a serious committed relationship. We already think of the other’s family as our own. But I still plan to marry him. I don’t think that just because we already have all the elements of a marriage that we just shouldn’t bother actually being married.

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      • theattack

        theattack June 15, 2012, 10:37 am

        Well said.

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      • caitie_didnt

        caitie_didnt June 15, 2012, 10:39 am

        i’m not really religious so wanting to be married, for me, is nothing to do with religion. I think somebody on DW once said that marriage is important to them because in the eyes of the law and society in general, it’s basically saying “we go together now”, and that’s the best way I’ve found to articulate why I feel it’s important.

        (Note that I don’t necessarily agree that long-term cohabitation without marriage is less serious than marriage, if both people have decided they aren’t into getting married.)

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest June 15, 2012, 10:47 am

        I’m a “practicing” Catholic, whatever that means. I try to go to church on Sundays, my kid goes to Catholic school. But I haven’t considered my religion in deciding to marry. Shit, if I did things like that, I don’t know where I’d be seeing as how I’m “living in sin” and obviously had sex before marriage. Lol.
        I wish I could articulate why I want to. I already feel like the world knows ‘we go together now.’ I hate to say Make it Official, but I guess that’s all I can come up with. Like, now we are stuck forever, not just til it stops working for us. I’ve always known I can run if I want to, and I’ve finally gotten to the point where I’m willing to give that up and know I don’t want to ever run.

        But yea, I see nothing wrong with not getting married either. If we didn’t want to, I’m sure we’d stick it out together anyway.

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      • katie

        katie June 15, 2012, 10:42 am

        very true- and very good- but if you prefaced everything you said with the fact that all your friends are getting married and your feeling the pressure to do so as well, id still say your doing it for the wrong reasons.

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        lets_be_honest June 15, 2012, 10:56 am

        Well, and I know everyone will jump on me for this and I do the same to others, but maybe she just sucks at writing what she means. Maybe she was cool with it, put up with it, figured ok, 1 more year and he will, ok maybe he’s waiting til were a bit older, and then got to the point where everyone was getting married, obviously now they are older, it is the norm for people that age, and decided enough is enough.

        Of course, maybe her best friend had a really cool wedding and now she wants one and that’s it, but just trying to see the potential other side to this.

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      • katie

        katie June 15, 2012, 11:10 am

        no i understand- it could be either. this letter was way too short to figure it out for sure… i guess for me, what really sticks out is the fact that her friends are getting married so she feels pressure to get married- NOT that she has this lovely life, she wants to make it “official”, legalize it, or whatever other justifiable reason. to me, the way she wrote it, external factors are making her want to get married, and i think that the choice should be a completely internal (of yourself and you relationship) process.

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      • avatar

        Anna June 15, 2012, 10:50 am

        Exactly. In my case, I did consider my ex and myself to be a family. We were together for 9 years and lived together for 8 of those years. But I felt like his hesitation to get married and make it official was a direct diss to me, saying I’m good enough to cook all his meals, clean the house, do his laundry, and satisfy his needs but I’m not good enough to be his wife. To me (and to the LW, I suspect), “wife” is more than a title or a piece of paper. It’s a promotion. And what do you do if you’ve been slaving away at your job for years asking for a well-deserved promotion but your company refuses to give it to you? You quit.

        In this case, I agree that the child involved makes it a sticky situation but we always encourage people not to stay in unhappy relationships just because a child is involved. I’m sure they can share joint custody just like every other broken up or divorced couple if he insists upon being a noncommital asshole and using her.

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        lets_be_honest June 15, 2012, 10:57 am

        Very well put. I was looking forward to your perspective.

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      • avatar

        Anna June 15, 2012, 11:17 am

        >:o Someone thought of me before I ever said anything? Shocking. *feeling prominent in the DW community*

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      • avatar

        Trixy Minx June 15, 2012, 6:06 pm

        When I read the letter I was thinking what would anna say?

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      • avatar

        Anna June 15, 2012, 7:34 pm

        I’m also saying “Thank God I didn’t have kids with my ex!!” and a big huge “THANK YOU” to the inventor of the birth control pill! 🙂

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        Trixy Minx June 15, 2012, 7:50 pm

        I know right? I am really lucky I never got knocked up when I was young and being stupid about birth control. Really really lucky..

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  • theattack

    theattack June 15, 2012, 9:41 am

    #1 – If he’s “married for the paperwork,” then I’m sure he won’t have a problem asking his wife to explain that to you.

    #2 – I love Wendy’s suggestions here, but I still think you’re going to have to address the issue. My brother does some irritating things, and when he does, I call him out on it and embarrass him, but it’s also kind of in a joking way so it’s not as mean. I like to think that I’m training him for his future wife. Someone needs to tell your cousin his behavior is unacceptable though. If he has a PhD, I have no idea how he’s gotten anywhere in his career without any table manners. You might be doing him a favor by letting him know his table manners are awful. You might want to do it gently and subtly, or you might want to make a joke about how gross he is. Whatever your relationship is like.

    #3 – This is the sort of situation that makes me believe in ultimatums. Tell him you want to be married in a year or you’re out.

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      lets_be_honest June 15, 2012, 9:43 am

      If I made it to 60, had a PhD under my belt, etc., I’d rather she just shut up and let me live the way that’s worked for me for 60 years.
      IDK, having to write in for advice about a messy eater? Methinks someone has bigger issues.

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      • katie

        katie June 15, 2012, 9:53 am

        his phd must have little to do with social interactions outside of work, ya know, like going out to dinner with collegues… haha

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      • theattack

        theattack June 15, 2012, 10:01 am

        I don’t know…….. He’s picking his nose at the table and licking his plate, which would make me gag and maybe actually throw up. I can certainly understand him wanting to be left alone, but if it’s affecting the other people around him then his options become to either change his ways or eat in constant isolation and push away his friends and family.

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        lets_be_honest June 15, 2012, 10:16 am

        Maybe I’m just one of those Live and Let Live. If someone came to me and went on and on about what they don’t like about my personal habits, I’d tell them not to be around for them then. Which I guess is what you’re saying. But I imagine if it were me, at SIXTY, I know I’d just say then don’t eat with me and I’d be pretty annoyed. Its really a very easy solution.

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      • theattack

        theattack June 15, 2012, 10:29 am

        That’s fair enough. I’m just a big believer in letting people know about all their options. I know several people who would rather choose their friends and family over their personal habits, so I wouldn’t want to make that decision for them.

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        lets_be_honest June 15, 2012, 10:32 am

        True. I liked artsygirl’s suggestions below. Low key, joking, mention it once. Fine. Does this older man set in his ways need a lecture about proper eating? No.

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      • theattack

        theattack June 15, 2012, 10:37 am

        Actually, I suggested joking about it. But in light of yesterday’s discussion where Lili made me realize that not everyone is okay with joking in their families, I added in that she could bring it up in a gentle and subtle way if that works better for them. I didn’t suggest a lecture.

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    • Brad

      Brad June 15, 2012, 11:17 am

      “#1 – If he’s “married for the paperwork,” then I’m sure he won’t have a problem asking his wife to explain that to you.”

      HAHA!! Yeah wouldn’t it be great to hear his reponse to that comment/question if he were asked?

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  • Amybelle

    Amybelle June 15, 2012, 9:41 am

    I eat olives with my fingers, I had no idea it was repulsively uncouth!

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      lets_be_honest June 15, 2012, 9:43 am

      Slob.
      😉

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      Anna June 15, 2012, 11:11 am

      Me too but not salad! Unless I have the munchies and just eat the salad mix straight from the bag with no dressing.

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      • TaraMonster

        TaraMonster June 15, 2012, 11:45 am

        When I’m walking home from Whole Foods with a brand new container of freshly seasoned lemon and garlic olives, you bet your ass I’m eating them with my fingers. In the street. No shame. They are too delicious to sit in the bag until I get home!

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        Anna June 16, 2012, 10:28 pm

        Those sound pretty yummy! I don’t shop at Whole Foods because the closest one is 45 min away. And yes, in the midwest we measure distances in driving time rather than miles 🙂

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  • Fabelle

    Fabelle June 15, 2012, 9:46 am

    Oohh wow, first letter. What even is your question?? The guy acted suspicious for months, & now you found out why. He’s married. You have been dating a married guy. STOP.

    2: No, you don’t have to dine with him.

    And the last… “I think it’s my right to know where this relationship is going.” Sorry, but I don’t think this is an appropriate question in a ten year relationship where you already had his baby. I think you should ask yourself the questions @ kerrycontrary suggested– do you want him to show his committment by marrying you? do you feel left out because all your friends are “getting hitched”? Stop giving “hints” & asking him leading questions. You need to have a blunt conversation instead of just “waiting around.”

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    artsygirl June 15, 2012, 10:07 am

    1. He is lying. I am sure he has a wife and probably a gaggle of kids at home who have no idea that he is tom catting around town. I would confront the cousin first and since I am a vindictive bitch I would probably put the guy’s picture up on one of those Ex Exposed websites with the story.
    2. I had an older co-worker who did the same thing. He was horrible to eat around, not just because of his sloppy eating habits (he always tucked multiple paper napkins in his collar) but he was also fond of asking personal and unprofessional questions out of the blue. Finally I got fed up and called him out on his behavior. I basically said – “T, stop that, it is really gross.” He actually got a kick out of it and did modify his behavior after a couple of reprimands. He will never be able to take tea with the queen but at least it is more bearable for me.
    3. Why invest more time and energy with a man who dismisses your wants and needs? If he could offer a good explanation as to why not to get married (i.e. he doesn’t believe in the marriage industrial complex, he wants to have a big formal wedding but you need to save for it; his parents went through a horrible divorce and he is worried to take after them; he is actually married to a sailor in Fiji and is unable to locate him and get a divorce) maybe I could see understand his reluctance. After all you have been co-habitating for 5 years and have a child – all traditional benchmarks for marriage. What you need to do is sit down with him and have an honest conversation. Lay out why marriage is so important to you and get him to explain why he is so reluctant. If this is a deal breaker then you need to be upfront with him. P.S. you might also want to check into your state’s common law marriage requirements. I know in some states it is 7 years.

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      lets_be_honest June 15, 2012, 10:18 am

      Love your #2 advice.

      I’m glad you addressed the fact that this guy in 3 completely dismissed her wants. He doesn’t even respond to her asking about marriage? But everyone seems to think she just wants to be married bc her friends are so he gets off the hook for being a total ass about it. Great advice all around.

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        artsygirl June 15, 2012, 11:54 am

        Yeah I agree about LW3. I mean it is obvious that despite being in a long term committed relationship there are some communication problems. Now maybe she hasn’t fully expressed how important it to her to be married and maybe the timing is partly due to the fact that so many of her friends are getting married, but it is also just as likely now that they child is 4 the LW has some breathing room not dealing with an infant or toddler. Personally, the idea that he just walked away rather than talking about something he maybe wasn’t comfortable with is very worrisome. Hopefully, the LW will be able to express herself and they can make a decision that is right for everyone including their child.

        When I was my early 20s, I brought up the idea of engagement to my now-husband casually because I had seen a ring I really liked and we had been together for 6 + years at the time. He immediately freaked out because he had only recently graduated from college and I was still in my undergrad program. His arguments were valid and I agreed that we could let the matter sit since I knew it was only a matter of time before we got married – of course he had actually already bought an engagement ring and proposed a few weeks later.

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        artsygirl June 15, 2012, 12:05 pm

        Sorry – second paragraph was from another response that accidentally got tacked on.

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    Zepp June 15, 2012, 10:22 am

    #3.. “where is this relationship going?”…???? It’s already there! I cannot comprehend how people think getting married is a bigger deal than having a child together. Blows my mind.

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      lets_be_honest June 15, 2012, 10:25 am

      See again, I don’t think anyone’s being fair to 3. She didn’t write in saying marriage is a bigger deal than having children. She wrote in about the fact they she can’t understand why they aren’t getting married because they already have the “bigger deal,” a child, a home, a life. Why is it so unbelievable that she wants to make it “official?”

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      • theattack

        theattack June 15, 2012, 10:35 am

        I agree, LBH. Some people want their serious relationships to be sealed by a marriage. If they didn’t, marriage wouldn’t exist at all. Why is anyone jumping on that?

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        Flake June 15, 2012, 10:42 am

        Well look at it from the reluctant SO’s point of you. He has been with this woman for 10 years, is living with her, raising a kid, treats her well, and she still thinks that he is not committed enough? And it also happens to coincide with all her friends getting married… I know that I would definitely question her motives. I agree that they should have a serious conversation about the issue, but if she decides to break up over this, then I would definitely feel justified in not marrying her.

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      • caitie_didnt

        caitie_didnt June 15, 2012, 10:54 am

        But what if marriage has always been a long-term goal for her? What if she was content before, but now that her friends are getting married, she’s starting to feel the “it’s time” itch? What if she’s brought it up before with her partner? (side note: the fact that he flat-out IGNORES her when she asks about it is pretty shady). If her and her partner both know that marriage is something she’s always wanted and always felt strongly about, but he refuses to commit, then what? Is it fair to ask her to give up something she feels strongly about (assuming she does feel strongly about marriage and it’s role in her life)? I don’t know that it is, even if there is a child involved, because to me that says that her partner doesn’t respect her values or goals.

        Obviously if he’s all “marriage is an oppressive tool of the patriarchy!”, that’s different than “I don’t know if I’m ready” but the fact that he won’t even engage her in a discussion is worrying.

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        lets_be_honest June 15, 2012, 11:12 am

        Your side note should not be a side note. The man totally ignored her wishes like she means nothing. We tell people to MOA on that alone every day.

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        lets_be_honest June 15, 2012, 11:13 am

        Just a great comment. And lets remember, for example, what happened to our own Anna (hope that’s not offensive Anna!).

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        Anna June 16, 2012, 10:33 pm

        It’s not offensive at all. Once again, I’m just honored that you guys even thought of me. I’m not used to that kind of attention but I enjoy it. I feel like people here care about me moreso than people in my daily life at times.

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        Zepp June 15, 2012, 11:39 am

        No, i agree, I get married is important, i just don’t get how he is against it, but he wasn’t against a kid. This is 100% about how they had a kid first and obviously this decision/significance wasnt an issue then, and how bizarre I think that is

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        lets_be_honest June 15, 2012, 11:42 am

        Its very possible they had a kid accidentally. I didn’t want a kid when I got pregnant, but I have one from it. (I very much want her now 😉
        Someone said it best below…
        … the kid could have been an accident. a wedding is a deliberate process. so its a little different

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        lets_be_honest June 15, 2012, 11:11 am

        Well, if we’re questioning her motives, then we should question his as well. Is he thinking he can still run for the hills whenever he wants? Does he not want to commit 100% (and be realistic, having a kid together is far from being committed)? Does he think she’s ok to play housewife, but not good enough to seal the deal?

        If her finally decided to stand up for what she wants means he should be justified for not marrying her, then he’s a huge asshole. I’m really shocked that anyone on here of all places could say that.

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        Anna June 15, 2012, 11:15 am

        My ex always tried that line too. “But I AM committed to you! Why do we need a piece of paper to show that?” Bottom line, if someone wants to get married and doesn’t get that opportunity they will be bitter about it. Bitterness is not a good foundation for a relationship.

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        kerrycontrary June 15, 2012, 10:59 am

        I don’t think anyone is trying to be unfair to LW 3, I just raised the point because I was curious about “why now”. Like I said, I believe in marriage and I think it’s totally valid that the LW wan’s to get married. I also think it’s really annoying that her boyfriend is ignoring her and not talking about it. But, I don’t think it’s as easy as Wendy’s answer of MOA already. Just like if you were getting divorced, there’s a LOT more to consider when there’s a child involved. Not that I think people should stay together just for kids, but this isn’t an easy “see you later” situation.

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        Zepp June 15, 2012, 11:08 am

        I dont mean her, I mean the guy who is resisting marriage. WTH is he afraid of. A kid is way more money, way more commitment… I mean, you can divorce and never speak again. If you have a kid with someone they are in your life FOREVER

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        Zepp June 15, 2012, 11:11 am

        Actually, I mean both of them, their behavior as a couple. Like they are putting all this thought/effort into ‘should we get married or not’ but they just had that kid automatically. Even though the kid is a way bigger deal. Just shocked the guy is dragging his feet on this but didn’t say no to the kid.

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      • katie

        katie June 15, 2012, 11:16 am

        … the kid could have been an accident. a wedding is a deliberate process. so its a little different…

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        Slamy June 15, 2012, 1:00 pm

        Just because you had a shitty childhood with parents that fought doesn’t mean people with parents who are not married have a shitty childhood.

        AND, you don’t wake up one day and say “whoops! I’m married!” unless you’re Britney Spears.

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        lets_be_honest June 15, 2012, 1:01 pm

        Or glitter covered Katy Perry.

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        lets_be_honest June 15, 2012, 11:17 am

        You don’t have to each agree and say yes to having a kid. I think its WAY easier to have a kid than mutually decide to marry.

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        Zepp June 15, 2012, 11:40 am

        thats sad. i feel bad for the kid. actually i feel bad for all of them.

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        lets_be_honest June 15, 2012, 11:43 am

        Why? Even if his/her parents don’t want to marry each other doesn’t mean he doesn’t have a perfectly wonderful life.

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        Slamy June 15, 2012, 1:02 pm

        My sister got pregnant on accident when she was 18. She had the kid, and now I have the most well-adjusted, awesome 14-year-old nephew. He is happy, she is happy. She didn’t marry his dad. She ended up marrying my brother-in-law, who is a fantastic father figure to my nephew.

        You have to realize that it’s 2012 and “ideal” doesn’t really exist anymore. Sorry. It didn’t even exist in the 50’s – it was a sham. Get over it. I maintain that a happy single parent (or happily divorced parents) is eons better than miserably married parents.

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      • bittergaymark

        bittergaymark June 15, 2012, 1:04 pm

        Actually, it existed for me in the 1970s.

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        lets_be_honest June 15, 2012, 1:12 pm

        Would you say that was the norm, even in the 70s?

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      • bittergaymark

        bittergaymark June 15, 2012, 1:15 pm

        It certainly was in my super middle class hometown. Everybody had married parents. And the few divorces I remember were VERY big neighborhood news in the 1980s..

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      • bittergaymark

        bittergaymark June 15, 2012, 1:16 pm

        More over, of all my close friends from that era… only one out of, say, fifteen now has divorced parents… And their parents divorced when the kids all were in college.

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        lets_be_honest June 15, 2012, 1:23 pm

        I should’ve added “happily.” Divorce certainly was not the norm, but I’d be very surprised if even 50% of those marriages were “happy.”

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      • bittergaymark

        bittergaymark June 15, 2012, 1:30 pm

        Well, they certainly SEEM happy. I still socialize with most of these people whenever I visit my parents… And not only to me — a shallow outside observer — but to my friends who grew up in those houses as well…

        Look, I’m sure that there are a good many of bad marriages out there. But to assume that well over half of all marriages are bitterly unhappy seems me rather like a desperate assumption one makes simply to make themselves feel better for their own choices…

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        Slamy June 15, 2012, 1:18 pm

        That’s great that existed for you. I do have friends with happily married parents. It seems great, and I acknowledge that it is ideal. However, I have far more friends with divorced and (sometimes) remarried parents.

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      • bittergaymark

        bittergaymark June 15, 2012, 1:25 pm

        I think it probably has more to do with your age, Slamy. I’m guessing you are in your 20s… simply because so many that post on here are in that age range… If that is the case, then, yeah, you would have simply seem more divorces as the divorce rate is exploding…

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        Slamy June 15, 2012, 1:20 pm

        That could just be the people I know, though. Obviously I am no divorce/marriage/birth rate expert. I’m only speaking from personal experience. I maintain that a situation with two married parents can (note: CAN) be far worse than a situation with single parents.

        What is sad to me, is when a kid lacks a strong adult role models in their life. Those kids, I do feel sorry for.

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        quixoticbeatnik June 15, 2012, 2:07 pm

        Actually, most of my friends’ parents have been married for years and years and are still happily married. Out of my friends from childhood, there was only one friend who didn’t have married parents (she was an accident, they didn’t stay together but remained amicable). Nobody else’s parents divorced, as I recall. It’s the same in my family as well. All of my aunts and uncles (except one uncle) have been married for decades and are still happy. No divorce in my life!

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        bethany June 15, 2012, 2:37 pm

        Same with me. I’m 31, and all of my closest friends have parents who have been married for 30+ years. Also, no one in my family is divorced. My husband’s parents are divorced, but they got married very young and have both been remarried for 15+ years, and have a pretty decent relationship.

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        Slamy June 15, 2012, 2:13 pm

        I only have one set of cousins who have their parents still together. The rest of us all come from broken families. I’d say it depends on where you’re from, but we’re all spread out over the country. They say 50% of marriages end in in divorce. Guess I just know the divorced half.

        I’m 24, btw.

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      • bittergaymark

        bittergaymark June 15, 2012, 2:19 pm

        Again, I think it’s simply your age and the age of your parents…

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        Slamy June 15, 2012, 2:44 pm

        My sisters are 37 and 32. Also products of a single mother. My mom is 56. Divorced 3 times, widowed once.

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        Slamy June 15, 2012, 1:04 pm

        BTW – I feel way worse for children who are the products of a married couple where one of the members of the couple is an alcoholic. The best thing my mother EVER did for me was leave my dad, and this is why. I am much happier I spent my teenage years with just my mom. If my parents had not divorced, I’d be all kinds of (more) fucked up (than I am now). This is not an ideal world. Sorry.

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        Caris June 15, 2012, 11:09 am

        Maybe he thought it already was official? I mean the rs looks official to me, I don’t think you need a paper to make a rs official.

        And, I might be wrong here, and maybe it was someone else, but didn’t your SO ask you to get married and you said no lbh? He didn’t leave you though. So why should this LW leave the rs if the guy says no? Why are the 10 years they’ve been together suddenly not important because she wants a marriage and he doesn’t.

        Getting married won’t make the rs between them more loving, or more committed or more whatever. It will be the same except they’ll have a legal paper that says they are together.

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        lets_be_honest June 15, 2012, 11:20 am

        Mine was willing to wait. That was his choice. Just as its her choice to want it, move on if she doesn’t get it. And just like its his to decide he wants it too, or doesn’t.
        Regardless, she has decided she is ready for marriage and wants it soon. End of story. He doesn’t, than she has some decisions to make. Like giving up on something important to her for him, or not.

        Someone said it earlier, if its “just a piece of paper” marriage wouldn’t exist. Enough with that argument. Its obnoxious to every married person and every person that has decided marriage is for them.

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        lets_be_honest June 15, 2012, 11:27 am

        I’ll add that I knew the risk I was taking when I said no to the proposal. I knew he could walk away and never come back. That was not what I wanted. But I also knew we weren’t ready to marry. Life comes with risks. I think its this guys turn to take one.

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        Kristen June 15, 2012, 12:22 pm

        LBH, have you let him know you’ve changed your mind recently? How did he respond? I’m excited for you guys!

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        lets_be_honest June 15, 2012, 12:28 pm

        Thanks 🙂 He knows I’ve warmed up to the idea. It wasn’t an actual sit down discussion though. Also, we moved in together at the beginning of the year, which was a big step in that direction for us. I was very against that for a long time, but did want to live together before marriage. It was a huge risk, I don’t deny that. But less of a risk that just getting married and then moving in, imo.

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        Kristen June 15, 2012, 12:30 pm

        Yeah, I figured you didn’t make him an “I’m ready to get married” card and give it to him 😉 haha. That’s really great, though. I bet your daughter is thrilled too.

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        lets_be_honest June 15, 2012, 12:32 pm

        Yes, very. She is particularly excited to be able to officially call him dad. I have to say I was shocked when she said that to us, I guess only because I call my stepparents by their first name and assumed that wouldn’t change for her. Wasn’t expecting it. This year, she made the school father’s day gift for him, instead of my dad for the first time ever. Another very sweet surprise.

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        Kristen June 15, 2012, 12:35 pm

        I love it! That is so, so sweet. You must have cried.

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        lets_be_honest June 15, 2012, 12:38 pm

        Yep! It was always extremely important that they get along well of course, but I never wanted to force her on him or vice versa. Just for them to find their relationship on their own, whatever made her comfortable. Its really worked out better than I could’ve imagined. They love each other so much, its amazing to watch.

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        Caris June 15, 2012, 11:49 am

        I’m not trying do disrespect people that are married, it’s just what marriage means to me, a legal paper that gives you some benefits. I know it means a lot other things to other people and I think it’s great that it means so much to them.

        It is annoying to me though, that some people will get married just because everyone else is doing it, or because they want to follow a tradition even if they don’t believe in it. What I get from the letter is that she wants to get married only because all her friends are. Which is NOT a good reason to get married.
        I also don’t agree with ppl that are telling her to leave because the letter just doesn’t have enough information for us to say that. Sure, it was a dick move from him to not answer her, but she didn’t directly ask him/told him: Hey let’s get married. And she goes around dropping hints instead of just out right saying it.

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    • katie

      katie June 15, 2012, 10:46 am

      i think in a perfect world, a marriage would be like the big beautiful bow on the lovely package they already have- the house, the kid, ect… so i understand still wanting it, even after having a kid.

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    Elle June 15, 2012, 10:55 am

    LW1 – I think the guy wants to end it with you, and he offered you a reason to break up with him. Take it!

    (I think that people who get married for greencards need to stay married for 3 or 5 years, without being accused of fraud. Anyway, did you know anymore info on his ‘marriage’, like how long have they been married, how long until he/she plans to file for divorce? I think this kind of info should have been offered in the first month of dating. Any longer, and it’s not cool.)

    Oh, and I think for him, the word ‘mom’ is just a synonym for ‘wife’.

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      Zepp June 15, 2012, 11:12 am

      thats not true about the time periods, but you have to show them evidence of a real relationship. pictures, vacations, letters, etc.

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      caramel22 June 19, 2012, 4:20 pm

      when he told he that he is dealing with the divorce paper now,he said it wasnt for love it was just to help her out,i ask him his she help you he said no he has to pay all the fee,puls school loan that why he can take me out,am he really wants to do right by me just a bunch of shit n how its a long story,said he didnt tell me because he knew i would have never gave him a chance,am just mad at the fact that he lie for to me for eight,n this was something i keep stress that i dont do,have alot of respect for ppl marriage, i the way how he break the new to me was,i was talking about a situation, n i said that i have never mess with a married knowly,he said r u r sure i said huh what you talking about,he did want to answer me,i said what is it he goes oh am married but it not for love piss wasnt even the ow

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    Caris June 15, 2012, 11:01 am

    My aunt is not married to her partner. They’ve been together for more than 15 years and have to kids. They are perfectly happy.

    Of course the difference here is that they both agreed on this. Did you two ever talked about what you think about marriage and if you where going to get married before now? Or you never talked about it, and suddenly seeing your friends getting married made you realize you would like to get married and turns out he had no idea and always thought you were ok with the rs as it is? I’m not sure where you want the rs to go, I mean, getting married (imo) won’t make it more committed or more serious than it already is. You have been together for 10 years and apparently everything was ok until now? And from the letter I get that the only reason you want to get married now is because all your friends are?

    Do you love each other? Do you have fun? Do you agree on how to raise your kid? Are you otherwise happy in your rs? Did you sit him down and talked to him about why you want to get married now? Or did you out of nowhere ask him: “Don’t you think its time for us to make it official?” Maybe he thought it already was official and was offended that you didn’t think the same?

    I don’t think the little info there is in the letter is enough to tell if you should leave the rs.

    ps: Instead of giving hints just tell him upfront for gods sake. You’ve been together 10 years, telling him exactly what you want should not be a problem. And there is no reason why he or anyone else should be able to read your mind.

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      lets_be_honest June 15, 2012, 11:22 am

      I’m kind of confused about the whole ‘marriage wont make you more committed’ since marriage is the biggest committment you can make to someone.

      Marriage is betting half of your stuff that the person you love today, you will love the rest of your life.

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        ReginaRey June 15, 2012, 11:29 am

        I think she means that marriage is a state of mind. The physical act of getting married will not somehow *poof,* make you more committed. If you aren’t already mentally and emotionally committed to it before you go through with it, the act of getting married isn’t going to change anything. So in LW3’s case, marrying this guy (who’s pretty much shown he’s not into it) won’t somehow magically change the way he feels (which is not committed to the level she desires).

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        lets_be_honest June 15, 2012, 11:33 am

        I hear you. But it does make you more committed, whether your mind is or isn’t.

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        ReginaRey June 15, 2012, 11:35 am

        Legally, absolutely. Getting a divorce is a hell of a lot harder than breaking up, that’s for sure. But mentally…marriage doesn’t change much.

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      • TaraMonster

        TaraMonster June 15, 2012, 12:05 pm

        I think that’s interesting and debatable. I’ve been thinking about this a lot because I am in a long term committed relationship. We talk about getting married, and I want to be with him forever, but the *idea* of marriage kinda freaks me out a little, even though I’m happy with him, we have a great life together, etc.

        It’s kind of like this scenario:

        Shortly after (4 months or so) my best friend got married we were all at a dinner party. At one point the guys were in one room, the ladies in another My boyfriend and I asked each of them how married life was going. She told me it was exactly the same, and that nothing felt different. Her husband told my boyfriend that everything was different, though he didn’t elaborate.

        I think it must have something to do with individual expectations of marriage, you know? Idk. Still not sure what I think about it all.

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      • katie

        katie June 15, 2012, 12:17 pm

        i think that part of it really comes down to what marriage means to you personally. i would guess the girl in your example already “felt” married, as RR was talking about, and that to the guy, marriage was a huge shift in thought and a big deal.

        i think ill be like the guy…. like a part of me is dead. lol. not in a bad way though! but just in a everything is now different way. and i also think its a huge deal.

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      • iwannatalktosampson

        iwannatalktosampson June 15, 2012, 1:05 pm

        That is really interesting Tara – I am definitely one of those “nothing changed” people. But I think my husband would probably say the same thing. People would ask me “OMG how is married life” like I was supposed to be shitting rainbows and I always gave what they considered disappointing answers in that I would just say, “it’s about the same as dating”, which I think is mostly true. The only difference is we go on fewer actual dates. Which sucks. But now we have this joint goal of saving money and paying off the house and really boring stuff like that, as opposed to spending money on our love and wining and dining and stuff like that. But really that’s all that changed. And I think that’s a good thing. If you got married and everything was completely different that could be pretty scary – because there’s no guarantee it would be different in a good way.

        LBH – I also hate the argument “marriage is just a piece of paper.” It is overly simplistic and insulting to the people that actually got that piece of paper. I’m sure they don’t feel that way about it.

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      • avatar

        Flake June 15, 2012, 1:18 pm

        It is also unfair to say that just because people choose not to get married they ‘are not committed enough’. I just find it sad that after 10 years of a happy relationship, it comes down to this…

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      • iwannatalktosampson

        iwannatalktosampson June 15, 2012, 1:34 pm

        I agree. Some people don’t have the right to get married, and I know some couples that are extremely committed. But to say that marriage is a piece of paper is insulting to the people that have that piece of paper. I’m sure most of the people that took those vows would never say, oh man that was such a hassel to get that piece of paper, we should have just stayed where we were at in our relationship. Yes I realize there are exceptions, but that is the general rule. People wouldn’t get married if it didn’t mean anything to them. To stand in front of your friends and family and say that you will love each other through thick and thin, sickness and in health, blah blah blah, is a big deal.

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        lets_be_honest June 15, 2012, 1:38 pm

        I agree. I don’t think its one in the same though, that someone who says marriage is “more” committed, doesn’t think less of couples who choose to not marry for whatever reason. At least I don’t think that.

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      • TaraMonster

        TaraMonster June 15, 2012, 2:58 pm

        I’m sure you don’t mean it that way, and probably a lot of people don’t either. But it sure sounds that way when you’re on the receiving end of “You’ve been together HOW long? So when are YOU getting married?”

        And usually when it comes from an older generation they DO mean it like “what the heck is wrong with those two?” It’s not the hugest deal in the world. It used to bother me. In my head I was like, “MIND YOUR BUSINESS, GRAMPS!” But I just smile and say “We’re doing things at our own pace. Aren’t these hors d’oeuvres delicious?”

        But anyway. It goes both ways. Marriage is not just a piece of paper for some. For others it is. To each their own. Así es la vida and all that.

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        Caris June 15, 2012, 12:03 pm

        Pretty much what RR said.

        Also, if your reason to try to make something work is because it’s financially cheaper or easier than the whole divorce thing, but not because you love the person you are with then, eh. If I love my SO, and we hit a rough patch I’d try to make it work, married or not. If something happens that would make me walk away, I’d walk away married or not. Even if it’s harder to do it if I’m married.

        I say marriage won’t make you more committed because to me marriage just isn’t the biggest commitment. There are couples out there that are not married and yet are happily together, and have been so for a very long time.

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        Flake June 15, 2012, 1:15 pm

        I could argue that the biggest commitment you could make to anyone is staying with that person through everything because you CHOOSE to, without any safety net, not because some piece of paper makes it difficult for you to leave…

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        lets_be_honest June 15, 2012, 1:26 pm

        Yes, I don’t disagree. However, there is no guarantee (I guess is a decent work to use) they will. Of course, there isn’t one with marriage thanks to divorce either, but its at least more of a guarantee. Even if just a guarantee that you will not be left with 0 assets and 100% of liabilities? Regardless, it obviously means a lot to some people, but just paper to others.

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      • avatar

        rachel June 15, 2012, 2:54 pm

        This is what my boyfriend believes. It makes it hard for me to argue with him, so I’m pretty happy to stay unmarried.

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      • theattack

        theattack June 15, 2012, 2:49 pm

        I just found that quote last night (“Marriage is betting half your stuff that you’ll love each other forever”) and showed it to my fiance who’s a family lawyer that does lots of divorces. I thought it was genius, but he was annoyed at the inaccuracies related to divorce proceedings. The big dork.

        But I totally agree with you, LBH. Marriage might not be important to everyone, and unmarried couples might still be mentally committed to each other. But at the same time, we’ll never know if those people experience a mental shift after marriage. I would argue that most people who are engaged are already mentally committed, but something still changes for many of them after marriage. What is that factor that changes? Probably the realization that legally you are bound to each other forever. The word “forever” starts to sink in, and people grow accustomed to doing just about everything as a unit. That legal commitment only comes with marriage, and I think if nothing else, the legality changes the mental commitment.

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  • avatar

    Caris June 15, 2012, 11:11 am

    Since when is eating olives with your finger not ok? Who the f eats them with a fork? O.o

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    • katie

      katie June 15, 2012, 11:16 am

      espeically if they have pits! lol do that and you will send olives all over the place- the next table, on the floor… ive done that. i know.

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  • avatar

    AndreaMarie June 15, 2012, 11:19 am

    #1- He is married, and not for paperwork. By implying its loveless or some sort of business transaction he’s hoping that you won’t feel guilty and/or disgusted about sleeping with a married man and will continue to bang him. He doesn’t live with his Mom and even if he did, why wouldn’t he bring you to his home to meet his mom? He doesn’t bring you to his home because his wife and kids are there! And he wasn’t spending Valentine’s Day with his mom…he was probably enjoying a romantic dinner with his wife! And yeah he can’t “just go out” because he is busy…busy with taking the kids to sports and school events and visiting his wife’s family…etc…ugh I can’t say anymore

    #3 I know that life takes us on many paths and things happen not always the way we planned but I’m sorry, this is a perfect example of waiting until you’re married to start a family. Wedding first, kids second. If marriage was important to you and a step you definitely wanted to take in your life than why didn’t you and your BF have the discussion when you moved in? Or before you got pregnant?

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    • avatar

      lets_be_honest June 15, 2012, 11:23 am

      Is it news to people that they can easily get pregnant by accident? Really?

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        Zepp June 15, 2012, 11:42 am

        you cannot easily get pregnant by accident. you can not care enough to be thorough with your birth control. in the days of condoms, patches, iuds, rings, norplant, abortion, and adoption whether or not you have a kid is 100% in your control.

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        lets_be_honest June 15, 2012, 11:45 am

        How did I know I’d get a comment like that.

        My point was in response to this line “If marriage was important to you and a step you definitely wanted to take in your life than why didn’t you and your BF have the discussion when you moved in? Or before you got pregnant?”

        Its extremely posssible they didn’t decide to have a kid, but just got pregnant and decided to keep him/her. It didn’t have to be an actual decision to have a baby before they married.

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        Zepp June 15, 2012, 11:47 am

        im sure that is what happened. I’m saying that is a bad thing to have happen. Its a terrible situation for everyone involved, especially the kid.

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        lets_be_honest June 15, 2012, 11:49 am

        …for him/her to have been born? What’s terrible exactly? That he wasn’t planned? You must have a lot of people to feel sorry for seeing as how many, many babies, even ones from married couples, are not planned.

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        Zepp June 15, 2012, 12:00 pm

        whats terrible is that in 6 months his mom is going to leave the dad because the dad wont marry her, and now this kid has to have 2 houses, 2 christmases, etc. If you dont think the splitting up of a family is hard on kids you need to talk to some.

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        lets_be_honest June 15, 2012, 12:04 pm

        crystal ball much? I missed the part about her saying she’s leaving him and moving out and planning christmas without them.

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      • caitie_didnt

        caitie_didnt June 15, 2012, 11:48 am

        Especially since she was only 23. That’s quite young, now anyways, to be having a planned baby.

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        lets_be_honest June 15, 2012, 11:49 am

        Exactly. Or a planned marriage.
        I would;ve advised them against marriage at 23, even with a kid.

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      • avatar

        ele4phant June 15, 2012, 12:46 pm

        You do know that birth control can fail, yes? Even when used perfectly? Condoms can rip, you can be on the wrong hormonal bc for you, IUDs can become dislodged. And given many 20 somethings were given abstinence only sex ed, its many don’t even know what perfect usage is.

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      • avatar

        ele4phant June 15, 2012, 12:48 pm

        Isn’t something like 50 percent of all pregnancies “surprise” pregnancies?

        Maybe this a bit TMI, but I know that in a family of three children, only one of us was planned.

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      • bittergaymark

        bittergaymark June 15, 2012, 1:45 pm

        I sure know that it certainly fails A LOT with hapless straight people… Hey, if condoms broke that routinely with us gays — Damn — we REALLY would simply ALL be dead or dying from AIDS. No, seriously. Look, my social world is at least a dead even 50/50 split between gays and straights. Miraculously, I know of NOBODY getting HIV because of the incredibly high condom failure rate. Yet I know of dozens upon dozens of straight people where “OOPS” it just somehow happened… Enter Baby. Honestly, at this point I no longer believe much in such failures. Instead I now think it’s just the usual drunken, or even worse, just plain stupid carelessness.

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      • avatar

        rachel June 15, 2012, 1:49 pm

        Any guy can get a girl pregnant…but only a guy with aids can give to another guy. I don’t think your analogy works.

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      • bittergaymark

        bittergaymark June 15, 2012, 1:55 pm

        Actually, what you’re suggesting is simply NOT the case either. Check out the infertility rates and get back to me on that.

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        rachel June 15, 2012, 2:07 pm

        A quick search led me to 10% of people in the US roughly are infertile. I’m supposed to be doing actual work right now, haha, so I can’t take the time to dig into it further. But, I don’t think that 90% of gay men have aids.

        Anyway, birth control failing doesn’t always mean the condom broke. I’ve been on the pill for over 10 years and not had an “oops” but the pill isn’t perfect. And yes, for me, I’m 100% not going to have a child because if I had an “oops” I’d head right for an abortion clinic…but not everyone will do this.

        I will grant you that a lot of birth control failure is on the part of the user, and lots of times, sure, drunken or stupid carelessness happens. But surely not every time.

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      • caitie_didnt

        caitie_didnt June 15, 2012, 2:06 pm

        Thing with HIV is that certain conditions have to be met to pass it on to another person. There have to be small cuts or tears for the virus to get into the bloodstream. The viral load of the infected individual has to be high enough that a certain amount of the virus will be in ejaculate/vaginal fluid/blood. That’s why sometimes people are lucky enough to not catch HIV after contact with an infected person or their bodily fluids. Obviously it’s not a risk anybody should take, but the fact is that you can be in contact with HIV-infected fluids and not contract HIV.

        Babies on the other hand: well, the female reproductive system is designed to do literally nothing beyond getting a sperm and egg into contact and incubating the result. So obviously the rate of unplanned pregnancies is going to be higher than HIV infection after adjustments. Because your reproductive system is just trying to do it’s job and as long as your plumbing works if there’s an even miniscule slip-up, there’s a chance a baby will result.

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      • avatar

        rachel June 15, 2012, 2:08 pm

        Thanks – I assumed there were factors like this too, but I don’t know enough about it. Maybe Cats can weigh in here.

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      • CatsMeow

        CatsMeow June 15, 2012, 2:31 pm

        Whether or not you get infected by HIV does depend on a million different factors – what type of sex you’re having, the health of your immune system, the viral load of the HIV+ individual, whether or not you or the HIV+ person has another STD, whether or not there are any cuts/sores/tears/etc…..

        I have NO IDEA how the rates of an HIV exposure resulting in infection compare to the rates of unprotected heterosexual sex resulting in pregnancy. I imagine it depends on a number of factors as well.

        Both conditions are highly preventable, though. And I agree with BGM – I rarely believe someone when they tell me that the “condom broke” – it’s 9 times out of 10 a lie. And anyway, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: condom failure is ALMOST ALWAYS the result of user error.

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      • caitie_didnt

        caitie_didnt June 15, 2012, 2:45 pm

        Oh I absolutely believe that accidental pregnancies are often the result of user error or drunken carelessness. BUT! Pregnancies on birth control do happen! My undergrad anatomy lab had a uterus with a baby and an IUD in it. Nothing is ever going to be foolproof. I just don’t know that you can easily equate “preventing HIV transmission” with “preventing baby”. I don’t think they’re the same thing, and if they’re not, there is no point in going around saying “well, shoulda been more careful, then!”.

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      • avatar

        rachel June 15, 2012, 2:53 pm

        Yeah, this is pretty much where I was coming from too.

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        ele4phant June 15, 2012, 3:51 pm

        I didn’t mean to suggest that all “Oops” babies were all the result of the failure of birth control and not *ahem* operator error.

        But it DOES happen. Birth control is not infallible. And I do think a lot of people have been given tragically terrible sex ed, leading them be undereducated about how to use birth control properly.

        And at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter whether the conception is due to a genuine technical failure, ignorance, or downright negligence. A baby is a baby.

        In any event, it seems a bit harsh to have the attitude “Dummy, if you were using birth control right there’s no way you could get pregnant.”

        Its not that simple. The only way to not get pregnant if you don’t want to be is to not have sex. Any other way and there’s a chance it could happen (even if that gamble is heavily stacked towards not getting knocked up).

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        bethany June 15, 2012, 2:08 pm

        I agree with you on this one. I think a lot of times people cop out and say “the condom broke” or pull some other excuse, when really they were drunk and forgot a condom, or just went without for the hell of it, thinking “it won’t happen to me”… Speaking from experience here.

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        lets_be_honest June 15, 2012, 2:10 pm

        I still didn’t think it could really happen to me, as I stared in disbelief at the plus mark on the test. At least I could be an example to my sisters that yes, it seriously can happen to you. Its that invincible notion “kids” have I think.

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      • bittergaymark

        bittergaymark June 15, 2012, 2:17 pm

        But that invincible notion was apparently woefully absent in me and my generation of gay kids who grew up putting condoms rather routinely in the loom of the shadow of AIDS in the 1990…

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        lets_be_honest June 15, 2012, 3:05 pm

        So what are you saying? What’s your point? All I said was kids often think they’re invincible. Are you saying only straight kids have that notion? Are you saying gay kids never do anything dangerous? Bungee jump? What have you…

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      • avatar

        bethany June 15, 2012, 3:29 pm

        I think the threat of AIDS is a lot more scary/real to gay teens, than the chance of getting pregnant is to straight girls, so thus they’re more vigilant about condoms…??

        Especially in the 90’s I know there was so much talk of HIV/AIDS, people were scared shitless…

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      • CatsMeow

        CatsMeow June 15, 2012, 4:41 pm

        You would THINK they would be more vigilant with condoms. I tell young gay boys that they are HIV positive every day (and yes it is MUCH more prevalent in the gay population here in the U.S., and especially here in St. Louis).

        Also, it doesn’t seem to be scary to them anymore. They didn’t grow up watching all their friends die. It’s treatable now, so a lot of the young kids just don’t see it as a big deal.

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      • bittergaymark

        bittergaymark June 15, 2012, 5:19 pm

        CatsMeow — I think what you are seeing now in gay youth is that HIV has been made too socially acceptable. The stigma has been completely eroded. Hell, many HIV medication ads in gay magazines make it look like it’s as easy to deal with as diabetes… Now, I’m not saying we should shame people with HIV, but we seem to have gone too far in the other direction in that now it’s not viewed as that much of a big deal — which is TRAGIC.

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      • CatsMeow

        CatsMeow June 15, 2012, 7:29 pm

        What’s weird here in St. Louis is that I think they internalize the message that it’s not a “big deal” and it does get compared to diabetes a lot – but there’s still so much stigma and ignorance here, in addition to stigma and ignorance about being openly gay – particularly among the African American population (and they have disproportionately high rates here) – that they don’t take the initiative to protect themselves or their partners and go into a weird denial. They’re too ashamed. And the thing is, if they don’t take care of themselves then it IS a big deal. I agree, I wish people were more scared of it while at the same time more accepting of those who have it.

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        Slamy June 15, 2012, 1:08 pm

        Your phrasing is horrible. You CAN easily get pregnant by accident. You can even get pregnant when you are taking every single precaution. How many of us were conceived while our mom was on the pill/patch/whatever?

        The thing 100% in your control, is the right and ability to get an abortion. That’s what I’d do if I got pregnant at this point in my life, but I know that many people do not feel that is an option for them.

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    • avatar

      Zepp June 15, 2012, 11:44 am

      I 100% agree with #3. 100 100 100

      this poor poor kid is the one who suffers by being born into a family whose members aren’t even sure they want to be a family. its sad.

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        lets_be_honest June 15, 2012, 11:46 am

        Again, how is this kid suffering at all?? Because he came from two presumably loving parents that aren’t married?!?! Do you feel sorry for every kid whose parents aren’t married? How about single women who adopt? Do you feel sorry for those kids too?

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        Zepp June 15, 2012, 11:49 am

        uhh YEA. of course. i know your a single mom so you’re going to go all ape shit on this, but yea, most people would agree a family with a happy mom and a happy dad who love each other and are glad to be together is ideal. I’m sorry that’s not what you have, I think your daughter missed out.

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      • caitie_didnt

        caitie_didnt June 15, 2012, 11:50 am

        That is rude-ass comment, yo. How even dare you.

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        Zepp June 15, 2012, 11:55 am

        How is that rude? She asked if I really felt bad for kids whose parents aren’t happily married and I said yes. I really do. I know that’s not what she wants to hear, but that’s how I feel. I’m not going to warp my opinions just to say in some politically correct always positive world view.

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      • caitie_didnt

        caitie_didnt June 15, 2012, 12:01 pm

        I guess you’re just one of those people who likes to “keep it real”. Newsflash: telling somebody that you don’t even know, (THAT YOU DON’T EVEN KNOW!) that she’s not providing a good life for her child or that her child is missing out in some way because she happened to be born to a single parent is f*cking unbelievably rude and you absolutely deserve to be called out on your rudeness.

        second newsflash: people who complain about “political correctness” are usually racist, ingnorant, rude or some combination of the three.

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        ele4phant June 15, 2012, 12:51 pm

        Do you feel bad for kids who’s parents are miserable together, who resent each other, maybe even hate each other but stay together “for the kids”? Because I do.

        Look, in a perfect world, a two parent home in which the parents love each other is ideal, but guess what? The world isn’t perfect. Perfectly happy, well adjusted children can come out of “less than ideal” families.

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        lets_be_honest June 15, 2012, 11:53 am

        Wow. Must suck for those kids from two loving dads, or two loving moms too I guess.
        I think you missed out…on reality.

        You don’t need to be sorry for me or my kid. What a rude thing to say. We have a better life than I could dream of.

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        Zepp June 15, 2012, 11:56 am

        Actually no I think two parents of the same gender who AGREED and DECIDED to start a family would be wonderful.

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        lets_be_honest June 15, 2012, 11:59 am

        “most people would agree a family with a happy mom and a happy dad who love each other and are glad to be together is ideal.”

        Just not “ideal.” Oh, ok. I worry about you entering the real world some day.

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        Zepp June 15, 2012, 12:02 pm

        I meant two parents, sorry I didn’t anticipate you picking apart my comments. I didnt say you are terrible or your family is awful, I just said I felt bad for you.

        If you’re THIS defensive over it, maybe that’s your problem, and more reflective of how you feel about it than how I do. I’m just a person on the internet.

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        lets_be_honest June 15, 2012, 12:05 pm

        You got me! Of course, everyone on here knows about what a miserable life I lead and how terribly unhappy I am. Amiright?

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        Addie Pray June 15, 2012, 8:16 pm

        I wake up in sweats at 3 am feeling sorry for you.

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        rachel June 15, 2012, 12:49 pm

        I’m pretty sure she has a right to be defensive when you’re telling her basically that her child needs people to feel bad for her.

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      • TaraMonster

        TaraMonster June 15, 2012, 12:46 pm

        No. You should have said you were sorry like 5 comments ago. Don’t flip it around on LBH like she’s the one with the issues when you’re the one throwing around pitty that’s neither warranted nor wanted. DW is a happy place. Stop polluting the atmosphere.

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      • theattack

        theattack June 15, 2012, 3:01 pm

        I think what you don’t realize is that you are indirectly blaming LBH for her child having a less-than-ideal upbringing. LBH has had opportunities to get married and make a two-parent family out of her situation, but she chose not to, which has worked out great for her and her child. Now she’s in a wonderful relationship with someone who is stepping up to father her child, and they’re thinking of getting married. Who knows if things would have ended up so wonderful for them if she had gotten married when she found out she was pregnant?

        Bottomline: You are not just commenting on what it’s like to have two parents vs. one. You are saying to another commenter that she’s not a good enough parent, and that the decisions she’s made have been harmful to her child who she has made plenty of sacrifices for and loved to death.

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        lets_be_honest June 15, 2012, 3:10 pm

        Thank you theattack. Its refreshing to see commenters who often disagree with me, back me up on this one.

        But since you asked, if I had gotten married when I was pregnant, I’d likely be living in someone’s mother’s basement, leaving my parenting duties to someone else and being an all around mess with no career. I’m thinking my choice not to was the better one.

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      • theattack

        theattack June 15, 2012, 3:40 pm

        Awh, LBH. I didn’t think we disagreed a lot. I think we often engage with each other in conversations about nuisances in language and then sometimes decide that our boundaries are different. Okay, maybe that’s disagreeing, but you’re still one of my favorite commenters.

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      • theattack

        theattack June 15, 2012, 3:41 pm

        *nuances. Not paying attention to typing…

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        rachel June 15, 2012, 3:47 pm

        Haha, there are many nuisances in language though!

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        lets_be_honest June 15, 2012, 3:57 pm

        and you one of mine 🙂

        is nuisances a word? please tell me its not how you spell “new sense” (pronunciation, obv).

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        rachel June 15, 2012, 4:05 pm

        Yeah, lbh, that’s the word! Annoyances or whatever.

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        artsygirl June 15, 2012, 12:02 pm

        Our last two democratic presidents came from single mother households.

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        rachel June 15, 2012, 12:47 pm

        Wow. Just wow. I was raised by a single mom and I think I turned out much better for it…considering the “happy” marriage that produced me and my sister turned out to be abusive. I never felt that I should be pitied for not having a father in my life.

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        Elle June 15, 2012, 1:11 pm

        whoa, just by reading this I’m insulted too. I’m a single woman, I had no luck with dating so far, so plan B for me is to adopt a child. It will take me a few years, but that’s the plan. I do want to be a mother, but I won’t go have unprotected sex with a stranger just so I can have a child. (although it did cross my mind 🙂 ). (lbh, I hope you realize I mean no offense – your situation was entirely different than mine, and I admire your courage and strength for being a single mom).

        So if I adopt a kid who would otherwise had NO parents, zepp would feel sorry for the kid. I’m sorry, I just don’t get it. IMHO, one parent is better than none. I agree that two parents are better than one. But if life just doesn’t give you everything exactly the way you want it, plan B is to make the best of what you’ve got.

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        lets_be_honest June 15, 2012, 1:16 pm

        Not at all Elle, and I’m glad a single woman planning to adopt piped in. I honestly didn’t want to have a kid, so it wasn;t like I met some stranger for the purpose of getting one. I just personally was not willing to get an abortion. He wished for me to, so he went on his way without me/her. That’s fine too. Anyway, thanks!

        Its such a great point. A kid who otherwise would have ZERO parent is better off than one with a single parent who went so far out of their way to love and care for a child?! Craziness. Just like people who think gays shouldn’t be allowed to adopt. Like, do they not know the alternative?!

        I very much admire your decision.

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        Slamy June 15, 2012, 12:34 pm

        That is ideal, obviously. The best thing my mom ever did for me was to leave my dad. One happy mom is way better than two extremely unhappy parents.

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        Kimothy June 15, 2012, 3:36 pm

        It doesn’t matter if there is one, two or even more parents, all that matters is that the kid is cared for and loved. I was raised by a single mother and I turned out pretty great – the only downside is knowing that my dad cared so little that he abandoned me as a kid, (or maybe that he got into contact last year and blamed me for it) but that’s probably better for me than them staying together. (we were both planned btw)

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      • caitie_didnt

        caitie_didnt June 15, 2012, 11:50 am

        Wow, judgmental much? I bet LBH and AKchic would take serious offense to that. Having one loving, committed parent is 10000% better for a kid than having two parents in the same house that don’t get along and don’t want to be there in the first place.

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      • avatar

        Zepp June 15, 2012, 11:53 am

        And what is best is two parents in the same house who DO want to be there. I get life happens, but that doesnt mean that I can’t feel bad for the kids whose from parents who don’t get along. At least for me, when my parents fight, that is a terrible feeling.

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        lets_be_honest June 15, 2012, 11:55 am

        Sounds like you must have terrible parents since they fight sometimes. I feel very sorry for you.

        see how absurd that sounds?

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        Zepp June 15, 2012, 11:58 am

        Its not absurd to “feel bad for someone” just because I “feel bad for” kids with just one parent doesn’t mean they have the worst life ever and everything is horrible and single parenthood should be made illegal. It just means I feel bad for them. Don’t take it to the extreme.

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        lets_be_honest June 15, 2012, 12:03 pm

        The extreme? Really? You just told me you feel sorry for my kid (one you obviously have never met and know nothing about) and that you think she missed out. And that the only way to be a family is 1 mom, 1 dad (who never argue), 2.5 kids and a puppy that doesn’t bark. I, personally, think you are a pig for saying any of it. I’d venture to guess a lot of people would agree with me, including Mrs. Brady. Oh wait, bad example. She got divorced once too.

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        Zepp June 15, 2012, 12:07 pm

        So know you are just going off on a bunch of stuff I didnt even say, so I think you are just building this up in your head.

        Luckily, unlike you, I don’t care what random people on the internet think about me, so I will enjoy my “piggish” view of thinking children do best in 2 parents households.

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        lets_be_honest June 15, 2012, 12:09 pm

        Oh darling, its not your view that piggish, its the fact that you have no issue with insulting entire groups of people by saying you feel sorry for them even though they have wonderful lives and happy children. You will learn that someday I’m sure. I imagine you are quite young and haven’t experienced much of the world yet. In time kiddo!

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      • avatar

        Zepp June 15, 2012, 12:11 pm

        I’m 28, have a masters degree, have been working since I was in highschool, have lived in 3 different countries on 3 different continents. Or, by “experiencing the world” did you mean, “make a bunch of mistakes”?

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        lets_be_honest June 15, 2012, 12:16 pm

        Like I said, still young, spent the majority of your life in school.

        I imagine just because Angelina Jolie’s kids have lived in several countries doesn’t mean they have a clue about reality since they’ve lived on the same upscale level of society in all those countries.

        The fact that you continue to insult every single parent out there, and now everyone whose ever made a mistake, tells me a lot more about how immature you are than the fact you have a masters. Pretty much everyone I know has them now.

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      • caitie_didnt

        caitie_didnt June 15, 2012, 12:16 pm

        Pretty sure if you read any psychology or psychiatry or public health journal you can find evidence that at least in terms of mental health, children from stable, one parent-households fare far better into adulthood than children from unstable 2-parent households. Just like kids from well-adjusted same-sex parent households are just as awesome, well-adjusted and likely to be straight as kids from well-adjusted hetero households.

        Everyone’s entitled to their beliefs and opinions. But you should expect to be judged if your opinions or beliefs are ignorant. And it’s not having those opinions that makes someone a rude asshole, it’s voicing them unsolicited and in an attempt to put someone else down that does.

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      • caitie_didnt

        caitie_didnt June 15, 2012, 1:31 pm

        Taramonster, I can’t reply to your comment for some reason. Don’t you get tired of people who get upset when they’re called out for being rude, racist, an asshole, ignorant, whatever? Like it’s suddenly your problem that you don’t just meekly sit back and accept whatever bullshit they’re throwing at you?

        Hey everybody, here’s a good rule to live by: if you act like an asshole, or espouse beliefs limited to assholes, expect that someone will eventually call you out on being an asshole. And everybody else? Call out that shit when you see it. It’s not “being the bigger person” to let rampant bigotry slide by without comment.

        See also the mother-effing hilarious “Yo Is this Racist?”

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      • TaraMonster

        TaraMonster June 15, 2012, 12:50 pm

        A-fucking-men.

        Your beliefs are full of asshatery, Zepp. So don’t be surprised when people point that out.

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      • TaraMonster

        TaraMonster June 15, 2012, 3:11 pm

        Yeah, after the thread gets too long there’s no more reply button, I’ve discovered!

        I’m totally with you. You would not believe some of the racist garbage that’s been spouted at my SO and I. When we first started dating I was mad all the time. It also suddenly made me a spokesperson for the entire black community around my white friends- THAT was interesting. And he was like “Welcome to my world!” Lol. I’ve never been accused of staying silent or taking shit from anyone, so you can imagine how my first few years in an interracial relationship went.

        I’m much calmer now. Haha.

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      • iwannatalktosampson

        iwannatalktosampson June 15, 2012, 1:31 pm

        LBH and Caitie-Didn’t and everyone else on the anti zepp comments – you kinda have to take everything she says with a grain of salt – the comment “don’t ever break up with a guy until you have the next one lined up” came from her too.

        If you’re a good parent you’re a good parent – if you’re a shitty parent you’re a shitty parent. There is nothing more to it. I know some extremely poor people that raised well adjusted, intelligent, thoughtful and caring kids, and I know some rich people who raised entitled, spoiled, lazy, brats. There is no magic formula to being a good parent besides being a good parent. Mowgli was raised by a bear, a wolf, and a panther and he turned out just fine. I’m also convinced Ellen DeGeneras and Portia De Rossi would have raised the coolest kids ever – and then they decided not too. Sad day for the world. 🙁

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      • caitie_didnt

        caitie_didnt June 15, 2012, 1:34 pm

        You are right- but I draw the line at letting things slide or taking them with a grain of salt when they turn into personal attacks. At that point, you’re taking a safe space and turning into something unsafe and I’m going to call you out on it. “being the bigger person”, “not starting an argument” or “not making a scene” or “just letting it go” only goes so far, especially if the person engaging in the attacks is a member of the community and should know better.

        And yes, Portia and Ellen would be the most BAMF moms ever.

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      • iwannatalktosampson

        iwannatalktosampson June 15, 2012, 1:37 pm

        No I definitely agree with calling her out, I just hope you’re not actually taking anything she says to heart if that makes sense.

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      • caitie_didnt

        caitie_didnt June 15, 2012, 1:41 pm

        Absolutely! I have no personal stake in that discussion- I’m not a single parent, I wasn’t raised by a single parent (although a good friend of mine has never met his father, doesn’t even know his last name and he’s an incredibly well-adjusted, successful and all-around awesome guy). And while, hey, maybe I don’t always agree with LBH’s comments, but I have no doubt she’s a fantastic mom and her kid is awesome. It was absolutely unnecessary, totally out of line and inappropriate of Zepp to say anything that would suggest otherwise or even involve her child in the discussion in any way.

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      • CatsMeow

        CatsMeow June 15, 2012, 1:45 pm

        What’s “BAMF”? Is it “bomb ass mo-fo”?

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      • caitie_didnt

        caitie_didnt June 15, 2012, 1:49 pm

        Bad ass mofo, but bomb-ass works just as well, really 🙂

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      • CatsMeow

        CatsMeow June 15, 2012, 1:52 pm

        No no, I like badass better. I don’t know why it didn’t come to me.

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        lets_be_honest June 15, 2012, 1:35 pm

        🙂 I shouldn’t act like its my place to stick up for every single parent, every single man/woman who adopts alone, or every gay couple with children. It clearly got me fired up though. I can disagree with the best of them, but to say she felt sorry for my kid, come on. You must know the claws are going to come out then. It was unncessary. I really loved that everyone else chimed in against those crazy comments though.

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      • CatsMeow

        CatsMeow June 15, 2012, 1:39 pm

        I’m pretty sure my jaw hit the floor. Good job sticking up for yourself, but yeah… we’ve got your back. I really don’t like when anyone tries to dictate what a family “should” look like.

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        lets_be_honest June 15, 2012, 1:42 pm

        Uh oh, someone’s got a hot new avatar!

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      • CatsMeow

        CatsMeow June 15, 2012, 1:47 pm

        I do? I tried to change it AGES ago, but it wouldn’t work. And even now, I’m still seeing the old one. When I go to the gravatar page or whatever, it shows that I’m set to my new one, but whenever I post something here, I see the old one. I’M SO CONFUSED.

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      • iwannatalktosampson

        iwannatalktosampson June 15, 2012, 1:46 pm

        I know I get so pissed off when people tell me kids are different than dogs. I mean I have vet bills, day care bills, I worry about his well being when I’m gone. I can cry thinking about the day he dies….

        (kidding).

        (mostly).

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        Clare June 15, 2012, 5:57 pm

        I think there’s also a difference between saying that all kids raised by single parents should be pitied and saying that the healthiest home environment is one with two parents. I’m not sure what exactly Zepp was trying to say, and I’m not trying to defend/excuse that position, but I can see how the idea of stability plays into this. Obviously, single parent households can be just as stable as two-parent households are (and obviously even more so depending on the people involved), but perhaps that’s what Zepp was getting at? Raising a child is hard, and I can only imagine how much harder it is to do alone or as a co-parent to a less-than-ideal parent, so in that instance, I can see how someone would say that having two stable, loving parents would be the ideal situation. But, obviously this doesn’t mean that anyone who doesn’t have this is doomed because, really, not that many people do.

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      • bittergaymark

        bittergaymark June 15, 2012, 6:16 pm

        Yeah, I actually think Zepp had a point. If you REALLY don’t think a kid has a better shot in life in a home where the baby was actually WANTED versus an “oops, oh well, lets make the best of things…” trainwreck — well, then I really think that you have a bizarrely inaccurate view of how the world actually works.

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        ele4phant June 15, 2012, 6:29 pm

        Just because a child who has two married parents does that guarantee they were “wanted”? Or just because someone hadn’t taken the time first to square away every aspect of their lives preparation for a child, does that men they aren’t capable of being lovable, capable parent(s)? Unplanned doesn’t necessarily mean unwanted (this country DOES allow options, so if someone REALLY doesn’t want to bring an unwanted pregnancy to term…they don’t have to)

        Obviously yes, sometimes when people who are immature and in immature relationships (or no relationship at all) accidentally find themselves pregnant, its not a good scene for the kid.

        But Zepp’s view was overly black and white. Two parents = must mean planned, wanted therefore always good; one parent = must mean unplanned, unwanted, and always bad and pitiable.

        I agree in a perfect world it would be best if a child had two parents, who love each other. But I know plenty of people who had one parent (or two parents who were equally invested but no longer together) who had childhoods filled with nothing but love and support. They hardly deserve to be pitied for their childhoods.

        Life just isn’t that simple.

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      • bittergaymark

        bittergaymark June 15, 2012, 6:47 pm

        True. Life isn’t that simple. But people sure do their damned best to make it complicated. “Hey, lets squeeze out a puppy and hope for the best because I am too lazy to wear a condom.”

        I actually didn’t say anything about the need for two parents in my post. I just stated a home where the baby is wanted. That could be a single mother who has decided the time is right for her to have a child…

        Obviously, Zepp’s post struck a real nerve. People sure jumped all of her and got hilariously defensive… But frankly, I grow rather weary of people who stumbled so cluelessly and so carelessly into parenthood constantly claiming to be so god damn wonderful at it. Funny. Nobody ever really THINKS they are a bad parent. (Hey, just as the ghost of Joan Crawford…) It’s the kids I’d like to hear from. The few people I know who grew up in chaos certainly haven’t been thrilled with their childhoods at all. That’s for sure…

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      • JK

        JK June 15, 2012, 6:54 pm

        It was what zepp said about feeling sorry for lbh´s kid that struck a nerve. Hell, it offended me on lbh´s behalf, we all know everything she´s done for her daughter´s benefit, and someone says she feels sorry for the kid because she doesn´t have a dad?
        I, along with a lot of others apparently, feel that that is downright rude.
        Anyone is entitled to say “I think it´s better for kids to grow up in a 2 parent home”, but not get personal like that.

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        ele4phant June 15, 2012, 7:05 pm

        I mostly agree with you. I can’t think of anything more tragic than a child growing up in a home where they are not wanted, and where parents didn’t put in any effort to get their shit together and raise the kid (either coupled or on their own).

        And I’m not a parent myself, so I can’t really speak to what it takes to be a good one, but I do think there’s a very clear distinction between unplanned and unwanted. Unplanned babies can (and do) happen. To married couples, to one night stands, to those who have all sorts of resources at there disposal, to those who do not, to people who are being lazy with their birth control and to those who are vigilant but it fails anyways.

        But just because a pregnancy was unintended doesn’t mean that nine months later mom and dad (or just mom) aren’t going to be ready and excited for that baby.

        And when it gets down to I (and I think others) interpreted Zepp’s reasoning as “Oh, if someone’s not married, then they didn’t plan on having the baby, therefore, that child is unwanted. Poor thing, guaranteed its life is going to be fucked up” And that’s not just overally simplistic, its wrong. There’s more than one way to raise a happy kid, and more than one way to fuck them up (Your example, Joan Crawford, she adopted right? So those children were very much planned, if not also incredibly wanted. But they still got the shaft).

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      • bittergaymark

        bittergaymark June 15, 2012, 7:34 pm

        I guess I’ll just say this. I’ve never met anybody who didn’t have a dad who was simply beyond thrilled that they didn’t. I get that the world isn’t perfect, and that many families now exist outside of the two parent ideal… but to say that anybody who doesn’t have a father isn’t missing out on some things is just incredibly naive to me…

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      • CatsMeow

        CatsMeow June 15, 2012, 7:39 pm

        Saying that the “best” situation for a child is to be planned and to have 2 parents isn’t the part that got everyone worked up. It was the “pity” for the kids who are unplanned and and telling lbh that her daughter “missed out” that got me defensive. I obviously don’t know lbh personally but she’s made it clear here that she’s an EXCELLENT mother and has given her daughter a wonderful life. I think her daughter is very lucky to have a mom like her.

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      • katie

        katie June 15, 2012, 7:46 pm

        i totally agree with you, BGM. i didnt get involved in the conversation because i knew that people wouldnt understand it and react the way they did…

        i dont think its a bad thing to say that you feel bad for kids who only have one parent. i dont think that thinking that means that you think that they have a bad life, or they are doomed, have no future, or that the parent they do have is a bad one. i think its totally possible for a child in a single parent household to have a wonderful, happy, fulfilled life, and at the same time miss out (and therefore me feel sorry for) on the relationship with the parent who is missing.

        i really dont think its bad to feel bad for kids from a single parent household and kids from divorced parents. i do. i am a child of divorced parents- i feel bad for myself, honestly. but at the same time, i am sure that some of those kids (hopefully most- the ones with good parent/s) will still have healthy and happy lives. the two thoughts can exist together- a single parent can be a good parent and can provide a stable happy life, but we can still feel sorry for that stable happy kid who never got to have a dad/mom

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        ele4phant June 15, 2012, 7:56 pm

        I agree with Cat’sMeow. I’m not trying to suggest children who come from single parents homes have the “best” childhoods, but I take offense with the suggestion that they are to be pitied, or that they are somehow lacking a key component that won’t allow them a relatively happy childhood.

        And truth be told, very few people get an “ideal” childhood. If people weren’t allowed to have children unless everything was “perfect”, nobody would be allowed to have kids. If not the lack of a Dad, then maybe financial issues. Or one parent has a temper. Or the parents relationship is dysfunctional. Or, any number of things.

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      • katie

        katie June 15, 2012, 8:08 pm

        very true.

        i think its similar to when you feel badly for someone who is handicapped- it doesnt mean that you look down on them -“pity them”-, it just means that you acknowledge that you understand their situation is less then ideal and you wish that they had the best situation… thats really where it stems from- you want people to have the best situation possible, whether its childhood or your body or your finances….

        and also, i would feel the same way about a kid who had parents who were very poor or something similar- you just wish they had the best situation. that doesnt mean they arent happy and healthy. its just an acknowledgement of reality, and a silent wish for something better.

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        ele4phant June 15, 2012, 8:22 pm

        Maybe I shouldn’t speak to this, as I am not disabled, but I think if you told someone who was that you “Pitied them” or felt “Bad because life wasn’t ideal”, they would be royally pissed off.

        Of the individuals I’ve known who have faced this, they’ve taken pride that their handicapped hasn’t stopped them from doing what they’ve wanted to do, that they’ve been able to overcome the extra challenges in their lives. I think if you were to tell them “Gee, I feel so bad about your disability!” you’d likely get a big “F*ck you.”

        Perhaps not unlike the reaction of single mothers in regards to Zepp’s comments.

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      • JK

        JK June 15, 2012, 8:37 pm

        @ele4phant one of my favourite patients ever was a little girl with a muscular dystrophy. Once when she was out in her wheelchair (at age 4) another girl was staring at her, and said “you poor thing, in a wheelchair”, my patient looked at her, and said “you poor thing, I get pushed around everywhere, YOU have to walk”. 😀

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      • katie

        katie June 15, 2012, 8:45 pm

        thats why i put “pitied them” in quotes like that- because thats not what it is. thats not the right word, but i dont know what it is. and i dont think, nor would i say, to someone who was disabled, oh i feel so sorry for you- because i dont. and i dont “feel sorry” for kids who have one parent or divorced parents… at least, not in the same way you “feel sorry” for someone when something bad happens to them or something.

        i dunno, its a very complicated thing for me to express, and i think its because im one of those kids. i feel bad for the choices my parents made, but at the same time i know that my parents divorce was ultimately the best thing that ever happened to me, and that i would not be anywhere near where i am in life now without it… but it still sucked, you know? something that i know in my heart was not the healthiest, best way to grow up, but ultimately was a good thing. a good and bad thing.

        i dunno, its very hard for me to express…

        and JK, thats the best retort ever! way to go for that girl.

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        ele4phant June 15, 2012, 8:52 pm

        @Katie. I get what you’re saying. And I think its natural to be sympathetic and wish those around you had the best in life, whatever that means in each particular circumstance.

        But just as you would *never* go up to someone in a wheelchair and say “I feel bad for you!”, you shouldn’t got up to a single mother and go “I feel bad for your child!”, which is essentially by was being done.

        I think there’s really no disagreement among anyone that all things being equal, two parents are ideal. But all things aren’t equal. People can face challenges or less than ideal circumstances and still be okay, still have full and happy lives.

        People don’t like to be pitied – and if they (or they and their children) have relatively full and happy lives, well…they don’t really deserve to be pitied openly either.

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      • katie

        katie June 15, 2012, 9:01 pm

        “People can face challenges or less than ideal circumstances and still be okay, still have full and happy lives.”

        thats beautiful, and so true. its just like you wish the whole world was sunshine and butterflies and kittens and there was world peace, you know? but thats not reality. and isnt it kind of a beautiful thing as well that there isnt one particular thing that will “break” people- that not every kid who has one parent is doomed to a terrible life, not every disabled person is destined for a boring life, ect… that is a wonderful part of life. i like it.

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      • meadowphoenix

        meadowphoenix June 15, 2012, 11:23 pm

        Well bittergaymark, my mother was a single parent, and I have legitimately never felt the need for my dad. He’s flaky. Also, I feel that in marriages, one parent has to deal with two relationships that don’t necessarily align, the filial one and the romantic one. I was thrilled that if I needed my mother, she wasn’t also trying to manage a romantic relationship too. She had to deal with half the worries that come with relationships in a nuclear family imo.

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        Caris June 15, 2012, 6:53 pm

        Well actually, both me and my 2 brothers where planned and wanted. But my parents marriage was a disaster and I’m glad they finally divorced when I was 15-16. But I wish they had divorced sooner.

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        *HmC* June 15, 2012, 8:21 pm

        I have to say, BGM, that I also think that Zepp had a point. I think she crossed the line by expressing pity for LBG’s kid because that just came across as rude. But I honestly think that *all other things being equal*, two loving partners raising a child is usually better for the child than one individual parent. Of course, in real life, all other things are rarely equal and there are tons of factors to consider. Of course there are many many amazing single parents out there and of course there are many so-called intact families with two parents that do a shitty job raising children. But that doesn’t change my personal belief that, just as a stand alone factor, two parents who want to be there is better than one parent that wants to be there.

        I understand why everyone jumped on Zepp because, like I said, she got rude. It’s unfortunate that it came to that. LBH is clearly an amazing mom and her child is not to be pitied, she probably got a better childhood than most children in the world get. But I’ve shared my opinion about my personal preference for two parents over one before on here, and I was also called rude and judgmental. I get it, it’s not my place to judge others. But to me, it’s a theoretical discussion and what I actually believe to be true and what I would want for myself, not judgment of other people’s lives.

        For example, if I got pregnant and decided to give my kid up for adoption, and I had two choices of parents, and one was a loving successful couple, and one was a loving successful single man or woman, the fact that one is a couple would be a positive factor in that couple’s favor. Same thing with not being poor (which is not the same as being rich). If I’m choosing between two couples for my baby, and one lives in poverty and one is middle class, that’s going to be a factor I consider. Like being single, money isn’t some final deciding factor in whether you will be a good parent. But I honestly think it is naive to say that not having a partner doesn’t matter AT ALL or that money doesn’t make ANY DIFFERENCE. Some people fundamentally disagree with me on that and they are entitled to their opinion, but so am I to mine.

        I agree with those that have pointed out that this site is a safe space- I love that about coming here, and if you guys have ever browsed the comment sections of other sites, you would realize how truly nice and civil things do tend to be at Dear Wendy. But, it’s still the internet, where people can hide behind anonymity to be cruel and that is not ok. However, that anonymity also brings a lot of objective, honest opinions that sometimes people in real life are too invested or close to tell you. I really appreciate honest opinions, even the harsher ones, and try not to take them too personally when I know they don’t apply to me because the person doesn’t know me personally.

        I’m not saying that LBH or anyone overreacted to Zepp’s rude comment. I’m saying that while I do appreciate this as a safe space, I also try to remember that there is some benefit to people being blunt and honest sometimes. I don’t want the space to be so safe that people become coddling or enabling or afraid to speak their mind, because just speaking for myself, I come here for honest opinions AND civil discourse.

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        Addie Pray June 15, 2012, 8:28 pm

        ok then how about 3 loving parents? i think it’s obvious you guys are fixating on needing 2 loving parents because that’s the norm. i really don’t think it makes an ounce of difference so long as the parent figure(s) are loving. fuck, why not 10 loving parents? 20? 100? is 2 the ideal for a magical reason that no one knows about? …

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        *HmC* June 15, 2012, 8:33 pm

        But why is it “the norm”? Because people pair bond and there is a biological basis for two parents raising a child. I don’t think humanity just pulled this notion of 2 parents out of its asshole one day for fun. I think it’s rooted in biology and evolution, and there are reasons it is better to have two parents around than one. And just from a modern standpoint, I think it’s generally easier for two working parents to juggle careers and children than for one person to do the same.

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        *HmC* June 15, 2012, 8:35 pm

        Oh, and for the record, I believe in the notion of a whole community raising a child and I certainly don’t think that a single parent is a bad thing at all. I really just believe that all other things being equal, it’s better to have both parents around than not.

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        ele4phant June 15, 2012, 8:35 pm

        You know, you have a point. This whole nuclear family as the ideal is fairly recent. For centuries family structure was more tribal, with extended families living together. Perhaps that’s the ideal we should strive for…with aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents all right there, up in every part of life. It takes a village, right?

        Or maybe we could just accept that nothing is perfect, and that it’s possible to raise a child in a relatively happy environment any number of ways (as well as raise them in an unhappy environment any number of ways).

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        Addie Pray June 15, 2012, 8:38 pm

        Well it was also the norm for the man to work and the woman to stay home and raise the child. But modern science shows that a man can stay home and raise a child too and the child survives. I’m just saying, the “norm” is often NOT required for a child to have a wonderful life. I don’t think a child with 2 loving parents v. 1 loving parent is going to turn out differently. I guess we should round up a sample of children from 2 loving parents and a sample from 1 loving parent and… I bet you they’re all miserable lawyers and doctors, haha.

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        *HmC* June 15, 2012, 8:43 pm

        I definitely agree that the loving part is WAY more important than anything else. But I simply don’t think that 2 parents vs. 1 parent is as totally meaningless as some do, so we’ll have to agree to disagree (gah I hate that cliche phrase but I can’t think of another way to put it) on how important that particular “norm” is.

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        Addie Pray June 15, 2012, 8:47 pm

        I mean, I’d rather raise a kid with a loving father figure in the picture who is also an amazing father and all that jazz. but if i had a kid on my own, i feel like he or she will still turn out beautifully and become a rocket scientist. i just want someone to watch her for free while i go do yoga and have wine night with friends.

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      • katie

        katie June 15, 2012, 8:56 pm

        addie- i think you hit the nail on the head with the “norm”.

        having a “norm” is not what makes a child have a happy home. it is a huge complicated mess of love, resources, attention, ability to teach, ect, ect- its a process with so many different factors that you cant pinpoint one -you cant create a norm- and expect that formula to work all the time.

        i think that the whole 2 parent ideal and the sorrow that so many kids feel from not having one of those parents is the feeling of rejection. whether we like it or not, 2 people create a child, and they are, theoretically, the closest family to that child…. so when one is not there, there is something missing. this isnt to say that it cant be filled with someone else (step parent), another family member (grandparent/aunt/uncle/whoever) or even a family friend or something…. so thats why all these kids can grow up to be perfectly fine. but just the fact that one of the people who created them wasnt there will probably always be there… like BGM said, no one who never had a father involved was terribly happy about that fact. they may recognize that their life is better without them, but im sure that they all wish that parent (mother or father) would have made different choices…

        now, there is the matter of test tube kids. i knew one in college and it was honestly very cool how she just “didnt have a dad”- because she literally didnt. she had a sperm donor.

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      • katie

        katie June 15, 2012, 9:05 pm

        oh- and to your 10 loving parents thing-

        i take that as having a family, personally. and i dont have a family. and so if someone told me that they felt sorry for me because i dont have one (i dont get family christmas, reunions, ect- i could have literally dated a cousin back in colorado and never known) i wouldnt be offended at that. i wish that i had a family as well. that doesnt mean that i think my life sucks, and i wouldnt feel as though the person saying it was “pitying” me or looking down on my terrible life or whatever…

        and i think in general, as many loving people a kid can have in their lives, the better. the more the merrier in that case.

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      • avatar

        Addie Pray June 15, 2012, 9:40 pm

        ok but what about this: would you rather have 2 murderers as parents or 1? it doesn’t matter because either way you’re dead. ergo, a child with 1 loving parent is just as good as a child with 2 loving parents.

        there’s logic in there, somewhere, deep inside, it’s too deep for you to comprehend it.

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      • katie

        katie June 15, 2012, 9:47 pm

        no i agree with you. but i do think there is an element of “missing out” or something that is still there… but that doesnt mean that the single parent kid will be any less loved/educated/healthy/whatever then the other one.

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      • meadowphoenix

        meadowphoenix June 16, 2012, 12:11 am

        I would say having two parents usually makes it an easier economic situation and therefore perhaps makes it more manageable for each parent separately, so that the idealness of two parents is inversely proportional to the economic situation of the family. I sincerely doubt that a one parent child with money coming out of their ears is in a less ideal situation than a two parent child with money coming out of their ears. Especially if there are supportive families for both.

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      • avatar

        Friend of Beagles June 15, 2012, 7:35 pm

        Hey, I’m a married mom of two and I’m spitting mad at Zepp’s comments too. How unbelievably presumptuous to pass judgment on someone–a whole community of someones–that a person doesn’t know. Apparently one can see the world without expanding one’s mind, vision, or heart.

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      • avatar

        Addie Pray June 15, 2012, 8:22 pm

        atta girl, iwanna. i am sorry i was gone afternoon but i would just like to officially support iwanna’s comment.

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      • Lili

        Lili June 15, 2012, 10:09 pm

        I shy away from conflict (see yesterday’s joking thread) so I didn’t comment, but I want to add that i think LBH is an AMAZING parent and her kid is lucky to have her. I wish every kid could have a mother like her. She’s seriously a role model for how most mothers should be.

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    • avatar

      caramel22 June 19, 2012, 4:29 pm

      thanks you agree with you i,curse him all the time n tell him he is a liar n he talk about i need jesus because he is not lying,he also compalin money n how he is not where he wants to be in life,school loan ect i believe he complain so much to me because he wanted me to feel sorry for him

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    • avatar

      caramel22 June 19, 2012, 4:36 pm

      i agree with you,i would tell him this alll the time n tell me i need jesus

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  • avatar

    ReginaRey June 15, 2012, 11:34 am

    Totally agree with Wendy on #3…it’s not going to happen. Ten years, one child, and countless experiences later, if he’s not willing to make the kind of commitment you’re looking for (marriage), then he’s not going to.

    To put it extremely bluntly, I think your boyfriend likely doesn’t want to commit to you in that way because he’s conflicted. You started dating at a really young age, had a child together at a young age, and have been together ever since. He may have reached the point where he’s panicking because he never experienced his 20s like most people do…dating, having sex with multiple people, not having to be responsible. If you do end up convincing him to get married…I’m kind of concerned that he’s ultimately going to want to get a taste of what he never had. And that sucks, for sure, but is that really the kind of “marriage” and “spouse” you want to have?

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    • avatar

      lets_be_honest June 15, 2012, 11:38 am

      See, this is what I tried to say above about why some women don’t want to talk about marriage with their SO. Could it lead to pressure, resentment in the future, etc. Its quite a fine line if you ask me.

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    • avatar

      DMR June 16, 2012, 6:20 am

      Totally agree with Wendy on #3…it’s not going to happen.

      What exactly is “not going to happen”? He’s living with her, seems to be in it for the long haul, and is helping her raise a kid. What more do you want from a guy?

      Oh I get it…. she won’t get to play princess for a day in a white wedding gown. That’s the bit that’s not going to happen. Damn! What an evil bastard! Well, don’t life suck. Walking out on him is just going to bring pain to everyone.

      You know, this fixation by so many women on the wedding day celebration is really kinda perverse. And selfish.

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      • theattack

        theattack June 16, 2012, 1:00 pm

        Wow… I kind of think you’re a troll, so I shouldn’t be replying to you. But do you seriously think that someone wanting a marriage means that they must want the wedding dress? I’ll have you know that I’ve always wanted to marry my fiance, but HE’S the one who wants the wedding.

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      • avatar

        Nadine June 16, 2012, 3:30 pm

        He’s nit a troll, he comments often. He’s being pragmatic and I agree. They have the marriage in effect. Sure they need to talk about it but I t think it would be crazy to break up a family over a marriage certificate if she never made her desires known.

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      • bittergaymark

        bittergaymark June 16, 2012, 5:00 pm

        Yeah, I don’t think that SOMEBODY wanting marriage wants a wedding dress… but at this point the only thing she doesn’t seem to have IS a wedding dress… Again, look, if marriage is important to you? DON’T FUCKING MOVE IN WITH SOMEBODY AND PLAY HOUSE FOR TEN YEARS….

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      • theattack

        theattack June 17, 2012, 12:21 am

        But why are we assuming that she always knew she wanted to get married? And if her desires changed over time, does that make them any less valid? They’re still important to her.

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      • avatar

        Nadine June 17, 2012, 9:29 am

        Important yes. a priority? Only she can say, but I’d be pretty pissed if that was the only reason my mother gave me for breaking up with my father. I’m assuming there are underlying issues of a lack of commitment etc, but all she says its she thinks its “time”, and despite her hints, he hasnt read her mind.

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      • katie

        katie June 17, 2012, 9:34 am

        thats exactly how i see it too.

        she is letting external factors (her friends marriage, the “pressure” she is feeling) effect her feelings that she wants to get married. that should be an internal process. if she were to say things that were actually internal feelings, such as i want the “ultimate” commitment from him, i want to legalize what we already have, ect.. something like that i would get behind, because i feel those are legitimate reasons to want to get married… feeling left out because you are attending the weddings of your friends is not a legitimate reason.

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      • avatar

        *HmC* June 16, 2012, 1:15 pm

        “You know, this fixation by so many women on the wedding day celebration is really kinda perverse. And selfish. ”

        You know, this assumption that all women who want to get married only want a wedding and not a marriage is really kinda perverse. And sexist.

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      • avatar

        DMR June 16, 2012, 8:15 pm

        Okay, I admit that my language was inflammatory. There was probabbly a better way of saying it, but I stand by my point. There sometimes seems to be a knee-jerk reaction of “He won’t marry, so MOA” … .even if he is behaving exactly as if he was married.
        So if the guy behaves as if married – raising kids together, going on holidays together, and so on… it’s time to think that maybe this situation can work without a formal marriage.

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      • avatar

        ele4phant June 16, 2012, 1:23 pm

        I can’t speak for a other women, but I personally would rather not have a wedding, but I would like to get married, and it would be a dealbreaker if someone I was with never did.

        In my opinion, marriage is about commitment. Somehow not getting married (even though you share your life/have children together) to me still signals the person is leaving a back door open, or keeping their options open. To me it seems to say “I love you enough to father your child, let you clean up after me, share a house with me. But I don’t love you enough to give you my word to stick around.”

        Now I know there are plenty of men and women out there who don’t share this view. And that’s fine, not everybody has to feel about marriage the way I do. If they’re happy and secure, great. But for me personally, I will want marriage someday, and therefore, if someone doesn’t believe in it, we’re not compatible on a pretty important level.

        My desire to get married has nada to do with looking like a princess for a day. Frankly, that sounds like my worst nightmare.

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  • Tracey

    Tracey June 15, 2012, 12:30 pm

    Letter #2: I was with you Wendy, until you got to what to say if (and/or when) she’s asked why she’s declining invitations. I think she should tell him why, as objectively but as straightforward as possible. He needs to know his behavior at the dinner table is stunningly offensive, whether he wants to hear it or not. If he’s 60 with a Ph.D., then he’s a big boy who can take hearing the unvarnished truth.

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  • Tracey

    Tracey June 15, 2012, 12:36 pm

    Letter #1: You only saw him during the day, he was hesitant to take you out in your neighborhood, never met his family, and he didn’t celebrate or exchange gifts with you on holidays? For seven months? There must have been a lot of details left out, because his behavior screamed, “I’m fooling around on someone else with you!” for a long time. Be glad he’s giving you one very important, vital gift – the ability to MOA and find someone who isn’t such a douche. Don’t shed one more tear over him…go find someone better, and don’t tolerate this from anyone else going forward.

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    • avatar

      caramel22 June 19, 2012, 4:52 pm

      thank you i will

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  • bittergaymark

    bittergaymark June 15, 2012, 12:46 pm

    LW1) Start watching Big Love. Or stop being so desperate.

    LW2) Okay, Wendy’s IBS bullshit was an EPIC fail here. No seriously. Why not just call him on it sometime? Tell him he’s simply disgusting to dine with. That his manners are beyond abhorrent… Maybe he is just so fucking dense he simply doesn’t know.

    LW3) You know, LW, if you want somebody to propose to you — it’s often most effective NOT to move in with somebody and NOT to have a kid with somebody until AFTER you actually get said proposal… Look, there’s a reason for the old saying — Why Buy The Cow When You Get The Milk For Free… Of course, you did that one better, hell, you even threw in the Calf…

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    • Tracey

      Tracey June 15, 2012, 12:56 pm

      LW1 & LW3) Standing and applauding….

      LW2) Or worse, he doesn’t care. Either way, she’ll feel better if she just calls him on it (which should be her goal – get it off your chest and don’t you dare feel bad about it), and there’s a slim chance he’ll try to change, which should not be her goal. That’s for him to work on, if he wants. (And since he’s 60+, I’m guessing the answer to that is, “Umm, no.”)

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      • bittergaymark

        bittergaymark June 15, 2012, 1:02 pm

        Yeah, totally true on LW2. Honestly, Wendy’s advice to lie and make up an excuse — one which gives the LW a rather embarrassing sounding medical condition — simply left me baffled.

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    • Budj

      Budj June 15, 2012, 2:20 pm

      Soooo many phd’s I have met try to do this eccentric thing like it makes them appear more “out-landish” and “intellectual”…it’s pretty funny. My most recent run in was a guy that went out of his way to acquire ridiculous hats to wear….

      That or he really is really smart and eccentric and doesn’t find social norms worth applying to himself…

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  • avatar

    Slamy June 15, 2012, 12:32 pm

    I like to eat my salad with my hands. I like to have my dressing on the side and dip each piece of lettuce (the big crispy pieces) into the dressing. I use a fork for the parts that aren’t as dippable. I’m a monster!!!

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    • avatar

      rachel June 15, 2012, 12:52 pm

      Well…you are a monster, judging from your avatar 🙂

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  • avatar

    Elle June 15, 2012, 2:26 pm

    LW2, you could go the passive-aggressive route and give him a book on table manners. Or when you’re out, you could make a comment: look at that 4 year old, eating his salad with a fork, just like an adult!

    To be perfectly honest, I don’t do anything in the exact same situation. I have a friend who puts on lipstick, checks her make-up, puts on hand-cream at the end of the meal, right at the table. It annoys me to no end, but I don’t know what/how to say it to her. I’m just hoping she realizes eventually that no one else does those things, and she’ll stop. Or she’ll go to the bathroom.

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    • katie

      katie June 15, 2012, 7:34 pm

      checking your makeup, putting on lipstick and and hand cream is offensive? really?

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      • avatar

        Elle June 16, 2012, 9:08 am

        nope, not offensive. I never said that. I said it annoys me.

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      • avatar

        ele4phant June 16, 2012, 1:16 pm

        Eh, I kind of agree with Elle on this one. Primping at the table isn’t offensive, or gross, but it is kind of obnoxious, IMO.

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      • bittergaymark

        bittergaymark June 16, 2012, 1:49 pm

        Seriously, I totally agree… Go to the powder room already…

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      • avatar

        HmC June 16, 2012, 1:58 pm

        Ah, my mom is kind of self conscious so she is always re applying lipstick, powder, and brushing her hair (!) at the dinner table and lots of other random places. It annoys me! Mostly because it makes her seem insecure like she never looks good enough…

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      • katie

        katie June 16, 2012, 11:23 pm

        unless i was at like a really nice restaurant, i would never find this weird or annoying… lol. funny.

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  • avatar

    Leah June 15, 2012, 3:08 pm

    LW3, you’ve given him hints that you want to get married, you asked an open-ended question “don’t you think it’s time?”, but it sounds like you haven’t actually told him that you want to get married! You say you were humiliated even having to bring it up, but I don’t think talking honestly about your future together should be a humiliating experience.

    It sounds like you’re caught up in the romantic notion that your boyfriend will want to marry you and ask out of the blue, all on his own, like the movies. Maybe that’s even how it happened for your friends. But it doesn’t have to be that way and to my mind being able to talk honestly about what you both want for your future makes for a stronger marriage, anyway!

    So, sit him down and tell him “I want to get married” and if you have a time frame, tell him that, too. Then ask what he wants and really listen. If he doesn’t want to get married, ask him why. Maybe he wants to stay with you forever and be totally committed in the way that married couples are, but doesn’t want the actual ceremony or title. Maybe he does want to get married but isn’t ready yet. Or maybe he just hasn’t thought about it because you’re basically living as a married couple already!

    The point is, you’ll never know if you don’t ask. He’s already proven that he’s not going to give you a proposal that’s totally a surprise, but that doesn’t mean it won’t be totally magical if it does happen.

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  • kaluu

    katia June 15, 2012, 9:23 pm

    #3
    that really sucks that he ‘ignores’ your question that you asked ‘once.’ there seems to be a lot of your story missing (and i’d love to know more) i’ve been with my guy for about 6 years and we had kids fast and without planning. in my country canada you have the same rights as married couple after being common law for 6 months. ie if we broke up i could get half our condo in his name and child support, etc. a marriage certificate actually means you may pay more tax, i believe. and my partner has always answered that we could get married if i wanted to but i’d rather save up and get in shape for a somewhat proper wedding. by the way he gave me a medium diamond for my ring finger about 5 years ago before our first son was born. anyways my point was going to be that we really rushed in to our situation and were actually unhappy for quite a while, with lots of ups and downs, lots of drama and yelling, etc. (although he never refused to marry me, marrying would not have guaranteed me anything extra so it was a non issue) and we are finally in a good place. i cannot believe the way i used to communicate with him and neglect him compared to now. (still no money for a wedding though we live in vancouver and a regular house 45 min from downtown is 500k) there was a lot of room for improvement and so we improved our respect for each other, and matured a lot. (we are 30 now)
    i think it would be premature to break up although he doesn’t seem interested in marrying you.
    if you want to break up just remember you may not be able to go back, especially leaving at a time when he doesn;t seem into you to badly. how about making a goal (that he get you a nice ring and marry you and buy a place wih you, for example, or more ambitous, that he spontaneously propose to you) think about if you really want that goal,make lots of observations about your own feelings (whether you still want that and if its for the right reasons) and his personality as you gently try to improve yourself and the relationship and make your goal happen. you probably can’t change him but if there’s lots of room for improvement in your personality, his attitude towards you could change. also get advice from friends you trust about your situation. i havent read love languages but it sounds like it might be good here.
    cheers

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  • avatar

    painted_lady June 15, 2012, 11:40 pm

    #1: Even if your boyfriend really is only married for paperwork, then why did he lie to you? You’re dating a married liar. Run, girl, run. Also, even if he wasn’t lying about ditching you to spend Valentine’s Day with his mom? Make sure you’re wearing track shoes so you can run faster.

    #2: Yeah, turn down the dinner invites. If he asks why, I agree with Tracey. You should tell him. Politely, maybe even a little lightheartedly, but you get to tell him. Everyone has their gross-outs, and maybe table manners are yours. Noisy eaters are mine, and I live with the smackiest, crunchiest, slurpiest of them all. I get through it with light teasing and a lot of background noise. My favorite place to have dinner together is a very noisy local bar (kidding…sort of…).

    #3: Deciding what you want is such a nuanced issue, especially with something as culturally ingrained as marriage. I’ve seen this bust relationships up in so many different ways. If it were my relationship, if my boyfriend came home tonight and told me he’d had a change of heart and told me he never wanted to get married, would I stick around? Probably so. He makes me happy enough that I could forego marriage for a life with him. Would I always wonder if the reason we didn’t get married is because he didn’t love me enough? Probably a little bit. Would it get to me when I got nosy and inappropriate questions from those I love and care about and whose opinions matter to me about why we’re not getting married? Eventually. And as much as people say, “Screw what other people say!” when your entire support system save one person thinks there’s something fatally flawed about your relationship, I don’t know that as many of us as think we’re stronger than that are actually that strong. So if you really want to be married, or at least you could see yourself married to this guy and you’re feeling that he probably doesn’t want to be married, that is tough to stick around for.

    But then, are you willing to walk away from this man and the life you have together because of it? Again, in the alternate universe where my boyfriend doesn’t want to get married, I don’t know if I could give up a lifetime with him as his not-wife just to go out in hopes of marrying some guy who isn’t him. I don’t know that being married to someone else would be better than living a life with him where there’s just that whisper of a doubt that we’re not married because he doesn’t love me enough.

    And then there’s the issue of bringing it up. Once you bring that up, it can’t be un-said, and that’s scary because drawing a line in the sand like that – even if it’s not a dealbreaker for you – could forever color that relationship. You would like to marry him, but he doesn’t want to marry you, and that can’t be un-said. He had to finally admit that he doesn’t want to marry you, and maybe that forces into perspective how he really feels about the relationship. Or maybe if you say that you would like to be married, he agrees because, in the moment it feels true and he wants you to be happy, but ultimately somewhere along the line he realizes he wasn’t being honest, and really, how do you go back after that? My cousin was with a man for nearly 10 years. They had two kids and what seems like a pretty happy life. She wanted to be married, and he was a little ambivalent. He wouldn’t address it for the longest time, and she finally sat him down and told him, look, quit pretending this isn’t a conversation we need to have, and tell me once and for all whether you want to marry me. He said he did, and he got her a ring, and they started planning an October wedding. Then in September he called it off and said he couldn’t go through with it, though he still loved her and wanted to stay with her and their kids. They tried to make it work after that, but how do you stay with someone after going through that kind of rejection?

    I’m not saying one way or the other that there’s a right answer, and I’m not saying that you should never have this conversation. But I would make damn sure you know what you’re willing to accept at this point – not what you feel you should do, or what you’ll do depending on what he wants, what YOU want – and be very clear about it, because once you take a stance and insist he hears you, you change the trajectory of your relationship.

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  • avatar

    DMR June 16, 2012, 6:15 am

    The final one is not an MOA. They’re a family unit. They live together, split the housework, share the bills, and have a kid. That’s the real deal. She has a marriage, in all the ways that make a difference. The only thing missing is the ‘paperwork’ – a certificate of marriage sitting in a cupboard somewhere.

    It seems irresponsible tell her to walk out on the guy just because he won’t make it official. Better for her to negotiate and understand his reasons for not wanting to do it.

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