Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

“My Fiancé’s Been Trolling for Men on Craigslist!”

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 Craigslist personals, getting pregnant through trickery, and a micromanaging mama.

About seven months ago I discovered that my fiancé, “Carl,” whom I’ve lived with for about 16 years, had been trolling around on Craigslist men-to-men ads. He had also posted ads on the site with pictures of himself. (I discovered all of this by looking at his online history). I confronted him about this and he broke down saying that he was sexually abused by an older cousin when he was a kid and has been struggling with these types of fantasies on and off for years (he says the sexual abuse messed with him). He admitted to actually meeting with one of the guys on the site but said he couldn’t go through with having sex with him. He told me that he loved me and would do anything to make it work and that he was extremely ashamed of his past behavior, etc. Since then, I haven’t found anything on his computer, phone or otherwise which would indicate that he’s still doing these types of activities, so, if he is, he’s hiding it really well. I’ve stayed with him because of his remorse and now he’s treating me very well, whereas in the past he treated me crappy. I still strongly believe that he’s gay, but he’s adamant that he’s not. When we first went through this “discovery,” all of a sudden sex was great for a couple of months, but now it’s pretty much non-existent again. What’s your take on this? — Not a Craig

 
My take is that if you stay with a man whom you don’t trust, who you think is gay, who has basically cheated on you (if not completely cheated on you), who has treated you like crap for 16 years, and whom you have bad sex with, then you’re bonkers. If this isn’t a case of MOA, then, darlin’, I don’t know what is…

A woman I recently befriended, “Carrie,” is in her mid-forties, has never been married and is desperate to have a baby. She is not interested in adopting or going to a sperm bank because, as she says, she is particular about the genes she wants for the baby. She has recently started sleeping with someone I know as an acquaintance who is in a committed relationship. Obviously, I’m concerned that she is doing something extremely immoral by participating in his infidelity, but there is something even more alarming: she is trying to get pregnant with this man’s baby without him knowing. He has not asked if she is on birth control, but she does not plan to tell him voluntarily. She said that she likes his genes and therefore wants him to father the child, and she is sick of waiting around for a man who is willing to have a baby with her, because she is running out of time (oh yeah, I’m also concerned about the health of the baby given her age). She does not feel that what she is doing is wrong or immoral because she will not make this man pay child-support or insist that he has a role in the baby’s life, but STILL!!! Obviously, this guy is a total jerk for being unfaithful, but that doesn’t mean he should be tricked into getting someone pregnant. Or should I not care because he is a total jerk and should have the smarts to ask whether she is on birth control? I’m concerned about this (on many levels) but I’m not sure what I can/should do… — Concerned Citizen

 
I understand the temptation to want to say something to the man, your acquaintance, but he’s an adult and if he’s having sex irresponsibly (i.e. without protection and contraception), that’s on him and it’s his problem to deal with whatever the consequences might be. Honestly, I’d be more concerned about alerting the woman he’s cheating on that her significant other is having unsafe sex with someone else, not that I would advise telling her unless she’s someone you know well or are close with.

I’m worried about my daughter as she has a lovely boyfriend who has just lost his father and is now completely under his mother’s control. He doesn’t seem to understand that at thirty years of age he should not be allowing himself to be at his mother’s beck and call. My daughter feels he only “fits” her in to his schedule when his mother doesn’t need him. This woman excludes anyone who is not strictly family, and my daughter feels unwanted and excluded to the point she thinks that breaking up may be the answer. Please help! — Grateful Mother

 
Methinks if you have an issue with your daughter’s boyfriend’s mother interfering in their relationship too much, you should probably set an example and not interfere too much yourself. Your daughter’s a grown woman — let her navigate her relationship on her own (or write in for advice on her own volition). (And by the way, when a man’s father dies, I think it’s perfectly acceptable for him to be more attentive to his mother, who just lost her husband, while the family grieves.).

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If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at [email protected].

109 comments… add one
  • Fabelle

    Fabelle October 5, 2012, 9:08 am

    LW1: WHAT ARE YOU DOING. Move on!!! Move on, move on, move on!

    LW2: I’m usually of the “it’s none of your business!” mindset when infidelity is happening, but in this case, I think you should tell. Just tell everybody, & then back away slowly as it all implodes.

    LW3: WWS.

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  • JK

    JK October 5, 2012, 9:09 am

    WWS x 3!
    I do love trainwrecks!!

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  • avatar

    kerrycontrary October 5, 2012, 9:19 am

    LW1: Your boyfriend is gay or is working through some abuse issues. Neither of these bodes well for your relationship. And I’m sorry, but you had sex with a man after he met up with strangers he found on the internet? And I wouldn’t buy the part about him not having sex with the guy. Did you ask if he used a condom? (I know that not all gay men are HIV positive, but it is still considered “high risk sexual activity”)

    LW2: If you don’t care about your friendship with this lady (who sounds like a whackjob in my opinion) I would tell the guy. I wouldn’t put it past this wackadoo that she told him she was on BC but lied to you about it.

    LW3: It’s none of your business. And yes, her boyfriend may be MIA for the next year or so as he helps his mother. This is 100 percent normal after the loss of a family member. Learn some empathy here.

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  • avatar

    ktfran October 5, 2012, 9:37 am

    LW1 – Wow.

    LW2 – Double Wow.

    Where do these people come from?

    LW3 – I think your daughter’s boyfriend should dump her for being insensitive. I get that some people aren’t close to their family and have a “me and my life comes first” mentality. But you have to understand that not all people are like this and they’ll do anything for people they care about. My mom and dad have spent the last serveral years of their lives taking care of elderly, sick parents. So have my aunts and uncles. I was telling people at work about this just yesterday and they were dumbfounded. I think it speaks a lot about someone’s character that they would want to help out a parent, or a sibling, or a friend in a time of need. Sorry for my rant, but I don’t understand people who don’t give a shit about the people they are close to.

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    • avatar

      lemongrass October 5, 2012, 10:42 am

      You know what- family is the most important thing to both my husband and I. It was something that definitely attracted me to him. Family comes first is our little motto. Some people would say its too much that we travel 3 hours almost every month to see my family and about 5 times a year travel 6 hours to see his. Going home this afternoon for thanksgiving. Our families aren’t meddlesome and we’d do anything for them. I have 6 siblings and 2 sister-in-laws, I consider them my life long friends that I can’t grow apart from.

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      • avatar

        ktfran October 5, 2012, 10:55 am

        It’s pretty important to me too. I get that it’s not for some people. I do. But when someone is dissing someone else for it, like this LW, I have a problem with that.

        Your family sounds awesome Lemongrass.

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      • avatar

        lemongrass October 5, 2012, 11:39 am

        Thanks! I’m pretty stoked to be installing these family-first ideas into a person soon. I promise to not raise it up to become a LW writing about their mother. Mother-in-law, on the other hand, we’ll see.

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    • katie

      katie October 5, 2012, 11:36 am

      I think though that there is a huge difference between being there for family and then being manipulated by family. We have no idea what situation is actually happening. Yes, she might be a terrible girlfriend who expects her boyfriend to be there with her 100%, but it could be that the mother is dealing with her husbands death in a terrible way and the boyfriend doesn’t have the balls to speak up.

      Also, it’s easy to love your family when you have a nice, functioning family. So it’s easy to say that the girlfriend is terrible, but there really may be some screwed up family dynamics at play here.

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    • Kate B.

      Kate B. October 5, 2012, 1:33 pm

      I’m not particularly close to my family, but when my dad had a heart attack I dropped everything and took care of him until my mom returned to this country and took over. They’re still my family. The lack of empathy some people have is just astounding.

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  • avatar

    bethany October 5, 2012, 9:39 am

    Lets see if we can do this all in abbreviations…

    LW1- MOA!
    LW2- MYOB!
    LW3- MYOB! Personally, I think it’s great that the BF is being so supportive of his mother after the loss of his father. Also, being around family is probably comforting to him and an important part of the grieving process.

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    • avatar

      Addie Pray October 5, 2012, 10:26 am

      MYOB? Make your own booze? …

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      • avatar

        Addie Pray October 5, 2012, 10:26 am

        MIND YOUR OWN BUSINESS!!!! i got it. just took a second.

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      • avatar

        bethany October 5, 2012, 10:29 am

        I think your therapist might be onto something with the drinking thing!! 🙂

        I am attempting to go booze free this week. Well, by this week I mean Sunday-Friday. It’s really hard! I don’t care for it.

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      • avatar

        ktfran October 5, 2012, 10:31 am

        I did that once. By Thursday, I was ready for a drink.

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      • avatar

        bethany October 5, 2012, 11:01 am

        I almost caved last night, but then I distracted myself for about 5 minutes and forgot about it. I’m really looking forward to some wine tomorrow night though!

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      • Fabelle

        Fabelle October 5, 2012, 10:36 am

        Yep, I did this…2 or 3 weeks ago? And I was all successful & proud, so by the following Monday, I decided “yeah! I’m gonna do it again! And again, forever! Only drinking on weekends now!”

        …no, that did not work. That did not work at all.

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      • avatar

        lemongrass October 5, 2012, 10:43 am

        Why…..just…. why? I love an evening glass or three of wine. How many more months do I have to go?

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      • avatar

        Addie Pray October 5, 2012, 10:46 am

        My therapist is healthy and fit and it’s clouding her counselings of me. Will you tell me if this sounds bad? I’m not saying it’s great, but is this alarming? I mean, I function just fine. Even Sat. night if I drink a whole bottle of wine and then hard liquor I don’t get hungover the next day. I’m not sure why I don’t get hungover. I always have a shit ton of energy in the morning. Obviously this is a problem calorie-wise but … maybe I’m what they call a high-functioning alcoholic? I think I’m just social. But you tell me:

        Monday: 3 glasses of red wine (e.g., with dinner with friends – but even if I have no plans I’d drink this at home)
        Tuesday: nothing (a conscious effort)
        Wednesday: 2-3 glasses of red wine (e.g., while I work in the evenings from home)
        Thurs: 2 glasses of red wine or 2 margaritas (e.g. with dinner with friends)
        Fri: 2 glasses of red wine (e.g., with dinner with bf, if it’s a low-key night, otherwise up that to 4 glasses)
        Sat: 4 glasses of red wine and 3 Captain and diets (e.g. at a wedding (add a glass of champagne) or game watching or dinner with bf/friends or whatnot)
        Sun: 2 mimosas with brunch and nothing at night (a conscious effort)

        What think you guys?

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      • avatar

        Addie Pray October 5, 2012, 10:48 am

        I’d say at least 15 servings of alcohol a week. I mean, not all Saturday nights are big. 15 sounds high though. Meh.

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      • avatar

        Addie Pray October 5, 2012, 10:51 am

        ^ This is AP when she’s not doing Bikram.^

        – When I am doing Bikram I average 1 glass of wine a day.

        Is this a problem?

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      • Fabelle

        Fabelle October 5, 2012, 11:03 am

        I think it’s really hard to say what is a “problem” when you’re judging an individual. For some people, this might be problematic– for others, it’s fine. If you’re functioning, I’d say you’re fine. Some people just drink more often than others. And if you DON’T have a problem, then I think feeling consistently guilty over it can create one. (DISCLAIMER: I’m not a professional)

        Also, here’s what *I* drank this week:

        Sunday- nothing

        Monday- 2 glasses of wine (home by myself)

        Tuesday- 3(?) glasses of wine, out at dinner with my boyfriend (we split a bottle & I’m estimating)

        Wednesday- 2 glasses of wine (watching Project Runway with my mom)

        Thursday- 2 vodka/cranberries (while baking)

        Tonight…I will probably drink nothing. And then tomorrow, I’ll probably day-drink some vino at an event. So, in short, if you have a problem– then I do too!

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      • Fabelle

        Fabelle October 5, 2012, 11:05 am

        Oh, I forgot to list last Saturday, which would actually severely up my intake for the week. I went to a wedding & drank… a lot. Probably like 6 glasses of red from 5 p.m.-1 a.m.?

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      • avatar

        ktfran October 5, 2012, 11:03 am

        I’m going to say no.

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      • avatar

        bethany October 5, 2012, 11:07 am

        Eh, it sounds like a high amount, but I don’t think it’s a problem.

        I tend to drink a similar amount on a normal week. I usually drink 1-3 drinks/night about 4-5 nights a week, so anywhere between 5-15 drinks in a typical week. All this is while being highly active- Bikram once a week and presently running about 15-20 miles a week.

        I don’t really do anything stupid (anymore) when I drink. I don’t drive, I don’t make bad decisions or fight with my husband. The worst thing that happens is I get sleepy…

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      • avatar

        GatorGirl October 5, 2012, 11:09 am

        Sunday- 6 beers during football
        Monday- 1/2 bottle red wine during date night
        Tuesday- 4 beers during a night out with friends
        Wednesday- 1 beer
        Thursday- 1 dirty martini
        Friday- no drinking, just tailgate food making
        Saturday- tailgating 9 am to late night so who knows.

        So yeah AP if you have a drinking problem I have a drinking problem. Also football season really screws up my drinking schedule- tailgating Saturdays and sports bar Sundays.

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      • avatar

        ktfran October 5, 2012, 11:17 am

        I heart all of you girls! Lately, I haven’t been drinking much because I’m trying to watch how much I spend. But when I’m not watching that, I will easily drink 5 – 15 alcoholic beverages in a week. Lately, I’ve been into whiskey and last Saturday, I ordered it neat. Yum.

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      • avatar

        GatorGirl October 5, 2012, 12:39 pm

        Cutting out booze to save money is so depressing. (I kid.) (Sort of.)

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      • MaterialsGirl

        MaterialsGirl October 5, 2012, 1:18 pm

        have you tried Aldi’s cab sauv? cause at 2.69 a bottle it SURE IS TASTY!

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      • avatar

        ktfran October 5, 2012, 2:08 pm

        It is depressing GG. Tonight, I’m planning on drinking a bottle, maybe a half bottle, of wine while cleaning in preparation for visitors tomorrow. I have not MG. I’ll have to check it out. I also live close to a Trader Joe’s, so there is always two buck chuck.

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      • MaterialsGirl

        MaterialsGirl October 5, 2012, 2:20 pm

        TJ’s is always a good choice

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      • avatar

        lemongrass October 5, 2012, 11:44 am

        Eh, in the month preceding my wedding I drank a bottle of wine to myself every night. My mom said that I was becoming an alcoholic. And that is saying something, she can drink me under the table any day. After the wedding was over I didn’t really drink for a month or two. So, maybe getting drunk when your stressed out is not a good coping mechanism but whatever. Also, I plan on being Kitty from that 70’s show in a decade or two.

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      • avatar

        bethany October 5, 2012, 12:29 pm

        One of my friends once called the the Authority on Drinking Alone. I wasn’t sure if I should be horrified or honored…

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      • Roxy_84

        Roxy_84 October 5, 2012, 2:10 pm

        Here is what I had in the past week:

        Friday – 3 beers (after work socializing, kept it light since I run Saturday mornings)
        Saturday – 2 beer cocktails (so a beer, plus slush plus 2 oz vodka) friend was over
        Sunday – 1 glass of wine (parents’ for dinner)
        Mon/Tues/Wed – nothing
        Thurs – 3 glasses of wine, 2 glasses of champagne (out with friends)

        So that’s 11 drinks, unless you count the 4oz of vodka in the beer cocktails as separate drinks, in which case I’m up to 15 too

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      • avatar

        Wendy's Dad October 5, 2012, 11:33 am

        Wrong, wrong, wrong! But not why you might be thinking. You’re drinking RED wine. Addie Pray, you need to get your ass over here for a European vacation. WM (Wendy’s Mom) and I will show you the virtues of Frankenwein (wine from our area of Germany called “Franconia” in English). You’d be a convert; I promise. And over here, people drink wine with their meals. In Italy, OMG, it’s an entire bottle at every meal. Freaked me out the first time…and I was with Wendy’s younger sister. I couldn’t buy a glass of wine. Had to buy an entire bottle. I’ve been back many times since. A whole bottle each meal? OK!

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      • avatar

        Addie Pray October 5, 2012, 1:11 pm

        Invitation accepted! Done, done, and done. Can I bring my new boyfriend? But no one can utter a word about Dear Wendy or else I’m toast! (Because then he’ll read the blog and know AP is me and then holy shit if he doesn’t dump me first after reading my crazy comments then I’ll dump him b/c clearly he would have to be psycho not to dump me first – and I can’t be with someone who is psycho because there is only room for ONE pyscho in a relationship, and that’s me.) Anyhoo – I’m ready. I can’t guarantee I will like Frankenwein but I can guarantee that I will love trying!

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      • avatar

        lemongrass October 5, 2012, 4:06 pm

        I bet he would read that comment from yesterday- you know which one, rainbows and love dust- and drop down… on one knee and propose.

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      • avatar

        Rosie October 5, 2012, 11:06 am

        You sound like me, AP. Drink on.

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      • MaterialsGirl

        MaterialsGirl October 5, 2012, 11:13 am

        Let see my count for the week:

        uh Monday: went to a concert- 1 beer
        Tuesday: one glass red wine with dinner
        Wednesday: nothing
        Thursday: one beer with the gays after softball
        Friday: going out to dinner with out of town friend-prob two drinks
        Saturday: probably nothing, if anything, one glass red wine
        Sunday: up in the air, it’s Chicago Marathon day! Lots of drinking to be had.

        It would probably be better to estimate based on a month, because some weeks have more activities than others

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      • iwannatalktosampson

        Iwannatalktosampson October 5, 2012, 11:48 am

        Wow this is a fun game. I was on vacation this week so my numbers will be skewed, but lets play anyway.

        Monday: Wine tasting followed by drinking half the bottle I bought so maybe 4 glasses?
        Tuesday: The bottle of wine I got at the other winery on Friday so 4 glasses
        Wednesday: Ethan and I got a complimentary upgrade to first class on our flight so I made an effort to drink 5 glasses of wine on the 2.5 hour flight. It took effort but I felt like I was doing it for all the people in the back that couldn’t drink wine. I had to!
        Thursday: Brother in Law and Future sister in law (they got engaged while we were in Canada!) came over so we celebrated and I had 2 glasses of wine and a margarita.
        Friday: Probably nothing because I’m getting back into yoga. Although I might go to happy hour with a friend – so if I do 2 glasses of wine.
        Saturday: Husker game so probably a bottle of wine.
        Sunday: Bronco’s game so probably a bottle of wine.

        Yup I’m an alcoholic after this week for sure.

        The average week is closer to 2 glasses of wine twice during the week and the more during Saturday and Sunday during football season. So I’m not an alcoholic – football and vacations are alcoholics…

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      • avatar

        Amanda October 5, 2012, 3:00 pm

        What a fantastic vacation! 🙂

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      • avatar

        Riefer October 5, 2012, 11:55 am

        I don’t know if the amount is necessarily bad. But if you have to make a conscious effort not to drink… I’d be worried about that. Like when you’re not drinking, are you thinking about drinking? Do you often want a drink and have to stop yourself? If you get to the point where you can’t stop yourself, then you’ll be in real trouble.

        Don’t mean to worry you! Just keep being self-aware!

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      • CatsMeow

        CatsMeow October 5, 2012, 12:07 pm

        Hmmm, here goes:

        Sunday: half a bottle of red wine with a friend while watching Heathers
        Monday: 3 pumpkin ales (post-AP test celebration) (AP = anatomy & physiology, not Addie Pray)
        Tuesday: 1 pumpkin ale with dinner
        Wednesday: 1 pumpkin ale with dinner (I’m all about the pumpkin ale)
        Thursday: nothing
        Friday: we’ll see, I really need to clean and do homework but I have some Schlafly imperial stout I’m excited to try
        Saturday: I might be drinking ALL DAY at Grove Fest
        Sunday: Probably nothing.

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      • CatsMeow

        CatsMeow October 5, 2012, 12:11 pm

        WAIT I lied. I forgot what I did on Tuesday. I had 2 Oktoberfests at a concert.

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      • avatar

        jlyfsh October 5, 2012, 12:14 pm

        i feel so old reading these.

        last sunday: wine tasting so probably 2 glasses
        monday through wednesday: nothing
        thursday: one mixed drink i didn’t finish
        friday: wine tasting so probably 2 to 3 glasses
        saturday and sunday: who knows let’s guess 2 to 3 glasses between the 2 days.

        i get so tired when i drink wine anymore. i need to do it in the afternoon so i can take a nap and then wake up and finish my day, haha.

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      • Cara

        Cara October 5, 2012, 12:34 pm

        ugh:

        Sunday: nothing

        Monday: 2 glasses of red wine

        Tuesday: 2 glass of red wine, 4 Whiskey-Cola, 1 Cuba Libre, undefined number of shots, 1 beer (party at my place, 60 people, it was legendary)

        Wednesday: hangover, nothing

        Thursday: 4 rum&cokes, 5 tequila shots (Tequila-Bingo night, it was for a good cause, alright!!!)

        Friday: nothing, I think

        Saturday: probably going out, so probably some rum&cokes

        Sunday: Dinner with the besties, so a few glasses of wine

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      • Cara

        Cara October 5, 2012, 12:39 pm

        actually, that is more than I thought it would be. It doesn´t feel like I drink a lot… I also have a medium-high tolerance, so last night I didn´t feel like really drunk, just tipsy. I went home, watched a show and slept, and felt absolutely fine. Do I drink too much? Ah, now I´m freaking out a bit. But I´m a student, I´m supposed to drink a lot? aaahh

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      • avatar

        bethany October 5, 2012, 1:44 pm

        College doesn’t count! Drink as much and as often as you want (as long as you’re safe about it)!!

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      • Lili

        Lili October 5, 2012, 2:28 pm

        OMG. I Had 4 rum and cokes last night too! While watching Thurs Night Football and making some new hot! single! (some were even male!) friends. I wish you were here with me though, And no tequila shots for me…my team lost 🙁

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      • Cara

        Cara October 5, 2012, 2:39 pm

        I need hot single male friends! Send them here!!! Or come meet me in New York at the end of this month! Do iiiiit! 😀

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      • Lili

        Lili October 5, 2012, 2:45 pm

        I STILL haven’t ‘run into’ the two hot single men we ran into together…Maybe this sunday?! Send good thoughts.

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      • Cara

        Cara October 5, 2012, 3:19 pm

        I will. Remember the stupid jewish Yalie and his doctor friend we met at bimbos? I liked the doctor friend. Why did we leave? I was so drunk.

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      • Lili

        Lili October 5, 2012, 3:34 pm

        OH. EMM GEE. I rode the bus with stupid Yalie when I stayed with my friend Dee. It was SO weird. I looked the other way whenever he boarded haha. Oh and we left to go dancing. Which we couldn’t do on that packed Euro Trash Night club dance, where our drinks ended up being straight up vodka. GOD. that was an epic night. Miss you so much Partner in Crime!!

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      • avatar

        Addie Pray October 5, 2012, 1:13 pm

        Fait accomplit. I’d like to thank everyone for making me feel better about my drinking choices!

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      • Cara

        Cara October 5, 2012, 5:47 pm

        You didn´t!!! ahahahaha! He went from attractive to I HATE YOU; YOU ARROGANT PRICK so, so fast! His friend even apologized! It was a fucking fantastic night, and I wish we could do that every week, even though I´d probably be dead within a year. Miss you too!

        Also, this is meant for Lili, but I can´t reply to her comment anymore, so it has to go under yours, Addie.

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      • Kate B.

        Kate B. October 5, 2012, 1:37 pm

        I am so boring. This is way too much alcohol for me.

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  • Cara

    Cara October 5, 2012, 9:57 am

    Idk, I think LW2 should tell the guy. Yes, he´s being irresponsible and everything, but that´s not the potential babys fault, kwim?

    So, if LW is letting this happen, then there´s a baby with an father who is not in the picture and that´s really unfair. She doesn´t have to tell him, but it would be a good idea, me thinks.

    LW1: MOA

    LW3: WWS!!!

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  • avatar

    Amanda October 5, 2012, 10:00 am

    LW1: MTFOA!

    LW2: Advise your friend to take her cheating lover on Jerry Springer or Maury to tell him she’s pregnant. That way, the rest of America can enjoy this trainwreck too. BTW, why are you friends with this woman? She sounds pretty sketchy to me. You should probably MOA from this friendship.

    LW3: MIND YOUR OWN BUSINESS. The world would be a much better place if meddlesome people took care of their own shit instead of interfering with others’ lives. Your daughter’s relationship is none of your business, so stay out of it.

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  • katie

    katie October 5, 2012, 10:00 am

    WOW. im not even sure what to say.

    LW1. i dunno. i have no idea what to tell you.

    LW2. you should tell the wife. i think that you should tell people about things that are going on in their life that they dont know about. its a moral thing. like, if you saw someone stealing money at work, would you just not tell anyone because you should “stay out of it”? no. i see situations like this as no different. the wife deserves to know that her husband is cheating on her. as for the lady trying to get pregnant, i dont think this is a bad way to go about it, honestly. the fact that she isn’t telling him is messed up, but if a woman wants to be a mother, she is free to do that without a partner, and having casual sex is one route. if the guy is too stupid to realize that they arent using any protection, or to not have open conversations with sexual partners about contraception, ect, that is on him. that is something i would say is none of your business. i would let the wife know about the affair, though. all you have to do is tell her you heard/saw something, you wanted to let her know, she doesnt need to “do” anything, she doesnt have to believe you, ect, but tell her calmly and then never bring it up again.

    LW3- i agree with wendy. i think that you just want to protect your baby from heartache, but this is her life and she has to navigate it the way she wants too. be an ear to listen to and a shoulder to cry on, ect, and try to give good advice, but let her live her life.

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  • avatar

    ebstarr October 5, 2012, 10:01 am

    I think Wendy’s advice is wise as usual, but I have to disagree with her answer to LW2. It seems so, so wrong to trick someone into having a baby – no matter how easy he makes it to trick him by being stupid, careless and a jerk. That’s a big deal, to have a kid in the world, and people should have the right to consent to that risk.

    On the other hand, how likely is it really that she’ll get pregnant…

    Oh and how ironic though, that she’s just soooooo picky about genes but not picky enough to choose someone who has given consent, choose a father who has integrity, or even choose a father with enough basic intelligence to understand safe sex (even if he thinks she’s too old or on the pill, he should probably be wondering about her STD status…)

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    • katie

      katie October 5, 2012, 10:08 am

      that whole genetics thing is really weird to me. it is actually pretty funny though… this lady obviously has not clue how genetics works, because what you see of a person’s genetics is such a small snapshot of what *might* be passed on to a baby. what if he is a carrier for some terrible thing and her baby gets that? so much for good genetics, amiright?

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      • JK

        JK October 5, 2012, 10:14 am

        And let´s hope that being a cheating asshole isn´t genetic, right? 🙂

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        iseeshiny October 5, 2012, 10:36 am

        +1 and <3

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        ebstarr October 5, 2012, 10:17 am

        Yeah, nothing’s risk free, but if she’s picky, a sperm bank is clearly the best way to go, not shopping around in real life for easy dupes that have whatever crazy criteria she is actually looking for. She sounds like just a horrible person and/or a complete moron. I hope the letter is fake.

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        Vathena October 5, 2012, 12:14 pm

        Seriously – that woman must be batshit stupid if she thinks that a sperm bank is *not* the best way to get “good genes” for her kid. Don’t the good ones screen for family medical history, diseases, ethnic background, and usually put all of the donor’s stats on a form? You can freakin’ shop for a donor! That is a MUCH better way to ensure good genetic quality than just picking up a rando acquaintance (who doesn’t seem to have two brain cells to rub together, either).

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      jlyfsh October 5, 2012, 10:18 am

      i would agree except, i mean you don’t ASSUME anything when it comes to birth control and safe sex. if you’re going to have sex, you have to have that conversation. having sex without having that conversation it basically saying i don’t care what happens, or i’m too wrapped up in myself to care. i mean not that i think purposefully trying to get pregnant by someone is ok. but, i think they are both in the wrong here. both are basically saying we don’t care if we get pregnant by not having the what are we doing for protection talk.

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        GatorGirl October 5, 2012, 11:02 am

        If this dude is cheating now with no condoms…I’m going to assume he’s done it before. Which mean the LW’s friend is a huge risk for STDs.

        Also- what happens one day when this kid wakes up one day and wants to know who his dad is? Has she even thought about the potential damage she could be doing to a kid? What happens when the kid knocks on the dad’s door in 20 years setting off a ripple affect of hurt in the dad’s entire family? This is so wrong.

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      • katie

        katie October 5, 2012, 11:29 am

        Well, I knew a girl who was a test tube baby, and it was sort of the same situation. Her mom wanted a baby and was sick of waiting for the right guy so she had one herself. My friend “didn’t have” a dad. So that situation can work out. It’s just a different parenting situation, just like two homosexuals parenting, or like adoptive parenting.

        I think there is a difference between kids who never had a father, like my friend, and kids who know that their father left and didn’t want to be a part if their life.

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        GatorGirl October 5, 2012, 12:26 pm

        I think a test tube is really different than this though. The man in that situation knows he is giving his sperm to create a baby- this guy just thinks he’s having casual, presumably no strings attached sex.

        My college friend is the child of woman who had careless sex with men because she so desperately wanted a baby. I’ve witnessed breakdowns by said friend who feels like part of her is missing and that she was deprived of a relationship with her birth father (she was raised with a step dad). She desperately wants to know who her father is and resents her mother for the whole situation. So even know she’s never known her father…she is still realy screwed up about him. And, my father is a royal screw up who abandoned my mother and I when I was about 8 and I have absolutely no attachment to him or any hang ups. I know who he is and chose not have a relationship with him.

        Tricking someone into creating a human life is not okay in any situation

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      • katie

        katie October 5, 2012, 3:30 pm

        i do agree that tricking someone for a baby is never ok… but, i dont know if that is what is going on. the lw says, “He has not asked if she is on birth control, but she does not plan to tell him voluntarily.” so presumably, when/if this lady gets pregnant, she will be like, oh well you never asked. i was never on birth control… and i mean that is really equal opportunity stupid, if you ask me. for him and her. unless she is actively lying to him about being on the pill or something, i really dont see anything morally wrong with it.

        i wonder why your friend knows that about her mom. that is definitely not the way to go about raising a child without a father, in my opinion. but, also, im sure its a really individual thing where some of them would really want to know who their bio parent is, some wouldnt care, ect, just like adoptive kids can be. some just accept it, some cant handle it and have to do that search and “find that part of themselves” or whatever you want to call it.

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        jlyfsh October 5, 2012, 11:30 am

        Oh I agree, I just think they are equally in the wrong. She’s crazy and he’s a cheating, ass. But, neither one is more in the wrong.

        Both of LW’s friends should be thinking about those things you mentioned, because if he has potentially cheated without condoms in the past then he could have other children out there he doesn’t even know about. It could be multiple children coming to his door in 18 years. And well I mean obviously that is quite the awkward conversation to have with a child later in life.

        And I thought if you went to a sperm bank you did get to see a ‘profile’ of the donor? Obviously it’s not the same as knowing them, but I wouldn’t think someone who was cheating on his wife would be a great donor either.

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        ebstarr October 5, 2012, 12:06 pm

        Right – he’s an idiot – but she’s worse than an idiot because she’s purposefully deceiving him. And I think deceiving someone you’re having sex with (knowing that they probably wouldn’t sleep with you otherwise) is an incredibly scummy move.

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        ebstarr October 5, 2012, 12:07 pm

        Er – well. I guess I am just assuming that she’s deceiving him, although she told the LW he didn’t ask. That’s probably not a good assumption. Still, it seems clear he wouldn’t sleep with her if he thought she was trying to get pregnant, so let’s call it lying by omission?

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        jlyfsh October 5, 2012, 12:12 pm

        yeah but, no one should ever be that whatever about their sex life. yes, she’s choosing to not tell him. but, from what the LW has said he also hasn’t asked. if you go in to a sexual relationship with someone and choose not to talk to them about protection you are just as big of an idiot as them.

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      • Fabelle

        Fabelle October 5, 2012, 12:39 pm

        But should the punishment for idiots be…a baby?

        Sorry, I happen to be commenting after you, jlyfsh– but there’s a few responses I’ve seen here that seem to advocate against telling just because he’s been stupid enough to expose himself to the risk. I still don’t think a baby should be the result of this dumb/desperate/cheat-y coupling.

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        jlyfsh October 5, 2012, 12:43 pm

        i mean i guess the answer to that is no, but at the same time. he is having unprotected sex or sex without worrying about protecting himself. he has to realize that is how babies are made. is it fair to him or the baby in question. absolutely not. however, i think this is a great example of why EVERYONE who has sex should have discussions about preventing pregnancies and stds. if you don’t use protection and then get pregnant it’s nobody’s fault but your own.

        if they were both just being stupid about this and she wasn’t intentionally trying to get pregnant, but they were both just not having this conversation would people still feel bad for this guy?

        the only potential person i feel bad for this equation is the wife who is being cheated on and the baby who may be created. both the LWs fiance and her sex partner are adults. if they can’t be adult about their discussions about sex, pregnancy and stds shame on them.

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      • katie

        katie October 5, 2012, 3:35 pm

        lets also remember that this baby is a wanted baby, so i would bet that if it does happen and the baby does get created, it will be loved and happy… even if its by a crazy pants mother, which might come with its own challenges, sure, but this lady wants a baby to become a mother. she doesnt want to have a baby to trap the guy, to manipulate into marriage, “set herself up” with money or anything like that… she wants to be a mom.

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      Riefer October 5, 2012, 12:06 pm

      “and people should have the right to consent to that risk”

      Actually, he is already consenting to that risk, by not using birth control or asking about hers. She’s really only tricking him if he actually asks her, and she lies. Or if she purposely sabotages the birth control. But if he’s totally unworried about it, then the only conclusion I can come to is that he doesn’t care one way or the other.

      Anyone who doesn’t want a kid has to take responsibility. You can’t assume the other person doesn’t want a kid. So if no one takes any responsibility and a kid happens, well, it’s no more one person’s fault than the other.

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        ebstarr October 5, 2012, 12:20 pm

        I see yall’s point that he’s an idiot, really. And a cheating idiot, which makes it hard to feel very sorry for him. But I mean… what if the friend had HIV for example? He has a right to be told that too (by the LW’s friend), even if he was dumb enough not to say “Hey, by the way, are you HIV positive?”

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        jlyfsh October 5, 2012, 12:23 pm

        technically while that is a really really shitty thing to do and i think illegal, people should also talk to their potential sex partners about diseases and use protection!

        if you aren’t mature enough to 1. talk to your partner and 2. protect yourself against stds and pregnancy then you probably aren’t mature enough to be having sex!

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        ebstarr October 5, 2012, 12:25 pm

        Haha and I’ll add a third thing – if you’re not mature enough to not cheat on your wife you shouldn’t be having sex!

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        Riefer October 5, 2012, 12:28 pm

        Not telling someone you have HIV is illegal I believe. Not telling someone you’re on birth control when they didn’t even ask? Totally different story. Like I said, I think it’s morally wrong if you lie about it. But if they don’t even care? Well, they’re clearly fine with the risk of parenthood then.

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      • Cara

        Cara October 5, 2012, 12:41 pm

        but, the result is a baby, folks! A baby with an absentee dad, so you´re punishing an innocent kid with that whole “not telling him” shtick!

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        Riefer October 5, 2012, 12:51 pm

        I don’t think the woman’s being above-board here, clearly. But they are both contributing equally to the problem. The responsibility is on both of them.

        All I’m saying is, people are always so quick to blame the woman in these cases. But in this specific case, the guy is not getting “tricked”. He’s a full contributor to the risk.

        The kid’s going to have a hard life regardless, whether his mom goes to a sperm bank or gets pregnant with this guy, because she’s obviously quite a piece of work.

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  • avatar

    Addie Pray October 5, 2012, 10:32 am

    WWS x 3. I love shortcuts. Almost as much as I love the personal essays that Wendy posts from time to time. TGIF, everybody!

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      Wendy's Dad October 5, 2012, 10:56 am

      And TGIF to my favorite Chicago lawyer. But you forgot something in your post.

      “What did I forget, WD?” you say.
      You forgot to remind people to BUY A DEAR WENDY COFFEE MUG. Those puppies will be gone, and y’all don’t want to be the ones who missed out.

      BTW, it’s beautiful fall weather here in beautiful Bavaria.

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        Addie Pray October 5, 2012, 11:06 am

        Aw, thank you! EVERYBODY, DON’T FORGET TO BUY A DEAR WENDY COFFEE MUG! Personally, I’d buy a whole box full and then sell them on the street at jacked up prices. That’s bank for retirement right there.

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        Wendy's Dad October 5, 2012, 11:08 am

        Oh, my apologies, AP. I just saw where you did just that on the other post. And, by the way, doesn’t Wendy look great in those pictures? She doesn’t need to worry about looking bad. Her mom still looks great after almost 37 years since she got pregnant with our first (Wendy). It’s in the genes.

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        Addie Pray October 5, 2012, 1:16 pm

        It’s those designer genes for sure!

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    Desiree October 5, 2012, 10:54 am

    I’m inclined to agree with everyone on LW3 that the daughter needs to be more supportive of her boyfriend at this difficult time. But I can think of a scenario that might be more understandable (and it happened in my family). Some people have a “problem parent,” whether that parent is inappropriately needy/rude/mean, whatever. In these cases, the other parent might be a buffer between the kids and the “problem parent.” If the buffer parent passes before the problem parent, it can throw family dynamics into an uproar. This happened in my extended family. I doubt that is the case for LW3, but I was trying to give her some benefit of the doubt.

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  • landygirl

    landygirl October 5, 2012, 10:56 am

    LW1 – Please get tested for sexually transmitted diseases ASAP then dump your boyfriend. If he can keep such a huge a secret from you for 16 years then he can easily keep smaller ones from you too.

    LW2 & LW3 – Its none of your business, stay out of it.

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  • avatar

    GatorGirl October 5, 2012, 11:04 am

    LW2 I would tell the guy. What this woman is doing is so unbeleivably wrong and is going to hurt so many people in the long run.

    Also find some less crazy friends.

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  • avatar

    Lucy October 5, 2012, 11:44 am

    LW1 – your so-called fiance is gay. And being abused didn’t make him that way. In fact, the abuse story sounds like something he concocted just in case you ever stumbled over what he was up to. Run.

    LW2 – It’s not your business. And at her age she’s unlikely to get pregnant without medical intervention anyway. Stay out of it.

    LW3 – If the boyfriend’s parents were still married and his mother is grieving his father’s death, then you’re being an unsympathetic jerk for complaining about them spending “too much” time together. If your daughter is also complaining about this, she’s being an unsympathetic jerk too. Hopefully he dumps her when he realizes this.

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    • KKZ

      KKZ October 5, 2012, 12:58 pm

      Um. I just have to say, male victims of sexual abuse face SO much silencing, shaming and disbelief, especially from women, that it is totally unfair to just declare wholesale “He’s gay and made up the abuse story” based on the very, very little info we get in this Shortcut of a letter.

      Victims of male-on-male sexual abuse often have HUGE struggles with questions about their sexuality afterwards, and if they go without help from a professional, these problems can fester for the rest of their lives. Men are less likely to seek or receive help because of all the shame surrounding being a male victim of abuse. It’s vastly underreported.

      I’m sorry, but I’m friends with men who have been abused, and I can’t just let a comment like that slide.

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        iseeshiny October 5, 2012, 1:05 pm

        I second KKZ here. She’s much more eloquent than I would have been and a lot less profane.

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        GatorGirl October 5, 2012, 1:39 pm

        Yup. Agree. OP that was a really insensitive comment.

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        Lucy October 5, 2012, 6:36 pm

        I actually spent years working with both male and female victims of physical and sexual abuse. The fact that many victims suffer as you described is true, but also kind of irrelevant in this specific case. This is a guy who has been soliciting anonymous m2m sex on Craigslist, who has a nonexistent sexual relationship with his so-called fiance, and who, when confronted about his deception, suddenly reveals an abuse story as a justification for being on the down low. He then magics up their sex life for a while, hoping she’ll forget all about it, and he can go back to the way things were, except now he’s remembering to cover his tracks. This isn’t in any way implying that in general sex abuse victims are lying, and I apologize if you read it that way. But this PARTICULAR guy is, to me, quite obviously an accomplished liar, and it’s not too big of a stretch to conclude that he could lie in such a way that he thinks will result in minimum scrutiny and maximum latitude. Maybe I just have seen too many women who have been in the same situation this woman finds herself in – hearing hoofbeats and desperately wishing that, just this one time, it’ll turn out to be zebras. People who lead these double lives are proficient at lying and manipulating their SOs to preserve the status quo, and in general they have no compunction about telling lies from which the rest of us would instinctively recoil.

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        Lucy October 5, 2012, 6:45 pm

        And autocorrect wants m4m to be m2m. Is m2m even a thing? Whatever.

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    Rachel October 5, 2012, 11:55 am

    LW1 – How long have you been engaged to this guy who you don’t trust or have a sex life with? Sounds like a real winner. Seriously MOA.

    A few of you ladies talked on here the other day about talking to your doctor before getting pregnant. I’m just imagining the woman in the 2nd letter doing this, and attempting to explain just *how* she is getting this baby. Yikes. LW2 – tell everyone or don’t, but get these people out of your life.

    LW3 – um..yeah..WWS

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  • KKZ

    KKZ October 5, 2012, 1:11 pm

    In LW#2’s shoes, I would feel like a total jerk if I knew all of that was going on and I didn’t say anything about it. Both parties in that situation are behaving like utter assholes. If it was just a cheating situation, then maybe I’d let it slide, but the consequences of this run SO much deeper. I don’t like the “serves them right” justification for maintaining silence.

    Although, with how nutjobby this “friend” sounds, if she can’t dupe this dude into knocking her up, she’ll probably just do it to some other clueless sap. WRONG WRONG WRONG! The woman’s desire to get pregnant does NOT outweigh the man’s sovereignty, and that includes sovereignty over his genetic material. “Consent” is not the default when two people don’t talk to each other about this stuff. Spermjacking is just so … I can’t even… UGH. Man or woman, I’d be pissed as all hell if someone took my genetic material to create a baby without my knowledge or consent. (And sorry, no, refusing to talk about it does not equal consent, just carelessness. Consent is a conscious choice.)

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    • avatar

      jlyfsh October 5, 2012, 1:48 pm

      when you’re actively handing over your sperm without talking about protection you’re basically consenting by saying you don’t care enough to be proactive. i mean having sex without protection and without talking about protecting may result in a baby. i feel like some people are still amazed by that. or say oh i just assumed she was on the pill. you never assume when you’re talking about something that could result in a std or pregnancy!

      if she wasn’t crazy, because i agree what she’s doing is very very wrong and she needs some therapy because even if the LW tells this particular friend she’s still going to find someone else to get pregnant with, and they were both just idiots who weren’t concerned with protecting themselves and she ended up pregnant and decided to keep and raise the baby, he still would not have consented to the pregnancy but, he would still play the same role. the guy who doesn’t care enough to talk about protection (with her being an equal player in that carelessness).

      honestly, i think if anything the LW needs to talk to her friend who is trying to get pregnant and try to get her to see that she doesn’t want this for her potential children. because like you said, if it’s not this guy it will be someone else. unfortunately, there seem to be a lot of people (both men and women) who don’t care enough to talk about protecting themselves. a condom might ruin the mood for a minute (according to some people), but there’s nothing like a baby or std to really ruin the mood.

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      • KKZ

        KKZ October 5, 2012, 2:21 pm

        I do get where you and others are coming from, that Dude should not make assumptions and should take responsibility for preventing pregnancy – but that alone would still not be a good enough reason for me personally (if I were in the LW’s shoes) to not say anything to any of the involved & affected parties.

        And with the Friend being in her mid-forties, well, that’s past the age most sexually active people (man or woman, cheating or not) are thinking pregnancy is a real risk. I could see why he would assume without asking that having sex with her won’t result in pregnancy. It’s a risky assumption to make, but not all that unreasonable. Remember, not everyone is as up-on birth control and reproduction and all of that stuff as all us smartypants DW readers. Some people grew up with very poor sex ed that never got corrected. I’m not saying for sure that this is Dude’s problem, but I can still understand how he might simply believe pregnancy isn’t possible at her age.

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      • Fabelle

        Fabelle October 5, 2012, 2:35 pm

        Yeah, I have to say that’s a good point that nobody has mentioned yet, KKZ– the fact that he may be assuming pregnancy is no longer even a risk. Of course STDs are a risk, & it’s dumb to assume ANYTHING, but it’s his negligence doesn’t mean he’s essentially asking for a baby.

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      • katie

        katie October 5, 2012, 3:46 pm

        negligence doesnt mean he is asking for a baby? he is having sex!!

        i find this debate interesting. i think a lot of these opinions form from the thought that only women should be responsible for birth control. which, i believe is wrong. its a two way street. you cant make a baby without two people.

        the only difference between this situation and any other two idiots having sex without protection/without talking about using protection is that this lady actually *wants* a baby, but that makes the whole situation her fault? i dont get that. out of the millions of unwanted babies that happen every year through this exact situation, at least this one will be wanted, and hopefully loved and parented correctly (good luck, though, amiright?)

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      • Fabelle

        Fabelle October 5, 2012, 4:02 pm

        I just never, as a whole, like the idea of “baby as consequence for sex.” Babies shouldn’t be concequences for stupidity, ESPECIALLY in this clusterfuck of a situation.

        I mean, you’re right that the woman isn’t being careless… but that’s kind of the problem? It takes two people to make a baby . Not one calculating, deceitful person, & one unthinking, careless one. If this guy isn’t consenting to be a father, then this is wrong (even if this woman plans to raise the child herself. Why doesn’t she just go to a sperm donor, then?)

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      • katie

        katie October 5, 2012, 4:16 pm

        i agree re: go to a sperm donor.

        i just dont get how he isnt “consenting” to be a father just because the woman isnt using birth control. if he was giving her his sperm, that would be different, i think. in that situation, consent does need to be given and things can be stolen and people can be decieved. but they are doing things the old fashioned way! everytime anyone has sex, there is a possibility the girl will get pregnant. if this guy is not taking every precaution he can, is that not consent? sex makes babies. its the risk you take.

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      • KKZ

        KKZ October 5, 2012, 4:14 pm

        Who is saying it’s anyone’s fault? There’s nothing yet to blame anyone for – we have two people being equally stupid, him for the cheating and lack of protection, her for the spermjacking (which, I’m going to respectfully disagree with what you said above, that’s just wrong). This isn’t a question of “who is more at fault,” it’s a question of “who is going to wise up and STOP THIS before it becomes a disaster?” The LW is in a position to do so. It’s not her responsibility, but the opening is there. Personally, I would take it.

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      • katie

        katie October 5, 2012, 4:32 pm

        i do agree- id take the opening too.

        i just find it interesting that everyone thinks that she is so morally wrong (spermjacking, ect) that she isnt on birth control, and is having sex. that happens everyday, its not against the law, but it just so happens that this lady *wants* a baby, so she is somehow doing something wrong. i just think it shouldnt be like that. birth control isnt the womans obligation, its both partners problem.

        i mean, imagine- she is getting hot and heavy with him, and they start having sex, and he doesnt put on a condom. she thinks that is odd, but he hadnt asked about anything, so he must be ok with this. and the girl thinks, well, this is fine. im fine with having a baby, i mean i actually want one right now, so this is fine. i have no reason to pretect against it… ect. thats spermjacking? i dont see that.

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  • avatar

    Caris October 5, 2012, 1:36 pm

    LW2: Tell the wife. She is at risk of getting STD’s from her asshole of a husband who can’t even be bothered to use protection when he cheats.

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  • avatar

    laxhaxtax October 7, 2012, 3:09 pm

    First, Carl is gay. He has probably been with men for years. He might love you in his own way but he is not being true to himself and certainly not to you. Sex shouldn’t disappear like this unless he really has no interest in females. I hope for both your sakes you can have an honest, open discussion w/o anger or resentment and let both of you find someone who loves you for all the right reasons

    The friend who is trying to get pregnant would be much better served if she went to a specialist because at her age pregnancy is almost off the table. Her body is probably close to menopause. If she has viable eggs they can harvest them and give her the best chance for a baby but I think she may be past that. I also think the man is cheating on his wife and if there should be a baby I cannot imagine the hell that is going to be in his and his wife’s lives. I really think the world is getting nuttier all the time.

    Mothers who live thru their chlldren usually ruin them.

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