Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

This week in the forums, we’re discussing:

36 and Forever Single

Husband w/ depression, insensitive parents, fighting

My husband won’t stop smoking weed

Neighbor dilemma

What is wrong with my boss?

Work bullying and harassment

This whole Trump situation just gets worse and worse everyday

I’m hiding debt from my husband

BF lied about past marriage, then length of marriage

New Orleans recommendations

Anyone going on awesome dates?

How would you handle the employer when your daughter is assaulted

Follow along on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at wendy@dearwendy.com.

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Me, too.

After Alyssa Milano suggested on Twitter on Saturday night that women share their experiences of sexual assault and harassment using the hashtag #MeToo, social media was flooded with their stories. Seeing my own Facebook feed filled with “me, too’s” as well as detailed accounts of sexual harassment and abuse, in addition to support from men (“I believe you,” wrote one), gave me the feels. I’ve been harassed with your regular run-of-the-mill comments on the street more times than I can even begin to remember — hasn’t every woman? — and I was also harassed in junior high and high school school by male teachers (and, of course, by my classmates). In my college internship my “mentor” would not stop inviting me to his home for a private lesson until I finally agreed to go, and then he asked if I’d be interested in dating him. When I said no, he gave me a B- for the semester when I definitely deserved an A. When I was 15, a stranger in an elevator assaulted me, groping me everywhere and twenty-five years later we elected to our highest office someone who bragged about doing that very thing to women. This isn’t even an exhaustive list. But it exhausts me.

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My baby daddy is calling me irrational and jealous over my getting mad that he decided to plan a Halloween party for his 8-year-old daughter on the day of my first child’s due date. We have known the due date for over six months! I am offended not because he’s deciding to throw a party so close to my son being born, but because he is refusing to change the date and is taking away from my son’s special day.

Halloween is on a Tuesday this year. In my opinion 8-year-olds shouldn’t be at a party until 9:30 p.m. on a weekday regardless of whether it’s Halloween. He could choose to have the party on the weekend before Halloween and it would be actually better since the kids wouldn’t have school the next day. Instead, he has chosen to make me feel bad, calling me selfish, jealous, and irrational, and has even aired our business on Facebook so his friends could put in their two cents.

I honestly think it’s inconsiderate that he has chosen to throw a party knowing it’s my due date on that day. He made the decision to throw a Halloween party about a month ago; we have known about my due date for months. Am I being irrational? — Trick Or Treat Mom

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Weekend Open Thread

Happy Friday, y’all! It finally feels like fall around here and I’m in a much better mood than I was a week ago. First, we made it through Jackson’s birthday (and birthday party), which I’d been stressed about and which was, fortunately, a success. Also, as I mentioned last week, my grandmother had a heart attack last Thursday — apparently, a pretty serious one — and wasn’t expected to make it through the weekend, but this woman’s like a cat with nine lives and she hung on and now she’s stable and back at home. We already had a trip booked to go visit her in St. Louis in a few weeks, and now it looks like we will still be able to see her, which is great (it’s been over a year and I really wanted her to see the kids again and for Jackson at least to maybe have a memory of her).

It still felt like an emotional week though. We got news that one of Jackson’s classmates — a 6-year-old girl — passed away last weekend of brain cancer. He actually didn’t know her — she was enrolled in his class but too sick to start the school year with everyone — but about half of his class knew her from kindergarten last year and so Jackson’s teacher told all the kids the news so that they could talk about her together. Jackson came home not really understanding — “Did she have chicken pox?” he wanted to know, and “Will she be coming to school soon, when she’s better?”. How do you tell a kid no, she won’t be coming to school because she died? It made me think about little kids’ irrational fears — the dark, monsters under the bed, human-size bees attacking them in the park — and how I’m not quite ready to transition to rational fears, how I struggle with them myself sometimes. Parenthood! Just when you think it’s getting a little easier, it gets complicated again.

Anyway, it’s not all doom and gloom here. We’ve got a nice fall weekend planned. I’ve got some butternut squash in the oven right now and the apartment smells delicious. Hope you all have a great weekend!

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Friday Links

Here are a few things from around the web that may interest you:

I’ve been following the Weinstein story with disgust and disdain. I’m appalled by Weinstein himself, of course, but also by how enabled he was, by how long it took his high-profiled pals, like Hillary Clinton and the Obamas, whose campaigns he made huge donations to, to express outrage for him and support for the women who are coming forward with their stories, and I am grossed out by Donna Karan suggesting those women “asked for it.” None of this — well, maybe the Obamas’ late statement — is a surprise, sadly. This kind of thing — a powerful man taking advantage of young, inexperienced women who feel they have a lot to lose by rejecting him and whose behavior is enabled by people who depend on him for career advancement — isn’t limited to Hollywood. Hopefully, as these kinds of stories continue coming to light, it will empower women in other industries to speak up and it will put some fear in the monsters who think they can grab at whatever they want because they’re powerful.

Twitter suspended Rose McGowan’s account after she started speaking out against Weinstein (whom she says assaulted her) and other men who enabled him. Just in case you haven’t been keeping track, on Twitter you can: threaten nuclear war, make racist comments, make sexist comments, make transphobic and homophobic comments, and it’s all good. Call men out for shitty behavior? Nope — you will be silenced.

“Aging is harder for women. We bear the brunt of the equation of beauty with youth and youth with power — the double-whammy of ageism and sexism. How do we cope? We splurge on anti-aging products. We fudge or lie about our age. We diet, we exercise, we get plumped and lifted and tucked.

These can be very effective strategies, and I completely understand why so many of us engage in them. No judgment, I swear. But trying to pass for younger is like a gay person trying to pass for straight or a person of color for white. These behaviors are rooted in shame over something that shouldn’t be shameful. And they give a pass to the underlying discrimination that makes them necessary.”

— Working to Disarm Women’s Anti-Aging Demon

From longtime reader, JustMax: “I came across this podcast by Tim Ferriss interviewing Esther Perel on relationships. It’s a long podcast (two hours!) but oh so full of interesting views on modern relationships. Some of Esther’s comments reminded me of your advice style on DW.”

Thank you to those who submitted links for me to include. If you see something around the web you think DW readers would appreciate, please send me a link to wendy@dearwendy.com and, if it’s a fit, I’ll include it in Friday’s round-up. Thanks!

Follow along on Facebook, and Instagram.

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