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Shortcuts: “My Boyfriend Won’t Let Me Travel with My Friends”

It’s time again for Shortcuts. For every question, I’ll give my advice in just a few sentences, 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.

I’m 21 years old and my boyfriend of a year is 24. My best friends in the whole world whom I’ve known since I was 14 are planning to travel to Vegas for spring break this year. I’ve never done anything for spring break and this is my senior year of college. But when I brought it up to my boyfriend, he said, “No.”

At the time, he planned a trip to Virginia for us two, and his father gave us his condo to stay in for four days. The night before we left for Virginia I brought Vegas up again and he’s said: “If you’re going to Vegas, tell me now because we’re not going to Virginia at all.” I told my friends I’m not going to Vegas, then went to Virginia with my boyfriend and we had so much fun. The day after we came home I kept thinking about Vegas and how my two best friends were going to go without me, so I decided to tell my boyfriend that I’m going and he completely flipped on me, calling me a lying, shady bitch.

He thinks I’m going to sleep with guys, and he says that him taking me to Virginia was a mistake and he regrets it and that I fucked him over and he could have used that money to go somewhere with his friends but he wasted it on me. I’ve been crying every day for weeks. Am I wrong for wanting to go to Vegas with my friends? — Vegas Bound

 
Your boyfriend is a manipulative, controlling douche bag and you need to dump him immediately and never, ever again date anyone who makes you think you have to ask his permission to spend time with your best friends. You also need to own up that you were manipulative, too, when you told your boyfriend you weren’t going to go to Vegas and then as soon as your trip to Virginia was over, you back-pedaled and said that, oh wait, yes you were. Douche move.

My boyfriend smokes pot every day and now is doing a lot of poppers as well. He told me he wouldn’t do poppers anymore but I smelled it on him tonight. At first he lied, but then he admitted to it. I feel like I’m losing trust in him and we do not have the same values (I do not do any drugs at all). I know some people don’t think drugs are bad, but in my opinion they are. I feel like we are slowly drifting apart and, although I love him, trust plays a huge role in a relationship. We are both 19 years old and I’m going into my second year of college. He did only one year of college and is not returning. I feel that I am progressing with my life and he is on hold. What do you think I should do? — Smelling Poppers

 
You don’t trust him, you have different core values, and your lives are moving in different directions. What do YOU think you should do? Sounds to me like this relationship has run it’s course and it’s time to MOA.

When I found out my ex was cheating, I almost killed him. He put me in jail. So why does he keep calling? — Jailbird

 
I don’t know, maybe he just wants his Enya CDs back from you.

***************

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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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{ 182 comments… add one }

Fabelle Fabelle September 6, 2013, 9:14 am

LW1: your boyfriend isn’t your dad; he’s not allowed to say “no” when you tell him you’re going away on a trip with your friends. If he had concerns, he could air them with you in a reasonable, polite manner— but it’s manipulative & controlling (like Wendy said) to forbid you from going, & to use a separate vacation to coerce your compliance. Dump him.

LW2: ” I know some people don’t think drugs are bad” <— okay, I have a ~somewhat~ lax attitude on drug experimentation, but even I think "poppers" are grimy (& kinda lame also? haa). But anyway, if you don't want to date somebody who's behaves like this, then don't. As a college student, this is the perfect time to be single. Why be attached to somebody who holds totally different values, & whose life is on pause while he potentially goes down a bad path?

LW3: What?

CatsMeow CatsMeow September 6, 2013, 9:17 am

Fuck are poppers? Am I old?

avatar GatorGirl September 6, 2013, 9:31 am

Seriously, wtf is a popper?

avatar Addie Pray September 6, 2013, 10:23 am

Why on earth LW2 has an issue with poppers is beyond me. They’re deep-friend jalepenos stuffed with cream cheese. Fried, stuffed, cream, cheese … why the hate? ;)

othy othy September 6, 2013, 11:15 am

Maybe she’s not a cream cheese fan? I am normally not, but when paired with a jalapeno, it’s golden.

avatar Taylor September 6, 2013, 11:58 am

Yum! A logical step from pot to that deliciousness :)

avatar Addie Pray September 6, 2013, 12:32 pm

Question for all: have you ever eaten something fried that wasn’t delicious? I”d probably eat fried pencils if they made them.

avatar GatorGirl September 6, 2013, 12:55 pm

I don’t really like funnel cake.

avatar rachel September 6, 2013, 2:01 pm

Yeah, but you don’t like sweet stuff, right? Funnel cake is amazing.

avatar GatorGirl September 6, 2013, 2:05 pm

You are correct, I do not like sweets unless you count vanilla ice cream as sweet.

avatar Ginger Laine September 6, 2013, 2:07 pm

That is blasphemy, GG, and I’m not sure if we can be friends anymore.

CatsMeow CatsMeow September 6, 2013, 2:10 pm

I’m not a big fan of funnel cake, but give me an elephant ear any day. Fried pickles are probably my favorite fried food.

avatar GatorGirl September 6, 2013, 2:14 pm

Oh snap. I can get down with some fried pickles!! Pickles might be my favorite food.

theattack theattack September 6, 2013, 2:22 pm

What are elephant ears? We took our Australian friend to a fair, and she kept asking us what elephant ears were, but I didn’t have a good American answer.

theattack theattack September 6, 2013, 2:24 pm

Oh, but what makes that funny is that she was angry because there were animals at the fair that she felt weren’t treated well (ie: a petting zoo, a tiger jumping through hoops, and monkeys riding on dogs), so she was on a rampage about how poorly Americans treat animals. I think she was worried that elephant ears were actually elephant ears since Americans suck so much.

katie katie September 6, 2013, 2:25 pm

i dont think that the “fair food” fried elephant ears are the same thing, but there is a type of classical french cookies are called elephant ears sometimes.

http://t0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRIZzM3G8rOmz0W-8filVXa0HIC2UYTYCphtnXbam1cQIa56wEkmA

those.

CatsMeow CatsMeow September 6, 2013, 2:25 pm

Kinda similar to funnel cake, I guess. It’s fried dough, but bigger, thinner, and flatter than funnel cake and topped with sugar – but not powdered sugar.

CatsMeow CatsMeow September 6, 2013, 2:26 pm

@katie – I’m definitely talking about the fair food. mmmmm.

avatar Addie Pray September 7, 2013, 11:47 pm

Oh good one, I don’t like funnel cake either. And I too am not a sweets person so that’s probably why.

avatar Taylor September 7, 2013, 8:09 pm

Never.

avatar Emsz September 6, 2013, 12:15 pm

For me, they are entirely too spicy. They are also not a regular thing over here.

avatar MMcG September 6, 2013, 3:13 pm

Im glad im not the only one who thought poppers were stuffed tastiness!

avatar Em September 6, 2013, 4:47 pm

A popper is Amyl Nitrate, an inhalant that can be bought in the form of little tubes used to push whipped cream out of the can. The thing is… you shouldn’t be able to smell it.

Fabelle Fabelle September 6, 2013, 9:31 am

I’d heard of them before, but I googled to make sure. You can apparently buy them in stores? It’s alkyl nitrite, & it makes you high/horny, supposedly? You huff it (which is why I said it’s lame & grimy, because it makes me think of whip its or something, or sniffing glue. Like, dude, really?)

Anyone with more knowledge feel free to correct me, though!

CatsMeow CatsMeow September 6, 2013, 10:05 am

Ohhhh, that’s right. I have heard of poppers, but from one of my idiotic ex-coworkers who said it’s something “the gays” do to get horny and have butt sex and spread HIV. Ugh, he sucks. But I thought it was more of a 90s rave drug or something. People still do poppers?

avatar GatorGirl September 6, 2013, 10:08 am

Everything I read was about how it was a “gay drug”…the articles made me uncomfortable. (also, thanks DW for giving me a ridiculous googling history. The NSA must think I’m a sex addict who likes to try lots of drugs and talk about weddings.)

avatar Grilledcheesecalliope September 6, 2013, 10:52 am

Haha, I hope the NSA is monitoring my search history. I’d be a sex and baked goods addict, who’s obsessed with what 90s tv stars are doing now.

Fabelle Fabelle September 6, 2013, 11:16 am

When I was writing articles based on search queries, my own searches became shady as hell (But then I figure if the FBI or whatever ever showed up at my door, I could always be like, “I answer other internet user’s search queries in article form for my side job! BAM.”)

rainbow rainbow September 6, 2013, 11:02 am

You are correct. You sniff and they make you euphoric for a little bit (less than a minute, I’d say). I’m not sure they make you horny if you’re not already, but if you are it sort of makes it more intense. The idea is to sniff right before an orgasm so it makes it bigger, but I find it distracting to time the sniff so I just used it once for sex and used the rest of the bottle alone. It’s kinda lame, really.

katie katie September 6, 2013, 9:43 am

all i know is that jalapeno poppers are delicious. thats all i could think of.

i guess im old too. (and fat? lol)

CatsMeow CatsMeow September 6, 2013, 10:06 am

I thought of those poppers, as well as those little things you throw on the ground that make noise for the 4th of July.

I like my jalapeno poppers with cheddar cheese, but everyone makes them with cream cheese. Katie, make me some cheddar cheese poppers. :)

katie katie September 6, 2013, 10:13 am

oh ive never had them with cheddar cheese! how does that work? do you just stuff shredded cheese inside? lol

CatsMeow CatsMeow September 6, 2013, 10:19 am

Jeez, Katie, I don’t know how to make anything. ;) I’ve ordered them like that before, haha.

KKZ KKZ September 6, 2013, 10:34 am

Little cubes of cheese, like party tray snack cheese, will work out better than shredded. :) Much easier to stuff into the peppers without everything falling out. A cheddar-monterey jack combo is really good too.

Although every time I’ve tried to make them at home, the breading falls off.

katie katie September 6, 2013, 10:50 am

do you flour, egg, bread when you coat them?

it hate it when breading falls off. its the worst!

KKZ KKZ September 6, 2013, 10:58 am

It’s been a long time since I tried to make them last, I don’t remember what steps I followed. I just get the frozen ones now. Thumbs up for lazy cooks?

avatar Emsz September 6, 2013, 12:19 pm

That is the general procedure for breading. Watch out though if you do a lot of it at one time, your hands will be breaded at the same time :P

avatar Matcha September 6, 2013, 12:09 pm

I’ve had them with cheddar cheese from Sonic. So bad for you, but I prefer them with cheddar. :) And they serve them with ranch dressing.

Anyway, they sound a lot better than the poppers the LW is referring to.

avatar rachel September 6, 2013, 10:20 am

They are SO much better with cheddar cheese. I always hope for cheddar and am dissappointed when it’s cream cheese.

CatsMeow CatsMeow September 6, 2013, 11:30 am

Great minds, Rachel. Great minds.

othy othy September 6, 2013, 10:20 am

My friend makes these wonderful jalapenos, stuffed with cream cheese, topped with cheddar, and backed until they are super delicious. He also will wrap them in bacon, which my meat-eating friends tell me are a little bit of heaven.

katie katie September 6, 2013, 10:49 am

i got bacon wrapped poppers in mexico and they were terrible because the bacon was all limp and chewy.

limp bacon is a real issue, people.

avatar Taylor September 6, 2013, 12:00 pm

I’ve heard anxiety can lead to that.

avatar LSMITH82 September 6, 2013, 1:19 pm

That’s how I’ve made them in the past. but I will combine the cream cheese and cheddar/jack, put it the pepper, then wrap in bacon and grill it or bake it. hmmmm…

damn it. Now I want some.

Fabelle Fabelle September 6, 2013, 10:28 am

I got goat cheese stuffed ones, once (at Houlihan’s?) They were gooooooooood

avatar rachel September 6, 2013, 10:14 am

I actually assumed she meant he was popping pills until she said she could smell it on him, and then I was really confused.

avatar Addie Pray September 6, 2013, 10:24 am

haha, i said the same thing above! katie, we need to stop hanging out so much. or start. it’s been forever.

katie katie September 6, 2013, 10:48 am

it HAS been forever! dang!

avatar ktfran September 6, 2013, 11:52 am

What? DW meetup at Three Aces soon? Ok.

avatar Addie Pray September 6, 2013, 12:28 pm

Get on it! i’ve organized the last 173 Chicago meetups.

avatar ktfran September 6, 2013, 12:37 pm

And done.

avatar KL September 6, 2013, 3:39 pm

I thought of those, and then afterward I thought maybe they were a pill, because people “pop pills.” I’m old and fat too. LOL

avatar ktfran September 6, 2013, 9:18 am

What the eff is a popper?

Diablo Diablo September 6, 2013, 10:15 am

Poppers are amyl or butyl nitrate capsules. In Canada, this is sometimes called “rush.”

It’s fairly bad for your brain, and not something I’ve done since I was a 16 yo dumbass.

avatar Addie Pray September 6, 2013, 10:34 am

Diablo is a popper!!!

Diablo Diablo September 6, 2013, 10:59 am

I’ve suffered in order to become wise, thank you.

theattack theattack September 6, 2013, 9:18 am

LW1: “But when I brought it up to my boyfriend, he said, ‘No.’” I am really confused and angered by this. No significant other gets to just tell you no like he’s your dad or something. Wtf. Move on yesterday. He’s not a good SO now, and he won’t be a good one in the future either because he somehow thinks he has an unwavering right to control you.

LW2: Break up then.

LW3: Who cares WHY he’s calling? That really isn’t relevant, is it? What matters is that you don’t answer because you don’t need that sort of emotional rollercoaster right now, and you don’t need to push your limits any further. This is especially true if you’re under any bond conditions or an order of protection. Do not answer the phone.

CatsMeow CatsMeow September 6, 2013, 9:33 am

Yeahhhh, the first letter pissed me off too! If a boyfriend said that to me, my first response would be to laugh, because he’d HAVE to be joking, right?

theattack theattack September 6, 2013, 9:45 am

For real! That would have to be a joke in my world because anyone who said it to me in seriousness would deeply regret that choice. No freakin’ way.

KKZ KKZ September 6, 2013, 10:53 am

Came up recently between the two of us – this was before our Big Talk in July and before we started counseling. There’s a concert coming up that I really wanted to go to. Bear will be out of town, and the two friends who I know are into that music group are also on vacation. At the time I said something like “If I can’t find anyone to go with, I’ll just go alone, I really want to see this group.” And he immediately squashed that idea, on the premise that “something could happen to me” if I went to the concert venue alone and he just was not comfortable with that idea. I wasn’t really *surprised* at this but it still annoyed me, and I poked at him a little for it — “Is there anywhere else I can’t go that I should know about?” but he was already in a bad mood and he got really snitty with me so I dropped it. It ended up solving itself, I’ve found people to go with, and I’m not even really all that sure I *would* have gone alone anyway, I can see introverted lil old me getting really overwhelmed alone in a crowd of strangers.

But I know the issue of me going places by myself isn’t closed. I’ve talked loosely about how I’m DYING to go to South America, which he has zero interest in. I hate to think that my dreams of world travel will be limited by where HE wants to go, too. Then I’ll never see Macchu Picchu. :(

Ah well, an issue for another day, when we’ve hopefully learned better communication, negotiation and compromising skills…

Diablo Diablo September 6, 2013, 11:09 am

1. How could anyone have ZERO interest in an entire continent? I have higher priorities (like Europe), but I’d still love to go to lots of parts of S. America.
2. Your partner is required to show interest in your dreams, even if he has less enthusiasm for them. I do this all the time, as M does for me.
3. Macchu Picchu! I wanna go! Can we go together? Then you wouldn’t be alone. (We’d have to bring M – she’d want to go too.)

KKZ KKZ September 6, 2013, 11:16 am

1. He is kind of racist against Hispanics/Latinos as well as native “Indian” cultures, which is of course why I want to go to these countries in the first place, to visit Mayan/Incan/Aztec ruins and speak as much Spanish as possible.

2. He’s interested in traveling, for sure, that’s a dream we definitely share. And we agree on many spots we’d like to visit. Just none that involve Spanish.

3. YES!!!! We will overwhelm the locals with our gingerness.

othy othy September 6, 2013, 11:19 am

Let’s do a DW trip to Macchu Picchu. I’d totally be in (especially in 2 years when I’m done paying for Mr. Othy’s school and I’m not poor anymore…)

KKZ KKZ September 6, 2013, 11:26 am

Best Meetup Idea Ever.

The hike up there takes more than a day, but for those who don’t like hiking, there are helicopter trips available. Or so I’m told.

And with the other trips and expenses I have coming up, it will probably be 2 years before I can go too, so no worries there. :)

KKZ KKZ September 6, 2013, 11:30 am

Although that combines two of Bear’s least favorite things, me traveling somewhere without him and me meeting friends off the Internet (he wasn’t wild about my plans to meet up with Fabelle but I basically said “Tough shit” and forged ahead).

It really grates on me when people don’t trust me to take care of myself. My parents have been the same way, they talked me out of a study abroad opportunity in Chile because it was “too dangerous” and they reneged on a car they’d bought for me because it was a stick-shift and after a summer of learning to drive it, they didn’t trust me to take it to college. How the fuck am I supposed to learn how to do shit on my own if people keep taking away my chances to do so???? UGH. /rant.

katie katie September 6, 2013, 12:03 pm

it really grates on me too, actually it pisses me off a lot, and my reaction is ALWAYS the tough shit route. haha.

KKZ KKZ September 6, 2013, 12:13 pm

It should piss me off more than it does. I’m re-learning how to stand up for myself and unlearning my doormat ways.

othy othy September 6, 2013, 12:28 pm

Mr. Othy (who is also a Bear), will actually encourage me to do both of those things. I travel without him 1-2 times a year (sometimes for family, sometimes for work, sometimes for weddings, I’d love a ‘just cause’ trip).

And we’ve met several people in person who we’ve met on the internet. In fact, a couple of our friends from our World of Warcraft guild are actually coming out for our best friend’s wedding. We can’t wait to meet them in person, seeing as how we’ve spent every Tue/Wed night with them online for the last 4 years.

theattack theattack September 6, 2013, 12:34 pm

That is my biggest pet peeve. My parents treat me like a baby, and P used to do it too until I told him he was not allowed to try to protect me from myself and that he’s insulting my intelligence and trying to dominate me. Just two weeks ago my dad made a joke that he was responsible for me until May when I got married, and now P has to take care of me. I lost my mind in front of my in-laws and everyone. The number one thing that pisses me off, and I will make a big scene over it and will never let it go, is when someone insults my intelligence or ability to be a functioning person. It’s easy for me to assert myself there because it makes me so mad that everyone gets the picture fast. Maybe you need to think hard and let it make you mad so that you can stand up for yourself more naturally?

CatsMeow CatsMeow September 6, 2013, 12:44 pm

@theattack, I’m the same way. I would have lost my shit too.

KKZ KKZ September 6, 2013, 1:16 pm

@Othy, I’ve recently discovered the joys of traveling alone. Or alone-ish, anyway, I was alone during the actual “travel” parts but met up/stayed with people I knew at my destination. I enjoy it a lot and hope to have more opportunities to do so. Unfortunately, sometimes Bear can my preference for solitude kind of personally, like it’s something against him. It’s the classic introvert/extrovert misunderstanding.

@theattack and others, Being made to feel stupid or incompetent definitely ranks way up there on the list of things that I can’t stand, but it’s like I’ve only recently become aware of that? Or like, I don’t always recognize it or react to it when it’s happening, only in retrospect. Like, when my parents reneged on the car, I was disappointed, but not angry. Them not trusting me was, by then, a long pattern, which unfortunately led me to internalize it and start believing that yeah, maybe I AM untrustworthy, irresponsible, vulnerable and reckless, maybe this ISN’T a good idea and maybe they ARE right to protect me.

That’s why standing up for myself doesn’t come easily, even when I’m angry, because I don’t necessarily even believe that my opinions or values are worth standing up for. That distrust in myself runs really deep and is one of the core issues I want to work on in therapy.

It’s actually been kinda heartbreaking to realize how deeply insecure I am, because I did, on some level, view myself as confident and capable (if outwardly modest). It hurt to see that that was just a mask.

Diablo Diablo September 6, 2013, 11:28 am

M has brown hair, but we can tolerate all kinds of people, right?

KKZ KKZ September 6, 2013, 11:31 am

Some of my best friends have brown hair and I mange not to hold it against them. :)

rainbow rainbow September 6, 2013, 12:29 pm

“He is kind of racist against Hispanics/Latinos as well as native “Indian” cultures”
Quite a catch, uh?

KKZ KKZ September 6, 2013, 12:57 pm

I was waiting for someone to react to that.

He wasn’t always like that, or wasn’t always vocal about it at least. Neither of us really has any idea where it came from or what spurred it, it just kinda came out over time.

I find it a very ugly trait in him. Were we just dating, it would be a dealbreaker. Seeing as we’re married, I’m not ready to walk away from him just for that, but I’ve started being more expressive about how it bothers me. Ironically, he has said he only lets me see that side of him because he feels safe being honest with me – when I mentioned the dating thing, he said “Oh no, you would have never seen that out of me on a first date.” And from what I understand, he keeps it under wraps except among his closest friends.

I can’t say that I’ve actually seen him be intentionally rude or inappropriate to a Hispanic or Indigenous person, it just comes out in comments and jokes, and maybe that’s why I have a certain level of tolerance for it, why I wouldn’t break our marriage over it. If he ever acted on it outwardly towards a Hispanic or Native person, I’d (a) flip my shit and (b) would be embarrassed to call myself his wife.

That’s not a divorce explanation you see every day. “Why did it end? Was he abusive? Was there cheating? Financial issues?”
“Oh no, he was just terribly racist.”

rainbow rainbow September 6, 2013, 1:03 pm

Thanks for your explanation, I know my tone wasn’t the best but it freaked me out to read you talk about it so matter-of-factly. It must suck to find out something like that after you’re commited to someone.

KKZ KKZ September 6, 2013, 1:46 pm

I think your tone was completely accurate given context and I took no offense. I agree with you, it’s not an attractive quality.

avatar AKchic September 6, 2013, 1:48 pm

Being racist was one of the MANY reasons I divorced my first husband. Sometimes, the little things just add up to make one big asshole.

Not saying that’s your issue. I wasn’t willing to continue with an abusive jack-ass who had no interest in changing his ways.

iwannatalktosampson iwannatalktosampson September 6, 2013, 1:56 pm

Yeah I gotta say that sounds like an actually really good reason to divorce someone to me. Same with homophobic. But to each their own.

Northern Mermaid Northern Mermaid September 6, 2013, 3:43 pm

Bear would not like me. I’m a Mexican Indian. So for me—racism like that would be a reason to get divorced.

My mom can semi-pass for white (I totally can) but she tells this story about dating this one dude who on their like fifth date went on and on about how much he hated Mexicans and the Indians were even worse. My mom just smiled quietly and after dinner asked him to come in when he dropped her off. My grandma (who looks like an Edward S. Curtis picture of an Indian—impossibly reddish brown, black eyes, straight black hair, high cheekbones, deep craggy skin) opened the door and said “Ay Mi’ja! Is this the boy you’ve been telling us about?” My mom told the guy “This is my mom, and obviously you have a problem with us. Don’t call me again.”

Being casually racist is the worst, and if anything it’s an even bigger reason for him to travel to Central or South America and actually take a second to learn about a continent full of indigenous people that he has just decided not to like and make comments and jokes about for some bullshit reason.

rainbow rainbow September 6, 2013, 4:32 pm

Northern Mermaid, your mom is awesome.

KKZ KKZ September 6, 2013, 4:45 pm

Again, if it were more blatant, I’d consider it a dealbreaker. It’s definitely not something I condone or really want in my life or in my partner. I hope my decision not to divorce over it isn’t read as endorsement somehow, though I see how it could be.

NM, I’d love you then. :) I’m so fascinated by Hispanic and Indigenous cultures. I agree Bear would benefit from learning more about the cultures, he just doesn’t seem to care to.

And the most boggling thing is that his racism isn’t even BASED in anything. He doesn’t use slurs like wetback or beaner or spic, he doesn’t say all Natives are alcoholic gamblers or anything like that (the only thing he’s said about Natives are “I don’t believe in them,” which I think was initially supposed to be a joke but there’s some nugget of truth in there). He doesn’t think all Hispanic people are druggies who come to our country to steal our jobs (my late grandfather’s view). He just lumps all Latinos together as generic “Mexicans” and decides he doesn’t like them. For absolutely no reason. And he admits this.

My hunch is that it’s sort of an offshoot of his general elitism/classism. He’s soaked in white male privilege, which I can’t *entirely* blame on him because that’s how he was raised, his father is the same way. Compassion, empathy and humility are NOT his strongest traits. This is something I hope to address in our joint counseling soon – if our marriage is going to last, we need to talk about this openly and see what we can do about it. If anything. I don’t really like the idea of being married to someone I find unattractive on more than one level, so I hope there’s some middle ground we can reach.

theattack theattack September 6, 2013, 11:39 am

I agree with your point #2 so much, Diablo. Our general rule is that we don’t say no to each other without very good reason. A partner is supposed to help cultivate and encourage the other, so at the minimum we never limit each other’s interests, and ideally we try to get involved and share at least some. I was only willing to get married because I thought he would never try to put limits on my dreams or goals. I have no use for someone who wants to make my life less awesome.

Diablo Diablo September 6, 2013, 11:48 am

M has been involved in synchronized swimming since age 9, as a swimmer, coach, and national level judge now. Believe me, as a guy I would never have developed an interest in synchro on my own, or figure skating. But I was always interested in dance. You find points of contact and ways to appreciate what your partner loves as an avenue to better know the person you love. And M would not likely have ever developed an interest in kung fu movies or poker. To a lesser extent, this applies to lots of people you know. My friend H is a painter, a Formula 1 enthusiastic and a watch collector, none of which are interests of mine, but all of which have enriched my life and my understanding of my friend.

Anyway, I think KKZ’s issue, and she has been dealing with it very well lately, is just to get Bear to loosen his grip on the reins a bit and be a bit more flexible. Keep us updated, Cakes.

KKZ KKZ September 6, 2013, 12:22 pm

Aww thanks D. And thumbs up for knowing how to pronounce my username. I’m not sure I’ve explained its origins or pronunciation on here before so I’m just going to assume you figured it out on your own because you’re so clever.

It’s a two-way street, getting Bear to loosen his grip on the reins while also learning to hold the reins myself. I have an independent nature that I’ve learned to curb, not just because of him but parental influence as well. I constantly worry that expressing my wants/needs will impose on someone else’s wants/needs. As Wendy often says, I need to “love myself more” and stop mentally ranking myself below everyone else I ever interact with. Working on it in therapy. :)

Diablo Diablo September 6, 2013, 12:26 pm

You explained it in a forum recently.

KKZ KKZ September 6, 2013, 12:35 pm

Oh yeah, now I remember. But even in my own head, I’ve started pronouncing it Kay-Kay-Zee. It’s really odd for anyone other than Bear to address me as “Cakes.” Not that I mind at all, it was just a double-take moment.

Fabelle Fabelle September 6, 2013, 12:31 pm

Oh damn, I had nooo idea that’s how it was pronounced. How will I ever be able to stop saying “kay kay zee” in my head??

KKZ KKZ September 6, 2013, 1:01 pm

Don’t worry, that’s how I say it too! “KKZ” originated when I signed off a text that way as a cute joke (derivative of one of my main nicknames, Pankakez) so I don’t think I can even claim there’s a “correct” way to pronounce it. :)

katie katie September 6, 2013, 12:03 pm

sigh, this is the only reason i keep up with football.

haha

avatar tbrucemom September 9, 2013, 4:02 pm

But I think there’s a couple notable differences in your story and the LW’s story. One you’re talking about a husband, not a BF. I would care a lot more about what my husband thought than a BF. Two, your husband doesn’t want you to travel alone because he’d be worried about you. The LW’s BF said she couldn’t go because he thinks she’s going to screw around on him. HUGE difference in my book. Jump ahead, regarding your husband’s statement about not liking hispanics. I have to comment that the majority of the population is racist/sexist/homophobic, hates certain religions, doesn’t like overweight people, etc. to a certain degree. Some may even have a reason to. It obviously doesn’t make sense to dislike a whole population because of something one person has done, but sometimes it’s easier said than done. My sister had a black man put a gun to her head while she was eating at a Pizza Hut. She doesn’t discriminate against blacks, would never say anything inappropriate to them, etc. but she has said things to me that she wouldn’t to anyone else, probably like your husband does to you but no one else. And she’s a lesbian, so she obviously doesn’t like things being said about her. My point is what you say to those close to you who understand the history of why you feel the way you do isn’t necessarily the same as those who actually discriminate against someone or cause someone harm, physically or emotionally. He isn’t hurting anyone by the comments he says to you.

avatar GatorGirl September 6, 2013, 9:56 am

Yeah, I snorted when I read that. Grown ups handle those conversations much differently.

avatar GatorGirl September 6, 2013, 10:13 am

I’m sitting here thinking about this and realized we had a “similar” situation come up recently. GGuy wanted to go visit friends for a weekend and I didn’t want him to go (because it was the last weekend before his Phd program started up again, not because I though what LWs bf thinks). So we had a discussion about it. I told him why I wanted him to stay (last weekend of summer, we hadn’t spent much time together with our individual travel, cost of traveling to the friends, he was just there 2 weeks before, I hate being home alone) and he told me why he wanted to go (hello weekend partying with his friends and doing their fantasy football draft). And we decided together that he would stay home and instead video chat the friend for the draft (and drink beer at 11am and buy weed which is usually a no go). That’s how you resolve this kind of issue. Not with commands and calling names.

katie katie September 6, 2013, 10:01 am

yep, its laughable.

but i think that is because we all wouldnt even get to the point of being in a relationship with a person who would control like this? like there had to be signs of this before that maybe LW1 either ignored or didnt understand at the time.

theattack theattack September 6, 2013, 10:04 am

That’s true. It’s more about an overall attitude toward relationships (or maybe women) than it is this specific incident. Before he said “no,” I’m sure he said a lot of other little things indicating that he thought it was acceptable to say “no.” The LW might be okay with that, but most of us here aren’t. LWs of the world, this is why it’s so important to not just have a relationship, but to have a lot of general conversations about relationships with your SO. Find out that he’s a douchebag before you invest your time.

avatar karenwalker September 6, 2013, 9:21 am

Shortcuts always make me feel better about myself and my life.

katie katie September 6, 2013, 9:55 am

LW1, as an adult, there are going to be certain things you will have to learn to completely cut out of your life. one of them is a partner who tells you “no” like you need his permission to go somewhere in the first place. the idea of someone doing that in my life is so extremely laughable, because i have standards about those kinds of things. i think you should adopt some standards *pronto*.

LW2, just break up. how is this such a difficult question?

in general, why are these young women in such shitty relationships? i hate that we condition women to cling to any person who will have them in the name of not being single. its terrible.

Lyra Lyra September 6, 2013, 11:42 am

As someone who clung to a not-so-good and somewhat unhealthy relationship, I had to learn the lesson the hard way that being single is ok. I had to learn that it was ok to be by myself again. It was my first long term relationship and for whatever reason I thought he was the best I was ever going to get. I couldn’t tell you why that was, but ultimately because of that break up I learned many valuable life lessons.

CatsMeow CatsMeow September 6, 2013, 10:09 am

Also, LW1, when (not if, but when) you break up with that jerk, be very careful. Guys who are manipulative and controlling like he is don’t usually handle breakups very well. DO NOT let him guilt you into staying with him. Make it final, and then cut off all communication.

avatar Scooze September 6, 2013, 10:10 am

Another set of women who need to aim higher. So sad.

But I have to add to LW #3: your boyfriend didn’t “put you in jail”. You committed a crime and were arrested as a consequence of your actions. Own your behavior. He continues to call because you two probably have a co-dependent, toxic relationship. Get therapy for your self-esteem and anger management issues.

lemongrass lemongrass September 6, 2013, 10:17 am

You must have a really fucked up dynamic in a relationship to feel the need to ask for permission to do… anything? And even more fucked up that he feels the right to say no. Dump him, go to vegas then stay single for awhile. Look at the people in your life and see what elements of their relationships seem right and healthy. Don’t play games and don’t accept someone else playing games on you.

landygirl landygirl September 6, 2013, 10:25 am

Welcome back Facepalm Friday!!!

avatar j2 September 6, 2013, 11:54 am

Yes, the facepalm is strong this Friday!

avatar cdobbs September 6, 2013, 10:29 am

LW1 – i wouldn’t feel guilty about going to vegas….your guy needed to learn an important life lesson….being a controlling douche is not cool
LW2 – i don’t think pot is any bigger a deal than drinking alcohol (don’t know what poppers are?)….but if you have different core values might be time to moa
LW3 – yikes get some anger management asap, nothing is worth going to jail for….if a guy cheats then just dump his ass

avatar sarolabelle September 6, 2013, 10:29 am

Isn’t spring break kind of a long ways away for the bf to cancel a Summer trip? I am confused….

avatar painted_lady September 6, 2013, 10:33 am

LW1: When an SO tells you you “can’t” do something because he thinks you’re going to cheat on him, here’s some stuff to keep in mind:

1) Fuck that guy. Any adult who tells another adult that they can’t do something completely legal is seriously fucked up and needs some help with control issues.
2) Next time it happens, if it does, tell them you weren’t asking their permission, you were simply informing them. They may voice concern or discomfort (still kinda shady, depending on the situation) but if they don’t fully acknowledge that you are the only one who gets final say in decisions that only affect you, then be aware that this person does not see you as an equal and you shouldn’t date people who see you as less than them.
3) Anyone who sees anything you do that isn’t, say, “Hey, honey, I’m going to go share a bed with my ex,” or “Hey, I have a date this weekend,” as an opportunity for you to cheat on them is saying waaaay more about themselves than they are about you. If the only way they see things is as opportunities to cheat, then that is the way they view the world. Don’t date that person.

LW2: I don’t say this as gospel, so it may only be anecdotal evidence, but I think one of the more difficult relationship issues to overcome is a difference in drinking or drug use, especially when one uses significantly and the other uses not at all. I don’t necessarily think that either end of the spectrum is wrong or right, as long as both are functional and healthy, but it’s really hard to spend lots of time around someone when their state of consciousness is usually very different from yours. It’s no fun to be the only intoxicated one, and it’s REALLY no fun to be the only sober one.

LW3: WTF?

avatar GatorGirl September 6, 2013, 10:42 am

I disagree with your point #2, generally speaking. IMO, when you’re in a relationship for an extended amount of time it’s not “shady” to voice your displeasure in something your partner is planning on doing. This guys reasons where WAY off the mark, making this case shady, but generally speaking I don’t think there is anything wrong with saying “I’m not a big fan of the trip you’ve planned.” The decision to go on a trip does affect your partner, at least in the minimal way that you won’t be home/around to do the normal things and possibly in a bigger way like you cutting back your spending so pay for the trip. Yeah, IDK, maybe I’m nuts but I think you’re being a little extreme (generally speaking, not in this case specifically).

katie katie September 6, 2013, 10:56 am

it all depends on context. i think it is shady and wrong to just not want your partner to do something. especially something that is enriching to their lives, fun, and an accepted thing, like going on a girls weekend to vegas.

if the context was “we share finances and dont have the money to afford a vegas trip”, fine. if the context was “youve been gone every weekend this month, id like to see you”, fine. if its just “no”, for no reason, and a finality, not a dialogue, its wrong.

avatar GatorGirl September 6, 2013, 10:59 am

That’s what I was saying, that I think the context is important and PL’s response seemed to bee saying “if you ever have an opinion than your shady” maybe I read it too absolute.

katie katie September 6, 2013, 11:06 am

well, in PL’s example though, it wasnt an opinion, it was a finality. opinions and dialogue are fine.

i mean, if you ever get to the point where you have to explain that you werent asking for permission, you were informing, your already fucked in my opinion. because that means when you say “im going to X/im doing X” they are not responding with dialogue and reasonable-ness, they are just controlling. thats a really bad reaction to a normal part of being in a relationship.

also, i think it depends on how intertwined the two lives are. this LW and her boyfriend do not seem to be intertwined, financially or otherwise, so it wouldnt even make sense for the boyfriend to have anything to say other then “i want to see you more”. in your case, you are married, share finances, ect, so you do have more of a stake in what your SO does or doesnt do.

avatar GatorGirl September 6, 2013, 11:23 am

I guess I just don’t see it as “asking for permission” and I also would be pissed if I was “informed” of a decision my partner made with out me. Even a year into our relationship I would have felt slighted. I run just about everything by GGuy and have for YEARS, he does the same. Neither of us have the “final no” when the other wants to do something, but I weigh his opinions seriously. We’re probably talking apples and oranges. (FWIW I do think a year is a pretty substantial relationship/intertwined level.) (And this guy is being unreasonable so it makes the whole discussion irrelevant for them.)

katie katie September 6, 2013, 11:56 am

i think it is apples and oranges. thinking of your SO as you make decisions, and making decisions together is fine, and a good thing in my opinion- i *usually* talk to jake before making plans about stuff too. but that is a whole cooperative, two people discussing plans in a reasonable manner thing. what PL is talking about is not a cooperative, two people discussing plans reasonably thing.

avatar ele4phant September 6, 2013, 12:22 pm

I don’t know – I think that’s your relationship and not the standard everyone has to live by. I now at least run things by my boyfriend as we live together, share finances, and if I were to suddenly up and take a trip (although in the LWs case I think this trip is nine months out),that would have a pretty major impact on him. So I discuss these things with him first before finalizing my travel plans.

When our relationship was new though – before we live together (or with my college boyfriend who I also did not live with) I had no qualms about making decisions like taking a vacation and letting him now after the fact.

If you an your husband’s relationship was different, if you talked this things out first and an earlier stage in your relationship, nothing wrong with that if you were both on board with that, but you should recognize that’s the exception not the rule. And I can also assume that even when one of you wasn’t to keen on the other’s plans, you didn’t give a blanket no, but rather talked out why you felt the way you did.

avatar ele4phant September 6, 2013, 12:25 pm

And by new I really mean any point in the relationship before you are living together and sharing finances

Lindsay Lindsay September 8, 2013, 10:32 am

I think we’re getting too hung up on individual words and not considering the bigger picture. “Informing” or running a decision by someone doesn’t mean you don’t think of them when you make it or that you don’t take their input into consideration, or that if they expressed concerns, you’d never listen. But asking permission implies that the person has final control over what you do, which is not conducive to a healthy relationship.

I mean, if you get to the point where your partner wants to do things that are so inappropriate or where they haven’t considered your feelings at all, then whether or not you give “permission” is kind of moot. And alternately, if your partner is so extreme that they think they can forbid you from doing things, then you need to reconsider whether their input is appropriate.

Relationship “rules” like this don’t really work when one or both partners is not respecting the other and is acting crazy/extreme.

lemongrass lemongrass September 6, 2013, 11:01 am

I think it depends how serious your relationship is. This couple hasn’t been dating all that long, don’t live together, etc. It doesn’t really affect him other than she won’t physically be there for a week. When you live together, share finances and responsibilities then it will affect you if your partner goes on vacation and a discussion on whether it is feasible/fair is totally fine. But even then it shouldn’t be asking for permission/saying no.

avatar Morgan September 6, 2013, 11:04 am

I think that’s a good point Gator Girl. As a really timely example, a friend is having her bachelorette in vegas (we are spread all over the country/globe since college, so it was going to require travel for everyone anyway, so why not travel somewhere fun, right?) I’m not going because I am broke. If I had wanted to go, I certainly would not have asked permission. But, if I had said, “Boyfriend, I am going to Vegas for friend’s bachelorette,” he would have been totally valid in saying, “Can we talk about that?” because he and I both know that I would not be able to pay rent that month if I went to Vegas. And my ability to pay rent absolutely affects him. But if he just said “No,” as if I needed his permission? Fuck that noise.

Also, LW, you’re in college. You only get to spring break with your friends once. Do it. (Although if this is your senior year spring break, I will warn you, ours absolutely fell apart once people who didn’t have jobs yet spent spring break interviewing and applying and freaking out instead of chilling in a rented beach house as per the plan)

CatsMeow CatsMeow September 6, 2013, 11:16 am

I thought PL was saying it’s shady and bad if they’re voicing their displeasure on the grounds that they don’t want you to go because they’re too afraid you’ll cheat. That’s controlling, whereas, if you share money and think a trip is too expensive, that’s an entirely different thing to be uncomfortable about.

avatar GatorGirl September 6, 2013, 11:25 am

That’s why I said this guy doesn’t count. He sucks and is being irrational.

avatar Christy September 6, 2013, 11:24 am

Yeah, can we have a discussion about checking in with a partner vs asking for their permission? I check in with gf all the time, and it’s in the form of asking for permission most times, but I’m not actually asking her. If she had a real opinion about it (her usual response is “Yay, alone time!”) I’d consider it.

So, checking in vs asking permission… go!

Fabelle Fabelle September 6, 2013, 11:41 am

Yeah, my boyfriend & I check in with each other, usually in the form of “So-and-so wants me to get sushi with them on such-and-such day” & the other will usually be like, “Okay” (sometimes with pouting or sad faces, but it’s exaggerated “aw I won’t see that day, I guess” sadness?) If it’s something bigger (like the time I took a trip with an old FWB… actually, 2 old FWBs, technically??), then my phrasing is more, “…is this okay? Do you have Feelings about this?” (Which he did, but he never said I ~couldn’t~ go, we’re very anti- limiting each other’s actions)

But yeah, checking in is fine, especially in relationships where your social calenders/lives/finances intertwine.

theattack theattack September 6, 2013, 11:49 am

I do this too. For me it’s mostly about making sure the schedule works out and that I don’t overbook or that I don’t schedule something for Friday night if he has something Saturday night so that we can spend time together. If he said no because of money or time or whatever I would probably not do it, but if he said that he doesn’t want me going out with those girl friends for dinner period, hell no, go suck a dick. Like I’m not asking permission for the content; I’m asking permission for the technical details.

avatar GatorGirl September 6, 2013, 11:53 am

Yes, this is what I’m talking about. I check in with GGuy like 400 times a day. Heck I ran getting Taco Bell nachos at 11pm last night by him to see if he had a strong opinion. I wasn’t asking for Permission, rather do you have a good reason why I shouldn’t do this. (He didn’t, then I regretted it.) He didn’t ask Permission to go on his friend trip two weeks ago, but said “hey, what do you think about me doing XYZ?” Turns out I did have strong opinions on that one so we talked it out. (He also doesn’t remember anything so that’s part of the checking in.)

CatsMeow CatsMeow September 6, 2013, 12:18 pm

How do you even run that by someone? I’m legitimately asking and not being snarky. I mean, I would be like, “Hey I’m going to Taco Bell, do you want something?” Is that what you mean? And what on earth do you “check in” about so many times per day? To me, “checking in” is like, “Oh I won’t be home until later, I’m grabbing drinks with co-workers after work.”

Ack, this is probably why I like being single so much.

Fabelle Fabelle September 6, 2013, 12:27 pm

At restaurants, I’ll ask my boyfriend what I should get a lot of the time? It’s more to reaffirm my own decisions— like, if he says one thing, I’ll know immediately if I actually wanted the other based on my reaction to his suggestion? That kind of thing. Or, the other day, I was like, “Should I get pizza or salad? It’s like a substantial salad… it has goat cheese, & stuff, it sounds good…” & he was like, “Hmm, just get pizza. You will probably be disappointed with a salad.” And I realized he was right, because I kind of hate salads most of the time, especially as a meal? (worst vegetarian ever)

avatar Christy September 6, 2013, 12:35 pm

Yeah, I’d ask my bff from college what I should get all the time, and he was like always right. Gf doesn’t know and doesn’t care, lol.

CatsMeow CatsMeow September 6, 2013, 12:46 pm

I will do that to anyone I happen to be at the restaurant with. I can’t make decisions, everrrrr.

Fabelle Fabelle September 6, 2013, 12:51 pm

Yeah, now that I think about it, I tend to do that with everyone? Like, after perusing through a menu, I’ll look up at the other person like, “What do I geeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeet”

avatar GatorGirl September 6, 2013, 12:38 pm

I said “I’m thinking about getting nachos, bad idea?”

And 400 is probably an over estimate. We’re also both home all day most days so we’re just in contact a lot. It’s usually things like “Are eggs good for breakfast for you?” or “I’m making a sandwich, want one?” or “It’s 3:37 are you counting down until happy hour too?? Let’s try the new beer bar.” So I guess it’s more like just interacting but it could be taken as checking in. We’re also mindbogglingly co-dependent.

katie katie September 6, 2013, 12:44 pm

i wouldnt call that checking in. i think that just falls under “being in a long term relationship”.

avatar GatorGirl September 6, 2013, 12:50 pm

Yeah, we have little that would fall under “checking in” I guess since we’re always together. We rarely do things with out the other.

Fabelle Fabelle September 6, 2013, 1:12 pm

We do that too— when we get to work though, it’s usually a comparison of how late each of us were, haha (him: “I hopped over the fence to sneak in through the back door :( :( :(” me: “I didn’t get here ’til 8:20 but my boss walked in at 8:40, yesssss”)

CatsMeow CatsMeow September 6, 2013, 12:45 pm

Haha. OK, that just sounds like chatting.

avatar GatorGirl September 6, 2013, 12:52 pm

Oh better example, GGuy will tell me if he’s swinging by the bank after work. Actually we tell each other when we get to and leave work. (We both have PT jobs out side of the house.) That’s checking in.

katie katie September 6, 2013, 12:00 pm

i never ask for permission. to me that is very parent/child relationship-esque, and it freaks me out. i would never say “hey, can i do this on this day?” – but i do say “so i want to do this on this day. is that cool with you/do you want to go?”

its a subtle difference for sure, but to me its more about coming to a conclusion together about something vs. one partner getting permission from the other to do something.

avatar Morgan September 6, 2013, 1:21 pm

Yeah, I definitely check in about plans. It’s not that I need permission, but we live together, so it’d be weird if he came home at a time when normally I’d be home and I just like wasn’t there. I’ll usually say something like, “A bunch of us are going out after work, so I’ll be late.” Or he’ll do the same. I think I once asked him to reconsider doing something because it had the potential to mess up our long standing plans the next morning. He agreed that I had a valid point, and rescheduled with his friends. Not a big deal. But there’s a huge difference between asking permission and just checking in, I think. The first is messed up, the second is called being in a relationship

avatar vizslalvr September 6, 2013, 3:22 pm

The only checking in I do is if I want to make plans with mutual friends. For example, “Hey, should I text Dave to see if he wants to play Catan tonight?” or “Wanna grab a beer with Ralph and Maria tonight?” I make plans with my own friends entirely independently, and the dialogue is something like, “I am getting drinks with Nadine on Tuesday, so I won’t be around until 8 or so.” He’s a big boy. He doesn’t need me on any particular Tuesday, and I’m organized enough to know if I have made a prior commitment with him. And, yes, he is being informed, and it is finite, and I do not see a problem with that. We’re married, but we’re still independent humans. He informs me he is taking a business trip on a particular weekend in October, and I say, “Cool, have a good time.” I inform him I am going to a football game with my dad out of town on a particular weekend.

On any given day, we talk MAYBE once or twice throughout the day. Like, today I called him to tell him a stipend I was hoping for came through and I’m going back to work Monday, and by the way do you want to see if Dave wants to play Catan later (we may or may not play Catan with “Dave” like 5 times a week …). I guess every couple has a different dynamic.

avatar rachel September 6, 2013, 3:28 pm

Yeah, agreed.

avatar painted_lady September 6, 2013, 1:32 pm

Like I said, it depends on the situation as to whether it’s shady to voice displeasure. If it doesn’t directly affect you – you don’t have plans, you don’t need your partner around for something, whatever – then yeah, it’s a little shady to be unhappy that your partner is going someplace without you. Miss them, sure, but there’s a difference between knowing you’ll miss someone and being actually unhappy *with* them.

And maybe we see it differently, but I check in with Walter, yes, but that’s different than asking permission. It’s more asking, “You don’t need me around for something this day, do you?” and touching base so he won’t worry where I am and know how to get in touch with me. It’s a subtle difference, but it’s asking, “Are my actions going to affect you?” versus asking, “Do you approve of my actions?” And Walter can say that he worries for me when I do x, or he feels really disrespected when I hang around with y, but does he get to forbid me to do something? No. Which is what this guy did. And I would never dream of doing it to him, either.

avatar painted_lady September 6, 2013, 1:43 pm

I like what Katie said about it being a dialogue. If it were, say, that he has trust issues and this particular situation is a trigger for him, then I could see them having a conversation about why, about ther track record, and about what he would like to be more comfortable and what she might think would be reasonable. If it were a situation for me where Walter felt abandoned because we hadn’t been spending much time together, I wouldn’t change my plans but for sure I would make time for him a different weekend. I might come home earlier than planned. But it has to be a conversation on both ends – you’re a partner, not a parent.

avatar GatorGirl September 6, 2013, 1:59 pm

I feel like this is all so contradictory. You say to “inform” them of your decision, but then say “it has to be a conversation”. And that it’s “kinda shady” to voice a concern, but then say if it’s a valid concern it should be voiced…I’m not trying to be antagonistic (and FTR we totally agree what the LWs BF did was a bullshit move) it’s just hard to follow and why I didn’t like the seemingly absolute original conversation.

Also, I think it’s sort of a skewed dynamic to “inform” your partner of a decision, even one as “simple” and that doesn’t effect them like dinner with a friend. The finite, decision made implications that “inform” brings to my mind is like a parent-child dynamic, IMO, more than a partner dynamic of bringing up your plans and making sure a partner is good with it.

avatar painted_lady September 6, 2013, 2:19 pm

I….um….sorry?

I guess I used the wrong words? Here’s how it usually goes, either

Me: Hey, Walter, Jane wants me to drive up and go to opening night for x show with her.
Walter: Okay. Have fun. I think I’ll go out with the work crowd for sushi.

Or:
Me: Hey, Walter, Jane wants me to drive up and go to opening night for x show with her.
Walter: Okay. But remember we have That Thing at 8 am tomorrow.
Me: Oh yeah. I’ll make it an early night.

So I inform him? And we have a conversation about it? It isn’t really asking, but yet it sort of is? I don’t know…but I feel sort of picked apart here.

avatar GatorGirl September 6, 2013, 2:25 pm

Like I said, I’m not trying to antagonize. It’s just the way the first post was written out that I thought portrayed a completely different thing than what you’re saying. Our interactions are pretty much the same as yours…the first thing sort of had a “f you” vibe, which I don’t think is what you where trying to say.

Sorry you feel picked apart, I’m not engaging in the conversation to be mean.

avatar Liquid Luck September 6, 2013, 2:50 pm

In her original post, PL specifically added that it would be *kind of* shady *depending on the situation,* not that it’s inherently shady to have/voice concerns. Which I completely agree with, and is the same message I’m getting from all her other posts. For instance, if I told J that i was grabbing lunch with a girlfriend and he started giving me reasons why he doesn’t want me to, that would shady every time because there are no legitimate reasons not to, as my lunch plans have nothing to do with him even a little bit. But if I told him I was going to spend my rent money on new shoes, he’d be within his rights to say something, because that would cause him to have to pay more and would directly affect him. One impacts him, and one doesn’t, so in one instance the “concerns” would be shady, but not in the other. Does that make any more sense?

(I hope it doesn’t feel like I’m picking on you! I’m just trying to make the connection between the posts that seem to confuse you as I see them.)

avatar GatorGirl September 6, 2013, 3:07 pm

Yeah, I just didn’t read it that way.

Also, “legitimate reasons” from person to person and couple to couple vary WILDLY. Which also is clearly playing into this.

avatar rachel September 6, 2013, 2:26 pm

You think it’s wrong to inform your SO about having dinner with a friend? I would tell my fiance “Hey, I’m planning to meet soandso for dinner tomorrow”. So, you know, he knows not to make whatever he was planning to make for dinner that night. I don’t get why he wouldn’t be okay with that. It’s not like I’m informing him that HE has to do something.

avatar GatorGirl September 6, 2013, 2:30 pm

No, I don’t think saying “Hey I’m doing XYZ” to your partner is inherently bad/wrong. It was the original phrasing the PL used which to me implied that what ever was being “informed” was finite and that the other half of the relationship was being “shady” for voicing opposition. To me she was saying, if GGuy says “I’m going to play golf Saturday” it’s shady of me to say “I’d rather you didn’t because I’d like to spend time with you”. That’s what rubbed me the wrong way.

avatar rachel September 6, 2013, 2:36 pm

Yeah…actually I kind of would think it was shady if I said, I’m meeting a friend for dinner, and Ross asked me not to. Well, not shady, I guess, but really weird and presumptuous that he could decide how I spend my time?

Obviously, I’m not talking about decisions that affect him, like I wouldn’t just up and fly to China tomorrow. But, for instance, a friend may be having a baby shower in Houston later this fall, and I imagine the conversation will probably go like this “So, I decided to go to Houston for friend’s shower”.

avatar GatorGirl September 6, 2013, 2:49 pm

But I’m not talking about deciding for the other person if they get to go. Saying “I’d rather you didn’t” isn’t saying “you’re not allowed to”. The decision is still on the other person…I just fail to see how having an opinion is “really weird” and “shady”. (Obviously not talking about LW anymore, just wanted to clarify.)

avatar rachel September 6, 2013, 2:54 pm

I dunno, I’m just thinking about my relationship and how it works. I don’t want to get into this too much because we’ll both start thinking we’re insulting each other’s relationships. I just know, for me, in my relationship, it would be really weird if Ross was like, oh, I’d rather you didn’t go to dinner with your friend. I mean, if it was, “because we already have plans” or “because you already spent all of your fun money this month on that plane ticket to Houston”, then I would consider that to be something that affects him, which isn’t really the example I was trying to give.

avatar GatorGirl September 6, 2013, 3:01 pm

I guess weird is a fair term, since it’s outside of the norm for y’all. But the “shady” from the OP wasn’t cool with me. That, IMO, was insulting my relationship structure.

katie katie September 6, 2013, 3:03 pm

well, sometimes saying “id rather you didnt” actually *means* “your not allowed to”, right? like depending on how you interact and stuff.

overall, if someone told me for no reason that they would rather me not do something, especially a SO, i wouldnt take that nicely at all. like rachel said, if it was “id rather you not do that because of X reasonable thing”, thats different, but to just not want your SO to do something they assumingly enjoy for no reason is kind of odd.

avatar rachel September 6, 2013, 3:09 pm

I more saw it as shady in the context of, 1. they aren’t from our understanding in a long-term committed relationship so he shouldn’t really have much of a say and 2. her going to Vegas shouldn’t affect him. In that case, 1 + 2 = he doesn’t get a vote. The only “logical” reason I can think of why he should get a vote is if he’s shady and jealous like this guy.

I don’t think PL or anyone else was trying to say that you’re doing it wrong – you’re doing what works for you. You just couldn’t date PL or me ;)

avatar GatorGirl September 6, 2013, 3:09 pm

Katie, like I said above, “legitimate reason” varies wildly between people and couples so.

And no, in my world “I’d rather you didn’t” means just that. There is no subtext when it’s coming from me.

iwannatalktosampson iwannatalktosampson September 6, 2013, 3:15 pm

I think it’s really manipulative to say “I’d rather you didn’t” if you don’t have a really good reason. You’re essentially saying “sure go ahead, but you’ll suffer the consequences later” and especially if the sole reason being that you want to spend time with me? Awesome – then you plan a date and we’ll spend time together. But if I’m making plans with a friend and we don’t already have plans – you don’t get to just come in and railroad that plans – to what? Sit in the house together and hold hands and “spend time together”. F bomb that.

avatar GatorGirl September 6, 2013, 3:22 pm

Wow, I didn’t know saying you want to spend time with your partner is railroading…

Yeah, IDK. Clearly I’m the outlier on this.

iwannatalktosampson iwannatalktosampson September 6, 2013, 3:33 pm

Well I mean it is if the other person is trying to make plans with a friend. You are literally trying to alter the path of their plans.

I think your case is different and it’s reasonable for you to say that because you both travel (I think?) semi regularly for work – so at that point you do need to make hanging out a priority. I’m more referring to the people that live together and spend a majority of their weekends together. Those people are annoying if they would choose hanging out with their SO doing everyday things over hanging out with a friend they maybe see once or twice a month or even less frequently.

katie katie September 6, 2013, 3:43 pm

also, GG, remember that you are openly in a co-dependent relationship, and i dont think anyone else here is..? so that is going to alter how we all see things too

CatsMeow CatsMeow September 6, 2013, 2:49 pm

Yeah, depends on why he would say no. I haven’t been in a relationship in a while, but I feel like our conversations usually would go something like this: him: “Hey, I’m gonna do X.” me: “OK.” or… me: “Hey, I’m gonna do Y.” him: “But we already have dinner plans.” me: “Oops, I forgot.” And I think when you live with someone, it’s normal / common courtesy to let the other person know where you are (generally) and when you might be home.

I feel like we’re all splitting hairs here. Are we “asking permission” or are we “running it by” him? Are we “checking in” or are we “informing”?

For me, the distinction is jealousy. If you are trying to control me or keep me from doing something because you can’t trust me, or you are trying to isolate me, or because you are convinced I will cheat (when I have given you no indication that I will do so, and given you no reason to not trust me), then I’ll probably respond with a big Fuck You. It’s like a hallmark of an abuser. Deal with your issues/insecurities on your own and don’t take it out on me by limiting what I can do. I had an ex like this. He wouldn’t like it if I went to the mall alone, or out to a bar with friends without him. It was only because he was trying to control me… and that was obvious. He was very manipulative. And abusive.

katie katie September 6, 2013, 3:00 pm

yep, i agree.

thats why i think its all about a reasonable dialogue. i dont feel controlled if jake responds to me wanting to go somewhere or do something with a reasonable conversation of why i shouldnt. i do if its a final-answer “no” with no room for any type of conversation.

“no, because i said so” is what a parent says to a child.
“what about x, y, z thing?” is what two adults say to each other.

Lindsay Lindsay September 8, 2013, 10:41 am

I agree. Saying “I’d rather you not” may not be forbidding something, but it can mean a lot of different things. It can mean “I’d rather you not because we haven’t seen much of each other lately, and I wanted some quality time” or “I’d rather you not because it’s supposed to be snowing a lot, and I’m worried about you driving in it” or “I’d rather you not” because I’m a jealous and abusive dick. And usually in the “shady” situations, it’s a form of manipulation, not a conversation. Instead of just communicating their feelings, they are hoping to change yours. And I know that the former examples seems like they want to change yours, too, but I really think that healthy partners are going to view it more as communicating rather than influencing.

I mean, really, it all comes down to how healthy your relationship is. If you’re with an abusive jerk, even the most harmless exchanges are going to mean something completely different from when a caring and respectful partner talks to you.

I have a friend who got out of an emotionally abusive relationship earlier this year where the guy would berate her for speaking to another man, and assumed she was going to cheat on him. The guy she’s seeing now made a comment once that he felt sort of jealous watching her talk to his flirtatious friend (who was asking her for her number), but to him, it was like, “Geez, that kind of made me a little jealous! I can’t believe it. I don’t usually feel like that. Anyway, want to get a burger?”

Two similar things, but they can be so different.

avatar Liquid Luck September 6, 2013, 2:38 pm

I see a huge difference between someone refusing to “allow” their SO to do something, and voicing a concern about plans. It’s all about who makes the decision in the end. Your partner is allowed to make a reasonable argument against you doing something to the extent it will affect him, and then YOU make the decision as to whether or not the new information changes your view of the situation. But if your SO just says “no, you can’t do that,” he’s taking the decision away from you. Voicing concerns =/= shady behavior, but trying to actually make the choice (rather than simply giving additional information that might influence the choice) absolutely is.

avatar GatorGirl September 6, 2013, 2:44 pm

That is exactly what I’m trying to say but failing miserably at it.

avatar Nadine September 6, 2013, 5:09 pm

For the record, I totallly agree with you, and I and do not have a co-dependant relationship with my fiance. We just both are happy that the other has friends, plans and hobbies, and we value our time alone as well. We tell each other our plans for the day, if there are any clashes, we change the plans. No big deal. If he had a strong opinion about one of my actions, I trust him enough to think twice about it. Thats why I’m with him, because I trust him and what he thinks. Not enough to blindly do what he wants, but to consider his perspective.

avatar GatorGirl September 6, 2013, 5:15 pm

Yay! I’m not a total weird-o! (All the married people I know in real life function like this so I was beginning to think everyone I know is nuts.)

avatar Grilledcheesecalliope September 6, 2013, 11:00 am

How do you repeatedly call someone who is in jail? Don’t they have to call you?.

LW1- yay two trips, and a renewed sense of self respect when you dump the douche.
LW2 – Break up with people you don’t like or trust.

avatar Guy Friday September 6, 2013, 12:21 pm

Maybe “calling me” means “picking up the phone when I call.” Though to be fair, around here you can call people in the jail; it’s a method some places are using in place of video visits or visits through a pane of glass.

Also, yeah, what other people said. I thought you were using “kill him” in the usual facetious terms until you mentioned you went to jail. Good lord, LW3. What the hell are you doing trying to kill people? You think maybe dumping his stuff on the front lawn wasn’t enough? And if you did attempt to murder him, how are you out on bail right now?!

Diablo Diablo September 6, 2013, 11:00 am

Enya CDs!!! Bwahahahahahahah!!!

avatar Bunnycsp September 6, 2013, 11:11 am

LW1 – I think this would be a totally different conversation if you were married and sharing finances. Like about spending money. But you are too young to being dealing with this. dump him immediately….seriously, immediately.

avatar Bunnycsp September 6, 2013, 11:15 am

LW2 – so the amount someone smokes is important. My husband and I will maybe 4 times a year and that works for both of us. His friend smokes everyday and it is a problem with every relationship he is in. I wouldn’t worry about someone who had a glass of wine every night but smoking still has a stigma.

avatar Essie September 6, 2013, 11:29 am

To LW1:

Honey. In grown-up relationships, the word “let” doesn’t apply. He won’t let you go? What does that even mean. You’re a adult. You don’t need anyone to “let” you go anywhere.

Anyway…..your BF is an asshole. An asshole of epic proportions. You want to be with someone who thinks you’re a “lying, shady bitch”? Why? You want to be with someone who has so little respect for you that he thinks you’re gonna be sleeping with every guy you meet in Vegas? Why? I would have been gone the minute he pulled the “if you go to Vegas, we’re not going to Virginia” crap. How childish.

There’s nothing good here. There’s nothing salvageable here. Dump this total loser and find yourself an adult to date. Sheesh.

bittergaymark bittergaymark September 6, 2013, 11:44 am

LW1). You two truly do deserve each. His absurd demands, your lying to get a free trip…

LW2). A straight guy? Using poppers? And NOT to enhance gay sex? This letter baffles me completely.

LW3). Why? Because some men can, apparently, be just as dumb as some women can. True equality at long last!

CatsMeow CatsMeow September 6, 2013, 12:00 pm

Maybe LW2′s boyfriend is gay!!

avatar kate September 6, 2013, 12:18 pm

or maybe LW2 is a man and is in a same-sex relationship?? Geez.

CatsMeow CatsMeow September 6, 2013, 12:30 pm

……..which would make him gay.

avatar Addie Pray September 6, 2013, 12:31 pm

wanna know how i know you’re gay?

CatsMeow CatsMeow September 6, 2013, 12:39 pm

I like Asia? HEEEEEEEAT of the moment!

avatar Addie Pray September 6, 2013, 12:56 pm

ATTENTION ATTENTION ATTENTION – IT’S 11:56 am AND ADDIE PRAY HAS LEFT THE BUILDING (IN 2 MINUTES) – AND VACATION STARTS NOW (WELL, IN 2 MINUTES)!!!!!!!!!!! BYEEEEEEEE

avatar AKchic September 6, 2013, 1:42 pm

LW 1: Run far away and never talk to this guy again.

LW 2: WWS.

LW 3: Get some anger management STAT and never talk to this guy again. The two of you together are DRAMA and it’s not necessary in a relationship, let alone a good one. Why does he call you? Possibly because you were more nuts than you think and he’s got a form of Stockholm Syndrome? Maybe he’s apologetic about the cheating? Maybe he wants to know why the hell you went so overboard as to try to KILL him?
Any case – stop answering the phone and make sure he has all of his stuff (INTACT) back. And go through a 3rd party rather than doing it yourself. And don’t touch, harm, or attempt (or succeed) to kill him again.

avatar Lucy September 6, 2013, 2:33 pm

Facepalm Friday!

avatar Sue Jones September 12, 2013, 2:53 pm

Facepalm Thursday!

avatar LR May 14, 2014, 1:03 pm

Anywhere where there is a lot of men and fewer women, is dangerous for involved or married women to travel alone to. You cheat on your man with local men, you end up missing with them. It happens.

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