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Shortcuts: “My Man is Obsessed With Strippers”

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 that being as clear and frank as possible is simply the best way to go.

I’m not exactly 120 pounds with big busts, but I always catch my man of two years staring at these type of women. I have felt so disrespected that I’m considering getting implants and I am trying to lose weight. I have told my man how he makes me feel and he tries to control himself but then he sees these women and there he goes. He’s fancinated with strippers — something I can’t be. We have four kids total (one together) and I will not change in front of him because he said my boobs are saggy. I love to have sex but I don’t want to with home anymore because I feel like he fantasizes about other women. What do I do? — Not a Stripper

 
Wow, he sounds like a prize. Honestly, if I were romantically involved with a man who couldn’t stop staring at other women, was fascinated by strippers, and told me my boobs were saggy shortly after giving birth, I’d kick his ass to the curb so fast, there would be skid marks down the driveway.

My boyfriend is a drunk and we have a 4-month-old son together. He said he was going to cut back on the drinking but he hasn’t. He hardly wants to help with the baby. I’m lucky if I can get him to feed the baby twice a day and maybe change a diaper once a day. Every time he has money he buys one thing of diapers and some wipes and then the rest goes for his cigarettes and beer. What should I do? I want to get away but I dont want to take it to court. I will let him see his son whenever he want. I just need to know what I should do. — Tired of the Drunk

You may not want to “take it to court,” but in order to protect both yourself and your son and to ensure not only some sort of financial support, but also cover your butt in case your boyfriend tries to sue YOU for support or custody, you need to speak with a family attorney asap. And then round up your closest support system and get all the help and assistance you can while you move on and make a new home for you and your baby boy.

I have a guy I like so much and who also likes me too. He buys me stuff and is always willing to be around me. The “but” is that he has a girlfriend who is so far away from here but they have been dating for quite a while. Should I date him? — Likes a Guy

 
I think you should aim higher than some guy with a girlfriend who is “willing to be around you.” How about a guy who doesn’t have a girlfriend and loves being around 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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{ 52 comments… add one }

  • avatar TECH October 25, 2013, 9:05 am

    “He’s fancinated with strippers” Does that mean he’s a fan, and he’s fascinated?

  • Fabelle Fabelle October 25, 2013, 9:14 am

    I really feel like I have no clue what to even say to these. It finally happened; Shortcuts: 1 Fabelle: 0, I’m beat.

    The first two are just sad—why, why, why have kids with these men? And unfortunately, the situation in 2 is quite common (women not wanting to take the dude the court, assuming they can work something out verbally for less hard feelings). But LW2, you need to protect yourself.

    And LW3— okay, I guess that one’s easy: Don’t “date” a guy who has a girlfriend.

  • avatar kerrycontrary October 25, 2013, 9:19 am

    These letters just make me sad for the women who will settle for such poor relationships. And LW3, don’t go after a guy who has a girlfriend. It’s his fault for getting close to cheating, but there’s still some other woman out there who thinks he’s being faithful. And someday you could be that woman. So do a favor to all women, and show this guy that he can’t have you if he’s still in a relationship.

    • avatar bethany October 25, 2013, 9:31 am

      Even sadder that they’re having kids with these losers. I feel really sorry for the children who have to grow up with parents who are such terrible role models.

    • avatar sarita_f October 25, 2013, 10:59 am

      @kerrycontrary – I like how you put this.

  • avatar Taylor October 25, 2013, 9:40 am

    Rough batch of letters.
    LWs, aim higher, and no more children with partners you don’t trust…

  • avatar lemongrass October 25, 2013, 9:41 am

    Mothers: you need to put the short and long term well being of your children before anyone else’s. That includes the pain of a breakup or hurting someone else’s feelings by taking them to court. You need to have some control over your life, over your feelings and over the way you let others treat you.
    I feel like Helen Lovejoy, “Won’t somebody think of the children?!?!?!!?!”

  • avatar oldie October 25, 2013, 9:58 am

    The Friday follies keep descending to a level of pathetic sadness, which makes them painful to read. I think Fridays’ entries began as an effort of both bizarre humor and an attempt to make everyone feel better about the far more minor problems in their own lives. Seriously, it’s long past that point. If any of us feel so bad about ourselves or our relationships that it requires this level of human degradation and suffering to buck up our view of ourselves, then we are in need of serious help.

  • rainbow rainbow October 25, 2013, 9:59 am

    Could we agree that “my boyfriend makes me feel so ugly I’m considering plastic surgery” = autoMOA ?
    Please, just give me this one.

    • avatar kerrycontrary October 25, 2013, 10:17 am

      She needs to watch the TLC unpretty music video.

    • avatar AllegroFox October 25, 2013, 10:46 am

      No problem giving you that one. Also, any time I see someone refer to their SO as “my man” or “my woman” I automatically go “oh noes, here we go…” It just seems to follow a certain way of thinking that reminds me way too much of Cosmo headlines…e.g. “Satisfy your man!!!! 1637 sexy sex tips for sexier sex!” Aaaaaaaaaa.

      • avatar Christy October 25, 2013, 11:24 am

        See, I think it’s actually a race or a class thing. Like, I think “my man” specifically refers to a live-in, (theoretically) long-term, unmarried parter. And that’s more prevalent in black communities or in lower-income communities. And yes, these relationships can be more fraught, but I think it’s unfair to judge them automatically in this manner. Because ultimately, it ends up being a class judgement, even though it wasn’t intended as such.

        • Fabelle Fabelle October 25, 2013, 11:44 am

          Yes.

        • avatar Christy October 25, 2013, 11:49 am

          I’m actually going to reply to myself here.

          I used to get uncomfortable/frustrated because the woman in the cubicle next to me makes a lot of personal phone calls, often involving issues with paying bills or fixing her car or something like that. And it made me really uncomfortable. And I talked about it to gf, and she called me on it – she said that everything that made me uncomfortable was related to the fact that my coworker is lower-middle class, and most of my coworkers aren’t. And she’s totally right – my coworker is a contractor, raising three kids on her own without support, trying to live in the DC area. She has a roommate to help with rent. She rents and she’s in her 40s. She shops at Goodwill and even brings me clothes that she buys from Goodwill for herself that she realized she doesn’t like but thinks I’ll like.

          I’m not going to understand her money problems, and they may make me uncomfortable, and I may not like hearing her conversations. But you know what? I can stop myself from getting frustrated with her. She’s on the phone with a bill collector? I can put in headphones. She needs me to spot her a couple bucks to pay for parking? I can spot her a couple bucks. (She always pays back, and she always spots someone else if they need it and she can.) She’s such a good person – she was housing her kid’s friend when he got kicked out of his house. For a while, she let a homeless woman move in with them. Would I do that? Probably not. Would I want my kid to live with a random homeless person? Probably not. But my coworker is that good to people who need help, that she does it. Does she always make decisions that make her situation better? No. But she does really care about people, and she does more to help people than most others I know.

          I just wanted to elaborate on the class issue.

          • avatar kerrycontrary October 25, 2013, 12:11 pm

            I just hate when people make long personal phone calls at work in general. But good for your girlfriend for catching that.

            • avatar Christy October 25, 2013, 12:21 pm

              Right, it’s annoying, but when else is she going to do it? Who else is going to handle the situation other than her? That’s what I try to remind myself as I put my earplugs or earbuds in.

              • avatar lets_be_honest October 25, 2013, 12:24 pm

                That’s tough Christy. While I can be compassionate to her situation, I think it would still irk me that she was doing that at work (as I type away on DW, haha, what a hypocrite I am!)

                • avatar SpaceySteph October 25, 2013, 3:32 pm

                  Hah you’re right! My first instinct was “take that call outside” as I read DW in my cube. Whoops!
                  I guess it also does depend on your work environment. Around here, nobody would look twice if you left your desk to make a call so it is kind of rude to make personal calls at your desk. Although, I guess if she can’t afford a cell phone and uses her desk phone then she can’t even do that. So yeah, maybe we should cut the woman some slack.

          • avatar AllegroFox October 25, 2013, 12:26 pm

            I apologize, Christy! I wasn’t meaning to make a judgement, only to say that the phrase rings alarm bells for me…

            I’ve never experienced “my man” as a class thing, or as indicative of a certain living situation/relationship status. I’ve only ever come across it used seriously in the context of those articles (the “way of thinking” that I refer to is the “all men/women are cookie cutter copies of each other, and here is the One True Way to get one! And keep one!) and the context of people asking “What are the magical words I can say to make women sleep with me/men fall in love with me?” Which can be anyone, in my experience.

            But you’re probably right, and I’ll be aware of it in future.

            • avatar Christy October 25, 2013, 12:33 pm

              Right, it wasn’t a usage that I’d encountered either until 1. I started working for the government and 2. my gf’s coworkers would use it. Shockingly, I didn’t encounter it in 13.5 years of Catholic school or at my semi-elite college (eyeroll at my sheltered privilege upbringing, but that’s neither here nor there).

              From what I can tell, talking about getting a man to fall in love with you is different from talking about your man and your relationship. I roll my eyes too when I hear about “how to snag a man” or “what all women want in bed” or stuff like that. (Because women all want the same thing, amirite?)

      • avatar lets_be_honest October 25, 2013, 11:34 am

        Ugh, I hate “my man.” Hate it!

      • bagge72 bagge72 October 25, 2013, 11:44 am

        Did anyone watch Wheel of Fortune yesterday, where the women refered to her fiance as her baby doll, hahaha. I was like did she really just do that on TV!

        • TaraMonster TaraMonster October 25, 2013, 1:28 pm

          In my house we call it Wheel of Torture. I cannot change the channel fast enough after Jeopardy!.

          I hate Wheel of Torture. Hate it!!

    • rainbow rainbow October 25, 2013, 11:00 am

      I feel like I recycled this comment and someone else made it before, in the exact same words, for some other terrible terrible autoMOA equivalent. But maybe it’s the lack of sleep.

  • katie katie October 25, 2013, 10:05 am

    ohhh wow…. just, …..wow…

    • avatar lets_be_honest October 25, 2013, 11:36 am

      Would you go so far as to say Face Palm?

      • katie katie October 25, 2013, 11:39 am

        i keep going between sadness for humanity and anger at humanity’s stupidity.

        does facepalm qualify for either of those? haha

        • avatar lets_be_honest October 25, 2013, 12:15 pm

          Yea, these gave me more anger than sadness. Go ahead and fuck up your life. Don’t fuck your kids’ lives too.

  • avatar Sue Jones October 25, 2013, 10:15 am

    Sadly these patterns of behavior probably perpetuate for generations unless someone (LWs perhaps!) stop settling for crumbs and go get some serious therapy!

    • Addie Pray Addie Pray October 25, 2013, 12:54 pm

      mom jeans!

      • Addie Pray Addie Pray October 25, 2013, 12:55 pm

        ok fine, yoga pants. i still think you’re a superhero in disguise.

        • avatar Sue Jones October 25, 2013, 1:42 pm

          Awww, thanks AP!

  • avatar Amanda October 25, 2013, 10:17 am

    These LWs just make me really sad. I hope that they will learn to love themselves better than this because otherwise they will continue to tolerate anything to have a guy around. That is not OK LWs! MOA and learn to love yourselves before thinking about dating again.

  • avatar shanshantastic October 25, 2013, 10:33 am

    LW2, you may not want to take it to court but believe me, it is the best thing for your son – and he NEEDS you to be his protector. Your boyfriend sounds like a Grade A loser but it’s too late to change that he is your child’s father and needs to grow the hell up. Move out, or kick him out, and until he steps up and acts like a responsible adult I’d be very careful about visitation.

    I have a four-month-old son too, and believe me – if my husband started pulling this shit my driveway would have a skid mark to match the one Wendy suggested to LW1.

    • avatar NavyWife October 25, 2013, 11:06 am

      I agree 100%. I’m 8 months pregnant and will hop on “The Bump” every so often. It amazes me to read stories/comments from pregnant women about their deadbeat husbands/SO’s/BF’s and how badly they allow themselves to be treated by these men. And I doubt it will be better once baby comes along!

      Obviously having 2 loving, supportive, engaged parents is the ideal, but women have to be willing to get themselves and their kids out of destructive situations. In the case of LW’s 1 & 2, being alone is the better option right now.

  • avatar cdobbs October 25, 2013, 10:39 am

    LW1….don’t ever change for a man….you don’t need a boob job to keep some troll around….he can’t even respect you enough not to check out women while you are standing right next to him, not cool! no one is perfect….not even your man….i say dump the inconsiderate buffoon and find a guy who will treat you with the respect you deserve….keep your chin up
    LW2….keep this guy away from your baby, especially if he drinks around the baby, that is so dangerous! i agree with wendy that it is worth speaking with a lawyer to protect yourself
    LW3….do you really want to be with someone who is capable of cheating? if he is doing it to his girlfriend, the potential is there that he will do it to you to

  • avatar SpaceySteph October 25, 2013, 10:55 am

    LW3 you need to not be such a terrible person. Sorry, having been the girl in the LDR who thought her bf loved her but it turned out he was courting another woman and just waiting for the right time to drop me for her (which he did, unceremoniously, 2 days before we were supposed to go on a vacation with his family)… just don’t be that girl.
    I do blame my ex more than the girl he left me for, but I had met her and she knew I existed and I definitely blame her too. She was a bitch, and so are you if you continue.
    You deserve better, and his gf deserves better. And this jerk deserves to be alone.

  • Stonegypsy stonegypsy October 25, 2013, 11:07 am

    These are… terrible.
    LW1 MOA and aim higher
    LW2 seriously, MOA and aim higher
    LW3 Since the guy has a girlfriend and there’s nothing real to move on from, just aim higher

    You all deserve so much better than what you are settling for, and so do your children. Please, have enough love and respect for yourselves to demand better.

  • avatar applescruffs October 25, 2013, 11:30 am

    You know what’s awesome? Birth control. Birth control is awesome.

    • avatar Vathena October 25, 2013, 11:35 am

      FTW.

    • avatar Taylor October 25, 2013, 1:00 pm

      AMEN.

    • avatar Marcie October 25, 2013, 2:14 pm

      Sadly, I bet some of the babies that we read about in these letters are planned.

      • kare kare October 27, 2013, 6:30 pm

        Probably planned by one person…

  • GatorGirl GatorGirl October 25, 2013, 11:40 am

    Ugh. I didn’t think my head could hurt more, but it totally does now.

    AIM HIGHER!

  • avatar thatgirl October 25, 2013, 11:41 am

    LW1: Leave him
    LW2: Leave him
    LW3: Leave him

    my relationship prior to my marriage, which I always felt was drama-filled and embarrassing, feels normal now…thanks…

  • Diablo Diablo October 25, 2013, 12:47 pm

    LW1: So, your “man” has no respect for you, and that makes you want to spend thousands to robotify your boobs, which in your mind would earn his respect? Just checking. You might want to just respect yourself, spend your money on your kids, and suggest the dude go find a girl with the attributes he is looking for. I’m sure her rates will be very reasonable.

    • avatar starpattern October 25, 2013, 12:57 pm

      “I’m sure her rates will be very reasonable.”

      Hah! Yeah, basically this.

  • Addie Pray Addie Pray October 25, 2013, 12:58 pm

    All these letters made me sad. And this from LW3 made me even sadder: “He … is always willing to be around me.” This should be a given. This has got to be the lowest of all the low standards in all the land.

  • avatar llclarityll October 25, 2013, 2:01 pm

    What. the. hell. Why in the world would you let your son around his drunk of a father? Why leave and then say “oh but he can have the baby whenever he wants.” NO. TERRIBLE IDEA. He doesn’t care for the baby now and is drunk around him, what makes you think he will take care of him and be sober when you aren’t around?

  • mylaray mylaray October 25, 2013, 5:11 pm

    LW1: As a former stripper, I saw men like your boyfriend with stripper fascinations all the time, and honestly, it’s just sad. You’re not the problem, he is, and you don’t need to be 120 pounds with huge perky boobs (especially after kids!) to attract a man that will be good for you.
    LW2: It’s a little concerning to me that you say you would let your boyfriend see your son whenever. I hope that doesn’t mean he would be alone and drunk with the baby, but it was hard to tell if that’s what you were implying or not. I’m not saying keep him from the child, but be careful, and I think you should talk to someone like Wendy suggested.
    LW3: If you don’t start to aim higher, you could end up like the first two LWs…

  • avatar Lucy October 26, 2013, 12:13 am

    Your abstinence education dollars at work, right here.

  • Lindsay Lindsay October 26, 2013, 2:08 am

    “I have felt so disrespected that I’m considering getting implants and I am trying to lose weight.”

    False. If you felt disrespected, then you wouldn’t consider changing yourself to fit his fantasy. You’d kick his ass to the curb.

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