Posts Tagged: Polly Esther
19

Ask Polly: Why Is My Boyfriend Addicted To Internet Sex Chats And Why Won't He Stop Lying About It!

Appearing here Wednesdays, Turning The Screw provides existential crisis counseling for the faint of heart. "Because he's just not that into anything, really, except himself."

Hi Polly,

I met this funny, quiet, artistic, and all-around wonderful man shortly after I had escaped from an abusive relationship. We hit it off and started out a casual (albeit, exclusive) thing. I saw from the beginning that he was a bit of a flirt, in a self-deprecating, sarcastic kind of way that made women go "Oh youuuuu!" but hey, that's what drew ME to him in the first place, so what the hell.

Fast forward 2.5 years. We've moved in together, [...]

21

Ask Polly: I'm Angry At My Mom And I Can't Talk About It!

Appearing here Wednesdays, Turning The Screw provides existential crisis counseling for the faint of heart. "Spare change for when your stock hits a 52-week low."

Dear Polly,

I hope that I can get this out in a coherent manner because I am a jumble of emotions right now and it's hard to sort it all out.

Some background: I'm 22 years old and when I was 18, my parents separated. When I was a senior in high school, I was looking for some of my clothes in my mom's dresser and found an envelope of printed-out emails between my mom and—get this—my old middle-school teacher. They were love [...]

48

Ask Polly: Should I Divorce My Perfectly Good Husband?

Appearing here Wednesdays, Turning The Screw provides existential crisis counseling for the faint of heart. "Because bitterness becomes you!"

Dear Polly,

As Neil Gaiman astutely pointed out, you often don't realize you have a migraine until it's way too late. I have now been with my husband for more than half of my life, and a couple of years ago I realized that I don't actually love him. Or even really like him very much.

Our relationship has never been easy, but for years I had blamed it on Things That Could Be Fixed—lingering distrust from long-ago infidelities, the typical working family's imbalance of housework, a mismatch in [...]

45

Ask Polly: Should I Drop Out Of College?

Appearing here Wednesdays, Turning The Screw provides existential crisis counseling for the faint of heart. "Because misery becomes you."

Dear Polly,

I’m a college junior abroad at a British university for the year. During the months I’ve been here, I’ve been getting increasingly anxious and depressed about my schoolwork and general life situation, to the point where I’ll just stay in bed for days on end watching "It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia" and compulsively eating bits of compressed bread. I’ve stopped doing work, which had before been something I would always complete, no matter what. Before, other life things—things like self-image, friendships, romantic relationships, creative outlets, family life—had not [...]

25

One Ring To Rule Them All

As Polly Esther, The Awl's existential advice columnist, Heather Havrilesky gives advice in this space every Wednesday. Here's an excerpt from her memoir Disaster Preparedness about a bit of advice she once received.

"Find someone early, don't wait!" My father's thirtysomething girlfriend leaned across the table to deliver this advice in a stage whisper. I was only nineteen years old, and my father was within earshot. But Alice had tossed back a few glasses of red wine and she was winding up for one of her soliloquies. She didn't have kids (not that she didn't want them!) and she needed to save me from the same uncertain [...]

12

Ask Polly: I Am Haunted By Toxic Troublemakers From My Past

Appearing here Wednesdays, Turning The Screw provides existential crisis counseling for the faint of heart. "Because, like it or not, your days are numbered."

Hi, Polly,

I work at a new(ish) & great job surrounded by commercial artists in film, many of them high-functioning crazies/social misanthropes like myself. I'm still married (thankfully) to a wonderful & forgiving wife (also an artist) and we have two small boys.

Last year I made the horrible mistake of having an affair with a coworker. Six months prior to that, my wife and I had hit a point where neither of us were sure if we were in love with [...]

17

Ask Polly: I Feel Guilty About How Absurdly Rich I Am!

Appearing here Wednesdays, Turning The Screw provides existential crisis counseling for the faint of heart. "Like a really wise friend who doesn't respect your personal space!"

Dear Polly,

I grew up in a tiny, rural, working-class town in the middle of the country. My family was wealthy—old money. Mom didn't work, and my dad tinkered at an obscure craft/art in what was mainly a ranching and coal town. In contrast to my peers who had never left the state, my family traveled internationally, did the country-club thing on vacations, and ordered Parisian dog collars for our mutts. When I was a kid it didn't matter that I was [...]

5

Ask Polly: How Do I Stop Faking Orgasms With My Boyfriend?

Appearing here Wednesdays, Turning The Screw provides existential crisis counseling for the faint of heart. "Concrete, explicit instructions in the time of emotional cholera."

Dear Polly,

My problem started innocently enough, a little white cLIEmax that rolled along and gained momentum until it became a large-scale inescapable avalanche of deceit-gasms.

Paradoxically enough, I met him at a bar on a girls' night out that a friend had organized for me as a "screw men" celebration following yet another breakup in a string of less-than-great short-term relationships. When we started dating, my expectations were down to zero and I was more interested in casual fun than a meaningful relationship. [...]

17

Ask Polly: How Do I Stop Panicking And Crying Over The Slightest Criticism?

Appearing here Wednesdays, Turning The Screw provides existential crisis counseling for the faint of heart. "Because 'being here now' is not always adequate, or satisfying, or remotely profitable."

Dear Polly,

When I was a child and teenager, I was the target of verbal and emotional abuse at home, and bullying at school. Because nobody ever physically hurt me, I assumed my experiences were a normal part of growing up, and only with time, distance, and therapy, have I been able to understand the grim reality of what I went through.

Now, as a young adult, I am extremely sensitive to criticism, to the point where a small remark can [...]

22

Ask Polly: Why Are People Such Assholes?

Appearing here Wednesdays, Turning The Screw provides existential crisis counseling for the faint of heart. "Biting the hand that feeds you is a legitimate lifestyle choice!"

Dear Polly,

My question is about anger. How much anger is too much? How do you know when you should forgive and let go?

I am quite an angry and defensive person, probably excessively so. I would like to be more open and less angry. However, I also feel like I am sometimes taken advantage of and that my boundaries are often encroached upon. I think this is because: a.) I am not good at being assertive; b.) I often hide my [...]

17

Ask Polly: Why Do People Always Think I'm Gay?

Appearing here Wednesdays, Turning The Screw provides existential crisis counseling for the faint of heart. "Does your soul ever feel, you know, not so fresh?"

Dear Polly,

I finally garnered the courage to write to you about my particular problem, and I hope you can shed some of your wisdom on the situation.

Ever since the 6th grade, people have been asking me if I'm gay. Back then, the other kids thought any person who was any bit different from them was gay, and attached a bad meaning to the word. I'll be the first to say that I've never been the most "masculine" individual. I love to read [...]

28

Ask Polly: My Boyfriend's Ex Is Making My Life Hell

Appearing here Wednesdays, Turning The Screw provides existential crisis counseling for the faint of heart. "In the land of the choosy beggars, the most engrossing distraction is king!"

Polly,

I have been dating my boyfriend for over two years. Recently we took the big plunge to move in together, and so far it's been great. There is one major problem, though, and that is his baby mama. Their daughter, Coral (who is 7), adores me and I adore her, we have a super great relationship. But his ex refuses to meet me. Under normal circumstances I wouldn't give a damn, but it really stresses his daughter out. She comes [...]

21

Ask Polly: Why Do Guys Dump Me Like a Hot Potato?

Appearing here Wednesdays, Turning The Screw provides existential crisis counseling for the faint of heart. "Snausages for your mopey inner mongrel!"

Dear Polly,

I am writing to you with what I believe to be the number 1 question on every twenty-something's mind: Will I ever find love? Let me detail this.

I am in my early twenties and my longest relationship lasted 8 months, and the guy was two-timing me for the last month or two of it (I was 19; he was 31). I've only been in one relationship that I genuinely believed would last, and even culminate in marriage, and that one only lasted four months. [...]

16

Ask Polly: I Miss My Maniac Ex

Appearing here Wednesdays, Turning The Screw provides existential crisis counseling for the faint of heart. "Worthless knick-knacks for emotional kleptomaniacs!"

Hi Polly.

I have bored all my friends and therapist with this issue, so I guess it's your turn now. I am a happily (you know, mainly) married female in my late 30s—with two small kids. Life is pretty ducky—I love and like my husband, like my job, and find my kids totally adorable, amazing, and exhausting/exasperating in equal parts. I have the same problems as everyone else in my demo: aging parents; financial woes (live in a major city where the livin' ain't cheap), although not a lack [...]

19

Ask Polly: Should I Make The First Move On My Dream Girl?

Appearing here Wednesdays, Turning The Screw provides existential crisis counseling for the faint of heart. "Spare change for when your stock hits a 52-week low."

Dear Polly,

I'm a 26-year-old guy who has been most flatteringly described recently as "not unattractive" (I'm relatively short and quite skinny). I've been "enamored" with this 20-year-old friend of mine, who is on the opposite side of the sexual appeal scale. Not only is she very beautiful, she's also very charming and fun, and has plenty of suitors due to these particular qualities. To put it bluntly, she's way out of my league.

The problem is, I've been interested in this girl for [...]

22

Ask Polly: My Roommate's Boyfriend Is Twice Our Age And Practically Lives with Us!

Appearing here Wednesdays, Turning The Screw provides existential crisis counseling for the faint of heart. "Because someone out there is better than you, at pretty much everything."

Polly!

I am a few years out of college and living with a close friend. We get along great, both as roommates and as friends. I truly care about her as a person and believe that we will be lifelong friends. About one month into our 18-month lease, she began dating a man twice our age. Problems quickly became apparent—he is controlling and anxious about her whereabouts and activities. He routinely accuses her of lying about very inane things and punishes her [...]

39

Ask Polly: I Can't Resist Great Sex With My Crazy Ex!

Appearing here Wednesdays, Turning The Screw provides existential crisis counseling for the faint of heart. "Eat two custard-filled doughnuts and call me in the morning."

Dear Polly,

So, this is going to sound so dramatic and stupid and of-course-you-already-know-the-answer-to-this-why-are-you-even-asking? But I'm confused and I want to talk about this with someone. I moved to this cold, Midwestern state from the South (which I loved, but didn't want to stay in for career reasons) two and a half years ago for law school. I left partially to get away from a bad relationship. A couple months in, I met someone else in law school. Things moved very quickly. I'd [...]

12

Ask Polly: Will I Be Alone Forever?

Appearing here Wednesdays, Turning The Screw provides existential crisis counseling for the faint of heart. "Sometimes when we touch, the honesty's too much."

Dear Polly,

This may be one of those "What’s my problem? IS this is a problem?" problems.

I’m 28 and I’ve been single for six years. Very single. As in, years going by where I didn’t have much sex and little to no romance at all. I would tell you about my last relationship but it’s not that interesting and to be honest I don’t think about it much. My parents fought a lot when I was little and drama ensued for many years, but we [...]

16

Ask Polly: Why Can't I Leave My Ex Behind For Good?

Appearing here Wednesdays, Turning The Screw provides existential crisis counseling for the faint of heart. "Because suspending your disbelief burns 78 calories per hour!"

Polllyyyyyyy.

Relationship. 3.5 years. 2.5 of those years spent cohabiting. 1 year into the relationship, my brother died, and my family fell apart before my eyes. Around this time, the major, major conflicts in the relationship began. Fighting. Constantly. Me taking it out on him. Him letting me because he’s a good guy. Drinking too much. Having the most epic, awful fights. Things got better, gradually, with time, us giving each other more space, and him finally realizing that he needed to be in [...]

18

Ask Polly: Should I Make The First Move?

Appearing here Wednesdays, Turning The Screw provides existential crisis counseling for the faint of heart. "Because Jesus cares less than you think he does!"

Dear Polly,

I recently started my dream job, at a growing startup, with a bunch of friends I really like and who inspire me. The company is growing quickly so I've been on the lookout for possible fellow travelers who are cool and organized and would fit in well with my team. My best friend recently recommended a young man for the team and told me in setting up the meeting, "You"ll love him!" Which, it turns out, I do.

The company is going [...]