Meh, I disagree. Bad on the two of them for behaving badly when they got together, and bad on Polly for dismissing it. "Being in love" isn't an excuse to act selfishly, it's just another thing (like money, like power, like the last great pair of shoes at a sale) that we trample over other people to get. Their lies weren't that terrible, but they were still lies told in the service of selfishness; when they chose each other over the hurt they were inflicting on the LW, they were still choosing their own pleasure over her pain.
Is that unforgivable? Not necessarily. Would most of us have done the same thing? Depressingly, probably yes. Still, it sucks to be brought face-to-face with the hard truth that at some point, two people she loved thought, "What I'm about to do will hurt my friend - should I do it anyway?" and decided her unhappiness was a reasonable trade for what they stood to get.
God I love this advice. I read the letter and I was sure there was going to be some squishy Sugar-style "wanting to leave is enough" empowerment and instead it was so serious and real and laid out the possibilities without either fearmongering or soft-pedaling about how hard it would be.
The only thing I would add is that I think it's important, with this much time invested and a child involved, that she not unilaterally decide to leave the relationship, at least not until she's tried to fix it _with_ her husband. Like, he has a right to know how she's feeling, and to make his best damned effort to make things right. Maybe he won't be able to, or maybe he'll want out as well eventually, but to me that's what defines acting honorably in a serious relationship - all the decisions, even the one to end it, should be made together.
Dear LW, regardless of how Angela-like and yelly you are, this sentence:
"WTF are you doing, Carl Sagan says we are all composed of stardust, you could be snorting cocaine and painting murals naked in the desert, and instead you're spending the twilight of your youth worried about manual revisions?"
makes me love you. I think that Polly's advice is perfect, but I also bet you aren't as bad as you think you are.
@melis I can see where that was confusing - I meant my SECRET THEORY, not that the sex is secret. And my theory is that while everyone is reading these as proto-BDSM submission fantasies (girls just wanna get beaten up and hurt and thrown around by their lovers, aka 50 shades) I think there's actually a lot of confused desire to dominate written between the lines. Like, all the girls want is to be capital-W worshipped and have the guys falling at their feet panting and begging for a single touch, and the girl is austere and powerful in the relationship because the guy is so overcome by desire. I think the book's young fans could work this out a lot more healthily by getting a working relationship with kink and consent, instead of learning the message that the only way to get that kind of satisfaction is to have a semi-stalker who can only think about you.
If this thread turns super-trashy, I will share my opinions about the secret sexual meanings behind the Twilight phenomenon, but I'm not doing that in the inaugural comment.
Instead, I will just say - Nicole, did you ever (or have you ever talked about) doing a Classic Trash on The Prince of Tides? I could have sworn that I learned about it from you but Google isn't being helpful. But it is both SO GREAT and SO TRASHY. I read it over break and it was the kind of glorious reading experience I haven't been able to recreate since I was in junior high.
"The Impossible (Spanish: Lo Imposible) is a 2012 English-language Spanish disaster drama film directed by Juan Antonio Bayona from a screenplay written by Sergio G. Sánchez, starring Naomi Watts and Ewan McGregor. It tells the true story of a Spanish (though portrayed as British) family's experience of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami."
The ambiguous Spanishness of this project intrigues me.
@Maura Johnston Ah well, that came off too harshly and I'm sorry. It gets my goat when people use 40 as the delimiting number of unimaginable old age, so I suppose I didn't read the rest of the letter with a sympathetic enough eye. Guess it goes to show we could all use a bit more perspective.
Whew, Polly must be in a good mood today, cause she took it damned easy on LW2. Sorry, kiddo, but I'm pretty sure that 1.) moving to NY 2.) ending a serious relationship 3.) realizing that relationships are messy and you are too and 4.) getting entangled in a yucky, on-and-off again relationship with a "friend" are the exact life stages you're supposed to go through when you're 24.
When you're FORTY - you know, the kind of really, really old person you imagine you feel like right now - common life stages include moving out of NY because you can't afford it, the death of one or both parents, divorce (you know, the end of an actual marriage, not a relationship you just daydreamed might get there someday) or having to put your own messy emotional needs to the side cause you have a bunch of kids to support.
I'm not saying you don't have real problems (okay, maybe I am) but sheesh, get some perspective.
I'm a little confused about the economics of this. Berlin sounds cheaper than New York, but if apartments are going for 500 euros (or even 200) it must be more expensive than most other American cities, and plus there is the cost of the airfare, and -one would assume - the near-impossibility of anyone without a German passport being able to find work. Plus, there's the euro exchange rate, which is better lately than it has been but still is hardly conducive to saving money on drinks. So what, exactly, is it about Berlin that is allowing these hordes of twentysomething artist-types to descend on it and live a life of hedonism financed only by the savings they racked up working as administrative assistans and baristas in Brooklyn?