@IBentMyWookie This is definitely an important point to make. I give one piece of advice to people, and one only: be careful who you have kids with. It will tie you to one another for life whether you like it or not. And yes, a dad who disappears and wants nothing to do with the kid for the first eight years can absolutely pop back into the picture, maybe with a sad letter full of apologies and regrets, maybe sent to the kid a week before you're about to get married to your kid's step father. Okay, maybe that won't happen to you, but it could and I am telling you, it sucks because it has to be dealt with. If you want to have the baby and you think you can keep ties severed forever, or if you want to have the baby and you're hoping it will preserve those ties...either way just try to really think long term. Be careful who you have kids with. Wishing you the strength and clarity to make the best choice for you.
Smart people doing cool shit at York! So HA to the bank teller 8 years ago chuckling "if you can eat with a fork you can get into York" as she cashed my student loan cheque. Jerk.
Sold on Torontulas!
I think that some of this is solved by just plain growing up and learning to discern which qualities in a man are desirable to adult you in a real, adult relationship, and which qualities in a man were desirable to teenage you in a daydream, teenage relationship.
It seems that much of the time when women get hung up on these kinds of guys they either had a super short-lived relationship or a near-miss relationship, and they're haunted not by the reality/memory of the relationship but the idea of what might have been. Likewise, they're turned off by what they imagine to be the boring relationship and not the actually pretty awesome contentedness of dating a normal, non-Hemingway wannabe.
A great cure to stop obsessing over these types of guys is to actually be with one, for real, for a period of time. The dark, tortured routine becomes pretty tired pretty fast when you're living it and not able to romanticize away the bullshit.
Dang, the point of all of that was, YES THERAPY. If you can get to a point where you don't hate yourself, the urge to drown in drink will go away. It's possible. And you really do have to surround yourself with people who want more than to acquire another crazy drinking story for their collection of hilarious(ly sad) crazy drinking stories. Those people are just as poisonous as the drink.
Oh man, LW1, it gets so much better when you stop drinking. I used to be juuust like you. Drink to stop feeling insecure, drink more when you realize you don't like what drinking turned you into, drink to forget the embarrassment of the night before...I know how that goes. When I met my husband, about six weeks into the relationship I got black out drunk, yelled at a girl who drunk me thought was flirting with him and capped off the night by peeing in the sink - in front of him. When he was (rightly) freaked out the next day, I defended my party lifestyle and told him I wouldn't be changing my ways for nobody. Somehow he stayed with me, and a few months down the road I was getting black out drunk at his friend's wedding, having to be carted out immediately after dinner. He took video of me slobbering, yelling drunk, and showed it to me the next day. It was humiliating, and very necessary for me to see. That girl isn't cool. She isn't fun. She's frightening to the rest of the people who know when to put down the bottle. I don't know if you'll ever be able to have a drink that doesn't become ten drinks, maybe booze is something you just have to quit forever. But it's okay. It's so much better to cut out the crazy drinking and have sober fun than it is to end up pissing in a sink full of dirty dishes. Quiet and shy are always better than drunk and running into traffic and trying to piece together the next day all the ridiculous things you did that, no, weren't hilarious at all. You're not too young to put that shit in a drawer and walk away.
Maybe I could have saved myself a decade of therapy if I could have read this over and over again. So entirely perfect. Thank you.
You know, if my husband straight up stopped having sex with me I'd be devastated. If he didn't feel like it was a problem that we stopped having sex I'd be devastated. The same way that if he stopped talking to me I'd be devastated, and if he didn't feel like it was a problem that we stopped talking I'd be devastated.
I don't think he's that terrible of a person necessarily for considering this, or wondering if it is the answer. Sex is really important, and I don't think it is fair to dismiss his needs for sex as just, you know, douchey dude is douchey. Even if you have little kids and you are busy and tired, sex is important. I know it's easier to demonize the dude. It sounds awful. Busy mom being busy parenting and he wants to get his dick wet. But...I don't know. I just don't think it's that black and white. Yeah, he needs to tell her just how serious it is, this should start absolutely start with a conversation. But sex is part of the deal. I don't think it is fair to just opt out at any point in the marriage.
I'd say we need more information. If she's crazy busy and he's not being a full partner, you're right, that's different. But, you know, you hear this all the time. Oh, if he did the dishes I'd want to have sex with him. I just wonder how often that is really the case, and how often the other person has just lost interest in sex or attraction to their partner, or they simply have very mismatched sex drives, problems not solved by any amount of dishes washed. I don't know. I get that he's easy to hate. But if he's tried to address it and she won't deal with it...she's also betraying the marriage.
@IBentMyWookie Well, I recognize that my choice probably looked shitty to a lot of people, too. But you know what forced me to quickly pull my life together? The realization that I wanted to keep my baby, and I was damned well going to make it work. I got a place, I got a job, I left the not great dad, and eleven years later I continue to have a lovely family and a happy life. I was 16! She is 23! I'm only saying there isn't one outcome and one outcome only, and it is really frustrating that the world writes you off if you're young and choose to keep your baby.
Sorry Polly, I typically love your advice. And I realize I’m totally, completely missing the point of the advice, which is about the sister and her selfish tears. But the shame and condemnation being leveled against this young woman for choosing to have a baby at 23 is just…amazing. Maybe consider all the lives of the women and their children you're trashing when you reference their inability to make a rational decision and their fucked up choices. I was far younger than this 23 year old when I got pregnant, and from that "shitty decision" came a delightful, bright, happy, loved child. That "shitty decision" turned my life around, and brought forth happiness and peace I didn't believe existed. My more obvious need for family support (support, not an expectation that somebody else bear the burden of parenting) means that my daughter is growing up incredibly close to her aunts, uncles, cousins and grandparents, who all came together to give and share and love as part of a big, beautiful family. There isn’t one ending and one ending only to this story. Suggesting that there is and that it’s an inevitably awful ending is shitty and dismissive and closed minded and, yup, full of privilege.
You mention an unwanted baby and all the horrifying consequences of this terrible situation, but the only person who we can be certain doesn’t want the baby is the sister of the mom to be. It sounds like the person who is actually having the baby is pretty clear that she wants the baby. I think we’d all agree that it would be messed up in the reverse, if the pregnant woman wanted an abortion and the sister was trying to counsel her to keep the baby. So why is this cool? Your body your choice, so long as the choice is abortion? What the hell is she crying about, exactly? 16 and Pregnant or Teen Mom or whatever MTV reality TV bullshit you're imagining is not what all young mothers look like. And you know what else? Age isn't some magical equalizing factor that makes people good (or even just prepared) parents. If you're going to be changed by becoming a parent, that will be true at 16 or 46. And if you're not, having ten years on the next girl won't count for shit. Again, what, exactly, is this woman crying about? Yes, she needs therapy, but maybe to examine why she’s so desperate to control her little sister’s life.
Sorry. I probably sound so wacky. But it gets really lonely on the internet when you’re surrounded by 40 year old “bad mommies” who get to yap about drinking straight from the wine bottle and hating their kids - and that makes them cool and normal! - but any and all young mothers are filed away as shitty people who made shitty choices and god, should have just had an abortion.