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Wednesday, September 7,2011

Advice Goddess

This is where you draw the spine & Wishful finking

by Amy Alkon

Q: My boyfriend lives in Germany, and I’m in
Switzerland (a one-hour plane ride away). His close female friend is
getting married, and I’m not invited to the wedding. Last spring, when
we were broken up for three months, he had a fling with the bride’s
friend. As a courtesy to the fling woman, I’m blacklisted. Last summer,
when we got back together, I asked that he clear up things with his
fling immediately, which he agreed to do. Our relationship grew stronger
for a couple weeks, and then I learned he was going on vacation with
her. (He had already booked the trip and didn’t want to cancel!) Fun
fact: He wrote me a postcard while away with her. I was incredibly hurt.
Only when I screamed at him afterward did he muster the courage to
break up with her. Since then, he has been nothing short of wonderful
and tells me I’m “the one.” I love him, but I’m feeling humiliated by
this wedding situation. He has promised to try to persuade the bride to
invite me but feels he shouldn’t miss her wedding. 


—The Girlfriend




A: What kind of man sends his girlfriend a postcard
from his sex vacation with his fling? Well, probably one who got to the
gift shop too late to buy her an “I Cheated On You At Euro Disney” snow
globe or an “I Had Sex With Another Woman At Lake Lucerne” bobblehead.


Happily, you report that the guy’s been “nothing short of wonderful” post-vacation — save for how quick he was to throw you under the wedding bus “as a courtesy” to his ex-sex friend. Your boyfriend — let’s call him “Werner von Bendover” —
is a suckup of legendary proportions. As hurtful as this has been for
you, he probably isn’t driven by malevolence, just a crushing need to be
liked. This is tough to overcome because it typically traces back to
parents who gave conditional love (“I’ll love you, you rotten kid, if
you dry the dishes”). He has no problem saying no to you — probably because he feels secure that you love him — but for everyone else, it’s “Shall I lick your boots or just use my toothbrush and a little soapy water?”


A people pleaser is an emotional chameleon, constantly
transforming himself into the person he thinks other people want him to
be. If your boyfriend ever had values and opinions of his own, they’re
probably so long gone that he has no idea how to find them. (Too bad you
can’t look them up on Facebook like an old school chum: “Hey,
whassup?!”) It was only when you made some squeak of objection about the
vacation plans — letting old Werner know he’d displeased you —
that he flew into action. He wasn’t about to cancel and disappoint “the
other woman” and his travel agent just to preserve the dignity of the
woman he (supposedly) loves. But, he did loop you in with a postcard:
“Gerta wore her milkmaid outfit today. Wish you were here!”


Don’t you think you deserve a man who treats you more like
“the one” than the one he sells out first? If so, the only German you
should be with now is a German shepherd — one
you borrow to help you search for the word “dealbreaker,” which seems to
have been kidnapped from your vocabulary. Likewise, if you find this
man “wonderful,” it’s because you’ve downgraded your idea of wonderful,
and you’d best take a long, wonderful bath in raw sewage so you can
contemplate how you’ll keep yourself from engaging in anything so
wonderful ever again. 




Q: A woman I ran into mentioned an affair she had
with a man we both know and revealed that he’s had many affairs with
different women over the past five years. This man’s wife is a friend.
(We teach at the same school.) Do I tell her about her philandering
husband? 


—Disturbed


A: The average wife doesn’t snoop through her
husband’s cellphone history because she has a funny feeling that he’s
got three other families in three other states or that he’s a weekend
serial killer who dresses up as a clown. But, the possibility that a
husband might cheat has to cross every wife’s mind. Although a whole lot
of wives would want to be told, don’t assume that of all wives. If this
guy is having serial affairs, he’s probably leaving serial evidence —
or at least some evidence. Maybe for this wife, the most comfortable
sex position is “head in the sand.” Avoid setting yourself up as the
cheating husband news agency unless you know her pretty well —
well enough to know whether their marital arrangement is the
traditional “Forsake all others…” or “Forsake all others except on
Tuesdays when the EconoLodge has a really good deal.”

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