Dear Amy: My boyfriend and I have been on/off for the last five years.
During the time we were apart, he had another girlfriend. I didn’t know about her. He and I maintained a “friends with benefits” relationship during our breaks.
After I became pregnant with his child, I found out that they were very serious. I learned that she was pregnant, too. Our sons were born nine days apart.
They are no longer together, and he and I are trying to work things out, but I can’t seem to let their relationship go.
I know that Facebook isn’t “life,” but it bothers me that their entire relationship was broadcast on FB, but he won’t even acknowledge us as being in a relationship.
He has never posted a picture of us or of our son.
He says he’s ashamed of himself (not of me), but I can’t help but feel like he’s not being truthful. I think he’s ashamed of me.
He tells me all the time: “You’re not her,” which makes me feel like he wishes he wasn’t with me. He says I’m being insecure, and that he’s never going to care about Facebook.
I just don’t get why he could care about his Facebook status when he was with her, but not with me?
Am I being stupid?
Dear Worried: When you ask me if you’re being “stupid,” you run the risk of supplying me with a descriptor I’d rather not apply to a woman with a young child. However, this whole situation is unfortunate – because Rome is burning and you’re worried about your Facebook status.
I do agree that this status is a sign of where your guy’s priorities are, and while I’m not inclined to side with him, I do appreciate his embarrassment over fathering two babies (days apart) with two different women. Yes, he should feel embarrassed. He deceived both women (I imagine), and now his ability to be a good parent to both of his sons is compromised because one baby’s mother is insecure and threatened by the other. This impedes his ability to be present in his sons’ lives.
Your guy is not in charge of Facebook. You should post whatever photos you want the world to see. When people start to realize that your partner has two sons the same age with different women, he (and you) will face some questions.
Please understand that parenthood will not magically change your guy’s character. You should get all of your legal, custodial and financial ducks in a row regarding the child, encourage this man to be a good father to both of his children, but understand that he may not intend to lead a monogamous life.
Dear Amy: My “adult” 23-year-old son is home for the holidays.
He leads a more liberal lifestyle than my husband and me, and suffice it to say not only do our politics not match up, but neither do our hygiene practices.
To be blunt, his BO is killing us! I didn’t raise him this way and I absolutely can’t stand it.
I just can’t embrace not showering daily and not using a daily dose of antiperspirant.
How do you address an awkward and difficult topic with a person who is also awkward and difficult?
Mother of the Smelly Kid
Dear Mother: I assume you have heard the term “adulting.” This is a recently minted verb to describe the process that people in their 20s are now undertaking to finally exit their lengthy childhoods. Adulting refers to assuming some life skills, such as doing dishes, paying bills, and – yes, cleaning oneself.
I’m assuming that you did teach your son these skills, but your fear of mentioning this now indicates that you are actually afraid to relate to him both as a parent and as a fellow adult.
(This doesn’t have anything to do with your politics – or his – by the way.)
Tell your son, “We love having you home. But you’ve got to wash yourself – and your clothes – while you’re here. Let me show you how to use the washer, and let’s put in a load.”