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Opportunity Knockers

After my wife’s jewelry business slowed down she started bartending to pay her part of our bills. She’s 35. A guy about 60 got friendly with her, leaving $50 tips for a few beers. This raised an eyebrow for me. Then she got breast implants and a tummy tuck and still had money...hmmm. After digging through her tall tales, I finally got her to admit Mr. Friendly funded everything. She just started nursing school, and now he gives her over $2,000 a month. She insists he’s just a friend, and the father figure she never had, and he just wants to help. They meet regularly for coffee, and I’ve even heard her on the phone telling him “I love you” (platonically, she insists). We have a 4-year-old son together, and I love her and don’t want to leave. Still, she won’t stop seeing him because he pays her bills, and I can’t pick up all the debt she’s incurred. Money aside, she doesn’t want to be without her “friend.” Any ideas? My head’s about to burst.

--Outbid

There is a bright side to this. Unlike rich guys who fund hospital wings, at least he didn’t have his name plastered across his donation: “Support for these breasts comes from the Dirty Old Man Foundation.”

Your wife keeps trying to pass this thing off as something sweet and innocent: He “just wants to help!” Well, in that case, why isn’t he out buying a homeless guy a sandwich instead of putting $10K into a tummy tuck and new set of biscuits for another man’s wife? He’s “just a friend!” Really? Friends ask you how your mom’s doing with her injured foot, not how they can make you more boobalicious. And, finally, he’s “the father figure (she) never had.” I liked that one best. I don’t know about other girls, but my father talked to me about right and wrong, and how I could do anything boys can do -- not the merits of silicone over saline, or how I, too, can have porn-star breasts.

A female bartender is basically an affordable stripper. For some guys, she’s the one woman who will not only speak to them but listen like she’s actually interested. A lot of guys mistake this paid interest for genuine interest, and it’s up to the bartender to close out a guy’s tab and his fantasy at the end of the evening and go home to her family. And then there’s your wife, who sees no reason why having a husband and child should stop her from having a “Who’s yer daddy?!”

Ironically, the one most in need of a male role model is you, since it appears yours was either Jan Brady or Bambi. Another man buys your wife a hotter body, and she continues to let him neuter you with his money, and in response you…furrow your brow? Wow, that’s harsh. At over $25,000 a year, this isn’t a friendship, it’s an investment. And now or down the road, the guy’s got to be looking for some sort of payoff. Beyond learning how much more respect you get when you don’t act like a chump, you owe it to your kid to try to have a healthy marriage. For that, you’ll need a referee -- a couples counselor who won’t accept justifications from your wife that, for general believability, rival “Sorry I’m late, the aliens shorted out their probe again.” Ultimately, if your wife’s going to keep acting like she pledged “’til death do us part (or ‘til I get a higher bid),” she may as well put herself on eBay to see if she can pull in the really big bucks.

Posted by aalkon at July 24, 2007 11:27 AM

Comments

Too bad this chump has a kid cause shes out the door and even with all of Mr. fun bags money he'll still be haveing to pay the majority of the child support, alimony and give her the house so she can sell it and move in with that guy.

My advice, well since advocting violnce might lead to a conspiracy charge, I would suggest meeting up with this guy, show him a picture of your kid, and pain this guy a rosey picture of 16 yrs of medical, schoolastic, and other expenses that he will have to pony up for after you file for divorce. Once your done with that throw in one last question. Ask Mr. fun bags if he know what it will cost to put your child thru college, cause he'll be getting that bill too.

And given how easily this moron is put off by his wifes excuses erhaps he ought to find out if his child is really his

Posted by: lujlp at July 25, 2007 1:20 AM

Your prognosis of the outcome of divorce sounds cynical. It may very well happen that way, but I doubt it. She's working as a bartender, putting herself through school, and I doubt the judge is going to buy the "he's just a friend" line. He could get custody and the home. While men generally get the short end of divorce, it isn't always that way, and it certainly doesn't have to be.

Posted by: Patrick at July 25, 2007 6:03 AM

It's easy to call this guy a "chump." It's easy to say that the family courts are working just fine; that the wise and virtuous judge will weigh the facts and put it all right.
The fact is, this guy is in a mess that no one living in a free country should have to be in. If the genders were reversed, the man would come home to find new locks, end of story. This woman gets a pass to do this thing and the man is run down for not doing something about it when he has no options worthy of the name.

Posted by: martin at July 25, 2007 6:50 AM

Actually Martin, if the genders of the LW and his spouse were reversed, I'd call her an idiot bint. In BOTH cases, I'd recommend changing the locks and filing for divorce ASAP. That doesn't change the fact that anyone who stays in a situation like the LW just described is a flaming fucking moron, regardless of gender.

Posted by: Kim at July 25, 2007 7:16 AM

As far as I can tell the only thing that is causing this mess is this guys own stupidity. You can't blame the system for his reluctance not to fix his own relationship.

A $50.00 tip isn't nothing, he should have headed it off at the pass before it escalated into boob jobs and dates and phone calls.

She's right on when she says he's like a father to her, I'll be she even calls him Daddy, "Sugar Daddy."

Posted by: Shinobi at July 25, 2007 8:02 AM

I hate to pick a fight when I don't have a lot of time to give to this today but Amy, when you get it wrong, you don't mess around.
Two thirds of your reply is spent illuminating what a trollop the wife is. You then turn your attention to the LW by questioning his masculinity and then invest yet another two sentences in reminding LW that the situation is unacceptable.
You tell LW that he owes it to his son, not to banish the toxic wife from their lives but to have "a healthy marriage." He's supposed to be the classic, dominant husband and bring his errant wife to heel, right?
The only real meat to your advice is to seek marriage counseling. A good marriage counselor might actually help but a stranger on the bus could have suggested that. How do you find a good counselor? How do you get an out of control spouse to attend counseling and participate constructively?
What is your experience, Amy, with couples counseling? Is there a particular approach to such counseling that you particularly support?

My research and experience is that the culture of couples counseling is not far different from that of the family courts. Many counselors will tell this guy to learn to accept his wife's need to feel beautiful and her outgoing nature. If he says her behavior makes him angry, he might be directed to take anger-management courses.
This guy is up shit's creek without a nose plug and all I see is name-calling.

Posted by: martin at July 25, 2007 8:26 AM

"Then she got breast implants and a tummy tuck and still had money"

This line bothers me so much. This isn't surgery you can walk out of right away, it takes time and recovery to get over both of these procedures, and you have to schedule presurgery appointments...many of them. How did he not question how she was going to pay for it, that takes A LOT of $50 tips. If they jointly share money (questionable since he said "and still has money" and also says "I can’t pick up all the debt SHE’S incurred"...implying he didnt incur with her) then how does he NOT notice how much money they have to spend?

Clearly this problem isn't just about him hiding his face in the sand when it comes to what his wife is doing, it's about him not facing the truth of his marriage-namely that there is NO communication.

Also, in his letter he makes everything sound like it happened quickly. But in this case its obvious that this has been going on a while. A man doesn't leave a $50 tip every time after meeting you a few times, this was worked up to over a while I'd guess. So I agree with lujlp...who the hell knows if its his kid, lets be realistic here!

Posted by: coco at July 25, 2007 9:02 AM

Counseling, schmounseling, you're all missing something very basic here: her lack of respect for her husband, her son, her marriage, hell, even herself!! Toss her out on her ass, change the locks and start the divorce proceedings already! You don't honestly think that marriage counseling is going to change anything, do you?? "Daddy" will certainly "help" Miss Plastic Boobs anyway, right? What does she care? She doesn't! Morons, all of them. Sheesh. That poor child.

Posted by: Flynne at July 25, 2007 9:35 AM

I think you don't just end a marriage when there's a kid involved without seeing if there's any hope of saving it.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at July 25, 2007 9:39 AM

Maybe not, but the prognosis, based on her behaviour alone, does not bode well for a happy ending for any of them, except maybe the Sugar Daddy.

Posted by: Flynne at July 25, 2007 10:12 AM

"I think you don't just end a marriage when there's a kid involved without seeing if there's any hope of saving it."

99% of the time, I'd agree with you, Amy, but this might fall into the other 1%. Mom is either a prostitute, or is testing the waters. Her lifestyle choices make for harmful surroundings for the kid.

At the very least, LW is justified with threatening divorce.

Posted by: snakeman99 at July 25, 2007 10:22 AM

I'm not saying I have high hopes, but a counseling session or two before calling the divorce lawyer to see if there's any hopes talking sense into her? Not really a huge deal. It would be irresponsible of me to say to just dump her without making some last-ditch effort. Also, I would imagine it would go better for the guy in a divorce if he was seen trying to patch things up.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at July 25, 2007 10:29 AM

It would be irresponsible of me to say to just dump her without making some last-ditch effort. Also, I would imagine it would go better for the guy in a divorce if he was seen trying to patch things up.

Well, yes, when you put it that way. Before I filed for divorce, I had asked my ex to please go to counseling with me. He said "What for? It's a waste of time and money!" And so I had my answer.

Posted by: Flynne at July 25, 2007 10:40 AM

Okay, fine. The guy has been a doormat for this long, what's one more humiliation?
What he can expect from counseling in this situation is to be (eventually and expensively) given a list of things he must do in order to win her respect.
Once he has made this effort, strictly for appearances, here are the steps he, and other men, should follow:

1. Know who your friends and allies are. This may be harder than you think. Start with the people you think will certainly be on your side such as your own family. Come right out and ask them in plain terms. You may be surprised to find that people who sat on the groom’s side at your wedding are firmly in support of your future ex in the event of a divorce. If you turn to the wrong people for any kind of support, you can be sure they will bear tales to your ex and her attorney.

2. Make primary custody your goal. You can do it, you deserve it and your children will be happier (especially if mom works at Hooters.)

3. Be a rock to your children. Keep your promises and put them first. Be honest with them about what is happening. Have fun with them but don’t try to buy their love with lavish gifts and elaborate outings. Don’t run down your ex and don’t allow yourself to be baited when she runs you down.

4. Get ready to be further in debt than you ever imagined you would be. Try to have your finances in the best shape possible before beginning the process. End any automatic transactions that pass financial benefits directly from you to her such as payroll deposits into joint checking.

5. Be a model citizen. The slightest transgression, legal, social or otherwise will be used against you to devastating effect while hers will be grounds for sympathy and understanding. Make it hard for her to paint you as a monster.

6. Get a good attorney and follow the process scrupulously. Meet or exceed all of your obligations and don’t let your ex get away with anything. If she misses a visitation appointment for example, report it to the court.

7. Have your game face on for all court appearances. Dress well, act professionally and stay positive. Show respect for the proceedings even if you are appalled (and you will be.)

8. Find emotional support and keep yourself healthy. Don’t fall into a cycle of shame, depression and despair. Get out and find new things to do. Give yourself time to establish a new equilibrium.

9. Beware of women on the prowl for recently divorced men hoping to step seamlessly into your wife’s role, particularly the part where you handed over your pay each week. In all relationships, be clear about expectations. You don’t want to multiply your suffering.

10. Find a legal aid society for divorcing men and attend meetings. You will need regular advice from men in similar situations on a wide range of topics.

Posted by: martin at July 25, 2007 11:23 AM

Wow, martin, you sound a tad bitter.

Posted by: Flynne at July 25, 2007 12:46 PM

martin sounds smart, you want to see bitter read some of the storys posted on Glen Sacks sight

Read the ones posted by the current wives of previously divorced men going thru the court system to see the most bitter

Posted by: lujlp at July 25, 2007 1:02 PM

Hi Flynne,
I had a feeling I'd be hearing that one. I'm not bitter but I am concerned about the state of the family law courts and what is happening in divorce cases.
It's terrible the things people do to each other when marriages fail regardless of gender but the purpose of the courts is supposed to be to find equitable solutions. Too much of family law today seems to be aimed at redressing past injustices or outright social engineering. I am in favor of fairness, that's all.

Posted by: martin at July 25, 2007 1:04 PM

Oh, so am I, martin. I'm a tad bitter myself, because when I got divorced, I was awarded a whopping $69 per week for 2 kids, because I was working and making more money than my ex. According to the divorce decree, he is also supposed to be paying for our daughters' health insurance, something he has never done. He hasn't had a steady job in over 7 years, but why should he? His parents bought him a car, a condo, and give him a monthly allowance. Must be nice! >,

I work, pay the mortgage, utilities, groceries, etc. ad nauseum. BF helps much more than Ex does, so I'm grateful for that. But just once, I would like to see Ex have some self-respect and a little repsonsibility. Although that probably won't happen in my lifetime! :)

Posted by: Flynne at July 25, 2007 1:31 PM

Flynne, If there is any justice in the universe, your ex will get a crash course in Character 101 someday. It may be on the wrong end of a two-by-four but he will be a better man for it.
But Justice and Law are two different things and Law is the one we can do something about.
If people like LW's wife thought a judge might simply put credit reports (or something objective) side by side and tell the loser to start writing checks, they might behave differently and a lot of misery might be avoided.

Posted by: martin at July 25, 2007 2:23 PM

I think you don't just end a marriage when there's a kid involved without seeing if there's any hope of saving it.

Folks, I rarely agree with Amy, but on this one I'd say she's right. Salvaging the marriage may be a long shot, but given the likely outcome of a divorce in our court system, it's the best chance the guy has at keeping his money and relationship with his kid, assuming he is his kid.

Posted by: Allison at July 25, 2007 5:23 PM

LW, you are looking at this the WRONG way. Instead of viewing this as a problem, think of it as.... an opportunity.

Obviously the old man's got lots of scratch, see how much of it you can get your own hands on. He bought you a new set of boobs for the wife, see if you can get a car out of him.

Posted by: Morbideus at July 25, 2007 6:17 PM

I don't think the marriage counseling would be a great attempt at saving the marriage... It could help, who knows. Maybe a few sessions will knock some sense into the idiot wife of the LW who has made herself believe that it is acceptable to take the money of someone she is not hugely committed to. How can she not expect this situation to turn on her?
But perhaps marriage counseling can make a difference in another sense. If the LW's wife realizes that what she's doing is wrong, maybe she'll be less of a bitch throughout divorce proceedings.

What it boils down to is whether the LW is willing to stick with his wife through all of the damage she's already created, and all of the chaos that is about to ensue.

Should you really have to fight old Moneybag's for your wife's affections? And if so, if cash is what wins her over, is she WORTH winning over?

I say, ditch her.

Posted by: Jaime at July 25, 2007 8:44 PM

There are a couple of points that I cannot help but make here...

Regarding Amy's advice that due to the child, they should at least attempt to salvage the shambles of their marriage. That's a tricky one. There has to be something there to save first. From the sounds of it, the wife has checked out and is just going through the motions. Second, I watched my parents struggle for 10 years, trying to keep their marriage together "for the kids". It was a complete nightmare. Yes, we were confused when the divorce finally came, but we adapted. Children have an amazing capacity to do that. It was far easier to adapt to a peaceful atmosphere with seperate parents than one where mommy and daddy had regular screaming matches.

Second, I don't believe that "the system" is as slanted as everyone makes it out to be. My father received sole custody of my brother and I, and that was 15 years ago. Its not like he had a live-in girlfriend either. The judge awarded him custudy AND ordered my mom to pay child support (not that she ever did). In fact, being that no one ever forced her to pay child support at all, I would say that "the system" lets all involved down, not just the dads. My father worked really hard to give us everything that we needed, and at least some of what we wanted, while my mom went off to "find herself". The courts never did a thing about it. So I say the courts are not slanted toward any gender, just not great with their follow-through.

Posted by: Renee at July 25, 2007 10:16 PM

Renee give me some examples of men who have walked away from their kids with no leagal repercusions like your mom, maybe then I'll belive the system isnt slanted

Posted by: lujlp at July 25, 2007 11:48 PM

Another reason I told the guy to get a mediator involved:

The guy puts up with whatever the woman does and doesn't know to disbelieve the bullshit he's being served or to stand up for himself. He needs a voice of reason to emphasize to him that yes, she's in the wrong here.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at July 26, 2007 1:00 AM

I think Martin and Flynne actually see eye-to-eye on this. Once shattered, new positive-action outlook constructed on both sides.

Posted by: susan at July 26, 2007 9:18 AM

Personally, I think Coco hit the nail on the head. This guy has been checked out for a long time; as she said, tummy tucks and boob surgeries are not just "in-office" appointments you can just show up to and leave. I mean, it seems like they didn't discuss the surgeries or talk about anything with them at all. (That's just the perspective I get from the one letter, btw)

Dude, two major, body-altering surgeries should be discussed beforehand, and one of the key discussions there should be "how do WE pay for it". Instead, its more like he doesn't care what she does, as long as she pays her half of the bills. That's all well and good, until a gal decides to go out and change her life without talking it over with you first (oh, and by the way, another guy's funding the change!) When was the last time this couple actually SPOKE to each other??

It sounds like there needs to be some major re-examining of "priorities in our relationship" before they can figure out where they need to go from here.

Posted by: CornerDemon at July 26, 2007 9:48 AM

Lujlp,

Unfortunately, I've seen alot of fathers walk out on their kids and never look back with no repercussions. That just wasn't my particular situation.

The biggest problem is not who gets preferential treatment. It's not about whether moms or dads get the shaft. The only ones that lose are the kids. Too many people forget that. I've opted not to be bitter about it. I get my dad both a Mother's day and a Father's day gift...it still makes him happy after all this time. I've also learned from my mom what type of parent I DON'T want to be.

I only wanted to share so I could maybe give some perspective. The LW is a dishrag unable to see the forrest for the trees. I feel sorry for his kid. If his wife decided to go get plastic surgery without at least discussing it with him first, that's just crazy. I know that these surgeries are rather common place now, but there is still a risk factor of death involved. It seems awful selfish that being that they have a child, she would do something just for vanity's sake without discussing it with the other parent of her child. He's an idiot.

Posted by: Renee at July 27, 2007 1:33 AM

lujlp,
I think your first suggestion up top has a lot of merit. LW should peacefully but assertively confront SugarDad. He should let this guy know that he is messing with a family, that a small child's well-being is at stake. Where it goes from there depends on the guy's reaction but the first step is to let this freak know that his actions are not going unnoticed. The Henny Youngman approach might turn out to be the winner (Take my wife..., no really, take her.)

Posted by: martin at July 27, 2007 7:26 AM

It is not automatically a given that this chump is going to go through the wringer in divorce proceedings. Child support, yes, but not necessarily on alimony and the house. Not every guy gets screwed. If they can't agree, it comes down to who has the better lawyer. I think he will get screwed regardless, simply because he is a dope and his wife is having major medical procedures and he seems to not know what's going on in his own house. He ought to bail out now, while the kid is younger and acceptance is easier all around.

Posted by: Cathleen at July 27, 2007 12:38 PM

Martin, get a grip. You're not objective at all and you need to drop the "poor victimized male" routine.

I've seen both divorce courts and civil proceedings rule againt women before, even forcing them to pay child support while giving up custody.

As for the rest of you saying that this schmuck should just change the locks already, perhaps you missed this line from the letter: "We have a 4-year-old son together, and I love her and don’t want to leave."

So, what would you have Amy do? Tell this guy he's wrong for wanting to save his marriage and make a good home for his kid?

Personally, I don't believe this marriage can be saved, but perhaps this guy needs to find that out for himself.

Posted by: Patrick at July 27, 2007 12:50 PM

Patrick you said something interesting, FORCED was the word you used.

Why did you use a word with such a negitive meaning when describing women ordered to pay child support when they are not the custodial parent?

Its interesting that you think it is such a horrile thing for a non custodial parebt to pay child support(if they are a woman that is)

Posted by: lujlp at July 27, 2007 1:43 PM

I just hope the LW experienced the same epiphany I have whenever I put this kind of thing in black and white.

When troubling evidence starts piling up against a significant other (or even just a suitor) of mine, I write it all into an email and send it to myself. (For some reason, it doesn't work to just write it down. I have to RECEIVE and OPEN it, too.) After that, look out. Seeing the facts laid out in clear, plain English ("I caught Charlie picking on my dog," "Richard drinks himself stupid every night and only calls me when he's horny," etc.) makes them REAL. Until then, I tend to tell myself that I'm just being harsh or unfair. "Oh, so Chuck stood me up for dinner after I cooked all afternoon -- there's a good reason, right?"

Back me up on this, guys -- the only reasons available are "out cold in a ditch" or "he's just an inconsiderate flake."

The LW may have written his letter to Amy, but even without her very solid input, he already had all the information he needed. (Direct aside to the LW: c'mon, buddy. Platonic friends do not buy major elective surgery for each other. Take a deep breath. You already know this.) Anyway, maybe writing it all down allowed him to really SEE that for the first time. Hope so.

Posted by: Daisy Jones at July 27, 2007 2:01 PM

Yo Patrick,
Objectivity would make for a pretty boring discussion wouldn't it?
That "poor victimized male" accusation is hardly new. It's just a variant of "stop whining and be a man" and it can be pretty effective in shutting someone down when you don't agree with what they have to say but can't be bothered to articulate your own POV.
Without knowing any of these people personally, all I can do is spout off on the facts at hand just like everyone else. I think, taken at face value, LW is the wronged party and doesn't deserve to be called an idiot for trusting someone he loves. I also think he sounds like a better candidate for primary custody in the event they can't save their marriage.
"Get a grip" is a pretty hostile comment Patrick. I'm just leaving comments on an advice column for the hell of it. If my opinions are causing you undue stress or agitation, you might want to loosen your own grip slightly.
Have a nice weekend.

Posted by: martin at July 27, 2007 3:15 PM

lujlp writes:

Patrick you said something interesting, FORCED was the word you used.

Why did you use a word with such a negitive meaning when describing women ordered to pay child support when they are not the custodial parent?

Its interesting that you think it is such a horrile thing for a non custodial parebt to pay child support(if they are a woman that is)

You're reading too much into it. "Forced" was probably not the best term to use, since people get out of paying child support all the time. My former brother-in-law, for instance, quit his job and became a bartended, not declaring his tips, thereby claiming he wasn't making enough money to pay child support. But men in the same situation are just as "forced." There was no gender disparity at all behind my choice of words.

Daisy Jones, I agree with you 100%. He's a self-centered jerk is the most likely of explanations. And the only one unless a genuine life-threatening emergency came up. I think Amy had a column about someone like this once...Some Unkinda Wonderful, I think.

martin, so sorry you found my comments hostile, but your whiney refrain of "it doesn't matter how wronged he is since he's a man and it's going to all go against him whether in court or in counseling" just plain ain't true. Is it possible? Yes. Is it inevitable? No. But here's a hint: Marvin in "Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy" was generally regarded as insufferable for his pessimism and incessant doomsaying. Let him serve as a negative example. Personally, I find people like that to be about as pleasant as fingernails on a chalkboard.

So, my comment stands as is: get a grip.

Is he an idiot for trusting his wife? No. Is he an idiot for allowing this to go on and on (and on and on) without asserting himself? Possibly, but I think "emasculated wimp" would be a better choice of words.

Posted by: Patrick at July 28, 2007 3:45 AM

I think Daisy Jones is right. The LW KNOWS what is going on. He may have deceived himself for a while, he may have forced himself to swallow the dung his wife is shoveling, and he held way too far back for way too long.

But now he's ready to cross that line and admit that something is going on and something needs to be done -- by him. And that's why he wrote in. He needed some validation. It sounds as if both he and his wife have been living with lies for so long that he has lost a sense of reality. Haven't you had that happen? You're lied to and lied to by someone that you care for and who you trusted that you start to question your own sanity. "Gee, maybe I am neurotic and suspicious and have a dirty mind." You need someone objective to say, "Are you crazy? Why would you believe her for a second?" That's also why I think he should see a counselor. He needs to at least start the healing process, and while the marriage may be dead, he can personally start to undo the damage that has been going on to him.

Posted by: robin at July 28, 2007 5:54 AM

Fwiw, Patrick, your 10 steps, tone and attitude towards this left me in awe; please, keep posting here.

Posted by: renko at July 28, 2007 3:28 PM

Whoops!! I meant Martin, not patrick; sorry.

Posted by: renko at July 28, 2007 3:29 PM

Thanks renko, can do.

Posted by: martin at July 29, 2007 10:49 AM

*New Perspective*

Hubbie needs to chill. Start suckin' and slappin' those puppies, and tuckin' in that tucked tummy. Hell, I'm dying for someone to buy my wife a new body.

He can go making a scene about Sugar Daddy all he wants and it will only make whatever is going to happen, happen sooner. Sounds like she comes home, and still acts like a mother to the kid. Just tap it as long as you can, then say "adios!" when it quits coming home.

Anything else just makes a couple of rich attorneys richer. He should suck up to his kid, and once the she becomes old enough to pick its custodial parent, bail.

Posted by: ron at July 29, 2007 6:54 PM

Ron,

That was the most immature and ridiculous response I've seen to any column, bar none. I feel sorry for your wife.

Posted by: Renee at July 30, 2007 7:09 AM

If I took Ron's statement seriously, I would probably feel the same. But I get the feeling Ron's angry about something, and his callous post is a projection of it.

after readin through the letter and the posts, I have to ask how people are defining the word "friend" these days. Friendship is a mutual thing, as I recall. I know that there's some horseshit philosophy out there that if you're a true friend you don't expect anything in return. This idiocy defies the laws of physics, of rationality, cause and effect; I can't think of law where this applies. I have a friend who, to put it bluntly, is not as well off as I in the area of economy. To put it in perspective, we're college students, and he's getting federal aid, I don't need it. Sometimes, when our friends are going to a movie, and I see him eye his wallet, I shrug it off and say I'll spot him. I don't mind at all.

In some way, because my friend is a good friend, he pays me back. He's helped me on school projects out of his own accord, when eh could've been doing something more interesting. We have dinner at my place, he offers to do the dishes. Why? Because sometimes, I do those sorts of things for him too, and sometimes my form of help is monetary. That's how friendships work.

Now, I have never, ever put 2,000 dollars a month into a friendship. Nursing school? Think about it from moneybags' end- if he has the money to pay for all this crap, then clearly he's good at getting a return on investments. Clearly, for him to keep this financial support up, he's got to be getting something in return. Sure, her platonic company could be all he wants. But I doubt it. I really truly doubt the wife's conversation is worth 2,000 dollars a month.

So just take that issue into account. Everybody pays everyone back, if their friends. How is your wife paying him back?

Posted by: scott at July 30, 2007 2:57 PM

Amy,
Wow, you have really stirred the pot with this one. I think your advice is a little off this time. The time for counseling has come and gone already...this guy is stuck home with his 4-year-old while his "wife" is out playing around. What kind of man does NOT kick his wife out if she got a BOOB JOB from another man? He's a little wuss that is true, and he is one of the thousands and thousands of men who never see it coming, always hoping that things will get better. Why? Because we think we marry for life and it is not like that anymore...we think it can get better and she'll come back and everything will be ok...

Been there and done that. This guy needs to get a grip and go to an attorney immediately. It is obvious she has no respect for him, her marriage, or her family--including the child. If she cared at all she would not be out skanking around and then lying about it. Father figure my ass...

Bottom line: get a grip buddy, go see a lawyer and hope you get a good judge. Kick her to the curb and go on with your life. And to all of you out there who think they should stay together for the child, or go to counseling, think about if it was happening to YOU before you say that. Geez! If it were me I would have locked the skank out long ago...

Posted by: mike at July 30, 2007 9:40 PM

"What kind of man does NOT kick his wife out if she got a BOOB JOB from another man?"

A man who has been a big enough idiot not only to marry this woman but to have a child with her. Once you spawn, your life is no longer your own -- you have to see if there's any chance of turning the woman around.

I can almost guarantee you this woman was no different from the start -- people don't take responsibility for who they end up with. They tend to close their eyes and hope it turns out okay. Fine if it's just your life that gets screwed up.

Regarding Mike's remark above,"If it were me I would have locked the skank out long ago..." -- again, the guy's being fucked over and if it were just him, that would have been a terrific option. This is a time to work on cooperative co-parenting -- always best to do in a non-hostile situation.

Mike, with your attitude, you should read Constance Ahrons' "The Good Divorce." I feel for your kids.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at July 30, 2007 10:21 PM

People will treat you the way you allow them to treat you. Shame on the wife, but how desperate is the LW to put up with her bad behavior? By tolerating her behavior he has told her that her treatment of him is acceptable.

How can he say he loves his wife" I say you cannot truly love someone that treats you poorly. He is probably "in love" with the idea of being "in love".


Like I tell my husband - I fell in love with you and I can fall out of love with you.

Posted by: Nobbinsd at July 31, 2007 12:08 AM

"Like I tell my husband - I fell in love with you and I can fall out of love with you."

While I like to say "you catch more flies with a fly swatter," I find that simply being nice to a man is a much more helpful way to keep him around (of course, you first have to choose a man with integrity).

Posted by: Amy Alkon at July 31, 2007 5:00 AM

'I find that simply being nice to a man is a much more helpful way to keep him around (of course, you first have to choose a man with integrity)'

Some men just stick around (like the guy writing the letter) because they have no self-esteem and think they can't get anyone else. Or, he could have that sad quirk that some men have, the one where they think they can rescue a damsel in distress and be a hero. He may have perceived this woman as being such a damsel, instead of seeing her for what she really was. Delusions die hard...

I would only want to be with a man who has the self-respect to leave if he were treated so badly.

Posted by: Chrissy at July 31, 2007 6:20 AM

I am guessing "ron" from the post above is being linked without his permission by some childish and/or malicious person. His site doesn't reflect the character of the post above. I sent him an email to let him know.

Posted by: martin at July 31, 2007 6:54 AM

From Reneee & Scott: "That was the most immature and ridiculous response I've seen to any column, bar none. I feel sorry for your wife." "If I took Ron's statement seriously, I would probably feel the same. But I get the feeling Ron's angry about something,"

Take it seriously, Scott. Feel the same, it's OK.
Renee, when you hit 40, let's talk.

As Amy has told her readers many times, relationships are temporal. The LW fell in love and had a child - great, done the same myself, recommend it highly. His wife has a need to grow in a different way now - great, some people need to do that - if so, I recommend it highly.

LW's love for the woman is not going to change her needs. As long as the wife is being a good mother and a tolerable roommate, what is so terrible that you gotta go screaming and yelling and hiring attorneys and fighting over kids. Chill out. Life's too short.

Tap it when you can, send the surgeon a birthday card, spread a little love in your family's home, until she finally grows completely away. Then just give her a hug, wish her well, and move on.

For the life of me, Scott, I can't figure how you think that reeks of anger. If it was the slappin' of the tata's, that was meant to be playful foreplay.

What's immature, Renee, is your seeming vision of shining knights and deserving damsels who only long for a lifetime companion. Maturing is a process of change. People change. LW's wife changed. Thinking you can stop people from changing, or that you have a right to, is immature.

Posted by: ron at July 31, 2007 7:41 AM

Thank you for your concern, Matt. I didn't realize that the forum linked my name when I provided my web site and I will no longer do that.

However, I stand by my remarks.

Posted by: ron at July 31, 2007 7:46 AM

"LW's love for the woman is not going to change her needs. As long as the wife is being a good mother and a tolerable roommate, what is so terrible that you gotta go screaming and yelling and hiring attorneys and fighting over kids. Chill out. Life's too short."

Actually, this advice makes a great deal of sense to me, considering there is a child involved. Realistically, the LW has probably got to put up with his wife's idiocy for a while in order to keep his kid in his life. (Martin's comments are not totally out of line. Cathy Young over at reason.com has written a great deal about this.) The LW should put his energies into being a father. If the kid has any brains he will figure out which of his parents stood by him the most. Someday the LW will be free of his wife and can find someone who really loves him. For now, he still has his son.

Posted by: Pirate Jo at July 31, 2007 11:12 AM

Although Chrissy could be right about the LW being a "rescuer" type, I'm not going to sit here and call him names for trying to stick it out as long as he can. There's that committment thing, you know, and in our society we're always complaining about how people won't stand by their committments. Then, when someone does, we make fun of him for doing it. Cause, effect.

Having said that, it's clear that the game is over. Amy, in this case, I don't think the marriage counseling is going to do any good. The wife has tasted the fruits of whoredom, and she likes them. A lot. It's like dealing with an addict that denies the existence of a problem and refuses to go to rehab. There's nothing you can do except get off the ship before it sinks. If the LW pays for couples counseling, he's just wasting money that he'll need for the divorce. (Individual counseling is another matter, and Robin has a good point.) I won't make any predictions about the outcome of the divorce, but I will say that, statistically, the odds are not in the LW's favor. He's going to need all the help he can get, and doesn't need to be expending resources on things that have a very low probability of doing any good.

Posted by: Cousin Dave at July 31, 2007 11:14 AM

This wife already got her counseling--she saw a doctor and guess what she feels all better. What is to help in changing her behavior is simple cost/benefit analysis. If nothing about her life style choices (assuming she cares for her child) or her child's life is diminishing in value why would she stop or change her seemingly new behaviors?

As for hubby...I am at a loss. Did she never act in this way prior to being a bartender? Did you know your wife before you married her (seeing as how she likes enhancements) or were you her first male-enhancement experience and thus sprung forth this child you two have together? I doubt she changed so much in her "maturing" that her behaviors and decisions are as shocking as are being portrayed.

Being a student I understand school is expensive, but on that note there is a thing called a student loan and I don't have to get fake hooters or a butt implant to get one.

I think people are right in looking out for the child's best interest. So a plastic mommy who lives off of a friend with no alterior motives must be ok then and a daddy who just whines about it is a great role model also. Hubby needs to figure out what he wants and deserves as a person and her husband and the wife needs to take a Friday night off and see what life is like outside of her house of oogling and try to re-connect with what only by law seems to be her family.

Posted by: Jeff at August 1, 2007 6:35 PM

I feel the need to clarify what I posted above when I stated that I tell my husband "that I fell in love with you and I can fall out of love with you". We have a very loving relationship built and trust and respect. I would do just about anything for him and forgive and forget all minor irks. Such as forgetting to take the garbage or forgetting valentines day.

On the other hand, I would not forgive infidelity, any form of abuse, or his total lack of respect for me. It would not matter how much I loved him or thought I loved him. He knows this and because he loves me he respects me and my physical and emotional well being. Just like I take care of his.

Posted by: nobbinsd at August 1, 2007 10:00 PM

I would have a friendly little chat with Sugardaddy and let him know his behavior is very unhealthy. And that if he keeps it up he will end up in the hospital with various broken bones.

Posted by: winston at August 2, 2007 11:04 AM

Am I the only one who takes offense to the statement "a female bartender is basically an affordable stripper" ??
What kind of BS is that? Thanks for insulting me and my job, which, by the way, doesn't involve me taking my clothes off, a brass pole, or lap dances! bartenders, while they should appear to have fun on the job, also have to juggle dozens of tasks at the same time, all while keeping an eye on everything going on at the bar, and being responsible for all cash and alcohol (and all that occurs in the bar on her shift, usually)! We do all this with a smile and try to insure that everyone within a diverse group of people is having a good time. (But not TOO good of a time! I.E. Not overserving, no barfights, etc!)
I could keep going forever on the intricacies of the job, so suffice it to say I really didn't appreciate that nasy little comment, Amy!

Posted by: loraine at August 10, 2007 5:40 PM

No, Loraine, there are other humorless female bartenders writing me as well.

Read the next line: "For some guys, she’s the one woman who will not only speak to them but listen like she’s actually interested."

Do you really think all your regulars come to the bar because they haven't figured out that they can get a whole six-pack for the price of a beer? A number of these guys are probably paying you for your attention. For their fantasy relationship with you. That's what guys get from strippers, too.

I interviewed a friend of mine who is a bartender for this column (who, by the way, has a sense of humor and thought the line was hilarious). She told me stories about, for example, how she once offhandly mentioned that her back hurt. 10 minutes later, two guys were back with bottles of aspirin. You think they do that for the guys who bartend?

P.S. If anybody should be insulted, it's strippers, by comments like yours. What's wrong with a woman taking her clothes off for a living? Free market, consenting adults? Is there something wrong with a woman modeling for Vogue for a living? What if she takes her top off in Vogue and earns money for it? Where do you draw the line, Loraine?


Posted by: Amy Alkon at August 10, 2007 5:51 PM

I fell sorry for the Sugar Daddy and this schmo. They both have to pay for something that others have, having gotten there by force of character.

For instance, I'm pretty sure Mr. Sutton will not appear in such a farce, having found his way, via some skill and luck, to a better arrangement.

Posted by: Radwaste at August 11, 2007 8:15 AM

Dude, grow a pair!! Tell her that her game with sugar daddy is over or she's out on her ass!! Then hire a private investigator and start documenting her behavior to prove that she's an unfit mother. You'll need that in family court.

Gloves off, brother.

I am here to destroy all rationalizing and psychobabble!!

Posted by: metalman at November 2, 2007 5:26 PM

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