Abortion

Dear Julie: Advice About an Emotional Threesome and Bowing Out of Baby Showers


DAME’s Friendkeeper walks a woman through the red flags of dating her friend’s still-BFF ex, and how to handle pals’ procreation when you’re childless by choice.



Dear Julie,

A close friend of mine who came out later in life has been determined to set me up with her ex-husband, with whom she’s still tight. He’s a lovely guy—I mean, she liked him enough to marry him, and they broke up because she fell in love with a woman. And because she knew going into it that she was a lesbian and thought she was making life easier by marrying a man (and that didn’t work out). So, I trust that he doesn’t come with the usual baggage of another person’s ex. But the two of them are thick as thieves, and I worry they still exercise a bit of marital privilege, which is to say, as close as I am to my friend, I worry that if I start a relationship with him (we went on one date, it was fun, but she already knew everything when I called her the next day), I’m in a relationship with them both, and I don’t know that I want to have an emotional thruple. So maybe this is why he’s still single, because they’re still inextricably linked in some way. She’s now single too, but has no shortage of dates (lucky her). I don’t know why she wants us to be together. I think she just wants us both to be happy because we’re both striking out out there, and we’re both sort of lonely. But I want some space. I don’t know about him. But this is already feeling a bit weird, a little suffocating, like I’m dating a man and his mother. Or a man who is still married, but in a sexless marriage or something. Whatever, I feel like they have a lot of unresolved business. Or maybe I am just projecting my own fears because I’ve been burned. She’s never been with another guy, and they really seem more like buds than like exes. It’s just that they know everything about each other. And sometimes I want to be the one to report back first. Or choose to withhold info. Or maybe I just don’t date him at all, but that is messy too. 

This is effed up, right? 

Signed,

Table for Two, Please

 

Dear TfTP,

Wow, there are more red flags here than in Beijing. Seriously though, a lot of, you know, bedfellows here. Does that mean it won’t work? Not at all. Stranger things have happened. What it does mean is there are a lot of things to figure out before going forward in any way.  You say she knew she was a lesbian before marrying him and they were best buds, which makes me think he knew she was a lesbian before getting married which makes me think … hmmmm! I don’t know that that was a great idea and I’m curious why he thought it would be. Also, I would be very surprised if they had turned to each other at the same moment in this marriage and said in unison, “It’s not working out.” My guess is that he was comfortable and she was not or vice versa and on some level she feels guilty (and I’m only saying that she would feel guilty because she’s got all the dates). I could be totally wrong here, it has happened … once. But I feel like guilt would be a very good motivator for her to push you and him together. All of that said, do you really like him? Would you like this to happen? If you do, then you have to cut her out of the mix. Otherwise you’re going to be behaving as if what you do is going to be reported on. And that is not good. Also, you know them as a unit, and you don’t know him alone. You know how fabulous Sonny and Cher were together? And Cher alone after Sonny and Cher? Perfect. But Sonny, after Sonny and Cher without Cher? Nuh uh. If it’s something you want to do she is going to have to remain in the isolation booth until you and he figure out what it is you have. If it’s impossible for her, then just forget it.

xx Julie

 

Dear Julie,

I recently had an abortion. It wasn’t a difficult decision to make, but that didn’t make it an easy thing to do. Only a select few of my friends know and they have all been incredibly supportive. The problem is, I’m at the age when a lot of my friends are getting pregnant and having babies. I’ve gotten two baby shower invites in just as many weeks and truth be told, I just can’t be around that shit right now. A baby shower is the last thing I want to go to and of course I’m happy for my friends and their new additions, but it’s intertwined with a lot of complicated feelings because of my own situation. Is it rude for me to decline these invitations? I’d rather not RSVP with “Sorry, still recovering from terminating my own pregnancy.” But I don’t want to be a bad friend either. Should I just go and fake it till I make it? How can I support these new mamas-to-be without having to tell them what’s going on with me, and without looking like a terrible friend?

No Bun in the Oven 

 

Dear NB,

I am sorry; that sucks to go through no matter what. (Of course, it would suck even worse if we didn’t have the choice.) There are physical and emotional wounds that need to heal, and I doubt you would question whether or not you were being rude if you were recovering from any other kind of surgical procedure. Give yourself a break. People don’t need to know why you aren’t going, just, “I’m so sorry I can’t make it.” Send a gift. There will be plenty of time to support them and their babes when you’re feeling a little better. 

Just a side note, I have a friend who is extremely happily childless by choice and she went through the period of getting a million invites to baby showers (it does pass as we get older) and her replies went from politely checking “Will not attend” to drawing cartoons of the things she’d rather do than go to a baby shower, e.g. being dragged by a horse, putting a cigarette out in her eye … you get the idea.

xx Julie

 

Got a platonic problem of your own that could use the Friendkeeper’s advice? Fire away: [email protected]. No situation is too uncomfortable or too small and all details are kept confidential.

 

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