Is it weird that my neighbor is my OB/GYN? Should I answer calls from the married professional golfer? Do I owe my father forgiveness? How do I tell my grieving fiancée I ran over her cat?
I am three months pregnant and my OB/GYN recently broke the news to me that she is leaving her practice and moving out of state. I really like my doctor but have been pretty dissatisfied with her practice as a whole and thought I should try and find another doctor from another practice. My neighbor happens to be a really well respected OB/GYN so I thought I would ask him for a reference. I called him and he said that he would see me as a patient—I had to leave a message for him and perhaps he misunderstood it. I was simply calling for a referral, but after I thought about it, I decided to make an appointment with him. My reasons for seeing him include being able to see him right away, his outstanding reputation, his office proximity to our home, acceptance of our health insurance, and also I believe that he is genuinely a nice, caring person. My husband had a negative reaction to this. I think he’s being really immature about the whole thing and is just uncomfortable with his neighbor seeing his wife’s hoo-ha. I don’t want to make finding a doctor my life’s work. My neighbor is a professional, and as I’ve told my husband there’s nothing so special about my vagina—you’ve seen one you’ve seen them all, right? My husband thinks that it’s weird and there is something wrong with me for being comfortable with this. What do you think?
Dear Doctor’s Neighbor,
I think you both have to get past your strong desire to convince your spouse that he/she is immature, weird, etc. I don’t think it’s weird that you’re willing to see your esteemed neighbor for OB/GYN care, nor do I think it’s so outlandish that your husband is uncomfortable with the thought of the neighbor giving his wife a pelvic exam. His point of view may not exactly exude maturity or self-confidence, but I think it’s one that would be shared by a great many men. I can see both of your perspectives quite easily.
This isn’t really about who’s right and who’s wrong, because you both feel the way you feel. You don’t have to insult each other for not seeing things your way. So how do you resolve this impasse? First, let me say that I think your comfort with your own body is admirable. There’s certainly nothing weird about it—it’s a great quality. But I don’t think it’s fair to dismiss your husband’s feelings here, either. Yes, it would definitely be nice if he were a little more open-minded. But he’s not. So I think you should respect that and find another OB/GYN.
You needn’t make finding another doctor “your life’s work.” You can simply call your neighbor and get a referral from him, as you planned to do to begin with. If you feel like you owe him an explanation, tell him the truth: your husband is uncomfortable with this. I think your neighbor will understand.
And you and your husband would be better off forgetting about needing to win in situations like this. Indulging our mate’s reasonable foibles (and we all have them) is not a sign of weakness, but love.
I went clubbing with the girls for my birthday and we ran into a group of professional golfers who were filming a reality TV show. Drinks were flowing, courtesy of The Golf Chanel, and I soon became the arm candy of one of the golfers who wouldn’t admit his age. I am 21 and single, and I ended up in his bedroom to hear him play guitar. He later gave me a love letter and is holding my stilettos hostage. Google confirms that he is a pro golfer, which is hot, but also that he is married with two kids. I have been avoiding his calls, but I miss him. Help!
The Other One
P.S. He is not Tiger Woods.
Dear Other One,
You have an opportunity before you that few young women get (and no unattractive ones): for a year or two, you can be one of the girls this golfer calls to have sex with when he’s in town! Now, he’s married, so depending on his level of recklessness, you probably can’t be seen together, which means conventional dates are out. But you most likely will get a nice piece of jewelry or two out of it, at least until he’s sick of you and on to the next one. Lucky you!
You can’t possibly think there’s more to this, can you? Love letters, guitar playing, playfully confiscated shoes, and “missing him” lead me to believe that perhaps you think he’s really interested in all of you rather than a few strategic parts. Sadly, I can assure you that, despite what he may have led you to believe, you’re just a cute drunk girl he’s trying to have sex with. As far as a future with him goes, there may be subsequent sex sessions if the first one is promising, but that’s about the most you can expect, I’m afraid.
Precisely what help you were asking for was ambiguous, so let me cover the bases: if you don’t want to have no-strings-attached sex with a man who’s married with two children and whom you probably wouldn’t give a second glance if he weren’t a professional golfer, then tell him so. But if that is what you want, then answer the phone.
My father left my mom when my sister and I were teenagers. It was a terrible time and it was followed by more hardship, but on some level, we were all glad to see him go. He was not a good husband, father, or man.
Well, now he’s turned up and wants to re-establish some kind of connection with my sister and me. (My mother passed away several years ago.) My sister has been to see him and says he is in rough shape, lives alone in miserable circumstances, and wants to make the most of whatever time we have left with him.
The thing is, I want no part of this. I was glad when he left, didn’t miss him when he was gone, and have no interest in what his life is like now. My sister does not understand how I feel. Her trump card seems to be “but he’s our father,” insisting that we are obliged to welcome him back into our lives now that he has reached out to us. I have a couple of friends who feel the same way. I don’t know what to do.
Lost My Father Years Ago
I think parents have absolute obligations to their children, but I think children have only contingent obligations to their parents. And they’re contingent upon parents treating their children with the love and attention they need and deserve. So in my opinion, “but he’s our father” carries about as much weight as “but he’s our mailman.”
I don’t think you owe your father anything more than you truly want to give. Your sister is certainly not wrong in trying to re-establish some sort of relationship with him, but she is wrong in suggesting you have an obligation to do so.
It can be deeply gratifying to forgive someone who is genuinely sorry for the hurt he’s caused, especially when you will forever lose the opportunity to do so at some point in the near future. But if you’ve looked into your heart and you just want nothing to do with this man, that’s perfectly fine. You needn’t feel guilty about it.
About six months ago, I did something terrible, although it was completely unintentional. I was leaving my fiancée’s house, and as I was driving down her street, I accidentally hit her cat and killed it. I was horrified. The cat was obviously dead. I pushed it to the side of the road and took off in a panic. That night, I went back with a bag, got the cat and buried it. The next day, I had calmed down, but I couldn’t bear to bring myself to tell her what happened. And the more time had passed, the more I allowed the story to be that the cat had apparently run away.
But something else has occurred that I never expected—as time has gone on, I‘m feeling more and more guilty. I thought I’d be able to forget about it, but it took the cat “running away” for me to realize how attached my fiancée was to it. She truly loved it. The last time I went to pick her up for a date, she was at the edge of the woods behind her house calling for the cat. At that moment, I felt like I couldn’t keep letting this go on. I got up all my courage to tell her what happened … and then I couldn’t do it. I know how upset she will be and I know I’ve made it worse by not letting her grieve. Initially I was afraid to tell her because I couldn’t bear to hurt her and I couldn’t bear the thought she might break up with me over this. (The cat darted in front of my car, but my fiancée already thinks I drive too fast.) I am in constant fear that I will accidentally say something to give it away—I’m writing to you only because I know she doesn’t read this column. John, I don’t know what to do. I have to tell her, right? What do I say? How do I justify this lie? I can’t believe how much this is weighing on me. I would appreciate any help you can give me.
Dear Guilty Conscience,
Yes, you have to tell her. And there’s no turn of phrase I can offer you that is going to make this any easier, for you or for her.
Your lie is understandable. It was not something you did out of malice. Circumstances were such that you were offered an easy way out of telling the truth, and you took it. The fact that you now find yourself unable to blithely go along with your story is a point in your favor.
You just have to sit down with her and blurt it out. Once she knows the essential fact, the rest will be easy. (That doesn’t mean, of course, that it won’t be painful. It will.) Just say, “This is going to come as a shock, but your cat didn’t run away six months ago. I accidentally hit it with my car and I was afraid to tell you.” Then take it from there. Explain to her how terribly sorry you are that you misled her, and explain that it was due to your own fear and a reluctance to tell her something you knew would devastate her.
She will undoubtedly be upset and angry, but you should do this as soon as you can. Get it over with so she can grieve for her cat and you can unburden yourself. Will your relationship survive this? It’s hard to say. But I don’t think it can survive with one of you carrying around such an awful secret anyway.
Originally appeared at GoLocalProv.com.