Dear Aunt Becky,

I’ve got a bit of an issue. I hate my family. But at the same time, I cannot help but love them. My wife becomes extremely exasperated at their antics, into which they continually drag me. As my wife put it to me recently, I go through cycles. I’ll be in a phase where I’ll gladly hang out with them and socialize and whatnot, until I realize once again what fuckwads they are, and I’ll have nothing to do with them for another month, until shenanigans begin once more.

In addition to continually getting caught up in the drama, I find myself becoming increasingly frustrated at the way they live. I’m frustrated that my brothers take advantage of my mother, that my mother cannot get her finances straight to save her life, that my other brother cannot save his own relationship/finances/family, that my step father will not fix his health issues (which are of the sort which could be fixed with some effort). I guess I somehow feel as though I dragged myself out of the hole from which I came, why can’t they?

My question is thus twofold. How do I find a happy medium in my association with my family, and how do I accept that they are who they are and if they want to change they’ll call it into existence without my help or agitation?

Mystern

On the one hand, Prankster Mystern, I want desperately to be tragically glib in my answer here, and say something about creating a Pavlovian response to punch yourself in the face every time you feel as though you need to change your family from being the fuckwads they are into the more responsible people the can be.

On the much less medicated other, I think most of us can deeply sympathize with quandary. I don’t know a single one of us who doesn’t have at least one family member or close friend who doesn’t make the sorts of decisions that make us want to stab ourselves in the face with dull pencils.

But as the child of addicts, I can tell you (seriously) this: you cannot accept responsibility for other people.

So that’s my honest suggestion to every single one of you, my darling Pranksters, (and something I should tattoo on myself): your only responsibility is to yourself. The very moment you begin feeling as though you are frustrated with their behavior, you need to take a step back and assess. Can you continue contact without driving yourself to drink heavily? Is this a relationship that has merits?

And if the answer is “I don’t fucking know, Aunt Becky, shut your whore mouth,” come and sit next to me, because I think that’s how we all feel most of the time.

Family, man. Family.

(There’s a reason I adopted the Internet.)

Dear Aunt Becky,

I wrote to you about a crush in the past, I thought it was crazy, It kinda of turned into a bootie call.. though I will clarify been friends for a time prior, so maybe it means friends with benefits..

So I am confused, I know he doesn’t want a relationship (a committed one anyways) he is very honest and open, I totally appreciate this.. But here is my confusion. What went from just sex, he now calls making love.. I don’t understand… anyway, I love this guy dearly he is like my best friend, I was afraid to lose this friendship.. I wanna know should I tell him I wanna back off on the sex a bit? It’s phenomenal.. I have never had a g-spot orgasm until I met him; never mind the mind blowing regular O’s I get.. It’s like we were make for each other sexually… I think I am okay with my feelings making sure I don’t fall for him.. But I wanna fall in love with a man who wants to be with me..not just a guy who will have sex with me as I am (i am overweight and it doesn’t bother him)

I am afraid I am damaged..because I haven’t fallen for this guy, I think my past relationship (baby daddy) ruined me.

I am sorry this is confusing huh? should I end the sex and move on.. but hopefully keep the friendship? because losing the friendship would break my heart.. or should I just keep have mind blowing sex with him until i find someone to love?

Prankster, I don’t think you’re damaged for not falling for this guy, I think you’re protecting your heart. It sounds as though he’s made it clear that while you guys can have steamy sex (which sounds fabulous, by the by), he’s not interested in dating you. And you know you want more than that. Which says a lot about you.

I sort of want to dance around the room singing some sort of Prince song (Pussy Control, perhaps?) with you because I love you for it. You deserve BOTH a guy who can make your vagina do the tango AND make your heart flippity-flop in your chest. Don’t forget it.

Now, as far as your current situation, maybe it’s time to sit down and see what’s what. If you don’t want to lose the friendship you have, it sounds like you guys need to have A Talk and figure out where the other stands (he’s sending out some wicked mixed messages). Otherwise, it’s going to be hella awkward when one of you meets someone that you do want to settle down with.

Prankster, please remember being overweight is NOT a reason not to have someone want to have The Sex with you. Don’t sell yourself short! And can I say that I heart you? Because I do. xo.

Dear Pranksters,

Do you remember this post? I do. Well, we got a response from the asker in the comments of the post. I’ll paste it below:

Thank you all so much for your support, and thanks Aunt Becky for the links and info.

I did leave!

After he threatened to kill me if I left him, then told me to get out, my son and I moved in with my parents while my soon-to-be-ex husband was on a business trip out of the country. He left on Thursday the 28th, and on Friday the 29th I was handing my parents’ credit card to the lawyer while my son was at preschool and my parents, sister and her mother-in-law were clearing room in their house.

The next day sister’s mother-in-law brought her dad to help. I had everything out by 10 pm Sunday the 31st. My neighbor helped my son get his jack-o-lantern carved Saturday, my dad took us around the block trick-or-treating like always, then Sunday the little pumpkin went to a church festival with the neighbor’s 2 kids.

While he was gone my husband placed a “morale call” from the base he was staying on and found out I was leaving. He freaked out and his boss had him brought home Tuesday. I filed reports and swore out warrants Wednesday for domestic violence-harassment and harassing communications (53 text messages Tuesday afternoon)- there will be a protection order in place as a condition of release.

I filed for divorce Thursday. He hasn’t been served yet, but he will be.

And he will flip when he sees that petition.

My mom found me a good lawyer. My sister found a safe house for my mom and son to stay in until I get a custody order so my husband can’t take him. I haven’t missed a day of work this week, and my anxiety is starting to lift.

Of course I carry my (licensed) pistol with me everywhere. But that’s okay. That’s why he bought it for me: to defend myself.

The funny thing is, my son seems to totally understand why we left and he’s fine with it, I think he’s relieved too. He’s asked for me, his kitten, and his Batman toy. Not for his daddy. He’s playing with gramma, the horses, the dogs, and the wonderful Christian people who will keep them and hide them and keep them safe. He’s sleeping well, eating better than he ever has, and being a good boy. He asked me on Wednesday before we left if we could go live with gramma’s new kitty. Little did he know!

Thank you all Pranksters for your encouragement! I cried as I read your comments. I thought I had cried all the tears in the world already, but these were tears of joy that so many who have never met me would show me such love! You all are The Awesome! I know I still have a long row to hoe, but I have lots of stuff on tape, and some other stuff that should be sufficient to protect me and my son from my husband.

I love you all.

There’s a blaze of light in every word, indeed, Pranksters.

Love to each of you. Always,

Aunt Becky

Comments = full of the awesome. Like gravy. I can haz an RSS RSS feed .

26 Responses to Go Ask Aunt Becky

  • Deanna says:

    I am so, so glad you left, Prankster. I missed your original letter but let me offer a belated virtual hug of support. Cheers to you and your son!!

  • Stephanie and her sort of funny blog says:

    First off – I am so glad she left him. And it warms my heart to think all of us Pranksters helped edge her on her way, and that Aunt Becky helped to give her a voice. MY HAT IS OFF TO YOU ALL!!

    Also – for the family poster, therapy is teaching me that at some point in your life, you choose who to take with you in life, and who you need to leave behind. For me, that means that birthdays and holidays are maintained with common decency and a bit lip. Other people won’t change unless they want to, and most dysfunctional families don’t (unless they seek treatment). Since it sounds like you are more on the outside looking in, it’s true, you can only be responsible for yourself.

    It’s exceptionally hard, especially when you so want to “make things right”… it just won’t happen, it is out of your control.
    Just take care of you. Good luck. It’s SOOO complicated with family.

    Also – the girl having envious sex with the “only cool with sex”…. I say – tell him you want and need more than that. If he cuts and runs, your heart will be sad, but you will be on the right path to finding the great guy you (will find) and totes deserve. I mean that. Weight irrelevant.

    Sending love to all Pranksters in distress!!

    Stephanie

  • Lauren says:

    I have had THE WORST weekend in a long, long time. That letter made me feel like at least I did something right.
    I wish you the best of luck prankster.
    I love you too.

  • Halala Mama says:

    Dear Prankster #1 with the crazy family: When I was in my late twenties I went through some regular counseling to help me get my act together. I was assigned the book “Boundaries: where you begin and I end” by Anne Katherine. Read it. Live it. It may not be your family that drives you wife so crazy, but your willingness to immerse yourself in it rather than observe from a small distance. Becky is right. You cannot make yourself responsible for other people; only yourself.

    Dear Prankster #2 with the dating/weight issue: This guy may be the guy for you and maybe he isn’t. If you never make him chase you, then you will never know. I dated a guy who was great EXCEPT he never wanted to get married. I realized that I had to start dating. I am extremely overweight, but I put myself out there on every website I could find. I waded through a lot of guys who were only interested in The Sex and I recognized them for what they were – users. These guys are easy to spot. THey bring it up before they even meet you. After about six months, I met my husband and we married six months later. My advice is to really assess your OWN priorities. Want to get married? Want to have babies? You will have to walk away from this guy (even though it will hurt like hell) and start dating. Make it clear to him that he is welcome to date you (minus The Sex for now) and if he wants to, he will. If he doesn’t – hey! you’re going out on dates!!

    Prankster #3 – Congrats!

  • Bren says:

    Prankster #3 – GOOD FOR YOU!!! What an amazing example you have set for your son! He will grow up now knowing that his mother is a strong, loving, mama lioness of a woman and he will KNOW how to treat the women in his life. Any time you EVER go back and revisit the situation, change that channel in your mind to when you took up your strength and courage, wrapped it around your shoulders like a superhero cape and saved yourself and your son!

    I wish you and your son and your family all the good things in life. I wish your ex flaming hemorrhoids, shingles, untreatable cluster headaches and a future relationship with the sister of a Navy Seal. Fucker.

    • The Anonymous Asker says:

      “I wish your ex flaming hemorrhoids, shingles, untreatable cluster headaches and a future relationship with the sister of a Navy Seal. Fucker.”
      Seriously?
      I love you!

  • Melissa says:

    I’m so glad you left him! I cried happy tears reading your letter, there’s so much hope and promise in your future and although it’s not going to be easy the rewards are going to be so huge for you and your son. I’ll be praying for you that everything works out the best for you and then some! I hope this inspires other people to have the courage to help themselves.

  • Phil_E_Girl says:

    Oh I LOVE LOVE LOVE “Go Ask Aunt Becky” Posts! It always makes me fell so less fucked up then the writers… but then the voices remind me how very fucked up I am and well of course I win!

    #1- Dude, WTF? You can’t pick your family, as messed up as they are they will ALWAYS be your family. There is also something else you need to learn, YOU CAN’T CHANGE OTHER PEOPLE! The only person you can change is yourself and the way you react to the people in your life. You know the patterns so when you see things headed back to “Fuckwad-ville” change trains and start back to “Iamthesaneone-burghe”. You are aloud to LOVE your family without LIKING them. I find the term “Whatever!” works really well in most family situations that involve “Fuckwads”.

    #2 Okay…. um… I don’t really….. oh my….. advice for….. what should…. SLUT! Oops, did I say what everyone was thinking…. I am so not P.C.! Hey hun, if you are happy getting boned then enjoy it! Love is a chemical reaction in your brain no different then when you consume large amounts of chocolate, so eat more chocolate. And PLEASE USE PROTECTION!

    #3 WOW! LOVE IT! This was amazing! YOU GO GIRL…. oh yah you did go. I am so glad you reran this B. It shows women they can do it. You can get away and there are a lot of people willing to help you. I myself spent so time in a hidden women’s shelter. It was very covert and safe, much like the witness protection program. So ladies it you are being abused IN ANY WAY or know some one that is ASK FOR HELP. Help can come from any where and anyone, the cashier where you buy groceries, your child’s teacher, a neighbor or friend just about any women that makes eye contact with you. GET OUT… If someone you they would NOT HURT YOU!

  • Prankster #3: GOOD FOR YOU!! SO AWESOME!! (Sorry for yelling – but that takes serious balls. And FECKING EH! ;>)

  • K.C. says:

    ZOMG Prankster #3 I am sooooooo happy for you Prankster! Good for you for finally leaving and doing what’s best for you AND your little boy. I went through something similar and now I am happier than I have ever been with a man who deserves me, and it’s only a matter of time before you find that to

    Also, I cannot stand my family so Prankster #1 … I totally understand your plight. When things are good, they’re GOOD. But when they aren’t, you want to punch everyone in the babymaker. And I mean EVERYONE. But your situation may not be that different from Prankster #3, I know mine wasn’t. All I can say is hang in there and the second you’re not getting anything out of the relationship … stop giving. Don’t let your family take advantage of your good nature.

  • Bell says:

    Prankster 1 sounds like they are going through the trials of co-dependency. My stepfather made it mandatory for every one of us to read this book with an open mind; it’s really great and helpful, and written from the point of view of a normal person who’s been through it all. I know self help books are kinda lame, but this is one that shouldn’t be missed. http://www.amazon.com/Codependent-No-More-Controlling-Yourself/dp/0894864025

    Prankster 2, I agree with Aunt Becky; you need to sit down and talk and figure out his confusing mixed signals. That’s just not cool. And, from my own limited experience, hoping things will change is a recipe for disaster. Being overweight won’t stop you from dating; there’s nothing wrong with you at all.

    Prankster 3, I cried. I cried so many happy tears, that I’m just thrilled for you. Wishing you all the best for the times ahead.

  • Lesley says:

    Prankster #3…I’m so sorry for having to deal with this, but I’m sending you virtual high fives and hugs…you are one courageous and awesome momma! And, I love all of your friends and family for surrounding you with protection and support!

  • The Anonymous Asker says:

    Dear Aunt Becky & Pranksters
    Thanks again for all your support and virtual love. You guys help keep me going when I feel weak or discouraged. I bookmarked these posts for times when I am scared or need a boost.
    I love you guys. For reals.
    One of these days I won’t have to be Anonymous anymore, but for right now it’s the safe route.
    xoxo

    • The Anonymous Asker says:

      Y’all, I need prayers. At the preliminary custody hearing they gave custody to my husband based on the lies he and his daughter told on the stand. I am heartbroken and I don’t know what to do.
      Please pray for my son’s safety.
      Crying real tears,
      The Anonymous Asker

  • Rachel says:

    Holy crap, Soon-to-be-ex-wife-Prankster, I am crying tears of joy for you right now! I am so, so very pleased you made your move, and that you had such a wonderful support network. We could not have hoped for a better outcome for you. Please be safe, and keep us posted, and know that we’ll all be thinking about and praying for you.

  • McGilli says:

    My family are totally eff’d up… and you know what I do??? enjoy them when I need a good drink and a laugh and avoid them when I want to be a normal human being… mostly we’re all in denial… and so what???

  • Kyddryn says:

    Regarding family – ugh. They shape our early impression of the world around us, can be bone-wearying and uplifting, and are often nerve-wracking, annoying, exasperating, beleaguering, and delightful.

    We can’t change ‘em.

    But we don’t have to put up with ‘em, either.

    You can love them as easily from a distance as you can from the midst of their collective messes – so you don’t have to fix ‘em, don’t have to engage ‘em, and it’s ok to tell ‘em “Hey, I love you..and I’m saying this from a place of love – I didn’t make this mess and I’m not going to clean it up. You’ve had ample opportunity to learn from past mistakes, and I think it will only hurt you if I keep buffering you from the consequences of your actions.” And yeah, I’ve said something like that to family before. They don’t like it, but they have to lump it ’cause I stick to my guns (not so easy when you’re desperate for approval like I am).
    ~~~~~
    Regarding the fantastic sex life…aww, sugar…

    I’m fat. Not overweight…fat. I married the first guy who asked me because I figured no one else would ever want me. Now…I got my Evil Genius out of that, so I can’t regret it too much…but allowing my weight (and a few other issues related and not), fear, and society’s ideas about what I should be doing with my life to dictate my actions…mistake.

    I don’t know you from Eve, but I’ll bet you’re beautiful. I bet people in your life tell you so, too. I bet you have personality to spare, a bright mind, and a lively wit – you must, you read Aunt Becky!

    You deserve someone who loves you – all of you. Every inch of you. You deserve mind-blowing sex and warm embraces and long conversations and kisses for no reason. You deserve to be a joyful celebration and not a secret association until something better comes along.

    I don’t think you’re damaged…I think you don’t want to get hurt again.

    There’s nothing wrong with “just sex” if it’s what you WANT. But if you want more…then you should have it. I left my husband believing I’d be alone the rest of my life, and believe me it wasn’t easy. I figured the best I was going to do was a battery operated boyfriend, and maybe we’d all be better off. But…because I closed that door, let go of that fear, and allowed myself to tell society and its ideas about me to fuck off…I found my Someone, and sugar…not only is the sex a-may-zing, so is the rest.

    If you’re getting mixed signals from him, tell him…if he’s a true friend, he’ll be willing to sort things out. And, love him or not, if he’s just in it for the available sex…then he doesn’t deserve you and you and your g-spot are better off without him (as much as I KNOW that would suck).
    ~~~~~
    Regarding the one that got away…good onya!! I am cheering you on, and wishing you success and happiness in your journey to a new (and better) life.

    Keep doing what you know is right for you and your son…those are the only two people to whom you are responsible! You don’t owe anyone else a thing!

    I am wishing you well, for what it’s worth.

    Shade and Sweetwater,
    K

  • Cindy
    Twitter: WalkerCynthia
    says:

    I cried tears when I read that she left. I hope that she and her son find all the joy and happiness and peace that they deserve!

  • My heart is so happy for your reader that left. That is great! I’m so glad she had that network behind her to help her get out and I hope she is safe and can grow to know peace and so will her son.

  • SharleneT says:

    Some families are best appreciated long-distance. Period.

    #2 – Your friend is using you, and you’re possibly using him… (but, I doubt it)… he has a friend and he also has sex whenever he wants, with no commitment, no dating, no pressures… This sounds like the same song every ‘fat’ girl sings because you don’t think you deserve better, and don’t want to lose the friend. (How many other friends do you have? If he were gone, is there anyone you can share your time with — I mean girl friends) There isn’t a man on earth who wouldn’t take advantage of the opportunity… He needs to be sat down and talked to and then move on…

  • Shannon says:

    I am so, so, so happy for you, Anonymous Asker! I cried happy tears, too, when I read your letter; I am so proud of you for all the strength and courage and hope that shines through in it! There will be tough times ahead, but you have done some amazing things so far!

  • Mariposita_Obsidiana says:

    Yay for standing up for yourself, Prankster!

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