One of my best lady friends needs to couch-surf for the next couple of weeks until she can move into her new place (I hate the college-student-tailored leasing environment here!) and I have a whole extra room that I’d love to offer to her, but the thing is that her boyfriend, a total scumbag, would have to come with her.
She and I have been great friends for a few years now, and I hate seeing her waste so much money on Airbnbs and hotel rooms, but when it comes to her man, I just can’t. He does the kind of drugs that no one wants around their home, and I’ve never seen anyone drink so much in my life. She’s a real party girl too (and so am I), but I have to draw a line somewhere! I don’t think there’s anything wrong with smoking a joint or two, but his drug use has gotten them into some really hairy situations in the past, and I’m not trying to have that around me. Like, they’ve had drug dealers show up to wherever they are and shake them down for money he owes, and most of the time it comes out of her pocket because she’s the only one who works.
I can’t deal with this guy at all, but my friend is in a real bind. I’m starting to feel bad and like I’m abandoning my homegirl. Am I a horrible friend?
Not at all! It’s your home, and you know what you will and won’t tolerate. We can’t control whom our friends fall in love with, as much as we’d like to, so we have to find a way to make our friendships work when there’s someone undesirable around.
I’d recommend you just try helping them find a temporary home that will work for them. Hit up some of your trashier friends (we all have them). See if someone has a basement that they could crash in. Don’t budge on this guy, though. He sounds like a nightmare, and I think you should trust the inkling that he’s bad news. You don’t want any d-boys kicking down your door, do you?
I just found out that I have chlamydia. I’m not really that freaked out about the disease itself, because it’s easily curable, but I’ve been in a committed relationship for two years. Basically, my girlfriend cheated on me. I know this because we both got tested before starting to have unprotected sex with each other. She travels a lot and likes to go on tour with her friends’ bands, so she’s had plenty of opportunities to cheat.
I’m hurt that she cheated, but I’m honestly disgusted that she went out and had unprotected sex with someone else before doing the same with me. It’s a serious violation of trust. I’m gonna confront her very soon, but I’m afraid I’ll blow up and say some really not-feminist things. I wanna be a great guy and a good feminist, but I feel so betrayed right now that I’m almost positive I’ll lose control and insult her.
I’m sure you’ll answer this after all is said and done, but I’d still appreciate your advice on how to handle this.
Dismayed and Betrayed
Don’t beat yourself up too much about your feelings right now. No one’s perfect, male feminists included, and I really love how honest you are about your battle with lifelong learned misogyny. You have the right to be angry, but certainly not the right to slut-shame your girlfriend—but you already get that.
I’d honestly recommend that you just tell her you have an STD that you could have only gotten from her, and then ask her how that happened. Decide where you want the relationship to go from there, but walk away as soon as she’s done explaining herself. Just take yourself out of the situation if you don’t trust yourself to stay calm and respectful. Put your thoughts together on paper first, then either read it to her or mail/email it to her.
Think hard about what you want to say before you say it. That way, you know you’ll really say what you mean without letting your emotions get the best of you.
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