Monday, April 25, 2011

He Wasn’t A Husband

TRICKED IN RICHMOND, VA wrote in to Dear Abby:

I was in a long-term relationship with a man who died recently.
My sympathies on the loss.

After his death I found out he had other girlfriends while he was with me.
Had he taken a vow of monogamy?

It turns out he was a con man who used women.
How so, exactly? I am baffled most of the time when the word "used" is thrown around in situations like these. For example, a man pays a woman's way for an night out on the town. They both enjoy it. They have sex. They both enjoy that. Somehow, that is "using" her. How is she being used? Isn't he being used? after all, he's paying money for a date they both enjoy.

I am stunned, sad, hurt, angry and feel like a fool.
Why? He wasn’t your husband. Point me to the codified moral system he was living under that says it is okay to fornicate, but only with one woman over a given length of time. She doesn't even say he lied to her. He probably did, I would imagine. That would make him a liar. But he was already a fornicator. He didn't become one by fornicating with more than one woman.

When people who knew us as a couple see me, they ask about him. When I say he died, they respond by offering condolences over "my loss."
Well, yeah. That's normal human behavior.

Should I thank them for their kindness and leave it at that, or should I tell them the truth about him so they won't waste time feeling bad about his demise?
Thank them. Nobody wants to hear it. When you die, do you want people to say you aren't worth mourning because you did some things they didn't like?

Dear Abby responded:

If it will make you feel better to vent, do it. However, if rehashing the unhappy details would make you feel worse, keep them to yourself.
Nothing about... if you want monogamy, at least get and make a vow of monogamy?

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