By Jesse Marx
By Chris Parker
By Jake Rossen
By Jesse Marx
By Michelle LeBow
By Alleen Brown
By Maggie LaMaack
By CP Staff
In my 26 years, I've had my fair share of relationships. I'm usually the one spooning up advice to friends hungry for wisdom. Sadly, I'm helpless to aid myself in my current situation. I met this girl four months ago, and she's "the girl of my dreams." If you met her, you would know that angels exist on earth. The problem is that she's married and has four kids. Her cheating husband is abusive to her (verbally, physically, etc.). He's raped her twice (once using a "date-rape" drug), and he was tried for the rape of a girl in the first year of their marriage. His kids seesaw between loving and fearing him.
She has never reached out to anyone for help until me. If things were different, this would be my wife and kids. I know she feels the same for me as I do for her, but she is unwilling or unable to sever ties with her husband. She says she KNOWS that one day he will kill her, and it seems as if she's resigned herself to this fate. I have offered to remove this problem, but she fears losing us both. How do I save her from this nightmare before it's too late?
Love Is Faithful Eternally
Sometimes the mail is sooooooooo depressing that I just want to think about other things.
Like Next. Last weekend I was stuck in a hotel room in Portland, Oregon, on account of a teensy, weensy hangover, and I caught a marathon of the MTV dating show. Here's how the show works: One person—say, a boy—goes on a blind date with a girl. If the boy doesn't like the girl, he says "Next!" and one of four other girls, all waiting on a bus, takes the first girl's place. The rejected girl returns to the bus to be cruelly mocked by her rivals. The boy continues barking "Next!" until he finds a girl he likes. Sometimes there are five boys on the bus and a girl barks "Next!"; and every once in a while five gay boys are on the bus and another gay boy barks "Next!"
While the gay episodes demonstrate to MTV's impressionable viewers that young gay people are really no different—they're every bit as shallow, vapid, and crude as their straight counterparts—not one of the gay episodes really worked. Instead of anxiously waiting to see which of the five will be chosen, viewers of the gay installments of Next anxiously wait for the five boys on the bus to strip down and get it on. The gay boys on the Next bus aren't rivals, MTV, they're all potential matches, which makes the one guy who isn't on the bus nearly irrelevant. In all three of the gay episodes I saw, the boys on the bus were more into each other then they were into the boy for whose affections they were supposedly competing; in gay Next the boy who "won" a second date with the boy who wasn't on the bus declined, preferring to run off with one of the other guys on the bus.
Recreating the "five bitchy rivals" dynamic that makes the hetero episodes of Next so entertaining wouldn't be that hard, MTV. Here's all you need to do: Put five hairy bears on the bus that are only attracted to pretty twinks and let them compete for the, er, hand of one pretty twink. Or five white guys that are only into Asian guys competing for an Asian guy. Or five tops and one bottom. Or five Log Cabin Republicans and one CPA. Take a little more care with the casting and preinterviews, MTV, and you'll be able to solve Next's gay problem. You're welcome.
As for your problem, LIFE, I don't even know where to begin. Maybe I'm just shocked that the girl of your dreams—the girl of any man's dreams—would be a married woman with four children and what may be the worst taste in men this side of Denise Richards. Can this angel-on-earth pick 'em or what? She married a bordering-on-homicidal asshole and now she's sneaking around with a bordering-on-homicidal dumbass, a guy so stupid that he would threaten the life of his lover's husband in a newspaper column. (You offered to "remove the problem," but she fears "losing you both.") Nice work, LIFE. Let's hope your lover's husband doesn't have a fatal accident anytime soon—an actual accident, not an "accident"—or LIFE isn't just going to be your acronym.
Since you will probably ignore the only sensible advice I could offer ("Run, LIFE, run!"), I'm not going to bother. Instead I'm going to pour a little poison in your ear: Have you bothered to confirm your lover's story? Your letter makes this woman's husband seem monstrous, perfectly monstrous. In fact, he seems a little too perfectly monstrous. Have you entertained the possibility that you're being fed a massive load of shit, LIFE? Some cheaters invent elaborate tales of woe—the frigid, manipulative shrew of a wife; the abusive, suspicious, but somehow easily fooled husband—because the cheater wants to have her infidelities and her victim status too.