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Whoa Is Me Last year, after I split up with my girlfriend, the law firm I worked for went belly up. I haven't been on a date all year. Friends try to set me up, and I keep giving excuses for why I can't go, but the truth is, I've totally lost my nerve. I'd …Read more. Beard-Death Experience This adorable, smart, funny guy I'm dating was clean-shaven when we first met, but for the past three weeks, he hasn't shaved much. He has this really weird facial hair pattern (like patches on his cheeks that haven't filled in well), and I don't …Read more. MP3's A Crowd I've been dating a girl for two months, and I go back and forth from thinking the relationship has legs to wanting to end it. I just had a birthday, and she got me a new iPod Touch with my name engraved on the back. I told her it was too …Read more. Under New Anger Management When my boyfriend and I started dating, he was kind of a hothead. His first encounter with my friends was a game of touch football on the beach. He and another guy collided, and he lost his temper. There was a good bit of yelling, and I think …Read more.
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Three years ago, I was divorced six weeks from a 22-year marriage when I got involved with a married co-worker and persuaded him to divorce his wife for me. He has been married five times and cheated on all of his wives. I have reason to believe he's still having sex with his ex-wife. I'm not sure what to do. I refinanced my house a few months after meeting him and paid off his and his wife's $14,000 credit card debt (my idea, to help him out of the marriage). He's been repaying me $250 a month, although I also usually pay for his plane ticket here. (I moved for work.) He's a pretty bad alcoholic. Not a mean one, just a goofy one. I know he has a bad marital track record, but he's in his 50s; his marriage-hopping has to stop...you'd think. Crazy as it seems, I'm madly in love. He is charming, is generous, and shows me he loves me in little ways — cards, phone calls, etc. Really, I'm not dumb. I'm a librarian with a master's. But, tell me: How bad is this? — Shhhh...

Oh, the charming, generous things he does, like putting your credit card back in your wallet and closing the snap.

He doesn't sound like an evil person; he just is who he is: an undercapitalized, serially married goofy drunk who's probably sleeping with his ex-wife. Three years ago, you were just-divorced and probably panicking about your prospects, when you spotted your Mr. Right (aka an age-appropriate, conveniently located, attractive man with a pulse). Hellooo, confirmation bias! That's a common human irrationality — the tendency to snuggle up to information that confirms what you want to believe and to ignore any information that doesn't. Before long, you were slammed with "cognitive dissonance," the clash of two simultaneously held opposing beliefs — your belief that this is a worthy love thing versus how this guy goes to the altar more often than some men go to the carwash.

To reduce the psychological friction of cognitive dissonance, you're prone to justify whichever belief shines up your ego. The more some choice costs you the more driven you'll be to defend it — like when you've abruptly thrown 14K at the idea that you can change a man who thinks soul mates come in six-packs. And no, you aren't that "dumb"; you're just that human. Deep down, you know that love — real love — is never having to say, "Are you cheating on me with your ex-wife?"

Keep in mind that the term "madly in love" refers to a state where you aren't making rational decisions. You need to get in the habit of standing back from your life and assessing what you're doing — especially when you're at your neediest.

Recognize your human propensity to act irrationally — to let your emotions lead and then to mop up afterward with a bunch of self-justifications. If you can accept yourself as human and fallible, you won't feel so compelled to toss less-than-flattering facts in the hall closet behind the badminton net. Be open with yourself (and even your friends) about your flaws and fears and you should start managing them in healthier ways — instead of paying off a bunch of pantsuits a guy's wife bought five years ago at Macy's and telling yourself you've found love.

If The Shoo Fits?

Through no one's fault but my own, I am a rather pathetic, washed-up character — a man approaching 40, slaving away for $10/hour, and getting around on my bike after having to sell my car. Yet, I'm ever driven by my wants — for pretty ladies in their early 20s. Do I have any hope? — Seeking

It's tough attracting the ladies when you have transportation issues: "I'll be over at 8. Wanna run behind my bike, or would you prefer to balance yourself on my handlebars?" This might fly if you're 23 and parking your bike outside the drafty garret where you write mind-blowingly beautiful poetry or if your hobbies include shrinking your "carbon footprint" while snarling that the eco-posers tooling around in their Priuses are fouling the environment. Unfortunately, most hot young chickies willing to date a guy cresting 40 expect him to have achieved some status and position, and not a position paying slightly better than fast food. Still, if you can't substantially increase your income, you might increase your status by making a difference. You could start and run a humanitarian organization (like Robert Werner, who started BC Digital Divide, refurbishing donated computers and giving them to the needy). But, if you do this solely to get chicks, they'll surely see through it. Ultimately, this mostly has to be about a passion to help others, and not just to help others who are 23 and hot out of their clothes.

Got a problem? Write Amy Alkon, 171 Pier Ave, #280, Santa Monica, CA 90405, or email AdviceAmy@aol.com (www.advicegoddess.com). Alkon is the author of "I See Rude People: One Woman's Battle To Beat Some Manners Into Impolite Society."

COPYRIGHT 2012 AMY ALKON

DISTRIBUTED BY CREATORS.COM

It's Advice Goddess Radio! Amy Alkon answers your questions on love, dating, sex, relationships, and manners. Listen live every Sunday from 7-8 p.m. Pacific time, or download the podcast at the link. The call-in number during the show is 347-326-9761. This week, Amy Alkon talks with Dr. Robert Glover, author of “No More Mr. Nice Guy,” on how a “too-nice guy” can transform himself into the guy who actually gets the girl.

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/amyalkon/2011/12/12/advice-goddess-radio-amy-alkon



Comments

11 Comments | Post Comment
It never ceases to amaze me how certain men are determined to hook up with a young, attractive, sexy woman when they themselves have so little to offer. What can they be thinking? I can only assume that they want a beautiful, high-quality woman to compensate for their own shortcomings. Well, it doesn't work that way. As Amy says, any twenty-something woman who is willing to date a forty-something man will expect him to have made something of himself. Or at least have a car to drive.

‘Seeking' needs to stop chasing young chickies and take a good hard look at himself. It won't be easy. He knows he is responsible for his lack of success in life, and it's up to him to do something about it. This may sound cruel, but he won't be able to get a woman of any age if he is willing to go on being a failure.
Comment: #1
Posted by: JMG
Tue Jan 3, 2012 9:19 AM
LW1 -- "I'm not dumb. I'm a librarian with my master's." Let me let you in on a little secret: you can be "book smart" and still be incredibly dumb in other aspects of life. Indeed, you personify that very point because I hate to say it, but you're idiot. Seriously. Amy, who is well-known for her sharp tongue went easy on you.

LW2 -- I am praying that yours is a fake letter. There is so much stupidity in your letter, I can't help but think we ought to set you up with the oh-so-smart librarian of the first letter today. You ask if there's hope. Well, good news for you, yes, there is! Since you are allegedly so "driven" by your "wants" -- fantastic! Let those "wants" do some "driving" and "drive" you to get a life (as well as a car).
Comment: #2
Posted by: Lisa
Tue Jan 3, 2012 12:36 PM
LW2 may not be entirely out of luck. All he needs to do is find a younger version of LW1. Enablers come in all age groups.
Comment: #3
Posted by: R.A.
Tue Jan 3, 2012 2:41 PM
I couldn't even finish reading LW1. Are there really people this dumb? If so, you deserve what you get.

LW2, let's cut to the chase. Just because you want doesn't mean you'll get. And I'd venture to say that you are not getting because no woman- 20 or 40 or 60- is all that impressed w/ a person stuck on slow in life.
Comment: #4
Posted by: It's me
Wed Jan 4, 2012 6:50 AM
"Through no one's fault but my own, I am a rather pathetic, washed-up character — a man approaching 40, slaving away for $10/hour, and getting around on my bike after having to sell my car. Yet, I'm ever driven by my wants — for pretty ladies in their early 20s. Do I have any hope?" NO. There. That was easy. If you want to attract 21-year-old hotties (or hotties of any age, really) you need to not be a giant loser.
Comment: #5
Posted by: limniade
Wed Jan 4, 2012 8:50 AM
LW1-
How bad is it? Well, lemme count the ways:
1. BARELY out of a 22-year marriage, you're chasing a married man.
2. This man is a serial marriage-hopper, cheater and an established alcoholic.
3. You yet spent an INSANE amount of money "retaining" him - and still are.
4. You don't even live with him right now, having moved for work.
5. You have "reason to believe" he's cheating on you also - well, NO SHIT, SHERLOCK! What did you expect, for your leopard to change his spots?

"Crazy as it seems"... It doesn't sound crazy. It IS crazy. You sounds SEVERELY affective-dependent, addicted to marriage/men, dysfunctional to the boiling point and with a self-esteem that's at -50F (not counting the wind factor), to the point where you're willing to do and put up with anything-anything-anything, just to have a man. Proof of which, three minutes after your divorce, you homed in like bees to honey on an obvious loser - A-NY-THING to replace the husband you no longer had, fast-fast-fast-fast, this is URGENT!

Lady, you need to stop spending your money buying yourself a husband and start investing on therapy instead. What else you need to do will become self-evident after you've been in treatment or some time and you start finding the rational self that's buried under the neurotic rubble. Right now, it's pointless for me to even point out at it, because you can't see it any more than someone colour-blind can see red. Whether his "marriage-hopping has to stop" is not your concern. What is your concern, and the only thing you can control, is your own insane behaviour. "Madly in love" indeed, you're madder than the Hatter!

P.S.: This is so crazy I'm not even sure it's real!

LW2-
Another basket case. Buster, I hope you're not too fussy about your "pretty ladies in their early 20's". Because, with what you have to offer (middle-aged, no money, no prospects and not even a car), all you can possibly attract in that age group is a homeless kid with a drug problem who's looking for a wallet to support her habit, and who would rather have sex with you than picking up a stranger from a street corner.

The only woman you can attract and retain being a failure, is another failure. Start working on yourself. Perhaps you'll find some decent priorities along the way, because right now, you have none. Which explains where you are in life.

Is this 2012-01-04 or 2012-04-01? Somebody had their numbers mixed up, I think. This feels like an April Fool's joke!

Comment: #6
Posted by: Lise Brouillette
Wed Jan 4, 2012 10:26 AM
Amy's making up these letters herself, just to sensationalize. I can't grasp that on the sliver-slim chance that these people's issues actually exist, would be the ones who would write to an advice column, especially one with Amy's pattern of Jerry-Springer drivelers.

Then again...that's who Amy seems to attract to her column, so perhaps it makes sense after all.
Comment: #7
Posted by: Paul W
Wed Jan 4, 2012 1:34 PM
LW1, stop worrying. He's not cheating on you. He changed when he married you, and will always be faithful and true. He'll sober up any day now, and will repay you everything he owes. Pat yourself on the back.... you were wise and savvy to steal him away from his wife and then marry him. Giving $14,000 to his wife was an intelligent decision, and it's only reasonable that you should pay for his plane tickets whenever he visits. I hope you're also buying and preparing all of his meals. My recommendation would be to give another $14,000 to his ex, and make sure he's flying first class.

LW2, good news! Recent surveys show that most 22 year old women are looking for men in their forties who don't have cars, and who make $10 an hour. Are you by any chance fat, slovenly or bald, with nose hairs and poor grooming? If so, even better. Today's hot young woman consider those attractive traits. If you put an ad online with a shirtless photo (or even better, a nude one), swarms of nubile, barely-legal women will email you shortly wanting to have sex with no strings attached.

Oh and, good news! You've both won the Publisher's Clearinghouse Sweepstakes, IF you return the winning number in time! And hell froze over a few days ago. Great time to go skiing down there!
Comment: #8
Posted by: sarah morrow
Wed Jan 4, 2012 10:29 PM
LW1, stop worrying. He's not cheating on you. He changed when he married you, and will always be faithful and true. He'll sober up any day now, and will repay you everything he owes. Pat yourself on the back.... you were wise and savvy to steal him away from his wife and then marry him. Giving $14,000 to his wife was an intelligent decision, and it's only reasonable that you should pay for his plane tickets whenever he visits. I hope you're also buying and preparing all of his meals. My recommendation would be to give another $14,000 to his ex, and make sure he's flying first class.

LW2, good news! Recent surveys show that most 22 year old women are looking for men in their forties who don't have cars, and who make $10 an hour. Are you by any chance fat, slovenly or bald, with nose hairs and poor grooming? If so, even better. Today's hot young woman consider those attractive traits. If you put an ad online with a shirtless photo (or even better, a nude one), swarms of nubile, barely-legal women will email you shortly wanting to have sex with no strings attached.

Oh and, good news! You've both won the Publisher's Clearinghouse Sweepstakes, IF you return the winning number in time! And hell froze over a few days ago. Great time to go skiing down there!
Comment: #9
Posted by: sarah morrow
Wed Jan 4, 2012 10:29 PM
Re: sarah morrow
Love it! Only problem is they are both so dumb they might not recognize its sarcasm!
Comment: #10
Posted by: TJ
Thu Jan 5, 2012 5:07 AM
Sarah & TJ

Hee hee hee ho ho ho ho HAW HAW HAW HAW!

Comment: #11
Posted by: Lise Brouillette
Thu Jan 5, 2012 7:24 AM
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