My son took a job at a resort in cottage country this summer. He was supposed to be in charge of sailboats. He went with a few friends, all with various jobs around the property. One of the friends has a cottage nearby, so the boys are all living there. They’re all in their early 20s, still in university.
The mom who owns the cottage comes and goes throughout the week. Apparently, her husband never goes up there. He travels a lot for work and doesn’t like the busyness of the cottage.
My son wasn’t feeling well the other day and the resort told him to go home and try to sleep and feel better. He arrived back at the cottage to find the mom “in relations” with someone on the living room couch. He ran down to his room and locked the door.
He called me right away and I told him just to go to sleep (he had a fever and a headache) and we’d talk when he woke up. He slept through the entire next day and woke up in time to go to work the day after. We haven’t been able to really talk but he’s very uncomfortable and doesn’t know what to do.
How should I advise him?
Moms behaving badly
As this was very timely, I have already answered the letter writer personally, and we’ve spoken several times.
My advice is/was to tell your son not to discuss anything with this woman. He should forget what he saw and not mention it to anyone ever. And neither should you.
Her house, her life, her marriage, her affair. Keep out of it. If she tries to talk to your son (which she was trying to do), tell him to “pretend” he didn’t see anything, and therefore there’s nothing to discuss.
I met my wife when we were already in our mid to late 30s. She knew I wanted to have a family and seemed open to starting right away. It took us a few months to figure out where we were living (we were long distance when we met), and then to settle in. When we got together, she had a big dog who I adored.
Shortly after we settled in to our new home and location, my wife suggested we get another dog to keep hers company, and one that would be “ours.” I agreed, but this puppy took a lot of energy and love in her first six months and there was nothing left to start our human family.
We finally got pregnant, but unfortunately it didn’t take and my wife miscarried early on. She was devastated, as was I. One of her friends brought over a puppy that needed rescuing, thinking it would help my wife with her loss. It definitely helped, but now we had three big dogs, two still puppies.
We kept trying to have a child, but for several reasons, we couldn’t get pregnant again. This same friend ended up with another puppy needing rescue. She introduced my wife to the world of dog rescue, and my wife found her calling.
She then refused to go down the infertility road, and we never had children. But we have a house full of dogs. I love each of them, but when they pass, my wife is inconsolable for days, and then replaces it with yet another dog.
I can’t do this anymore.
You need to talk to your wife. She is obviously transferring her maternal instincts and emotions on to these four-legged creatures who are in need. It’s not bad or wrong, but I think she should talk to a therapist. And you need to explain that you have a doggie limit.
FEEDBACK Regarding the woman who doesn’t want to share the cost of the expensive wine (May 31):
Reader – “I have a simple solution for the woman who is uninterested in sharing the high cost of wine at a restaurant. They could simply say that the cost of the wine is more than they would like to pay and would prefer to order their own wine by the glass. This way the husband gets a glass and she can take a sip from his without feeling the need to share the cost of the expensive bottle.
“Their friends can still order the expensive wine and only drink what they want because all high-end restaurants will re-cork the bottle for you. They can take the bottle home to enjoy at their leisure.
“I agree with you that this should be made clear while planning their next outing. Keep up the good work.”