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It’s July, so time for the monthly “let’s answer the stuff people typed into search engines” post. It is, as always, a very mixed bag of topics.

1. “Is my partner’s family using my family for money? Help!”

I feel like there is a lot of backstory and context here that would be valuable to know, but one suggestion is to revisit and renegotiate current arrangements around money, and see what happens. It sounds like that you (or your family) are already uncomfortable with something about the financial arrangements that are taking place or requests that are being made, and that’s a good enough reason to pull on one of the threads and see where it goes. Do you feel like you are allowed to say “no, we can’t help with that, sorry?” Does it change how your partner’s family treats you?

2. “Should I be upset with a coworker who didn’t donate to a fundraiser in my name?”

Feel however you want, but I don’t think addressing it with the coworker, complaining to other people, or changing the way you interact with them at work is a good idea at all. Be grateful to the people who did donate, and assume the coworker who didn’t had completely understandable reasons that aren’t really your business. Let this one go.

I don’t feel shame about asking for donations here periodically, or for boosting charity stuff or crowd-funding campaigns for friends or causes I’m close to, and I don’t mind at all when people in my life ask me for help with their stuff, but that only works as long as everyone understands that a request is not an order and that gifts are voluntary. For real, the quickest way to make everyone you know go “fuck you and your cause” is to act like they are obligated to give. I also think, personally, that bosses should never ask their employees for charitable donations. Get some friends, boss. Get some friends.

3. “If someone with depression apologises for something they did, do u tell them its not their fault?”

Well, maybe it is their fault. Depression dulls and blunts a person’s ability to function within relationships sometimes, but it’s not an excuse for mean behavior, and we are still ultimately responsible for how we treat other people. If you want to say something comforting in response to the apology, howabout “Apology accepted, thank you.

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Hi Captain,

I have a friend. He’s a reasonably good friend and has been there for me during some tough times. Which is why I feel guilty about what I’m about to say.

For the last year or so, we’ve spent a lot of time together chatting and hanging out. We had some sexual tension and a very brief romantic fling before deciding it was not to be. I am way happier now that we’ve decided this, but he – was and probably is still – a bit upset about it. So I have a lot of guilt over that. We chat quite a bit on FB and via text and at the moment it’s pretty constant throughout the day. However, the more we talk the more I kinda think – while I want to be friends, I want to pull back a little. Well, a lot.

The thing that is getting me down the most is that he’s so negative. Every message is about how much his life sucks or how much something hurts or how much he hates his job or his parents or how everyone else is stupid… Like I genuinely can’t remember the last time I had a positive comment from him. I know his health isn’t great, so he is being genuine. But it’s just so wearing.

I’ve tried making helpful suggestions (these go down like a lead balloon). I’m currently just leaving a while before replying (although that’s tricky cos he can see on FB when I’ve seen a message) and then saying something like “you poor thing” and either changing the subject or not really engaging further, unless the subjects shifts to TV shows or something neutral. Some days I just ignore messages altogether. But it’s getting to the point where I just don’t want to hang out with him any more – via chat or in person, because I just end up so depressed. But I don’t want to make him feel worse. I feel really guilty about all of this, because I know I used to participate in the negativity. Nowadays, I’m trying to be more positive – and seeing positive results from this – but I don’t want to just abandon him either like “my life is better now, yours isn’t, so bye!”.

The second thing is that he’s super clingy – and quite aggressive in his clinginess. He ends up scolding me about our friendship if I try to pull back a little. It starts out with if I don’t reply within an hour or so, I get a text asking if I’m mad at him. Whether I say no, or I try to be honest, he gets really really upset and starts attacking me – saying I don’t reply to him enough and when I do I’m being superficial and I’m not hanging out with him enough or when we do he feels like I’ve scheduled him in like everyone else and I’m making him feel bad… or else he brings up other stuff, about our brief fling or my new boyfriend… This sort of thing also happens if I mention something that I didn’t tell him about instantly – I get “ why didn’t you tell me?!” and then the rest of the guilt trip. If I get upset about what he’s said, he backtracks and tells me that I’m overreacting and that I “always do this” and I’m being ridiculous and that he’s just venting so “why do I always think everything is my fault?” This happens by text and in person – and in person he shouts. I’m really bad at confrontation, so as soon as he goes on the attack I forget all my words and just get upset.

I just find it all exhausting. I don’t want to be friends like this. But I feel really bad that I used to engage in all of this and suddenly don’t want to any more. I feel like a terrible friend and I’m just abandoning him when his life is still difficult and mine is getting better. I don’t know what to do.

Please help,

A Terrible Friend

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Dear Captain Awkward,

I used to have a really close friend who I’ll call A. A and I went to the same middle school, high school, and college, and for several years we talked online together almost every day. Then, about two years ago, she stopped talking to me. At first, I thought she was busy (since she’d just graduated from college and was looking for a new job), so I tried sending her messages and things, but she never responded. I spent about a year trying to figure out what was going on, but I never really figured anything out until A finally sent me a message completely out of the blue. A had sent that message because, on tumblr, I’d reblogged a post that A’s friend had made about a sensitive subject, and A wanted me to delete it.

I had no problem with deleting the post, so I went ahead and did that, and I also took that as an opportunity to ask her, “Are we still friends? It’s been about a year since we’ve talked, and I don’t know why.” A never directly responded, but she did make a vague tumblr post about how it had been a year since she’d realized she was a lesbian, and she put a lot of emphasis on stating that it had been one year. So my best guess is that A realized that she had a crush on me, and instead of talking to me about it, she decided to cut off communication with me completely. I’m actually not straight either, but I never got a chance to talk to her about that, so I guess A never knew.

At that point, I still would have liked to be friends with her, but I decided that if she wasn’t willing to talk to me, then we really weren’t friends in the first place. So, I deleted the tumblr blog that A knew about and made a new one, and otherwise I just avoid her online. I don’t really check Facebook anymore, because I inevitably see something she’s said to one of my old friends or something like that and I just get upset.

It’s been about a year since I gave up on talking to A. I spent a while being really upset and randomly crying and so on, but after a while I thought I’d gotten over all of this.

Earlier tonight, I randomly found something that A had written. Pretty soon, I just started sobbing.

She was my best friend – at times my only friend – for almost a decade, and then she suddenly shut me out. I don’t really know what to do now. I’ve tried to find new friends, but I’m very socially anxious and I’ve never been good at talking to people, so nothing I’ve tried has worked out at all. After college, I had to move back in with my parents in a very small town, so there aren’t very many people my age in the area. I basically don’t have any friends anymore, and I feel very isolated and alone, and I don’t know what to do about it.

Thanks,
Lost and Lonely

Dear Lost and Lonely,

I’m so sorry you are having to mourn the death of a close friendship at the same time you are navigating isolation. There is no shortcut for dealing with all of this, but there are some steps that with time and effort may work to help you grieve the loss of your friendship with A. and start to make new friends.

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Edited To Add: If you wrote one of the many (now deleted) treatises on The Darkest Evils of The Other Woman And How They Deserve Our Collective Scorn and Hatred, and how they must accept the possibility of violence at the hands of those they’ve wronged as the forseeable fruits of their sins, thanks for the shortest window between posting a thread and closing comments in Captain Awkward history!

I have three things to say to you:

1) Sometimes married (or committed-ly coupled) people who are looking to get laid LIE not just to their partners. “We’re separated!” “The marriage is all but over, we’re just working out the details.” “We have an arrangement where this is all okay as long as she never finds out.” “We no longer even sleep in the same bed anymore.” “S/he’s cheating on me.”

2) This Letter Writer is not responsible for your pain. She stopped behavior that didn’t feel right to her and changed how she approaches relationships several years ago. She apologized to the wife. She read the hurtful, vitriolic email. She doesn’t have to absorb your vitriolic-emails-by-proxy that you couldn’t send to the people who your partner cheated with so now you dump it all on her. Her actual question was “I’m very aware of how I screwed up here and feel really guilty, but also she said stuff that makes me feel scared for my safety.

3) Not cool, guys. Not cool.

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Now and then it’s interesting to see the search terms that bring people here, and, since they are in the form of a question, give some short answers. I’ve added punctuation but otherwise left the texts unaltered.

“Pushing someone to accept something they aren’t ready to.”

Is doomed. You can maybe get someone to say they accept whatever it is in order to end the argument and get you to go away, but you better believe they’re still stewing inside and now have some extra angst that’s directed at you for pushing them.

What if your boyfriend’s parents want you to call them mom and dad?

It sounds like you don’t want to call them Mom and Dad, so, don’t. Say, “That is a very sweet suggestion and I am glad you want us to be close, but I only want to call my own parents that. Can we come up with something else, like, Mr./Mrs. ______ or first names? Thank you.

This is not a normal thing, especially if you guys are unmarried, so stand your ground.

“Speed-friending London.”

GO! And tell us all about it.

Seducing my friend’s girlfriend advice.

Don’t seduce your friend’s girlfriend. That’s my advice.

“How to tell if my best friend’s girlfriend want to have sex with me?”

Assume she doesn’t until you hear the words “Let’s have sex!” come out of her mouth.

“If I send a face book message and they read it and its marked read then why does the read status disappear when they block themselves from me?

Ok, to answer the question you didn’t ask, stop reading over those messages looking for signs of this person’s attention to what you had to say. To answer the one you asked, blocking you severs that relationship on the interface level. Suggestion: Delete the messages. Block them right back. Anything so you aren’t spending one more precious day of your life pouring over communications from someone who clearly doesn’t want to talk to you.

“Making your girlfriend do what you want although she might be busy.”

Ask her to spend time with you. If she’s busy, do something else with your day. If she’s consistently too busy, ask her to talk about how you guys spend time together and tell her how it makes you feel. If she’s still consistently too busy, break up. There is no “making” here – she’s either enthusiastically spending time with you or she isn’t. You can make requests and make decisions about whether that works for you, but that’s where your making powers end.

Girlfriend willing but doesn’t want to have sex.”

Then you don’t have sex with her, and you let that be a thing she initiates.

“I want my nude pictures on the internet.”

From all reports, the Internet is ok with that.

“10shart fuck only vidios opan ok

It’s out there, somewhere. 10 sharts! Be steadfast in your quest.

“Will a guy test you by being a jerk?”

The guys who do this are probably failing your personal “That guy’s a jerk” test. Rather than seeing it as some test that someone eventually passes (um, yay?), maybe see it as a guy acting like a jerk and make decisions accordingly.

How to write a letter to my boyfriend’s jealous ex.

Do not write  a letter to your boyfriend’s jealous ex. It will not make her go away, it will just show that whatever she’s doing is getting to you. The only thing that will make her go away, eventually,  is if both of you starve her of attention.

“Boyfriend not interested my life.”

Let me correct that for you. “My ex-boyfriend was not interested in my life.” Roll that around on the tongue a few times. How does it sound?

“Only depressed before and during work.”

No guarantees, obviously, but a new and different job might clear that right up.

“Should I breakup with my boyfriend if I don’t love him any more?”

Do what you want, but this is literally THE most airtight reason to break up with someone.

“I can’t break up with my boyfriend because he was my first.”

You can break up with someone for any reason. “I don’t want to be in this relationship anymore” is a good reason.

The connection with a first love and/or first sex partner is very intense and lovely and wonderful, but having that connection with someone & making a long-term happy life with someone are not necessarily congruent. Breakups are hard, even when they are for the right reasons, but with time you will bounce back and so will he.

If your high school sex-ed was all about previously chewed gum, plucked daisies, used Kleenex, etc. I am here to tell you those people were sadistic lying assholes. Get thee to Scarleteen.

“Should I pretend to drunk text him?”

What is it that you want to say to him? What if you said it completely sober and completely sincerely?

“How to text a drunk girl.”

What would you say to this girl if she were sober? Try that.

“How to apologize after drunk text.”

Text/Call/Say in person: “Sorry, I was not my best self the other night and am feeling pretty embarrassed.”

Go forth and text, and drink, responsibly. An occasional drunk text can be funny/flirtatious. A cycle of oversharing & apology? Gets annoying really fast.

“Drunk texts to let guy know you like him.”

Okay, okay, I get it. It’s awkward to make yourself vulnerable, and being drunk lowers inhibitions and also gives the illusion of an excuse if the person doesn’t respond the way you want – “Ha ha, no, I was kidding, I was drunk.” I too have made out on the Couch of Plausible Deniability Where We Are Going To Watch A Movie, I Swear.

Drunk texts are not wrong, and if you’re having fun with it, text away! Get your flirt on, people! But if you’re strategizing about this? Maybe it’s time for a “I think you are handsome and cool and would love to go on a date sometime. Have you ever thought about it?

“We made out drunk and he texted me next day.”

Unless he’s sending you insults, it sounds like he’s nice, actually, and making an effort to reach out while sober. There’s no obligation, but if you wanted to hang out again, it sounds like he’s at least open to the idea. Biggest question right now is what do you want to happen now?

“How does being an introvert affect communication?”

Not that much, in my opinion. Introverts need a fair amount of alone time to recharge their batteries and may prefer hanging in smaller groups/quieter spaces. But they CAN and DO communicate just the same as anyone else, including doing very people-centered jobs very well and having an active social life. Introversion vs. extroversion is about preference/style/feeling energized by social contact vs. depleted, not ability, and knowing someone is an introvert is not a predictor or prescriptor of anything. Individuals have differing communications styles, so take your cues from your own preferences or from how a specific person responds to you.

“Do professors like their students to thank them?”

Who wouldn’t like to know that their work affected someone for the better? It’s not necessary or expected that students thank us (the best thanks is you doing your best work and going on to do well), but “I really enjoyed your class” is a very nice thing to hear, especially after grades are in, and especially when it contains some info about what you are currently working on/doing next.

“I fell in love with my professor.”

I’m not going to tell you those feelings aren’t real, but I am going to tell you there’s too much yucky power differential stuff for this to be a good idea to pursue while you are a student at that school. I have a massive side-eye for any professor who would respond positively to romantic or sexual advances from a student. Holy abuse of power and trust, Batman!

“I want to have sex with my therapist.”

This is a REALLY bad idea. Illegal in some cases, the stuff of license-revoking in others, for a good reason. A therapist who has sex with patients is a NO GOOD VERY BAD THERAPIST who is abusing trust and power. Being able to trust and open up to someone compassionate can bring up all kinds of feelings, especially if your therapist is also foxy. But not all feelings need to be acted on, and a good therapist is going to set an ironclad boundary here.

“My mom doesn’t want me to masturbate.”

Good thing it’s not up to her. It’s completely none of her business, in fact, and is strictly between you and you. Masturbation is awesome. Rock on with your sexy self. Also, get thee to Scarleteen.

“What if a guy says it’s awkward and might want to break up.”

When people say stuff like this, believe them. He’s giving you advance warning and telling you that breaking up is on his mind. Start to make your peace with ending the relationship.

“How can I tell my daughter I found a partner for her.”

If you’re from an Arranged Marriages Are A-Okay culture, how did your parents tell you this stuff? I feel like there will be some rituals and scripts around this that are widely-known and your daughter will be expecting some conversation like this to take place.

If you’re not from that kind of culture (and honestly, probably even if you are), I would not talk in terms of “partner” or “husband” or “wife.” At all. That’s putting the cart waaaaaaaaaay before the horse about something that is ultimately not your decision.

Possible script: “Daughter, I met someone who I think you’d really get along with and would like to put you in touch. Can I give you his/her contact information?”

Then you drop the subject. Forever. And you do NOT give your daughter’s contact info to this person, or try to sell them on your daughter. No hinting. No pushing. No inviting the person over for a “Surprise! You two should probably mate!” dinner.

“What does it mean when someone says you have a heart of a bullet and a mind of a boss?”

Take it as a compliment, because if it’s not, your bullet-heart and boss-mind don’t have time for that anyway. Maybe write a song about it.

“Am I a bitch for leaving my boyfriend to take care of myself?”

From where I sit, you are a person who made a hard decision and I wish you all the best. Get on with the job of taking care of yourself, part of which is forgiving yourself and being gentle and kind to yourself and not calling yourself mean names.

Love,

Captain Awkward

Spike and Angel

We’re only evil stalkers *sometimes.*

Hi Captain!

I’m having a bit of a boundary issue.

About six months ago, I ended a one-year relationship that had become deeply dysfunctional. My boyfriend at the time was very depressed, was using drugs, and was by turns distant and emotionally cruel. I still care about him a lot and I know that most of what he put me through was a result of what he himself was going through – but, I have taken care of myself and moved on. I’m in a healthy relationship now, and I’m very happy. 

The previous boyfriend is currently trying to get his life together, and I’m so glad that this is the case. I know that he can be an amazing person when he’s not in the dark place he’s been in. Unfortunately, he’s not better yet, and while I’ll be prepared to be friends with him when he is, I’m not equipped to take on the role of support system while he pulls himself up. 

He’s not really taking “no” for an answer. He contacts me frequently, even after promising not to, even after I have told him to stop. He talks to my friends – our non-mutual friends – and leaves posts on my blog. He goes back and forth between being remorseful to the point of grovelling and saying cruel and hurtful things. I’m not ready to deal with all of this, so I have stopped acknowledging him completely and until further notice. 

The biggest problem is that we have some mutual friends, and he thinks of them as his territory. I met his best friend while we were still together, and we’ve become very close; I also became close with another of his friends post-breakup (though in the early stages, when it looked like we were going to be able to keep things friendly). I feel like I’ve earned my place in these people’s lives, and they in mine, but I know that it’s hard for him to stop fixating on our time together when I’m always in his periphery, and that he feels like I have stolen them. 

I don’t want to stop being friends with these people, but I do want my previous boyfriend to leave me alone so that I can stop being caught up in all this toxicity and so that he can get better. Can I have it both ways, or do I need to cut my losses?

Rock and a Hard Place

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Morning, Dear Captain:

I have a friend who I suspect is battling some pretty severe anxiety/depression problems. It makes her extremely defensive and difficult to be around, because literally anything you say can trigger FEELINGSBOMBS packed with rusty nails of self-pity that then require tedious removal and soothing via her preferred social media channels. She gets really upset if you criticize her in any way, even gently and constructively, and also if you don’t thank her effusively for doing things nobody is demanding she do. 

She has mentioned multiple times she doesn’t feel comfortable straight-out talking things over with friends or therapists, so instead she drops the aforementioned FEELINGSBOMBS at random times and expects everyone in our social circle to flock to the resulting explosion with armfuls of sympathy. I have made it clear she’s welcome to contact me whenever she’s feeling down, but so far she has refused, repeatedly choosing what seems like a very immature and manipulative way to handle her need for affirmation. It is really starting to grate on me and at least two other mutual friends, driving us away when she seems to need emotional support more than ever. 

She and her partner have done me some real favors and I appreciate them. We have interests in common and when she’s chill she’s fun to be around. It’s a friendship I would prefer to preserve if at all possible. How do I nudge her into getting the support and help she craves without carpetbombing our social circle?

–A shellshocked friend

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Happy 2013, everybody!

Dear Captain Awkward:

Here’s the deal. About 4 months ago I moved with Boyfriend about a thousand miles away from my family and friends for a job offer he received. The city we moved to is big and we figured that it would be easy for me to find a job there. That has not been the case, and I am still unemployed. That’s not the problem. 

I have decided to end the relationship with him. It has been waning and I am no longer happy in it, so it is time to go. I have the breakup planned and I will be moving back with my parents while I wait on some jobs that I have applied to in other places. 

My question is this. How do I let the friends I’ve made know? Boyfriend and I live together, so as soon as we break up I will be leaving and I likely won’t get a chance to see them again. I want to have a chance to say goodbye, but it doesn’t seem right to tell them I’ll be leaving before the breakup happens. I really like a lot of them and I was enjoying getting to know them, so I will miss them and don’t want to just leave without even a word. 

Any advice would be appreciated! Thanks!

Sincerely, 
Moving Friend

Dear Moving Friend,

I started to answer this in a quick email, and then I realized that a lot of people could probably relate to the awkwardness of letting people know about a breakup.

I suggest that you set up a casual farewell event before you leave town. Something where you will hold court for a few hours at a local bar or coffee shop and whoever wants to stop by can stop by (and you can sit there with a book if you like). Don’t invite people  yet – you are correct, it is pretty horrible to inform the friend group of a breakup before you do the actual breaking up –  but pick a venue and block out the time.

Then break up.

Then, I suggest an email, which you can tailor to each person as necessary.

Dear friend, I wanted to let you know some sad news. Sadly, (partner) and I have split up, and I’ll be heading back home where my family lives as of (date).

Your friendship has been really important to me since moving to (city), and I definitely didn’t want to leave without saying goodbye. I realize it’s last minute, but if you have a bit of time on (day), please stop by (place) between (time and time) and have a drink with me if you can. If not, I completely understand and hope we can stay connected with Facebook, Twitter, etc. and that you’ll look me up if you are ever in (city).

Thanks so much for your kindness and company these past few months, it’s meant the world to me.

Best wishes,

(You).”

Does that work? It lets people know the facts & conveys your affection, and as a bonus, it saves your boyfriend from having to do potentially humiliating work of notifying mutual friends about what’s up. Hopefully they can reach out and buy him a beer once you’re gone.

Good luck getting through a really sucky time with grace and a minimum of emotional and logistical carnage, and good luck finding work that you like. Breaking up sucks even when it’s the right decision. I’m impressed with your clear head and your desire to be kind & mannerly while also taking care of your own needs on your way out the door.

 

 

Dear Captain Awkward:

I found a private message on my husbands fb. ( i wasnt snooping, our son (4yrs) had his phone and has posted on fb before, if i was snooping i would say so.) He had a conversation with an old friend from h.s. during the convo she wanted to send him photos but was scared he wouldnt like them. He said she didnt have to send them but she shouldn’t be scared. Meaning he would accept them. And she sent him nude photos. He swears he never opened them but complimented her anyway on their hotness, which she is not btw. I believe him thru his tears and knowing i would leave if he lied.  She asked if i would be attending the reunion next year, so she knows hes married.  She stated she wants to hook up then and get hot and heavy. There were other words also to describe her physical reaction to him.  He didnt agree but did lead her on by not saying no. We plan to compose a message together ending their interaction but i want to send her a message expressing my displeasure of her attempting to fuck my husband and ruin my marriage. Please help! What should i say to her that wont be illegally threatening, but will get my point across??

Thanks!!

I know you’re really angry at this woman and dying to deliver just the right amount of soul-crushing fuck you, but you can’t make your husband not have screwed up here by magically transferring all of your anger to her. Whatever, he didn’t start the flirtation, but he was a bit of a dipshit here and he got busted. Sticking your claws in her won’t actually change that and will just leave you engaged with someone you don’t want in your life. Plus it will give her proof that she got under your skin.

My suggested message to her from your husband is some version of:

I’m sure you meant your photos and flirtations to be in good fun, but trust me that they were fun for no one once my wife and four-year-old son accidentally discovered them. I should have been more clear that I wasn’t interested and that they were crossing a pretty big line for me and my family, and for that I am sorry. I’m sure you’ll understand I don’t keep up these e-conversations going forward.”

Like, he should DEFINITELY let her know that the pictures didn’t reach only their intended audience, which might actually do her the favor of delivering the message that PICTURES OF YOUR JUNK = FRAUGHT WITH PERIL, DEFINITELY SLEEP ON IT BEFORE SENDING. He should definitely own his part in being a dipshit and encouraging her, and then he should de-friend & block her and start thinking of ways to make it up to you. And she should feel embarrassed as hell.

There’s no message you can give her about The Supposed Sanctity of Marriage that’s going to win you points here. Think of it this way: Your husband sounds like a pretty non-confrontational dude. If you buy his version of events, he was just trying to not embarrass this lady by appearing to go along with her nefarious plans. If you step in and go all apeshit on her, or even send her a “Nice vagina you have there….NOT!” message, it lets him abdicate his part in it because the womenfolk will work it out and he can still try to be the good guy who was just caught in the middle of “this drama.” Make it 100% his problem to handle and go back to the world where she doesn’t exist for you.

Sam the Eagle weeping glitter tears

“I’m mostly weeping because this email forward is written in Papyrus.

Hi Captain Awkward,

I want to preface my email by saying that I really love my mom. I really do. We had a great relationship when I was growing up and we still do, for the most part. Generally she is an accepting, loving, level-headed person, albeit gullible at times.

She is a Christian and a Republican. There is nothing wrong with that. People are allowed to have their own political and religious views as they see fit, in my opinion. That’s part of being an adult. She knows I do not have the same views as her politically or religiously, though, and she claims to respect that.

However, she sends me these incredibly racist/anti-Obama/anti-Liberal/anti-Muslim/anti-poor person/anti-Mexican/anti-gay/etc. email forwards all of the time. Normally I try to ignore them because I don’t want to cause a rift in the family, but it’s gotten pretty unbearable. I have asked her several times to not send me emails of that nature and she always stops for a while, but then starts up again a few months later. For the record, she never mentions any of these emails when we talk on the phone or in person. It’s like she has a secretly hateful side or something.

If I were to advise someone else, I’d probably tell them to block emails or send a sharp reply, but I can’t seem to give myself the same advice. I only get to see my parents a few times per year (they live a few hundred miles away, but I have no car and I’m poor, so it’s hard to get down there to visit), so every bit of contact from them is like a gift to me and blocking would make me feel terrible. And like I said before, I don’t want to cause a rift in the family by starting a fight. 

But these hate-spewing emails make me sad; sad that there are such hate in the world, and sad that my own mother would spread it (and perhaps sad that my mother is not the loving angel I’ve made her out to be in my mind…). There have been several times where I’ve started an angry reply, only to stop myself and walk away.

With election season coming up, they’ve been coming again in a fairly steady flow. It’s gotten to the point where I get agitated if I see an email from my mom in my inbox. 

What would you advise I do about this? Block her email? Ignore the emails? Delete them? Refute them with facts? Remind her that she’s supposed to “love thy neighbor”? Something else?

Thanks in advance,
Beth

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