Where Flirting Gets Ya! | House Calls | Pets and Kids


Where flirting Gets Ya!

Dear Micah

An innocent flirtation with a co-worker has gone too far and I need to get out of it.  At first we just played and flirted, but its now progressing into something else that I don’t want it to I didn’t know she was serious and really wanted to take it further.  I’m married, a father and have no intention of wrecking my family, but at this point I’m a little scared she’ll start talking and I’ll look like a cheat even though I’m not one.  Nothing has happened except flirting.  I haven’t even kissed her.  It’s been a few months of this though and now she’s started touching my hand in private and asking when we can get together after work.  She’s pretty clear that she doesn’t mind my being married as long as we get on with it.  How do I tell her I never meant to lead her on and keep her from running her mouth?

Ben

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Dear Ben,

This is a mess.  I don’t even think I know what advice to give that could guarantee nothing blows up in your face.  The safest thing is to tell your wife the truth before this woman gets the chance to twist things, but you have to have a pretty cool wife who is secure enough within herself and your marriage to believe that you hadn’t meant anything by the flirtation.  She could find this whole thing rather funny.  In fact it could become the humorous story she tells at parties about how her idiot husband got the office worker all hot and bothered because he was too naïve to realize that returning seemingly innocent flirting wasn’t all that innocent to her.

Or your wife could get very upset by this and start questioning why you felt the need to flirt with another woman.  Some people are just flirts.  Some aren’t.  You sound like you are a natural flirt and really didn’t mean anything by it, but your wife may be the kind that won’t understand that.  Another option is just being honest with the woman.  Tell her that you really don’t want to be unfaithful to your family.  Explain that you have enjoyed the flirting because it has made you feel special and to be flirted back with by someone like her has made you feel even better (she’ll love to hear that).

Then explain that you really don’t think it would be right to either one of you to try and take it further and that you are sorry if you misled her, but you love your family and just couldn’t do that to them.  She could very well accept that.  But if she doesn’t, RECORD your conversation with her—making sure it is explicitly said that you have no intention of betraying your wife and kids and that you love your spouse too much to ever give in to temptation.  That way if she ever tries to twist what happened between you, you will have a recorded conversation to play to your wife and/or boss proving that nothing ever happened.

You are going to have to do something though.  I don’t think that this is going to go away on its own.  Tread lightly and know what you are going to say and how you are going to respond to whatever anyone else involved may say.  And don’t be so stupid in the future!

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House Calls

Dear Micah,

I’m moving out of state.  I have a house in Southside.  I was going to let my brother-in-law (a realtor) sell it for me.  My girlfriend (who’s moving with me) says we should rent it out in case we ever want to come back here to live again cause the job’s new and I may not like it.  My brother wants me to let him live in the house while he finishes up at UAB and says he’ll keep it maintained for me and will pay me rent.  He can’t pay what I’d get renting to strangers but at least I’d have family looking out for my place.  Which would you do?  It’s a tough call for me to make.

Glenn

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Dear Glenn,

Sell that house and be done with it all.  Renting to strangers while you’re in another state is foolish.  You can’t keep adequate tabs on your property when you aren’t around to oversee repairs.  Letting your brother live there could be a big mistake if your brother isn’t responsible.  I foresee a Judge Judy type situation that splits your family in two.  He’s in college.  Let him vomit on someone else’s hardwood floors.  Get rid of it and be done with it.  Put the money into a savings account and if you move back at some point you’ll have cash to buy something else.

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Showing the Pet the Doggy Door

Dear Micah,

If I were to get rid of my two dogs just because I’m pregnant and don’t want to be stressed with messy pets and a newborn, does that make me an awful person?

H.

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Dear H.

If you club them to death with your grandmother’s iron skillet it does.  If you find loving and wonderful homes for them—homes that can offer more attention and care than you will have time to give them—it doesn’t.  I know you feel like it will make you a terrible person because I felt just like that.  I always thought that people who get rid of their pets once they have kids were awful people that must not have really loved their animals.  However, once I had a baby in the house, I understood what they went through.

Constant barking doesn’t allow for a restful infant.  Accidents on the floor aren’t very hygienic for crawling.  And when all of your free time is going to the love and adoration of your new human child, the furry ones can feel neglected and left out.  When my son was born we had several dogs.  We were the house that took in every stray cat or dog we found and added them to our already full household.  Once the baby came, I knew it was going to be a detriment to his growth and safety to have so many animals, so we began to consider thinning the herd and finding new homes for some of them.

For example, a very cute stray with a biting problem that we’d taken in a year before had to go.  We found a nice home for him with a friend of ours who loved him as much as we did.  Then there was a lady who had lost two of her children over the last few years and was alone and lonely.  She expressed interest in two of our younger dogs and we let her take them.  They are happier now than they have ever been.  She gives them way more attention than we had time to—even before the baby!  We kept a couple of dogs in the house (although one died and we just have one left) and last year our now two-year old son grabbed up a stray kitten he found outside and claimed it as his own—so we are still a pet-owning household.

Just because you may find new homes for your pets because of a baby doesn’t mean that you must be forever pet-free.  It just means that you have decided that your baby has to come first and sometimes that means becoming temporarily pet-free.  Now, that doesn’t mean that you have to get rid of your pets.  We shed some because we had too many to start with.  If you just have one or even two, it could still be manageable.  Of course that is if they are manageable dogs.  Like I said, one of ours was a bitter and rather vicious when provoked so he certainly wasn’t appropriate around a baby.

I say weigh your options.  Try to find homes.  The one thing we knew is that we weren’t going to take anyone to the pound and we weren’t going to let just anyone take our furry children.  We found trusted homes and made loving decisions.  Although I do sometimes miss individual pets, I have never regretted my choice.  It was best for my household and our child.  Two was enough for us.  Only you can know what is best for you, and don’t worry about what other people think of you.  I found that most other parents understood perfectly and had been forced to make similar decisions at some point in time, and the non-parents were too kind to say they disapproved if in fact they did.

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