The princess and the pee
My fiancé's been treating me badly for a while. When I'm at his place, I spend most of my time watching him play video games and drink beer until he's ready for sex or he passes out. He calls me "insecure" and says "get over it" if I bring up anything controversial, like when I noticed the box of condoms we'd just bought was suddenly short one. (There's other evidence suggesting that he's cheating.) He's also developed the nasty habit of peeing into two-liter bottles and leaving them around until they're full. He isn't good for me in many ways, but I love him and don't want to devastate him by ending our engagement. While I need that feeling of having someone whose feet I can find with mine under the blankets, I'm a seize-the-day kind of person, and whether or not he's cheating, he's still passing out on his couch, and I'm lonely. — Sad Fiancée
The water conservation-minded have that saying, "If it's yellow, let it mellow," but they mean in the toilet bowl, not in the living room. (When's the last time you walked into Crate&Barrel and saw two-liter bottles of urine on the Ainsworth Cognac Bookcase next to an antique typewriter and a bowl of seashells?)
Your fiancé is acting like you don't exist in his life — except on nights when he manages to stay conscious long enough to put down one joystick and order you to hop on the other. Oh, and by the way, that condom isn't missing. It's on vacation. You'd know that if you weren't so pathetically insecure.
If this is how he acts before marriage, imagine what you'll be saying after the honeymoon phase ends: "You never blatantly ignore me, treat me like an idiot, and just use me for sex like you used to." Still, you aren't without standards. You say you need a partner whose feet you can find with yours under the blankets, which rules out any of those degrading and dismissive jerks who also happen to be double amputees.
As for being a "seize-the-day kind of person," you don't mention which day you plan on seizing, but apparently, it's one far into the future. You claim to love this guy, but maybe what you really love is not admitting you're engaged to a lost cause. You worry that you'd "devastate" him by ending your engagement (assuming you could get his attention before he passed out playing Grand Theft Your Dignity). Just wondering: While you're busy caring about his feelings, who's caring about yours?
Going limp in the face of confrontation sets you up to have a cheating fiancé who's decorating the house with a week of his urine. If you refused to put up with a lack of respect, you'd either get treated with respect or get out of any relationship where disrespect is the main theme.
You might end up alone — maybe for a while — but that's got to be less lonely than being engaged to a man who not only refuses to go the extra mile for you but won't even go those extra 12 steps to the bathroom.
Urine for surprises!
On both of my dinner dates with this guy, he's excused himself to the bathroom and taken forever. Longer than any girl I know. Like, 10 minutes. Although I barely know him, he doesn't seem vain or like someone who'd be doing drugs. We're going out again, and I hate to be rude and pry, but I'm really starting to wonder. — Mystified
It could be something intestinal. Protozoan sock hop? Parasite pride rally? He could've been calling his wife or his bookie or enjoying a mid-date masturbation break. Or, maybe he just needed a good cry.
Saying nothing to him sets you up as an easy mark if he's a scammer, and as a pushover if he's just a garden-variety jerk. Saying something is less uncomfortable if you use humor. Next time he returns from a sabbatical in a stall, maybe ask "That time of the month again?" and see if he offers some sort of explanation or just asks to borrow a tampon.
If you keep dating him, put him on double-secret probation and be prepared for the other shoe to drop (perhaps in a Larry Craig "wide stance"). A guy who takes a 10-minute bathroom break needn't lay out all the icky details, but one who isn't socially incompetent, devoid of empathy or too troubled to care will volunteer some hint that he wasn't snorting lines of powder off the toilet seat ("I picked up something in Guatemala, and it wasn't one of those brightly colored bags").
Got a problem? Write Amy Alkon, 171 Pier Ave, #280, Santa Monica, CA 90405, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org (advicegoddess.com). Alkon is the author of I See Rude People: One Woman's Battle To Beat Some Manners Into Impolite Society.