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Happy Birthday Andy!

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Totally Married Podcast

Episode 145

It’s Andy’s 35th Birthday, (Happy Birthday Andy!) so naturally we discuss lying and when it’s totally cool! Also we dive into listener questions about having children abroad, being pregnant at the same time as your sibling, how to proceed after professing your love to someone who is already spoken for, and how to deal with the bitter pill of rejection that comes with creative pursuits. Enjoy!


Steve says:

Happy Birthday to Andy!

In response to the lesbian who told her married friend of her feelings for her – I don’t think she should contact her friends again. There’s a social boundary line that’s been crossed here, one that can’t be erased without some serious levels of denial. Once you’ve told someone of your attraction to them, you’ve crossed the line beyond simple harmless flirtation. For all I know, the person may reciprocate the feelings, but unless you want to be responsible for breaking up a marriage (even if it’s one you believe isn’t a healthy marriage) then back off now. Ideally the writer-inner would seek counselling with her current girlfriend, because allowing the interaction with her friend to get to the point of (essentially) hitting on her means there’s something missing in the existing relationship.

Diane says:

I agree – the only way for the writer-inner to sort out her feelings, get over this woman and be in any way loyal to her girlfriend is to cut things off completely. (I’m also not sure why anyone would want to be friends with the husband, who sounds verbally abusive.)

With the poet, I’m a writer and really empathise with how low and demoralising rejection can be, but I do think what was being described here sounded more like depression than “just” misery or jealousy, and I think therapy could really help.

Liz says:

Happy birthday Andy! Oh man, great questions this episode! And great discussion. For the writer-inner who professed her feelings to her friend, you probably all need to take a little space from each other– you, to get over your feelings for her, and her, to process what you confessed. I think it’s definitely possible that the friendship can survive, but a cooling-off period is key.

For the writer-inner who was feeling jealous of her cousin, I can relate, and I’d just say that success is never a straight line– sometimes people who seem to have a huge moment early on in their careers will struggle later to get to the next level. Similarly, you might be struggling now, but that has no bearing on what you can achieve in the future. Getting into grad school or not getting in doesn’t have to be the final determination on your value as a poet. I know how hard it can be when you see yourself taking a certain path to success and then it doesn’t open up for you. But learning to be a little scrappy and forge your own path can build confidence and skills that will serve you the rest of your life.

Cecilia says:

Thank you for your thoughts. I am the writer-inner with the jealousy issues!! (unfortunately)

Your advice about learning to be scrappy and forge my own path is my new life-motto. I have people constantly telling me I will figure it out and that it will all end up working, but rarely do I feel I am given something I can put to good use. I LOVE the idea of getting scrappy.

Thank you for your words, I really appreciate it, and please know that it has stuck with me.


Hands of my FaVoRiTe episodes to date πŸ™‚ Nothing specific either, just really great entertainment!

And for whatever its worth, Ive heard every single episode πŸ™‚ (on all 3 podcasts.)

Thanks guys!! BTW Happy Birthday Andy!! WhoopWhoop!

Kat says:

Happy biffy Andy! Randomly: Elizabeth, I saw you at a ramen restaurant last night and didn’t want to bother you, but it was a delight to have a sighting of Baby Oprah in the wild! E, you looked fantastic.

Following up to the topic of inappropriate friendships with people in relationships… I am the only single woman in a large group of couples. These are all people I went to college with, and the spouses/partners they’ve accumulated in the years since. I know *I* don’t want to be inappropriate with any of my friends’ guys, but many of them are great new friends, and I wish I could hang out with them solo, like if their gals are busy. But I can’t help but be sensitive to the fact that I might be seen as a snake in the garden as the only single woman in the group! It’s awkward, but I think it’s always best to play it safe. Sometimes I’ll socialize with one of the guys without the gal, but I always make sure the gal knows about it, and it’s rarely something like late-night dinner/drinks.

O-Shen Christ says:

wow Kat such self control!!! I would have been all up in their grill buying them dinner and being so annoying worst listener/fan ever!!!

Elizabeth says:

Kat! Next time say hello for sure! I’m sorry I missed you! πŸ™‚

Ann says:

There’s one thing about the situation where the woman confessed her feelings to the wife of the bartender that I didn’t understand. Why is she friends with a guy who belittles his wife in front of other people (never mind how he probably treats her in private)? He sounds like a jerk to me. I think the writer-inner ought to step back not only from the friendship with the bartender, but also with his wife. They need to work out their own problems without the added complication of an outside person.

I also agree with Steve’s comments above that the writer-inner needs to examine her relationship with her current girlfriend and ask herself why she’s allowing herself to become attracted to another (apparently unavailable) person.

P.S. Happy Birthday, Andy

Beth says:

So, I’ve always been confused about your stance on dog rescues and I was hoping you would entertain a few questions.

1) Most rescue dogs in our area (southwestern Ohio) are the result of people not spaying and neutering their pets. So if we all go out and rescue these dogs, aren’t we just making it easier for the most irresponsible dog owners to keep letting their pets get knocked up without consequences?

2) If there were no breeders, wouldn’t we lose some of the most amazing and talented animals? We have livestock and I can tell you that it takes a special dog with special bloodlines to perform certain tasks. Sometimes the breeding provides specific physical characteristics and sometimes it provides a particular temperament. I cannot send just any random mutt out into a pasture to learn how to herd my sheep. Some breeds are too aggressive and others too flighty. While not every dog born out of a good herding mom will be up to par, it is much more likely that they would be able to do the job than picking a random puppy.

I think in a perfect world, responsible breeders
(and there are many out there) would be the only ones able to breed dogs and they would carefully select the homes that they placed their puppies in. I have heard of many breeders who interview the potential owners and make them agree to training and a certain lifestyle for the dogs they place. Some also have agreements where you must return the dog to the breeder if for any reason things don’t work out. I know that this is a completely unrealistic view but hey, why not shoot for the stars and hope for scenarios like this instead of discouraging people from being responsible breeders…

Elizabeth says:

Hi Beth!

Great questions – I’ll keep it brief. You do say that you are “confused” by my stance. Just to clarify, the reason I care so much is because 6 million loving sweet companion animals are needlessly killed every year in our country alone. If only 15% of the people who acquired a pet last year had rescued or adopted instead of bought, that number would be zero. That’s what I’m fighting for.

1. Yes, totally spaying and neutering is incredibly important! The perfect answer is to have spay neuter programs as well as rescue/adoption. Many rescues and shelters have spay neuter programs as well for this reason… Because, yes, there will always be irresponsible owners. A lot of the time though it’s not irresponsibility, it’s people who love their animals and would spay/neuter but don’t have access to low cost spay/neuter. But the real problem more than owners who don’t spay is people who buy their pets and fund a cruel business. The vast majority of pets are bought from puppy mills in this country, not rescued/adopted, so that is where the true problem is. Your logic is faulty there – rescuing and adopting helps fund rescues which help fund spay/neuter programs as well as save lives. True, there will always be backyard breeders who then dump the unsold dogs off at the shelter – but whether or not they are euthanized or adopted doesn’t keep them in business. the people who buy their dogs keep them in business. It doesn’t perpetuate the problem as you say, whereas buying a dog certainly does, and not only has the person who bought a dog created the opportunity for a breeder to stay in business but that was one life of a dog on death row not saved. Your theory needs to be flipped to make sense. Buying a dog always perpetuates the problem. Adopting/rescuing never does.

2. There will always be breeders, especially the blood line breeders of the animals you see at the AKC shows – this is the least of my worries as a rescuer (my main worry is the 6 million dogs unnecessarily euthanized every year because people buy their pets, don’t spay/neuter) The AKC bloodline breeding stuff is a whole separate doggy echelon that will never be compromised by people who rescue. No need to worry about that. Also pure bred dogs will always be there, in fact 25% of rescue dogs are pure breds. As I mentioned, this problem is never going to go away but we can get to a place where dogs/cats aren’t unnecessarily euthanized if a mere 15% of people who buy their pets chose to rescue/adopt the exact same pet instead. That’s all it would take.
(ps. there are VERY FEW responsible breeders in terms of percentages, nearly 97 percent of dogs sold for profit in this country come from puppy mills or backyard breeders, not the responsible blood line breeders you speak of)

Maybe you are right that in a perfect world there would only be responsible breeders and everyone would buy their dogs from them… But that is so far from the reality. And as soon as an animal becomes a money making endeavor, bad things happen and unfortunately it’s the animals that pay the price

Hope this helps clarify why I advocate on rescue/adopting versus buying. I believe if anyone spent any amount of time in a shelter and fell in love with an adorable dog there (puppy, pure bred, you name it) and worked so hard to try to find a home for that dog but couldn’t because people continue to buy their pets instead of rescue, and then watched that dog get euthanized because there is no more room for them, that person would feel the exact same way. I had to endure this countless times. It’s heartbreaking, especially when the solution is so simple: Adopt. Don’t Shop.

K says:

I’m the writer-inner who had the drunk night and told her friend she had feelings for her (yikes!)

I really want to thank both Elizabeth and Andy (Happy Birthday!) for being so understanding. I know infidelity is an incredibly touchy subject and it could have been a real scold-fest (that I absolutely would have deserved). You both took the time to see the situation from various points of view and I can’t thank you enough for your sensitivity and honesty.

An Update:

At first I did try to ‘get the gang back together’ and go back to business as usual i.e. pretend nothing ever happened. Anne also pretended nothing ever happened, which at first was a relief, but then started to feel a bit unhealthy when she suddenly started to cross boundary lines and be flirty, cuddle with me, send texts saying that she missed me, trying to get me alone to talk about her marriage problems, etc. Again, I know she is in love with her husband, so I think that she was probably just attempting to use me as a surrogate, for when she was feeling lonely, but I knew that I couldn’t handle that kind of behavior. When I wouldn’t respond as she wanted, she would get agitated and accuse me of being angry at her, being distant, etc. She was being a bit careless with my feelings, and perhaps even a tad manipulative, which gave me a bit of perspective on her as a person, and that made it easier to break away.

So for the last month I have been taking space. The kind of space that doesn’t draw a ton of attention – just every time Anne and Chris ask me to do something, I just make up an excuse. If Anne emails/texts about a neutral subject (tv, books, movies, etc.) I respond normally, and kindly, so that I don’t close the door on the chance of us being friends again someday. I do think that space will allow me to get over Anne. I’ve been using that energy that I spent on avoiding having feelings for her, and keeping those feelings a secret, on reconnecting with my girlfriend (who’s fake name is Betty :)), which in turn has made our relationship a lot better, and me a lot happier. This whole situation has made me realize how important she is to me and I am very grateful for that silver lining!

Like most crushes, I think it was more the ‘idea’ of Anne (and perhaps the idea of ‘saving’ her from a bad marriage) that was so appealing to me. The keeping it a secret ALSO gave it more weight, because as soon as I told Anne, it all seemed a lot less dramatic than it did in my head.

For the commenters who asked why would I be friends with Chris – I totally understand your point. I think I was too close to the situation to see these people clearly.

The worst part of this whole thing is that Mary (my best friend) is still SUPER close with both Anne and Chris and hangs out with them often. It’s a little sad to be on the outside of that, but it is pretty clear that it is for the best.

Thank you again Elizabeth and Andy for being super lovely and wonderful – as always.

Kat says:

Kudos on your really mature and thoughtful response to such a difficult situation. Good luck moving forward with Betty!

Jack says:

It sounds like you handled this situation in a respectful, intelligent way. Good for you K.

Kristin says:

I completely agree with Elizabeth that little white lies are sometimes necessary. We have an agreed upon white lie in our marriage about my husband’s proposal! The real story is that he proposed in bed, after we had—well, you know—on our first night of vacation in the DR. Not exactly a story to tell the parents and grandparents! So, while we were still there, we went out to the beach at sunset one night and I made him re-do the proposal (in a super silly way, of course), so that we could have a story to tell everyone that wasn’t a complete lie…but still was, if you know what I mean. πŸ˜‰

Also, I really relate to the writer-inner who is jealous of her cousin. I have a cousin who is 4 months older than me, and our families have always compared us. She grew up in a very privileged/wealthy household, played violin from the age of 3, danced in competitions for years, was head of her sorority in college, is now engaged to an NFL player and is probably barely 100 pounds soaking wet. You get the picture. Major eye roll. Meanwhile, I was raised by a single parent, had to finance college myself, lived with my boyfriend (now husband) before marriage, and all of those other horribly sinful/looked down upon things, etc, etc. I still struggle with jealousy, but you just have to realize that forging your own path is important, and happiness is what really matters. As much envy as I feel, I wouldn’t want to trade places with her.

Cecilia says:

I am that writer-inner, and I can’t explain how much it helps just to hear other people relate. Your situation is a lot like mine in terms of my upbringing compared with my cousins, and just reading your story makes me automatically feel more level-headed. I don’t want to trade places with my cousin either, but every time I am able to step back and stop comparing myself to her, my family compares us and forces me into that mindset.
Thank you for your kind words!

Jack says:

Regarding the “white lies” about Ruby. You mentioned that you are hesitant to reveal Ruby’s breed because you don’t want others buying the same breed from a puppy mill.

I totally get this position but I will say that I ask other dog owners that frequent our bark park what breed their dogs are all the time. I think most folks are just curious. that’s all.

Great show and Happy Birthday to @drrosenrosen!

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