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Saturday, January 12, 2013

SL Letter of the Day: The Good Girl

Posted by on Sat, Jan 12, 2013 at 10:09 AM

Originally published December 3, 2009:

I'm a longtime reader who thought I'd never have a reason to write since I'm universally known as the "good girl." I have a close male friend. Even though I knew he was dating someone else, we became friends-with-benefits several years ago. Because of his relationship (and the fact that he lives with her!), sometimes it felt like a booty call; other times, it felt like it was leading to something more. He once admitted that if things were different, he could see us together. But a while ago I discovered that while he was unfaithful to her, he had also been unfaithful to me.

On to the point: He recently proposed to his girlfriend. I'm happy for him if it's what he truly wants, but I feel like he did it out of desperation. All I know is that there were some ultimatums involved. Here is my dilemma: I don't want to out myself, I don't want to hurt him, and I don't want to ruin our friendship, Dan, but I feel like she has to know what her fiancé is really like before they get married. Should I anonymously contact her and let her know that her man is a cheating man-whore? Thanks!

One Of Many Other Women

My response after the jump...

Gee... it must have come as a real shock when you realized that a man who was capable of cheating on his live-in girlfriend was also capable of cheating on the girl with whom he was cheating on his live-in girlfriend. No one could've predicted, huh?

On to your question: I hate to think of some poor woman marrying a cheating piece of shit (CPOS)—a CPOS is not to be confused with an honest nonmonogamous dude (HND)—in ignorance of his cheating-piece-of-shit-ness. It's possible that the CPOS's fiancée already knows and has forgiven him; perhaps one of those ultimatums touched on cheating. But odds are better that this woman doesn't know, and someone really ought to clue her in before the wedding. But should that person be you?

I'm not comfortable with your motives, OOMOW. You may be known throughout the universe as a "good girl"—as the good girl—but your actions prove that you're something of a "bad girl." And there's more: Your desire to destroy your FWB's relationship proves that you're something of a "vindictive girl," your attempt to pass your vindictiveness off as concern for a woman you've repeatedly wronged proves that you're a "self-deluding girl," and your desire to accomplish all of this without paying any price yourself—you don't want to out yourself or risk ruining your "friendship" with the CPOS—proves that you're a "selfish girl" and a "cowardly girl."

Come on, OOMOW: The reason you want to do this anonymously is because your top concern is having the CPOS all to yourself, and that means sticking a knife in his current relationship without leaving any fingerprints. So it's a good thing—a useful thing—that you weren't the only "other woman" in his life, OOMOW, because he'll never know for sure which one of his other women ratted him out.

Setting your highly suspect motives aside...

If I were in the fiancée's shoes, I would want to know what was going on before the wedding. So I do think you should tell her. But if you have any shred of decency—even the tiniest bit—you will tell her personally, apologize profusely, and provide her with some proof. An anonymous tip won't cut it: A CPOS who has successfully hidden a collection of other women from his fiancée will be able to talk his way out of an anonymous accusation of infidelity. He'll either claim the e-mail was sent by a vindictive ex-girlfriend of his, which has the benefit of being very nearly true, or he'll claim that an ex-boyfriend of hers is trying to destroy her happiness.

Finally, OOMOW, why do you want to be with the CPOS? He cheated on his fiancée, he cheated on you, and he probably cheated on the women who he was cheating on the both of you with. He's a piece of shit, his fiancée is a fool, and you're a vindictive, self-deluding, selfish coward. I'm not sure if you can all do better, or that any of you deserve better, but I do think you should all try.


Comments (50) RSS

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I can't imagine the LW telling the finacee this in any way other than a totally vindictive, self-deluding, selfish cowardly way. E.g. "you may think he loves you but he is a cheater which I know because he's been fucking me all this time."

I think she should keep her mouth shut. For all she knows the ultimatum was "stop seeing that bitch OOMOW and marry me or we're through"
Posted by EclecticEel on January 12, 2013 at 10:30 AM · Report this
lizlemon 2
Jesus Christ. This girl sucks. Oh you thought you were special because your friend-with-benefits slept with you while he had a girlfriend? So that must mean you're absolutely irresistible and clearly he's the only cheating piece of shit. Yeah right. Own up to your responsibilities LW, you are just as much a homewrecker as that dude is a CPOS. If you tell his fiancee about it, you had at least better do it in person like Dan said. "Good girls" can be selfish too.
Posted by lizlemon on January 12, 2013 at 10:30 AM · Report this
Michael of the Green 3
I suggest that someone contact her next boyfriend anonymously and alert him to the fact that she's a home-wrecker and a vindictive, delf-deluding, selfish coward. If it was me, I'd like to know.
Posted by Michael of the Green on January 12, 2013 at 10:40 AM · Report this
Ophian 4
I really hope that youthful stupidity accounts for a significant percentage of this Dumb. Let's hope the LW grows up to be a less ugly person.
Posted by Ophian on January 12, 2013 at 10:45 AM · Report this
Pope Peabrain 5
She should shut up and bow out. She's acting out of jealousy and not any altruistic motives. And even if she should end up with boyfriend, they are both in for misery. Something they deserve.
Posted by Pope Peabrain on January 12, 2013 at 10:48 AM · Report this
mikethehammer 6
Missing from the letter is any mention of her relationship to the fiancee'. She states she's still a "close friend" of the CPOS, but typically that friendship would also entail at least a friendship with his significant other. I'm guessing there was bad blood b/t the LW and the fiancee and she was just looking to rationalize a pending sabotage effort.
Posted by mikethehammer on January 12, 2013 at 11:42 AM · Report this
very bad homo 7
She doesn't qualify as a good girl in any way.
Posted by very bad homo on January 12, 2013 at 12:04 PM · Report this
ArtBasketSara 8
Favorite line: ..."He once admitted that if things were different, he could see us together."

"Baby listen, baby....if things were different, if this world wasn't so crazy and messed up...If I could only change my life, baby...things between you and I, baby, they could be real! I would give you the world! Baby...."

That's how I imagine it.

Posted by ArtBasketSara on January 12, 2013 at 12:09 PM · Report this
Christampa 9
I like how she implies that good girls have no reason to write to Dan Savage.
Posted by Christampa on January 12, 2013 at 12:09 PM · Report this
Ophian 10
ArtBasketSara @8, yep sounds about right, and the fact that she bought that line is just about all we need to know about her.
Posted by Ophian on January 12, 2013 at 12:20 PM · Report this
Gus 11
Think of society as a whole.

She should tell the fiancé, and then get together with the CPOS. It keeps them both at least partially out of the picture for all the less horrible people out there, like (perhaps) the fiancé.
Posted by Gus on January 12, 2013 at 12:24 PM · Report this
Here's a another play: She torpedoes the engagement with her disclosure and scoops up the CPOS, IF AND ONLY IF she's cool with the CPOS cpos'ing on her forever.

For everyone's sake, including multitudes of men and women not yet in this extended exchange of bodily fluids, the guy belongs with someone who wants him on his own terms.

The GF dodges the bullet of marrying this guy. OOMOW gets the guy. The guy gets a life-long hall pass. His future pieces on the side can call OOMOW for confirmation and therefore not be the homewrecker OOMOW is. Everyone wins.

Unless OOMOW wants one of those monogamous relationships she denies to others.
Posted by DAVIDinKENAI on January 12, 2013 at 1:08 PM · Report this
eclexia 13
Hats off to the dude in question. He clearly has some mad skills that women will go through any lengths of self-humiliation and deception to get on the receiving end of. That must be some seriously good dick.

Sounds like letter writer wants to throw herself over that cock like a soldier jumping on a grenade to save his fellows.

Seriously, the person who should inform the lucky first-wife-to-be should be the dude. If in fact, the Joan-Collins-wannabe who wrote the letter is a good friend of the dude, she should be able to say, "tell your fiance that we've been fucking, and have her get back to me that she knows."

Sure, letter-writer will get all the blame in this arrangement. The dude will frame her as a man-hungry predator. But she's not concerned about that, right? She just wants to help this poor girl who's sitting on the prize bit of cock, right?

Posted by eclexia on January 12, 2013 at 1:18 PM · Report this
Dr_Awesome 14
Should letter-writer also not pass along to Fiancee that she should get tested? Cheating POS could have passed on all kinds of nasty crotch-rot, no?
Posted by Dr_Awesome on January 12, 2013 at 2:30 PM · Report this
Jaymz 15
@13 - the grenade imagery: priceless! Well done.

While I originally liked the idea of confronting CPOS with "you tell her or I will", on second thought I figured that his slippery skills might allow him to "warn" the fiancé that she will be approached with some crazy scheme by our idiot girl here, so I'm back to agreeing with our man DS: nut up and tell her the truth yourself.

Dan's last sentence also is priceless: not sure any of them are worth it, but the universe will be better off if some attempt is made, no matter how small (butterfly wings and so forth...)
Posted by Jaymz on January 12, 2013 at 2:33 PM · Report this
Well it's nice to see Dan back in form. That last paragraph cleared out my sinuses.
Posted by LateBloomer on January 12, 2013 at 3:17 PM · Report this
mr. herriman 17
@13: Thank you, that made my week
Posted by mr. herriman on January 12, 2013 at 3:35 PM · Report this
@16: Ditto. Holy shit, Dan. Right in one.

My only quibble is that it's a stretch to describe a cheated-on partner as a "fool"; many very sharp people can be hoodwinked by a skilled philanderer. The cadences are priceless, though, so I think that bit of harshness can be forgiven.
Posted by dchari on January 12, 2013 at 3:48 PM · Report this
seatackled 19
@16, @18

Except this is from 2009, so being back in form is to be determined.
Posted by seatackled on January 12, 2013 at 3:52 PM · Report this
mr. herriman 21
Yeah it always amazes me how so many people are okay with someone being a CPOS when they're the ones reaping the benefits, but as soon as the shoe is on the other foot, their ethics suddenly kick in. What a bunch of bullshit.
Posted by mr. herriman on January 12, 2013 at 5:18 PM · Report this
Thank you for reaming out this stupid bitch. Well-played, Dan.
Posted by Confluence on January 12, 2013 at 5:26 PM · Report this
Wow, everyone's heaping shit on OOMOW. Have none of you ever been on the "less important" side of a relationship with a jackass? It hurts like hell. Give the girl some support, she's just trying to figure out the right thing to do, and doesn't need everybody heaping shit on her like she's garbage. She's not. She's confused about love and finding out a hard-core lesson right now. Give her support, not abuse.
Posted by secretchord on January 12, 2013 at 7:50 PM · Report this
@22 "stupid bitch". Stop saying that.
Posted by secretchord on January 12, 2013 at 7:52 PM · Report this
seandr 25

If I knowingly got involved with a woman who was cheating on her husband/boyfriend, and I assured her that I could keep a secret, and our little fling finally ended, I sure as fuck wouldn't react by ratting her out to her man. The time to take the "high ground" would have been before I started fucking her on the condition that I'd keep it a secret.

Pathetic. Advice to LW - move on and get a life.
Posted by seandr on January 12, 2013 at 8:03 PM · Report this
Because she's in love with him, guys! Yeesh. Why are you all treating her like a harpy instead of a love-lorn young adult, which is what she is from what I can see in the letter. Prove to me she's a consummate bitch and I'll second your "off-with-her-head" attitude. But I think, in this case, Dan took a side (for entertainment) and lot of you jumped on that ship and you just sound cruel in your comments. Do all of you have harmonious, monogamous relationships to back up your judgement of everyone else?
Posted by secretchord on January 12, 2013 at 8:17 PM · Report this
seandr 27
@23: Have none of you ever been on the "less important" side of a relationship with a jackass?

Knowingly fucking some other person's jackass on the sly makes you just as much of a jackass, jackass.
Posted by seandr on January 12, 2013 at 8:19 PM · Report this
sirkowski 28
she's just trying to figure out the right thing to do,

That's actually the opposite of what she's trying to do.
Posted by sirkowski on January 12, 2013 at 8:23 PM · Report this
Wow! And Fun!

So how many times in your life did you always have a perfect mechanism to measure things? You must have magic. The rest of us find things a little more confusing along the way.
Posted by secretchord on January 12, 2013 at 8:27 PM · Report this
Posted by PassMeMyCane on January 12, 2013 at 8:33 PM · Report this
What makes her a bitch is her blatant lack of self-awareness. The idea that she leads off with labeling herself as the good girl (she even paints it with false modesty, saying that it's just what others call her), while engaging in immoral activity isn't really sympathetic. She blames all of her hurt on the guy, accepting no responsibility herself. Not once does she admit that she might have done wrong, nor does she show any guilt; the only emotion she displays in the letter is the desire for vindication.

If this had been a sad, tear-stricken letter that admitted she got entangled in a mess and now can't help her feelings for the guy and regrets but cannot help her own desire to sabotage the relationship so that she might have him for her own (as is clearly the case), then sympathy would've been given. But to be so unawares as to consider herself blameless and deserving of revenge? That shows that she's a 'consummate bitch'.
Posted by Iroohik on January 12, 2013 at 8:34 PM · Report this
Yeah, but Dan has supported people doing the "tipping point" cheat in the past, in that, the relationship is failing and they might be part of the mechanism that causes a bad thing that should fall apart to finally actually fall apart.
I think, despite the bravado of her letter, that's what she thought she was doing. And she was really hurt when she found out that she wasn't, she was, in fact, invisible, to him, his girlfriend, and the world. And in addition, sloggers think she's a slut. Nice work guys!
Posted by secretchord on January 12, 2013 at 9:03 PM · Report this
mr. herriman 33
Point taken, secretchord @32. I am sure you're right that she thought they had or hoped they would have something special, and her attitude about him and the relationship changed when she discovered she was wrong. But she has behaved and is continuing to behave badly, and the hurt is mostly going to land on the primary girlfriend. That's why she's getting beaten up here.
Posted by mr. herriman on January 12, 2013 at 9:46 PM · Report this
So, Dan, you are now advocating that anyone who knows that a fiance once cheated on someone should be sure to tell the other fiance, just to make sure they know.

That sounds like some weird shit to me.

Why not advocate that anyone who is aware of cheating by a cheater should out the cheater, always, to everybody, just in case? Isn't that what you are saying here?

Everyone has an obligation to make sure everyone else is being honest in their relationships, as long as their own motives are "pure"?

This is the weirdest column by you I have ever read. (the pro Iraq-war solumn was just stupidly following the establishment herd, so it wasn't really that weird, just massively and deeply ignorant)

Posted by cracked on January 12, 2013 at 9:50 PM · Report this
It's just the one thing that makes me furious about this column. It's about sex advice, and relationship advice, right? Not simply PRIMARY PARTNERSHIP advocation. I admire people who have a lovely primary relationship, whatever it's monogamous status or gender blend. But a lot of us are single. And we are not responsible for keeping couples' relationships healthy. They chose it. So they are responsible.
For godsakes, do I seriously have to tip-toe around anyone I meet and make sure I'm not crossing the boundaries of their relationship if they have one, as if it's a precious and fragile substance that might break if an "asshole" crosses an invisible line and renders the "devoted partner" helpless?
Give me a break.
The cheater is the cheater. They are cheating on SOMEONE. The piece on the side has so much less responsibility I don't remotely understand why they keep getting lectured in this column. A relationship is not a cult religion.
Posted by secretchord on January 12, 2013 at 10:09 PM · Report this
@34 Cracked: Point taken on single folks not being responsible for other peoples' relationships. Be honest with the people you're involved with and let them fret about the rest of their lives.

And yet, OOMOW is proposing to tell the GF/fiance about the CPOS. Her desire to meddle in their relationship (and various other hypocrisies) are why people are jumping down her throat.

If the Q had only been, "Should I keep banging the CPOS?", the focus should be more on OOMOW and the CPOS. But OOMOW wishes to disclose (anonymously) to the GF/Fiancé, so, yeah, her motives and her past and present role get a lot more scrutiny.
Posted by DAVIDinKENAI on January 12, 2013 at 10:52 PM · Report this
Lose-Lose 39
Dan, I think you're spot-on 97% of the time.
This letter is one of the 3% where you're off.
The girl gave a guy an ultimatum: marry me, stop screwing around, or we're done.
Guy fell for the ultimatum, and dumped LW.
Simple as that.
Now LW is vengeful, thinks she has a case, thinks she knows something the fiancee doesn't. But she doesn't.
She needs to accept that and move on. And hopefully become a better person in doing so.
Posted by Lose-Lose on January 13, 2013 at 12:07 AM · Report this
sissoucat 41
Dan is absolutely right on this one.


Posters who insult the LW are wrong - a "homewrecker" is a fantasy invented by male cheaters to get away with it ; it's misogynists who use that concept. The bad guy is the CPOS, sure. But the girl portraying her as a "good girl" knew she was with a CPOS and hides behind a nice rationalization her desire to hurt the fiancée anonymously. That's not right.

I'm a "good enough girl", and if I were FWB with anybody who has a live-in significant other, I would have made sure before fucking that the significant other already knows her partner sleeps around, and is fine with it. I would date an honest poly, I would not date a dishonest mono.

And if I were dating a dishonest mono, and got dumped, I would ovary up and tell all to the wife-to-be, and expose myself to her fury. And if the fiancee dumped the dishonest mono, I wouldn't ever take him back. I do have some dignity.
Posted by sissoucat on January 13, 2013 at 6:34 AM · Report this
@32: You're reading some other Dan Savage, or that okay on the "tipping point" cheat was way in the past and he's evolved since. Dan is cool with discussing opening a relationship, with conditions (don't drop it on your wife when she's pregnant, if you know it's how you're wired bring it up early in a relationship and not as a late surprise, etc) but the only cheating that gets excused is along the lines of "what your dying spouse doesn't know, that keeps you sane and supportive, is okay."

People cheat for a variety of reasons, and I would wager "because it's fun when it's bad" accounts for a lot more than "I was on the verge of leaving but so confused, until I found clarity in your pussy. Be mine forever!" There's a reason that things like "his girlfriend doesn't understand him" (so it's a tipping point cheat and ok!) or "it turns out he wasn't just cheating on her, he was cheating on me, too!" generate eye-rolling snickers.

As for your point in 35, it takes two to tango. The two people in a relationship, of whatever form, are equally responsible for its existence. While I think the cheated-on partner should target 90% of their ire at the person cheating on them, rather than the person with whom they've been cheating, the rest of us are free to look down on everyone: the person who egged the house, and the person who drove them there, handed them the eggs, and urged them to do it. The latter doesn't get off on innocent bystanderhood, and the piece on the side doesn't get to claim no responsibility for being the piece on the side because, hey, it's the other person's fault there's a relationship.
Posted by IPJ on January 13, 2013 at 7:14 AM · Report this
Alanmt 43
Is secretchord the letter writer? Or just some other piece on the side invested in apologism for his/her own crappy behavior?
Posted by Alanmt on January 13, 2013 at 8:14 AM · Report this
xjuan 44
This letter is one more example of blind-deaf readers of Savage Love: they read his column but don't learn anything out of it. Letter writer says she's a big fan but acts just in a totally absurd way. Maybe that's why they all know her as the good girl: because of her empty and dumb compliments.
Posted by xjuan on January 13, 2013 at 9:20 AM · Report this
Once again impressed with Savage's nuanced, compassionate and well thought out reaction. I totally could not do your job, dude.
Posted by zaogardening on January 13, 2013 at 10:58 AM · Report this
I had dated a CPOS from 19 to early 20's. I would have liked to know from one of the other women that he would go for anything with a pulse. He would deny the sky was blue instead of tell the truth. So with doubts, I stayed. I didn't believe his changing stories. He didn't have game, just an inexperienced gf in her first long term relationship. I grew a backbone eventually and moved out. He told me it was harder to get action while single.

For those out there in "secondary" relationships with CPOS waiting to be the "primary" relationship, you deserve what you get. You are not the "primary" relationship because he knows he could have you all to himself but doesn't want you. You are being used to bump up his ego. Find someone who wants only you or is at least single for a relationship because a liar like that will never give you what you need.
Posted by grewabackbone on January 13, 2013 at 11:59 AM · Report this
Letter Writer, he was not "unfaithful" to -you-. The very foundation of -your- relationship with him was non-monogamy, unless you somehow think he wasn't fucking his fiancee, or didn't plan to at some point in the near future.

The only person to whom he was unfaithful was the fiancee. For you to behave as if you were entitled to some sort of monogamy from a man who is betrothed to another person doesn't make you a "good girl," it makes you incapable of basic logic, and a hypocrite.
Posted by avast2006 on January 13, 2013 at 2:01 PM · Report this
oops, correction: he was only betrothed recently. But he was involved with another woman the entire time, and you were aware of that fact the entire time, and chose to do it anyway. The principle still applies; the word "faithful" is not one that you are entitled to.
Posted by avast2006 on January 13, 2013 at 2:05 PM · Report this
sissoucat 50
@42 As a cheated-on spouse, I beg to differ.

The cheated-on wife should direct 100% of her ire at her cheating partner - he's the one with whom she had a contract with. The mistress formed no contract with the wife. The husband did.

As for your description of the husband and the mistress as respectively "the person who egged the house, and the person who drove them there, handed them the eggs, and urged them to do it", I can't agree with it. As far as my experience goes, when a married male cheats, he's the one frenetically urging the prospective mistress to have sex with him. I absolutely do not believe in the honest, chaste male, straying away from the virtuous path because of the devilish temptress (and/or because of his untamable cock).

When confronted, all cheating males pretend that was the mistress' or the cock's fault. Why should bystanders take cheaters at their word ?

Of course it may happen, sometimes, but I feel that in the vast majority of cases, the husband has already been standing for some time in front of the house, eggs in hands, begging any female happening to pass by to lend him a hand - and to ultimately take full responsability for what he's dying to do.

I know many of my girlfriends turned down my husband's offers before he found a taker. They told me after the separation. The bystanders should only heap disdain on the cheating spouse. Unless the mistress is proven to be a serial "homewrecker" (or a silly "wah, wah, he cheated on me too"), she should get the benefit of the doubt.
Posted by sissoucat on January 14, 2013 at 2:25 AM · Report this
sissoucat 51
@50 Of course, in all cases, the bystanders can smirk at the mistress for being such a fool.
Posted by sissoucat on January 14, 2013 at 2:33 AM · Report this
The LW is pathetic. She should keep her mouth shut and keep it moving.
Posted by Annanicoleredpony on January 14, 2013 at 3:26 AM · Report this
seandr 56
@sissoucat: Point taken about the cheater's culpability.

However, having been cheated on myself, holding the cheater responsible was not mutually exclusive with being ready to beat the fuck out of the guy who tried to steal my woman (more like girl given our ages) away from me.
Posted by seandr on January 14, 2013 at 10:55 AM · Report this
mtnlion 57
Oh, secretchord, you gave yourself away in comment 35. You're single and resent people who are in happy relationships. I know that you explicitly wrote otherwise, but your contempt for being expected to respect the relationships of others certainly says something else. You've been the piece on the side and still are defending yourself about that, too, I bet.

No, you don't have to tiptoe. But you do need to be appropriate; so does Good Girl; so do we all. We should all strive to take others' feelings into consideration, even if we don't have a contract or formal obligation to them. That's what makes the world a better place: We think about how our actions might affect other people. A decent person with healthy self-esteem doesn't try to tempt someone in a relationship for their own pleasure. And reasonable people usually do observe some boundaries.
Posted by mtnlion on January 14, 2013 at 5:52 PM · Report this
mtnlion 58
Also, I would never dismiss the guy's responsibility in this situation, either. A CPOS is a CPOS is a CPOS. But he's not the one writing in, trying (and failing) to manipulate the facts of the case, seeking reassurance, and playing dumb about what the right thing to do is. She is.
Posted by mtnlion on January 14, 2013 at 5:59 PM · Report this

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