We all need a little advice from time to time.
Sure, most of us have our “go-to” advice givers, people we either trust, will tell us exactly what we want to hear, or who are most often within earshot. Whatever our parameters may be, unless of course we’re drowning in narcissism, most of us recognize the need to seek outside counsel every now and then.
Just in case you are growing tired of your usual advising suspects, you know:
- Your significant other and their “that sucks babe” auto-response they hope will be at least marginally relevant to your question du jour
- Your significant other with their 60-slide PowerPoint presentation outlining how to solve every possible iteration of the issue, most of which you never even considered but will now ruminate about
- That friend who transforms every problem of yours into her “8th grade” eating disorder
- Clarissa the checkout girl at Target
Because Funny Moms is all about our readers, we have assembled not one…not two…but THREE objective advice givers for you all. A veritable All You Can Eat Buffet of feedback.
These smart people are here to answer any and all questions you may have about kids, marriage, dating, which annuals to plant in the northwest corner of your yard, that strange new rash you’ve developed behind your left scapular.
The best part? None of them have children and only one is married. But again, they are smart and objective and better than boring a hole in your cochlea after having to hear about that time Kimmy’s bulimic episode ruined her chances to win the 8th grade spelling bee for the 75th time.
Without further ado, here is:
Scott Muska with “He Said”
Amanda Oliver with “She Said”
And Jake Pentland with “The Asshole Said”
Be sure to send your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org for more amazing advice.
“Why do men choose to lie to make us feel better when it would be better for everyone just to tell the truth right away? There are times when my husband will lie about something, and I’ll either know right away or I’ll figure it out later. It’s always little things, but still—why does he do it?”
By Scott Muska
Your assertion is that it would always be better for everybody to just tell the truth, but I would ask you to entertain the notion that this is occasionally not true.
That first sentence was polarizing. I hope you didn’t get pissed at me and stop reading after that cold open. (I feel like I’m on some Dan Savage Savage Love column shit right now.)
I must admit that I have lied to girls before. I have lied to them about matters both big and completely inconsequential. I quit doing the former years ago, but I’m not sure I’ll ever go Cold Turkey on the latter, because I’m not someone who believes that lying to somebody you love is always a bad thing.
Of course we’re not taught to believe this, especially if you’re like me and were raised Catholic. Apparently to them you’re fucked if you lie about anything, with the glaring exception of, you know, pedophilia.
But after I hit a certain age, I stopped allowing my life to be dictated by some rules written in a really, really old and vaguely plausible book that read like a badly written Harry Potter knockoff. (Jesus allegedly turned water into wine. Big deal. I think Franzia does that every single day.)
I reasoned that if I were to tell someone a lie to keep them from becoming upset, and there was no significant benefit or harm to me telling the truth, then, well, maybe lying wouldn’t be a bad thing to do. Not a malicious lie. More like a fib.
See, when you care about somebody enough to dive into a relationship or—GASP!—a marriage with them, then you’re tacitly pledging that you will do whatever you can to make that person happy. And sometimes this necessitates telling a fib, or omitting some information, or not farting underneath your bed comforter in the middle of the night even though it was Taco Tuesday and if you hold it in you’ll cramp up somethin’ fierce.
It’s really not all that different from the time you told your kids that their goldfish swam up the Hudson to a place near the beach where he would have lots of room to swim and hang out with his bros, when in reality the fish was long flushed and probably being eaten by the freaky mutant crocodiles that live in New York City’s sewer system.
You may be thinking that it’s strange and takes away a bit of authenticity to the whole thought that your husband always seems to have something to gain by telling his fibs. This is true, but only because he’s always going to benefit from you being happier than you otherwise might have been. If he’s a good husband then the thought of his own benefit was probably on his mind, but wasn’t his paramount reason for bending the truth about something to you.
Now, I assume you have a follow-up question that goes something like: “Well, if he lies to me about these little things, then how do I know he won’t lie to me about the big things, like if he’s cheating on me?”
My answer to that is if you’re married to a guy who you sincerely believe might cheat on you and then lie to you about it because he once told you that he had remembered to pick up the eggs and that they were in the fridge, but when you looked there were ZERO FUCKING EGGS, then you might want to reconsider why you are married to that guy.
In short, guys lie sometimes because they want you to be happy, and if they can do so without too much guilt (which is easy if there’s no downside for anyone involved), they’re probably going to do it. It doesn’t make him an inherently awful person, and a little lie to maintain one’s spouse’s jovial mood is not a gateway to lying about banging a secretary.
It’s just your guy trying to do something that is realistically better for everyone.
But still, when you catch a guy in a lie, call him out on it every time. If nothing else, it’ll be hilarious to watch him try to cover his own ass with some story he knows is so bogus that maybe you’ll just accept it and move on.
By Amanda Oliver
So, the first sentence of your whole questions uses the word “better” twice. Preceded by a feel and a be. Your man is interested in the feeling part and you’re interested in the being part and I don’t know whether anyone can correctly say which better is, well…better.
Everyone can agree that feeling good often leads to life being pretty good, though. My guess is that your hubby is trying to do whatever he can to avoid the hurt/frustrated/disappointed/annoyed/whatever feelings that might make things not-so-great between you two if he tells you the whole truth and nothing but the truth so help him sex and happiness and marriage. If we look at this in a positive light, your husband is trying to ensure your happiness and preserve the good stuff.
If we look at it a little differently, in a suspicious and angry way, the weasel is looking out for himself. He’s too afraid to face the consequences of whatever thing he’s fibbing about coming out. He can’t just man up and admit that he ate all of the goddamn leftovers and then the last bit of your freakin’ ice cream.
Now, I am unmarried and a little bit suspicious of all men. I’ve been cheated on multiple times and received every ludicrous story in the book to cover it. There are some pretty huge lies that come chugging along behind infidelity and they’re not present because someone was looking out for my feelings. Because of my past I have jumped to a lot of suspicions and conclusions in healthy relationships, which sucks. But it has also prevented me, thus far, from marrying a total asshole.
It sounds like you married a good guy. It sounds like your husband is telling “white lies” to, in your own words, make you feel better. I would venture to guess that, at the bottom of all of this, it’s him wanting to do right by you. It’s him not wanting to be the man who forgot to put the garbage out two weeks in a row or stopped for a beer after work that turned into four and a shot of whiskey and falling onto you on his way into bed.
Would it be easier if he told the truth? Yea, probably. So, maybe you rib him about it a little and remind him that it’s stupid to lie, but also give yourself a little reminder that you married a good guy. A guy who, at the end of every stupid fabrication, just wants to see you happy.
The Asshole Said
By Jake Pentland
He lies because “happy wife, happy life” is not just an empty saying; it’s a marital survival tactic.
As men we learn early and often that women have difficulties with reason. We watch as the sequential, logical and inarguable truth we expound is batted around in your heads, much like a kitten playing with a ball of string. And we know that it’s only a matter of time before our facts filter through your “brains” and turn into some impressively complex mental play, complete with “Othelian level” subtext.
It’s a twisting, turning adventure of backstabbing, jealousy and paranoia. All of which leads to a glorious climax, in which the protagonist turns her contrived theory into an endless soliloquy of nonsense, nagging, emotional testing and relentless bullshit.
This deficiency in human females presents males with a choice between only two viable options:
- Find a hard bodied Eastern European woman who will treat us with respect and take care of our every waking desire (in exchange for free-range Visa usage and an unlimited international call plan, with which she will speak ill of us to her mother in that unintelligible gibberish from her homeland).
- Use white lies to keep you stable enough to warrant our sticking around.
So you should be thankful that he lies to you, because that obviously means he loves you and that he is in your blessed union for the long haul.
Well, it’s either that or he can’t afford the plane ticket for Oksana yet.