Dear Aunty Em

Dear Aunty Em,

I met a man when I was interviewing him, and I immediately became infatuated with him. We went on a date and he convinced me that I was his light, and that he needed a family. And wanted me to have that family with. One thing led to another, and now I’m pregnant – but the father was nowhere to be found. I’ve texted him multiple times and received nothing back.

He came back recently and told me that he was in a ‘coma’. With no details. He’s convincing me again that he wants to be with me, but I feel like I’ve ruined my life only at 23. Should I just give into this being my life now? Should I trust him?

The Red-Headed Light

Dear Light,

First let me offer my heart felt congratulations on your pregnancy. Honestly, this was a difficult question for my to conquer for many reasons. There are many layers to pull a part and analyze and discuss here, but I will try to answer your question the best I can.

While that is an incredibly fast timeline, your life is your own. Much of your hesitance to trust the father of your child likely stems from simply not knowing him. Spend some time with him. Spend a lot of time with him. Get to know him. See if you think you can trust him. Without knowing him, I cannot in good conscious, tell you whether he is trustworthy or not. Just because he is the father of your child does not mean you must be with him. We are, after all, in the 21st century.

Now, let me be very clear, here. He should give you more details. I believe this is something that you should press him on. If he is telling the truth about his coma, you should know if it was a health issue, for the future of your child. If it was a situation including another person or a situation he got himself into, these are also things you should know for your safety and that of you child. If he truly wants a life with you, he should be willing to let you in.

As far as you giving into your life. Life never goes the way we want it. While it is ultimately your body and your decision what happens at this moment and the rest of your life, a child is far from a death sentence. School, career, travel, all of this is possible with a child. Your life is not over. That is so important for you to remember. This child will be a source of love and inspiration you didn’t know you could achieve. This child’s father doesn’t need to be part of it. You are a strong, fierce woman. You got this.

Auntie Em

Dear Aunty Em

Auntie Em,
My sister divorced her husband of 15 years six months ago. About three months later, she started dating a guy- Potatoes, we’ll call him- as well as about 4 other guys at the same time. That didn’t bother me. She’d been married young, never got to experience stuff, so if anything, I was glad for her. I wasn’t a fan of Potatoes. I call him Potatoes because he has all the personality of unseasoned boiled potatoes. He’s nice enough, just boring and a bit of a braggart. Well, my sister came to me a week ago and informed me that Potatoes had proposed and she’d said yes after three month of dating. I think its way to fast and told her as much. She’d really upset that I’m not thrilled, but I feel like faking my excitement would be like lying to her. What do I do?
Concerned Sister

Dear Sister,
First let me start by saying that I can tell how much you love your sister. It is truly heartwarming. I understand that you want what’s best. That said, her life is not yours. Its a fairly uncommon occurrence for a sibling to back off of a love interest just because a sibling tells them to, so I’m not really sure what you expected. Perhaps you’re not thrilled about the marriage, but I am sure that you would want to support your sister. It could very well be that she is afraid of being alone, rebounding, or even truly in love and ready to be married again. You should be there for her regardless. My recommendation is have one last conversation with her. Tell her that you will get behind it as long as she promises you that if she has even one moment of doubt, she will call it off. So many people doubt their marriage before they get there, but follow through because they’ve put in too much money, or the invitations have gone out. Let her know that if she has a moment of doubt, that you will be there, not judging her, when she cancels. Give her the safe space she needs to admit and own the mistake, if that is indeed what it is, before she follows through.
Good luck,
Auntie Em

Dear Auntie Em…

Dear Auntie Em,
My wife and I have been married for five years now. She makes a casserole with fried spam, mashed potatoes, and creamed corn and she’d been making it for me since we were dating. Usually I find an excuse to leave the house long enough to get McDonald’s after dinner as I always eat less on casserole nights. Well I was caught. Now my wife is mad at me. She’d giving me a death glare as I write this.
Eating Dinner in the Dog House

Dear Dog House,
First of all, that casserole sounds intriguing. Spam is not a favorite of mine, but few things are not improved by frying. That said, your wife is likely not upset because you don’t like the food, but because you hid it from her for so long. I think we often get so caught up with not hurting our partner’s feelings that we walk on egg shells and forget that they are adults and perfectly capable of handling mild upsets. If your wife cannot trust you to be open and honest about the small things, how can she trust you to be open with the much more important things? In committed relationships, sometimes there might be times when things must be hidden, like if your job requires it. That said, there needs to be an understanding between the partners that topics regarding the ‘no fly zone’ are off limits. That said, this needs to be mutually understood and accepted by both people in the relationship. Everything else should be discussed open and honestly. Now have a chat with your wife.
Sincerely, Auntie Em

Dear Auntie Em,
My 16 year old wants a tattoo. I have no issue with them getting the tattoo and will happily sign the paperwork so it can happen for them. The issue is that she wants a tattoo of a donut. I asked her why, thinking there was some meaning behind it. Her response? “I like donuts.” I feel like that if I’m allowing her to get a tattoo at 16 than I should be able to approve it before it happens. For me to approve this, I feel like there has to be some sort of thought put into it. Am I wrong? What do I do?
Tattoo Momma

Dear Tattoo,
This question is a bit tricky. In many ways, yes, you have a say in what your child puts on their body. Offensive things, profanity, nudity, they can all get the parental veto, but a donut? As parents, we want the best for our children. In this moment, you believe you know what’s best for your daughter. Perhaps she wants the donut tattoo because she likes it now, but in twenty years, she might look at that tattoo and see a reminder of her youth and spontaneity. My own mother used to remind me to pick my battles and now I am telling you the same. Let your daughter get the tattoo. Your only responsibility now is to ensure it’s high quality.
Sincerely, Auntie Em

Dear Aunty Em…

Dear Auntie Em,
My sister is dating someone I don’t approve of. He’s not good enough for her. How do I convince her? Signed,
Brother Bear

Dear Brother Bear,
To put it simply, you don’t. Assuming she is an adult and fully capable of making her own decisions, you allow her to choose her own life partner. Should her choice prove to be the wrong one, all you can do is be there for her like a good big brother. If you love your sister, trust her.
Signed Auntie Em

Aunty Em,
I’ve met a woman, I really like her. I know it’s too early to tell for sure, but indications make me think she could be “The One”. The problem is, her family hates me. They hate me for my race. She’s tried to reason with them, but they responded abusively. I don’t want to be a wedge between her and her family, but I don’t think I could ever be part of them. What do I do?

Dear Anonymous,
Her family likely wants the best for her but has the wrong idea of what that might be. Don’t give up on her. If her family loves her and she wants to be with you, then in time they will learn to accept what they cannot change. Love has a way of changing people and situations, and if you care that strongly for her and act accordingly, than they will see that. That said, your relationship is between the two of you. As nice as a blessing is, it is not required.
Auntie Em

Dear Auntie Em,
My husband won’t let me drive our car because I’m a woman. Help!

Dear Stereotyped,
The first thing I would ask you to do is to take a good long hard look at yourself. Are you a bad driver? Could it perhaps be that and not a question of your gender? Secondly, is this your only car? I find some men are protective of their cars and will not allow anyone at all to drive it. If neither of those are the case then a good conversation needs had. If he refuses to see how harmful his mind set is then it may be time for a new husband.
Sincerely Auntie Em

Dear Aunty Em,
My boyfriend has numerous female friends. It makes me uncomfortable but he refuses to stop being their friend. What do I do?
Jealous GF

Dear Jealous, Has your boyfriend promised exclusivity to you? Has he given you any reason aside from this to doubt that he’s remained true to that promise? You could both have a conversation and set boundaries. Compromise. That said, you should look inside yourself and figure out what is causing this insecurity. Do you feel like you are not good enough? Perhaps you’ve been hurt in the past by an unfaithful partner. It is the root of your fear that should be addressed, more so than the friendships he chooses to keep.
Auntie Em