The Matters w/ Matt: In the Family Accessory

Every Wednesday: I never fail to be disgusted with advice columns. I am unsure why they still get paid to do what they do. As always, I am in awe when it comes to awful examples like Dear Prudence and Dear Annie. The columnists seem to get rewarded for giving you bad advice. I think that people get terrible advice from them. I don’t blame anyone that calls advice column responses garbage. I use my postings to correct these responses and help society by being an utmost asshole, (as always, a hat tip to Aaron Clarey at Asshole Consulting).

Consider this Dear Abby article (courtesy of Arcamax) from July 14, 2022:

Dear (Matters):

I am married to a man from a different country, culture and religion. We have an amazing relationship, and he is my best friend. We do everything together — grocery shop, date nights, travel, etc. He is a wonderful husband. The only problem is he doesn’t contribute financially. I have told him time and again that this is going to be a big problem for us.

In his country, the people are poor, so he sends money to his family. His parents are wonderful, humble people and I love them dearly. He doesn’t earn as much as I do, but I do not feel that should stop him from making some financial contribution to OUR LIFE. He makes a decent salary and could buy some groceries or pay for a dinner here or there, but he doesn’t. I pay for everything — cars, gas, living, groceries, coffee, phones, etc.

We had agreed that after he paid off his debts, he would put a certain amount of money in the savings, which would still leave him $1,000 for himself. A thousand dollars is half a year’s salary in his country. For the last three months he has made no contributions, and when I asked about it, he said he doesn’t know what he did with the money. He’s obviously lying.

I am so furious that I’m considering divorce. I have never told him not to help his family, and I have been very generous with them as well. But it worries me that he is only concerned with his family back home and not the well-being of the family we have built together.

                           — MONEY

Dear Money:

I would often feel cheerful when she would give me a giant smile. My beautiful darling was nicely dressed and smelled like a woman should. I cherished my time together.

I was slight confused when the truth struck. The beautiful darling didn’t know where we were going and she didn’t know what loves was yet. She also told me that she needed immigration paperwork so she could attend dental school in the United States. I found out something else that day.

I didn’t know that she was the daughter of an owner of a local grocery store chain. I didn’t know her needs and family dynamic. I failed to understand the social elements of a woman in her culture. I failed to learn and keep my head on a swivel.

I think you might have made the same mistakes. You didn’t learn the inner workings of his culture. You never knew the commonly observed practices. You also never learned about tightly knit communities.

I am not saying you are a means to an end, but I am saying that you overlooked many things. He is comfortable with what he has. He might be giving you lip service because he doesn’t see anything as a problem. You are a member of his family now.

He most likely has never considered breaking loose from his tight grouping known as a family. I would consider making a hard decision. Either be content with his view on money and family, or move on. Both of you will continue to be accessories in each other’s lives until you tackle this hard boundary.

Nothing is extremely bright and cheerful when a person brings up huge problems like this. I wish you both well.

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I don’t imagine that I will have a shortage of emails to answer. I would love to start doing this for anyone that sends me an email. If this is you; email us at freemattpodcast@gmail.com

If you hate advice columns; I don’t blame you. If it isn’t soft people giving advice; it is someone trying to justify acting like an insensitive asshole. Till next week.

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