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Should I Buy A House With My Husband Even Though He Hasn't Let Me See The House, And Other Advice Column Questions
GOOD QUESTION

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There are too many excellent advice columns to keep up with, so we're committed to bringing you links to the best advice column questions and answers every week. Here's a roundup of the most interesting, thought-provoking and surprising questions that our favorite columnists (and subreddits) addressed in recent days.

Should I Buy A House With My Husband Even Though He Hasn't Let Me See The House?

My husband of three years, "Todd," told me that we should try to buy a house instead of continuing to rent. I told him that sounded wonderful. I have a lot of issues with him, so his behavior during this buying-a-house process should, unfortunately, not surprise me, but he has really crossed some big boundaries lately. He has found a house and has a realtor, but he will not take me to any of the meetings with the realtor and he will not even take me to see the house.

I feel he is being very unfair and hurtful to me. I am now feeling that maybe I should consider divorcing him if he is unable to treat me like I matter during the process of buying our first home. Buying a home should be a journey that we do together. He is deliberately keeping me from being involved in this special process. It's like he's part of the big event and I'm being left on the sidelines. The house he's selected is beautiful, but I feel like he is treating me very poorly. Should I walk away from this very hurtful situation? I have tried to express to him my feelings and concerns, but he doesn't seem to care. He actually already took his mother to see the house, but he has yet to take me and I'm his wife. This does not seem normal or appropriate in any way. 

[Dear Wendy]

Wendy Atterberry first and foremost begs the letter writer not to buy a house with this man. "Since Todd's behavior during this process is reflective of how he's treated you for a while, and since you have a lot of issues with him prior to this process, and since he doesn't care about your feelings and concerns that you've expressed to him, I am going to say that yes, you should probably walk away from this hurtful situation," she writes. Read the rest of her answer.

Was I Wrong To Ask My Stepsister If She Could Introduce Me To A Sugar Baby?

I just came out of a toxic divorce. I messed around online and found out my 23-year-old stepsister has several profiles on "sugar daddy" websites. She still lives with our parents and has college loans. My mom thinks she does web design. In the most awkward email of my life, I told her she needs to clean her accounts and come up with an alias. This will haunt her later in life and ruin her reputation now, plus it will kill our parents. She never responded but her accounts vanished.

I tried to get back in the dating game but realized I have too much baggage. I want sex, but I don't have the emotional capacity to commit to anyone. I emailed my stepsister and asked her if she had any "friends" she could recommend for a short-term sugar daddy situation. She called me a pervert and went on a ludicrous rant about my character. I told her not to be coy — she was selling sex. She doesn't get the high moral ground here. She threatened to tell her father; I told her I would be there with popcorn. I told her that I don't think what she was doing was "shameful" but neither was me asking about it. She cursed me out and then blocked me. Now our parents are wondering about the rift. I have told them to ask my stepsister. We didn't grow up together, but I thought we had a fairly civil relationship. What is my next move here?

[Slate]

Danny M. Lavery urges the letter writer to apologize unconditionally to their stepsister. "You behaved boorishly, hypocritically, condescendingly, cruelly, and with tremendous entitlement," he writes. "You should apologize and then back off and give your stepsister time to decide what kind of relationship, if any, she wants to have with you." Read the rest of his answer.

Am I A Jerk For Being Hurt That My Much-Younger Girlfriend Supports Her Friends In The Same Way She Supports Me?

I (30M) have been dating my girlfriend Jean (21F) for about a year now. Part of what I love about her most is that she is so supportive of me.

I'm stuck in a dead end job, really unhappy with where I am in life currently so getting to hear her talk me up and tell me how awesome I'm doing is probably one of the few things that actually gets me through the day. When she tells me I'm great, I call those 'power words' cause knowing someone as hot, successful, and cool as she is thinks I'm doing good really gets me fired up.

Recently, we got together with a zoom meeting with some of our friends. One of our friends, Trish, was mentioning that she was nervous for a driving exam, so Jean was trying to reassure her. Which would be fine, except she used the exact phrasing she uses when she's powering me up. I got really upset and stayed quiet for the rest of the movie. When she asked me what was wrong, I told her the truth.

I feel like she shouldn't be wasting my power words on other people. I need them most and when she says things like oh, I think you're the most incredible guy ever!, and then goes and tells her friend that she thinks she's incredible, that's really disheartening. It makes me feel like nothing she says is real. I've got a big project at work coming up soon and now I can't get hyped because I know whatever she tells me is meaningless.

I've really hurt her feelings by saying her platitudes were meaningless but I just feel betrayed. AITA?

[Reddit via Twitter]

The consensus on the r/AmItheAsshole subreddit is that the letter writer is, indeed, the asshole. "Imagine wanting a supportive person to stop being supportive of other people because you think there's a finite amount of supportive things she's allowed to say," one of the commenters writes. Read the rest of their answers.

How Should I Tell HR That I Don't Think They Should Have Written That I Seem 'Fragile' On A Shared, Public Document?

We have a company Sharepoint in which policies, procedures, guides, and other documents are stored for employees to research and reference for information. When navigating through it recently, I found a list of employees and assigned mentors. Employees generally have assigned mentors who help us on our career development.

When I scrolled down the assignment list and found my assigned mentor, I found they changed my mentor… The HR director commented why they were changing my mentor assignment and then commented that I "seemed a bit fragile" and that I "would feel more comfortable" having my previous mentor be my mentor "since she's a strong woman."

I am not sure where the HR director would get this idea of my character or why they would feel to post it publicly, if they were aware that it was public. I've never made any complaints to HR and don't have performance issues.

How would I confront HR about the fact that the comment is publicly viewable to anyone viewing the mentor assignment list? I don't feel comfortable with anyone else seeing it and think it should be made private.

[Ask A Manager]

Alison Green encourages the letter writer to politely ask HR about the assessment and also to talk to their manager. "There's a decent chance it's not supposed to be public, or that whoever made it public didn't realize they posted the version containing non-public comments," she writes. Read the rest of her answer.

How Can I Tell My Sister-In-Law I Don't Want To Use A Used Cloth Diaper As A Napkin?

Last week, I visited my brother and his wife. They have two boys, aged 10 and 13. They kindly bought everyone dinner — pizza and wings, nothing formal or fancy. Just a nice little family get-together with the kids.

My sister-in-law, instead of providing us all with paper napkins, gave everyone either a washcloth or a clean, but formerly used, cloth diaper. And I didn't even get my own cloth diaper — I had to share one with my son (also 10)!

It's fine if she wants to save paper, and fine if she wants to use these for napkins when company is not present — but even for an informal meal such as this, was her choice of napkins inappropriate?

My mother has bought them lovely cloth napkins in the past, but they never get used.

I really didn't want to wipe my mouth with a cloth diaper. What should my appropriate response have been? And how can I avoid this in the future?

[UExpress]

Judith Martin, Nicholas Ivor Martin and Jacobina Martin, the trio behind the Miss Manners persona, advise the letter writer to take matters into their own hands. "Bring your sister-in-law a hostess present: more napkins," they write. "'I noticed that you ran out of napkins last time, so I thought you might like these.'" Read the rest of their answer.

Should I End My Marriage Because My Husband Refused To Say That I Am A Very Lucky Wife?

My husband and I have been married for over 20 years.

Recently we were watching TV, and the husband in the TV show was asked what kind of wife he had. His reply was: "A very, very lucky one."

I asked my husband what kind of wife HE had. He replied, "Human."

What kind of reply was that?

Couldn't he have replied "lucky," or some other compliment?

Is my marriage in trouble? Or over? I was beyond hurt. 

[Tribune Content Agency]

Amy Dickinson observes that the letter writer seems to have misunderstood the joke and encourages her to talk to her husband. "The line, 'What kind of wife do you have? A lucky one' is one of those unfunny passively insulting comments that pop up in bad sitcoms," she writes. "You seem to interpret this as high praise, but I'd emphasize that the 'lucky wife' is actually a reference to how awesome the husband is." Read the rest of her answer.

LV Anderson is the news editor at Grist and an advice column aficionado.

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