Lisa Barr, Editor of GIRLilla Warfare: Our favorite “Sexpert” E.J. Gordon responds to questions sent to her anonymously. As our readers know, your inquiries are in “the vault”. Again, our GIRLilla Warfare staff is not certified, nor claims to be experts, we are all simply Moms who care, who’ve been there, and who treat your “truth” with our truth. Thanks for sharing. xoxo
By E.J. Gordon
My very best friend has been through hell and back with her husband. She truly loves him and there is nothing she wouldn’t do for him. He has caused some major problems in their lives, and has a history of being a pathological liar, however she truly believes he would never cheat. I am there for her through thick and thin. I’m probably the only nonjudgmental friend she has. We are so close, and I’m so afraid it will end. But more importantly, I don’t want to hurt her.
Her husband and I have never had the type of friendship where we texted or spoke on the phone … EVER! He had my number because of his wife; she used my phone to talk to him. One night, out of nowhere, I get a picture sent to me of his penis with the caption: “I didn’t get you anything for your birthday, so here you go.” I completely lost it on him. The next day he apologized, said it would never happen again, and that he was drunk. I told him he needed to tell her, but he said he wasn’t going to.
I don’t want to hurt her, especially when she is just starting to feel happy again. However, if she finds out later and knows I didn’t tell her, then I’m afraid that will hurt her more. It’s killing me, but I know it isn’t about me; it’s about her. I also know this might ruin our friendship regardless of the fact that I had nothing to do with this, and it was completely unwanted. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
DON’T TELL HER. Your friend is making a very clear choice to be with her husband despite being a liar and possibly a cheat.
She is CHOOSING what she wants to see, and she doesn’t want to see her husband as a cheat.
She wants to make it work with him. If you tell her or show her about this particular transgression, you are basically making her choose between him and you. And once she chooses him, which she will, she won’t be able to look you in the eye because it will be a reminder of a truth she very much doesn’t want to see.
You say you’re worried about losing her as a friend if she finds out you didn’t tell her about the picture, but you are more likely to lose her if you show it to her. You might lose her either way, but this way allows her to live the life she wants to lead. The only reason to tell her would be if she were seriously considering leaving him, and she needed just a little more evidence of who he really is to push her out the door.
As for your relationship with him, now that he has crossed a boundary line, make sure that you are never alone with him and that you don’t have any contact with him outside of being with your friend. Ignore any texts from him.
One day your friend might decide that she is done with this man. If you remain nonjudgmental and stay away from too much advice giving, you could be the only friend she has left to lean on.
We’ve discovered some things about our 14-year-old daughter that we don’t like, and we don’t quite know what to do. We found some very explicit texts on her phone, including a few she sent to a boy her age that described what she wants to do to him. The texts were disgusting and embarrassing for her and for us.
We have also learned that she has been engaging in a lot of sexual activity with several different boys. How do we stop this? Do we take away her phone? Do we ground her so she’s not alone with boys?
Actions like taking away her phone or banning her from activities are only temporary fixes, they are not convenient, and they will not solve the problem. She will find a way to continue with these behaviors.
I would seriously consider taking your daughter to speak with a therapist, because there might be something more serious than just teen sexuality experimenting. This type of behavior could be indicative of substance abuse, depression, personality disorder, or sexual abuse.
Hopefully, those could all be ruled out, but they DO need to be assessed.
Teenagers have a major job: to create their identities and separate from their parents. This means that they will just not listen to you if you tell them what to do.
They do, however, listen to their own instincts. The trick here is to get her to make good decisions based on her own good instincts. In addition to discovering if any of the aforementioned problems are present, a therapist can help her think more long-term, and help her figure out why she’s choosing what could be considered high-risk behaviors.
Part of her making good choices, too, is making sure she understands why her behaviors are high-risk. By 14, I would imagine she already knows the dangers of STDs, teen pregnancy, and sexting. If she doesn’t, you’ve got some educating to do. Assuming she does, she is flagrantly and intentionally putting herself at risk. A therapist will help discover why.
As for taking away a phone … while whenever a kid doesn’t follow “phone rules”, it’s a natural consequence to lose the phone, remember that for a teenage girl, that phone is her whole life — her music, her friends, her plans. Her phone is her survival. Removal of it will rarely get the results you want.
In a few short years she will be on her own; she needs to be making better decisions by then. Don’t wait to get her real help.
E.J. Gordon is a freelance writer, a regular contributor to GIRLillaWarfare, and “Sexpert”. Have any questions or topics that you would like her to address? Remember: No subject is taboo, and Anonymity is accepted. Contact E.J. at: EJGordon529@gmail.com.