Do Not Love Thy Neighbor

Advice on manners and morals.
Nov. 12 1999 3:30 AM

Do Not Love Thy Neighbor

Please send your questions for publication to prudence@slate.com.

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Dear Pru,

I am a 21-year-old male living with my girlfriend. I have two kids with her, but I've been going out with my neighbor. The problem is that my neighbor knows about my girlfriend, and I don't know what to do. What's worse, I think I'm falling in love with my neighbor. Can you help?

--M.D.

Dear M.,

Help you what? Move? Get unattached? Prudie is fascinated that the problem you're concerned with is your neighbor's knowing about your girlfriend. Usually a man is spooked if his significant other knows about the neighbor! Prudie must tell you that a number of things seem less than optimal here. You have barely reached your majority, yet you have already fathered two offspring--while unmarried--and are being unfaithful to the woman to whom you've presumably made a commitment. It would really be lovely, for all concerned, if you were having a goof with Prudie. On the off chance that your letter is on the level, it could be that the purpose of your life is to serve as a warning to others. If you do call it a day with the mother of your children, you will be spared a divorce ... but will remain financially responsible for child support. If you do make an alliance with the neighbor, Prudie hopes you will move. And do try to stop being so horizontally accessible. Given your age, you could very well populate the whole neighborhood.

--Prudie, alarmedly

Prudie,

I have a problem, I hate my brother's wife. She has been cheating on him for the past year. (They have only been married a year.) She treats him terribly, and she tells me she hates my family. I have been trying to ignore her comments, but it's impossible. Do I tell my brother how I feel or continue to hold my tongue?

--Seething in Texas

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