Help! I Responded to a Craigslist Personal Using My Work Email. Will I Be Fired and Divorced?

Advice on manners and morals.
May 23 2013 6:15 AM

For the Private and Confidential Use of the Recipient

I responded to a Craigslist personal using my work email. Will I lose my job—and my wife?

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Dear Prudence,
After my husband goes to the gym I want him to shower before we have sex. I have tried to have sex a few times without his showering, but can't enjoy it because I keep thinking, “Eeew, yuck!” But he’s making me feel as if I’m being too prissy. I finally came clean (ha!) when he wanted to have sex the other morning after I had a shower, but before he showered. He usually goes to the gym at night and doesn't shower before bed and that was the case on this particular morning. I told him I really would like it better if he took a shower first. He thought I was nuts and wouldn't take a shower or have sex and told me that this is a hang-up I should overcome. What do you think?

—Hit the Showers

Dear Showers,
If your husband’s workout doesn’t result in him being sweaty enough to want to shower immediately afterward, then he needs a new workout. But beyond the need to wash off his own sheen, he really should want to remove the sticky residue of others that clings to gym equipment. That’s basic hygiene and something worth following, because as this article makes clear, shared athletic facilities are great places for microbes to work on their own fitness. You’re being awfully accepting by letting him slip between the sheets without rinsing off. Your request that he shower is perfectly reasonable, and he should recognize by now that once “yuck” is running through your head, moaning with pleasure generally doesn’t follow. But apparently your husband would prefer to get in a power play than get clean and get laid, and that’s an issue more than skin deep.

—Prudie

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Dear Prudence,
I am a woman in my late 20s who works at a small nonprofit, and my salary barely covers my bills. For the past several years I have charged things that were out of my price range but were reasonable expenses for my social circle. A few months ago I decided to reduce this debt. I made a strict budget and picked up an extra job. I go to Debtors Anonymous for support. The problem is that my social life has almost completely dissolved. When I get invited to dinners, plays, or any event that costs more than $10–15, I say no. When I've explained I can’t afford it, my friends offer to pay for part of the amount or loan me the money. This makes me feel ashamed and depressed because I have many months digging myself out of this hole. How do I can politely decline what I can't afford and not alienate my friends?

—Financially Suppressed

Dear Suppressed,
I hope your friends are among the lucky young people who are earning excellent salaries or who have no college loans to pay off. But if they have debt themselves, eventually the “reasonable expenses” to be part of this social circle will start strangling their ability to get on with life—buy cars and houses, start families—as this sobering article points out. So please, stick firm to your plan because your current financial suppression will lead to your eventual liberation, and that will be priceless. Staying within a budget should not mean the end of your social life, however. Take the initiative to organize gatherings that are low cost or free: hikes, reduced-rate museum shows, concerts in the park, potluck spaghetti dinners. If your friends sneer at activities that don’t require flashing plastic, then you need a less plastic circle of friends.

—Prudie

More Dear Prudence Columns

Temptation Island: My wife is taking a fun-filled trip with her “work husband.” Will they cheat?” Posted Feb. 23, 2012.
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My Funny-Looking Valentine: Prudie gives advice on mismatched couples, quickie weddings, and secret affairs just in time for V-Day.” Posted Feb. 9, 2012.
Empty Nest Wanted: We didn’t expect to be raising a grandchild at our age. Is it OK to ship her off?” Posted Feb. 2, 2012.

More Dear Prudence Chat Transcripts

Just Like Dear Old Mom: In a live chat, Dear Prudence advises the mother of a teen involved with a woman 30 years older.” Posted March 5, 2012.
My Daughter’s Teacher Is Unwed and Knocked Up: In a live chat, Dear Prudence advises a mother worried about the influence of her young daughter’s single, pregnant teacher.” Posted Feb. 27, 2012.
Private Dancer: In a live chat, Dear Prudence advises a stripper who is being blackmailed about her secret profession.” Posted Feb. 21, 2012.
Dog Days Are Over: In a live chat, Dear Prudence advises a woman whose friends want to dump their pooch at the pound so they’re free to travel.” Posted Feb. 13, 2012.