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Advice Goddess

Amy Alkon drags people, kicking, screaming, and laughing, out of their misery with her behavioral science-based advice column, which runs in about 100 newspapers.

Buy her science-based and bitingly funny new advice book, "Good Manners For Nice People Who Sometimes Say F*ck" (St. Martin's Press, June 3, 2014).

Got a problem? E-mail Amy at AdviceAmy@aol.com.

Advice Goddess 

Thursday, May 21 2009

Bad News Bares

I'm a single, divorced mother who met a wonderful man. Last week, he wanted me to come over. Because of my children, my only option was to pop by during my son's junior high baseball game. I dropped my son off, but instead of parking and watching the game, I drove to this man's house and we had sex. Afterward, I rushed back to the game and caught the last part. My son said he didn't see me in the stands, and asked where I was. I don't know if he thinks of his mother as a sexual person, so I ducked the question, but I'm not sure I can pull that off again. Also, I don't want to lie or give him the wrong idea about sex.

—Balancing Act

Kids may say "the darndest things," but if there's one thing your kid should never be in a position to say to you, it's "So, Mommy, did you get your freak on last night?"

Not only did you beat your kid to third base, and then some, you're seriously thinking of telling him? You don't want to lie, you say, or "give him the wrong idea about sex." Sorry, but the wrong idea about sex is what a kid gets when his mother tells him she's having it, and worse yet, when he realizes it's more important to her than sticking around for his game. You've probably succumbed to Cool Mom Syndrome, treating your children like they're your adult friends, only shorter. They're not. While any kid who scams his way onto a computer without parental controls can see sex acts that make the Flying Wallendas look like the Wheelchair-Bound Invalids, no kid ever wants to picture his parents having sex, and especially not his single mother sliding into home with some strange man.

Sure, it's hard to tell your kids about the birds and the bees, which is why there are helpful books out there with passages like "When a man loves a woman very much..." not "When a Mommy loves her little baseball player very much, but has some serious ants in her panties..." If you want to give your son some truly valuable sex education, tell him not to feel pressured to have it, to use a condom if he does, and to maintain custody of that condom at all times. There are unscrupulous women out there with full pincushions and empty turkey basters who will turn him into an unwitting sperm donor, visiting dad, and cash machine.

Regarding your needs, the moment you turned your diaphragm into a Frisbee, they started coming third — or should have. So, "I am woman, hear me roar," and all that — yes — but from the bleachers when your kid's batting, not into the pillow lest Wonderful Man's neighbors assume there's a crime in progress...that is, beyond parental neglect. Instead of trying to relieve your guilt (you do feel some guilt, right?) by confessing to your kid, think remorseful thoughts, and make it up to him in time and attention. As for how you can have children and sex dates, too, was it too much for your lust-addled brain to figure out that you can swap babysitting hours with some other sex-mad single mom? Yes, with just a little advance planning, you'll eliminate the need to brief your 13-year-old on your whereabouts: "Actually, dear, I remembered I had something on the stove — I just didn't realize at the time that it was me."

 

 

How To Raze Children

I'm having a passionate affair with a man I have more in common with than anyone I've ever known. We've done magical things together, but he's made it clear he'll never leave his wife. Still, I can't help but hope he'll change his mind. I have tremendous guilt about lying to my husband, and should he find out, ruining my marriage and hurting my two beautiful children. Should I be honest and tell my husband I'm not in love with him, knowing it will devastate my family?

—Anguished

You and this man have done magical things together? Well, that settles it. "Abracadabra, kiddies, I've ruined your lives!" Guess what: Whether you're feeling all zingy inside is of little practical interest to your children — or to this guy, who's made it clear he won't leave his wife. Yet, you seem to hold out hope that decimating your family might inspire him to decimate his. And, maybe because you're in misery, you feel you deserve some company. Sorry — it's one thing to divorce a husband, but where do you get off thinking this is a tack a mother gets to take? End the affair and put your energy into your family. As the saying goes, "You made your bed...and then you made little things that have beds with cartoon character sheets."

 

©2009, Amy Alkon, all rights reserved. Got a problem? Write Amy Alkon, 171 Pier Ave, #280, Santa Monica, CA 90405, or e-mail AdviceAmy@aol.com (www.advicegoddess.com)

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