Hax: No obligation to ex's pushy parents

The Washington PostFebruary 11, 2014 

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

Dear Carolyn: "Ex" and I dated on and off for years, which ended years ago. It was not a healthy relationship. I am two years into a much healthier relationship.

The problem is that Ex's parents want to visit me and insist on coming to my home that I share with my current partner. Ex's parents were always very kind to me, but I just want to be done with that very sad chapter of my life.

Is there a kind way to give them the brush? I don't want to be a jerk.


Unhealthy apple, unhealthy tree. Their "insist(ing) on coming to my home" is inappropriate, and that's your permission not to worry one bit whether you'd "be a jerk" to say no.

If you did want to see them, then all you'd need to say is that X is an excellent restaurant and you'll meet them there Thursday at 7. To pull the plug entirely, merely say that you have always appreciated their kindness, but that reminders of this part of your past are painful for you and you hope they'll understand. If you just can't bring yourself to do this, then that's worth further attention: The inability to say no leaves you vulnerable to controlling people.

Hi, Carolyn: I have the big H. Luckily, I have been asymptomatic and am taking a daily prescription to reduce the chance of spreading it. When exactly do I tell a guy that I have it?

I lucked out with my ex, in that I told him after a couple of dates - and after we had fooled around a bit - but before we had sex. Should I do the same thing in the future?

I did debate on not telling until after having sex, but saying, "Oh, by the way, I have herpes," seems like setting myself up to fail.


You had it right the first time. You say you "lucked out," but consider that your ex responded well because you did the right thing. Plus, you apparently chose someone who had the decency not to make you pay for your honesty or for having a health condition that says nothing about you except that you've had sex before. That's some luck, but also judgment.

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