Saturday, January 18, 2014

Integrity means telling therapist, not dad-to-be

I was happy that my local newspaper dropped the advice column, but now it has an advice column that is even worse. Here is the latest Carolyn Hax advice:
Dear Carolyn: I always wanted kids, but fate and life being as it is, I’d managed to get to my early 40s with no husband or children. ... I lied when he asked if I was taking birth control. ... Well, I’m looking at a positive pregnancy test. How do I do this? ...

Dear Just Sick • I’ll let Bernard Malamud get this one. "We have two lives," he wrote in "The Natural." "The life we learn with and the life we live with after that." You thought you wanted a baby above all. You learned, through your terrible lie and surprise fertility, that the "above all" was wrong — you actually didn’t want a baby at the cost of your integrity. So now you live with what you learned: From now on, it’s integrity first. You start by making an appointment with a reputable therapist, since you need to figure out when and why you let emotions push your judgment off a cliff. That’s the surest path toward keeping it from happening again. Next, you tell the nice guy that you are pregnant, and also lied about birth control.
Really? She says "integrity first" means finding and telling a stupid therapist before telling her man.

Any woman who would consult a therapist first is unfit to be either a wife or a mother.

At least Hax favored telling the dad-to-be, at least in my newspaper. In her home newspaper, the Wash. Post, she regretted that advice and changed her column to this:
You sold your soul for a baby, so it seems obvious that fixing the mess requires truth-telling, immediately and in perpetuity. I filed a first-version of this column saying just that — in part because this man deserves to know your frailty.

But your mess is en route to having a life independent of you (health permitting). Does this child deserve one parent who profoundly resents the other? In perpetuity? Does Nice Guy himself deserve to see his child through unclouded eyes?
No, this is not integrity. This is relying on some flaky therapist to make what could be the most important decision in the child's life.

I post this as a general warning to men. About how deceitful a desperate woman can be, and about the terrible advice she will get once she realizes her mistake.

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