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I kinda sorta cheated on my boyfriend. Help!

January 25, 2013, at 9:00 AM
 

Dear Starshine,

My ex and I recently got back together after trying to be apart for a while. We had some disagreements during the getting-back-together phase and one evening I decided to go out drinking with friends. Long story short, I had way too much to drink and all I remember is waking up the next morning. Friends told me about the hilarious things I did that I have no memory of. A very dear friend of mine told me that I kissed him and he was too drunk to stop me. It must have lasted a couple of minutes at most. I have absolutely no recollection of this but I have no reason to doubt my friend's story either. Apart from vowing to never binge drink again, I'm in a bind: Should I tell my boyfriend or should I pretend it never happened?

Oh, sweetie, tell him about the kiss or don't tell him. It doesn't matter. He's going to find out either way because — Can I be honest? — you're a bad liar. 

This isn't a quandary you wandered into. It's one you created, consciously or unconsciously, by making out with a friend after boozing till you looze yourself on a night when you were trying your hardest to forget about your on-again-off-again "had some disagreements" boyfriend.

If you're summoning the nerve to lay something on the table, don't waste it on a soggy smooch. Tell your boyfriend what's really going on. Talk about whatever it is that's making you fear/doubt/sabotage this relationship. Drag that ugly truth into the light (Scary! I know! You can do it!) and stop trying to hide from it in bars... or inside your very dear friend's mouth.

And hey, if it doesn't work out with the boyfriend or you decide that truth-telling just isn't your thing, consider making an honest man out of your make-out buddy, who's also a lousy liar: Too drunk to stop a kiss that goes on for a couple of minutes? You'd make a lovely pair. 

**

Dear Starshine,

My sister, who lives in Philadelphia, found a 22-year-old woman who's having a baby and is willing to put it up for adoption. She matched her with my cousin and her husband, who live in New York and are looking to adopt. As part of the adoption agreement (not the legal part), my sister agreed to let the girl live with her until she has the baby at the end of February and hands over custody to my cousin. But the girl has been with my sister and her family for two months now and is proving to be a horrible house guest. She eats everything in the refrigerator without replacing it (unless my sister points it out), cooks for herself without offering anything to others, never washes her dishes, doesn't volunteer to help with any household chores and is continuously asking for rides to and from work, to get food, to pick up baby #1, etc. The girl never says thank you unless prompted. My sister's son and daughter don't want to be around her, and my sister's ready to kick the pregnant girl out. We keep telling her to hang in there for the next two months. Are we wrong? 

Wow, the mother-to-be sounds like my teenage son. And if I can't kick him out, then your sister can't give this graceless girl the heave ho, either. As the creator of your sister's soon-to-be-cousin (and yours, mazel tov), the uncouth youth is kin — or if not kin, then akin to kin. So your sister should stop thinking of her as a houseguest (who tends to be gracious, well-behaved, and gone by Sunday) and consider her to be something like family (who, let's face it, can be boorish, entitled, and prone to wearing out welcome mats).

Your sister is deeply invested in this arrangement. In fact, it's kind of weird how deeply. And it would be awfully lame to extricate herself this close to the end. Besides, kicking exceptionally pregnant women to the curb is one of those things that looks really bad on a karmic resume.

The expectations of the living arrangement should have been made clear from the get-go. At this point, your sister can only bring up issues as they arise: "You need another ride to pick up Junior? Sure, I'm happy to help. And on the way, I'll pull up at the market so you can run in and grab some milk to replace what you finished this morning. Sound good?"

Remind your sister to think about why she invited the young woman to stay there in the first place: Because it was the safest option, right? If that doesn't work, try this dirty trick: Tell her to remember what it felt like to be seven months pregnant, and then to imagine it at age 22, as a single mother, without a home of your own, and careening toward the moment when you'll hand your newborn baby away to someone else.

Send me your dilemmas via email: ToughLove@TheWeek.com. And follow me on Twitter: @ToughLoveAdvice.

 

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