Advice

Miss Information: I slept with my boyfriend’s brother, and now they’re both in jail!

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Dear Miss Information,

When I was nineteen, I fell in love with a friend of my former stepfather. He was thirty-three. As the relationship progressed, he proved to be a nutcase. If I tried to leave the house he’d hide my shoes, keys, and purse. I did — and do —love him in a way, but when he shows that side, it turns to pure hate. We were together for five months when I got pregnant. He became jealous and accused me of sleeping with his brother (this had happened before, with another woman). I thought he was being paranoid — then his brother came over one day and we did wind up sleeping together. I thought it would suppress some of the pain of constantly being blamed for something I didn’t do. I guess I was trying to end my relationship, as well.

My boyfriend found out and I ended it with his brother. Then my boyfriend went to jail and the affair started back up. Keep in mind I’m still pregnant during all this. I fell in love with the brother, and experienced the most intense feelings I’ve ever felt. Then my boyfriend got out of jail, and that was the end of the affair. I had our daughter. My boyfriend’s brother was put in jail a few days later. A few months later, my boyfriend went back to jail, too. We got married while he was incarcerated. Meanwhile, his brother got out of jail, and now I’m in love with the brother all over again. I really don’t know why I married my husband.

I just found out that I’m pregnant with his brother’s baby. My husband just started his four-year sentence and knows I’m not in love with him anymore, but he says that I am his. It’s a very creepy type of love, but I like it. Maybe I should call Jerry Springer? Also: their whole family is crazy and very dramatic; this won’t go over well. Adoption and abortion are not options. I don’t know when to reveal the "news" or the appropriate way to tell everyone. I’m especially concerned about my husband. — Serious Drama

Dear Serious Drama,

The first question you need to address is who do you want to be with: (A) your husband, (B) your brother-in-law, or (C) neither. It sounds like your brother-in-law, but you’ve done a fair bit of flip-flopping. You not only got back together with your boyfriend-now-husband after being with his brother and feeling "the most intense feelings [you’ve] ever felt" you went ahead and married him. You admit you like your husband calling you "his," even though you know it’s messed up on more than one level.

I don’t see you settling down with the brother (and remaining faithful) until you resolve this abusive power dynamic you’ve got with your husband. Yes, you’re a hot mess yourself but healthy people do not tell lies, act like a "nutcase," or try to physically prevent their partners from leaving the house. They also don’t get put in jail multiple times or cling to a relationship in the face of outright dealbreakers, such as someone being in love with their sibling. In short, your husband’s no winner. Then again, neither is his brother. He’s a jailbird and has slept with his brother’s girlfriend at least twice that we know of.

If I had my way, you’d go with option C and drop both of these fellows. You’d whisk your babies away to an organic farm somewhere in Connecticut, where a kindly woman who looks like Mary Steenburgen would give you lessons on self-esteem and mate selection while keeping you on strict no-dating lockdown. She’d also teach you valuable career skills, like soapmaking and cultivating okra.

You don’t mention your past, Serious Drama, but I’m guessing it might’ve been one royal shitshow. This is not to absolve you of your current, myriad bad decisions. But you need to get to focus on yourself and figure out what’s making your wheels spin so out of control.

But that’s not what you’re here for, Serious Drama. You want to know how to break the news of the lovechild to your husband and his family. If the brother doesn’t know, obviously he should be first on the list. Then he’s responsible for informing everyone in his family, except his brother. That’s your job, be it in the form of a prison visit or a letter, whichever feels safer. Your husband will probably say he wants to stay together but you need to decide if you want to stay with him, start the process of getting a divorce, or delay the decision altogether. If you decide to split, be careful. I don’t like that you use the word "creepy" to describe this guy. Many a person who’s made the decision to leave a controlling mate has been injured or worse. Educate yourself and know what to do and where to go should things deteriorate. Hopefully they won’t, but it’s good to prepare.

Readers, Serious Drama references Jerry Springer in her letter. Anyone have a Springer-style "Final Thought" on this sad and complex situation?

Dear Miss Information,

My boyfriend is larger than average and I have constant spotting. I’m worried because I have a morphed cervix and I don’t know if the trauma could cause an increased risk of cancer.  I asked my OBGYN, but she didn’t seem to know much about it. Of course everyone has suggested lube and positions that put him at a shallower angle. I’ve done these things, but I’m still spotting.  Any information is greatly appreciated. — Ms. Polka Dot

Dear Ms. Polka Dot,

My relatives love to talk about health, especially the females. I may not be a doctor, but I’ve heard my share of crotch talk. Short cervixes. Long cervixes. Tilted. Untilted. Weak. Burly. Narrow. Wide. But a morphed cervix? Can’t say I’ve heard of it. So, of course, I Googled. The one and only result? Erotic Power Rangers fan fiction. I wish I were lying.

I think you need to get a second opinion or get more firm with your current gyno. "Doesn’t seem to know much about it" doesn’t sound like much of an answer. Either she does know and is too busy (or lazy) to offer solutions or she doesn’t know and is (again) too busy or lazy to do the additional work to find out. I’m something of a gyno whore, in that I put off my yearly until the last minute and wind up going with whichever doctor will give me an appointment. I’ve also changed jobs and insurance about a billion times. As such, I’ve gotten pretty good at dealing with these Gone in Sixty Seconds MDs.

A few ways to slow their roll and get the information you require:

  1. Know your numbers — Vague descriptions of symptoms don’t garner as much attention as specific dates and notations.
  2. Be hyperbolic — What’s your worst fear? Ask about it. Even if the doctor laughs it off, at least she’ll know your level of concern and perhaps even spend an extra sixty seconds explaining why Whooping South African Vaginapox is not a worry at this time.
  3. Kiss nurse ass — They often know as much as much as the doctor and can be a great workaround.
  4. Kiss office-staff ass — They can get the doctor on the phone so you can ask the questions you were too shy to ask when you had the face time.

Until you get more information (and you will get more information — spotting can indicate a number of conditions and isn’t something to blow off by wearing cheap underwear and pantiliners). And in the bedroom, remember there are also non-penetrative options, like oral sex and this begrudgingly adorable lipstick-shaped clit vibe to get you off while you’re troubleshooting.

Readers, do any of you have a morphed cervix? (Excluding, of course, Power Rangers). Do you have any tips to share with Ms. Polka Dot and her bigger-than-thou boyfriend?

Have a question? Email erin@nerve.com. Letters may be edited for length, content and clarity.