Ask Demetria: My Cheating Husband Wants Us To Keep Up Appearances



Liar, liar, pants on fire!

Dear Demetria:

I am beyond blown. My husband decides to let me know last night that he has been having a two-year affair with a co-worker. I am in a daze right now. He is also begging me to still go to Thanksgiving dinner with his family because his mom has been dealing with major health issues and this would be too much for her. I adore his mother and she is honestly dealing with some major health issues, but I just think he is trying to “save face.” I just want to hide under my comforter and cry. What do you think? —Anonymous

Before I say anything else, I am sorry. I am sorry this happened to you. I’m sorry you got blindsided with this right before the holidays. I am sorry your husband is a sorry man.

But hold up. Your husband just did the emotional equivalent of kicking you in the chest and has you walking around “in a daze,” and you’re trying to be a good wife, concerned about him and his mama? Who is worried about you, boo? I’m asking: You OK, sis?

I’m appalled that your husband would spring this on you the week of Thanksgiving. And I wonder why now, since he hadn’t said anything all this time. What’s the catalyst for this horrific timing? Not that there’s ever really a “right” time to drop this information on a spouse, but doing it right before he wants you to show up and play nice for his family certainly isn’t it.

Why didn’t he wait until after Thanksgiving? Or after the holidays altogether? Or, since he’s so worried about how this news will affect his very sick mother, who sounds as if she might go any day, until after she passes?

I’m going to guess that someone found out about his affair and gave him a “you tell your wife or I will” ultimatum. What I know is, he didn’t confess out of guilt. Because any man with half a brain—or at least one who wants to make his marriage work—knows that if his wife finds out he’s cheating, he’s supposed to fall on his sword. “I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry ... ” is all he’s supposed to say, not, “Yeah, so I know I just destroyed our marriage, but could you pull yourself together for my mom’s sake?” You’re his wife and all you want to do is cry. His concern isn’t about what he’s done to you but what your absence at Thanksgiving will do to his mama. Like I said: sorry.

Let’s be clear: Your missing dinner isn’t going to send his mama to the great beyond. But perhaps finding out that part of her legacy is having a sorry man for a son could. That, however, is between that man and his mama. The effect and appearance of him showing up to Thanksgiving sans wife was something he should have thought about while he was carrying on with his co-worker and, later on, when he was telling you about it. If he was so concerned about what his mother thought, perhaps he should have invested more energy in living in a way that would make her—and his wife—proud.

Read more: here 

The Root: Incensed Communication Director for GOP Congressman Verbally Attacks First Daughters


President Barack Obama speaks as his daughters, Sasha and Malia, look on before the president pardoning turkeys “Cheese” and “Mac." MARK WILSON/GETTY IMAGES

Blame the alcohol in the egg nog, delirium from too much stuffing or simply bad judgment for causing Elizabeth Lauten, the communications director for U.S. Rep. Stephen Fincher (R-Tenn.), to flip out on Facebook over the first daughters, Sasha and Malia Obama.

After reading an article linked on Facebook from the conservative site Mad World News about how the Obama daughters “unleash[ed] their annoyance” at President Barack Obama’s annual (and hokey) pre-Thanksgiving tradition of pardoning turkeys, Lauten was incensed beyond reason.

Several outlets covered the turkey pardon, and many playfully chided Sasha and Malia for giving glimpses of teenage indifference during the press conference: they folded arms, rolled eyes and twiddled thumbs as their dad awkwardly fumbled his way though a not-so-funny speech (that invoked Ben Franklin) about sparing the lives of two turkeys, Mac and Cheese.

The girls’ looks of indifference were familiar to anyone with teenagers or anyone who once was a teenager. Most commenters on stories about the girls’ reactions laughed, because while the first daughters’ expressions and body language screamed “over it,” they were also pretty harmless as far as teenagers go. Even the president mentioned that the Washington Post had “questioned the wisdom of the whole turkey pardon tradition,” so it’s not like the girls were expressing something that no one else was thinking.

But the moment pushed Lauten over the clichéd edge and she straight lost it on her Facebook page:


Screenshot of Elizabeth Lauten's Facebook post.

“Dear Sasha and Malia: I get you’re both in those awful teen years, but you’re a part of the First Family, try showing a little class. At least respect the part you play…”

Ma’am! Was that a scolding on what constitutes class from the spokeswoman of an elected official as she publicly blasting minors on her Facebook page? Are you behaving with class when you over-analyze and insult teenage girls?

In exchange for a lesson to the Obama girls on class, might I offer Lauten a word about using common sense and professionalism? Perhaps it would have behooved Lauten—a woman with a few years experience in social and online media and who should have expected scrutiny as the communications director for a U.S. congressman—to refrain from attacking the president’s children.

But that snippet wasn’t even the worst part of her rant.

“Your mother and father don’t respect their positions very much,” Lauten continued. “Or the nation for that matter, so I’m guessing you’re coming up a little short in the ‘good role model’ department.”

Yes, because teenagers who roll their eyes are an indication of bad parents and a lack of proper guidance. This, of course, means everyone’s parents sucked. Should teens in need of guidance look up to Lauten, a grown woman who, again, publicly attacks children on Facebook? Is this a proper role model? You tell me.

Lauten wasn’t done though.

“Stretch yourself,” she demanded of the Obama girls. “Rise to the occasion. Act like being in the White House matters to you. Dress like you deserve respect, not a spot at a bar. And certainly don’t make faces during televised, public events.”

I don’t know what’s worse here: treating teenagers who act like teenagers as though they’ve committed treason or implying that girls don’t deserve respect because of the length of their skirts. Way to uphold rape culture, Lauten. And why is she even discussing 13- and 16-year-old girls being at a bar anyway? They’re the Obama sisters, not the Bush twins.

Instead of dishing advice to two girls who don’t need it, Lauten needs to take a look at the woman in the mirror and act like having a job as a communications director for a congressman matters to her. Because an adult working in communications who recklessly goes after minors on her Facebook page suggests to me that she doesn’t appreciate benefits or a 401(k). I’m just sayin’.


Read more: here

Ask Demetria: I Fought My Brother's GF at Thanksgiving Dinner

On a scale of 1-10, how did your brawl measure up to The Color Purple's Thanksgiving? Well, this is a first.

A reader wrote in this morning about a brawl that broke out over Thanksgiving dinner:

Got in a physical fight at T'giving dinner with my brother’s girlfriend. I am getting married in 3 weeks and bro is threatening to drop out unless [the girlfriend and I] makeup. Family is with him. I hate this and her and that I am in this wretched situation. Should I just chalk it up and reconcile?

Um… I couldn’t focus. She was asking about whether she should reconcile, but something is off about this story, starting with what could bring grown women to blows at Thanksgiving dinner?  So I asked…

“What in Hova's name was so important that you and your bro's lady came to blows at Thanksgiving?”


She explained:

 [The girlfriend] is very rude and belligerent and started cursing around kids/elders. I told her to watch her language because of the folks present and she decided that I was the one. I told her she needs to act like a lady and walked away. She followed and put hands on me. And I showed her what they do…


Is it me? Or something is off here?

I responded:



Ok. So you tell me if I’m wrong, here. Family will usually rally around family and against an outsider, unless the family member is dead wrong. I can’t see an outsider woman, even if she’s the GF of the favorite son, cursing in front of granny and the grandbabies, then putting her hands on family at Thanksgiving dinner, and family going against family to side with the outsider. This version of events doesn’t even make sense.

But whatever. The questions was whether she should apologize to her bro’s GF so that he will participate in the upcoming wedding. To which I answered:

You gotta decide what's more worth it to you: family peace or withholding and apology on principle.

And what I should have said that I didn’t:

If the whole family is siding against you over someone not family and they think you’re wrong about an event they witnessed, yeah, you’re probably very wrong. So just go on and apologize to keep the peace and your bro in the wedding.

Your thoughts? 

Ask Demetria: My Boyfriend Stood Me Up for Thanksgiving

Angry Bird. Dear Demetria:

“My boyfriend of four months was supposed to come to my parents crib [for Thanksgiving] and he never did. I was embarrassed because I told my mom he would [come]. It’s important to me to meet his people and vice versa, but he acts hesitant. We’ve had issues before where he kind of stood me up and I always had an excuse. Am I being dramatic for being upset?”

This is my least favorite time of year to give advice. As I type, just before midnight on Thanksgiving, my Ask.FM inbox is overrun with messages from women who were disappointed today when their alleged boyfriends didn’t show up for family dinner.

Here’s another current one:

“My whole [Thanksgiving] was effed up. Boyfriend had to work. Told me he would be there all day. We were texting through out the day. Around 5PM, I asked if he wanted me to bring food to his job. He was at his sister’s. My blood was boiling. I asked he would stop by. He said he’d try. The f--- they do that at? I am so feeling a certain type of way about this. He’s been inside me THIS WEEK!”

Some version of this happens every year… to a lot of people.

You can tell a lot about a person’s interest based on how they act/ show up for the holidays. And a lot of people who think they are in a committed relationship, or at least a situation “going somewhere”, find out otherwise. People also tend to have a lot of expectations for this time of year (those Hallmark commercials have done a doozy on everyone) and get profoundly let down when they’re not met.

Too often, those disappointed people come to me, asking the obvious (see above and below). And some of them get very upset when I answer with the stark truth that they’re trying to avoid, which is exactly what happened here.

That first woman asked, so I answered:

You’re asking if you’re being “dramatic” because you are upset after you were stood up again? You’re not being dramatic enough. He stood you up on Thanksgiving and embarrassed you in front of your family. This is level 10.

It’s also at least the SECOND time he’s stood you up. He shoulda been gone after the first if there was no VERY valid explanation for why he couldn’t show up for you. Dude’s at best unreliable. At worst? Uninterested. Call this a wrap.

She wasn’t so pleased with this answer. I get it. No one wants to hear someone they care about isn’t that into them. And because she’s not ready to let go, she was trying to justify his behavior.

The same woman wrote back:

“I’m not a silly girl and I’m not blaming myself. And there was a lack of communication on both our parts at times. We are together nearly 85% of [the] time. I just wanted to know if 4 months is too early to meet parents. I’m ready, but I feel he isn’t. I feel we should have been together today.”

I responded:

If you’re in a relationship, it’s cool to meet parents.  You don’t have to, of course, but you can. (Everyone doesn’t agree with that, I know. To which I ask: if after the dating process—i.e., vetting—you don’t know if he’s suitable to meet your parents, why did you commit to him?)

But whether it’s too soon or not, he agreed to show up. And if he thought it was too soon, then he should have said that instead of just skipping out on you.

Stop making excuses for him, especially since it’s not the first time he stood you up, by your account.


She responded again:

“I write to you because I feel that my entire family judges and ridicules me. I know for sure that love isn’t entirely black and white. There are grey areas and I know you’ve lived through grey areas at some point in life. I just ask that you take that into account when people reach out to you.”

See now? This is the part I hate, when readers don’t want to handle the truth, and want to accuse me of being judge-y or ridiculing them or not understanding the concept of grey.

In this case, what she doesn’t know is I’ve been stood up by a boyfriend on Thanksgiving (something I’ve written about repeatedly). And because I was so into him, I wanted to pretend against my better judgment that it didn’t mean what I knew it meant: this is the wrong mofo for me. But I was in what I then-thought was love, and I wanted to believe the BS excuse he gave me (which was really, really bad) because I wanted him.

And you know what happened not even two weeks after I forgave him? He sh—ed on me again. We made plans to take a road trip, and I was all prepped and ready and he actually called that time— the day before—and said he thought it best if I didn’t go.  Why did he do that? Because 1) he was apparently the giver of no damns; and 2) by sticking around after the first time he’d completely disrespected me, I’d made it clear to him that I would put up with that. *Cue the sound of my heart breaking.*

That is when I accepted what I’d been trying to pretend otherwise about: that man didn’t want me. Period. And if I accepted it the first time, I wouldn’t have played myself a second and been hurt as much for getting played by him as for playing myself. Again.

This was my response to the woman’s last response:

You asked what I thought and I answered, on. You came to me for my opinion.

Because you don’t like the answer doesn’t make it wrong.

Standing your girl up— and not for the first time—and on Thanksgiving is a red flag.*

Everything ain’t grey, babes. Sorry if your feelings are hurt, but take that out on the guy who didn’t show.


*And as commenters who saw the question noted, is also a sign that you’re a side chick