Q: I’m newly pregnant with my first child and won’t be drinking during my pregnancy. I think my husband should give up drinking as well in solidarity, but he doesn’t want to. He says it’s silly because it doesn’t physically affect the baby. I feel like it would be a nice show of support. Am I being unreasonable?
A: Is giving up drinking hard because it’s a nuisance to be left out of the margarita pitcher, or is it more of an emotional struggle? How ingrained is alcohol in your social life, together and alone? And do you want him not to drink in your presence or not to drink at all? The former is not unreasonable; the latter deserves a deeper conversation about what you’re really after. This might be about feeling newly cut off from your social life or worries about what kind of parents you'll be. I’m not sure – you’re not on my couch. So be honest with yourself. Are you resentful? Scared? Sad? You need support, and he should give it – but it might not be as simplistic as his choosing soda over beer.
Q: I’ve been seeing a great guy for four months, and we’re getting serious. He is very honest, which appeals to me a lot. The problem is I lied to him the night we met. I was with friends, and he asked me if one guy was my ex. I said, “Of course not.” It became a joke, but I really did date that guy – briefly. I feel like he'll think it’s terrible that I’ve lied to him about it, but I also think it shouldn’t be a big deal.
A: Four months in is better than six months in, which is infinitely better than at your rehearsal dinner.
Is it a huge deal that you briefly dated a friend? No. But if it was important enough for him to ask about it, the truth was presumably important to him as well. A split-second mistake is forgivable when corrected with sensitivity. Try this: “Hey – this has been eating away at me. Technically, Sam and I dated briefly, even though I don’t think of him as an ex. I should have corrected it sooner. I’m sorry.”