Congratulations on at least getting a paid-off car out of this whole situation.
Mallory Ortberg, aka Dear Prudence, is online weekly to chat live with readers. (Sign up below to get Dear Prudence delivered to your inbox each week. We can sometimes have lengthy discussions on a wide range of topics.
”: I am a very open and honest parent with my inquisitive 8-year-old daughter.
I try to answer as honestly as possible—within reason, of course, depending on whether it’s appropriate for her to know something just yet.
However, I just can’t seem to come up with an appropriate response to: “What is sex? I freeze up and tell her we’ll talk about it when I have time to explain it properly.
If she needs a little space after learning the news, let her take it, but I think you should trust your friend’s ability to both support your joy and deal with her own grief and frustration at the same time. We were together three years, never fought, and were good on paper together.
I used to describe us as OK when the real word was lukewarm. We lost some deposits, but my ex has lost our entire circle of friends.(It’s particularly unsavory of them to suggest that you are somehow letting down your children by not remarrying.) The fact that you’re having trouble getting out of bed, and that you find your current level of numb functionality hard-fought and hard-won, suggests to me that you are not currently receiving the level of emotional and logistical support that you deserve.If absolutely nothing else, you do not have to endlessly entertain this train of thought from your friends and family.I explain that that part of my life is over, that my husband was the first and only man I ever loved or will ever love. They tell me I am being selfish for denying my children a chance at another father figure; that I am only in my mid-30s and one day, I will wake up and be alone and then it will be too late. How can I communicate my desire to be left alone with my family, without alienating people who loved my husband too?A: You have every right not to date if you want to, and your family should not pressure you into it.I don’t want to keep skirting around the issue when she’s honestly just curious. If anyone has any books they’ve found particularly helpful, please feel free to share them in the comments, but yes, your daughter is repeatedly asking you what sex is, so it’s a pretty big sign that you should start, you know, telling her what sex is.