When you're dating someone, do you have to tell them everything about yourself and your personal history? You know, the truth about how many times you've been married or arrested, or if you've got a kid somewhere that you never ever see. Some things, like STD status, have a hard and fast rule – disclose before you have sex, but for others the question is when not telling becomes lying by omission. This guy writes in to Prudie saying that he had been dating a woman for three months when her sister came to him out of the blue and presented him with "ample evidence" that his girlfriend was a male to female transsexual. He confronts the GF, and she says "that she was going to tell me, but only after we had been intimate! (Luckily we hadn't been yet.)" He's taking the high road on their subsequent breakup, saying that her being trans wasn't the issue, it was the deception. For her part, she interpreted her sister's unilateral act as the most horrible betrayal imaginable, and their parents sided with her in the massive rift that developed. I wonder how she must have felt when her sister then started dating her ex, they get married, and now she's pregnant. Obviously, she didn't attend the wedding, and neither did her parents. The letter writer says that his in-laws have started manifesting an interest in being part of their grandchild's life, to which he's totally opposed. He considers them "a toxic influence and their enabling of Rhonda's deceptive behavior is appalling to me. My wife disagrees. How can I help her cut ties with these horrid people?"

Prudie says that trans status is one of those facts that have got to get divulged "in a timely way that a reasonable person would feel deceived not knowing," but she also gets some perspective from a trans lady. She says that "some trans people who have had reassignment surgery assert they simply had a birth defect that was corrected, and therefore their past is nobody's business." It's like, when I started summarizing the situation I wrote that the GF was born a man, but then I was like nope, she never was a man. If you are a woman and always have been, then from that perspective you have nothing to disclose. From the perspective of the shitty world we live in, those kind of high-minded attitudes go down in flames when some awful friend or relative takes it upon themselves to blow your whole spot up and make you out to be a liar. The sister seems a proper turd and her husband not much better, so I agree with Prudie's assessment that he's the toxic one in this scenario, and support her (fruitless) advice that they both think very very hard about themselves and their behavior.

The next letter writer says that she's got a friend with a drug and alcohol problem that recently resulted in a DUI. She bought her a plane ticket to come visit, and Party Patty apparently partied her ass off for the entire time. After she leaves, the OP finds out that her friend's still on probation, she's not allowed to drink, and she didn't tell her PO that she was leaving the state. I guess the visit was a total disaster and freaked the letter writer out pretty good, but she's found herself alone in feeling that her friend has a real problem and needs help. The pictures are all over Facebook, so she's thinking about doing a little tough love and forwarding them to the relevant authorities. Prudie hates drugs and alcohol and loves appealing to authority, so she's behind that plan 100%. As for me, I don't have the facts, but I do know that DUI probation is usually informal, which means no PO and no restrictions on movement. Definitely possible that the deal included her swearing to lay off the booze, in which case a stack of photos showing her wilding out at da club would absolutely make a judge very unhappy.

Next up is a guy who's like V.I. Warshawski in that he goes by his initials personally and professionally, and he shares a recurring plot point in his steadfast refusal to divulge what those initials stand for. People ask, then they demand, and time and again the situation turns into a ridiculous standoff. He wants to know whether to stick to his guns or bend in the face of all these people who insist on knowing and just can't let it go. Prudie makes the point that life would be easier if he bowed to the pressure, but says he's under no obligation to do so. She suggests a compromise where he'll cop to his given name for employers or anyone else who signs his checks, but that he's free to tell all the other nosy wankers to eat a dick.


Finally, another guy shares the same terrible burden that I do – the burden of always being right. You see, when he's fighting with his wife, he can "detach myself from my emotions and try to look at what is happening objectively." His wife apparently cannot, and she doesn't much appreciate Admiral Argument's unified theory on why she's always wrong. Since he's such a master of logical reasoning, he's left with the following conundrum: "if I can objectively pick apart and present both sides of my wife's and my arguments, and it turns out I'm right, shouldn't this help?" Two possibilities suggest themselves – that being "right" doesn't necessarily lead to good outcomes, or maybe that this rock-solid certainty in his own eternal correctness ought to be revisited. Prudie takes a stab at offering some new, nice phrases for him to use in disputes that'll hopefully prevent things moving from irritation to outright loathing.