The Hook Up: 11-23-2011

My girlfriend and I just made a year on the 15th, but we have had a huge problem in our relationship: She has been caught on a number of occasions cheating on me. She claims that she has stopped and, in my eyes, she did stop. But I recently received pics on my Twitter of her fooling around with my ex-wife, who’s been trying to come between us every chance she can get. I did not inform my girlfriend that I have received these pics. What should I do? Should I let my girlfriend know that I received these pics on my Twitter or should I just leave things alone and just move on from here?

Anna says: Oof. That is a lot of craptastic-ness in one short paragraph. First off, I’m really sorry that 1) your girlfriend cheated on you (again), 2) that it involved your ex-wife, and perhaps worst of all 3) that you found out about it on Twitter. That’s just icing on this whole bitch-slap cake right there.

You definitely need to confront your girlfriend. How you go about doing so is up to you, but I would probably ask her about it in conversation before throwing TwitPics at her, and not just because it’s hard to shove a laptop in someone’s face with any kind of dignity or, you know, without breaking a really expensive piece of equipment. If she flat-out lies about the cheating, then feel free to break out the evidence. Regardless of how she responds though, you need to drop her ASAP. The cheating, the lying, the betrayal, the use of social media as the ultimate shaming vehicle – it almost reads like the plot of a terrible ABC Family drama. But the end result is very cut and dry, and with far fewer commercial breaks. You deserve to be with someone who has more than a shot glass-worth of integrity, someone with whom mutual respect and gut-level honesty actually mean something.

While we’re at it, I also hope that you cut your ex-wife out of your life completely, if you haven’t done so already. The sooner you remove these toxic people from your life, the better. And don’t forget to block them both on Twitter. That’s the least they deserve.

I am truly sorry, though. I hope this one bad apple doesn’t cause you to have problems trusting people later on. I assure you that plenty of people are capable of not lying their pants off (literally and figuratively) when in monogamous relationships.

I have a most pressing question. I have lived with three girlfriends (yep, big U-Haul lezzie over here!). I have also somehow always ended up being the one who has to kill all the bugs. But I don’t like doing it either! Why should I have to shoulder the bug squashing burden all by myself? It all seems very unfair. There should be a law about this. Is there? What can I do?

Anna says: Advice Columnist school is a lot like Law school, it’s true. Alas, I looked through the books and all I could find was something about bed bug law for homeowners, which made me think of a really good slogan for any queer person in the real estate business. “I put the homo back in homeowner!” (Which was of course already a Someecard, so I’m sorry, I’ve failed you twice and it’s only been three sentences!).

But back to what’s bugging you.

You’re right. It is unfair. Just as one person shouldn’t be responsible for always having to clean the garbage disposal or give the cat his monthly enema, the bug squashing responsibility should fall to both parties. However, fat lot of luck making that happen when the other party runs screaming away at the mere mention of a Volkswagen Beetle.

In all likelihood, you’re just going to have to suck it up. Either that, or be prepared to add “seeking exterminator” to your dating resume in the future. Sometimes we must do things we find unpleasant for the person we love. If you have the higher tolerance for bug killing, then is it the worst thing in the world to save your girlfriend from her crippling, irrational fear? I say this as a person who has been in your bug-splattered shoes. No amount of coaxing gentle pleading angry yelling could sway my ex-girlfriend, who shrieked like a banshee with dysentery at the sight of a silverfish, of which there were many in our squalid little Chicago apartment.

However! Hope is not all lost. For now that you are the Raid Queen, you also have bartering power. I hereby grant you the right to use this task to get out of something else you find unpleasant, whether that’s cleaning the gutters or the sex toys or whatever your crafty little mind can dream up. Compromise is a bug-killing lesbian’s best friend. (That’s a sentence I never thought I’d write).

Sometimes I wear the ring my ex-girlfriend gave me when we were together a year ago. It looks kind of wedding-ish, I’ll admit, but I’m not very sentimental about jewelry. I just wear it because it’s pretty. Lately though, my friends have been giving me crap for it, saying that it means I’m not over her and blah blah. Are they being unreasonable or should I just stop wearing it?

Anna says: Wear the ring, but not on your wedding ring finger, unless you’re trying to ward of straight dudes in bars, in which case it won’t work anyway, so still don’t wear it on your ring finger. I know some might disagree with me here, and say that the symbolism outweighs the rationale of wearing an ex’s ring “because it’s pretty,” (certainly your future girlfriends might) but at the end of the day, it’s still a circular hunk of metal. Whatever meaning we attach to it is solely our own, and all that we’ve absorbed from watching those horrible, yet-strangely-compelling-when-viewed-late-at-night Jared commercials.

If wearing the ring ever made you feel bad or made you pine for the relationship you no longer have, that’d be one thing. I will say this, however. Usually when friends give you crap about something small, they are responding to other patterns they’ve noticed in your life. Or they’re just meddlesome gossip-mongers. One of those. I’m taking your word for it, and trusting that this wedding-ish ring means as much to you as the gaudy swan-shaped crystal cuff bracelets sold on the Home Shopping Network.

If your friends keep harassing you despite your protestations, you have my permission to throw it gently back at them. Something like, “Are you sure you’re not over my ex? I’m asking since you can’t seem to stop bringing it up. Let’s discuss.”

What do y’all think? Is wearing jewelry from an old flame crossing a line? If so, what do you do with it?

Hailing from the rough-and-tumble deserts of southern Arizona, where one doesn’t have to bother with such trivialities as “coats” or “daylight savings time,” Anna Pulley is a freelance writer living in San Francisco. Find her at annapulley.com and on Twitter @annapulley. Send her your Hook Up questions at askthehookup@gmail.com.

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