From a Submariner's Perspective is a weekly column, written in response to the letters sent in to advice columnist "Prudie" at Each week, The Submariner responds to the letter writers in a way that author, Emily Yoffe, probably can't (but perhaps would like to...). Each entry is headed with a link to the orginal questions and Yoffe's answers. Enjoy!

Also, if you have questions that you'd like answered by The Submariner, or anyone here at "The Fly", just write to me at and I'll forward to the appropriate party/parties for an answer (or you can write to them directly via the e-mail addresses on their pages)! Once the answers are published, I'll drop you a note letting you know.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

...on Cheating Husbands with HUGE Balls (01/21/10) <--Original Prudie Questions Can Be Found There

Greetings Shippers! How the hell are you on this fine, fine Prudie Day? Wow, what a great week, eh? I don’t know about you guys, but the nasty weather here cleared, the days have been incredible, and the nights? Beyond compare! I realize that it’s only temporary, that cold weather is supposed to return on Sunday around noon, but it feels so wonderful right now that I don’t ever want it to end. But, my good fortune aside, I hope that all’s well with you, too? We know it’s not so great for these letter writers and we have a front row seat to the fun. So, shall we have a look? Yes, let’s!

LW#1: Dear Prudie, last summer, my husband and I rented a cabin with another couple who are longtime friends of ours (matter of fact, I considered the wife to be my best friend). My husband recently confessed to having slept with the wife during our vacation. We’d had too much to drink one night and after the other husband and I had gone to bed (in our own rooms!), my husband and the other wife tested out the sofa, the dining room table, the kitchen counters, the ceiling, and the bearskin rug as if they were college kids on a fuck-a-thon. I’ve forgiven my husband his stupidity, and we’ve talked it out, but he’s asked me not to discuss this with my friend as they swore a pact of secrecy or whatever. Anyway, because I can’t talk to her about it, the relationship is understandably strained. So, I need to know if I should go on with this ruse for the sake of my husband’s pact with my former best friend, or confront her and possibly wreck our formerly great friendship? Wowsers. Sorry to hear about all of this, but, you’re not too terribly good with logic, are you? Somehow, your loyalties are so switched up that you’re willing to protect your husband’s honor (where he promised not to tell you something that happened, even though he did tell you, so that what you’re now “protecting” is actually just a lie--about cheating no less!) over a friendship that’s was “formerly” great, but that you’re now continuing so that, what, your former best friend doesn’t find out that your husband lied to her (while slipping her the kielbasa, by the way) about what he’d tell you?! So you, someone not even responsible for any of this, is on the hook for all of it? Damn, will you marry me? I’d love to engender that kind of crazy-blind, completely illogical loyalty! Seriously though, what are you thinking?! You have so many choices here, it’s incredible. And the ultimate decision is entirely up to you! You can tell your husband that you’ll keep his secret, but that you will not, under any circumstances, continue to spend time with this woman, pretending that nothing happened. You don’t have to out her to her husband (and shouldn’t, as it’s bad karma), but you don’t have to spend time with her, either. Or, you can tell your hubby that you’ll go on, but only if you can confront your friend so that the two of you can work it out. But, what you should not do is take on this load yourself. Your husband told you, and apparently that’s good on him (whatever), but he’s got the biggest balls in the world if he asked you to, you know, keep quiet and keep pretending to enjoy the company of this woman in order to, what, honor the pact of secrecy he made with her? How big are his balls? Like, volleyball size? Can they be seen from space? Do small objects orbit them? You know what you need to do. Now, go have a heart-to-heart with your friend and see if you guys can move on. If not, well, there it is.

LW#2: Dear Prudie, I’ve got a perfect wife in absolutely every way....yawn...but, she cooks like four-day-old hot tuna breath on poo. And that’s on the good nights. The problem is that I’m a super-important lawyer and on the days after she cooks, I find myself in the bathroom all day long! Obviously, I can’t do my job from in there. I’ve tried to encourage my wife not to cook, but she’s having none of it as she fancies herself the next Iron Chef. What can I do? You are one sad sack of dog shit, aren’t you? Holy crap! And you claim that you’re an attorney?! Not that being one matters, I just noticed that you seem to find it important, so, I thought I’d throw it up in your face. I’m rude like that. Regardless of what you do, what you are is a married adult (well, you’re apparently married; the adult part is questionable). What’s wrong with saying, “Honey, seriously, I love you, but there’s something in your cooking. I don’t know if it’s specific, or general, but, whatever it is, it’s killing me!” She may turn ashen white and admit that that’s exactly what she’s been trying to do! Arsenic! You know, for your lawyerly life insurance. Or, she may cry. Or, she may not react at all, but, whatever she does, she’ll know why you’ve been being such a prick about her food for so long, and she can at least work toward fixing that, or, short of that, at least know why you pick at her food as if you were a finicky fairytale princess. You apparently suck at logic, too, just like LW#1, because I’m guessing that your wife doesn’t spend the entire day on the john after cooking, or else she’d know that something’s up with her culinary masterpieces and adjust her cooking herself. I’m also guessing this isn’t an issue with your guests, family, friends, etc. So, guess what Sherlock (or should I say Perry Mason)? This is on you! You’re the one with the irritable bowels or the weak stomach or whatever. That doesn’t mean that you should have to eat whatever your perfect wife cooks for you. But imagine if, you know, you were honest with her and she actually made something that your condition could tolerate. Wouldn’t that be amazing? Or, is it that you just would rather eat McDonalds? I can understand that, the Kid’s Meal was one of my favorites growing up, too. But then I grew up and got past that. Regardless, why don’t you check with LW#1’s husband? He’s got some extra balls, and you have a deficit. Maybe you could put your lawyer skills to work and hash out a deal with him?

LW#3: Dear Prudie, a young man recently crashed into a tree in our front yard and died, right there, in his car. His family and friends have erected a makeshift memorial around the tree. Please understand that I don’t want to seem rude. I saw the man die, talked to him from outside the wreckage, hoping all along that help would arrive in time. It didn’t. But, we have a small front yard and the memorial memorabilia in our yard is starting to age. How can I take it down and not seem like a total insensitive jerk? Sir, I’m really sorry to hear about this. And there’s really not much that I can add to Prudie’s advice. It is brilliant and dead on. But, if it were me, I would not use the word “brave” unless it’s completely applicable, as you want to avoid sounding in any way patronizing. Further, you need not address why you took down the memorial, and actually should completely avoid that topic at all costs because it’s 100% obvious that you are not only within your rights, but have been very fair and gracious in this really cruddy situation. And don’t let anyone convince you otherwise.

LW#4: Dear Prudie, I’ve got a problem. Due to the economy, a number of my friends and customers have gotten involved in multilevel marketing. They’re now constantly trying to sell crap to me! Some customers have even gone so far as to insist that I buy their crappy products or else lose their business. I believe that they’re being taken advantage of and I don’t want/need the crap they’re selling. How can I tell them that I don’t support multilevel marketing schemes and that I don’t want to hear about it? Well, you can start by saying that you don’t support multilevel marketing schemes and that you don’t want to hear about it. That’s what I’d do. But that’s so obvious that I assume you’d have figured that one out on your own. For friends, if they’re true friends, you owe it to them to be honest. Tell them that you are not interested in buying their wares. Not today, not tomorrow, not even next week, no matter if they get hooked up with the world’s newest, greatest, best-thing-ever or not. Tell them you want to free the topic from your conversations forever. And, if they do it again, walk out. Just pay your tab, get up, and literally leave. They’ll get the hint and won’t do it next time. There’s no need to discuss your support of multilevel schemes with them. That’s not a lesson for you to teach, and not one they’ll learn from you anyway. For customers, you have to weigh the advantage/liability of keeping/losing them against the associated costs of buying from them, but, if you feel the need to keep them and play their game, consider the purchases a cost of doing business. And I mean that literally. Put the purchase of their goods smack dab on their next invoice. Add the line “MLM Expenses”, and then enter the cost that they charged you right on your invoice to them. Yes, you may lose customers, but you’ll have your dignity. And, fact is, in a great many service industries, that’s more important than you can imagine because having a consistent and recognizable set of values will often attract other customers to replace any that you lose. And your new customers will understand your values up front (it’s what attracted them) and they won’t expect you to work around those values for their personal benefit. Matter of fact, it would disappoint them if you did.

Well shippers, I guess that’s it! Another week done. Here’s hoping that all’s well in your personal lagoon, that friends and family are all well, and that you’re all getting plenty of sunshine. Until next week, you know the drill: fair winds and following seas to you all, Shippers! And remember to keep that dive-to-surface ratio right about at one.


  1. Greetings Smaggie...

    We've got sunshine here on the West Coast north of all that California rain.

    Ah the letter's, where to start, where to start!

    LW1, How's this idea Smaggie? This betrayal by the husband wanting his secret kept does have balls the size of Vermont. I think the wife needs to tell him that he needs to tell her best friend that he could not keep their secret, that the guilt was too great for him and he needed to feel better about things so he let loose this shit storm coming her way. Best friend my butt. I don't care how much a person drinks, any guy knows when his dick is coming out to play prior to it's arrival on the scene. The both knew when their spouses went to bed and they stayed up what was going to happen, the best friend knew before she had that controlling powerful last drink what was going to happen and she let it. Too much to drink my ass. After he tells her best friend, the wife needs to wait and see how her not such a best friend handles that. Anyway you cut it, this friendship is over and the other husband will be involved.

    LW2 Did I understand that you eat food 4 times a week that makes you poo all the next day and you can't have this conversation with your deserve your tiny hiney to be on fire.

    LW3 I understand the sorrow for all involved, such sadness, but every time I see those road side crosses it creeps me out as well as wonder how safe I am at the time from driver's gawking at them instead of driving. Prudie's advice was thoughtful and wise.

    LW4 Here's my way of avoiding the Tupperware, Candle, other assorted parties filled with junk, whether the offer is in person or via the dreaded phone call right in the middle of something I deem more important....and it works every time. I just bought that! I own that and isn't it a great item! Or if you think you'll have to have a long conversation about said item and you have no clue how it husband just bought that or he has several of those for just that purpose. Call me and offer new doors, new windows, new vinyl siding and yes, you guessed it...I bought all that for my home last year. Call me for insurance and my husband just finished comparing plans online and no, I have no idea what he chose as it's not my deal...or in person I shrug my shoulder's while getting out my...huh...when you do the huh it's not as a statement but as a clueless every time. My all time favorite was a fellow kept calling asking for my husband, he would not speak with me, so the last time I heard from him I told him my husband was working out of the country for the next year. Needless to say my husband was laughing in the background. We also play the HELLO game when we pick up the phone and hear that familiar phone bank static and a room full of voices...they say Hello, we say hello, they say hello, we say hello and on and on it goes until they figure out it is truly a bad connection. We're bad! But it's such cheap fun who can resist the hello game.

    Happy trails everyone...helllo'oooooooo.....hello'oooooo

  2. Love what both Smag and Debbie had to say!
    Just want to add (LW1) if he wants to keep a pact with the adultress, what else is he wanting to keep with her? It says to me that he wants to continue doing this with her but wanted to see how wifey took it the first time. Just my veiw....

  3. On LW4 I feel the need to point out that for the customers, depending on his industry, and their size, it might be worth it to tell them you need some time, and then end-run around them to their ethics advisor/hr department to find out if what they're doing is allowable by company standards. If it is, then LW should follow Smag's advice. If it isn't, you should request a new contact within the company for that product.
    But then again, we've just finished re-aligning our company ethics policy, so it's very much on my brain. :-)

  4. Love the phrase "slipping her the kielbasa". Also, all the wife's done is prove she's a doormat and given her approval to hubby's sexcapades. That's a recipe for ending up with a guy bringing home a bastard or a bacterium someday.

  5. Hi Smags! I haven't been on The Fly for a while, but truly enjoyed reading your whole take on things. :)

    For LW1 and everyone else in the world who has ever been betrayed: May I say, as a former adulterer, we all get what's coming to us. From my perspective I think most of the one-time offenders usually don't have a clue why they choose such a bad choice. I know you show no mercy, but everybody has their own way of dealing with things, and not everyone grows up at the same rate. I'm in my 40's and just learning how to be a grown-up.

    LW2: I thought the same thing as you, POISON! Other thoughts are passive-aggressiveness (my cooking will be so bad that I won't have to cook anymore!), he does have something wrong with his digestive system and needs to see a doctor ASAP, and he is a heavy drinker and it's not the cooking but the drinking that sends him to the potty so often.

    LW3: Good advice, from you and Prudie both. What will it take to have mourners mourn at the gravesite? Isn't that why they were created?

    LW4: Just say no. No excuses or explanations necessary. That is one thing I have managed to learn. When I don't want to do something that is truly optional I have no problem saying "No" (or more frequently "No thank you") without feeling a need to explain. It works!

    Nice to read from you again Smagboy!

  6. Hey Debbie! I love your comparison to Vermont regarding LW#1's husband's balls. I am currently living in TX, though, and I wonder if Texans might be insulted by having their balls compared to a state as "small" as VT? ;-) As for your way of avoiding pesky marketers, I LOVE it! I'll have to try the "hello?" game next time I get one of those calls, although, once the no-call list came out, things have gone really well on that front. :-)

  7. Hey Bee! Welcome! As for what *else* the husband wants to keep with his fuck buddy (the whole topic of this having been some sort of accidental "whoopsie, by dick fell inside of her because I was drunk" thing is something that I just didn't have the space/time to address), I think he clearly would like to have his cake and eat it, too. ;-) And likely has been...

  8. Hey Libby! You're absolutely correct. I was thinking of more single customer to single-person business owner, but, your observation is 100% on the mark if the buyer/MLM person works for a larger company! So, please consider that an addendum to my post, if you'll allow it? ;-)

  9. Hey Fox. The kielbasa phrase was inspired by the greatest band in the entire history of the universe, Tenacious D. :-) So I can't take credit for that. As for the wife/LW being a doormat, yepper, the fact that she even agreed for a second to this arrangment is indicative of a greater evil in the relationship. Oh well.

  10. Greetings pooham! It's wonderful to see you here. :-) Please, please, please don't think that I judge the adulterer on his adultery. That's for he and his wife to sort out. What I judge him on, solely, is the position he put his wife in by telling her, but then asking her to keep a pact to protect something that had already been twice-broken. He's a manipulator and she's falling for it. Adultery is not an easy subject, but we're all human. I have no harsh words for adulterers as such. Only for manipulative, big ball-having meanies! :-)

    I hope that you're having a great day! We miss you 'round these parts. Please come back more often. :-)

  11. Oh, absolutely, mon capitan! =-) It's just something that I hadn't seen on the fray or here, so I thought I'd throw it out there.
    I started reading that letter from the perspective of single person to single person/business owner, but then I got to thinking about the everything, and decided I might need to think bigger.

  12. Hello from a frequent reader reader but rare comment-sharer. I adore your stuff- you are, in fact, how I became hooked on most of the other DP/Flysters here. So, onward:

    LW 1: It's men like this woman's husband who make me wish I knew- really knew- a way to find out where our dear LW's live. Because this man has a serious disease, and only a foot up his ass can cure it.

    LW 2: I don't know that it's a lack of balls in his case- honestly! I think he and his wife don't talk. He doesn't know how to approach this issue because he doesn't really know *her* anymore. She's just some perfect wife all day whilst he's busy being a big, important lawyer.

    LW 3: Perfect.

    LW 4: Love the additional thoughts about possible size of company and position of LW, because I, too, was picturing a single person/small business owner.

    Hope you are well, and thanks for the enticing read as always..:o)

  13. I stand corrected Smag'man...balls the size of Vermont I had considered larger than life but as you point out, probably not in the great state of Texas.
    I also wonder what else this husband is hiding with his secret pact. Did they do the wild thing all weekend long every chance they got while drinking lemonade? Is there more to his story? Somehow his get out of jail free card...I was drinking beyond my capacity... seems in jeopardy if she speaks to the so called best friend.
    My guess is he's hiding from the other husband knowing full well a beating is coming his way and if they all have children, this is going to be an ugly event for everyone when it's all said and done, regardless of whether their marriages survive. His telling his secret changed lives beyond whatever outcome he had in his little brain. Foolish.
    May I suggest if you have your most stupid moment in time and have a kielbasa moment with your wife's best friend, don't follow it up with another huge stupid moment and tell her...then don't add in an even more stupid moronic request of please don't tell your best friend, can't you pretend you don't know. Moron's abound.

  14. Wonderful work! As for LW 2, if my husband told me that my cooking was so terrible that I'd been poisoning him 4x per week for a year, I'd consider putting some real poison in. If it's really accidental food poisoning, shouldn't they both be ill?

    Anyone interested in a group experiment? We can all mildly poison our SO's food each night and see how long it takes them to man up and tell us. Then we all report back and compare results. The person with the longest (or shortest) holdout wins!

  15. Hey Christine! And welcome to the lagoon. Please feel free to stop by anytime and drop a word or three. The more folks here, the merrier. :-) And, just so you know, any reader willing to track down the LWs and put foot up the offending party's butt? They're good in my book. ;-)

    And, as for your take on LW#2, I think that you're 100% correct. However, after reading about his lawyer-ness, I had to challenge the size of his balls. I couldn't help myself. ;-)

    Please do post again! And thanks! :-)

  16. "May I suggest if you have your most stupid moment in time and have a kielbasa moment with your wife's best friend, don't follow it up with another huge stupid moment and tell her..."

    Classic, Debbie! And very, very, very true. I would have loved to ripped him a new one for this. If he ever writes in, he'll take the full brunt of me calling him out on his dumbassedness.

  17. Now Shazta! Let's not go *that* far. Well, you know, unless we don't like our SOs. ;-) But yeah, it wouldn't surprise me if that's what's up here. The LWs just too self-absorbed to recognize that his wife never eats from his special bowl of soup. ;-)

  18. Your description of what went on while LW#1 slept was priceless, and earned you a literal LOL, the first in several days. Thanks.

  19. "the fact that she even agreed for a second to this arrangment is indicative of a greater evil in the relationship."

    Further evidence that the one who cares least in a relationship has the most power.

  20. Wow Captain! The sky will never look the same to me...I'll keep on wondering: "are these balls I see up there?" And what are those objects circling around them --ball's moons?

  21. Hey CoolOne! And you just *know* that's how things went down, too, don't'cha? Considering hubby was all drunk--so drunk he couldn't control his wild wiener! 'Cause being that drunk makes a man ROCK hard. ;-) But, I had fun imagining it, regardless.

  22. Greetings oh great and wise Oracle! I never thought of it that way, but, yes, that's it exactly. It's just that some use that power for good. And others for evil.

  23. Hey Kati! See, one never knows how sneaky scientists can be until one learns of the Great Sky Balls and the fact that one of our planets is named Uranus! Those scientists are crafty jokers, let me tell you! ;-)

  24. uranus! I'm so slow it took me a moment to figure it out, but it was worth it!

  25. Gee Smaggie...I had not thought of that one fact that he was wildly drunk and could not control his brain nor his actions but his penis (thank you Elena Bobbit, we all easily use the term penis now, even Barbara Walters, which at the time made me roll on the floor laughing) was sober, rock and roll sober, viagra sober. Interesting how his wife looked over that point? Or has she?

    The Oracle's...Further evidence that the one who cares least in a relationship has the most power...very interesting concept regarding power...

  26. Hey Kati! I'm glad that it was worth it. If there's one thing I'm a sucker for, it's a bad, groan-worthy pun. I just can't help myself. ;-) I'll just go on ahead and apologize now for the sure-to-come bad puns in the future. :-)

  27. Hey Debbie! I LOVE your description of the hubby's penis as rock and roll, viagra sober! Yes! And I would suggest it had pre-knowledge of what was going to transpire that night. Yes, rock and roll, viagra sober. I'm going to have to remember that one. ;-)

  28. Smag, I'm sooo absent minded!
    There's so much buzzing in the Fly that I just realized I missed:

    I only just read "Remembering Charlie Hustle". I just love that story to pieces. You tell it so your readers are there. I could actually smell the athmosphere... and it's just so funny, and at the same time moving...

    I also just came across your kind comment about the description of my neighborhood. I posted a reply about them "toothy rabbits" ...scarier than you might think...

    As for more groany puns, I can't wait!

  29. Hey Kati! I'm glad that you enjoyed the story. For those that don't know, I have some submarine non-fiction posted on my non-snark blog, here: There are two stories, "Making of a Submariner" (which I suggest that you read first), and then "Remembering Charlie Hustle". I hope that you enjoy. :-)