Bewildered Dude Who Left His Wife and Four-Week-Old Baby is Somehow Confused About Why Everyone Is Mad At Him

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There’s nothing like a good advice column to make a person feel mature, rational, and like a person who is aware of the world and people around her and just generally has her shit together. This week the world was treated to an utterly tone-deaf Ask Prudence letter from a man who just left his wife four weeks after she had their baby, and is now confused and offended by the fact that his friends and family are mad at him.

Clueless dudes are not a rare sight on the Internet, but this letter is worth reading just as an example of how far double-speak can go.

“The problem is that my soon-to-be ex-wife just had a baby a few weeks ago,” he explains. Translation: “My current wife had our baby a few weeks ago.”

“I was thinking about divorce when I found out she was pregnant but decided to stay for the sake of the baby,” he writes. Translation: “I was having sex with my wife, and my penis put semen in her, and one of my sperm found one of her eggs, fertilized it, and then for nine months my wife gestated a fetus and eventually delivered a small human being that is half made of my genetic material. My wife was actually my future ex-wife all this time, but I decided not to tell anybody that, because it might upset them.”

“It’s four weeks after the birth, and things are worse. We fight constantly and we haven’t had sex for almost four months, so last week I finally got the courage to break ties and move into an apartment,” he says. Translation: “Three weeks after the baby was born, everyone is tired and crabby and my wife is not satisfying all my sexual urges.”

Anybody who has ever dealt with a newborn is probably raising her eyes at that timeline. Fighting, frustration, and no sex at three weeks? That’s such a given that it should be written on condom packages the way we print Surgeon General’s warnings on cigarettes.

Those first few weeks are rough. Babies are great, but if a sea witch came to you in the first month postpartum and offered you the Little Mermaid deal, so you could sacrifice your husband to get your old life back, you wouldn’t do it, but for a second there you’d probably think, “Is there room for negotiation? What can I get if I cut up all his clothes? I’ll tell him the end of Game of Thrones for a three-hour nap. For a weekend off, I’ll flush the toilet while he’s in the shower.”

But somehow this dude remains completely unaware that anything in his life has changed, or that he had any role in the creation of his child, which he just refers to as “a child,” not a son or daughter or anything involving his role in its life. He seems to think babies belong to the mother alone. So he took off, and is now somehow surprised that his own family members are not supporting him.

Prudence writer Mallory Ortberg does an admirable job of seeing the best in people and tells the writer: “Frankly, your biggest problem is not what people are saying about you but about how you’re going to be a present co-parent to a month-old baby and a newly minted ex-wife.”

Hahahaha. Really, now. She knows as well as we do that this guy is not leaving his wife and baby so he can be a single father to a four-week-old baby.

He does make a case for having been in a shitty marriage, and if they weren’t happy then it should probably end. But this guy’s letter is not about how to co-parent a newborn with his ex-wife, or how to deal with being a single father. He just wants to know how to get people to stop saying bad things about him, because it’s all about him, after all.