Wedding Woes

Baby-making TMI

Dear Prudence,

Five years ago my brother’s best friend, Harry, married my best friend, Petra. During the honeymoon, he went rock climbing, fell, and damaged his spine significantly. He’s used a wheelchair since. That all sucks and changed both of their lives a lot, but they stuck together and are now trying for a baby.

That’s great. I think they’d be good parents. I just don’t want to know about it! I’ve known Harry since I was 6 and Petra since we were 10, I don’t want to think about their sex life. I assume they have one and that’s all that matters. But Petra wants to tell me the details about everything, from sperm counts to injections. It’s just too much AND it feels like I know stuff Harry would be mortified about.

I know that you’re going to say, “Just tell her you’re uncomfortable.” And that’s fair enough. I just feel guilty because I know she’s no one else to talk to about this. She doesn’t have many close friends other than me and her parents are on an information diet about her life since they wanted her to break up with Harry after the accident. So if not me, then who? So, how do I find a balance between “Eww, TMI” and being a supportive friend? If I can draw a boundary line, where should it go to accommodate my discomfort and her need to talk through a stressful time?


Re: Baby-making TMI

  • What are you okay with hearing about and what aren’t you? Is it no sex talk at all or do you not want the medical details. Figure that out then gently say “I want to be hear for you through this but can you please leave the sperm out?”
  • If the friend isn't talking about where she needs to be touched then what she's doing is sharing medical science.  I think the LW needs to be more supportive. 
  • I’m getting strong ableist vibes here. Otherwise why even mention the disability? It doesn’t change the supposed “problem” of not wanting to know intimate details. But LW led with that for a whole paragraph then mentioned her issue. 

  • I think it's fine for the LW to draw the line on sex talk because I don't think it's unusual for even a close friend to be uncomfortable listening to it.  Even if it is just talking about their sex schedule.

    But I also think they need to have some flexibility because their friend really needs them.  For example, only putting conversational boundaries on things they are especially uncomfortable with.

    I also find it odd they seem to be uncomfortable when their friend talks about the medical process.  Which were the only two examples the letter gave.  At a previous job, I worked in a small department.  One of my coworkers was going through fertility treatments and she talked to me about the injections.  What they were like and how bad they made her feel.  We had a good working relationship, but weren't friends.  Still, I didn't mind being a listening ear and wasn't uncomfortable with it.  She was going through a hard time.  To be fair, it was only a few conversations, whereas I'm sure the LW has listened to many or they wouldn't be writing to Prudie.
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
  • Also, LW if they're talking sperm counts and injections then this isn't sex life.  This is a couple going through fertility treatments so they can become parents. 

    And you don't hear other people talking about this because it's been labeled as private information that isn't up for discussion so everyone going through the stress of having a kid keeps that conversation shut up and in private where they dwell on it only w/ a partner if there is one or with a therapist.

    Your dear friend is confiding in you because this is stress.  Do not shame her.  Be there and listen because your friend needs an ear and not your judgement that ejaculation is yucky. 
  • I agree with most PP's - this LW seems like a jerk. I don't understand why a best friend sharing info about their struggle to get pregnant is gross and overstepping. But as usual in Prudie, just talk to her. If you don't want to hear details, then ask her not to share details - but she's not doing anything WRONG, and she can't know you don't like it unless you TALK to her. 
  • levioosa said:
    I’m getting strong ableist vibes here. Otherwise why even mention the disability? It doesn’t change the supposed “problem” of not wanting to know intimate details. But LW led with that for a whole paragraph then mentioned her issue. 
    Yes! When LW set it up, I thought it was headed toward discussion of the mechanics. I could see being uncomfortable knowing that about a friend. 

    But sperm count is medical data. That's like knowing someone's cholesterol or blood type. It's not discussing your sex life. 
  • Maybe I’m the only perv who wants the inside deets on my friends’ sex lives?

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