The secret of our power

Dear Dissonance, I think your Patient is on to us, or at least to you, given what you’ve written. This is bad for a number of reasons. First and perhaps most disastrous for us,  it means she is in closer contact with the Enemy as she would not recognize our actions unless it had something to do with what she told him or who she is becoming. It probably has something to do with your tactics, which are to subtle... Read more

The wedding

Dear Dissonance, Have you noticed how so many women who are engaged focus more on preparing for their wedding than for their marriage? It’s strange, because normally very rational people elevate the decision between wearing a Vera Wang or Monique Lhuillier dress to the level of picking a college and act as if securing a profile in the women’s sports pages, AKA, The New York Times “Vows” section, were as important as being able to make a down payment on... Read more

Living separate lives

Dear Dissonance, I am really glad to hear that your Patient thinks of her conversion as a done deal, as if faith were like purchasing a house: difficult to fathom the cost at first, and a series of tradeoffs between aspects she likes and dislikes, but a contract completed with her signature, not to be revisited until sale. You really don’t want her to think of it as something she must wrestle with on a daily basis or integrate into... Read more

The Devil is not in the details

Dear Dissonance, Thank you for sharing the heartwarming news that your Patient and her fiance had a blow out argument over the quantity of water in Atlanta and whether further growth should be encouraged or discouraged because of the potential for draught even though neither one has lived there nor has plans to move there! The fact that it ended up with her telling him she would never vote for him if he ran for office is even better! You... Read more

Money for dummies

Dear Dissonance, Since we are going through a little pre-marriage counseling, let’s talk money. You shouldn’t worry so much about whether your Patient and her soon-to-be husband have it or not. Being without it or having an abundance of it is only important in so far as it dictates our tactics. One or the other isn’t fundamentally good or bad in the eyes of Our Father – or the Enemy for that matter. It is the person’s relationship to money... Read more

The importance of keeping score

Dear Dissonance, I’m glad we got that little conflict between the two of us out of the way so that we can get back to focusing on your Patient. Breaking up a relationship or inflicting great blows to it is really quite formulaic. Once you memorize a few steps and start practicing them, you will be sure to find immediate success. What makes me particularly optimistic in your case is that both your patient and her soon-to-be husband are not... Read more

Backstabbing in Hell

My Dear Dissonance, I received a visit from Our Father’s Secret Police last Friday at midnight. It seems that you have been sharing our letters with them like the good informant I have been training you to be. It took me all weekend to make Detective Tool and Detective Parochial realize that my alleged theological errors were deliberate tests of your character and not mistakes on my part. They were particularly concerned that I bought into the idea that love... Read more

Starting over and Satan’s favorite retailer

Dear Dissonance, I see why you have not written in a long time. You have nothing good to say! The fact that you start out with the good news of your patient drinking too much only highlights how you like to bury the lede, in your patient’s parlance. She’s getting married! It was only six months ago that you wrote to tell me of her breaking up with her ex boyfriend. Now she is engaged to someone that she just... Read more

The big lie about marriage

Dear Dissonance, The week or so long flush of relief your patient now feels from breaking off a relationship that made her unhappy will soon be replaced by anxiety and even better, bitterness. Trust me. With the right prompts, she will be yours again in a matter of weeks. For years she was told that marriage was just another lifestyle choice, and if she wanted it, the right man would magically appear like a personal fulfillment genie, which, of course,... Read more

A Bad breakup

Dear Dissonance, I am horrified to learn that your patient broke up with her boyfriend. What were you thinking taking a vacation during his visit over the holidays? If you knew she was harboring doubts about being with someone who did not share her faith, you needed to be there around the clock to foment anxiety about being alone and starting over in her mid thirties. Instead, you went off to a spa as if your work was a done... Read more
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