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In a Dear Abby column this week, a LW writes:

Ring

I was engaged several years ago, but the engagement didn’t last. We broke up and I gave him back his ring. We remain close friends, however, and hang out at least once a week.

I have been dating another guy for a couple of years, and we’re thinking about getting engaged. I am wondering if it would be improper to ask my ex if we could buy my old ring from him. It was – and still is – my “dream ring,” and I know my ex has kept it in the glove box of his car ever since I gave it back to him.

I don’t want to commit a faux pas, but it seems silly to buy another identical ring. What do you think?

— Headed Down the Aisle

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Question: Is anyone having issues with the forums? Like, do you have trouble accessing them or commenting or creating topics? A couple of people have reported issues recently and I am wondering if it is fairly wide-spread or limited to those individuals. Thanks.

New readers: You can access the forums by clicking “forum” in the navigation bar. On tablets and mobile devices, you can access the forums by clicking “menu” in the top right corner and scrolling down until you get to the forum headings.

This week in the forums, we’re discussing:

Kindness Thread

Great First Date

“My New Boyfriend Already Has Five Kids, But I Want Him to Have One With Me!”

Dating Smart: A blessing and a curse

Sleepovers (for kids, not adults)

Naming another puppy….

I just broke up with my boyfriend…

How do I tell my family I’m getting divorced?

Panic attack, LDR, Loneliness

Big plans, bright future, but naysayers are getting me down :(

MEETUPS:

Boston — August 29

Follow along on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at wendy@dearwendy.com.

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Sugar Daddy

I am a 24-year-old girl who started having an affair with her boss in May of 2013. It was just ok in the beginning. He was a sugar daddy, per se, and I expected a lot from him, and my expectations were not met. Or they were met too late. It put a strain on me. For example, I had asked him for my rent in January of this year — rent that was due in December — but he didn’t give me even half of it until May. Meanwhile, since I worked with him, I was quite aware of his other girlfriends. He’d bring them to the office whenever he liked, which was disrespectful to me. I knew he took these girls shopping, took them on vacations, and even bought them cars. But when I asked for something, I wouldn’t get it until six months later. I really was not satisfied.

In January of this year, a friend of my boss’s who comes to the office regularly started to ask me out. My boss and I were on and off. His friend told me he liked me, and he wooed me and all that. I asked him for the rent. I was about to lose my place. He gave me the rent. He was trying to get into my pants, sure enough. But it felt really easy with him. I didn’t see him with other women and he was very responsive. So, I began a relationship with him. It was good. Until May.

Then, he stopped calling me. And then by June, my boss stopped calling too. They are very close friends. I figured they found out about my stupid game. So by July, I couldn’t take them ignoring me anymore. The friend would come around and pass my desk like I didn’t exist. My boss would do the same thing. So I quit my job. For my happiness. But every day ever since then I have been thinking about the terrible thing I did. Especially to the friend. I have been thinking of a way to make it work with either of them.

So, which do you think I should do:

1. Apologize to them separately (and if so, what is the best way to go about it?).
2. Apologize to my ex-boss because he is the one I cheated on.
3. Just let it go and move on with my life.

— Feeling Like a Bad Woman

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Screen Shot 2014-08-19 at 4.14.20 PM

The following essay is written by guest contributor, Amy Paturel.

I woke at 6 am and started cooking: spinach and mushroom quiche, bacon-egg scramble, even chocolate-dipped strawberries.

What if they don’t like the food? What if they notice the poorly hidden clutter? What if our sons act like brats?

My husband, Brandon, stumbled into the kitchen a few hours later, as I was pulling out serving trays, his eyes still crusty with sleep. “Do you think Roger will recognize Noelle’s serving trays?” I asked, concerned.

“I doubt it. And, if he does, it won’t bother him,” said Brandon. “It’s not like he’s scouring our house for remnants of Noelle.”

Roger is Brandon’s former father-in-law. His daughter Noelle was only 33 when she died in a car accident six months after marrying Brandon. Now her serving trays, her loyal beagle Charlie, even her amazing husband had been bequeathed to me.

Despite my best efforts, those realities would be thrust in Roger’s face during his first visit to our home. [click to continue…]

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text message

My boyfriend of 2.5 years just proposed to me. It was great, and I was on cloud nine. Our relationship didn’t have the smoothest start. He was very back and forth in the beginning, but we are truly best friends, with more love for each other than I could ever explain. So naturally, when he popped the question, I was thrilled…until I found out he has been emailing with his ex-fiance throughout almost our entire relationship.

He was previously engaged over 6 years ago, to a girl he dated off and on for 5+ years. They were broken up the first time for almost two years when they ran into each other and decided to give it another shot. Shortly after, they were engaged. It ended up running its course again, for reasons that I don’t entirely know. I knew he had contact with her when we first started dating, but, when we became serious and I explained that it bothered me, he said he would stop (no Facebook, Instagram, etc.).

Cut to this week. In one of my less proud moments, I looked at his phone out of curiosity regarding engagement congratulations. He has several girls from his past who I’ve expected may have been more than friends at some point, who he still maintains contact with. I was interested to see what their take was on our engagement. Not cool, but the truth. I was also interested to see if his ex knew we got engaged and, if so, did she reach out to him.

While looking, I uncovered over a year’s worth of emails between the two of them. The first few I saw were a few months into our relationship. He sent her an “e-card” with some joke about having sex. They proceeded to talk about how they’d like to do “that” again. It went back and forth, but I was seeing more red than actual words on the screen.

Another email started because she deleted her Facebook account after seeing a photo of my fiancé and me at a concert together. He proceeded to tell her that he only took the picture because the “lights were cool” and that he would have preferred her to have been there instead of me. Then a month or so later he sent an email after her father passed. I completely understand his concern and need to express condolences, but he went into great detail about how important her family was to him. He then signed it with “Love,…”.

Then there were more emails between the two of them about six months later, which was well into our relationship. In those, they talked at great length about their relationship, how no one makes them feel the same, no one understands her like he does, how hard it is for him to see photos of her and her husband, how much she misses him. And finally, she complained thoroughly about her marriage and said she wished she could be with him again, but she said she knows she can’t “ask him to wait” for her. He said he was confused, flattered, and missed her too. I had had enough and stopped reading. I confronted him about it and a blow-out fight ensued.

The next day he deleted everything. Later on I saw an email from her telling him to delete everything and figure it out. He says he’s devastated and swears that all of the emails were over a year ago. But when I pressed him for honesty, he said he thinks their last emails to each other were “like 8 months ago.” I don’t know if I believe that. I don’t know what to believe.

He says he’s never loved anyone more than me and wouldn’t have proposed if he weren’t certain. I’m furious, heartbroken, humiliated. I simply don’t know what to do. I don’t feel like I can trust him again. They were broken up for two years before and got back together. How can I be sure that, if our marriage gets rocky someday, or if she divorces her husband, they won’t start talking again? He says he reciprocated the conversation because of the “attention.” To me, that sounds like the making of a cheater. We hit a speed bump, or don’t, and someone else gives him some attention, and then bam! Please help me figure out where to go from here. — Blindsided in Boston

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