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Screen Shot 2014-06-12 at 2.19.43 PMDear Wendy readers are some of the most intelligent, stylish, super cool people around (it’s a proven fact), so, when a commenter suggested I create a regular feature for them to recommend some of their favorite products, it was a no-brainer and Reader Recs was born. Today’s recommendations come from “Alice” who is a 23-year-old veterinary student living near Madison, WI with her forever-train partner, 2 cats, 6 ducklings, 6 turkeys, and a whole bunch of chickens. When she’s not operating on animals or giving puppies shots, she spends most of her time helping “Benjamin” on the farm growing food and then figuring out ways to eat and store it. She also loves ballroom dancing, yoga, running, knitting while watching Netflix, and spending way too much time lurking on Dear Wendy. Keep reading for her recommendations.
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wedding 3

Five years ago today Drew legally signed up for a lifetime of my bullshit. So far, he’s hanging in there. He even told me that the years have flown by, and I agree. I feel very lucky that we found each other and that we took a risk on long-distance love and that I moved to New York and that everything is working out.

Thanks, Drew, for putting up with me, for loving me in spite of my many flaws, and for being the best partner-in-crime in marriage, parenthood, and life. All my favorite memories include you, and our wedding day is at the tip top. Here’s to many more years and many more happy memories to be made.

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From the forums:

Much money 07

I have been with my husband for about four years, and we’ve been married for about a year now. It was apparent very early in our dating that his father is quite a character. He is able to make a good living at his job, but he wastes all of his money on prescription drugs, alcohol, and God knows what else. My husband claims to not approve of this behavior, but I know he has lent his dad sums of money here and there, maybe $100-200 at a time. My husband claims that his father has always paid him back and that, until he fails to pay him back, he chooses to trust him and will continue to lend him money on occasion because he loves him.

We did not combine finances until we married so I did not feel it was my place to tell him what to do with his money when we were dating, but, now that we’re married and all of our money is combined, I feel like my husband is asking me to enable his (seemingly functional) alcoholic, addict father. Since our marriage is newish, we are now establishing a precedent of loaning his father money and letting him know that, if he wastes all of his money on drugs, etc., we will be his safety net. I explained this to my husband, who insists that his relationship with his father is extremely complicated, that his dad always pays him back, and that he loves him and cannot just “abandon” him when he’s in need, since he only asks for loans when he’s really, really stuck. For example, the last time was when he was traveling and ran out of money. He couldn’t do anything until we sent him $200.

For background: He and and my mother-in-law, who is, ironically, an extremely motivated and self-sufficient person, divorced when my husband was a teenager. My husband is the eldest of three siblings, and he is closer to his dad than his siblings are. His siblings are both very together people like their mom, and they have confided in me that they cut their dad off long ago. The mom found out that my husband was still lending the father money and she was really upset with their father. I explained to my husband how worrisome it is that his rational family whom he loves has cut their dad off, and that they did so for a reason, yet he insists that his relationship with his dad is different and that, until the dad fails to pay him back specifically, he owes him the benefit of the doubt. I disagree. Also, as more background: There has been some emotional abuse perpetuated by the dad, and, being from a very stable, docile family myself, just hearing some of the things I’ve heard have made me want to jump out of my skin.

A few weeks ago my FIL stayed with us for a couple of days, which I thought was just to visit. Turned out he was broke and wanted to extend the trip. I told my husband I was really uncomfortable that he had come under the guise of a visit, that I felt manipulated, and that he could stay one more night but had to be gone by the time I got home from work. He was. Now this morning my husband has let me know that he’s loaning him another $100.

Maybe I partially just need to vent, but I’m also unsure how to proceed. I don’t understand how to deal with people like this, but I’m pretty sure that enabling their drug habits is not the way to go. I like his dad personally, and we have the money to spare, but I do not want to be manipulated or taken advantage of. At the same time, I understand that my husband’s relationship with his dad is highly complicated. My husband is an extremely sensitive, rational person. I think he just feels like he is his dad’s only remaining savior and he cannot let go of that role, and I cannot force him to do so. For the record, not that I believe it matters since we are married, my husband and I both make a good income, though I make slightly more.

I know the answer to issues with in-laws is that the child should be the buffer and deal with their parents and that communication with your spouse is key, etc. But we have communicated, and my husband just seems to have a weird blind spot when it comes to his dad. We have a fundamental disagreement about the difference between supporting and enabling in this case. — Uncomfortable with Enabling

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dead end

I met a guy online over the summer. We had three PG dates and had a really great time together. We went away for a weekend on our fourth date, and he asked me to be his girlfriend that weekend. Four weeks later, after lots of relationship talk and his being super keen, he called to say a friend had declared her love for him. He felt confused and so ended it with me. Three weeks later we started talking again; he told me nothing happened with the friend and he wanted to rekindle our relationship, so, after telling him how much of an idiot he was, I agreed.

Three months later, after feeling like he was growing distant, I asked him what was up and he confessed he didn’t want a relationship. He has, he has said, a history of doing this to women, which he blames on having his heart broken by a cheating girlfriend. And now, after a month, he wants to try again. He feels ashamed of his behaviour and understands my trust has been eroded, so wants me to decide on my terms. He has been erratic in the past, often changing his mind and saying a lot of things that he later says he didn’t mean….so would it be foolish to give him a third chance??? — Foolish?

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This week in the forums, we’re discussing:

Looking for a Puppy Name

Any sewers here?

Can we talk about awkward dating stories in middle/high school?

My boyfriend lives an hour away and wants me to move with my children

Good news

Hypothetically moving in with a friend who has kids

Baby face

He wants exclusivity but no relationship title. Should I walk?

My boyfriend lives an hour away and wants me to move with my children

Is it time to MOA?

Best friend is drifting away, and I’m having a hard time with that

MEETUPS:

Northeast Ohio

Boston — August 29

Minnesota

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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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