Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

The inauguration of Donald Trump as President of the United States has been a scary and horrific thing for many of us. He and his cabinet, full of unqualified and unsuitable candidates, threaten civil rights, voter rights, climate control, health care, public education, social security, the first amendment, foreign relations, free press, and the values of most good and decent people everywhere. We must resist his actions to destroy the fabric of democracy and the security of our citizens. In an effort to do that, each week I share some acts of resistance and steps of activism you can take. Here are this week’s:
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I am in the Army and stationed on the east coast. I’m dating a 29-year-old school teacher. She’s a single mom and I’m a divorced father but don’t have custody. I feel like she is too close to her parents and it’s causing a huge strain on our relationship. They live ten minutes away from us (I moved in with her a few months ago), and there seems to be too much parental involvement.

Every Monday her parents come over for supper and I think that’s wonderful, so that’s not the issue. The issue is her need to eat with them another 2-3+ nights per week. Also, her mom comes over every night to tuck in her granddaughter, and they talk all the time. On the weekend, I know my girlfriend is awake because she instantly FaceTimes her mother from bed, then her cousin. Rinse repeat every weekend.

If I don’t go to family things, they grill her and she hates that I don’t go to everything. Then, if her family has questions about me and my life, they won’t ask me, they ask her. I’m 32 years old, I’ve spent thirteen years in the military and I’ve moved across the country twice, with many more regional moves. I’m close to my parents, but I don’t feel nearly as close to mine as she does to hers.

If I ask her about why she’s so involved with them, she tells me that, when her husband left her, she relied on them and this became normal. I have not asked her to change anything other than to ask her mom not to come by at night. She would come over and sit down for several hours but do nothing to help. It was very uncomfortable for me because I can’t unwind with my girlfriend’s mother over my shoulder every night.

Am I letting this get to me or is there really a problem? — Confused in Connecticut

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Weekend Open Thread

Happy almost weekend! How many of you are off on Monday for Presidents’ Day? NYC public schools are off all next week for mid-winter break, but we’re staying here and saving up our vacation time and budget. You know who else is on recess next week? Congress! Which means they should be holding town halls in their districts to meet with constituents. I’m planning to go to my first town hall on Wednesday evening. Anyone else going to one in their area? This is a good time to raise some hell and make your voices heard. After the sheer batshit cray of this week/the last month, there’s a lot to be said.

Shifting gears entirely, Presidents’ Day weekend also means lots of sales. Here are a few I’m into:

Get an additional 40% off Sale prices at Anthropologie. Someone who doesn’t have to wear a bra, get this dress because it’s all that.

Shop $5 deal at H&M. Shop and save up to 70% off women’s, men’s and kids items! Enjoy free shipping until Feb. 20 with code 7779. I think I might have to get this dress for Joanie. And these pants for Jackson.

30% store-wide sale at J.Crew. I bought this sweater during another sale and I wear it about four times a week. (No exaggeration. I’m basically doing a capsule wardrobe, kind of by default, and this is one of the three or four tops on super heavy rotation this winter.)

An extra 30% off sale prices at Madewell. These Sorel boots!

Store-wide 20% off sale at West Elm. After realizing last weekend when we had guests over that we don’t really have a true cheese board (which, come on, necessity), I’m eyeing this.

40% off store-wide sale at Banana Republic. I’ve been looking for a sweater exactly this color!

Any others you’re excited about? Any weekend plans you’re looking forward to?

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I’m 23, my boyfriend is 29. Two nights ago my boyfriend had a seizure and cracked his head open on the floor. I was the first and only responder until EMS showed up. Blood flowed into a large puddle surrounding his head, SO MUCH BLOOD. His eyes looked nowhere, and his skin turned grey. I believed he was on the brink of death, and battled my own shock, to keep him with me while I waited an excruciating twenty minutes for EMS. I’m a lifeguard part time while finishing university, so I know basic first aid and I’ve been in situations like this before (though this was the most serious by far). It’s a whole new experience when its someone you Love.

Staying in a relationship with him, it’s likely something like this will happen again. He was diagnosed with epilepsy about a year ago, along with other health problems. This is his second seizure, the first he was driving a car, luckily slowly. My mother practically begged me to leave him when he was first diagnosed, but love ruled. Being so involved in his second seizure has woken me up; I realize I can’t deal with it. I can’t sleep — I keep seeing his empty grey face. I was so terrified to hold his severely wounded body in my arms, TERRIFIED! He didn’t recognize me and kept pushing me away while I fought to keep pressure on his wound. I was nervous he would hit me out of confusion, but more nervous he would bleed out and die. He needs me now more than ever. So, I have resolved to be there for him as a girlfriend, until he is no longer directly dealing with the aftermath of the incident. But I need to break up with him for my own sake. I can’t willingly subject myself to that situation ever again, unless I have to.

He is healing at his parents’ home now, but I can’t bear to have him come back to live with me. I went to visit him tonight and he’s already asking when he can come home. I don’t think he has an inkling of how traumatic this was for me. He was either in a fugue state or unconscious the whole time, and he doesn’t remember any of it.

I care about him deeply, but I am too young to introduce this much trauma into my life. I want to be there for him, but I just can’t be the one. I’m scared my leaving will spin him into depression.

How should I carry on now, when I know I’ll have to break the relationship when he’s better? How do I break up with him with as little damage as possible (and hopefully still be there for him)? — Needing to End This

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Friday Links

Here are a few things from around the web that may interest you:

When Dating In The Era Of Divisive Politics, Both Sides Stick To Themselves

Related: What’s a Liberal to Do When His Spouse Is a Trump Zealot?

Woman Problems: One moment, walking. The next—am I real?

‘It’s the breaking of a taboo’: It’s tiring, often boring – and can mean a return to more traditional roles. Why some mothers (and fathers) feel they made a mistake.

Why Men Fall in Love Faster Than Women

They fell in love in a concentration camp during the Holocaust. He’s not romantic and he thinks holding hands is silly, but after 75 years they’re still going strong. Saved From Holocaust: ‘He Loved Me and He Wanted to Keep Me’

“Missouri lawmakers are considering making a felony of ‘nonconsensual dissemination of private sexual images.’ better known as revenge porn. In the meantime, if your ex puts your naughty bits on social media, the Cyber Civil Rights Initiative has a handy-dandy guide to getting the photos or video removed and how to protect yourself.”

Thank you to those who submitted links for me to include. If you see something around the web you think DW readers would appreciate, please send me a link to wendy@dearwendy.com and, if it’s a fit, I’ll include it in Friday’s round-up. Thanks!

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