Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

“His Wife Won’t Leave Us Alone!”

I have been dating my guy since August of 2013. He has been separated and living in a different state from his estranged wife, “Betty,” for well over a year now. His son turns 18 and graduates in May of this year. We are living together and actually bought a home together. He has told Betty that they aren’t ever be getting back together and that we are living together. She cheated on him continuously throughout their 20 years together. She wouldn’t have sex with him much at all — claimed she didn’t like it — but cheated on him all through their relationship. He took the rest of her clothes and stuff she had left at his place back to her a few days ago and told her they were done. She refuses to listen and won’t stop messaging him. I say he needs to cut all contact with her. I need some advice. — Tired of His Estranged Wife

So, you bought a home with someone you’d only been dating a few months — someone who is still legally married to someone else and whose estranged wife doesn’t seem interested in making a divorce easy? Hmm, I’m not sure what advice you want now. Had you written earlier, I would have said to not move in with him so soon and definitely not to buy a place together. But that’s done now and I’m not sure what you’re asking.

The thing is, when a couple has 20 years of history, a child together — one who is still in high school — and is still legally married, it’s unrealistic to think that moving in with someone else and dropping off a box of clothes is going to somehow erase one person from the other’s life. And it’s unrealistic to expect your boyfriend to “cut all contact” with his estranged wife. For one thing, she’s still his wife. Estranged or not, they are still legally wed, and, at some point, details will need to be discussed and plans will need to be made. They have a child together. Just because he’s almost 18 doesn’t mean he doesn’t need his father in his life anymore, and I would hope that your boyfriend wants to continue being part of his son’s life — perhaps providing financial support for college and emotional support as his son continues growing up, becoming a man, and, oh yeah, processing the end of his parents’ marriage. And as long as your boyfriend and his estranged wife share a son — which will be as long as they both are alive — they will share, at the very least, a tenuous connection.

I’m sorry that moving in with a man months after he left his wife of 20 years hasn’t been as easy and convenient as you might have expected. But now his baggage is your baggage. If I were you, I would encourage him to file for divorce. I would also talk to a lawyer and make sure you are protected as much as possible. Is the home you purchased together in both of your names? Talk with a lawyer about what that means if his wife seeks financial support from him.

On an emotional level, don’t assume you know the whole story of your boyfriend’s marriage just because he’s told you some of his side of it. Maybe his wife continually cheated on him and maybe she didn’t. But even if she was a chronic cheater, marriages are never black-and-white. There isn’t one spouse who is horrible and one who is an angel. Both partners are flawed and make mistakes, and if, in your boyfriend’s description of what went wrong in his marriage, he has only expressed the mistakes his wife made and has never shared any of the shit he did, be very leery. Without much distance between his bad marriage and his relationship with you, your boyfriend is likely to repeat whatever wrongs he committed in his marriage because he didn’t have the time to process and grow. And if you have no idea what those wrongs were, you may find yourself caught completely off guard when they show up in your relationship too.

***************

You can follow me on Facebook here and Twitter here.

If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at [email protected].

90 comments… add one
  • avatar

    bethany March 26, 2014, 9:08 am

    Here’s my advice– Wait to buy a house with a guy until he’s NOT MARRIED TO SOMEONE ELSE.

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    • avatar

      bethany March 26, 2014, 9:11 am

      Seriously, what is with these people who are so desperate for a relationship that they do this stupid shit? I mean, really? Some days it makes me really sad to know there there are all these people out there in the world just making horrible, horrible decisions. At least he hasn’t knocked the LW up yet…

      I sound like BGM. I’m going to stop now.

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      • LlamaPajamas

        LlamaPajamas March 26, 2014, 9:11 am

        Don’t stop! There’s really no other way to react to this letter.

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  • LlamaPajamas

    LlamaPajamas March 26, 2014, 9:11 am

    I hate it when my married boyfriends still keep in touch with their wives!

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  • GatorGirl

    GatorGirl March 26, 2014, 9:16 am

    Who the hell buys a house with a person who is currently in any state of being married to another person, that they’ve only been “dating” for 8 months at the VERY longest???!!!! Oh FFS. My advice is to check and see if all your marbles are still there because this is f-ing crazy.

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    • avatar

      bethany March 26, 2014, 9:23 am

      Seriously!
      Honestly, I want to know how much thought the LW actually put into this decision. I mean, before I moved in with Dave, I thought about it for a while before we actually talked about it, then we talked about it, then we started looking for places. The whole process took MONTHS. And now that I’m thinking about it, the home buying process usually takes a while, too. So, if after only 8 months or whatever, they’re already living in the house that they bought together, you figure it took a few weeks at the minimum to find a house, then another month or 2 to go through the whole financing, inspection, closing process. Uugh. I need to stop. I’m getting mad.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest March 26, 2014, 9:28 am

        All of that even without financing can take months. This is mindblowing to me. I was terrified to buy a house with my boyfriend…of like 6 (?) years. I still hope it was the right decision. If she wasn’t so dumb, I’d be a little jealous of how this LW must be all ‘no biggie, let’s do this’ about every decision because I can’t make 1 damn decision easily haha.

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      • honeybeenicki

        honeybeenicki March 26, 2014, 9:44 am

        From start to finish of us making the decision to buy a house until closing was like 5 months! Of course part of ours was because there were tenants that we couldn’t kick out yet and there are laws about living in the house within a certain amount of time otherwise it has to be financed as a rental property, but really that only delayed it by about 6 weeks.

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      • avatar

        Kate March 26, 2014, 9:59 am

        I mean, just to weigh in on this, I have twice bought a condo in about 2 months from starting to look until closing. Financing was pretty much instant too.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest March 26, 2014, 10:01 am

        2 months is, what, a quarter of their relationship? That’s the point I think.

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    • avatar

      iseeshiny March 26, 2014, 9:48 am

      Especially because, depending on where the states in question are, the wife could have a legal claim on the property. Maybe it’s just in one of their names and she means they like, picked it out together and are cohabitating.

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      • GatorGirl

        GatorGirl March 26, 2014, 9:58 am

        Yes, this. I was going to write something about the legalities/complications of investing in property when one person is still legally bound to another, but yeah, yikes! I remember the collective advising a DW regular not to start a business (in any way) until her divorce went through because he might be able to make a claim in it. Let alone investing in propertyy!!

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      • avatar

        Morgan March 26, 2014, 11:42 am

        I was going to ask about that as well. He bought the house while still married to her; does that make it an asset that she could claim in the divorce?

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      • avatar

        SpaceySteph March 26, 2014, 1:08 pm

        It seems shady he was even able to purchase a house without disclosing his wife’s financials given that he might technically owe for her debt.

        My husband bought a house 3 years before we were married and I never lived in it. When we sold it after we got married I had to sign papers at the closing basically a) stating that I had knowledge of the sale and b) made no legal claims to the house on the basis that I never lived in it.

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  • avatar

    lets_be_honest March 26, 2014, 9:25 am

    Oh boy. You need to stop this, now. You have made huge mistake after huge mistake. Fine, I guess mistakes happen sometimes, but acknowledge that your’s have been above and beyond stupid and stop making them immediately. Start growing up and fixing this. Put the house on the market, quickly and quietly so the wife doesn’t get wind of her husband selling a big asset. Sell the house, get your money back and move far away from these people and then don’t date until you’ve been to therapy.

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    • avatar

      bethany March 26, 2014, 9:39 am

      And in therapy, please examine why you make such bad decisions. I’m guessing this isn’t the first one you’ve made.

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      • Lianne

        Lianne March 26, 2014, 9:46 am

        Something tells me this person isn’t the type to go to therapy…

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  • Lianne

    Lianne March 26, 2014, 9:40 am

    With snow in the Northeast on 3/26 and this letter, it’s gotta be What-the-fuck Wednesday.

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  • honeybeenicki

    honeybeenicki March 26, 2014, 9:42 am

    Umm… what the actual fuck?? I don’t even know where to start with this. First, get a time machine, go back in time and don’t do any of the shit you did. Don’t buy a house with someone you’ve only been dating for a few months, especially someone who is still LEGALLY MARRIED to someone else. It’s one thing to date someone who is estranged from their spouse… I mean, I did it. But we certainly didn’t buy a damn house together before the divorce was final!

    You can’t really expect the he cut all contact with his wife. First, they aren’t divorced yet. That does require at least minimal communication. Second, he has a child with her. One who may be almost 18, but is still in high school. And believe it or not, kids need their parents even after they turn 18. His wife will forever be in his life because they brought another human being into the world together. If that’s not something you’re prepared for, then you’re definitely in the wrong relationship.

    I don’t know what kind of advice you’re looking for at this point. You can’t unring a bell, I’m betting you’re not going to sell the house and leave him, and you seem to not understand that your boyfriend and his wife are in this together even if they aren’t going to be married anymore. That’s what happens when you have kids with someone.

    Also, maybe don’t believe everything you hear. You’re hearing only his version of what his marriage was like, which may or may not be truly representative of what it was like. The fact that nothing appears to be his fault is a huge issue. My husband straight up told me that he fucked up in his marriage to his first wife and that he wasn’t a good husband. Sure, he bitches about some of what she did too, but he certainly didn’t lay all the blame on her. Because that’s not how relationships work. It takes two to tango.

    Honestly, I don’t even know where I was going with this. This letter is so ridiculous and selfish and frustrating that I can’t stand it. LW, you’re not going to listen to what we say anyway. So do what you do and hope that it works out for the best I suppose.

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  • avatar

    iseeshiny March 26, 2014, 9:44 am

    I am not usually one for schadenfreude, or being mean to LWs, but this letter just has me giggling into my coffee. C’mon, crazypants, if you wanted to date someone without history or baggage, a man still married to his wife of twenty years was a poor choice.

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  • lemongrass

    Lemongrass March 26, 2014, 9:53 am

    So when all those flags were waving in front of your face were you thinking “that’s not red, it’s more of a maroon” and walked away?

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    • avatar

      Amanda March 26, 2014, 10:15 am

      Maybe she just thought it was a festive parade.

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  • avatar

    rachel March 26, 2014, 9:56 am

    So, I don’t know a whole lot about divorce law, but isn’t him moving out and buying a house with someone else pretty bad for him in terms of a settlement? Man, everyone involved in this is just an idiot though.

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    • Kate B.

      Kate B. March 26, 2014, 10:34 am

      Laws vary a lot from state to state but I think a house purchased during the marriage is a community asset and therefore the wife can go after it in a divorce. Hope you enjoy splitting your house three ways, LW.

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      • avatar

        rachel March 26, 2014, 10:55 am

        Yeah, that’s what I was thinking. Also, how does “fault” work in a divorce? Because if he’s already shacked up with a new woman, it seems like that could work against him.

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      • Kate B.

        Kate B. March 26, 2014, 1:25 pm

        I’m not 100% sure, but I think no-fault means no one did anything bad, you’re just splitting up. I think assets are divided 50-50. A fault divorce means somebody did something: cheated, a crime, something. The courts go harder on that person.

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  • katie

    katie March 26, 2014, 9:56 am

    my honest advice? use birth control. the only thing that could make this story worse is if you somehow magically get pregnant with his kid.

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    • LlamaPajamas

      LlamaPajamas March 26, 2014, 10:08 am

      I beg to differ. Getting pregnant would cement their love and ensure the LW that her married beau will never leave her (man I love the word “beau”). Surprise pregnancies always help relationships!
      .
      (Just to be safe, this is SARCASM.)

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      • avatar

        iseeshiny March 26, 2014, 10:17 am

        ….until the kid is 18 and about to graduate high school, then he’s leaving the state.

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      • avatar

        zombeyonce March 26, 2014, 11:24 am

        That part made me really sad. This poor kid has a dad that just up and moved to another state and wants to cut off contact with his mother whom the kid most likely still lives with. Since the kid is only mentioned by LW in passing, I wouldn’t be surprised at all if the dad isn’t paying any attention to this kid, who has major life events happening (parental separation, graduation, college consideration, becoming an adult and maybe moving out) and probably needs his father’s support now more than ever.

        If the dad really does want a divorce, I also wouldn’t be surprised it he’s waiting until the son turns 18 so he doesn’t have to provide any child support (if that’s how it works). This guy sounds like a pretty shitty dad, and a not-so-great person overall.

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  • avatar

    Kate March 26, 2014, 9:56 am

    Whoa whoa whoa!!!! At least in my state, I don’t know about yours, if you buy property while married, the spouse can claim half of it. I cannot believe you did that. I also cannot believe you are satisfied with this story about the ex being this awful woman who refused to have sex with him and cheated on him continually for 20 years. Were you born yesterday? Even if that were true, what does it say about your boyfriend that he tolerated that for 20 years? Pro tip: IT’S NOT TRUE. I also would pretty much guarantee you’re not getting any money back that you put into that house. Ever. And I would also guarantee that not only is contact with his wife going to continue, it’s going to get increasingly combative and unpleasant. I would tell you to run away, but I don’t think you have any common sense, so just let it run its course and do NOT expect you’re going to marry this guy and live happily ever after. This relationship is going to go down in flames.

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    • avatar

      Kate March 26, 2014, 10:11 am

      LW, please tell me you did not put any money into the house? Please tell me he didn’t ask YOU for the down payment because he’s still financially supporting his wife, but the mortgage is in both your names?

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      • LlamaPajamas

        LlamaPajamas March 26, 2014, 10:23 am

        I’d kind of like a LW update right now. Like, right this second. Has she shit herself yet? Or does she still think this is a good idea?

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  • avatar

    Vathena March 26, 2014, 10:08 am

    You guys just don’t understand. Theirs is a SPECIAL love.

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    • avatar

      Kate March 26, 2014, 10:13 am

      You know what’s funny, actually, is she doesn’t say that!!! Or that he’s “amazing” or ANYTHING about him except how long they’ve been dating. That is odd now that you bring it up 🙂

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      • avatar

        Vathena March 26, 2014, 12:17 pm

        Don’t worry, we’ll see it in the updates!

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    • avatar

      llclarityll March 26, 2014, 11:25 am

      Cue “Groovy kind of Love” by Phil Collins.

      Reply Link
  • Lyra

    Lyra March 26, 2014, 10:14 am

    I feel really bad for this guy’s son in all of this.

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  • iwannatalktosampson

    iwannatalktosampson March 26, 2014, 10:26 am

    Thank you LW. I was starting to get down on myself and really judge myself for impulsive decisions I’ve made lately. Good news for me is that it could be worse. It must be weird for you to be so self-centered that you barely mention the trauma that must be occurring in this 18 year old’s life.

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    • Lyra

      Lyra March 26, 2014, 10:37 am

      Seriously. I can’t imagine what the 18-year-old is going through right now. The kid is trying to finish up his senior year and his parental units are acting more immature than his classmates…

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  • Amanda

    Amanda March 26, 2014, 10:35 am

    Wait. I’m confused. He has a place that she had stuff at…yet you guys are living together in a house? So he drove to a different state, to drop stuff off. That he had at his place. That isn’t the house you share…

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    • avatar

      iseeshiny March 26, 2014, 11:26 am

      Ooooh good point. Maybe it’s a fake.

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      • Amanda

        Amanda March 26, 2014, 12:17 pm

        And how did she have stuff at his place if she’s in another state? Did she move? If so, if she has custody of the kid, that could cause issues. If he moved…why was she at his place and leave stuff there?

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      • KKZ

        KKZ March 26, 2014, 1:35 pm

        Eh, having just moved out of the house my husband and I were sharing, I’ve encountered all kinds of “his” stuff that got mixed up in “my” stuff. We’ve seen each other several times since then and almost every meeting involves a “Hey, I found this, did you want it?” exchange. I can see how it would happen.

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      • Amanda

        Amanda March 26, 2014, 1:38 pm

        It’s just the phrasing “she had left at his place” that makes me question it.
        .
        Also, I would totally buy that if this wasn’t decoupaged in red flags.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest March 27, 2014, 11:09 am

        Decoupaged in red flags! You win funniest person ever.

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    • othy

      othy March 26, 2014, 12:14 pm

      Could it be that they live very close to the boarder of a state? And he accidentally packed up some of her clothes when he moved out? I’m trying to come up with ways this would be feasible.

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    • avatar

      Lucy March 26, 2014, 1:32 pm

      My guess is, they’re from a metro area (like NYC) with several states close together, and he’s moved from a suburb in one state to either the city or another suburb in another state. But that still doesn’t explain how her stuff ended up at his place if he’s the one who moved.

      LW, only one thing is guaranteed in this situation: the story your bf is telling you about his marriage is not true. Oh, and as far as his wife’s financial interest the house is concerned: you’re fucked. So that’s two things.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest March 26, 2014, 1:34 pm

        Maybe LW and her bf bought his ex’s house?

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      • Amanda

        Amanda March 26, 2014, 1:53 pm

        Oh man. That would only end well for them…

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  • mandalee

    mandalee March 26, 2014, 10:36 am

    Thanks, LW. I thought my friend who is pressuring her still married boyfriend to buy a house and marry her ASAP ignoring the fact that he is STILL MARRIED was a bit off her rails, but this whole situation makes her seem much more grounded.

    Honestly, I don’t even know. You’re surprised that a 20 year marriage dissolving like it did is involving some drama? I mean, yeah, everyone knows when you decide your marriage is over you just pick up and move in with your latest girlfriend, say it’s over, and that’s it. There’s no discussion about division of assets, what to do with raising his son, and all the divorce proceedings that come with actually ending a marriage. I feel like you’re treating this like he brought up with his high school girlfriend! No, she can’t just go away, she was and still is his wife and the mother of his son, she’s around for good in one capacity or another.

    The buying the house together thing just baffles my mind. My crazy friend is dead set on this too. Why in the world would you want to buy property with 1. a boyfriend of mere months 2. who is still married 3. whose wife may have claim to this house 4. who clearly is a bad decision maker based on his role in all of this? Is it because saying “we bought a house together” makes your relationship sound more stable, lasting? It truly baffles me. I truly hope that you did not invest money into this purchase.

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    • avatar

      Marcie March 26, 2014, 10:49 am

      I wonder if in the case of the LW and your friend here, is buying a house some type of commitment that they can actually make? As in “he won’t get a divorce but I’ll buy a house to show I’m special to him'”?

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest March 26, 2014, 11:29 am

        Good guess!

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      • avatar

        MsMisery March 26, 2014, 1:01 pm

        It’s better than getting pregnant with him! At least when it inevitably ends, they can sell the house.

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    • othy

      othy March 26, 2014, 11:29 am

      Does your friend have a time machine, and this is her from the future writing? Because I can’t believe there are two people (well, 4 if you count the guys) in this world who think this is a good idea.

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    • iwannatalktosampson

      iwannatalktosampson March 26, 2014, 11:42 am

      Yeah I kind of want real life details about this.

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      • mandalee

        mandalee March 26, 2014, 3:17 pm

        Sorry I just left that crazy bomb and disappeared haha Yeah, if the details about the wife did not include a kid (thank God), I would think this is my crazy friend. All I know is the man is still for-sured married, but slowlyyyy going through the separation thing while trying to hide money from his wife (great!), and my friend spends about half the day e-mailing me wedding links and talking about the pressure from her mom to get that ring and the other half sending me condo listings. I nod along because what do you really say to that but inside I’m just like YOUR BOYFRIEND IS MARRIED STOP TALKING ABOUT THIS. I get that relationships are messy, endings aren’t perfect, but the LW and my friend are cray-cray. I don’t get the house buying thing, but maybe it’s along the lines of what Marcie posted. Can’t get married, so until buy a house and you win somehow.

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      • mandalee

        mandalee March 26, 2014, 3:19 pm

        Also this relationship started on Craigslist and not in the let’s be friends or we met while we when he bought a couch from her or something. So I should have seen the craziness coming.

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  • Miss MJ

    Miss MJ March 26, 2014, 10:41 am

    Guys! Come on. I think we’re being a bit harsh. I mean, who doesn’t expect her married boyfriend to cease all contact with his wife? God, it’s like you all think 20 years together, a child and an ongoing marriage actually mean anything in the face of the LW’s True Love. Clearly, the wife is being a selfish cow. I mean, the LW and this woman’s husband bought a house together (possibly with some of the wife’s money) and moved in together! They’ve been together for months! What kind of wife doesn’t respect the clear boundaries her current husband and his new GF have set up? Demanding the BF cut all contact with his wife and eventually son so the LW can pretend that they don’t exist is clearly the most reasonable option here.

    (/sarcasm. Obviously.)

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  • Kate B.

    Kate B. March 26, 2014, 10:42 am

    Sorry if this seems harsh, but I have nothing good to say about this. You bought a house with a guy who is still married after only a few months? Stupidity upon stupidity. And now you want her to just go away? Not gonna happen. They are tied together forever because they have a child, no matter how old that child is. The boyfriend doesn’t sound like a winner, either. Cut your losses, tell your boyfriend to buy you out and get the hell away from this clusterfuck. (Or you could sell your interest in the house to the wife. She’s probably goling to get it in the divorce, anyway. Might as well make some money off of it.)

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  • GatorGirl

    GatorGirl March 26, 2014, 10:46 am

    Just to echo what everyone else has said. Co-parenting doesn’t magically end when the kid turns 18. There are graduations, weddings, babies, holidays, etc, etc, etc. There are plenty of times when separated parents need to interact for the duration of the kids life.

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    • avatar

      llclarityll March 26, 2014, 11:22 am

      A-men. 18 just means you don’t legally have to financially support the child anymore.

      A lot of 18-year-olds are still “kids” after all — they need nurturing and emotional support.

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  • muchachaenlaventana

    muchachaenlaventana March 26, 2014, 11:01 am

    “His Wife Won’t Leave Us Alone”–> well she is his WIFE (maybe look up a definition of what that is before buying a house with someone who has one). I really don’t think anything else is relevant. Except I will second what others have said on one thing-please use birth control.

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  • Lianne

    Lianne March 26, 2014, 11:08 am

    This LW is gonna be so glad she wrote in!

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    • muchachaenlaventana

      muchachaenlaventana March 26, 2014, 11:11 am

      Yeah I feel kind of bad for being mean. I just think she wanted validation of us being like “oh that wife is so crazy, she needs to leave her husband alone.” I mean the best advice should could get is WWS but sometimes people are just so out of touch they need a semi harsh (but well intentioned) reality check.

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      • avatar

        MsMisery March 26, 2014, 12:57 pm

        Divorce/separation makes EVERYONE INVOLVED crazy, even without kids.

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    • Portia

      Portia March 26, 2014, 11:15 am

      Anyone else think she wrote in because the rest of her friends all told her she was crazypants for doing all this?

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  • avatar

    llclarityll March 26, 2014, 11:21 am

    For real legal question, do you have to at least share a back account with someone to purchase a house with them? And when I say “purchase” I mean have your name appear on the deed and bank note as well.

    Because if your name isn’t on the deed and bank note, LW, you didn’t buy a house with him.

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    • othy

      othy March 26, 2014, 11:33 am

      You don’t need to share a bank account, but both names need to appear on the mortgage documents. But I am thinking (hoping) that it might be a ‘he’ll pay the mortgage and I’ll get the utilities but it’s our house’ type of situation.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest March 26, 2014, 12:01 pm

        Surprisingly, you can be on the note, but not the deed, which would be the worst situation of all for LW I think.

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      • katie

        katie March 26, 2014, 12:12 pm

        what is the difference? notes? deeds? i never want to buy a house

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest March 26, 2014, 12:16 pm

        Note/Mortgage = bank loan
        Deed = proof of ownership (like title to a car)

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  • Addie Pray

    Addie Pray March 26, 2014, 11:25 am

    I really, really, really hope that when LW says “we” bought a house together, she means “just one of us legally owns the house, but the other gets to live there.”

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    • avatar

      llclarityll March 26, 2014, 11:26 am

      See my question above. That’s what I’m hoping, too….

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    • othy

      othy March 26, 2014, 11:33 am

      Doesn’t she make you feel much better about your decision with the condo?

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      • Addie Pray

        Addie Pray March 26, 2014, 11:46 am

        Ha, yes. Can you imagine when they get divorced, the wife will be all “aaaaand I’ll take 50% of your interest in LW’s house, thanks.”

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      • avatar

        scattol March 26, 2014, 1:22 pm

        So LW would still own her 50% but now they would be 3 owners, with the ex-wife owning 25%. Clearly the way out of that is to buy out the ex-wife even maybe at a premium.

        Still, needless complication if it could have been avoided.

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  • avatar

    Wendy (not Wendy) March 26, 2014, 11:51 am

    I would LOVE to know what stories my ex tells people about why we got divorced.

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  • avatar

    Painted_lady March 26, 2014, 11:54 am

    So, here’s my big “WTF” moment with this. These people (boyfriend and still-wife) have a kid together who is 18. They’ve been together for 20 years. Boyfriend seems put out that his wife is all, like, EXPECTING shit from him. He’s miffed that she has questions, and finds it bothersome that there are people-shaped consequences to his actions. She’s just being all kinds of trouble with her expectations that he will fulfill his responsibilities as a former partner and current parent. Which means he wanted to up and leave, stick her with the kid, and never hear about either of them again. LW HE WILL DO THIS TO YOU. And even if he doesn’t, how do you manage to not find this horrifying? The mental and emotional gymnastics you are doing to rationalize this so you can have what you want should qualify you for the Olympics. Seriously, this shit is impressive.

    I’m not sure why I’m bothering since you obviously lack empathy, but I have a friend this happened to. Our senior year of high school, her mother up and left without warning or explanation, or desire to ever see her family again. She wanted a new life, and my friend and her sister and ex-husband were in the way. I cannot tell you how horribly this fucked my friend up for YEARS. It was awful. She of course had a hand in the decisions she made in response, but the hurt was so real, and it took her probably ten years to get back to something like normal. And it could have been prevented, just by her mom taking a little personal responsibility for her decisions.

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    • rainbow

      rainbow March 26, 2014, 12:21 pm

      “The mental and emotional gymnastics you are doing to rationalize this so you can have what you want should qualify you for the Olympics. Seriously, this shit is impressive.”

      Today I love you even more than usual.

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  • avatar

    WAPS March 26, 2014, 12:00 pm

    Wow, clearly it appears that the LW has made some mistakes and isn’t living life the way a lot of other people would, but a lot of these comments are just vicious. It almost seems like some people are gleeful about how poorly they think she’s doing things, and one person outright said they’re laughing about it. I’ve never thought people here were mean-spirited before, but this isn’t very nice.

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    • KKZ

      KKZ March 26, 2014, 1:52 pm

      How DO you be nice to someone who’s this deep in their self-dug grave, though? I mean, the only thing I can think of to say that wouldn’t be harsh is “There, there” *pat on back.* Because there’s no way to give this woman advice without the reality-check part of it. Some situations/people are just unadvisable.
      .
      Here’s her problem – She wants BF to cut contact with wife, he has tried, wife refuses. What COULD we possibly advise her to do, except run run run from this situation, except that won’t be so easy to do because of the house they bought together, so she’s kinda stuck with the consequences of her very poor decisions. Sorry, I am all for compassion, but there’s no kid-glove sugar-coat way to handle this one, and I think due to the monumental lack of judgment this LW has demonstrated, most of us are going to have a very hard time extending any sympathy towards her.

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      • avatar

        WAPS March 26, 2014, 1:59 pm

        Some people actually managed to give advice instead of piling on. It’s not brave or real or admirable to be catty and mean through the anonymity of the internet when you have a community full of people who will back you up and like your mean comments. Can you imagine saying some of these comments to somebody’s face? Would you be happy that you did? I have never, ever said to somebody’s face, “Thank you for making bad decisions so that I can feel better about my life.” It’s not constructive, it’s just mean.

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  • avatar

    AndreaMarie March 26, 2014, 12:18 pm

    Let me echo what everyone else said. LW I hope that if your name is on the mortgage/house that his name isn’t. If he is listed as an owning party on that house then you are in big trouble. If he owns half than technically his wife also owns that half.

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  • avatar

    Mells March 26, 2014, 12:26 pm

    Are we sure this letter wasn’t sent by an internet troll or somethng? Otherwise, this LW needs to be submitted for this year’s Darwin Awards for the Most Lacking in Common Sense category. Yeesh!!

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  • avatar

    MsMisery March 26, 2014, 12:51 pm

    If it took him 20 years to pull the plug on a sexless marriage with a serial cheater and over a year to return some of that person’s belongings, what kind of effort do you expect him to make for you in less than 8 months? Clearly he moves and decides slowly (was the moving in together an act of convenince for him?). Furthermore, it is not your place to do anything about the estranged wife, Unless she is contacting YOU personally or somehow threatening you, it really isn’t your business. Sure, you can tell him how you feel about it but I bet you can guess what will happen there (nothing).

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  • possumgirl

    Jenn March 26, 2014, 12:57 pm

    So wait, is this LW real? I mean, has she ever read this column before? I would be mortified to send this letter to Wendy. Not a helpful response, but still.

    Those poor kids. I bet their home life is just PEACHY.

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  • Cassie

    Cassie March 26, 2014, 1:02 pm

    LW, I really hope you take Wendy’s advice. It may not be the advice you want to hear, but it’s the right advice.

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