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“I Won’t Believe My Boyfriend has a Wife and Kids”

I’ve been seeing my boyfriend for over two years, but I still feel that he doesn’t trust me. He’s met my father and brother, my roommates, my boss, and has been to both my old apartment and the one I just moved into, but he’s never brought me to his apartment. His excuses include: his roommates don’t like when people come over; the apartment is a mess; and he’s not sure what I’m capable of (aka, stalking).

He’s Korean and I feel that he’s ashamed of me because I’m white – he also fibbed about his real name (he was “ashamed” to tell me his Korean name). Everybody says he’s cheating or has a wife and kids, but I don’t want to believe it because he treats me better than how my ex-boyfriend treated me. I’m stuck in a weird spot and I’m scared to say goodbye to him because he has been so great to me besides the not seeing his apartment aspect.

What should I do? I know you can’t tell me directly; I just want to know thoughts on this. My friends all give me the same advice – dump him! But that’s much easier said than done. When I tried to break up with him, all I did was cry for weeks and lose my appetite. I guess my question is, how can I help him trust me? Is this even a trust issue? — Feeling Pathetic

What do you mean I can’t tell you what you should do? Of course I can. Move On Already! What I can’t do, unfortunately, is force you to take that advice, which is sad because I know your type and I know you’ll probably keep seeing this guy until he dumps you eventually (or, more likely, his wife finds out about you and goes psycho, making your life a lot more complicated than you’ll be prepared to deal with).

You know I’m right. You know your friends are right. You know in your gut there’s something majorly off about this guy. Two years together and you’ve never seen his apartment?! He doesn’t want you to know where he lives because he’s afraid you’ll STALK him?! Who says that to a significant other? Who thinks that about a significant other? Worry that your girlfriend will think you’re a slob. Worry that she’ll make fun of your empty refrigerator. Worry that she’ll find the evening gown and pearls buried deep in your closet that you like to dress up in when no one’s home. But worry about her stalking you? That’s not normal.

You know your relationship isn’t healthy. And you know you should MOA, but you won’t. Why? Because you know it’s going to hurt and you can’t stand the idea of creating your own pain. But, guess what. You’re already creating your own pain. By staying with someone you know isn’t honest about who he is, you’re creating your own kind of hell. By staying with someone who at best worries about you stalking him, and more realistically, worries that you’ll ruin his marriage, you’re creating your own pain. You’re telling yourself you don’t deserve any better. You’re telling yourself you don’t deserve a genuine relationship with a man who wants to share his life with you.

Girl, your boyfriend doesn’t even want to share his address with you. Think about that.

And if you still want to stay with him, the only thing I have to say is: good luck.

*If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, send me your letters at wendy@dearwendy.com and be sure to follow me on Twitter.

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{ 156 comments… add one }

  • avatar Sonia December 15, 2011, 3:06 pm

    I’m a little speechless, LW. It’s almost irrelevent if he’s married or not…he won’t share where he lives with you and it’s been over TWO YEARS?!?! Whatever he’s hiding, he’s made it clear that you only get a FRACTION of his life, and its been like that for 2 years. Wendy’s right, you are now creating your own pain, and only you can provide the relief by MOA. Yes, breakups suck, but spinning your wheels in this relationship and waking up years from now realizing how much time you wasted with this guy will be much MUCH worse…

    • landygirl Landygirl December 15, 2011, 4:37 pm

      I’m wondering if she even has his phone number.

      • avatar slamy December 15, 2011, 5:34 pm

        She definitely doesn’t have his main one… the one his wife calls him on.

    • avatar sohara December 15, 2011, 7:11 pm

      Instead of a wife, he could be living at home with Mom and Dad, who might not like him dating outside their ethnic group. In any case, she needs to MOA.

  • Skyblossom Skyblossom December 15, 2011, 3:07 pm

    I think Wendy nailed this one.

    The only reason he won’t let you come over is because he is hiding something. If it was just clutter he could clean it up and most roommates would at least be polite if he had you drop by so that he could introduce you. There is a huge difference between meeting his roommates at their apartment (have you ever met them at all?) and being a nuisance in their apartment. He’s hiding something major that he knows is a dealbreaker so trust that he knows a dealbreaker when he’s living it and MOA.

    • avatar summerkitten26 December 15, 2011, 9:06 pm

      “Worry that your girlfriend will think you’re a slob”

      honestly, my first thought was that maybe he’s a serious hoarder. this might be super simple, but in my experience, this is how they act. just throwing the possibility out there

      • avatar va-in-ny December 16, 2011, 11:57 am

        I kind of had that idea too, but after 2 years, wouldn’t evidence of that start to slip out? Like, how she sees him buy something that he already has bought two times…? (having a hard time thinking of an example)

        But honestly, if that’s the case, 2 years should be long enough where you start sharing your life experiences, flaws, habits, etc. with your signifcant other. She should know about it by now.

  • avatar Steph December 15, 2011, 3:07 pm

    I think this is a classic example of when people really do know what going on, but choose to look the other way. Like Wendy said, never having seen his apartment after years of dating is beyond odd, it’s unacceptable. It screams, “I’m hiding my wife and kids”. When his wife found out, which she most probably will, you couldn’t actually look her in the eye and say, ” Sorry, I didn’t know.” Because really, honestly, deep down inside you know. You know something is wrong. Move on to someone who is willing to make you a part of their entire life, apartment included. Yes.. you’ll be sad, but as my grandma used to say, you weren’t born in love with this person, so you’ll get over it in time. Good luck.

    • Skyblossom Skyblossom December 15, 2011, 3:20 pm

      I love your grandma.

      • avatar Steph December 15, 2011, 5:03 pm

        HAHAH. Loved her too. She was straight and to the point ;)

  • avatar Carolynasaurus December 15, 2011, 3:08 pm

    I think Wendy nailed it, but I have to add, what the hell is wrong with this guy if he continues to date you if he thinks you could potentially stalk him? Maybe it’s just me, but everytime I’ve been confronted with a person who has the creepy aura of a potential stalker, I do everything I can to push them out of my life, not, you know, date them. If that’s his reason, HE is the screwed up one, not you, and run away!

    • avatar Painted_lady December 15, 2011, 4:38 pm

      If I didn’t think this was just a stupid rationalization, I would actually wonder if he weren’t projecting his own bullshit issues onto her.

    • avatar TheGirl December 16, 2011, 9:04 am

      I think its the equivalent of a man telling a woman “you’re crazy” as a way of deflecting the problem and making it about the woman rather than their own shady behavior. There was an excellent article that made its rounds through the comment section a few weeks ago about it. It’s a subtle form of emotional abuse.

  • avatar Matcha December 15, 2011, 3:08 pm

    Okay, I thought this was a few months and then I read the letter again. Break up with him! Two years?!

    First I’d demand to see his apartment to see how much he squirms about it.

  • avatar KBobK December 15, 2011, 3:10 pm

    Just because he treats you better than your ex doesn’t mean he treats you good. It means you’ve had the unfortunate occurrence of dating two guys that aren’t right for you. Most of us can share in that experience. Like Wendy said, move on already!!! The next guy has potential to treat you a million times better than your ex and current combined! The pain of break ups is very really and it happen. Get yourself a therapist that can help you through it and you’ll come out of it just fine.

    Don’t settle.

    • avatar Splash December 15, 2011, 3:11 pm

      lol – we posted the same thing at the same time =)

      • avatar KBobK December 15, 2011, 3:14 pm

        Great minds!

  • avatar Splash December 15, 2011, 3:10 pm

    Wendy said it all…besides, you say he “treats you better than your ex-boyfriend treated you.” I think you should make this guy another ex-boyfriend, so you can think the same thing when you are with someone BETTER – “Wow, this guy cares about me AND lets me into his home. That’s much better than my ex-boyfriend!”

    You need to set the bar higher!

  • avatar HBomb December 15, 2011, 3:19 pm

    Sometimes letters like this just leave me staring at my computer screen in awe of the things I have just read.

    • avatar Morgan December 15, 2011, 3:21 pm

      Seriously

      Dear Women of the Universe,

      “He’s perfect except for he cheated on me. Twice. With my friend.” “He’s better than my ex.” “He’s better than being single.” “He’s really great when he’s not lying to me.” ” He’s really great except he lives with his girlfriend.” “With his wife. And their three kids. And a labradoodle.” “He’s really great except his “ex” is expecting their second child.”

      None of these men are really great. None of these men are perfect for you. Better than your ex is not good. Better than being alone is not acceptable. Raise your standards. You deserve a man who can be your partner in a relationship, who will treat you well and meet your needs. And who will love you. And make it clear that he loves you. By wanting to show you off to his friends, to family, to his apartment (?!?). By not being married. By treating you well, and by being really damn sorry when he screws up. And by actively working to make things right.

      And if you don’t have someone in your life who meets your standards, that’s okay too. It’s okay to be single, to grow as an individual and learn to love yourself. It’s also okay to not want to be single, to feel lonely sometimes. But its not okay to date this guy. Or that asshole. Or the married dude.

      Dump him. Listen to angry girl music. Eat Ben and Jerry’s. The whole pint, in one sitting, from the container, we won’t judge. Then go find men other than the ones you are currently dating. These dudes are not working out for you.

      Love,
      Morgan

      • avatar oppositeofzen December 15, 2011, 3:29 pm

        I think the deal breaker would be the labradoodle. Amiright? :)

        In all seriousness, Wendy and Morgan are right. Honey, MOA. Like yesterday.

        • avatar Marie December 15, 2011, 5:31 pm

          …Like a year and 11 months ago

        • avatar kali December 16, 2011, 2:27 pm

          Labradoodles are ALWAYS a dealbreaker for me.

          I own purebred curly-coated retrievers and I am SO SICK of being asked if they’re labradoodles. Who pays big money for a MUTT???!

          Sorry to derail the discussion… as someone who was married to an Asian for a long time, if this guy is FOB, he may be telling the truth. It’s still no excuse, but it might just be more cultural than most readers are able to understand. However, I’m firmly in the MOA camp. No one deserves to be treated this way, LW. No one. Not even labradoodle owners!

      • avatar Ktfran December 15, 2011, 3:44 pm

        If I could, I would like this a million times plus one. You’re second to last paragraph is very well stated and very much true.

        I’m single. I’ve consciously decided to stay single until I’m at my best and happy about where I am in life. Because I know from experience that when you date someone just to be dating someone, it leads to bad things. Of course, sometimes I’m lonely and every so often I’m in a funk. But that’s ok. That’s what friends are for. And family. And that’s just life.

        • CatsMeow CatsMeow December 15, 2011, 4:01 pm

          Agreed.

          I learned to be TRULY happy as a single person, and I think it’s the best thing I’ve ever done. Eventually I got to a place where I believed I was ready to date, and I met my boyfriend and he is TRULY the best partner I could imagine. (And if shit hits the fan and we break up? I’m confident that I can get over it with time and be happy on my own again). I don’t like the idea of a partner as “the other half” – I think I’m a whole person on my own, and so is my partner, and together we strive to be better people for each other.

          A significant other should enhance your life – not cause stress, drama, doubt, and insecurity.

          • avatar LennyBee December 15, 2011, 4:13 pm

            A million times yes to your last line!

            And to everything in Morgan’s letter. That’s a lesson we need to be teaching girls when they are much younger.

      • avatar bethany December 15, 2011, 3:51 pm

        Preach it!

      • landygirl Landygirl December 15, 2011, 7:20 pm

        Truer words have never been spoken.

      • avatar Rachel December 15, 2011, 9:45 pm

        This. Is. Perfection.

      • avatar Addie Pray December 15, 2011, 9:50 pm

        Hey, are you a dude and are you single?

        • avatar lumpie December 16, 2011, 4:35 am

          Amen to that!

      • avatar va-in-ny December 16, 2011, 12:06 pm

        Do I have to have dumped someone to eat the whole pint of Ben & Jerrys? Because if so, I’ve been doing it wrong so many times. :(

        • LadyinPurpleNotRed ChicagoWoman December 16, 2011, 12:07 pm

          Nope, there needs to be no excuse for that deliciousness! What’s your favorite flavor?

          • avatar OneSpiritEternal December 16, 2011, 1:12 pm

            Did you ever hear Rita Rudner and her shopping-as-therapy? She said something to the effect of, “I saw this really great outfit in a store window, but I wasn’t dating anyone at the time. So I kissed a guy in the mall, said I never want to see you again, went in the store and bought the outfit.” (Not all the right wording, but you get the gist of it).

            I think a good reason to eat the whole pint of Ben & Jerrys is because I think the rest of it would be lonely in the carton. I just can’t leave it all alone, so it needs to be together in my tummy!

            Back on topic – LW – get thee to therapy! And get out of this nothing relationship. It’s not a relationship! You’re an FWB, potentially an escape, and don’t seem to have much self-esteem. Whatever else someone may have told you, you ARE worth the effort it takes to be happy. Learn to be happy with YOU.

            (Oh, and Phish Food is my favorite flavor).

            • LadyinPurpleNotRed ChicagoWoman December 16, 2011, 1:20 pm

              I like that reasoning!! That totally makes sense. You can’t play favorites within the carton! (good choice, mine is s’mores!)

        • avatar va-in-ny December 16, 2011, 2:48 pm

          Stephen Colbert’s AmeriCONE Dream!

          Though, that Red Velvet calls to me every time I see it – never tried it, but will most likely cave in soon! ;)

          • LadyinPurpleNotRed ChicagoWoman December 16, 2011, 3:00 pm

            AmeriCONE Dream is delicious!! Ahhhhhh me too…I’m a little scared to try it, but I love red velvet so I don’t know…

  • cokes518 Coco December 15, 2011, 3:19 pm

    Maybe the boyfriend lives with his parents and is too ashamed to tell her. Has she met his family? As an Asian myself, the culture generally accepts children living with their parents for many many years after university. My fiance’s older brother who is 30 still lives in his parents basement by choice.

    • avatar MissDre December 15, 2011, 3:39 pm

      Yeah, I agree with you here. I’ve dated other cultures and people thought it was weird that I hadn’t met the guy’s family… but in other cultures, you don’t bring a person home unless it’s to announce your engagement.

      Either way, if it’s not working, dump him.

    • avatar GatorGirl December 15, 2011, 4:09 pm

      Although I do think the LW’s dude seems like a wack-job…there is definitely the chance of some cultural differences going on here that the dude is ashamed of, embrassed by, etc, etc. Especially if he is the first generation born here.

    • avatar *HmC* December 15, 2011, 4:15 pm

      Even if there are cultural issues at play here, this couple should be having an honest discussion about them! He should have made it very clear to her, after two years, exactly what is going on! The fact that she is writing to Wendy to honestly question what to do makes me so sad. Is this what young girls find acceptable nowadays?! A boyfriend forbids you from his apartment, turns it around on you because you might be a “stalker” (WTF?!), and you just fucking take it because “he treats me better than how my ex-boyfriend treated me”??!!! Seriously ladies WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH YOUR SELF ESTEEM? HAVE SOME GOD DAMN STANDARDS FOR YOURSELF! Being single is not THAT bad for chrissakes.

      Ok sorry. Deep breaths.

      Yet another LW to this site makes me feel like a bitter old lady. :P

      • avatar MissDre December 15, 2011, 4:57 pm

        You’re very right of course. I don’t want to immediately assume the dude is married, so I’d like to try and give him the benefit of the doubt. But no matter what the issue is (infidelity vs culture difference) there is a problem in the relationship that he doesn’t seem willing to work on. So, I think she should bounce.

      • avatar vizslalvr December 15, 2011, 5:59 pm

        It’s not a young-person thing. It’s a person-with-very-poor-self-esteem-and-low-standards thing.

        • avatar colagirl December 16, 2011, 11:18 pm

          Agreed. It’s the oldest story in the world, actually – the other woman / man who is convinced that their married lover will leave their spouse and kids for them, it’s just a matter of time.

    • avatar LennyBee December 15, 2011, 4:16 pm

      That’s a good point, but I think I could see that explanation more if he hadn’t said he was afraid LW was going to stalk him. That’s a weird thing to say, and should make someone suspicious.

    • avatar savannah December 15, 2011, 4:19 pm

      This is exactly what I thought, its not that his apt is messy or his roommates don’t want guests, it’s that he lives with his parents. Not only might be be ashamed of that but he also might not want his parents meeting his not just non-korean girlfriend, but a white chick.

    • katie katie December 15, 2011, 8:30 pm

      that could definitely be it- but come on, how many couples are there in the world like this? a million!!! there are people who cant bring their SOs to their parents because they are different religions, they are still in the closet, different races, the SO is part of a family they hate- whatever! that happens all the time and the couples deal with it.

      if this is whats going on, i dont get why he wouldnt just TELL her that.

  • avatar silver_dragon_girl December 15, 2011, 3:21 pm

    *flabbergasted*

  • avatar MarkD December 15, 2011, 3:26 pm

    Koreans are generally not accepting of outsiders, as compared to many other Asian cultures. It’s very possible he still lives at home, and is unwilling to confront his parents over his “foreign” girlfriend.

    • avatar Elle December 15, 2011, 4:08 pm

      You’re right, but I would think that if his parents live in the US, they would be more accepting by now. Or, if his parents still live in Korea, then why can’t she see his apartment?

      I’m just going to contradict myself right now – I have a friend from Bangladesh, and her parents don’t let her date outside of their (very small) community. She is born and raised here, and yet they watch her every single move. She’s also fighting tooth and nail so they don’t set her up with anyone, as she’s of marriageable age now.

      Anyway, I wonder what the guy is doing though. Is he just wasting her time? If he knows nothing long term is going to happen, why is he still keeping her around. Maybe he even cares about her. Is he waiting for his family to go to heaven? This rhetorical question is not for you, MarkD, I just happened to ask it in a reply to your comment.

      • avatar Emsz December 15, 2011, 4:19 pm

        You’d think they’d be more accepting, unfortunately, that’s not usually how it works. Especially if they came here when they were already a bit older, and weren’t born here.

      • avatar savannah December 15, 2011, 4:22 pm

        They wont be more accepting if they think they need to guide their children even more so in the US, full of other religions, races and ethnicity. At least in Korea and Bangladesh most people there are well Korean and Bangladeshi.

    • FireStar FireStar December 15, 2011, 4:12 pm

      I have a bunch of Korean friends and they were all forthcoming about their parents with their SOs – none of them tried to flip script and accuse the SO of future stalking or damage their self-esteem as a way of explaining what the deal was. If it is a cultural thing – you say THAT.

      • avatar *HmC* December 15, 2011, 4:16 pm

        EXACTLY! God damn it this letter is pissing me off way too much.

      • avatar Vathena December 15, 2011, 4:29 pm

        For real. Even if it IS because he’s embarrassed of his parents, he could SAY, “I live with my parents and won’t introduce someone I’m not engaged to” or something to that effect. Instead of LYING to her (and accusing her of stalking?!) for two solid years! He also didn’t want to tell her his real name. Does she even KNOW his real name?! LW! Quit wasting your life with this guy!!!

      • CatsMeow CatsMeow December 15, 2011, 4:31 pm

        Yeah, if he can’t be honest with her after 2 freaking years, then that’s an issue in itself. If it turns out that living with parents who wouldn’t accept a white girlfriend is the reason he’s been hiding his home from her – which I think is the most acceptable of all the possible excuses – it’s STILL a dumpable offense just because he hasn’t been honest with her about his real reasons.

    • avatar mf December 15, 2011, 4:38 pm

      Even if this is case, he needs to be mature enough to tell his girlfriend, “Look, this is how my parents are so it might be awhile till I can introduce to them.” And then they could, together, discuss a strategy to bring the girlfriend and the parents together.

      But he hasn’t done anything like that. He just keeps feeding lies or excuses. And that’s not acceptable.

      • avatar MarkD December 16, 2011, 12:09 pm

        Don’t think for a second that I think it is acceptable to treat someone this way. I was just trying to point out the possibility that he isn’t married.

        I (a Marine stationed in Japan at the time) married a Japanese girl whose parents were survivors of the Hiroshima bombing – yeah, I’m that old. Going to meet them was intimidating, but if it’s right, you’ll move heaven and earth to make it happen. Oddly enough, her parents were more accepting of me than her brother and sister. For some crazy reason, they just wanted their daughter to be happy. It’s worked for 35 years and counting…

        He doesn’t want LW enough to go against his parents wishes. I don’t see much chance of any relationship surviving that. MOA.

  • avatar katiebird December 15, 2011, 3:35 pm

    da nile is more than just a river in egypt.

    (that saying works so much better in speech than text….)

  • avatar artsygirl December 15, 2011, 3:41 pm

    Did you just hear that? Yeah it was my head hitting my desk.

    LW – you do not want advice. You have been giving it from multiple corners and even though you admit it is correct, you have chosen to ignore it. You are ignoring it, because you continue to wait around for someone to say what you want to hear. You want to friends and this community of strangers to say “Oh don’t worry about his behavior, I am sure it is just a cultural difference and that everything will work out for you to live happily ever after.” I can just say that no matter what is happening in his mind or life (be it embarrassment over your ethnicity or because you are his piece on the side) it doesn’t matter because NOTHING is going to change! You are going to continue being miserable until he dumps you.

  • avatar MellaJade December 15, 2011, 3:45 pm

    There’s a reason why you *feel* pathetic.

    If you need to have the truth plain as day in your face, hire a Private Investigator to find out the story. Maybe confirmation of his crappiness will give you the strength you need. You had to know that by writing to Wendy (and us) that we’d give you tough love. Woman, take charge of your damn life and MOA!!

    • avatar CottonTheCuteDog December 15, 2011, 6:29 pm

      I like the PI idea!

      • rainbow rainbow December 15, 2011, 7:01 pm

        me too! And maybe he could be one of those sexy sexy ex soldier PIs from film noir? and he and the LW could maybe be stuck in a shooting / car chase together under the rain and she could wear a red flowy dress and they could hook up and then have to kill the weirdoscumbag BF for a noble reason and dump him in a construction site?

        Sorry, I have a PI kink

    • avatar Lucy December 15, 2011, 7:33 pm

      Why bother with the Pi? Get yourself a bulky coat, a hat, and some sunglasses, and follow the dude home. I would have done that about 23 months ago just because I would have to satisfy my curiosity before I dumped him. Seriously… who stays with someone who says out loud that they think you might stalk them??

    • Budj Budj December 16, 2011, 3:20 pm

      Just don’t hire Jean Parmesan.

  • avatar bethany December 15, 2011, 3:48 pm

    Pretty sure he didn’t tell you his real name because if you knew it, you could goole it and find his marraige announcement!!! MOA!!!!

  • avatar Sistine December 15, 2011, 3:49 pm

    He obviously has a wife. He lied about his NAME for crying out loud. 2 years and you’ve never been to his apartment screams of double-life. I’m sure she’s never met any of his friends or family either, as indicated by her saying he’s met hers. This guy very obviously has a wife.

    I feel sorry for this letter writer. Clearly she has such low self-esteem she doesn’t think she deserves a real relationship. What kind of person would use the excuse,”I can’t tell you where I live because I’m afraid you might stalk me someday?” That is beyond weird. Nevermind the, “I can’t tell you my real name because I’m ashamed that it’s Korean.” I hope she gets therapy and some self-confidence. She more or less admits she isn’t strong enough to leave him even though she knows she should.

    LW, you don’t need us to tell you what to do. You know what you need to do. Summon your inner strength and do it. I assure you, you do have more power over your life and your decisions than you feel right now.

    • avatar savannah December 15, 2011, 4:26 pm

      The name thing isn’t that bad at all actually. If he’s parents named him something very traditionally Korean and he goes by another more ‘american’ name its not like he’s trying to hide something. It’s actually really common for Asians to adopt more american sounding names even if they were born here so for me that’s not indicative of a double life.

      • CatsMeow CatsMeow December 15, 2011, 4:35 pm

        Yeah, I don’t think the name thing is a big deal…. by itself. Only in the context of this letter does it seem fishy (because she’s already worried about what he’s hiding).

      • avatar 6napkinburger December 15, 2011, 4:40 pm

        I won’t tell anyone my hebrew name. I hate it. But i’m pretty sure i eventually told my ex, because he wanted to know why i was embarrased.

        Im not so sure he’s married; but something is wrong. I think it matters how much time she spends with him. I had a bf that i knew couldn’t have been in another relationship because we literally spent every night together. A wife would notice that. But if its a couple times a week and he never sleeps over, or only does occassionally (infrequent enough to look like business trips), then maybe.

        • avatar Kristen December 15, 2011, 4:58 pm

          Do you truly hate it, or hate it in a self deprecating way? I was just thinking that a unique name would probably endear you to people! Totally not something to be embarrassed about.

          • avatar 6napkinburger December 15, 2011, 5:02 pm

            I don’t hate that I have one. I hate mine. It’s an old lady name and people made fun of me in hebrew school. I like other people’s hebrew names and I like that I was given it. I just don’t like the actual name. Sorry great-grandma.

            • JK JK December 15, 2011, 5:23 pm

              Excuse my ignorance, what is a hebrew name? Do you have a “regular” name and a hebrew one? Or is the hebrew one your given name? I´d never heard the term before, that´s why I´m curious.

              • avatar savannah December 15, 2011, 5:38 pm

                Most American Jews have a second name, in hebrew, that is given to them either at a bris, for boys or at a naming ceremony for girls. It is often the hebrew name of a relative who has passed away. Usually only used in Hebrew schools, full day jewish schools or at temple.

                • JK JK December 15, 2011, 5:53 pm

                  Thanks for the explanation! You learn somehtng new every day.

                  • JK JK December 15, 2011, 5:55 pm

                    Apparently today I also forgot how to spell “something”. :)

                • avatar 6napkinburger December 15, 2011, 8:23 pm

                  Exactly. It’s an honor(ary) thing. Most of the time, people will give their kids the (exact-ish) hebrew name(s) of deceased love ones and will give them a “normal” name starting with the same letter.

                  For example, someone’s grandmother who passed’s name might be Rebecca, and her hebrew name was Rivka. That person might give her daugher the hebrew name “Rivka” but name her (in english) Rachel. It is the hebrew name that “counts” in the honor of naming after people.

                  Or you could be me. And no english name starts with the same name as my grandmother’s yiddish name. So they baby-booked it. There aren’t really rules, except (traditionally) you do not name after the living.

                  • avatar SpaceySteph December 15, 2011, 11:42 pm

                    Now I’m super curious. My Hebrew name is Shema- spelled like the prayer but pronounced as two syllables. I’m named after great aunt Selma and much prefer Stephanie. I’m going to guess it starts with a Tz and that’s why there was no English name for it?
                    Off topic, sorry.

                    • avatar 6napkinburger December 16, 2011, 11:44 am

                      Nope. Y. Only Yolanda and Yo-adrianne, according to my parents. They went a totally different direction.

                      Though the rabbi did give us an incrediblly hard time because, technically, my “hebrew” name is yiddish, not hebrew. Apparently that’s a no no. Watching my mom react to this nochshlepper trying to tell her that she wasn’t supposed to have given her daughter her grandmother’s name because, although they were from the schtetl, it wasn’t “proper”… that was priceless.

                    • avatar savannah December 16, 2011, 12:25 pm

                      My sisters hebrew name is Yael which she loves but I guess my parents were not as strict as yours, her given name starts with a J.

                    • avatar 6napkinburger December 16, 2011, 1:52 pm

                      Oh, then I wasn’t clear. My hebrew name has the Y sound, but my given name is just a name, from a baby book, no relation to Y. My parents weren’t that strict about it.

                    • avatar SpaceySteph December 16, 2011, 2:06 pm

                      6napkin that story is awesome. And Yo-adrianne is totally not a name, wth kind of baby name book was that?

                    • avatar savannah December 16, 2011, 2:25 pm

                      Oh that makes more sense. Now that I think about it all of my friends who have Y hebrew names have J given names. Maybe sometime back a rabbi said it was kosher. Your rabbi not accepting a yiddish name is too funny, the whole thing supposed to be about honoring relatives. Bet your mom was pissed.

                    • avatar 6napkinburger December 16, 2011, 2:41 pm

                      That’s also funny because if I was a boy, my name would have been Justin. Justin Casey. My parents are a hoot.

                      Oh, and yo-addrianne was from Rocky. You know, where he yells, YO! Adrianne!” My parents said it was that or this one they had found in a baby book (my actual name). They mercifully went with the latter.

      • avatar slamy December 15, 2011, 5:41 pm

        I dated a boyfriend who had a Taiwanese name, and then his American name. I knew his Taiwanese name and the meaning of it. I knew his brother’s Taiwanese names as well. It shouldn’t be something to be ashamed of (and I bet he’s lying).

  • Tracey Tracey December 15, 2011, 3:49 pm

    There should be a way to be able to reach through the computer and shake some sense into this LW, then give her a big hug and walk her to the nearest therapist.

  • avatar ReginaRey December 15, 2011, 3:51 pm

    God. Sometimes I just…have no words. Except, I always do.

    Your standards are abysmal, LW. He treats you better than your ex? You think he’s ashamed of you? He won’t let you see where he lives? You’re right…what exactly are you missing out on here? He sounds like winner.

    It’s time to drag your standards out of the basement, and acquire some goddamn self-esteem. What you’re accepting from this relationship right now is….pathetic. There’s no other word to describe it. Yeah, breaking up with him will hurt. Yeah, you’ll probably cry your eyes out and lose your appetite. I’ve gone through two serious breakups where I cried constantly and didn’t want to eat…and here I am! I’m not crying anymore. I’m eating…a lot. I’m fine. I survived. Better than survived. I thrived. You’ll make it through the breakup……everyone does.

    • Tracey Tracey December 15, 2011, 4:00 pm

      And remember that “breakup” means ending all contact. Period. No phone conversations, no texts, no Facebook (or any social media for that matter), no meeting for coffee to return (insert insignificant tchotchkes used as an excuse for one last meet up), and definitely no last intimate hook-up for “old times sake.” When you break up (no if, you have to break this off), make it a clean and permanent break. You can do it. Then spend a good deal of time independent of a relationship, and learn to love yourself, okay? You don’t have to tolerate such incredibly bad treatment from anyone, and anyone who truly loves you will never treat you like this.

    • avatar Addie Pray December 15, 2011, 4:03 pm

      God, I *wish* I lost my appetite every time I had my heart broken. But no, I binge eat. Sorry, that was not the point of your comment.

      • avatar Meredith December 15, 2011, 4:47 pm

        Seriously, who are these people that DON’T eat when they’re upset? All I DO is eat! Must be nice! lol

        • avatar savannah December 15, 2011, 4:53 pm

          if upset= nauseous then for that person upset=not eating. it’s no fun because it also includes getting dizzy and being hangry.

          • avatar slamy December 15, 2011, 5:43 pm

            If I get really really nervous or really sad then I’m just not hungry. No food sounds good and it feels awful in my mouth.

            • avatar CottonTheCuteDog December 15, 2011, 6:34 pm

              same here. Can’t eat at all when I’m nervous or upset.

              • avatar SpaceySteph December 15, 2011, 11:44 pm

                Ditto. Last heartbreak the mere thought of food made me want to hurl.

            • avatar Splash December 16, 2011, 8:33 am

              Same here. Just no appetite. I can even feel hungry but the thought of eating is just very unappealing.

        • JK JK December 15, 2011, 5:21 pm

          I eat when I´m upset. Or nervous. Or bored. Or tired.
          Thank goodness for a fast metabolism. :)

      • avatar *HmC* December 15, 2011, 7:41 pm

        No no Addie Pray. This is one of those things that seems appealing, but actually it is awful. Granted, I have only truly had my heart broken to the point of losing my appetite once. But the feelings surrounding the loss of appetite- the numbness to any joy, the exhaustion, the bleakness, and the dark dark thoughts. I literally felt like I was wasting away, and I think the lack of sustenance exacerbates that feeling a lot. It isn’t worth the looser jeans. :P

        • katie katie December 15, 2011, 8:36 pm

          for real… when this happened to me, my ex actually came up to me and was like are you ok? youve lost a ton of weight….

          yea not fun, but im sure both are bad. happy medium, people- not too much or too little.

  • FireStar FireStar December 15, 2011, 3:53 pm

    One of the worst thing someone can do in a relationship is waste your time; one of the worst things you can do is let them. You are now complicit in whatever deception he is perpetuating since you allow it knowingly. For two years of your life. Two YEARS! The eighty year old version of yourself would kick your ass for it – and you would have to take it. We all are granted a finite amount of time. I can’t believe you would squander yours in this way. If you don’t demand better for yourself – exactly who do you think will?

  • avatar Elle December 15, 2011, 3:55 pm

    LW, I think you need to add one more word to your vocabulary: reciprocation. He saw your apartment, it’s only fair that he reciprocates by letting you see his. He’s met your family, it’s only fair that you meet his (if they’re geographically close, but even then, after two years, it should have happened). I’m just wondering because I couldn’t understand from the letter – do you know his real name now? Do you even have his phone number? Or all communication is initiated by him? (I’m only asking because I knew a guy like that).

    Reciprocation doesn’t exactly mean keeping score. But after two years in which he hasn’t reciprocated, the scale is pretty tilted. He obviously trusts you way less than you trust him.

    How come you showed him where you live without fearing he might be a stalker? What were you thinking? *sarcasm* – I’m just using his line of thinking.

    I think that he’s had plenty of chances in the past two years to see that you’re a trustworthy person. If he can’t see, he’s blind and there’s nothing you can do about it.

    Or, maybe he didn’t want to date you seriously from the beginning, and wanted to see how long you can put up with this shit.

    LW, before you move on, you have to have a very open and honest discussion with him, and you have to find out why he doesn’t trust you. If he still won’t tell you, that’s your sign right there that you have to move on. If his explanations make a lot of sense (although, honestly, I can’t come up with any examples of extenuating circumstances) – yeah, I don’t see this happening.

    Have you ever brought up the topic of moving in together? Bring it up casually, in a hypothetical scenario, see what he says.

    Good luck, LW

  • Jess Jess of CityGirlsWorld.com December 15, 2011, 4:28 pm

    I agree that something is rotten in the state of Denmark (or the US, or South Korea for that matter).

    I will add to what some mentioned though about the serious cultural issues that COULD be at play. One of my dearest friends is married to a Korean man and he kept his family absolutely off limits from her for a LONG time. Even now, with a child, his family is not very accepting of their non-Korean daughter-in-law. He did however have his own apartment where she was immediately welcome. There were other shameful family issues he kept hidden for awhile –like a brother who committed a serious crime and the fact that he was a virgin when they met!

    I’m not saying this excuses or explains it. But it’s something to consider.

    Other questions in my mind.

    Have you met his friends? Co-workers? Family? SEEN his apartment? Know his address? Facebook? Mutual acquaintances? Google search? It’s nearly 2012 people. Secrets aren’t as easy as they used to be. Especially big ones!

    Either way, LW needs to have a “come to jesus” conversation with her man and let him know what is at stake.

    • avatar 6napkinburger December 15, 2011, 4:42 pm

      Or north korea… ooo, maybe that’s the big secret!

      • avatar savannah December 15, 2011, 4:50 pm

        I know that was supposed to be a joke…but…ugh.

      • CatsMeow CatsMeow December 15, 2011, 4:56 pm

        Hey, lady! Where’ve you been?

      • avatar Addie Pray December 15, 2011, 5:01 pm

        Yea, where have you been, woman?

        • avatar 6napkinburger December 15, 2011, 5:03 pm

          it’s this little thing called “work” that has totally messed up my online social life. Hurumph.

          • avatar Addie Pray December 15, 2011, 5:25 pm

            gasp! work? that’s just ridiculous.

            btw, when i was little, i used to say “redickless.” i thought that was the word. so redickless, right?

            it’s amazing how i am capable of distracting myself.

            also, i injured myself bowling last night. chipped nails. sigh.

            • JK JK December 15, 2011, 5:34 pm

              Hahaha, here we use the prefix “re” as a way to say really. Like relindo would be really cute. Kind of gives new meaning to “redickless” :)

              • avatar Addie Pray December 15, 2011, 9:40 pm

                I’m feeling re-fat right now. I just ate pizza-wrapped chicken fingers dipped in ranch. Delish.

                • LadyinPurpleNotRed ChicagoWoman December 15, 2011, 9:52 pm

                  that sounds AMAZING right now!! I’m super jealous.

                  • avatar Addie Pray December 15, 2011, 9:59 pm

                    oh it’s so good. here is what you do: go to a bar, order a pizza, order chicken fingers, ask for a side of ranch. then when it’s all delivered to your table, you plop a chicken finger on a slice of pizza. then you roll i up. then you dip it in the ranch. then you stuff it in your mouth. it is better than drinking at noon.

                    • LadyinPurpleNotRed ChicagoWoman December 15, 2011, 10:02 pm

                      I just ate a large (delicious) meal and my mouth is watering at the thought of that. I see my weekend plans… (I’m a super cool 21 year old…the thing I look forward to most for the weekend: pizza/chicken fingers dipped in ranch dressing)

            • avatar AKchic December 15, 2011, 5:37 pm

              *giggle*
              My youngest says that now. He also calls “moldavite”: “molamite” (it’s lunar glass). For the longest time, he called Curious George a “honkey”. Finally George was a “hunkey”. He says “monkey” more often now.
              Of course, he gives us attitude now too. Everything is “sisly Mom?” (“seriously Mom”). *sigh* Toddlers.

              • avatar Addie Pray December 15, 2011, 9:39 pm

                Haha. In your toddler’s defense, I have never said the word “moldavite”!

  • avatar Miss Lynn December 15, 2011, 4:30 pm

    There is nothing I can really say about this that hasn’t already been said by the other insightful commenters, so I’m just gonna go ahead and use two of my favorite phrases to describe my reaction to this letter, “Yikes. WTF?”

  • avatar AKchic December 15, 2011, 4:39 pm

    Good gravy in a nutshell LW! You say you feel pathetic. Well, you’re feeling like you are. Pathetic. You’ve been given a ton of advice from friends/family, and you CHOSE to ignore it. You could have taken that very good advice at any time and you CHOSE not to. You are blind, my dear. Absolutely blind. Willingly blind. Why? Is the sex really that good? Does he shower you with jewels from the oceans? Take you on fabulous vacations? Treat you like a princess (or concubine)? No. Then honestly, it’s time to get with the program.

    He’s hiding something, and that something is his real life, and ultimately YOU. You don’t know any of his friends because his friends know his wife.

    My question for you is this: Do you respect yourself? Honestly? If you do, then you will walk away from this partial relationship in order to give yourself a chance at a REAL relationship and a real life. Right now, your life is on hold all because you claim you can’t walk away from a guy who won’t let you into his real life. As they say… “these boots were made for walkin’…”

    • JK JK December 15, 2011, 5:13 pm

      Love that song. It´s one of the ones I always dance to with my daughters. :)

  • avatar Kristen December 15, 2011, 4:41 pm

    When (not if) you break up with him, instead of feeling miserable that you lost him, focus your hurt on the ways he’s treated you during your relationship. He’s lied about basic personal information, been deceptive about where he lives, evaded innocent questions… you deserve better than that! Turn your pain into indignation and use that to get over him during the hard parts.

    I don’t even want to think about what your ex-boyfriend was like if this is an improvement. Please believe me that you can find someone who actually treats you right, welcomes you into his home, and is proud to introduce you to his family. And the sooner you break up with this guy, the sooner you’ll find that great one.

  • avatar mf December 15, 2011, 4:43 pm

    I love it when Wendy brings on the tough love.

    LW, I know some of these comments sound kinda harsh. But I think everyone wants you to understand that you deserve better. We’re just hoping you’ll defy Wendy’s prediction, break up with this guy, and set higher standards in your future relationships.

  • avatar SGMcG December 15, 2011, 4:44 pm

    Good lord woman. Forget about your boyfriend not being able to take you to his apartment and your address after two years of dating. How about the fact that he hasn’t given you his Korean name, because he is ashamed of it. Think about that – you didn’t even know this guy’s legal name until you managed to get it out of him indirectly.

    I don’t care if he’s the best boyfriend you’ve ever had. Some time in the past two years, he has to give you at least something to demonstrate a level of trust that he’s in it for the long haul and is considering a lifetime commitment with you. Have you met his parents? Do you know his address? How about his FULL legal name. If you don’t have that, you can’t be assured of a commitment with him.

    No wonder you’re feeling pathetic – you are certainly acting it. DTMFA.

  • CatsMeow CatsMeow December 15, 2011, 4:48 pm

    LW – I’m going to go out on a limb and suggest stalking. Some legal, not-psycho stalking.

    It’s not hard to find out information on people using the internet. Some states let you look up marriage records. Or you can look at your county assessor’s web page to find his address (now that you know his real name, I presume?) if he owns property. Where I live, you can look up personal property also – by name – so even if he doesn’t own a place, his property (car for instance) might pop up and probably have an address attached to it. Often it lists the other people in the same household. This is all public information.

    Also, you can try sites like pipl.com, spokeo, 411.com, or peekyou. Find his address, dang it, do a drive-by, and see what you can see! Also, facebook? Does he have one? There’s probably a lot you can gather from facebook. Don’t you know any of his friends? I have so many questions! How is the curiosity not KILLING you??

    I will justify this by saying it’s NOT the same as snooping as you will just be using free, readily-available resources to find out public information. When I did internet dating I found out everything I could about potential dates before we met.

    But to answer your question, LW, “Is this a trust issue?” I’d say YES. It’s an issue that you trust him even though he’s given you TONS of reasons not to. And if he is hiding his home from you because he truly doesn’t trust you, then that’s reason enough to leave him. After 2 years, that’s unacceptable.

    • avatar AKchic December 15, 2011, 5:33 pm

      Exactly my thoughts on this. I mean, I keep my facebook set to “private” and only my friends can see my stuff, and even then, there are some albums that only certain people can see because I don’t want some family members feeling pity on my sister and sharing the photos with her (I’ve blocked her) so she can send them to my father (that’s a long story in itself).
      I dropped my home phone number, but the last time I had it, I paid to keep my phone number out of the phone book (too bad the online registry didn’t give me the same courtesy). If you get mail sent to your address, it will show up online. Somewhere.

      It’s not hard to get a private investigator to do some work for you. I’ve worked for one for a while, so I did learn a few things. It isn’t too hard to do things yourself if you check public records online, or newspapers online (if your town publishes marriage applications in the paper). Of course, this is all assuming that you now know the guy’s real name.

      • rainbow rainbow December 16, 2011, 7:24 am

        You seriously worked for a PI? That is so cool!

        • JK JK December 16, 2011, 7:55 am

          Have you read Sue Grafton´s alphabet series? The books are about a female PI and her cases. I LOVE them.

        • avatar AKchic December 16, 2011, 4:56 pm

          yeah… way “back in the day”, right after my 3rd son was born. *laugh* Almost 8 years ago.

  • avatar Meredith December 15, 2011, 5:03 pm

    Oh boy, do I ever know how the LW feels! In my early 20s I was in a “relationship” with a guy for almost a year who never let me see where he lived or where he worked, had a separate cell phone just for me (I was forbidden from calling his regular phone), plus I could only see him during the week, never on weekends. He had all kinds of excuses for this – he was getting a divorce and lived with some friends that sympathized with his ex and watched his every move, he worked all the time, he went fishing every weekend and liked to do it alone, etc. And I totally bought all of them. MAN was I dumb!

    After he disappeared for the entire month of December with no returned phone calls or emails, with the excuse (when he finally came around again) of “he lost his phone” I finally wised up and broke it off and you know what, LW? It sucked. It hurt and I cried a lot. But what hurt more was the knowledge that I had ALLOWED myself to get hurt like that. I walked right into it. In my heart of hearts, I knew something was wrong. I knew that he was probably married or at the very least had a gf. All my friends told me so all the time but I was so in love or obsessed or whatever it was with him that I CHOSE not to see it. I put blinders on and stuck my fingers in my ears and yelled “LA LA LA LA!” (figuratively) every time one of my friends tried to bring it up because I didn’t want to believe it.

    Here’s the thing though, LW. Choosing not to believe it doesn’t make it any less true. You know in your heart of hearts, just like I did, that he’s lying to you and that your friends are most likely right.

    I want you to look in a mirror and say these words to yourself. “I deserve better than this.” I want you to repeat it until you feel that it’s true. Because it is. You DESERVE so much more than what this guy is giving you. It’s time to take the blinders off and stop allowing yourself to be hurt so you can look back on this years from now and say “MAN was I dumb!” and know that you’ll never allow that to happen again.

  • avatar Marie December 15, 2011, 5:33 pm

    You know when I first say my boyfriends apartment? Oh lets see the third date.

  • avatar kare December 15, 2011, 5:54 pm

    Hope it’s just a wife and kids and not severed heads in the refrigerator. Just saying it could be worse.

  • avatar Pho_sho December 15, 2011, 5:56 pm

    Being Korean, I can tell you that there are probably cultural things going on here that are a lot more likely than him having a secret family, but that’s still not good news for you. Him not telling you his “real” name is pretty minor since he probably considers his American name to be just as real. The fact that he’s embarrassed of his Korean name tells me that he probably hasn’t come to terms with his Korean/Asian-American identity. The fact that he compartmentalizes you may be because he is either trying to keep you a secret from his family ( he may live at home, or with a cousin/brother, or dating a white girl is a way to rebel against his Korean identity/family. If it’s the latter, run away. He’s not emotionally mature enough for a real relationship. If it’s the former, run away. You’re either a placeholder until he meets somebody his family would approve of, or he’ll marry you in an act of rebellion. This isn’t the happy ending you think it will be because somebody who has to hide you from family will not be making an emotionally mature decision. Instead, you’ll be stuck with a man-child for a husband, with in-laws who will make your life miserable. Strong, emotionally healthy people who choose to make life decisions that goes against their family’s desires live much more transparent lives, and they don’t hesitate to stand up to their family for the sake of their partner. Your boyfriend may be great, but he’s not there yet, and staying with him will only result in heartache for you, whether he leaves you for who his family wants, or he stays with you in shame.

    • avatar Rachel December 15, 2011, 9:53 pm

      I appreciate the insight you’re giving us and, more importantly, the LW. Transparency is a the key here — if he always feels like he’s gotta hide something (-one?) from her, then how can she expect to ever have a real relationship with him?

  • avatar MiMi December 15, 2011, 6:05 pm

    He is living with his parents, who don’t approve of non-Korean girls in the family – this seems like the most likely scenario.
    Not a fight you can win if he’s not 100% there with you to fight it.

  • avatar twiglet December 15, 2011, 7:28 pm

    I’m so sorry. This is not your fault. People should not lie. Try, if you can, to glide away from this, taking all the good stuff with you; and leaving the bad. He must be pretty special if you have been putting up with this shit- believe me, there are people out there; and you will find one, who are just as special and will actually let you into their lives. He’s already dirtied his ticket- tell him to get off now.And good luck with the rest of your journey-but don’t even think about taking this guy with you.This is not fair, you didn’t ask for it or deserve it,but do yourself a favour and stop before this hurts you more.

    • avatar Marie S. December 15, 2011, 9:02 pm

      I disagree that because she’s putting up with all this that he is special.Plenty of people put up with more than they should from their S.O. because they “love them”. Doesn’t mean they chose the right person to love.I wouldn’t call a guy who won’t even give his girlfriend(if we can even call her that)basic info about him self “special”.

  • bittergaymark bittergaymark December 15, 2011, 7:29 pm

    Newsflash, you aren’t feeling pathetic. You are BEING pathetic! And deep down, you know this to be true — that’s why YOU wrote into Dear Wendy…

    Look, clearly something is up. Maybe he IS married. Maybe he IS embarrassed that You aren’t Korean. Maybe he is secretly gay and secretly married to Tom Cruise… There are a million maybes. But at the end of the day, it’s all the same.

    He just isn’t THAT into You. He just isn’t really truly there for You. And deep down, You know that You deserve better. So do something about it. Say goodbye. MOA!!!

  • avatar Marie S. December 15, 2011, 9:00 pm

    LW,why the hell are you with a guy who won’t give you his home address because he’s afraid you’ll stalk him?! WTf?!?! This wouldn’t be normal behavior for two people who are just friends and sure as hell isn’t normal for two people in a relationship.

    Who knows why he won’t give you his address.Who cares?Maybe his “roommates” are his parents or wife and kids.Maybe he’s a drug dealer.Maybe he really is paranoid and is worried you’ll stalk him (in which case he’s nuts anyway for staying with a girl who he thinks would stalk him…grounds for breaking up with him anyway).Maybe he’s a CIA agent.The point is,you’ve been with him two years and he doesn’t trust you enough with basics.Dump him!

    I can understand him feeling embarrasssed about his Korean name and could understand if he preferred you to use his American name.But you should at least KNOW his Korean name.

    You KNOW this isn’t normal behavior for your boyfriend(and I use that term VERY loosely in your case).All your friends have told you to move on.Everyone here is telling you to move on.Just because he treats you “better” than your ex(what is “better”?) doesn’t mean he treats you well.And a guy who will not let you into his life is not the guy for you.

  • avatar the other guy December 15, 2011, 9:16 pm

    My money is on him living with his parents who would never accept him seeing a white woman. Reality is that most cultures are as racist or not more so than your worst red neck.

  • avatar summerkitten26 December 15, 2011, 9:44 pm

    I’m going to be super devil’s advocate here and suggest that on top of the issues with being different/first gen American here…dude sounds like a hoarder. in case this is tl;dr, my main point is that he is hurting you, and whether it’s intentional or not, you need to leave him and heal yourself so you can live a full life. his issues need to benhis isues. the name issue on it’s own would not really ring bells with me since I’m a first gen (English speaking), and I’ve got plenty of first gen friends (non English speaking) who wouldn’t respond to their cultural name if their mothers were trying to find them in a crowded mall. it’s tough growing up different. because of that, I also might understand why you havent’t met the family yet (although I seriously hope you know OF them,like who is who and their relation to him). some cultures literally don’t accept until the point of engagement, and some have issue with that if the parents are supposed to handle the process. although, I agree with everyone else that this is a basic relationship issue if he hasn’t at least explained and discussed this with you. that in itself is a problem that would mean this guy isn’t ready for a relationship with you or anyone.

    the reason that I say this reminds me of a hoarding sitch is because I have a friend who hoards (now in treatment) who would give similar excuses, down to jokingly saying that we wanted to stalk him. LW, PLEASE take this with a grain of salt because only you know the particulars of your situation best. I could be WAY off the mark here, and I only speak from my experience to offer another POV.

    my friend the hoarder never invited people over. he always gave some excuse that his house was messy, he was tired, he lived too far away, in his culture children didn’t bring friends home, whatever. eventually, as a year or two or four wore by and people started getting suspicious, his reasons started being more focused on us instead of him. now, it was that we wanted to see how he lived to make fun of him (he wasn’t the richest one in the group), or that he was afraid we were going to party and ruin his parents’ stuff (we were in high school). turns out that both he and his mother were hoarders. and he was embarrassed to death that anyone should find out his secret because he was so ashamed of it. all the hiding, lying, accusing, it was because he was afraid. obviously, serious issues there, but you would never know because in public, he was always presentable.

    I’m not saying this is your situation. it very well might not be. but I think that for your own sanity and information you should try to get an explanation from him before leaving him. try to be as understanding as possible to whatever comes out of his mouth (unless of course he’s a sketchball with another family or serial killer). and if he doesn’t give you an explanation, then at least you tried and you move on to heal eventually. in no way does this guy seem ready for a relationship, and even if he is hiding something because he’s ashamed rather than because he thinks it’ll hurt you, he IS hurting you, and you deserve better. like I said, no matter what, this relationship isn’t working out, but it might help you heal if you understand why.

  • avatar vizslalvr December 15, 2011, 9:57 pm

    People who I won’t invite home or disclose my address to because I am afraid they may stalk me: the homeless guy outside my law school who begs me for cigarettes and change every day, the guy I dated in 8th grade who called me and left messages telling me he was going to open his wrists if I didn’t call him back in seven minutes (… my mom got them, I was in the shower …), people I meet at work (I clerk for the public defender’s office), etc.

    People I will invite home and/or disclosure my address to because I have invited them into my life by sharing with them my emotions and vagina: my significant other.

    See the dichotomy, LW?

  • theattack theattack December 15, 2011, 10:30 pm

    Follow him home and find out what’s up. It won’t matter that this messes up your relationship anyway because you’re going to need to get out of this regardless.

    • Budj Budj December 16, 2011, 3:24 pm

      but then she would actually be a stalker!

  • avatar wendyblueeyes December 16, 2011, 8:08 am

    I’ve worked with many Koreans over the years, here in New Jersey. Does the Korean boyfriend go to Korea for a month-long vacation every year? Then the family is shopping for a bride. That means he will never never never marry you. I’ve seen it happen so many times, and the American girlfriend is shocked when the guy breaks up with her 6 months after the vacation because he’s getting married to his Korean bride, who he’s met only once.

  • avatar Anthony December 16, 2011, 10:32 pm

    So is he really that good in bed, or do you just have a low paying job and he buys you expensive stuff?

  • avatar steve December 16, 2011, 10:51 pm

    I bet $5 that you seldom have a sex free date. And when you do, its a wierd circumstance that keeps him out of your pants..like your dad or brother stops by. He isn’t with you enough to get tired of you and the sex is non-commital enough that it is always good. You are a good fuck-buddy. You know eash others bodies and likes and dislikes and the lack of committment keeps it interesting.

    I have cheated on my wife a bit. A woman like you is a score. And he has kept you distant enough…away from his house and wife…that when he dumps you, you won’t be able to rat him out. Can you account for every night of his week? I bet you aren’t his only side dish.

  • avatar Michael December 16, 2011, 10:52 pm

    Obviously if he’s married he’s a creep, but I actually think the disapproving and overbearing parents/family explanation is very plausible. From the description (and his excuses) it does not sound as if he’s a very smooth operator. I doubt that he’s playing multiple women, because you have to be a way better liar than he is to pull that off for any length of time.

    But if he does live with family (might be siblings or cousins who would tell the older generation – he might not live in mommy’s basement), and if he lacks the courage to stand up to their disapproval of him dating a white woman, then the relationship has no future.

    If he keeps insisting on his excuses when she tells him she knows he’s lying, then there’s nothing to do except break up. And if he does come clean and either he is married and/or he is unwilling to stand up for himself and her to his family, then same thing.

  • avatar Contrarian December 16, 2011, 10:54 pm

    I think I have the definitive answer:

    I know this is going to be hard for people to understand, but immigrants put a lot of pressure on their children to marry within their culture. I wouldn’t be surprised if the reason he doesn’t bring her around is because he knows he probably is getting a lot of flack from his loved ones for seeing an “American”. Depending on the age, parents can exert a lot of pressure creating lack of comfort on his part in bringing her around. Trust me, it is very likely this guy is suffering from a lot of anxiety from the prospect.

    Another thing people should understand is that many foreign cultures are not so loosey goosey with dating as Western society. Many of these cultures typically discourage bringing a boy from bringing female friends around until you are serious about marrying them.

    Bottom line is to do what you have to do, but applying American norms to this situation is probably the wrong thing to do. If you really like this person, stick it out. They will eventually come to accept you.

  • avatar Guaman December 16, 2011, 11:26 pm

    I offer a humble request – when putting an acronym in your writing, please define it upon first use. Jargon is bad enough but acronyms are worse. Even urban dictionary doesn’t have anything that makes sense for MOA. It makes it tough to follow that advice.

    • avatar savannah December 18, 2011, 3:17 pm

      I offer a humble request-Read the FAQ.

  • avatar pawn December 17, 2011, 5:41 am

    He’s never going to marry you. It doesn’t matter what the reason is. Several plausible explanations have been given above but basically it boils down to the fact that he is using you and you are letting him. You are just procrastinating. You’re screwed either way. Pain now or pain later. Living a lie seems to be enough of a life for you.

  • avatar doc December 17, 2011, 9:07 am

    I guess I’m bad but I didn’t read through the millions of comments, just a half million or so. AM I THE ONLY ONE WHO WOULD FOLLOW THIS PERSON A FEW DAYS? Screw stalking, I’m just too curious to want to know what the heck was going on. When you get a gut feeling it’s usually right. Who knows what’s going on but I couldn’t let a mystery like that leave without finding out who I’d been doing the last 2 years.

  • avatar Richard December 17, 2011, 10:39 am

    I’m a Korean-American guy, and I read this differently. Does he live with his parents, and maybe he’s ashamed of that? Or perhaps he lives in a crappy place and is embarrassed to show you?
    2 years is incredibly odd, but I also think that women have great intuition and you should already know the answer?
    Btw, I don’t really believe in cultural stereotypes – my family is incredibly status conscious and conservative, but I married a Latin woman. I think family pressure is much less an issue these days in a globalizing world and a world where, frankly, the U.S. is losing a lot of eminence vis a vis the RoW.

  • avatar A Dude December 17, 2011, 8:31 pm

    Hire a Private Investigator to get his address and go there.

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