Today is the sixth anniversary of the launch of Dear Wendy! Thank you for being part of this community and for continuing to spend some of your time here. I’m so grateful! Here’s today’s column:
I’m a 30-year-old divorcee with a son. I have joint custody with my ex-husband. My boyfriend, who is also divorced, has a daughter who is under the sole custody of his ex-wife. I only get to spend time with my son on alternate weekends and my boyfriend doesn’t see his daughter at all. My boyfriend already proposed to me, but, one month after proposing, he wants me to give up seeing my son. I did tell him that my parents want to spend time with my son too and they can only do that on the alternate weekends I see him. He told me that he wants to go overseas to work and meanwhile I can use this period to think about whether I want to give up my son for him. I have thought of giving up my son after we married, but how am I supposed to answer to my parents? My mother has depression and my father has cancer. I don’t want them to be sad knowing that they will lose a grandson. My boyfriend told me when we started dating that he could not accept my son, and I know not all men can. I’m actually prepared to give up my son after marriage, but my boyfriend wants me to do it right now. I want to be with my boyfriend and yet I can’t bear to let my parents feel sad because of their illnesses. I also have a mother’s guilt in me because my son loves me so much. What should I do? — Feeling Stuck
Yeah, no shit you have “mother’s guilt.” You’re willing to give up the little bit of time you have with your son, which is already a depressingly small amount, for a monster of a man who doesn’t see his own child and doesn’t think you should see yours? Shame on you. Are you so lonely and so desperate for a husband that you would cast away your own child? Apparently so. Please, please get yourself to therapy and figure out what the fuck is wrong with you that you would behave in such an appalling, disgraceful way. I’m not even touching on your parents. That you would use them and their illnesses as the main reason to maybe keep seeing your son occasionally speaks volumes. Get help.
I’m a 29-year-old woman in a relationship with a 36-year-old man who is in the process of getting divorced. We knew each other from high school school, but we only recently started seeing each other again when his marriage failed. He was married for two years and has a two-year-old daughter. He’s a wonderful man and father, but sometimes he gets really worked up and stressed over little things and I think it’s the divorce, though he has assured me he doesn’t want to go back to his wife. He has invited me to go to the beach with him and his ex sister-in-law (his ex-wife-to-be’s sister) and her husband and the kids, but I’m not sure this is a good idea; I think the SIL will just want to check me out and then go tell her sister about me. What do I tell him? I just don’t think it’s a good idea to go, especially since he is not divorced yet. — The New Girl
Tell him you aren’t comfortable socializing with his wife’s sister — that you think it’s inappropriate and will not be comfortable socializing with her at least until after his divorce is finalized and maybe not until long after that. If I were you, I would tread very carefully here. You’re dealing with a man who has questionable judgment at best, is not yet divorced, has a toddler (whose custody maybe has yet to be determined?), and who gets “really worked up and stressed over little things.” If I were you, I’d put the brakes on this relationship until he’s moved on from some of the major stressors in his life, like finalizing his divorce, and can devote emotional energy to a new relationship.
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If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at firstname.lastname@example.org.