Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

“My Boyfriend is Obsessed with CrossFit!”

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I’m a middle class, Catholic woman with a decent job. I always think of others first and try to do the right thing. My boyfriend of five years, however, is Jewish, a partner in a well-known law firm, living in a white collar neighborhood. Money is no issue. He is somewhat of a fitness freak. He never misses a workout even it if means going into work late or rearranging his schedule to get it in. His newest love is CrossFit. He is obsessed with it and the people he works out with. He is on a chat room constantly with these people, and on the weekends when we are together we have to have breakfast with them. CrossFit is all he talks about. I am very patient and try to be supportive.

He has twin daughters who just turned 13. I did my part, went to their Bat Mitvah and participated in all their events. I have three children, aged 20, 18, and 15. My 18-year-old daughter just graduated high school, and the night before the graduation my boyfriend told me he couldn’t come to the ceremony because he had a CrossFit party to attend. I, of course, am livid, hurt, and disgusted with him. He told me I didn’t invite him and that he thought the graduation was in the morning when it was, in fact, in the afternoon.

I don’t think I can forgive him for this. My daughter only graduates from high school once. I was never formally invited to his kids’ Bat Mitzvah, but I was smart enough to know I had to be there because I love his girls and wanted to support them and him. His actions, however, say it all. It was a slap in my and my daughter’s faces. What do you think? — Fit To Be Crossed

I think, if you want to look at one’s actions and what they say about one’s feelings, it’s just as telling that neither of you actually invited the other to your children’s big events as it is that your boyfriend chose a CrossFit party over your daughter’s high school graduation. I guess I don’t understand why, after five years together, you wouldn’t make sure your partner knew he was not only invited to your daughter’s graduation, but also was expected to come. Why wasn’t he included in the plans? Wouldn’t he, after five years in your lives and as your partner, warrant an invite to the post-graduation festivities — lunch or dinner or a family party? Wouldn’t you, at some point in the days leading up to the graduation ceremony, check in with him and make sure he knew where and when to go? And similarly, why didn’t he extend an invitation to you to his daughters’ Bat Mitzvah? Beyond your boyfriend’s obsession with CrossFit and your strange wording regarding your respective religions — as if his being Jewish has anything to do with his behavior — what strikes me as the most curious aspect of your question is simply your equal disregard for each other.

Perhaps after five years, things have simply run their course. Maybe with young children, neither of you was able to invest the needed time and energy into making this relationship a success, and now it seems neither of you can be bothered to actually end it either. But if that isn’t the case, and you believe there is too much between you to just throw away, then summon whatever fight you’ve got in you and make an effort to save your relationship. That means sitting down with your boyfriend and telling him you need him to make you — and your family — a priority in his life. You need to come above CrossFit.

Frankly, there’s an alarming lack of communication between you. I don’t know if that’s a symptom of a bigger problem or simply the cause of every other problem. But I do know that you won’t figure it out and you won’t move forward — whether it’s with him or not — unless you open your mouth and start communicating some of your needs. And when you do that, be sure to discuss what each of you wants in your future. Do you fit into one another’s grand plan? Is there space in each other’s respective futures? Do you even want the same thing? After five years, those are questions you are long overdue asking (and answering).

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

You can follow me on Facebook here and sign up for my weekly newsletter here.

If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at wendy@dearwendy.com.

126 comments… add one
  • iwannatalktosampson

    iwannatalktosampson June 4, 2013, 3:06 pm

    At least you don’t have to worry about him letting himself go, amiright?

    Also lets not be dramatic here – it wasn’t really a slap in your daughters face because I doubt she even cares who is at her graduation. Is that even a thing kids get mad about these days? I know I just wanted graduation to be over as quickly as possible and take the pictures that my mom insisted on so that I could get outta there and get my party on.

    What are your life goals? I mean after 5 years you should know whether or not you’re going to be an integral part of each other’s lives. So have you just been casually dating for 5 years? Is that even possible? If so that’s a dream of mine. I would love to have a not serious but stable boyfriend forever, haha. But if that’s not your dream then maybe you both need to figure out why you’re together yet not there for any of the big things.

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      lets_be_honest June 4, 2013, 3:21 pm

      Hell yea! Sounds ideal to me too.

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      kerrycontrary June 4, 2013, 3:44 pm

      I couldn’t give two shits about who was at my graduation/grad party in terms of adults. I just wanted my friends there.

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  • avatar

    bethany June 4, 2013, 3:07 pm

    People who talk to strangers on the internet all day are totally weird. Dump Him.

    🙂

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    • avatar

      GatorGirl June 4, 2013, 3:09 pm

      WBS.

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  • mrmidtwenties

    mrmidtwenties June 4, 2013, 3:16 pm

    HAha, WBS. But I’ve had a few good friends join crossfit, and it’s totally changed them. One friend, that’s all she talks about, and we pretty rarely see her now. People get insanely obsessed with it, but don’t realize how boring it is to the rest of us.

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    • avatar

      lets_be_honest June 4, 2013, 3:22 pm

      I know one guy who was into crossfit and he was totally obsessed too! and in very, very, very good shape.

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    • Lindsay

      Lindsay June 4, 2013, 3:42 pm

      Yeah, my roommate did it briefly, and it was all she talked about. Even though we never had conversations about our workouts before that, and she knew very well that I don’t share her enthusiasm for exercise. I’d try to change the subject, and it’d always return. Everything in her life revolved around it. I couldn’t date someone like that.

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      • avatar

        Matcha June 4, 2013, 4:31 pm

        Eh, I did had a Crossfit stint before I moved and one of my friends joined me. I rarely mentioned it but I remember we would hang out with friends and she would go on and on about how many burpees she did, and that we did 8×5 pull ups or she PR’d her deadlift. Which is cool, but our friends didn’t care and even when I changed the subject, she’d come back to it. Especially when it’s new, it’s exciting and a really neat lifestyle change. Your gym (I refuse to say ‘box’, sounds silly) is your club and gym members become your friends. Some people may just not realize how obsessed they sound.

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        Matcha June 4, 2013, 4:37 pm

        Whoops, had or did. I typo’d.

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      • Cassie

        Cassie B June 6, 2013, 8:08 pm

        It makes me wonder… is CrossFit really a cult?

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  • landygirl

    landygirl June 4, 2013, 3:18 pm

    Dump him and while you’re at it, wipe that chip off your shoulder.

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    • avatar

      lets_be_honest June 4, 2013, 3:23 pm

      What part made you think she had a chip on her shoulder?

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        lets_be_honest June 4, 2013, 3:35 pm

        forget it. read kerry’s comment and agree.

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  • avatar

    lets_be_honest June 4, 2013, 3:19 pm

    So your boyfriend is a hard worker, has a great job, lives in a nice neighborhood and apparently is a super hottie with abs. Poor you!

    Ok, finished reading. Sounds like a careless person. Sorry. Turn him into a booty call!

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    • iwannatalktosampson

      iwannatalktosampson June 4, 2013, 3:27 pm

      Can you booty call abs though?

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    • iwannatalktosampson

      iwannatalktosampson June 4, 2013, 3:49 pm

      I can’t have sex with your personality, so why you sharing all this information with me?

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qqXi8WmQ_WM

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest June 4, 2013, 3:52 pm

        Some of its really beyond messed up, but some are really funny bc they are obviously jokes…twitter hashtag mygirlfriendnotallowedto.
        My favorite was: #mygirlfriendnotallowedto consume carrots. She don’t need better eyesight. You tryna look for another man?

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      • iwannatalktosampson

        iwannatalktosampson June 4, 2013, 3:55 pm

        Hahahahaha. Awesome.

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  • bittergaymark

    bittergaymark June 4, 2013, 3:31 pm

    HOT… Sorry, but I’ve been to so many lame ass high school graduations… and so, I gotta confess, I can totally see why he might feel the need to bail. (Esepcially since you didn’t even bother to fucking invite him…) Sorry, but at the end of the day… Graduating High School truly ISN’T that impressive. How the fuck do you NOT graduate high school? It’s all rather silly and a chore to sit through for anybody BUT the immediate parents… Especially now that you’ve probably already faithfully attended preschool, kindergarden, elementary, and junior high graduations…. Enough is enough already!

    Sorry, but I am being pressured to attend an 8th Grade Graduation this very weekend and am beyond annoyed by it.

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    • katie

      katie June 4, 2013, 3:33 pm

      haha, i saw a lawn yesterday that was way, way, over the top decorated for…. a middle school graduation. i laughed out loud to myself in the car at that one…

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        bethany June 4, 2013, 3:36 pm

        Can we just talk for a minute about all the stupid fucking graduations? I graduated from high school and college, and didn’t actually want to go to either of those ceremonies. Now there’s a graduation for fucking everything. So stupid. If I ever have kids, I refuse to let them participate in that crap.

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      • katie

        katie June 4, 2013, 3:42 pm

        haha, i actually enjoyed my graduations. i had a 6th grade graduation, high school, and college. but, like, none of them were that big of a deal. i actually almost started crying at my high school one when i realized that my mom’s good friends and people i had known my entire life showed up- i didnt think or expect anyone except my mom dad and sister. at my college one we just drank a ton of wine and ate good food because it was from culinary school.

        i blame pinterest.

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      • courtney89

        courtney June 5, 2013, 11:26 am

        I had a 5th grade graduation, 8th grade, high school and college. I enjoyed them but seriously by college I was over it haha but it was important to my mom for me to walk to so I did for her!

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      • bittergaymark

        bittergaymark June 4, 2013, 3:44 pm

        I enjoyed boy my highschool and college graduations… And I guess I am just bitter as I really do think that have one for EVERY level of education is getting to be a wee bit much… It IS so beyond SILLY…

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      • bittergaymark

        bittergaymark June 4, 2013, 3:45 pm

        I enjoyed boy… talk about a freudian slip… BOTH!!! 😉

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        GatorGirl June 4, 2013, 3:47 pm

        My brother and sister had 5th grad and 8th grade (and 12th obviously) graduations and I liked them a lot. It was more of a celebration of them transitioning from an elementary school child to the “big kid world” of middle school and then again from “big kid world” to shark pool that is high school. It wasn’t a money or gift giving occasion, just a short little assembly at school and then dinner with the family.

        I do think “participation” trophys are stupid though. Here’s a metal, you showed up! What?

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      • becboo84

        BecBoo84 June 4, 2013, 4:10 pm

        Ummmmm… I guess I should forget my plans for a little preschool graduation party then?!?! I thought this would be cute, but maybe not 🙂

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        GatorGirl June 4, 2013, 4:16 pm

        I don’t see a problem with a small party, personally. Like a BBQ or something with grandparents.

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      • becboo84

        BecBoo84 June 4, 2013, 4:20 pm

        That was actually the plan, plus aunts and uncles with an ice cream cake (the little one has been looking for any possible reason to order a cake from Baskin Robbins)!

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        GatorGirl June 4, 2013, 4:24 pm

        Oh Dairy Queen cakes are leaps and bounds better 🙂 Have the party, it sounds fun. Just don’t have a valet!

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      • becboo84

        BecBoo84 June 4, 2013, 4:41 pm

        Agreed! But according to the 4 year old, they’re not as cute, and that’s really all that matters 😉

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        lets_be_honest June 4, 2013, 4:17 pm

        I don’t see a problem with doing WHATEVER YOU CHOOSE TO DO!

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      • bittergaymark

        Bittergaymark June 4, 2013, 4:32 pm

        Just don’t give ANYBODY grief about coming to just the party and skipping the ceremony… I have TOO much going on the weekend to spend four hours of my saturday listening to eighth graders delivering commencement addresses…

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        lets_be_honest June 4, 2013, 4:36 pm

        This is the only dictation I can get on board with! Do whatever you want, valet it, invite 4,000 people, whatever the hell you want.

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      • Copa

        Copa June 4, 2013, 3:46 pm

        The area my parents live in is over-the-top in just about every way you can iamgine. Last summer, I saw a graduation party/open house type deal for a high school graduation with a VALET SERVICE. WTF? Go ahead and celebrate the end of high school/getting into college — but in what world does an 18-year-old’s party need a VALET?

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        kerrycontrary June 4, 2013, 3:48 pm

        So they don’t clog up the street and space in front of everyone’s house with cars (if a ton of people come). Nothing I would ever do but I could see where it would make sense.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest June 4, 2013, 3:48 pm

        That’s where I live too. It sucks.

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    • avatar

      kerrycontrary June 4, 2013, 3:47 pm

      Actually 1/3 of americans don’t graduate high school for one reason or another: pregnancy with no support from the school system/family/father of the baby, need to work to make money for their family, lack of value on education, fall too far behind in schoolwork with no support from educators, never learn how to read (this is a real thing). That being said, if you are raised in a fairly normal environment I don’t think high school is that intellectually challenging. But there are huge advantages to having a high school diploma, so it is still a big deal to a lot of people.

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      csp June 4, 2013, 3:47 pm

      High school graduation is a milestone rather than accomplishment. I equate it with a milestone birthday. If you would attend a 30th birthday for the person then you should attend the graduation. Just my two cents

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    • becboo84

      BecBoo84 June 4, 2013, 4:11 pm

      I don’t get 8th grade “promotions” either. Congratulations for doing what the state requires you to do… and here’s the obligatory $20. Just attended two this past weekend. $40 well spent… not!

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    • avatar

      BreezyAM June 4, 2013, 4:32 pm

      Wow Mark, three fucking hours out of your day to make someone happy (mom or kid? who cares?) and here you are whining like a bitch. Suck it up princess. Pre-drink, get a DD and enjoy.

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      • avatar

        BreezyAM June 4, 2013, 4:34 pm

        and just so no one cries foul, in case no one can tell I was just jacking with BGM in his own usual fashion. So no one trip.

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      • avatar

        kerrycontrary June 4, 2013, 5:07 pm

        I enjoy any party that has cake.

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      • bittergaymark

        Bittergaymark June 4, 2013, 5:24 pm

        For starters, I actually work weekends. And I am also housesitting thirty miles out of town. Oh… AND already am attending a grad celebration dinner that night from seven to ten… Sorry but no — I don’t fucking have seven hours of my life to give away this weekend.

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    • Lindsay

      Lindsay June 4, 2013, 4:53 pm

      I can see not wanting to go to a high school graduation, but everyone has to do shit they don’t want to. And people who don’t want to have those expectations on them need to not get into long-term relationships, especially with people who have kids.

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  • katie

    katie June 4, 2013, 3:31 pm

    so, i wonder if this is all just a symptom of the larger problem that you havent really evaluated or talked about what role you fill in each other lives, and then also in your respective children’s lives? i think that is the root of the issue.

    but, it would be good for you to know that just because you put in some sort of extra effort (going to the bat mizvah even though you didnt need to/werent “officially” invited) doesnt mean others are going to do the same thing. you cant just expect that from people if you dont make it known, you know? like, if this guy thinks that missing your kids graduation is no big deal, he probably wouldnt have cared if you didnt show up to his daughters bat mizvah’s because you had something else going on. so maybe you just need to adjust your expectations and what you put into your relationships with people.

    but i will say, i dont get people who are “obsessed” with things- its a huge turnoff to me. obsession is not sexy.

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    • katie

      katie June 4, 2013, 3:52 pm

      and also, yea the religion thing is weird. are we supposed to say “oh, well he’s jewish- they have this weird way of planning things, you see…”?

      also- your a good person? thats great, but again, what does that matter? you arent entitled to a good boyfriend because you are a good person.

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  • kmtthat

    kmentothat June 4, 2013, 3:32 pm

    I hate to say, but after dating total gym rat guys who can’t miss a single day of working out and are fitness obsessed to the point that it negatively affects other areas of life…the rock hard abs aren’t worth it to deal with someone else’s blatant narcissism. That’s not to say everyone that is passionate about working out is a narcissist, but I’ll assume given the missed life event and reference to his being a partner at a law firm, the religious difference, etc. his “needs” may seem to come first in the relationship more often than not. Take some time to reflect about where you see this relationship going and what kind of partner you ultimately want to be with and if he is willing/able to be that type of man. I don’t think I could date someone who didn’t show an interest in my likes, needs, family, etc. but looked good on paper and in the sheets. Is he loving, attentive partner? Does he share the same values as you and have similar goals for a shared future? If you can’t say yes to these questions after 5 years, I’d be worried.

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  • avatar

    kerrycontrary June 4, 2013, 3:34 pm

    I’m most bothered by the LW’s comparison of her being catholic/a good person to him being Jewish, having a good job, and living in a good neighborhood. Was she trying to say she’s a good poor person and he’s not because he makes money and is jewish or something? Comparing apples to oranges here. But my real advice is that sometimes people get really caught up in their hobbies/interests. Whether it’s crossfit, World of Warcraft, or scrapbooking, people have their interests and priorities. This event has just shown you where his priorities lie. And why didn’t he explicitly know he was expected to come?

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    • Lindsay

      Lindsay June 4, 2013, 3:44 pm

      Yeah, that was SUPER weird. I thought there’d be some kind of relevance later on, but there was none. Specifying it was odd enough, but grouping him being a Jew and having money is a really bad association to harp on.

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        kerrycontrary June 4, 2013, 3:51 pm

        Yeh I mean I could understand if it led to “we have different values, we have different religions we can’t reconcile” etc…but no. it was about graduation?

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      • Fabelle

        Fabelle June 4, 2013, 3:51 pm

        RIght? I found it so odd. “He’s Jewish…money is no issue…” Like—ahh, LW, watch yourself!! (Okay, I know I took her quote out-of-context, but um, not by that much? ha)

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        lets_be_honest June 4, 2013, 4:09 pm

        I agree about it sounding awful, but is it possible she was just giving some background, and wanted to emphasize that they have different religions?

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      • katie

        katie June 4, 2013, 4:12 pm

        but what does that fact change? does knowing that they are different religions make your advice any different then it would have been if that hadnt been in there?

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        lets_be_honest June 4, 2013, 4:20 pm

        It changes nothing, obviously, but I’m just thinking maybe she was trying to give an overall background of who they each are.

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        rachel June 4, 2013, 4:23 pm

        It is telling though, regardless of the religions, that she describes herself as a good person, and her boyfriend as well off.

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        lets_be_honest June 4, 2013, 4:24 pm

        Yes, I totally agree. Just throwing another ‘benefit of the doubt’ idea out there.

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        csp June 4, 2013, 4:53 pm

        maybe she is saying that the bat mitzva is the equivalent to graduation since her kids won’t have them.

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        SpaceySteph June 4, 2013, 5:31 pm

        I wonder if she was trying to contrast her knowing the bat mitzvah was a big deal even though she wasn’t Jewish with him not thinking graduation was a big deal… but Jews graduate from high school too so I don’t get the reference. It would have made more sense if they were talking confirmation or something, which would show that in 5 years he never made an effort to learn about her religion the way she did his.. or something.

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      • Fabelle

        Fabelle June 4, 2013, 4:13 pm

        That’s what I thought at first (or rather, ~decided~ to think upon giving her the benefit of the doubt, haha) but then she brings it up at other weird points? As if she’s hoping his behavior will be explained by his Jewish-ness (like Wendy said)

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      • katie

        katie June 4, 2013, 4:15 pm

        also, can we talk about the weird “however” in the first part- i am a great catholic person, bla bla bla *however* my boyfriend is jewish, bla bla bla. that means, i am a good catholic person and my boyfriend is not, right?

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      • Fabelle

        Fabelle June 4, 2013, 4:36 pm

        Oh yeah, what the hell is that. “HOWEVER”—also, the parallel structure of the first 2 or 3 sentences, combined with the “however”, makes it sound like she’s trying to make him the bad guy, through comparison? “I think of others first/he works in a law firm.” “I make a modest living/he lives in a ~white collar~ neighborhood.”

        I’m sure I’m over-analyzing (people frequently misuse transitional phrases, so the “however” could be nothing) but it just sounds so weird, & that’s partially why we’re all reacting this way?

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      • avatar

        BreezyAM June 4, 2013, 4:36 pm

        I’m thinking she was trying to show how she’s the “caretaker” of the relationship, the emo one, and he’s the one who takes care of money and stuff and he’s not NORMALLY a deadbeat, because really I’m sorry missing a milestone event for the kid of your SO of FIVE YEARS for fucking cross fit is lame as fuck and I’d expect that from some pothead, not a grown ass man who has it goin’ on. I’m Jewish, and I didn’t feel the butthurtery.

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      • bagge72

        bagge72 June 4, 2013, 4:25 pm

        I think she was saying it to tie in with the different life events in their kids lives.

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      • Lindsay

        Lindsay June 4, 2013, 4:44 pm

        I was thinking that, too, but a bat mitzvah is pretty self-explanatory. Maybe she wanted extra props for attending an event outside her religion?

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  • avatar

    GatorGirl June 4, 2013, 3:35 pm

    Am I the only one who thinks it’s super weird she went to the Bat Mitzvah when she wasn’t invited? Like wouldn’t the lack of invitation be a clue that you’re not welcome…

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      lets_be_honest June 4, 2013, 3:38 pm

      I can promise you that if Peter had a kid and they were graduating, I would not be formally invited either. Its an obvious assumption to attend.

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        Eagle Eye June 4, 2013, 3:44 pm

        After the ceremony, however, the reception is like 1/2 of a wedding (DJ, seating charts, sit down lunch or dinner) – so its not unlike showing up to a wedding without an invite.

        This whole thing just seems strange…

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        GatorGirl June 4, 2013, 3:49 pm

        I was thinking of pointing this out too. In the Jewish faith this is like as big as you’re wedding…the only one I went to was maybe the fanciest party I’ve ever been too, even as an adult. There where definitively assigned seats, RSVPs, DJs etc. Just showing up would have been seen as weird.

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        Eagle Eye June 4, 2013, 4:14 pm

        Hah, mine was definitely not a super fancy party – but its a whole process (from the invites (I’m still using the coordinating thank-you cards almost 15 years later…)/ to the seating charts/ to the DJ/ to the taste testing the menu at the venue/ to getting a venue)

        Yeah, you don’t just show up…

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        GatorGirl June 4, 2013, 3:44 pm

        Yeah, I guess sending an invite would be weird too…but I was kind of taking it as the LW knew the event was happening but her attending wasn’t discussed and she went anyways. IDK, I could be totally off.

        There apparently is a serious lack of communication in this couple though. But I do think maybe the guy doesn’t realize the graduation is a big deal? Maybe it’s just one of those male-female differences?

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      • avatar

        BreezyAM June 4, 2013, 4:37 pm

        I am with you on the m/f thing

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  • Lindsay

    Lindsay June 4, 2013, 3:40 pm

    I believe the LW when she says CrossFit is causing problems. People get obsessed. But I agree with Wendy’s points about a lack of communication. I also wonder if they are less serious than the LW thinks, specifically since we don’t know if he even wanted her to go to the bat mitzvahs. And because he seemed completely clueless that he’d ever be invited to the graduation. (Yes, she didn’t invite him, but his arguments conflict each other — if he didn’t think he was invited, then why did it matter what time the ceremony was?)

    Perhaps the LW and her boyfriend need to revisit where they think this thing is headed?

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  • avatar

    Lily in NYC June 4, 2013, 3:41 pm

    I’m wondering if people here don’t really know about the cult of Crossfit. People become completely obsessed with it and there’s this weird “Us vs. Them” attitude and they promote the idea that they are fitter, better and smarter than people that aren’t in the program (it’s also dangerously injury inducing and ridiculously overpriced).

    I’m not going to get into the semantics of “you didn’t really invite him.” Bullshit. After 5 years together it should be a given that you both attend the milestone events for all of the kids, his and yours. Blowing off your daughter’s graduation for a crossfit party is reprehensible, and I’m not usually strict about this kind of thing in my own life – I’m laid-back to a fault. But I’ve seen too much shit go on with Crossfit and my friends (it’s really popular in NYC) to think this is ok. I think it’s time to make it clear: family before Crossfit. Give him a chance. But don’t hold your breath, and keep an eye open for how he interacts with the other women in the program. I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s interested in one of them, considering how willing he is to blow you off for these people.

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    • Lindsay

      Lindsay June 4, 2013, 3:47 pm

      I agree with all of this.

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    • avatar

      kerrycontrary June 4, 2013, 3:50 pm

      yup I agree crossfit is cultish. Everyone in crossfit should just date each other and leave us weaklings to each other.

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    • avatar

      Lola June 4, 2013, 4:54 pm

      This is the correct answer. I think the invitation and expectation to attend is implied when you are so intertwined in each others’ lives and families. I see his saying, “But I wasn’t invited,” as a total straw-graspy cop out to make it seem like he was totally clueless. Not buying it.

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    • HuggaWugga

      HuggaWugga June 4, 2013, 5:45 pm

      It really depends on the gym–some have that dudebro element (and I would be way too intimidated to go to that type of place!), some don’t. I started it a year ago, and I love it–I’m not somebody who hasn’t been particularly athletic for much of her life, so it’s been exciting for me to go in and lift weights and see what I’m capable of and challenge myself. But I’m certainly not the fittest person ever, and I wouldn’t begin to think that what works for me works for everyone else! My gym’s been pretty great, but the culture varies from place to place.

      But it never gets to the point where I’m going to the gym so much that I forget to have fun with my friends. I will say, and I wonder if LW can elaborate on this, but from the way that it’s written, it looks like the graduation thing may have been discussed the night before. If it was important for the boyfriend to be there, I’d expect that it would have gotten brought up much sooner than it may have been.

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      • HuggaWugga

        HuggaWugga June 4, 2013, 5:49 pm

        Agh, that double negative is bothering me–it should say that I haven’t been the most athletic person.

        Also, on a second read, she’s been to his kid’s events, because that’s what you do. I guess the larger problem is that he doesn’t seem to think that he should be doing the same thing, particularly when he’s been in their lives for 5 years.

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      • avatar

        Lily in NYC June 5, 2013, 1:14 pm

        I’m sure you’re correct, but it sounds like this guy DOES go to one of the cult-like Crossfit classes. You would not believe the hipster elitism that goes on in the Brooklyn classes. It’s laughable.

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  • Fabelle

    Fabelle June 4, 2013, 3:43 pm

    Eeesh, “strange wording regarding your respective religions” is right. What the hell?

    Also, what? LW, your response seems…a bit out of proportion. So he missed the graduation. He thought it was in the morning, or whatever, & planned to go to a Crossfit party the same day. Let it go.

    I mean, I do understand being annoyed at his new obsession—from what I’ve heard, yes, people do get super obsessed with Crossfit. And this is why I don’t date “fitness freaks”. But I think missing your daughter’s graduation has less to do with Crossfit, & more to do with his role in your childrens’ lives? (like Katie said…is this REALLY about fucking Crossfit?)

    It sounds like you’ve been “putting in work” to try & become part of his kids’ lives, despite him not asking you to, & now you’re growing resentful that he’s apparently not as dedicated as you are to acting as a support? There also seems to be a large communication problem here—as in, you two aren’t communicating at all.

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  • avatar

    Essie June 4, 2013, 3:49 pm

    Why would you expect someone to be at an event you hadn’t invited him to?

    Take the boyfriend/girlfriend thing out of it for a moment. When you want to go, say, to a concert with one of your female friends, you make actual plans, right? You tell her you want her to come along, and you give her the date and time for the concert, so she can check and see if she has other plans, and so she can put it on her calendar.

    Why doesn’t your boyfriend get the same courtesy? Is he supposed to be psychic? I wouldn’t make the assumption that my presence was expected at an event I wasn’t explicitly invited to. Why would he? What right do you have to be angry at him for making other plans, when you didn’t even tell him you wanted him to be there?

    When my boyfriend has a family event that he’d like me to attend with him, he gives me the date and time as soon as he knows it. It’s just common courtesy.

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    • avatar

      BreezyAM June 4, 2013, 4:39 pm

      How the hell can you take the bf/gf part out of it? That’s the entire point, that he’s her BF of five freaking years.

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      • Lindsay

        Lindsay June 4, 2013, 5:19 pm

        Also, a concert with a friend is totally different. It seems like common knowledge to me that a long-term boyfriend or girlfriend might accompany their SO to a family event, like a graduation, and presumably, the fact that the daughter is graduating has come up before. (I mean, he knew what day it was, even if he misunderstood the time.) That’s totally different from choosing a concert out of an almost infinite number of bands, venues, dates and times and expecting a random friend to telepathically know they’re invited.

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    Steeze June 4, 2013, 4:03 pm

    I was also really surprised about the whole needing to clear up what religion everyone involved is… Um, really funny way of starting the letter.

    Anyhoodles, ya, you have to talk to him. You have to have a nice long chat about what your expectations are and what he needs from you too. I’m sure if you had made it clear prior to the event that he had to be there it would have helped. But I also see how you would expect him to know he should be there. Sometimes you just have to spell things out for your mate even if you think it’s obvious.

    The crossfit thing sounds a bit annoying but at least it’s a healthy obsession?

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  • avatar

    Sheryl June 4, 2013, 4:11 pm

    My husband and I started using outlook calendar invites for all important and semi-important events that the other one has to know about and/or attend… even its just “FYI – you need to be home to take care of the dog because I’m going out with the ladies”.

    It’s been the best thing ever. Do it.

    If you aren’t close enough to your bf of 5 years to actually do it, or he won’t agree to it, then you should probably re-evaluate if he actually needs to be at important events, ever.

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    • avatar

      GatorGirl June 4, 2013, 4:18 pm

      We have the same thing. A linked google calendar. If I need him somewhere I put it on the calendar, same goes for me. (And then we talk about it because we talk about everything.)

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  • avatar

    TECH June 4, 2013, 4:16 pm

    I think the LW is playing the martyr here a little bit. We all think it’s strange that she started out her letter with “I’m a middle class, Catholic woman with a decent job. I always think of others first and try to do the right thing.” And then goes on to describe her boyfriend as a rich Jewish dude. Obviously, these differences are paramount to her. Deep down, I think these differences really bother her. Maybe she wants him to be some one he is not, and she just threw the Jewish thing out there as an example of how different he is from her.

    I appreciate that this letter was short. Most people write in with a wall of text and just like to bitch. But it’s almost like she didn’t tell us enough here. When the boyfriend decided not to go to the high school graduation, it’s basically like he said, “I’m not going to be her stepdad.” Have you talked about getting married? It doesn’t sound like that’s even on the table, based on this letter. I mean, you’ve been together 5 years, and it sounds like he doesn’t want a serious commitment if he’s going to a Cross Fit event instead of the graduation.

    Is what you want a serious commitment, with someone from a similar background and with similar interests? If it is, then this relationship is probably not for you.

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  • bagge72

    bagge72 June 4, 2013, 4:20 pm

    I don’t know why everyone is making a big deal about not inviting him. Do you really need to invite somebody you have been dating for 5 years to something like that? Aren’t they kind of automatically invited at some point? I think that is kind of what the LW was getting at, that at this point of their relationship there are just things that you no longer need to do like invite your SO to an important event in yours or your daughters life, that is why she automatically new to go to his daughters events. The thing is Cross Fit does take over peoples life, and they don’t shut up about it, they really are like a cult, so I can see why the LW would be pissed that this guy is more worried about his work out of the day, or a party for his gym instead of her daughters graduation.

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    • avatar

      Sheryl June 4, 2013, 4:55 pm

      i don’t think people are giving him a get out of jail free card — just that the LW doesn’t seem to have communicated at all what her expectations were either.

      even if he didn’t need a formal “invitation” she should have been sure to inform him of the specifics of the event; which based on the letter she did not seem to do.

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      • Lindsay

        Lindsay June 4, 2013, 5:29 pm

        But if he didn’t need a formal invitation and the problem was simply that he didn’t know what time it was, he should have asked. If you’re honestly planning to go to something, you usually try to find out the exact time at some point, instead of just assuming.

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    • Fabelle

      Fabelle June 4, 2013, 6:19 pm

      No, I definitely think he sounds a little nutty. And I also think that, if he did legitimately screw up the time of the graduation, that’s an issue (because he was prioritizing Crossfit). It’s just that her wording is so off, everybody’s focusing on that.

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  • avatar

    BreezyAM June 4, 2013, 4:30 pm

    Sorry but I totally disagree with WWS. She should not have to invite a boyfriend of FIVE YEARS. He should know he should be there. He should not need a formal invite anymore than a husband should at that point.

    OTOH… boyfriend…. five years? And y’all are 40somethings I suspect??? Hmmm. I mean I can sorta get a five year relationship when you’re 20something but… 40something? Hmmm.

    I suspect boyfriend has the same problem Mr AM struggles with (but is 90% over)…. if it’s not about him, because he’s a busy dude and has many interests, he’s figuring someone else has it handled and will let him know if he’s needed. Unfortunately, LW needs Boyfriend to take more initiative. He isn’t taking any. He’s calling it in.

    LW express in calm terms to boyfriend you expected him to know he should be there and that dumping her grad for cross fit is insulting. Don’t get angry or bitchy, just be very plain and matter of fact.

    And seriously evaluate where the relationship is going.

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    • avatar

      lets_be_honest June 4, 2013, 4:33 pm

      What’s wrong with a 5 year boyfriend? If there were more of those, there’d probably be less divorces.

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      • katie

        katie June 4, 2013, 4:40 pm

        i agree- the type of relationship that these two have, which i dont think the LW likes, but one that is more casual, with each of them having their separate lives, separate families, ect, is a good model if everyone is on board. there is nothing wrong with that. there is also nothing wrong with a boyfriend (NOT husband) waiting for an invite and/or not just barging in on family matters like graduation parties.

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        GatorGirl June 4, 2013, 4:41 pm

        I agree.

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      • avatar

        BreezyAM June 4, 2013, 4:42 pm

        I think at that point they should have a household together (not necessarily marriage!) or some sort of more “formal” status. Again, not necessarily marriage, tho usually most Catholic adults I know are insistent on marriage.

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      • katie

        katie June 4, 2013, 4:48 pm

        so, boyfriend is not “formal” enough for you? what exactly are the rules, then? under what timeline do they have to move in together? does it still count if they keep separate finances? or is that not a “real” household?

        thats a ridiculous statement. you dont have to form a household together and/or get married to have a real relationship.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest June 4, 2013, 4:59 pm

        Must be pre-engaged at 3.5 years.

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        GatorGirl June 4, 2013, 6:42 pm

        Yup, I agree with you too Katie. You can have a “serious” and “adult” relationship with out living together. Actually some people’s relationships thrive better with out living together. So long as both partners are happy with the relationship structure.

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      • avatar

        BreezyAM June 4, 2013, 10:24 pm

        No boyfriend is not formal. Boyfriend is a guy you have burgers and sex with who is generally expected to not be sharing burgers and sex with anyone else.

        They need not even live together but “boyfriend.” ??? when you’re 40something? After 5 years? Really?

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        rachel June 5, 2013, 12:36 am

        Yes, because it’s a boyfriend before it’s a fiance, or a husband. Just because they don’t follow your timeline, it doesn’t mean the relationship isn’t serious.

        *disclaimer* I have doubts about this particular relationship’s seriousness not because he’s called her boyfriend, but because he doesn’t seem invested enough to want to go to the graduation.

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      • Amybelle

        Amybelle June 5, 2013, 9:07 am

        What are you supposed to call them?

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      • avatar

        Gigi June 5, 2013, 11:22 am

        Why does a relationship need to be formalized in your 40’s?? Why would you need to join households?? I am in a relationship just like this, & frankly, it works much better! I have a 12 yrd old & 15 yr old & this allows me to put my kids first at all times. They are my focus, as they should be. He has a 14 yr old & it is the same for him. Its a decision we have made. I cant just sell my home & uproot my kids from their school, friends & small town…basically their whole lives just to satisfy my own needs. Do I miss him? YES! Would I love to be with him more? YES! But I am not willing to do that to my kids, tempted as I am at times…… we are no less committed to each other, nor do we love each other any less because we have not joined households or made any plans to “take it to the next level” …..

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  • iwannatalktosampson

    iwannatalktosampson June 4, 2013, 4:36 pm

    By the way I’m super jealous of people that get obsessed with working out. I wish that came naturally to me. Like that I COULDN’T skip the gym even if I wanted too.

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    • avatar

      rachel June 4, 2013, 4:46 pm

      Right? If I were that way about working out, instead of like, eating ice cream, imagine how much healthier I’d be?

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      • avatar

        Lily in NYC June 4, 2013, 4:58 pm

        ha, I just wrote about my ice cream obsession before I saw your comment.

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    • Fabelle

      Fabelle June 4, 2013, 4:49 pm

      I was just thinking this the other day—like, having idle thoughts about actually becoming a fucking fitness INSTRUCTOR ~just~ to get my ass into the gym. Like that would work/like I would qualify, haha

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    • avatar

      Lily in NYC June 4, 2013, 4:57 pm

      Oh, you and me both. I was cursed with an ice cream obsession instead.

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  • avatar

    ebstarr June 4, 2013, 4:38 pm

    LW, if all he talks about is Crossfit, why do you even want to date him? You sound like you’re (rightfully) bored to death of him.

    I don’t even want to get started on the weird mention of his being Jewish, but I think you’re being a little disingenuous about this whole slap-in-the-face business. Even though I agree that any non-idiot would’ve known he was supposed to be at his girlfriend’s kid’s graduation, it’s just kind of like… “Oh, my daughter will only graduate from high school once!” Yeah, but… does she even like him or care if he’s there? She probably thinks he’s a gigantic bore, because he is. As for you, you have two other kids who presumably also have/will graduate from high school, too. I guess what I’m saying is that it sounds like you’re taking a whole bunch of big issues and trying to make a single graduation that isn’t even your graduation represent all of them. You’ve got a boring, narcissistic boyfriend who doesn’t particularly care about spending time with you, ever, so… maybe just break up with him and find someone whose conversation revolves around something other than his own body. If you’re secretly anti-Semitic, which seems possible, you should also work on that–but not in the context of a relationship with this guy.

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    • avatar

      lets_be_honest June 4, 2013, 4:40 pm

      Idk, I get making that statement about the slap in the face. A little dramatic, sure. I imagine I would be upset and my kid would be upset if my bf of 5 years showed no interest in attending her graduation. I’m sure the kid isn’t losing sleep over it, but it does say a lot, imo.

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      • avatar

        ebstarr June 4, 2013, 4:53 pm

        Yeahhhh, that’s a good point. I think I just found her dramatic language amusing, which is probably mean of me. I would have also been super upset if this were me. (But I would have dumped this guy WAY before it got to that point.)

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      BreezyAM June 4, 2013, 4:44 pm

      But… they’ve been together five years, she’s 40 something… he’s a good guy, hot, not a deadbeat… I imagine she’s hoping this is just a phase and they get back to something resembling normal soon.

      Remind me to tell you all about the time Mr AM got obsessive about Final Fantasy (can’t remember which number) and we basically didn’t talk for weeks. :-/ Breezy was cranky.

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      • avatar

        ebstarr June 4, 2013, 4:57 pm

        Wait, other than the “hot” part, saying he’s “a good guy, hot, not a deadbeat” is basically the bare minimum for being a person. You don’t have to date everyone who isn’t a serial killer, y’know?

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      • avatar

        ebstarr June 4, 2013, 4:58 pm

        **I didn’t mean you personally when I said “you” — I’m sure Mr. Breezy has good qualities to balance his Final Fantasy obsession!

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest June 4, 2013, 5:01 pm

        Thank God you shared this. I’m going to go ahead and cancel those 32 dates I have tonight 🙂

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    • avatar

      Lola June 4, 2013, 4:58 pm

      I’m thinking the whole Jewish v Catholic thing was actually just the LW (awkwardly) trying to provide context for the situation, explaining that while they are different religions, she is open-minded and accepting of his stuff, going out of her way to support his daughters’ event, but that he’s not stepping up to do the same. I think she just worded it weird.

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      • avatar

        ebstarr June 4, 2013, 6:02 pm

        Certainly possible (although I don’t feel like you get a gold star for going to bat mitzvahs while not being Jewish, either?). I’m sure the LW will explain what she meant and it could have been perfectly benign, but in real life, unnecessarily mentioning that someone is Jewish is almost never a good sign for the speaker being actually non-racist about it. I guess we’ll find out when she comes back around!

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  • avatar

    Addie Pray June 4, 2013, 4:49 pm

    1. “Fit to be Crossed” – ha! Good one, Wendy.

    2. That would really annoy me too – a boyfriend prioritizing a cross fit party over my child’s graduation! So I’m with you there.

    3. But the communication part is weird to me – the lack of it.

    4. References to middle class, white collar neighborhoods, and religion is all really off to me. I’m assuming it has nothing to do with anything – except to explain why his children had Bat Mitvahs, but we probably could have figured that out. But the middle class v. white collar v. decent job v. money not being an issue… I don’t get it! Am I missing an issue here?

    5. If you weren’t invited to the Bat Mitvahs how/why did you go? I mean, that would be weird to show up at a party you weren’t invited to. Were you not invited b/c it was assumed you’d go (that makes sense)? Was it a test to see if you’d show up (if so that’s weird)? do you guys “test” each other like that? What’s your status, Gladdys?

    I have a lot of questions. I can’t handle this.

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  • avatar

    MissDre June 4, 2013, 6:48 pm

    Ok, I’m late to the party and I haven’t read all the comments. The only thing that I don’t really get is, why would you formally invite your significant other to a milestone event after you’ve been together for 5 years? That seems weird to me that Wendy or anybody would expect a formal invitation.

    I’ve been with my boyfriend for 3 years and I don’t formally invite him to anything. I tell him “X event is happening on this day” and I expect he’ll be there. Same goes for events that are important to him. He tells me the date, and it’s assumed that I’m going. So I really just don’t understand people saying “Why did you go to a party you weren’t invited to” or “Why did you expect him to be there if he wasn’t formally invited”.

    So, with this LW, I’m thinking that she probably told him that date of her daughter’s graduation and expected he’d be there, seeing as how he’s her SO of 5 years. Unfortunately it wasn’t a priority to him and the date slipped his mind or he decided it wasn’t important enough for him to be there. I would definitely be upset in her shoes as well.

    Are there other communication issues in this relationship? Probably. I can’t really speculate on how to fix them. I just wanted to give my two cents about this whole formal invitation thing. I don’t get it.

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  • Dear Wendy

    Wendy June 4, 2013, 7:18 pm

    A lot of people seem confused by my argument that you invite a significant other to special events, no matter how long you’ve been together. I don’t mean that you send a formal invitation or include your significant other on a facebook invite list. I mean that you make plans with your significant other; you let him know what, when and where the event is, discuss whether you’ll travel there together, and what the plan is afterward. Like: “Hey, Julia’s graduation is next month. It’s on a Saturday morning. I thought I could pick you up around 10, and you could join us for a celebratory lunch afterward.”

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  • avatar

    jilliez June 4, 2013, 10:48 pm

    I’m surprised nobody’s offered the obvious solution, which is for her to join Crossfit! =) Seriously, it’s a douche move on his part to attend a party instead of the graduation (crossfit or otherwise), and it’s obviously a sign of something bigger- either he’s a completely self-centered jerk or neither of you guys communicate, and if it’s the first, MOA, if it’s the 2nd, work on it. And then join Crossfit, because it’s awesome and you’ll get why he’s drinking the kool aid.

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  • avatar

    pamplemousse June 6, 2013, 12:49 am

    I’m disappointed that more of the comments here aren’t about the cult-ish aspect of Crossfit. That is all.

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  • avatar

    6napkinburger June 6, 2013, 11:17 am

    This might sound petty, but when twins do the whole turning 13 ceremony thing together, it is called a “b’nai mitzvah”. The only reason I mention it is because of the weird references to religion and the questions about how close they are, and how involved in each other’s lives — she should know that they were having a b’nai mitzvah rather than bat mitzvahs. Maybe she just used the normal term in the letter or maybe they don’t make that distinction, but I think it might be telling regarding their involvement in each other’s religious lives (which she felt was worth pointing out) and how close they actually are.

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  • avatar

    Dalben June 8, 2013, 7:52 am

    For what it’s worth I shared a bar mitzvah with my twin and I never heard it called a b’nai mitzvah till just now.

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