Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

“Our Wedding’s in Two Weeks, But My Fiancé is Still Thinking About His Ex”

I’m getting married to an amazing guy in two weeks. We’ve been together for about 2 1/2 years, and we’ve been long distance for about a year now. We only manage to see each other every few months for about two weeks as we live in separate countries but we’ve been handling the distance remarkably well. I am completely and overwhelmingly in love with this guy. But here’s what happened: I went on his Facebook (I randomly sign on when I’m exceptionally bored, which he knows I do) the morning after his his bachelor party and I saw that while he was pretty drunk (he was texting me around the same time, so I know) he sent a message to his ex-girlfriend of four years, giving her his number and telling her to call him anytime. Now, this is a girl that he was very much in love with, and it took him a really long time to get over her….at least, I thought he was over her. I think I was always a little bit insecure about this particular ex, and wondered if he still harboured feelings for her. I don’t know if I’m overreacting but I’m seriously considering whether I should be marrying someone who may still be in love with his ex-girlfriend. I’m 23 and this is the first really serious relationship I’ve had and so I’m not at all sure about the myriad emotions people have about their exes. Can you experience regret over a relationship ending while you’re in love with someone else? And what then does that say about the current relationship? What is it really like to think you’re going to marry someone and then have that relationship end? Do those feelings ever completely go away? I guess in the end I just I don’t want to be anyone’s second choice. The message worries me, and also really, really hurts. So, I guess my question is: is it normal for a guy to do something like this? Should I be worried? And yes, I think I should stay clear of his facebook from now on… — Wedding Bell Blues


There are a few things that concern me about your letter, and it’s the combination of all of them, rather than just one thing in particular, that makes me hope you’ll think long and hard about walking down the aisle with this man. The first thing is that you live in different countries and have only been seeing each other for a couple of weeks every few months. It’s unclear from your letter whether you plan to continue living separately, but if so, that seems like an awfully difficult way to begin a marriage. And even if one of you is moving to the other’s country, it would be hard to jump immediately into newlywed life after having spent so much time apart over the last year.

Perhaps I’d be less concerned about this issue if it weren’t for the fact that you’re only 23 and have never been in a serious relationship before. Without solid relationship — and life — experience under your belt, you’re taking a huge risk marrying someone you haven’t spent a great deal of time with as an adult. That you are asking me whether your fiancé’s behavior is normal is a perfect example of what kind of confusion your lack of experience can create. And for the record: it’s not “normal” to reach out to an ex — an ex you were once very much in love with — two weeks before you’re supposed to marry someone else and invite that ex to “call you anytime.” Yes, that is something to be worried about. Having jitters is normal. Having a little anxiety about making a lifelong commitment to someone is normal. I’d even say it’s normal to reflect on relationships past and the “could have been’s” that never now will be. But to go so far as to reach out to one of those “could have been’s” and invite him or her back into your life literally days before marrying someone else? Not normal, and not healthy.

You know what else isn’t really normal? That you check your fiancé’s Facebook when you’re “exceptionally bored.” I don’t buy that that’s your motivation for snooping — and, yes, it’s still snooping, whether he’s privy to it or not. I think you’re looking for something. I think there’s a part of you that doesn’t fully, 100% trust your fiancé, either because you are insecure about this particular ex or because you go months without seeing each other, so you check Facebook for any clues that he may be behaving inappropriately. And, of course, the weekend of his bachelor party would be the perfect time to keep tabs on him, wouldn’t it? You weren’t “exceptionally bored” when you logged onto his account. You were exceptionally suspicious and insecure about his drunken night out and wanted some clues as to what went down.

And now that you have some clues — or at least some clues about where his heart may be — you have to decide whether your suspicions are great enough to delay or even cancel your wedding. I’d say to add it all up. Add up all the nagging doubts you’ve had over the course of your relationship and ask yourself whether you trust that your fiancé is completely committed to you and harbors no feelings for anyone else. You should be able to answer that question for yourself two weeks before you marry someone. If you can’t, then you’re probably making a mistake getting married. You should be able to discuss this issue with your fiancé. Especially if he already knows that you check his Facebook, you should confront him about the message he sent to his ex and ask him why on earth he’d be reaching out to her right before his wedding (or at all, really). And if he can’t give you a satisfactory answer — if he can’t somehow convince you that your fears and insecurities about his feelings toward his ex are unfounded — you should postpone your wedding until he can. And you should do some deep soul-searching in the meantime about what kind of relationship you want, what kind of future you hope for, and whether this is truly the man who can give you those things. At 23-years-old you’re far too young to settle down with anyone you don’t feel completely certain about.

*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.

123 comments… add one
  • Budj

    Budjer September 26, 2011, 3:04 pm

    Great advice…nothing to add…until the comments inevitably drag me into the fray…

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    • Budj

      Budjer September 26, 2011, 3:06 pm

      Dammit I lied…I’m adding….

      yes….messaging his ex with the addage of “get a hold of me any time” is a huge red flag…guys don’t do that because they want to randomly be friends with the ex they never talk to.

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      • avatar

        silver_dragon_girl September 26, 2011, 3:19 pm

        Really?! Interesting, because to me that was the least red-flag area of this letter. I could totally see a guy getting nervous before his wedding and, in a drunken confusion, wanting to talk to his ex. It would be regretted the next day, of course.

        But then, I’m not a guy, so I will defer to your opinion on this!

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      • bagge72

        bagge72 September 26, 2011, 3:47 pm

        I could see that if the guy texted his ex asking to talk to her, but he texted her saying she could text him when ever she wanted to, and being a guy I think that he had some shaddy reasons to do this.

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      • Budj

        Budjer September 26, 2011, 4:07 pm

        Exactly that isn’t an “oh hey – I’m getting married in two weeks to my fiance I care a lot about and just wanted to say I’m ready to be friends now so I’m here to talk whenever”…. “Get a hold of me whenever” is a coy-er way of saying “whenever you are ready to meet up lets do this”.

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      • CatsMeow

        CatsMeow September 26, 2011, 4:07 pm

        I agree with you. I think he could have a lot of motivations to contact his ex right before his wedding, some of them “red flags” and some related to cold feet, but I definitely think alcohol was a huge contributing factor.

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      • CatsMeow

        CatsMeow September 26, 2011, 4:07 pm

        Maybe even just a “Hey… heads up, I’m getting married. I wanted you to hear it from me rather than someone else.”

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      • Budj

        Budjer September 26, 2011, 3:24 pm

        Really? See I view that as he was getting nervous before his wedding…questioning if he liked the LW as much as the ex and then got nostalgic and got in contact….

        Unless he and the ex are current friends it’s highly suspcious to contact out of the blue…the only reason I would say anything more than happy birthday to an ex on fb would be if I wanted to try and get back together.

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      • Budj

        Budjer September 26, 2011, 3:25 pm

        So it posted before I was done – I wanted to add in: “If the break up was bad and therefore my ex and I weren’t speaking” to my hypothetical situation.

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      • avatar

        silver_dragon_girl September 26, 2011, 3:56 pm

        I guess it’s because it sounds like something *I* might do if I was drunk right before my wedding…that sounds horrible, but sometimes, on a less-conscious level, you need to remind yourself what was wrong with previous relationships, or you start freaking out wondering if this one is really *that* much better than the others…

        I agree, totally inappropriate if he’d done it sober, but the alcohol factor makes it understandable, to me.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest September 26, 2011, 4:09 pm

        If the roles were reversed, how would you feel if this were your fiance?

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      • avatar

        silver_dragon_girl September 26, 2011, 4:30 pm

        Well, I’m not saying I’d be happy about it, I’m saying it’s understandable. I mean, they definitely need to have a talk about it, at the least…she needs to know why he did it, and he needs to explore why he did it, too. Like, did he do it because he was drunk and a bit chilly-footed? Or has he been thinking about it for a long time?

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      • Budj

        Budjer September 26, 2011, 4:53 pm

        If I had cold-feet I’d be talking to my buddies at my bachelor party – or my parents – NOT my ex-gf of four years that I never talk to. It’s great you are a trusting individual, but a lot of guys are scum bags.

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      • avatar

        silver_dragon_girl September 26, 2011, 5:19 pm

        You think I’m trusting?! Ha!
        I get where you’re coming from though. And believe me, if I find myself in this situation in the future I will remember your advice…like I said, I think guys know other guys’ brains best…

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      • Budj

        Budjer September 26, 2011, 5:29 pm

        Well then kudos for giving him the benefit of the doubt! haha.

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      • avatar

        BreezyAM April 3, 2013, 3:41 am

        yeah me too. Because my guy did that and despite all his complete total idiocy, he was not looking for sexy fun times. He was wanting to tell her he was in a relationship, it was serious, we were getting married, to apologize for being an immature ass during their relationship, and be able to marry me without a guilty conscience. She actually threw a fit to my MIL about this after said “reaching out” because she hit on him and he refused and she couldn’t figure out why the fuck he wanted to marry an old hag like me who already had kids when she was clearly a much more suitable partner for him (educated more than me at the time, BSN, younger than him, no kids, “nice” family, no previous relationships). Bless my FIL, he overheard from the other room and yelled out “maybe because you’re a BITCH.” 😀 (was overheard by three people there, all confirmed. And we get along bout as well as oil and water usually)

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      • avatar

        GatorGirl September 26, 2011, 3:28 pm

        To me “any time” is asking for a late night, most likely not platonic and definitely not the kind of call you should be asking for right before your wedding (or while you’re in a relationship…)

        Postpone and/or cancel. It will be cheaper as less headache inducing than a divorce.

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  • avatar

    Amanda September 26, 2011, 3:21 pm

    100% agree with Wendy. LW, It seems that you don’t trust your fiance completely. That is reason enough not to marry someone. I would highly recommend postponing your wedding until you both live in the same city and country again. Long distance relationships tend to skew the lens in which we view our partner and our relationship. another reason not to marry this guy in two weeks is that you don’t know if you and your partner have the compatibility for the long haul of a marriage

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  • leilani

    leilani September 26, 2011, 3:30 pm

    The “I totally randomly logged into his Facebook the morning after his bachelor party” line made me chuckle. Who do you think you’re fooling?

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  • avatar

    meaghan September 26, 2011, 3:40 pm

    I don’t get how people seem to think marriage must be the end to all first serious relationships. It seems to me that a lot of letters are from first time relationship people who seem to believe that it must mean marriage despite glaringly bad actions or personalities from their SO. A relationship ending doesn’t equal failure.

    Here’s the problem(s) with your situation:
    1. You don’t trust him. That right there is a reason to not walk the aisle. You’re not going to stop looking at his Facebook. You know why? He’ll always have that ex.
    2. You’re countries apart. I’m betting those months apart with the honeymoon intervals has you romanticizing him and your relationship.
    3. It’s your first serious relationship. You don’t have any clue how a simple (though they’re never really simple) relationship works so how are you going to figure out a marriage? There are things only experience can teach you. I’m not saying you need to run around dating a hundred men before you find The One, but you need to know at least what’s healthy and good by your own sense instead of asking people online. And that takes time!

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    • avatar

      ForeverYoung September 26, 2011, 4:28 pm

      I like that, “a relationship ending doesn’t equal failure”. I think everyone has to learn this after their first relationship, and she hasn’t learned that yet.

      LW – don’t get married because you are scared to back out this soon before the wedding. You backing out is not a failure. It might be the best thing you ever do. I’m not saying you should, but if you do – DO NOT consider it a failure.

      Canceling a wedding is a lot cheaper than getting a divorce.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest September 26, 2011, 4:34 pm

        This was mentioned on another thread once…that often people think they have invested so much time that it’d be a waste to start over. Hope LW seriously thinks about at least delaying the wedding, hopefully til after they actually know what its like to be in the same country.

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      • avatar

        honeybeenicki September 26, 2011, 4:57 pm

        I nearly married someone when I was younger just because I had already spent 3 years with him. I went on to spend another year with him and then jumped ship because I recognized he was not healthy for me and we were going in way different directions. At first I felt like I had just wasted 4 years of my life (We started dating when I was 15, he was 19), but in reality I look back now and realize I learned so much from that relationship that I wouldn’t ever replace the experience.

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      • avatar

        LSS86 September 26, 2011, 5:01 pm

        I always have a strong desire to explain the concept of sunk costs to those people.

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      • avatar

        Starfish13 September 27, 2011, 5:05 pm

        Sunk cost = one of my favorite lessons from college 🙂

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    • theattack

      theattack September 26, 2011, 7:50 pm

      It’s extremely rude to tell someone they don’t have a clue how a relationship works just because it’s their first one. She’s 23. She very well could have been with this man for years. It doesn’t always take people years to figure out what’s healthy and good.

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      • avatar

        amber September 26, 2011, 7:57 pm

        actually the letter says she’s been with him for 2 1/2 years and a year of that has been long distance. i think at 23 with this being her first serious relationship it’s safe to say she’s still learning. and i think the many questions she asks show that she’s still learning.

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      • theattack

        theattack September 26, 2011, 8:15 pm

        People are learning relationships their entire lives. She’s not too young at 23, and 2 1/2 years is a good solid relationship. I absolutely hate the idea that if you haven’t dated twenty people yet, you don’t know what you want. And even if you do know what you want, you can’t be sure if you have it unless you’ve dated someone for five years. And even if you have all of that, it still can’t be a good decision if you’re young because you’re going to change too much. I call B.S. on all of the above.

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      • avatar

        amber September 26, 2011, 8:25 pm

        i don’t think that you can have a blanket statement that every 23 year old in a 2 and a half year old relationship is not ready but in this specific case from the tone of her letter and the questions she is asking it is coming across as at this moment maybe getting married is not the best thing. it’s not like she’s even three months out from the wedding, she’s two weeks out. maybe they’ll sit down and talk and feel completely at ease about getting married. but, i think it’s fair to remind her that deciding to wait because you have serious doubts is not a bad thing. it’s the smart thing.

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      • theattack

        theattack September 26, 2011, 8:30 pm

        I agree it’s smart to postpone if you’re having doubts. However, I just don’t think this situation warrants any red flags from him. I don’t think a drunken message has to be a big deal. If she saw it, of course she would have doubts, because she has pre-wedding jitters too. Anything is going to make her wonder if her marriage is doomed. Likewise, he probably sent that message out of a combination of drunkenness and his pre-wedding jitters. I don’t think either of their situations are indicators of huge problems unless these sort of situations have been patterns in their relationship.

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      • avatar

        amber September 26, 2011, 9:23 pm

        well no and i don’t think him contacting his ex is the red flag to me at least. it’s the questioning in general. and maybe it is a little bit of cold feet coming across as more. but, when i read the letter i just got the sense from the questions she was asking that maybe she’s not as ready as she thinks she is. and that is ok. it’s ok to need more time. i guess that’s what i wanted to impart to the LW.

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  • avatar

    Anna September 26, 2011, 3:42 pm

    While that is definitely a bit worrisome, I wouldn’t automatically assume he’s still in love with her. Alcohol makes you do f’ed up things sometimes. Ever woken up with a hangover and a bunch of incoherent drunken conversations on your phone or FB? Yeah, me too. It sounds like it very well could have been a drunk-texting incident and he might not even remember doing it if he was that sloshed.

    Also, I’m curious as to whether the message she sent him was a “wall post” or a private message. The reason I ask that is Wendy’s assertion that you were snooping. If it was a public wall post, you wouldn’t even have to go into his account to see it (assuming you’re friends with your fiance on FB), and who would post such a thing publically unless they were wasted at the time? If it was a private message, I would be far more suspicious because 1) that means he intentionally sent it privately so no one else would see an 2) he wasn’t that drunk, if the above thought processes were taken and led to a conscious decision to send a private message. If it was a private message, I would straight up ask him if he has feelings for anyone else or is having cold feet about the wedding. Yes, he would know you peeked, but the backlash of that is nothing compared to going through a divorce before you’re even 25.

    One more thing I want to point out is that it’s odd to me how looking at your significant other’s FB page is considered an invasion of privacy. You put your information up there online for everyone to see, and your significant other is probably one of the most important people in your life. Unless you are engaging in devious behavior online, it shouldn’t be a big deal if they log on to your page. My boyfriend still claims to not care about FB at all and refuses to start his own account, but he checks mine often so he can see what our mutual friends are up to. I really don’t care that he does; he’s my best friend and I have nothing to hide from him.

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    • avatar

      Slamy September 26, 2011, 3:57 pm

      She wasn’t just looking at his page. She logged into his account and read his private messages (which she also said she does “when bored” and that he knows about it).

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      • landygirl

        Landygirl September 26, 2011, 4:05 pm

        It makes you wonder how often she is “exceptionally bored”.

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        lets_be_honest September 26, 2011, 4:13 pm

        Only 15 times a day. That’s normal, right?!?!? Amiright?

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      • avatar

        Calliopedork September 26, 2011, 4:31 pm

        i have to ask what is so wrong with this? I know my boyfriends passwords and regularly read his facebook and email. I use his email like my secondary one for stuff we sign up for(like zoo memberships). I know some people think this is a red flag but I always wonder why.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest September 26, 2011, 4:40 pm

        Do you read through his sent mail? Or private messages he has sent?

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      • avatar

        Calliopedork September 26, 2011, 4:53 pm

        No, I also dont read all of his emails just ones that pertain to both if us and ones from his family and our mutual friends, they often invite us to stuff or say they’ll be in town and im better about remembering that stuff. I also send messages from his facebook for birthdays and stuff because he forgets. We also sometimes switch phones because I have the smart phone and we will respond to eachothers texts.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest September 26, 2011, 5:19 pm

        That’s the healthy example of sharing e-mails, etc. I don’t think LWs example is like yours though.

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    • avatar

      Kerrycontrary September 26, 2011, 7:46 pm

      I just want to agree that the boyfriend could’ve made a drunken mistake. I had this one ex boyfriend (that I wasn’t even in that serious of a relationship with) who would text me every 2-3 months about how he missed me and should’ve treated me better blah blah blah. The morning after he would always apologize and say how embarrassed he was. He still dated other girls successfully and I havent seen him in forever. He was just being drunk and nostalgic.

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  • avatar

    Eljay September 26, 2011, 3:55 pm

    If I had a penny for every time I heard my now ex-husband say he and his “ex” were just friends, I’d be able to make several mortgage payments. He finally left me for her (after 20 years). There is NEVER a good reason to invite an ex back into your life. If the so-called friendship didn’t exist from the beginning, and this invitation comes months/years after no contact, you’d bet your ass it’s more than an invitation for “friendship.” If a guy ever says that to me again, I’m out – without so much as a wink.

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    • avatar

      PondLily September 26, 2011, 4:16 pm

      I thoroughly agree that exes should remain in the past. You dated. It didn’t work out. Move on. True friendship only works when there isn’t an imbalance of feelings, and if a breakup wasn’t mutual, that rarely is the case. It’s ok to have people in your life for a period of time and then to go separate ways.

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    • avatar

      lets_be_honest September 26, 2011, 4:17 pm

      Wow, that’s awful!
      You bring up a very good point about the friendship from the beginning. I think there are some cases where exes are friends, but only “safely” when the friendship is there from day 1 and the new SO is aware and comfortable with it.

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      • avatar

        Eljay September 26, 2011, 4:42 pm

        Exactly!

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  • avatar

    PondLily September 26, 2011, 4:13 pm

    Something tells me that he wasn’t looking to meet up with her for coffee to reminisce about old times. He wanted to see if what he thought they had was still there, and if he would be able to reignite the flame. You’re right to worry that he’s not over her, because he isn’t.

    That being said, why do you want to marry this guy anyway? I’m sure he’s wonderful and you love him, but why not just try to live in the same country for a while to see how that goes? You need a solid foundation before you start a life with someone, and you don’t have that with him. You don’t even trust him, or you wouldn’t be looking at his facebook. You were looking for something, and you found it. Don’t begin a marriage that way.

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  • avatar

    JennyTalia September 26, 2011, 4:14 pm

    Really? You “randomly” read his private messages immediately following his bachelor party because you were “bored”? Ok.

    The act of him messaging his ex doesn’t worry me too much. Yes, I’d be hurt and upset and question things, but realize that he’s probably also scared and confused and reminiscing on his past before he ties the knot with you forever. Plus, it seems as though this was a relatively innocent message, although I do agree that boys don’t usually just message girls with pure intentions.

    I agree with Wendy that I’m not sure the judgment is sound on marrying someone with whom you have an intercontinental relationship and you only see every few months. I think you’re best to postpone the wedding until your lives are stable and together, and to ask him about the private message and see how he reacts. If he is embarrassed and immediately regrets messaging her, then I give him a pass. If he totally blows up and gets angry and defensive, he’s probably trying to hide something.

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    • avatar

      Vathena September 26, 2011, 4:27 pm

      I’m really surprised that she doesn’t mention having talked this over with her fiance. I understand wanting to get some perspective from an objective source, but if my husband had done this before we got married, he’d certainly be hearing about it from me. Like, loudly, and within seconds. (Side note: I do find it amusing how often people contact their exes to let them know they’re getting married. It’s happened to me and to several friends of mine, as well. Is that on a Real Simple Weddings checklist or something? Invitations…check…hair trial…check…inform former significant others…check.) Unfortunately, in this situation, it was less “Oh btw I’m getting hitched” and more “I am possibly still interested in you, give me a call to confirm”.

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      • avatar

        Me September 26, 2011, 7:04 pm

        Ha, I’ve been on the recieving end of a number of those. My response? Ignore them.

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  • Public Pearl

    Public Pearl September 26, 2011, 4:15 pm

    I know this seems like my answer to everything, but… premarital counseling. Seriously, it exists for a reason. You need to get all this stuff out in the open and be on the same page.

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    • parton_doll

      parton_doll September 26, 2011, 4:23 pm

      Triple yes!!!

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    • avatar

      va-in-ny September 26, 2011, 4:55 pm

      This, of course, would need to come with a delay in the wedding. With only two weeks to go, there might not be enough time to talk it out and make a decision without the pressure of the looming date.

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    • avatar

      honeybeenicki September 26, 2011, 5:02 pm

      I think some form of premarital counseling is a good idea for anyone. Many people don’t truly understand what goes into a marriage or some of the important things that should be worked out BEFORE the wedding and counseling would help that a lot. My husband and I went to premarital counseling (well kinda, it wasn’t really “counseling” so much) and I think it helped us make sure we were on the same page.

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      • katie

        katie September 26, 2011, 8:51 pm

        i totally agree! i made my boyfriend promise to go to me, when the time comes, no matter what is going on. i dont care. if i can influence how good my marriage is in any way, im going to do it.

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  • avatar

    Amy September 26, 2011, 4:22 pm

    I got married at 23 – I don’t even remember having doubts at the time… I was happy and confident and perhaps even smug in my marriedness for a good long time. But that was the biggest mistake of my life (so far… and hopefully the biggest one I make). Now I’m in my 30s, divorced, trying to figure out how to have a relationship with a new man – and I don’t have any recent experience – the last time I had a new boyfriend I was a sophomore in college. I went through a lot of heartache and feel like I frittered away my 20s – and if I could change anything in my life it would have been to not marry the first boy I loved. On the other hand – my sister got married at 21 and that was the best decision of her life. You might not be “Too young” for such a committment – but you are for darned sure too young to make such a big committment if you are having reservations and doubts such as this. Have some more relationships so you can measure cold feet against the reality of relationships that YOU’ve experienced. It will lead to a much happpier life I assure you. Even though you’ll have some heartache along the way. Getting over a heartache isn’t as bad on the otherside as it is when you are about to go through it. Just pick yourself up and enjoy the opportunity to get to know yourself better.

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    • BriarRose

      BriarRose September 26, 2011, 4:44 pm

      I also got married at 23 and thought I had it ALL figured out. Excuse me while I go laugh myself to death! I’m also divorced now, with a child, and feel like my twenties just slipped away from me. I’m turning 32 in a few months, and trying to date again as well. It’s scary and confusing. I think the hardest part is going from a serious, committed relationship to having to act super, super casual all the time. Ugh!

      Just wanted to say that your line “if I could change anything in my life it would have been to not marry the first boy I loved”….yep. Right there with you. I laugh sometimes because I’m probably one of the only women in the world who hopes her daughter will date a lot of boys!!

      And LW, I know what it is like to not be able to imagine your life without him, or imagine that you’ll never meet anyone who is better, or who understands you as much, and so on. But you will. Trust me. Maybe it will even be him, but later. Right now is not the time. Discuss it with him, figure things out, and please, please, please….delay your wedding!

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest September 26, 2011, 4:51 pm

        Love the advice, and really love your name! Great movie.

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      • avatar

        Amy September 26, 2011, 6:12 pm

        I just turned 32 this summer – and you are RIGHT – it’s so hard to figure out how to just be chilled out and keep things slow after spending your entire 20s as a wife. I had a really great summer romance – but I think we both let things move too fast and then kind of freaked out about a month ago because we let the relationship get ahead of where our feelings actually were. AND – I live in a rural farming community – so there aren’t a ton of men out there that aren’t married or royally screwed up. Hopefully a harvest break will do me and the summer romance good and I’m hopeful we might start up again in a couple of months when the fall work slows down for him – and maybe we can be more responsible about dating slowly – I hope I didn’t screw up things with a really great guy because I didn’t have enough dating experience to know how to handle a new relationship properly. (sorry for turning this into all about me for a little bit – it’s just been on my mind quite a bit the last few weeks) But see LW – these are common sense things that you should learn in your 20s unless you find the most awesome man ever – it doesn’t sound like you think you’ve found that yet. Keep Looking!

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        Chilosa161 September 27, 2011, 4:35 am

        Would you two like to post above in the thread I started? I think having your opinions would be a nice addition to the discussion.

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  • parton_doll

    parton_doll September 26, 2011, 4:22 pm

    LW, you asked Wendy a lot of questions about your relationship. The biggest red flag to stand out to me was that you didn’t mention whether or not you asked all these questions of your fiance. Had I found something that could threaten our relationship and life together, the first thing I’d be doing is having a come to Jesus meeting with him (as non-confrontational as possible of course) but the key here is that I would have liked to see what he said when you discussed this with him in your letter to Wendy. If you don’t feel that you can talk to him about it, call a wedding all-stop. Because you’re really starting from a deficit if you can’t even talk about important issues because of fear that the relationship won’t work out or someone will be mad or whatever. I agree with Wendy that you should reevaluate whether or not getting married right now is best move for you. It might be and it might not be. But you should be sure at your core that this is the right thing for you (and by that I mean that it’s not last-minute jitters) and make the best decision, not necessarily the easiest decision.

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      Vathena September 26, 2011, 4:29 pm

      YES!! This is what I wanted to say, but so much better!

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      Christy September 26, 2011, 9:27 pm

      “If you don’t feel that you can talk to him about it, call a wedding all-stop. Because you’re really starting from a deficit if you can’t even talk about important issues because of fear that the relationship won’t work out or someone will be mad or whatever.”

      Great advice!

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  • avatar

    amber September 26, 2011, 4:23 pm

    I’m going to guess that your fiancee probably contacted his ex-gf because he was drunk and thinking about getting married and thinking about his life up until now. I don’t think this facebook message alone is an indication that he is still in love with her.

    Taking that in to consideration one thing to remember is that there is absolutely nothing wrong with postponing a wedding. NOTHING. And it doesn’t matter why or if people talk because guess what they’re not the one’s getting married. I think some people assume that when you say, we’re delaying our wedding, it equals we’re not actually going to do it. But, saying not right now doesn’t mean never and there are plenty of very good reasons in your letter to just wait.

    And in case no one has told you…marriage is not easy. I’m not saying it’s hard or terrible or shouldn’t do it, but it’s also not easy. I’ve only been married for about 4 months and it’s an adjustment and my husband and I lived together for a year and a half and were together for three years before we married. And it is still different. I can’t imagine marrying someone I only got to see every few months. I think the issues you brought up indicate that you definitely need to check in with you fiancee and talk like Wendy said.

    And like you said stay away from his facebook!

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  • avatar

    Kate September 26, 2011, 4:32 pm

    Yup, I 100% agree with Wendy.

    A little background – I got married at 21 to a guy I had dated for 4 years, the last year or so being long distance because he joined the military. I DID trust him 100% and never had reason not to, but it still didn’t work out over time because as Wendy mentioned when you get married that young, to someone who’s your first real relationship, as I did and you’re planning to, you just don’t know yourself or what you want, and it’s likely things will change a lot over the next few years. If you’re not on the same page now, and have a shaky foundation, your odds become even worse.

    And now that I’m older and I look back… Anytime I felt I had reason not to trust a guy, my gut was right. I never snooped or looked for evidence, but circumstances came to light that made me realize my gut was right. So if you’re already not sure you trust him, and are snooping for evidence, I have to say there’s got to be something to that. I think your intuition is most likely right.

    When I was about to walk down the aisle with my dad, he said to me, “You know, you don’t have to do this. You can walk out right now and it’s fine.” Of course I didn’t, but my point is you can ALWAYS back out, right up until you’re about to walk down the aisle. Just because a wedding is planned and about to happen doesn’t mean you have to go through with it. Much better to back away from something that doesn’t feel right than to get stuck in it for years and not be able to make it work in the end.

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    • Jess

      Jess of CityGirlsWorld.com September 27, 2011, 10:52 am

      Wow, about your dad saying that! Amazing. I guess he had an instinct?

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      • avatar

        Kate September 27, 2011, 12:19 pm

        Yeah, he was right. And it means a lot to me, knowing he would have been out thousands of dollars if I’d walked out on the wedding, but still made a point of saying that.

        He also said, about another long-term on-again-off-again boyfriend of mine (after I was divorced), something like, “If you get back together with him, you’re going to be sticking a fork in your eye down the road.” He was totally right about that too. Figuratively.

        Point? 1) It’s never too late or wrong to back out of or postpone a wedding if it’s not right, and 2) listen to your gut and don’t discount your friends’ / families’ opinions.

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  • avatar

    Chilosa161 September 26, 2011, 3:36 pm

    I think the red flags popped more on the LW’s side than on that of the fiance for me. Young, non-relationship experienced, and not able to fully trust the fiance.

    I’m twenty-three, and a couple of years ago I thought I would probably be getting married at this point in my life. Thank all that is good that I’m NOT. A good deal of my friends are getting married and having issues and working through them…and it’s not that you can’t grow up together as a married couple but frankly, I’d avoid it if you can. You might grow in opposing directions. You might realize you’ve made a mistake.

    I always cringe when people say that they are marrying the first person they were ever in a relationship with, not because it never works out but because I wish people wouldn’t settle on the first one who comes along and seems decent. If you just want to get married, you can trick yourself into thinking that this person is The One for you and that they always will be…and they might not be.

    LW, you were snooping, and that meant you had suspicions. You don’t grow up in the Facebook age and “accidentally” open your SO’s profile and innocently look through their messages and activity “by chance” because “you’re bored.” That’s rationalizing talking. And it’s a little immature, sounding too…playing into both of my other concerns.

    Don’t do this to yourself. What’s the real reason you want to get married? Is it because you want a party? Is it because you want someone to choose you in front of your whole family? Is it because you’re afraid that if you don’t, you might not find someone as wonderful as you think your fiance is again? Ask the hard questions, and delay this wedding.

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      artsygirl September 26, 2011, 4:07 pm

      As someone who married their first BF – I am going to respectfully disagree. I did not ‘settle on the first one who comes along and seems decent’ and to suggest that is the case is devaluing my relationship. Some people date 1 person, some 10, and some 1,000 before they find a partner they want to spend the rest of their life with. I would never judge anyone for dating a large number of people before they settle down and I find it tiring that people will judge me for my lack of partners.

      That being said, I agree that this LW sounds immature and needs to reassess her decision before committing to her fiance.

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      • Public Pearl

        Public Pearl September 26, 2011, 4:18 pm

        I agree with your disagree. I also married my first boyfriend (at 22), not because I just had to get married (I’d never even thought much about it), but because I met someone who got me completely. I’m lucky that I found him on the first go, and we’ve got 15 years under our belts.

        But, yeah, it’s not for everyone, and it doesn’t seem like it’s for this LW.

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      • Budj

        Budjer September 26, 2011, 4:24 pm

        I think the majority of people fall in the situation where they can’t even connect with one person after dating five people so they think that the odds of someone finding one of their ones on the first relationship seems statistically unlikely and therefore must be a horrible decision in most cases.

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        SpaceySteph September 26, 2011, 4:56 pm

        I would agree with both of your points… “statistically unlikely” and “horrible decision in most cases.” But that doesn’t mean “completely impossible” nor does it mean “always a terrible idea.” There are exceptions. The LW hasn’t painted her relationship like its going to be one of them, though.

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      • Budj

        Budjer September 26, 2011, 4:58 pm

        I was merely explaining the perspective as I understand it…I know a lot of successful cases of one and done relationships.

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        BreezyAM April 3, 2013, 3:44 am

        A lot?
        Really?
        I call bullshit.
        Some maybe.
        A lot? Doubtful.
        Plus, you never know what goes on behind closed doors. She may be the one writing the “wife hates giving BJs” stuff.

        Damnitt. I just noticed this was from 2011. FML. Hate it when we get hooked up with oldies.

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      • Budj

        Budjer September 26, 2011, 4:59 pm

        If people are happy, compatible and both life-ready to tie the knot it doesn’t matter how many partners you have – that is my official opinion on the matter.

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      • avatar

        jane September 26, 2011, 4:29 pm

        Agree. Why so much judgment on people who marry the first person they date? It’s not about “wanting to get married so badly” or “settling for the first person that seems decent?” Really, you can do those things even if you’re marrying the 5000th person you’ve dated.

        For me, marriage is about spending the rest of your life with the right person. Who cares if that’s the first person you dated?

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        Riefer September 26, 2011, 6:02 pm

        I think it’s because there are probably a lot more cases where it doesn’t work out than where it does. And the main reason is most likely that one or both are too inexperienced to know what they really want. So people see that the probability isn’t good. But, that doesn’t mean it never works. My parents were each other’s firsts, and they’re still together. They’ve had their ups and downs, and honestly I don’t think they’re necessarily the best match for each other, but they’re working at it and staying together.

        For the LW though, it definitely sounds like it’s not a great situation. She does seem immature, and they’re not even living in the same country, and Wendy’s right that to go from long distance immediately into newlyweds is going to be pretty tough. And if she’s got these nagging doubts besides…. you have to be able to trust your partner, and if you don’t, then it’s going to be either a very short marriage, or a very long, unhappy one.

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        Nadine September 26, 2011, 7:26 pm

        Thank you. I am still dating my first serious boyfriend and every now and then I worry that I’m “doing it wrong”. All my friends are dating all the time, and I go home and watch movies with my boyfriend. I don’t think judging on either side helps here. My boyfriend isn’t the first decent person that came along, he is the only person I want to be with. Getting married is not my goal, but spending my life with him is.

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      • avatar

        Red_Lady September 26, 2011, 7:50 pm

        As long as you know he’s perfect for you, and truly feel loved and respected, you are doing it right. You can’t control when you find the love of your life – some people get it their first try, some take more tries. Just be happy that you’ve found someone so wonderful.

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    • Betsy

      Betsy September 26, 2011, 4:20 pm

      “Is it because you want a party? Is it because you want someone to choose you in front of your whole family? Is it because you’re afraid that if you don’t, you might not find someone as wonderful as you think your fiance is again?”
      Oof, that hits close to home! I was engaged to my first boyfriend in my early 20s. Our relationship dissolved before we actually tied the knot and looking back I definitely should have asked myself those hard questions. He was not marriage material, he was not as in love with me as he would have us both believe, I didn’t trust him, and no matter how hard I tried to “stick it out” with him it just wasn’t meant to be. I was so fixated on finding THE ONE on my first try and I put myself through a lot pain and humiliation trying to hold on to something that wasn’t there.

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      ForeverYoung September 26, 2011, 4:25 pm

      This reminded me of something a friend said to me before I got married – at 23 interestingly enough. She was married at 24 (now 30) and said, “looking back I am shocked that we are still happily married. We are both now two completely different people than we were at 24, and thank god we just happened to have both grown into people the other person still likes.” But that is not always the case.

      I think that is the main thing here – it’s not a question of if the two of them will grow and change a lot – because that is a definite – it’s a matter of if they have enough love and similiarities that they can weather the storm. I just don’t know based on her description of their relationship if they even really know each other well enough to know if they will be able to even “hopefully” weather the storm. Obviously in this day and age there aren’t ever any guarantees that when you say till death do us part – that you will actually be togehter that long. But I think you have to go into it knowing you have a really good shot.

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      • theattack

        theattack September 26, 2011, 7:46 pm

        Your point is right in line with what I believe. I get so sick of reading things about being too young for marriage, because both people will change too much. People can and do change and grow together, but that takes a conscious effort to do. But marriage does require that you put forth an effort no matter the age. People are always changing and growing. If we waited until we finished changing to get married, no one ever would!

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      lk September 26, 2011, 5:46 pm

      I know 4 people who were placed at a lab table together freshman year of high school. 2 boys, 2 girls. BoyGirl1 started dating, BoyGirl2 started dating; 35 (!) years later, both couples are still happily married & best friends : ) BoyGirl1 (the couple I’m closest to) is the best marriage I’ve ever seen — & they moved in together when they were 16!! Crazy, but such is life.

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        Riefer September 26, 2011, 6:03 pm

        Cute! Lucky them!

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    • theattack

      theattack September 26, 2011, 9:18 pm

      You don’t have a long-distance relationship, especially not an international one, just to have a big party. It’s a lot easier to “throw a big party” with someone you can sit on the couch and eat Fruit Loops with every night than with someone who is heartbreakingly far away. Believe me. It is not something you do for kicks and giggles.

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      SpyGlassez September 26, 2011, 10:04 pm

      Technically, you don’t have to be young to marry your first boyfriend. When my BF and I finally get married, I will be marrying my first – and I am 30 now; I will probably be 32 by then.

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        Chilosa161 September 27, 2011, 4:32 am

        You know what I’m really sick of? People acting like if a marriage doesn’t work, those involved must’ve just not been “committed enough.” Or if I think 23 is too young for most people to get married, that I and others like me are ageist and think it can never work.

        Marriage (at any age) simply doesn’t work for a lot of people. It works for about an equal amount. Part of being truly conscious about a relationship and about a marriage is asking those hard questions about whether it is time, whether you know why you really want to get married, and whether your partner is truly right for you. It means continuing to ask those hard questions long after engagement, the wedding, the honeymoon, and the reality pass. That’s what I suggested that the LW do.

        I always cringe when people marry young and when they combine that decision with marrying the first person they’ve ever been in a relationship with because it is a recipe for difficulty. Some people are lucky, like ForeverYoung’s friend…but the majority of people in these situations end up separated, divorced, or just in unhappy marriages.

        What is the rush, if you are so certain that this is The One Right Person Forever and Ever?

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        rsBella September 27, 2011, 9:51 pm

        I agree with you Chilosa – I didn’t think your light prodding of the LW was jugmental at all, but many certainly bristled at your post. I was shocked by it in fact – like an over-reactionary amount of defensiveness. Statistically, people who get married after the age of 25 are far more likely to stay married than those who get married prior to that age. I know there are exceptions, and I think those couples are lucky and blessed. But I can say from my own personal experience, if I married the man (or boy) I was dating at 23, I’d be divorced right now (at 27).

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      • avatar

        Chilosa161 September 28, 2011, 1:46 am

        I mean, I kind of don’t believe in marriage total. So…my radical opinion is bound to bristle some people. Eh. I’m me, you’re you. Awesome.

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  • avatar

    soandso September 26, 2011, 4:37 pm

    gosh – guess guys can’t be nice anymore? This is something my boyfriend would do. You chat, “hi, how are you…oh you are back in town, well hey, here’s my number. Give me a call anytime.”

    What is wrong with that? If my ex boyfriend was coming into town then I’d say the exact same thing if we had kept in touch the whole time. Hey, I might even message him my new number if I got one tomorrow. He sometimes watches my dog for free when I go out of town. If he called me tonight I would answer.

    If he was at his bachelor party then maybe his guy friends dared him to do it. Again, harmless when you are drunk. The LW doesn’t need a whole lot of relationship experience to know that he is the one.

    The biggest red flag of the whole letter is that she wrote to Wendy instead of asking her fiance about the message. If you don’t have open communication then you don’t have much.

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    • avatar

      lets_be_honest September 26, 2011, 4:43 pm

      Big difference with your example and what actually happened. HUGE. Also, ‘his friends might have dared him to.’ Seriously?! Agreed on your last point though, talk to the fiance.

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        Eljay September 26, 2011, 5:08 pm

        Have to agree with LBH here. You have an established relationship/friendship with your ex. Key word here is *established*. If my fiance – out of the blue – initiated contact with his ex (with whom no prior friendship existed), and told her to call him “anytime”, I’d be livid. No excuse could be good enough. Period.

        And as far as the possibility of his bro’s egging him on or “daring” him to do it, and he DOES IT – even worse, because I’m gonna need my guy to have a friggin mind of his own and the common sense God gave a billygoat.

        Either way, don’t marry him.

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        soandso September 26, 2011, 5:13 pm

        How do we know that he has never had contact with this ex in the 4 years since they broke up?

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        lets_be_honest September 26, 2011, 5:20 pm

        You’re right, we don’t. It didn’t sound like they did though.

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      • avatar

        Eljay September 26, 2011, 5:31 pm

        True, just a guess, but it sounds like they haven’t had prior contact simply from the fact that he had to contact her to give her his number & tell her to call him “anytime”. All my current friends already know this, whether I’m updating my phone number or not. Just sayin’.

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  • Skyblossom

    Skyblossom September 26, 2011, 4:46 pm

    LW, you sound like you’re committed to this relationship but have doubts about his commitment so you searched Facebook. The fact that you feel the need to reassure yourself only two weeks before the wedding says that there is a serious problem in your relationship and you shouldn’t be getting married at this time. I feel that the commitment must exist before the marriage because marriage won’t create commitment and the divorce rate proves that.

    Ask him if he is having any doubts about getting married in a few weeks. Ask him if he’s sure that he wants to get married now. Tell him you’re willing to wait if he needs more time. If he sounds relieved to hear those questions definitely don’t get married. If you don’t feel that you can ask those questions you have serious problems and you shouldn’t get married. Now is the time to talk to your fiance. Don’t hope that it will all work out because it almost never does.

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  • avatar

    6napkinburger September 26, 2011, 3:52 pm

    I think you might want to read the book “how not to marry the wrong guy.” It isn’t 100% right on everything, but it does a good job of helping you realize that you can get caught up the the flow and planning of a marriage and that its never too late to stop it, and its never too expensive to cancel a wedding you shouldn’t be in. She has a chapter on brides who knew they didn’t want to marry him WHEN they were walking down the aisle. Do you want to be that bride?

    (For everyone else, if you want to really mess with your mind, read “how not to marry the wrong man” and “Marry Him: the case for settling for mr. good enough” in the same afternoon. )

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    • avatar

      PondLily September 26, 2011, 4:02 pm

      Oooh…I love a good relationship self-help book! Some of them should be required reading for every person even thinking of being in a relationship!

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    • CatsMeow

      CatsMeow September 26, 2011, 4:04 pm

      I just realized that whenever I read your comments, I imagine you saying them in a voice that sounds like Emily Deschanel’s in “Bones”.

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        6napkinburger September 26, 2011, 4:47 pm

        Thanks! (i think?)

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      • CatsMeow

        CatsMeow September 26, 2011, 7:01 pm

        It’s a compliment!

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      • avatar

        silver_dragon_girl September 26, 2011, 4:56 pm

        Thumbed up for randomness!

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  • avatar

    Slamy September 26, 2011, 3:59 pm

    Don’t do it!

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  • avatar

    va-in-ny September 26, 2011, 5:00 pm

    Here’s how I see it: If you have enough doubts to formulate a letter that you submit to an advice column, you already know what to do.

    “Advice is what we ask for when we already know the answer but wish we didn’t.”

    I know the two-week deadline is incredibly stressful and there is probably a lot relying on that date. But, like you, I was in a long-distance, engaged relationship and the engagement was broken with only 10 days to go. If you’re having doubts now, I don’t think it’s time. Postpone if you’re not sure about it and don’t feel guilty about that decision. I promise, people only want to see you happy and they won’t care if you get married to this man in 6 more months or another man in 6 more years. But, you need to be confident in your decision to go through with it. It has to be for YOU. No one else. Just YOU.

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      6napkinburger September 26, 2011, 5:10 pm

      Though the counter to “writing in = don’t want to marry him (yet)” this is that she saw it, panicked, and only has 2 weeks so she called in the professionals. Maybe if she had 6 months, she’d have thought about it herself, talked to him, realized it was huge, realized it meant nothing, realized that he actually said “hey Susie, its been a while. i just realized how long. do we even know each other’s numbers? here’s mine, call whenever” and she should have included direct quotes when asking for advice, etc., but with only 2 weeks she feels the time-crunch and wanted an answer fast b/c the stakes seem so high. I could see someone doing that with totally innoculous stuff if they were plagued with a healthy dose of pre-wedding jitters (“but he bought a different brand of dishwashing soap, does that mean he doesn’t want to marry me??”) as well as the real stuff. If only telling the difference wasn’t so hard.

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        va-in-ny September 26, 2011, 5:23 pm

        I understand what you’re saying and I don’t believe that this one instance means they should not get married. But, when there is enough doubt, serious thought needs to be given before marriage is carried out.

        My first piece of advice would have been, “Why are you writing this? Go talk to HIM!”

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        6napkinburger September 26, 2011, 5:30 pm

        I totally agree. I just had to break up with a man I love who wanted to marry me because I have started to think we’d get divorced eventually and not be happy. Trying to determine if i was “making the right decision” is sooooo freaking hard, because there’s no manual. (stupid life). Am I beling too rash? Do I need to learn to compromise more? Etc.

        And I agree that the question to the LW isn’t even IF, its WHEN right now. She can cancel the wedding (or push it off, or however it works); doesn’t mean she’s putting the kabash on the marriage.

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    Eljay September 26, 2011, 5:12 pm

    LOVE that quote!

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  • avatar

    Kerrycontrary September 26, 2011, 7:48 pm

    I just think if you have sincere doubts (not just cold feet) about getting married…you probably shouldn’t get married.

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  • theattack

    theattack September 26, 2011, 8:10 pm

    I completely disagree with almost everyone here. 23 is NOT too young to get married. Being in her first serious relationship does not mean that she doesn’t know anything about love or relationships. I seriously think that sometimes people who suggest these sorts of things are just bitter that their own relationships haven’t worked out successfully, or they’re trying to justify it when they broke off their engagements at 23. The point is, she wants to marry this man. If they’re long distance, this obviously has not been easy for either of them. To decide that they still want to commit to each other despite how difficult it will be shows courage and strong faith in their love for each other. As someone else in a long distance relationship, I can tell you that this is not the fun easy way to have “a big party” like someone suggested above. You don’t do this sort of thing for fun. You do it because you are deeply committed to someone.

    That said, the issue of him drunkenly messaging his ex is not a big deal in my opinion. When I get drunk almost everyone I know has their phones blown up with my crazy “I MISS YOU I LOVE YOU” text messages, and that is very common. Not to mention he was probably (naturally) contemplating old relationships. Also very common and nothing to worry about. That merely directs him to who he’s going to send out his drunken facebook messages too. It’s not a big deal. It doesn’t mean it _couldn’t_ be a big deal, but it doesn’t automatically have to be. If your boyfriend knows you check his facebook, then ask him about it. Bring it up and say “I saw this in your facebook, and before we make a life-time commitment to each other, I want to talk about it.” Tell him to be honest and that you won’t blow up at him over the truth. Ask him if he still has feelings for his ex. Ask him if he’s uncertain about marrying you. Give him a few days to answer your questions instead of accepting an answer right away, and then bring it back up in a few days. I know you don’t have much time, but this is important. Don’t just back away from something you’re so obviously committed to just because of one mistake on his part.

    Now to address the questions that you asked…

    Can you experience regret over a relationship ending while you’re in love with someone else?
    – You can certainly ask questions about what could have been. An almost-husband probably shouldn’t be regretting a previous relationship, but curiosity and nostalgia is normal.

    And what then does that say about the current relationship?
    -Nothing at all.

    What is it really like to think you’re going to marry someone and then have that relationship end?
    -I don’t know about this one.

    Do those feelings ever completely go away?
    -Again, don’t know.

    Should I be worried?
    -You shouldn’t ignore it, but you also shouldn’t have a meltdown over it until you get the real story from him. And DEFINITELY get the real story from him before you call it off OR before you marry him. And if you’re uncomfortable about the ex, you need to tell him you are before the wedding. Tell him that you are committing to him and don’t want to have any insecurities in your relationship. Allow him to volunteer to stop talking to her, and if he doesn’t, then suggest it. If he doesn’t want to, then you need to evaluate whether or not you can be married to someone who will not give up their friendship with an ex in order to make you more comfortable.

    This was incredibly long, but I felt it needed to be said. No one actually addressed your real questions, and people just assumed that your relationship was doomed. I give you and your relationship the benefit of the doubt here, because you wouldn’t be putting so much effort into it if it wasn’t worth it.

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      soandso September 26, 2011, 10:38 pm

      110% agree.

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      soandso September 26, 2011, 10:38 pm

      110% agree.

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    • avatar

      Nick September 27, 2011, 12:15 am

      I agree and we were like typing this at the same time. Some people were just so easy to tell her to give it all up. And it happens all too often with advice seekers here. If yo had a brick for every guy who thinks of/ contacts an ex, you could erect a wall around anything in the world. It in itself isn’t really material, depending on context.

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    • avatar

      Nick September 27, 2011, 12:15 am

      I agree and we were like typing this at the same time. Some people were just so easy to tell her to give it all up. And it happens all too often with advice seekers here. If yo had a brick for every guy who thinks of/ contacts an ex, you could erect a wall around anything in the world. It in itself isn’t really material, depending on context.

      Reply Link
  • avatar

    Nick September 26, 2011, 8:47 pm

    1. Wendy, wonderful set of advice. This has to be a fairly common question and I think you handle it with compassion and insight. Good job.

    2. Quite a few commenters are quick to dispatch other people’s vital relationships. It bugs me. How easy it is to tell someone to move on, and how hard to move on. Other people’s pain must be such good sport for those folks. I hope she’s careful of those people–some of whom disregard her pain while appearing to help her avoid it.

    3. My own 2¢ on this is that no man is going to be perfect and waiting for that guy is a fool’s game. So is snooping. So are picking nits and fomenting discontent. This LW is about to embark on a great journey during which she’ll be changed. There are worse things in life than embracing fully something you don’t know will work out. No, he didn’t sleep with her. No, he didn’t invite her over (that we know of). No, he didn’t profess all-encompassing love to some other woman.

    She should absolutely talk to him about it but not because she’s on an extended snooping expedition or on some jihad– she should talk to him about it to learn more about this guy she loves and how he feels and what he’s thinking.

    In pain & love baby, there’s no free lunch, no rewards for the riskless.

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    • theattack

      theattack September 26, 2011, 8:49 pm

      I agree with you. No one’s perfect, and you have to take risks if you want something to work out. It’s going to be impossible to find someone who hasn’t reminisced on an ex while in a relationship.

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    • Jess

      Jess of CityGirlsWorld.com September 27, 2011, 10:58 am

      This is a strong opinion but really well said and with excellent points. An interesting viewpoint to consider.

      Reply Link
  • katie

    katie September 26, 2011, 9:03 pm

    I have to say, if you go through with the wedding, I am in the its-not-going-to-last team.

    not because of your age, and not necessarily because this is your first relationship. its just like wendy said, its the combination of all the things you said, not just one. there seems to be a lot of red flags to this relationshp, and even one red flag should be cause enough to think twice about a wedding.

    i really, really hope that you will postpone, if not cancel, the wedding. you and him have A LOT to talk about and figure out before you will be ready to get married. i dont think that your relationship is doomed or anything, i just think that marriage shouldn’t be on the table right now.

    on a personal note, i know that i have to be with my boyfriend for longer then i was with previous boyfriends, and longer then he was with his previous girlfriends before i’ll want to marry him. is that wierd? lol

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  • MELH

    MELH September 26, 2011, 9:19 pm

    Not to defend snooping, but my husband and I have each other’s facebook passwords and have since we were dating. We both get on one another’s facebook at times. Not because we don’t trust one another or snoop. I know I don’t look at his messages or anything unless he tells me to respond to a message for him. Personally, I just like reading some of his newsfeed. He has friends I know but haven’t friended, and I like to see their updates. Also, he has some political crazies and I love to see the crazy stuff they put on there. While I think here the LW was snooping and not trusting him, I think you can have access to one another’s profiles and look at them without having a trust problem.

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    • avatar

      Fabelle September 27, 2011, 9:47 am

      Totally agree with you. I have my bf’s password, and when I’m bored with my own Facebook, I’ll sometimes log onto his to see the newsfeed or read whatever political rants he’s gotten into with his friend (whose profile I can’t see from my page).

      Some people on here are very judgemental of anything that’s perceived to be “snooping”– but in this case, the LW says her boyfriend KNOWS she logs onto his page sometimes. Maybe she was suspicious the day after his party, but I don’t doubt that, most of the time, she just uses his password for when she’s “exceptionally bored”.

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  • avatar

    Pinky September 26, 2011, 11:28 pm

    LW, if you don’t trust him, don’t marry him. I have not one, but TWO broken engagements under my belt. I like to them of them as “dodged bullets.” Mr. Pinky is my best friend and I would trust him with anything. Without trust, there’s nothing.

    Two weeks before the wedding is a bit expensive, but way cheaper than a divorce.

    Reply Link
  • Jess

    Jess of CityGirlsWorld.com September 27, 2011, 10:38 am

    Question: Did she log-into Facebook and look at her fiance’s page OR did she log-in to her fiance’s account and view his private messages? I’m confused about that and I think it makes a huge difference. Because, I cannot fathom logging into my BF’s accounts (hell, I feel guilty if I see the name that pops up on a text message when his phone is lying nearby) but I definitely can say that I check out his Facebook page from time to time.

    On its own, the drunk-dialing (err drunk FB messaging) to an ex doesn’t necessarily smack of a red flag. Poor judgement, hell yes. But I don’t think its that unusual to reflect back, to wonder, and to feel some level of anxiety about committing to ONE person forever. Wendy’s right that thinking it and acting on it are 2 different things but its possible this guy did that while his judgement was impaired. Not a great excuse but it happens. And giving your number and asking to get in touch is not exactly the same as saying “i miss you” or “I’m not over you” etc.

    Again, NOT GOOD that he did that, but I’d say its worth a little conversation and gentle inquiry to find out what was behind it.

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  • avatar

    Greebo September 27, 2011, 11:19 am

    LW, I wish you’d told us more about the circumstances of the LDR. Is one of you in the military? Exchange student or business consultant? Different nationalities? I think understanding the nature of your separation and knowing how you’ve handled it would have helped evaluate this situation.

    That said, you’re the only one who knows the depth of your doubts, or the frequency with which you entertain them. If there’s an end in sight to this long distance relationship, why not delay the wedding and get back in the same vicinity before getting married? Make sure your daily interactions are still what you really want them to be, and you haven’t idealized your relationship. It isn’t a breakup–it isn’t even a break. It’s just a little extra time.

    As for marrying young or first loves versus experience–in general, the younger people are when they marry, the less likely the marriage will work in American culture. However, I’ve seen cases when it does work. I’ve also seen people who thought it was great for 10+ years, only to divorce in year 12. A better gauge of whether or not to marry is to ask why you’re marrying this person, and to talk long and hard and often about the practicalities of life (what if his ideal job is in Memphis, but hers is in Bangor? What if he expects to live near his patents his whole life, and hers get I’ll and need care? Kids? Discipline? Allowances? Retirement? Own or rent a house? Travel–when, where, how often? Disputes over money and kids are the top two causes of divorce.)

    For my part, if I’d married any of the guys I dated in my college years to early 20s, I think it would have ended badly. They were all good guys, but I looked for different things in them than I see in my husband. Also, by living alone (and buying a car, a house, holding a job, planning for my own future, traveling alone, moving several times, etc.) I learned a lot of valuable lessons and developed an absolute confidence in my ability to take care of myself. Maybe I’d have learned that if I’d married young, but maybe not.

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    • theattack

      theattack September 27, 2011, 3:17 pm

      Your entire third paragraph applies to everyone, not just young people.

      And I really don’t think the LW wrote in for us to evaluate her LDR. She clearly already evaluated those circumstances when she agreed to marry him. She’s asking us about the facebook message, which doesn’t have anything to do with whether or not they were long distance.

      Reply Link
  • avatar

    Greebo September 27, 2011, 11:19 am

    LW, I wish you’d told us more about the circumstances of the LDR. Is one of you in the military? Exchange student or business consultant? Different nationalities? I think understanding the nature of your separation and knowing how you’ve handled it would have helped evaluate this situation.

    That said, you’re the only one who knows the depth of your doubts, or the frequency with which you entertain them. If there’s an end in sight to this long distance relationship, why not delay the wedding and get back in the same vicinity before getting married? Make sure your daily interactions are still what you really want them to be, and you haven’t idealized your relationship. It isn’t a breakup–it isn’t even a break. It’s just a little extra time.

    As for marrying young or first loves versus experience–in general, the younger people are when they marry, the less likely the marriage will work in American culture. However, I’ve seen cases when it does work. I’ve also seen people who thought it was great for 10+ years, only to divorce in year 12. A better gauge of whether or not to marry is to ask why you’re marrying this person, and to talk long and hard and often about the practicalities of life (what if his ideal job is in Memphis, but hers is in Bangor? What if he expects to live near his patents his whole life, and hers get I’ll and need care? Kids? Discipline? Allowances? Retirement? Own or rent a house? Travel–when, where, how often? Disputes over money and kids are the top two causes of divorce.)

    For my part, if I’d married any of the guys I dated in my college years to early 20s, I think it would have ended badly. They were all good guys, but I looked for different things in them than I see in my husband. Also, by living alone (and buying a car, a house, holding a job, planning for my own future, traveling alone, moving several times, etc.) I learned a lot of valuable lessons and developed an absolute confidence in my ability to take care of myself. Maybe I’d have learned that if I’d married young, but maybe not.

    Reply Link

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