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Much money 07I’ve been getting a lot of letters recently about finances in relationships and how money is handled in general, so I thought it would make a great poll topic. If you’re currently in a relationship, or have been in one in the past, how do/did you deal with everything from the check at the end of a meal to covering living expenses (if you lived together)? And in the comments, I’d love to hear whether you are happy with your current arrangement and/or whether you expect/want it to change. Have you had a relationship end over money issues?

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One of my oldest friends, let’s call her Linda, is in a difficult situation, and has asked for my help. Linda’s fiance has a daughter from a previous marriage, and Linda loves this girl as if she were her own daughter. Fiance’s ex-wife took their daughter to another country, but Linda+Fiance have been working to bring her back, and to contest allegations that he hasn’t been paying child support (which he has as he and Linda have worked together to do so).

They flew over there for a court date, and, when Fiance met with Ex-Wife, a social worker, and their daughter, the daughter wouldn’t look at him, said she couldn’t speak English, threw stuff at him, etc., until they removed her from the room. They were then told that Ex-wife had taken Daughter to the police station to file a criminal complaint against Fiance, alleging that, in America, he molested her and took photos, and that Linda helped him.

Linda has told me this is all untrue, and, in fact, over the past few months, she has told me many times that she and Fiance have been worried that Daughter was being abused in some way by Ex-Wife, because she would often complain about not being fed and had expressed to them her discomfort with an older family member in the other country.

Fiance can’t leave the other country until it’s over because he’s still under investigation. Since Daughter is a US citizen, they’re getting the embassy and the FBI involved; on top of that, Linda and fiance want to make their story public, and file counter-suits against the Ex-wife for the false accusations, which are a criminal offense in that country.

So why am I involved? Well, Linda contacted me to ask for help since we’ve been friends since we were teens. She wants me to help her with social media, spreading the word, getting their story out there. This is where I don’t know how to act, because I’m not entirely sure it’s a good idea.

I worry that the publicity they are seeking to put pressure on the courts could backfire on them, that their message could come across as “Don’t believe our daughter’s allegations, her mom made her say those things.” How on earth do you grab the right kind of media attention with that message? And, frankly, although I love and trust Linda wholeheartedly, I am also reluctant to discount Daughter’s allegations. I know Ex-Wife might be abusing her, mentally or otherwise, and making her say those things, sure. But what if she’s telling the truth, even if only about Fiance? I’ve had both scenarios happen in my own family, to different family members, so I know all too well that either situation is possible. And regardless of which is true, either way, Daughter NEEDS to be helped.

Though I know I sound ambivalent, I DO want to help Linda. I want their daughter to be safe, and I want Linda and her fiance to have their family back together again. I’m already on board to help them raise funds for legal fees, and to donate what I can. But I don’t know what I can do to help in the way she has asked me to help, beyond being a good ear for listening and a good shoulder to cry on when things get tough. The last thing I want to do is help them to get themselves doxxed, or set upon by internet trolls, or become the Poster Child Textbook Example for MRA extremists who will point to them and say “Look, false sexual abuse allegations! Look, an unfit mother! This is the rule and not the exception!” But maybe I’m overthinking it and the attention is worth it if it means Daughter comes home safely?

At the end of the day, how can I ACTUALLY help? — Don’t Wanna Be A Fair-Weather Friend

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Guys, look what happened to my teeny, tiny baby in the past six weeks! Her newborn days are half over, which means summer is also winding down. We didn’t (and probably won’t) go anywhere this year, but having a baby smack in the middle of summer is a good reason to stay put. And, of course, this will be a summer we’ll always remember even though our scenery never changed. And maybe we’ll make it to the beach one time before it gets cold. Coney Island is only a subway ride away, after all.

How are you spending these waning summer days?



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Love 2

Here are a few things from around the web that may interest you:

26 Perks of Being in a Serious Relationship in Your 20s

Are you suffering from #FOMO (fear of missing out)? Researchers say people suffer from #FOMO most widely in the summer when photos of others on fantastic vacations that you aren’t on pop up rapidly on Instagram and Facebook and other social media. If you follow any celebrities on social media, you may be feeling #FOMO even more acutely than others. I’m not following any celebrities, but I also haven’t had a real vacation in over three years, so I’ve definitely felt some #FOMO recently. But if there’s any good reason to not go anywhere all summer long, it’s having a baby right smack in the middle of it. There’a always next summer, though — and, like, the rest of my life. Here’s hoping you’ve had enough fun this summer to not feel too envious of other people’s curated photos on social media. Remember: those pictures aren’t reality. They’re only the tiniest filtered sliver of reality.

Are today’s college students way too sensitive? Well, consider this: College professors are now expected to use trigger warnings if there’s something in their courses that might cause a strong emotional response. For example, “some students have called for warnings F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby portrays misogyny and physical abuse, so that students who have been previously victimized by racism or domestic violence can choose to avoid these works, which they believe might ‘trigger’ a recurrence of past trauma.” Insert eye-roll emoji here.

Then again, some people think trigger warnings aren’t coddling at all, but are (necessary) signs of compassion.

Josh Duggar, oldest Duggar kid who lobbies against rights of gays and women, had an account on that cheating website Ashley Madison. He’s sowwy (it’s really no one’s business what he does in his private life; what he should be apologizing for is being a colossal douchebag and fighting to keep grown adults from having the rights to enjoy consensual sex, reproductive health care, and the benefits of marriage).

Thank you to those who submitted links for me to include. If you see something around the web you think DW readers would appreciate, please send me a link to wendy@dearwendy.com and, if it’s a fit, I’ll include it in Friday’s round-up. Thanks!

Follow along on Facebook, and Instagram.



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It’s time again for Shortcuts. For every question, I’ll give my advice in just a few sentences because sometimes the answer to a person’s question is so obvious and the need to hear it so great that being as clear and frank as possible is simply the best way to go.

I have been in a relationship for six years and we live together. My daughter is white and married a wonderful black man. They now have a child and are expecting another. My boyfriend is very distant to my grandchild and has said he will never accept an interracial grandchild. He explains that it is because he was raised that way. I want to have a relationship with my daughter and her husband and their children very much. But I love my boyfriend too. I feel that they are trying to make me choose between them and I don’t know how to handle the situation. I would like some suggestions please. — Choosing Between Family and Boyfriend

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