Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

Shortcuts: “He Took Me To Australia and Didn’t Propose!”

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, being as clear and frank as possible is simply the best way to go.

I’ve been with my boyfriend for two years and six months. Lately, we have had lots of arguments and he started to change and now he is moving out. It started after he took me to meet his parents in Australia. We had talked about marriage with his family and we agreed to get married next year and now all of a sudden he’s telling me he is not ready and he wants space to think! But I have seen the engagement ring in the wardrobe for about a year. Don’t you think that’s odd? Anyway, he is moving out now and trying to be all nice until he goes. Do you think I should allow him be nice to me until he goes? — At Least I Got a Trip to Australia

 
Tell him if he really wants to be nice he’ll save you both the drama and just MOA (move out already). Prolonged breakups aren’t fun for anyone. And, obviously, if the guy had an engagement ring for over a year and still didn’t propose, he is doing the right thing by letting you go since your relationship is going nowhere.

My fiancé and I broke up due to our parents getting into our relationship too much. My parents were thrilled since they never liked him. They did say he was a good guy just not the guy for me. He and I have both been married before and each have a a little boy. I still live with my parents and they control me even though I’m 24 and a mother. Myy fiancé and I are getting back together but my parents don’t know and I’m terrified of their reaction. But my mind is set! I’m moving out and taking my child. Am I wrong to go against my parents? Or will that show them that I am capable of doing and deciding things on my own? — A Mother Myself

 
If you’re making huge life decisions that will affect not just you but your young son with the intention of proving something to your parents, you’re doing it wrong. Something tells me you need your parents’ help and support more than you’d like to admit and until you’re ready to make decisions for yourself, regardless what your parents’ reaction will be, I’d stay put and let your parents continue supporting you.

I recently received an invitation for a modest week-long trip, most expenses paid, from my uncle. A couple of other relatives are probably taking the trip, too, at least according to the invitation. The problem is that I don’t want a deeper relationship with this relative, who has caused family conflict in the past, repeatedly, and at times deeply hurt people I am close to. I don’t want to create further conflict, so my attitude over the last few years has just been to be polite but not engage. My uncle can be quite manipulative and I’ve found even mild interaction can spiral.

It’s possible that I would suck it up and accept the kind invitation in the interest of family unity, but the trip isn’t really something I would enjoy under the best of circumstances. I could realistically get the time off work, but I would prefer to save my time off for something I actually want to do (or need to do, such as genuine family obligations).

I mostly want to know how to say no without making things worse, but if you think I ought to go on the trip, my ears are open. — Strings attached?

 
One of the best lessons I’ve learned in the last few years is that less is more, and that is especially true when saying no. The less you say about your reason for saying no, the better. I’ve found that for most invitations I can’t or don’t want to take, this is enough: “Thank you so much for your invitation. Unfortunately, I won’t be able to make it this time, but I do appreciate you thinking of me.” If the person asks why, you can always think of an excuse then — “I already made other plans,” “I can’t get the time off work,” “I really hate you,” but there’s no reason to stress out about it.

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

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.

57 comments… add one
  • avatar

    Neatist June 28, 2013, 9:23 am

    “I really hate you,”

    🙂

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  • avatar

    kerrycontrary June 28, 2013, 9:25 am

    I feel kind of bad for LW1. Like that’s a really shitty situation to be in 🙁

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    • avatar

      GatorGirl June 28, 2013, 9:26 am

      Yeah, I feel a little bad but who says “should I allow him to be nice?” How do you control how another person acts…

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      • avatar

        kerrycontrary June 28, 2013, 9:32 am

        I agree. Like why would she want him to be mean while he’s moving out? He probably realizes that this is shitty so he’s trying to at least be amicable to make it easier. I mean he probably did want to propose to her, but because of there recent arguements and not getting along I guess he changed his mind.

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      • avatar

        GatorGirl June 28, 2013, 9:37 am

        I always think it’s interesting when people imply the moving out process takes like forever. I get that when you have shared belongings there is some sorting to do…but in my mind it would take a day or two, maybe a week tops.

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      • avatar

        kerrycontrary June 28, 2013, 9:49 am

        I have a friend who found out his girlfriend was cheating on him with a married man. He called his friends and moved out in like 3 hours while she wasn’t home and texted her “I moved out don’t contact me again”. So yeh, it doesn’t take that long.

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      • othy

        othy June 28, 2013, 10:18 am

        My mom moved my aunt and my cousin out of their house in an afternoon while my uncle was at work. And they moved in with my parents for a short time while the apartment they were moving to opened up. There are plenty of options.

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      • avatar

        Sunshine Brite June 28, 2013, 9:50 am

        Moving out can take up to a month to get on a lease. I know in my area, there’s very few apts available without notice and things are very slow in the winter so summer’s like a rental flurry.

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      • avatar

        GatorGirl June 28, 2013, 9:59 am

        Sure to get out of the lease and signing a new one, of course that can take time…but I do not understand spending the night in the same place after you break up. Go stay at a friends, family, a hotel.

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      • avatar

        d2 June 28, 2013, 10:12 am

        If it was an amicable breakup, I could tolerate a week or two with the ex sleeping on the sofa. If it was not amicable or there was cheating, I would change the locks if the ex wasn’t out within 24 hours. Although it was not explicitly stated by LW1, I interpreted the breakup as amicable.

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      • avatar

        6napkinburger June 28, 2013, 10:28 am

        I lived with my exbf for about a month and a half after we “broke up.” We knew the relationship had to end because we weren’t right for each other for the long haul and marriage and kids, etc. (and that was the kind of future we both wanted) and we weren’t getting younger, so we knew we had to pull the cord, but we still liked and loved each other and kind of dragged it out (sleeping in the same bed, and all that meant). Plus, he had to wait for a tenant to vacate an apartment of his so he could move into it. Eventually I told him to call the movers and set a move out date, and he did that, and moved out 2 weeks later. So it can see why it can take a while, if it’s amicable and you still love each other but don’t see a future together.

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      • othy

        othy June 28, 2013, 10:55 am

        Yes, but this doesn’t seem all that amicable. She still wants to marry and he wanted to move on.

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      • avatar

        6napkinburger June 28, 2013, 11:17 am

        Oh, I was just saying in response to GG.

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      • avatar

        GatorGirl June 28, 2013, 11:40 am

        6, I totally see it in an amicable situation. But I guess I still don’t *get* an amicable break up. Like if everything is so fine and dandy…why break up? Maybe it’s because I’ve never had a breakup anywhere close to amicable? haha.

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      • Lindsay

        Lindsay June 28, 2013, 12:26 pm

        Haha. I was actually trying to figure out the same thing. I guess it would be like if two people decided that they don’t have a future because one wants kids and the other doesn’t or some other lifestyle-type thing. Where you wish you could stay together, but it doesn’t make sense?

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      • TaraMonster

        TaraMonster June 28, 2013, 1:45 pm

        Well if you breakup in NYC the process can be painfully drawn out. While I moved out of the apt I shared w my ex in a matter of days and went to stay with w friend (in the burbs, which made my life VERY complicated), I wasn’t completely out for four months.

        This about sums up the fun reality of what NYC couples tend to face:
        ;

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  • theattack

    theattack June 28, 2013, 9:31 am

    LW1 : That sucks, but all you can do is listen to him when he says he’s not ready. I don’t know what you mean by “allowing” him to be nice to you. You don’t have control over him. If you did, I assume you would be engaged by now, right?

    LW2 : Honestly, Wendy’s right. You sound too immature to be living on your own with your son. It should be a no-brainer that you’re allowed to do what you want because you’re an adult, but since that isn’t abundantly clear to you, I don’t think you have very much practice at responsibility. In that case, stay at home and work on becoming a “grown up” from the safety of their house.

    LW3 : Just lie and say you can’t take time off work. Say you have a specific obligation at work that week (ie: presentation, your numbers are due for the quarter, a training, you’re starting a new project, etc).

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  • avatar

    jbk886 June 28, 2013, 9:34 am

    LW2: If you want to make this work with your ex-fiance, it seems like it would be wiser to take things slowly. You broke it off for a reason, and it’s entirely possible that a week into living with him again, you will vividly recall what that reason is. There’s no reason to put the maximum amount of pressure on the relationship in the first few days it’s rekindled.
    It’s more stable for all 3 of you (you, your ex-fiance, your son) to take things slowly. Also, don’t burn bridges with your parents. They may drive you nuts, but they’re an important part of your life and of your son’s life. There is absolutely no need to hurt them when they’ve done their best to support you in the way that they know (even if you don’t agree with all of it).

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  • avatar

    bethany June 28, 2013, 9:47 am

    Regarding Letter 3, Wendy is right. A simple “thanks, but no thanks” can really be applied to so many things. People make WAY too big a deal out of rejecting invitations. It’s really not that hard.

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    • FireStar

      FireStar June 28, 2013, 10:22 am

      Thanks but no thanks didn’t work for me this week when the wife of an relative contacted me after over 20 years wanting to keep in touch now. It devolved into her having a hissy fit and calling me bitter because I wished her well but told her no thanks. Some people just have their own agendas. If she wants a relationship with these people in the future then politely decline and blame work.

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      • AKchic_

        AKchic_ June 28, 2013, 1:57 pm

        I have had the same issue. My paternal aunt loves to randomly contact me and guilt trip me for not associating with my biological father. She tries to get my contact information (she has my e-mail address only), but I refuse because every time I have given her any information in the past, she has passed it on to my bio-f immediately and then I get unwanted calls from him as well.
        I was actually guilt-tripped for not coming to the funeral of my paternal grandfather, who died a few weeks after my maternal grandfather, a week after I had my second neck surgery in (2 in 2 weeks), and with three kids to take care of by myself.

        Blame work and leave it at that!

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  • avatar

    d2 June 28, 2013, 9:55 am

    LW1 – It would seem reasonable for him to take a week to organize a move. If he doesn’t plan on moving out for several months, WWS, ask him to move out sooner. The sooner your relationship ends, the sooner you can move on. So what’s the problem with him being nice until he moves out?

    LW2 – I would suggest that you should get yourself into a position that you can independently support yourself and your child, and not have to rely on your parents or your boyfriend for financial support. That way you have the power to control your life, and make the best decisions for both you and your child. If it is going to take a while to get your self into a position financial independence, I would continue living with the parents.

    LW3 – Graciously decline. No big deal.

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  • Tracey

    Tracey June 28, 2013, 10:25 am

    LW1: Why would you want to marry someone with whom you’ve been having lots of arguments with and has decided to move out? Especially after he made a 360 turn on marriage after taking you around the world to meet his family? Let him move out with as little drama from you as possible and let yourself MOA.

    LW2: Why are you still acting like a child? If you want to get back together with your fiance, then do it, and work on making that relationship as healthy as possible. And before you rush off and marry said fiance, work on making yourself independent and self sufficient first. That means doing everything you can to be on your own for a time, building a solid and stable relationship with your child, then work on a possible second walk down the aisle. You and your child should be your main priority, not sneaking around with your on again/off again fiance.

    LW3: WWS. No need to go into details with your uncle, or anyone else. “Just stick to the basics: Would simply love to, but simply can’t go. Sorry, but thanks for the invitation.”

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    • avatar

      Amanda June 28, 2013, 11:38 am

      WTS

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  • avatar

    6napkinburger June 28, 2013, 10:37 am

    I think people are misunderstanding what LW1 means when she says she is “allowing” him to be nice to her. She loved him and wanted to marry him and thought she was going to, and that he was going to propose (which he clearly was!) and then he changed his mind and is all like i don’t know what I want, let’s have some space, I should move out, etc. And she’s probably f’ing pissed about it when she lets herself think about it. So he broke her heart (which was totally his right and I didn’t say was crappy, it just hurts for her) and now he’s walking around being nice and pretending like everything is ok and it’s mutual and that “these things just happen.” So she probably feels that by pretending everything is the same as it was until he actually moves out, she’s “letting him” get away with hurting her scot free, by not having do deal with her being mad, angry, etc. So she’s not asking if she should “let him” be nice (as if she can control that), but if she should “Act” equally nice and pretend she isn’t hurt, sad, angry at him for “wasting her time” (which he inadvertently did, doesn’tmake it his fault, but I’d be pissed too) “leading her on” (even though he didn’t, because it was legit feelings at the time, but now it feels that way to her), and breaking her heart. She’s asking for advice/permission to unplug her anger and her frustration or if, in the interest of civility, she should bite her tongue and match his tone until he moves out.

    She’s really asking about what SHE should do in response to his “niceness”, not as if she could actually stop him from being nice. Though I have a feeling if she let’s it rip (which I’m kind of in favor of), he won’t be so nice anymore.

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    • Fabelle

      Fabelle June 28, 2013, 10:42 am

      This is how I interpreted it as well, although, yeah, the phrasing was pretty odd & my first instinct was to snark, too. She probably feels taken advantage of, & like she’s letting him “get away with” something by making things so drama-free while he moves out (not to say it should be FULL OF DRAMA, but I get why she’s all, “do I allow him to be nice?”)

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    • avatar

      GatorGirl June 28, 2013, 10:47 am

      If what your describing is the case- I say be pissed LW and let him know.

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    • Lindsay

      Lindsay June 28, 2013, 11:23 am

      That’s also how I read it. I think sometimes things get taken too literally. Anyway, it drives me insane when someone does something shitty and then thinks that we can all pretend it didn’t happen. Like if they suddenly go back to being nice, then I’ll have to be nice, and they won’t have to face the consequences of me being angry. Or they’re so relieved.

      To the LW, do what you want, but consider whether you’d rather deal with him being an outright asshole instead.

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    • Portia

      Portia June 28, 2013, 12:31 pm

      I agree, that’s how I took it. This is the same as exes who want to be friends afterward and act as though an abrupt change did not just take place. She needs to rip the bandaid off and tell him he needs to find something immediately, then if she doesn’t want to be angry at him, avoid him until he moves out. The worst thing for her is to be around him, especially while he’s acting like everything is ok and mutual and like before. Obviously she can’t stop him from being nice, but it’s her right to not have to be nice to the guy who just broke her heart.

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    • sobriquet

      sobriquet June 28, 2013, 1:24 pm

      So many people have a hard time expressing their feelings, like they’ve been ingrained to always put a smile on their face no matter what. Maybe they fear confrontation, I don’t know, but I’m actually dealing with it right now with someone and the passive aggression is driving me crazy. I understand that putting on a happy face can be beneficial in some situations, but not in your close relationships (or with the person you LIVE with).

      If you’re angry, ACT ANGRY. Don’t hide behind a fake smile and pretend that everything is fine. It will make you feel even worse.

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      • iwannatalktosampson

        iwannatalktosampson June 28, 2013, 1:33 pm

        Sob! Threadjack. You need to go respond to me in the bedroom thread. I know you also rebounded pretty quickly after your incident with your ex and I’m so curious and need your thoughts!

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    • avatar

      d2 June 28, 2013, 1:54 pm

      I hadn’t originally interpreted LW1 as you did, but after thinking about it, I suspect that your interpretation is probably right. In that case, I would not recommend going on as if nothing was wrong. If it was me, I would want the ex out immediately. I would explain to the ex how this change in relationship status caused me great pain and disappointment, and that his presence was exacerbating that pain. If he was a caring and unselfish guy, he would immediately leave. If he didn’t, I would let it rip and a half.

      LW1, if this is causing you great anguish, tell him. He should he know. And if you don’t speak your feelings now, you will likely in the future regret having not spoken up for yourself.

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  • landygirl

    landygirl June 28, 2013, 11:21 am

    This has nothing to do with the letters, it just made me chuckle and it’s about Australia*

    http://i.imgur.com/CtaSRMb.png

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    • avatar

      rachel June 28, 2013, 11:59 am

      Haha, I went to Vegas a few years ago, and I was in line for the NYNY roller coaster behind a girl and her two guy friends from Austria. These drunk guys next to us kept harassing her, and saying like “Good’ay mate” and all this crap. It was hilarious. I sat with her on the coaster to be sure none of them got the chance.

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      • landygirl

        landygirl June 28, 2013, 12:45 pm

        I used to work with a girl who insisted that Bjork pronounced her name as BaJoark.

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    • avatar

      sarolabelle June 28, 2013, 1:19 pm

      Did that person never seen Sound of Music?

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      • landygirl

        landygirl June 28, 2013, 2:21 pm

        I don’t know but I have. I even took the Sound of Music tour while in Salzberg.

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  • findingtheearth

    findingtheearth June 28, 2013, 10:39 am

    LW1- Moving out can take time, depending on where you live, what other living opportunities there are, etc. Tell him a date and ask that he is out by that date. If he wants to be nice to you, then fine. I have a feeling subtext for this might be “He wants to keep having sex/being intimate until he moves out,” and that is all your call.

    LW2- Your child should be more important than proving anything to anyone else. If you cannot afford to live on your own, why are you moving in with this guy? What will you do if it doesn’t work out again? If you burn your bridges with your parents will they take you back into their home when the fiance and you don’t work out again? You need to get your life together, get stable financially, and not be dependent on others before you make any decision about living with a significant other.

    LW3- Just say no thanks. If he gets mad or is upset, you can give a longer reason, but a simple no thank you should suffice.

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  • bittergaymark

    bittergaymark June 28, 2013, 11:59 am

    LW1) Wow, so he bought over a ring a year ago and has yet to propose to you? Gee, I wonder why that could be. I mean… I wonder what YOU could have done to make him change his mind… Oh, wait. Of course instead it’s ALL him because you (of course!) are some saint. Honestly, if somebody has cold feet about marrying you… Be fucking happy that they actually have the balls to call it off. Do you really want to marry somebody who is just going through with it as it fits your respective timelines? Apparently you do. Apparently so do many other women as a strangely high amount of you simply LIVE to get married… But now that it’s over, you (of course!) would want/and/or expect him to be a major asshole to you until he can actually move out. Um…okay. THis makes me think you simply…. um…. aren’t all there or very mature.

    LW2) Let’s see. Single at 24 with a kid and living with your parents as you have nowhere else to go and no means to support yourself. Gee… I can’t imagine why your parents would ever question your ability to run your own life. Sounds to me that you are off to a running start.

    LW3) With your incredibly vague examples of your uncles misdeeds… (C’mon! Why so coy? Do you REALLY think that your awful uncle lurks here on DW?!) It’s hard for me to truly weigh your options… But a free trip? Eh, I’d go and try to keep the peace. But then, hey, I love to travel and have NEVER once in a bazillion trips have ever had a bad time while traveling.

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    • avatar

      Lucy June 28, 2013, 12:14 pm

      I think BGM should start an anti-advice site. Readers could write in, and then do the exact opposite of whatever he advises.

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      • bittergaymark

        bittergaymark June 28, 2013, 12:24 pm

        I stand by my advice to LW1. I have had several friends (gay and straight) buy engagement rings and then suddenly change their minds. Were my friends all assholes? Or suddenly wishy washy guys who changed their minds and suddenly didn’t know what they wanted. Um, no. Instead it suddenly became crystal clear to them that what they DIDN’T want was a life forever with this person that they had been dating. In each case it was because the person they wanted to ask suddenly became less attractive due to bad behavior. In more than one instance it was the behavior of the respective partner while traveling and/or meeting the folks that changed their mind. Nothing reveals what a person is REALLY like than traveling a bit with them and/or introducing them to those most important to you…

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      • theattack

        theattack June 28, 2013, 12:29 pm

        I actually thought he was pretty spot-on today. BGM’s practical advice is frequently solid even when his words are hateful.

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      • avatar

        TECH June 28, 2013, 12:40 pm

        @theattack I agree. Of course I don’t know you @bittergaymark , but I think you try to give people a solid dose of realism. You don’t beat around the bush and you don’t try to package your opinions with a cute little bow. And I think a lot of your comments are given with sarcasm and humor. Some people are offended by comments. I usually chuckle at them. You aren’t coming on here to give “anti-advice”

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      • Lindsay

        Lindsay June 28, 2013, 12:52 pm

        I agree for the most part. But I don’t think we know enough to assume that LW1 did something to drive her boyfriend away, as BGM suggested. A person can be wrong for you and not necessarily have something wrong with them. The advice itself is good, but the “what did you do to get dumped” may not be relevant.

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      • theattack

        theattack June 28, 2013, 12:56 pm

        Agreed.

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      • avatar

        GatorGirl June 28, 2013, 12:54 pm

        I usually agree, but today mark’s advice is pretty spot on and tame coming from him. (Though I wouldn’t go on the vacation.)

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    • Portia

      Portia June 28, 2013, 12:38 pm

      I agree with your comment on LW1 that it’s best he cut it off when he did. However, I think she has the right to not live with the guy whose parents she just met, who she thought was going to propose, and who just broke her heart. I don’t think that makes her immature, just that she wasn’t articulating how she doesn’t want to have to be nice towards her ex. No one has to be a model roommate to the ex who broke their heart – living together makes things exponentially worse because you can’t just physically walk away or hang up the phone.

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    • avatar

      Anti-Drama June 28, 2013, 3:15 pm

      Ha! You’ve got me there, BGM. I am paranoid about my uncle seeing this somehow. He has a mental illness and tells lies to split family relationships (like, “your mother said this about you” and “my brother has always hated your father” and “Grandpa was so disappointed in you”). I love to travel also, so I have a pretty good idea of the things I hate; I didn’t name the trip because it’s a place a lot of people love and they’d all say “oh, that would be so much fun!” But I’m not into overpriced corporate theme parks where I know I’d end up having to spend plenty of my own money. No judgment on those who do, but even when I was a kid… well, I just prefer the outdoors, museums and restaurants, and/or being active on trips.

      Anyway, the advice and comments are very helpful. Maybe it’s just me but sometimes it’s nice to have an “easy” question on here, and I like that Wendy’s advice is broadly applicable to many situations.

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  • avatar

    Sara June 28, 2013, 12:22 pm

    Love Wendy’s advice for LW 3 — “less is more.” I need to frame this advice and put it in a place where I’ll frequently see it.

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  • Portia

    Portia June 28, 2013, 12:48 pm

    LW1 – Do not live together a day longer! If he’s dragging his heels, even if he has something lined up for 2 days from now and is staying put until then, pack a bag and stay on a friend’s couch or in a hotel if you can afford it. Put empty boxes into the living room to speed things along. Do anything but live in the same space a minute longer. You have a right to scream and cry and eat tons of ice cream and chocolate, but you can’t do it there if you’re afraid of turning into the crazy ex or give yourself the possibility of being cordial later on. If it means you need to tell a close friend that you’re broken up, just bite the bullet. Or if you think he’d be open to staying somewhere in the interim, ask him to.

    There was a couple I knew that broke up and then he lived on the couch for two months. The semi-mature breakup turned into a truly horrible one and they never spoke again, plus their friend group was forever splintered. And friends were still gossiping about it years later.

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  • avatar

    Sistine June 28, 2013, 1:19 pm

    How is it LW1’s fault that he hasn’t proposed? He bought a ring over a year ago and never proposed. She didn’t break up with him because maybe she thought her relationship was going somewhere on the account of him actually having the ring ready and telling his parents he was going to marry her. Don’t you think that if anything the boyfriend is the one sending mixed signals? It’s not wrong for a woman to want to get married, especially if she wants kids. Maybe all these women who you think LIVE to get married just want a committed partner to start a family with. Is that really such an insane idea or life desire? And yes, unfortunately there is a timeline on us women. Mother Nature put it there. I guess as a gay man you don’t really have much understanding of the dreaded biological clock and the health risks associated with it.

    BMG, I used to appreciate your comments but they have really just been unreasonably mean lately. Remember when you used to do the His Take column? You provided some generally helpful advice while still using your pessimistic humor.

    On the topic of that, Wendy can we get a His Take Column?

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    • avatar

      Sistine June 28, 2013, 1:22 pm

      This was meant as a reply to bittergaymark.

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    • bittergaymark

      Bittergaymark June 28, 2013, 2:38 pm

      If somebody plans to marry you… And suddenly changes their mind after taking you to meet their parents… Something CLEARLY happened on that trip…

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      • Lindsay

        Lindsay June 28, 2013, 3:00 pm

        Maybe, but it’s not clear WHAT happened. He could have had doubts beforehand and then finally made a decision (if he had the ring for a year, then he clearly was doubting for a long time already). Or he just realized he wasn’t ready for something as serious as this had gotten. Or that he couldn’t see himself spending the rest of his life with her.

        I dumped a dude once directly after spending Christmas Eve with him, doesn’t mean that he did something wrong on Christmas Eve.

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      • bittergaymark

        bittergaymark June 28, 2013, 5:54 pm

        Of course it’s not clear… But if I am ever flown to Australia by some guy who has a ring in a drawer just waiting for me… and then, suddenly, AFTER the trip he abruptly changes his mind and dumps me… it will definitely give me pause and make me examine my own actions. Sure this may not be exactly what happened here… But, My Goodness, it certainly is worth looking into… even if it’s only on the off chance.

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  • avatar

    Boosker June 28, 2013, 2:35 pm

    LW #1–Sucks to feel like you had a good thing going and then realize it’s not going to happen. I think both of you should be as amicable as possible, but also don’t misinterpret his kindness. He’s done. He had a ring and didn’t use it. Done.

    LW #2–Sounds like you’re in a weird place development-wise. At 24, many are living on their own, pursuing careers, dating, etc. without any input from their parents. While having a child might make you feel more responsible/more mature than your peers, the dynamic you have with your parents and your questions make me think you’re a very young 24. I think you should work on yourself, gain some independence financially and otherwise, and then think about dating seriously. Someone who is worried about their parents’ reaction to that extent probably isn’t ready to move in with someone/get engaged (and probably isn’t ready for parenthood, but that’s something you don’t have control over. You DO have control over your love life).

    LW #3–I’m a little creeped out by your uncle. If you aren’t close, why is he trying to schedule a vacation with you? The way you made it sound (not knowing for sure if other family members will be there) is a little unnerving. There is nothing wrong with not wanting to vacation with your uncle as an adult. There is also nothing wrong with not wanting to vacation with anyone (parents, friends, boyfriend) other than who you absolutely want to. Sometimes I end up on smaller vacations with my parents or my husband’s family that wouldn’t be my first choice for vacation spots/company. But that’s something you do when you want to stay connected with family, it’s important to them, and the sacrifice isn’t too great for you. To sacrifice a week of vacation time for a family member you really don’t want to connect with is crazy. No guilt, girl.

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    BreezyAM June 28, 2013, 6:43 pm

    Maybe I’m giving benefit of doubt but I’ve known more than a few young women VERY controlled by their family, to the point they never moved out even well into their 30s, or ended up being coerced into letting their parents adopt their children :-/ So I’m not going to bag on LW2. She said they broke up because of parents interfering in their relationship. Shades of Tara Wilson are probably clouding my view… http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/opinion/blogs/mcintyre/34249604.html –she was recently arrested after turning herself in. Her daughter is 18 now. Google provides a slew of articles showing her demeanor, and that of her daughter, to be that of VERY controlled by family.

    And if LW’s parents ARE really controlling, she’s certainly not going to be allowed to establish and assert any sort of independence, financial or psychological. This shit happens. I’ve got a buddy who cheated on his wife (yes, total asshole move) and her parents immediately went and moved her out and would not allow her to speak to him (she was pregnant, it could upset the baby). Offered him $50K to go away. Anytime he tried to talk to her during lawyer meetings or custody exchanges they’d open their traps and shut him down immediately. Couldn’t throw them out, she was an adult had every right to have whoever she “wanted” there. To this day they have NEVER spoken without her parents there. Telling a woman in a situation like that to not take a way out is really stupid! I mean do we tell DV sufferers or verbal abuse sufferers to not move out until they can do it alone? wtf? In my experience women heavily gloss over how BAD situation really is. See button in the forums for a perfect example.

    So LW, Yes, if your parents really ARE controlling and manipulative, please do get together with fiance. But don’t go until you are ready to go, and not come back, and will stand FIRM in your choice, and will not allow yourself to be manipulated either into going back home or in letting them keep your child from you.

    But first, think long and hard about if they are right. Is he employed? Is he cheating on you? Is he a criminal? Does he use drugs? Is he an alcoholic? Does he hit you, control you, verbally abuse you or your son? If he is financially secure, and is a good decent man who loves you and your child and treats the boys as equal, great! But if not… maybe you need to think a bit more.

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