Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

Morning Quickies: “Should I Forward My Lover’s Emails To His Girlfriend?”

Heart shaped rope on white

I was in a long-term affair for twenty-three years. My ex-lover’s girlfriend, who, as he is, is in her 60s, found out three years ago. They have been in weekly therapy since. I believe they will be getting married. Six months ago he sent me several emails to which I did not reply. I want to forward her the emails so that she knows, before she marries him, that he has contacted me again. I feel angry right now, so I need some advice on what I should do. — Wanting to Warn Her


Not only is their relationship not your business, this woman — who is not, as you pointed out, some naive kid — has known about you for three years. Maybe she knows about the emails, too. Maybe she doesn’t care. Maybe she’s accepted, through therapy and her extensive life history and her own set of personal priorities, that a commitment with her boyfriend may include his being in periodic contact with women who once loved him. Maybe she isn’t threatened by that. At any rate, it’s not your place to warn her about anything. You were right not to reply to the ex-lover. Now continue the wise behavior and leave him — and his girlfriend — in the past and don’t interfere with their relationship.

I have been married for twelve years and have no children. After I
retired three years ago, and because I love my wife, I agreed to move close to my wife’s grandchildren, which meant leaving a city where I had lived my whole life. My wife’s son is divorced now and the ex-daughter-in-law makes it hard for us to see the two granddaughters. I keep having thoughts of moving back to my previous city because I don’t have as strong an emotional connection to the granddaughters as my wife does and, in addition, the son isn’t around that much due to his job. I am just having a hard time compromising. What do you suggest? Therapy isn’t helping me. — Missing My Home

 
You said you moved because you love your wife and she wanted to be close to her grandchildren. Have either of those things changed? Do you think your wife is seeing her grandchildren enough to justify living where you do? (More importantly, does she?) Does she anticipate seeing them more? Are there any other compelling reasons to stay where you are or are occasional visits with the granddaughters the only thing keeping you both there?

If this is simply a case of your realizing that your own desires (being back home) matter more to you than your wife’s desires (being close to her granddaughters), then you have to do some soul-searching and decide whether your love for your wife is strong enough to sacrifice your own desires. And you’ll have to consider whether moving home will give you the joy and fulfillment you expect it to if you don’t have your wife to share it with. And you should also give good consideration to what it is your hometown offers you that your new home doesn’t and whether you could put more effort into finding replacements where you live now.

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

11 comments… add one
  • avatar

    dinoceros March 3, 2016, 11:57 am

    LW1: Why are you so angry? Yeah, he sounds like a crappy boyfriend, but you’ve known that for decades. I feel like you’re implying that you’re angry FOR her, but that seems unlikely, so what part of this is upsetting you so much? Anyway, like Wendy said, it’s not like she’s clueless. She’s knows he actually cheated on her, so I don’t think informing her of emails is really going to be a new revelation. Sounds like you’re angry at him for how he treated you, and you’re trying to get revenge on him.

    LW2: So, if you moved back, she would probably see even less of the grandkids than she does now, right? I’m wondering if you’ve talked to her at all about her feelings. Is she sad that she doesn’t see her family as often? Does she miss your old town too? You also don’t mention what you miss. Do you miss friends? Your favorite restaurants? A certain type of culture? Or do you just resent the move because you feel like it wasn’t “worth” it? Like Wendy says, would your life sans wife but in your old town be better than life with your wife in a place that you haven’t grown accustomed to yet?

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    • avatar

      Anonymous March 4, 2016, 1:12 pm

      Yes I miss my friends and we are both reserved and don’t make new friends. I feel her grandkids fill her need and my friends fill my needs. She doesn’t have friends back home she stays in touch with.

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  • avatar

    wobster109 March 3, 2016, 12:29 pm

    LW2 – Any chance you could spend half the year in each city?

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  • FireStar

    Firestar March 3, 2016, 1:38 pm

    The mistress never tells the wife for the benefit of the wife. She tells for the detriment to the man. If you cared about her at all then you wouldn’t have been the mistress. Your motives aren’t ultruistic – skip the petty vengeance and walk away grateful you are out of that situation.

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  • bittergaymark

    bittergaymark March 3, 2016, 7:27 pm

    LW1) Damn. This was all six months ago and you are still seething and ready to go boil some bunnies?! Yikes. Um, let it go. Seriously… Just let it go.

    LW2) I get you here. It would be one thing if your wife actually got to see the grandkids all the time, but if she’s not? What the fuck did you guys move for, eh? I say, give it a little more time and see if the situation improves… If it fails to do so, revisit this situation with an update and I will give you additional advice then… Honestly? I need to think on this one a bit.

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    • avatar

      Anonymous March 4, 2016, 1:18 pm

      We moved here to see grandkids but step-son got divorced and ex daughter in law is enmeshed with her family and makes it hard for us to see GK’s. I guess I fucked up cause my friends mean more to me than step son and grandkids. ?

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  • avatar

    Stillrunning March 3, 2016, 7:58 pm

    23 years is a long time to be with someone. Are you angry because he broke it off to be with the other woman?
    He last contacted you six months ago, meaning he’s still a cheater. She’s willing to take him as is, I hope you’re not, so let it go.

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  • findingtheearth

    findingtheearth March 4, 2016, 12:22 pm

    LW2: Some states allow grandparents to file for third party visitation rights. If your wife is wanting to see her grandchildren more than their mother will allow, it might be worth looking into. As for your feelings, what is the connection for your past community? Is there a reason why you want to stay there more versus where you moved to?

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  • avatar

    women stand together March 4, 2016, 3:09 pm

    Being a girlfriend/wife to a man who has stepped out I don’t agree with the comments I would want to know I say send her the emails he did it once and he will do it again but this time she will have proof and be able to make a decision otherwise it’s his manipulative ways that will keep her around

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  • avatar

    Moi March 4, 2016, 7:51 pm

    LW#1, someone in that 23 year “affair” was married otherwise it would be a “relationship”.
    Leave the two of them alone. He probably has some residual feelings for you due to the length of the affair but he is with her, not you. Move on. Life is too short to try to get back at him. It would blow up in your face anyway.

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  • avatar

    Wonderland March 7, 2016, 5:02 pm

    LW2 – one of your comments said something to the effect that you don’t make friends. I’m going to call BS on that. Yes, being reserved or introverted makes it more of a challenge, but not impossible. Take a class in something that interests you or volunteer for a cause, these are great ways of meeting like minded people where there’s little pressure (you’re focused on something else, and conversation happens more organically that way).

    I think if you haven’t tried to make friends, then you’re not really giving the new city a shot.

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