It’s time again for “Dear Wendy Updates,” a feature where people I’ve given advice to in the past let us know whether they followed the advice and how they’re doing today. After the jump, we hear from “Anxious about Anxiety” who felt pressured to stay with a boyfriend because he had anxiety issues. Keep reading to see how she’s doing now.
Hi, DW community. First, I would like to thank Rachel for her thoughtful, understanding, and extremely helpful advice. I especially appreciated her last comment about being able to MOA at any point for any reason. I had previously considered that the relationship wasn’t one I wanted and tried to end it, but I ended up feeling that by leaving I was abandoning him and his problems. I think that is definitely advice that women (especially ones as young as I am) don’t hear enough. I also really appreciate all the commenters. I definitely needed a wake-up call that I can’t save the world and everyone in it. I really took the advice to heart and even followed some advice Rachel had given a similar LW and read “Why Men Love Bitches” over my winter break.
As I commented on the original post, I am no longer seeing him, but we remain close friends. In the end we realized we had more of a friendship than a romantic spark — not surprising seeing as I was acting as his mother/therapist/best friend only three months in. I realize that being friends with a recent former-flame isn’t the most comfortable position to be in; however, things are working out better than I could have imagined for our friendship.
A few weeks after I initially suggested he see a counselor (and my note being posted), he brought up that his parents, especially his mother, has shamed and ridiculed him his entire life for seeing therapists. It was pretty clear this had left him feeling extremely uncomfortable getting the guidance he knew he needed. I realized that as much as I was crossing a line when I originally tried to force him to go see a counselor, he was actually far more willing than I realized — just extremely scared of being judged. Since then I’ve made sure not to meddle in his personal issue, but be available as re-encouragement that what he is doing isn’t shameful but courageous.
He had his first appointment earlier this week. I am extremely happy to say that a few days ago when I went to see him he greeted me with the biggest hug and smile and repeatedly thanked me for forcing him to make that appointment. From what he said, it went extremely well and he is going to continue to go. I am so incredibly happy that his problems are now in the hands of a professional.
As for me, I’m happily single and enjoying getting to be a carefree college student like I should be. Thanks again to everyone that gave me advice — even when some of it was hard to hear — I definitely won’t being playing mother to my next boyfriend.
Thanks so much for your update!
If you’re someone I’ve given advice to in the past, I’d love to hear from you, too. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with a link to the original post, and let me know whether you followed the advice and how you’re doing now.