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 now. Today we hear from “Can’t Accept His Behavior” whose husband was fooling around behind her back, refusing marriage counseling, and justifying his behavior as being that of a typical man, saying that she shouldn’t be concerned because men “can separate sex and love while women can’t.” She asked if he wanted an open marriage, even though she had no desire for one, because she thought that would be better than his “sneaking around.” Keep reading to see how she’s doing now and whether, two years later, she’s still married to the philanderer.
I was reading your column again today and thought I would provide an update. I really appreciated your advice and everyone else’s comments as well.
I don’t know how uplifting this update will be, but I wanted to share what has changed, both good and bad. I have taken the advice to heart, even though I have not made all of the life changes advised.
I am in counseling and have a long way to go towards understanding my own issues and why I have such low self esteem. I have read several books on codependency and feel that I am on the right track there.
Fear still holds me back in a lot of ways. I have a successful career in government service, but I am ready for new challenges and responsibilities. I was chosen for a professional development institute at work, and am in the midst of obtaining a new credential. I am doing well at work in my current position; however, I am afraid to take a lot of risks.
My husband has promised (again) to change. As far as I know, he has not been back on any hook-up sites, webcams, or chat rooms. I dragged him to marriage counseling, and he attended one session. The counselor told me that she did not think he was invested and that he tended to minimize all of his actions. She advised that she could not work miracles and that, if he were not invested, it would be a waste of everyone’s time.
We are still trying to work on our marriage. We even tried the open marriage, and I had many dates; however, he did not have any. Thus ended our foray into alternative relationships. I think he is starting to appreciate me now.
He has been the stay-at-home dad for the past five years. Sometimes he expresses that he has low self-esteem and feels emasculated because he cannot provide financially for the family. I remind him how much he contributes with caring for the children and household, but he holds some antiquated views in gender roles. He is starting to come around, though.
Thank you for the advice. I wish I could say that I followed all of it, but I feel that I am doing what is best for my family.
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.