Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

Updates: “Cold Feet” Responds

updatesIt’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 “Cold Feet” whose 44-year-old boyfriend of a year and a half still lived at home, had a massive amount of debt, and only worked part-time because he kept failing the bar exam and couldn’t secure a full-time job. “He wants to marry me and has given me an engagement ring, but I am having cold feet because of his debt. I don’t feel safe starting a life with him. I am not the type to go in 50/50. I think the man should be the sole provider.” Keep reading to see if this couple is still together.

I am the 40-year-old woman who, after one and a half years, got engaged to a 44-year-old man who was still living with his father because he couldn’t pass the bar exam and did not have a steady full-time job, nor ever did have. He was a Farsi interpreter who was employed on an as-needed basis through a company throughout the years and decided to freelance on his own after my encouraging him to do so and after two more failed bar exams. I further encouraged him to look for a full-time interpreter’s job which he finally landed with the court last March.

After our two-year mark together and seven months of his being into his new job, I noticed a change in his personality. He went from being a sweet, caring, kind, respectful person to a non-present, disrespectful guy. I wondered why he changed. Was it all a facade? Were his true colors finally coming out? So I decided to break it off with him. I thought to myself: Why would I be with a guy who is 150k in debt, has minimal savings, and still doesn’t make enough money to move out, let alone support a marriage, AND, on top of it all, is disrespectful, too? I would have to be out of my mind. He suggested we go see a therapist so I agreed, thinking the therapist could aid in the assessment and our need to mutually break it off. The therapist recommended that we take one month off with no form of communication with each other and to not talk about it with our friends or family. He wanted his engagement ring back (probably because he got the vibe that I wasn’t happy with him and always lacked the safety and security a woman needs to feel with her man) and the therapist said to him to hold off on that until after the month of reflection.

We were supposed to go back to the therapist individually and then again together after the one month of no contact. I went to my appointment and the therapist said that he didn’t make his (as he had the appointment the week before mine). Long story short, I came to find out he suffered a subarachnoid hemorrhage and was in the hospital. I was in total shock and grief. He apparently told his cousin about our relationship problems against the therapist’s recommendations and the cousin blamed me for what happened to him and didn’t allow me to visit him at the hospital. But I spoke to one of his uncles (who is very level-headed) and so I managed to visit him when the cousin wasn’t there. It was heartbreaking for me to see him like that. I was so affected I had to take off from work due to emotional distress. The uncle asked for the engagement ring back, so I returned it.

I understand this is how and when my story was meant to end with him, but so unfortunate that it happened the way it did. He is now in a rehabilitation facility. I think about him and pray for him daily to regain his health. I just want him to be well and live a life he desires. But he has a long journey ahead of him.

Another thing I forgot to mention is that he had accommodations for the bar exam (a separate room, laptop) and extra time (three hours a day for six days instead of the normal six hours a day for three days). It never occurred to me to ask why he got these accommodations until I recently researched it and came to find out that you have to have a disability in order for the California bar association to give you these maximum accommodations. So it made me wonder why he wasn’t honest with me about his mental and physical health, especially since he wanted to marry me. Isn’t that wrong to do? Not that it matters anymore, but, in retrospect, I see that he told me a lot of white lies.

I do believe in karma and that you reap what you sew, but I truly don’t think he deserved to get sick like this. I just wish he had been as open and honest with me as I was with him from the get-go. So here I am, two months out and back on the market for a meaningful relationship. I’m emotionally exhausted.

 
If you’re emotionally exhausted, I think you probably should hold off on jumping back on the market. Take some time to self-reflect. Continue seeing that therapist, and focus on how and why you ignored signs that your ex had some disabilities about which he wasn’t explicitly forthcoming. And you could think about why it’s so important to you to be financially supported, 100%, and why, if that’s the case, you agreed to marry a man who was $150k in debt and had never held down a full-time job. You need to take some responsibility in the choices you made, in the way you willfully ignored signs that perhaps this wasn’t a great match for you and that this man may have needed more emotional support than you were prepared to give.

His getting sick isn’t about “karma.” What on earth do you think he did to deserve being sick? What white lies did he even tell you? It seems to me the worst he did was withhold some information and you were eager to accept whatever he told you and not press for more because you were so desperate to believe he was the man you’d been searching for, despite very obvious signs to the contrary. You are as responsible in the demise on your relationship as he is. Own that, embrace it, and learn from it. Until you take ownership of your decisions and your behavior, you will not find the relationship you’re looking for.

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

If you’re someone I’ve given advice to in the past, I’d love to hear from you, too. Email me at [email protected] with a link to the original post, and let me know whether you followed the advice and how you’re doing now.

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31 comments… add one
  • bittergaymark

    Bittergaymark January 17, 2017, 1:21 pm

    Okay… wow. Yikes. Just yikes!! This letter is the WORST update EVER! Hello! LW? You, my dear, are living proof that karma is a sad and deluded myth. For fuck’s sake you somehow even made HIS illness all about you…
    .
    Gag.
    Vomit.
    Barf.

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    SpaceySteph January 17, 2017, 1:22 pm

    WWS! So much blame being passed around here. Your boyfriend not being totally honest with you about a disability did not lead to his having a brain hemorrhage, and your leaving him didn’t cause him to have it either. He had a medical issue with a medical cause.
    If you’re still bent on finding someone who can support you, then you should really only date rich, successful dudes in the future so as not to waste the time of regular folks.

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  • avatar

    Howdywiley January 17, 2017, 1:30 pm

    Holy smokes.

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    caramia January 17, 2017, 1:43 pm

    i’m scared for you! karma is going to get you!

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  • avatar

    K January 17, 2017, 2:02 pm

    “Extra time (three hours a day for six days instead of the normal six hours a day for three days).” Either way that’s 18 hours, so while it was time framed in a different way, he didn’t receive “extra time”.

    And, of course he didn’t deserve to get sick.

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      SpaceySteph January 17, 2017, 2:16 pm

      Out of curiosity I did a web search on the California bar testing accommodations… it’s hard to know how strict they are, but examples given include everything from major illnesses to learning disabilities.
      Maybe he got the accommodation for something that the LW knew about but dismissed as minor, like back pain making it difficult for him to sit for 6 hours a day or dyslexia.

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      • avatar

        K January 18, 2017, 11:31 am

        Yeah, that would make sense, since he didn’t actually get extra time but time broken down into smaller increments.

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    Miss MJ January 17, 2017, 2:07 pm

    Everything about this update just depressed me.

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  • avatar

    Fyodor January 17, 2017, 2:13 pm

    “I understand this is how and when my story was meant to end with him, but so unfortunate that it happened the way it did. .”

    That is so creepy.

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  • avatar

    ktfran January 17, 2017, 2:20 pm

    There’s a super nice guy that’s commenting on another letter right now. There is absolutely nothing wrong with him and he’s looking for a good woman to take care of 1950s style. Maybe you two should meet. Because karma.

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      Vathena January 17, 2017, 2:33 pm

      *spit take*

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      SpaceySteph January 17, 2017, 2:36 pm

      Amazing! Yes this LW seems like the right kind of Old Fashioned Woman for the Good Guy on the other thread.

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      RedRoverRedRover January 17, 2017, 2:45 pm

      Hahahaha perfect!

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    • Dear Wendy

      Dear Wendy January 17, 2017, 3:20 pm

      This is why I published this update today — thought it was a good complement to the reignited thread and the good ol’ boy commenting on it.

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      • avatar

        ktfran January 17, 2017, 3:59 pm

        Lol! I had a feeling that might be the case. You’re awesome.

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    • avatar

      Kate January 17, 2017, 3:30 pm

      There’s a lid for every pot, they say!

      I would love if they wrote to Wendy for each other’s contact info and we had ANOTHER update regarding their nuptials!

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  • TaraMonster

    TaraMonster January 17, 2017, 3:45 pm

    This LW is a whackadoo.
    “Blah blah he became mean, suddenly I know how much debt he has, breakup and engagement ring info, random therapy story, MAJOR MEDICAL CRISIS, family drama, oh btw he lied about his disability, I’m so open and honest!, and now I’m tired.”
    Cool story, bro.

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  • Dear Wendy

    Dear Wendy January 17, 2017, 4:20 pm

    From the LW:

    I AM NO LONGER EMOTIONALLY EXHAUSTED. I WAS UP UNTIL A MONTH AGO, BUT NOT ANYMORE. UPON SELF REFLECTION, I DID COME TO THE CONCLUSION THAT I WAS AS MUCH FAULT AS HE WAS FOR IT NOT WORKING OUT BETWEEN US. IN RETROSPECT, I SHOULD HAVE NEVER CONTINUED WITH A GUY WHO TELLS ME AT THE PARTY WE MET AT THAT HE’S AN ATTORNEY, WHEN IN FACT, HE IS A PERPETUAL BAR EXAM TAKER LIVING WITH HIS FATHER. WHEN SOMEONE TELLS YOU THEY ARE AN ATTORNEY– YOU AT THE VERY LEAST FIGURE HE HAS A CAREER AND IS FINANCIALLY WELL. THAT WAS RED FLAG 1. THEN HE TELLS ME HE LIVES IN A CONDO WHICH IS NOT TRUE, HE LIVED IN AN APARTMENT WITH HIS FATHER. RED FLAG 2. I GUESS I WAS OUT OF A RELATIONSHIP FOR SO LONG THAT I WENT ALONG WITH IT WHEN HE CAME CLEAN ABOUT THESE TWO THINGS SO I JUST WENT FOR IT NOT THINKING VERY RATIONALLY OR THE LONG TERM EFFECTS. HE WAS SO CONVINCING THAT HE WAS SO CLOSE IN POINTS TO PASSING THE BAR AND THAT HE WILL PASS AND BECOME AN ATTORNEY AND BE A GOOD PROVIDER FOR US, THAT I BELIEVED HIM. AFTER 2 MORE FAILED BAR EXAMS WHILE HE WAS WITH ME, THAT’S WHERE I STARTED TO REALIZE HOW WRONG I AM FOR BEING WITH SOMEONE WHO DOESN’T HAVE HIS SHIT TOGETHER AND IN SUCH A FANTASY LAND IF YOU WILL. AS A FRIEND OF MINE ALWAYS SAID, “WHY DON’T YOU BE WITH SOMEONE WITH BETTER LIFE CONDITIONS? AND NEVER MARRY POTENTIAL”. WELL IT TOOK SOME TIME FOR MY BRAIN TO CATCH UP WITH MY HEART. MY AGE MAY HAVE MADE ME DESPERATE TO MAKE IT WORK, WHEN IT WAS SO CLEAR THAT IT IS NOT MEANT FOR OBVIOUS REASONS. NOT ONLY WAS HE NOT THE MOST HONEST GUY AND LIED TO ME SO AS TO NOT FEEL INADEQUATE (WHICH DOESN’T MAKE IT RIGHT) SO AS TO BAIT ME INTO DATING HIM. THE OTHER COMPONENT WAS THAT WE DIDN’T HAVE THE FINANCIAL FIREPOWER TO MAKE IT TOGETHER. I’M NOT MAKING SIX FIGURES. I AM ONLY ABLE TO HANDLE MY OWN PERSONAL EXPENSES. SO I WOULND’T REALLY BE ABLE TO OFFER MUCH FINANCIALLY, IF AT ALL, IN THE WAY OF MARRIAGE. AND THE THERAPIST TOLD ME THE WAY THAT I FEEL LOVED IN A RELATIONSHIP IS WHEN THE MAN IS THE PROVIDER. I GUESS IT’S WHAT I GREW UP WITH AND SAW BETWEEN MY OWN PARENTS AND FAMILY DYNAMICS. ME AND HIM COME FROM VERY DIFFERENT BACKGROUNDS. AND AS FAR AS THE BAR ACCOMODATIONS HE GOT — I DIDN’T THINK ANYTHING OF IT. I JUST THOUGHT IT WAS A CHOICE BAR EXAM TAKERS HAD. SUPER NAIVE OF ME. NOT UNTIL RECENTLY I MENTIONED IT TO MY ATTORNEY FRIENDS AND THEY TOLD ME ACCOMODATIONS ARE ONLY MADE FOR SOMEONE WITH DISABILITY, I WAS IN SHOCK. I TOOK IT UPON MYSELF TO GO ONLINE AND RESEARCH ABOUT IT FURTHER, WHICH CONFIRMED THIS. I LITERALLY CAME TO THIS FINDING WHEN HE WAS IN THE HOSPITAL. I FEEL THAT IS A MAJOR HOLDING OF INFORMATION. WHY WOULDN’T YOU SHARE YOUR MENTAL AND PHYSICAL HEALTH PROBLEMS WITH SOMEONE YOU ARE GOING TO MARRY? WHY WOULD ANYONE DO THAT? I UNDERSTAND HIS SAH HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH ME AND EVERYTHING TO DO WITH HIS HEALTH PROBLEMS (WHATEVER THEY MAY HAVE BEEN– I DON’T KNOW). AND I DIDN’T MEAN TO THROWN IN KARMA IN THE WAY THAT IT WAS TAKEN. I JUST HAD A FRIEND MENTION THAT MAYBE ALL HIS LYING TO PEOPLE, NOT JUST YOU CREATED BAD KARMA FOR HIM. SHE PUT IT IN MY HEAD. BUT I KNOW THAT HIS ILLNESS HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH KARMA, AND EVERYTHING TO DO WITH SOME MEDICAL ISSUES. SO YES, DEAR WENDY, IT WAS AS MUCH MY FAULT AS IT WAS HIS THAT THE RELATIONSHIP WAS BOUND TO FAIL. THE OTHER LIES WERE THAT WHAT HE TOLD ME WHAT HE HAD IN SAVINGS DID NOT MATCH UP TO WHAT HE SHOWED ME. RED FLAG 3. SOMETHING TOLD ME, ASK HIM HOW MUCH HE HAS IN SAVINGS, THAT’S WHY I DID– PLUS SHOULDN’T COUPLES DISCLOSE THAT KIND OF INFORMATION BEFORE MARRIAGE? SOMETHING ALSO TOLD ME TO ASK HIM IF HE’S IN ANY KIND OF DEBT, WHICH I DID, AND WAS NOT PLEASED BY THE ANSWER. I GUESS LIKE ATTRACTS LIKE. WE WERE TOO ALIKE IN THE WAY OF FINANCIALLY JUST MAKING IT. WHAT I MAKE ALL GOES TOWARDS MY EXPENSES WITHOUT ANYTHING LEFT OVER FOR A RAINY DAY OR SAVINGS AND HIM TOO. ONLY DIFFERENCE BETWEEN US IN THIS REGARD IS THAT I COME FROM A FAMILY THAT BOUGHT A SECOND CONDO– WHICH I’M LIVING IN AND I JUST PAY FOR MY OWN EXPENSES OF DWP, GROCERIES, CABLE, CREDIT CARD BILLS, CAR NOTE, INSURANCE ETC. OH AND THAT I HAVE A TRACK RECORD OF STEADY FULL TIME JOBS FOR WHICH I HAVE BEEN EMPLOYED YEARS AT A TIME; HE NEVER HAS. I NEVER UNDERSTOOD WHY AT THE LAST CONCERT WE WENT TO HE WAS LOOKING AROUND THE ENTIRE NIGHT, TOTALLY NON-PRESENT. WHEN I CONFRONTED HIM, HE DENIED IT. HE WAS NEVER ABLE TO MAKE ME FEEL SAFE, HEARD, AND UNDERSTOOD. IF I KEPT ASKING HIM ABOUT SOMETHING, IT MEANT IT WAS UNRESOLVED FOR ME, BUT HE DIDN’T COMFORT ME OR DIDN’T KNOW HOW. I FELT DISRESPECTED AND I ASSURE YOU IF I DID THAT TO HIM, HE WOULD FEEL THE SAME. AND I NEVER FORGET THE TIME THAT I HAD A DENTAL SURGERY WHILE HAVING A COLD AT THE SAME TIME– HE TOLD ME HE WOULD TAKE ME AND CALLED ME 10 MINUTES PRIOR TO LET ME KNOW HE CAN’T MAKE IT. SO I HAD TO DRIVE MYSELF TO MY APPOINTMENT AS BAD AND RUN DOWN AS I WAS FEELING. IN RETROSPECT, THE TIME I TOOK TO REFLECT ON MY RELATIONSHIP WITH HIM, BROUGHT TO LIGHT HOW WRONG WE ARE FOR EACH OTHER AND HOW FINANCIALY UNREADY HE WAS FOR MARRIAGE.

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    • avatar

      Ange January 17, 2017, 5:00 pm

      Well this changes my mind completely. LW you were absolutely right in continuing a relationship with a man you knew was wrong for you ages ago, you were even more right in forcing it to the point of therapy when again, ages ago, you knew he wasn’t right for you and disparage him every chance you get. Nothing like an all caps rant to really push the point of who is in the right. Because that’s all that matters isn’t it, that you’re right?

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    • avatar

      SpaceySteph January 17, 2017, 5:31 pm

      I get it. He said he was an attorney, you saw dollar signs, and then when it turned out to be a lie you…. stayed with him for a few more years. I take it back, I still don’t get it.

      P.S. you know who definitely wouldn’t have time to take you to the dentist while you had a cold? A big, fancy attorney. There’s a balance between financial support and emotional support. Very few people have the resources to provide both in the quantities you seem to crave.

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      • avatar

        LisforLeslie January 18, 2017, 7:16 am

        BGM – participation award! LOVE. IT.

        SS – the notion that all attorneys bring in big $$$ is a big fat lie. Which makes this update even more eye rolling. Big law firms have trimmed their rolls. High paying jobs go to ivy league-ers. who worked on Law Review. Everyone else gets legal review work at $22 an hour.

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        Kate January 18, 2017, 8:09 am

        Yeah, CNN just had an article about the 15 highest paying jobs, with Anesthiologist being #1. Radiologist and GP were also on there. So was Sales and Marketing Director. Attorney was not. You want a doctor or a guy with a good track record in Sales, not a lawyer.

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        SpaceySteph January 18, 2017, 11:07 am

        Medicine is a high paying profession, yes, but many graduate with a ton of student loan debt which puts at least a small dent in that big fat paycheck.

        Could it be– gasp– that you can’t tell the health of a guy’s stock portfolio solely by what he does for a living? It’s almost as if they’re trying to make it difficult for the LW to bag a sugar daddy!

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    • bittergaymark

      Bittergaymark January 17, 2017, 8:11 pm

      Actually, LW, I now wonder at what point you revealed your own learning disabilities to him? (That update was a mess of poor grammar.). Oh — snd just when exactly did you clue him into you being a gold digger?

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      • bittergaymark

        Bittergaymark January 17, 2017, 8:18 pm

        I also sure do hope — for your sake!! – that you havr tits and ass to die for — as that’s what it takes to be a trophy wife. Somehow, I rather suspect you are more of a “participation award…”

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      • bittergaymark

        Bittergaymark January 17, 2017, 8:19 pm

        I also sure do hope — for your sake!! – that you have tits and ass to die for — as that’s what it takes to be a trophy wife. Somehow, I rather suspect you are more of a “participation award…”

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      • avatar

        Kate January 17, 2017, 8:21 pm

        Not Miss Congeniality anyway.

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      Fyodor January 17, 2017, 8:23 pm

      His bad finances have left her so desperate she can’t even afford to fix her caps lock.

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  • avatar

    Janelle January 17, 2017, 5:06 pm

    LW. I do agree that with feeling secure in a relationship if I am “taken care of”. Now that means a lot of things. Sure I would love to be at home with my children (when I have them, if) and would avoid going into a situation (be that having children or being with someone) if I felt that might not be an option. THIS is because I hated not having my mother home as a child, she often worked two jobs, and didn’t want that for my children. That being said if it didn’t work out that way, then, oh well, but I would go into a relationship with that shared goal at least, a desire to have mom home with the children regardless of it becomes a reality.
    All that being said, being taken care of is not just about money. My ex of 10 years and I took care of each other. Sometimes he supported me financially in certain ways, sometimes I supported him financially. When I wasn’t working when the economy tanked I did EVERYTHING for him. The man once called me to ask his ATM PIN number. I felt that was what was right and I cared about him. I wanted to take care of every single thing for him since he was helping me financially. I have also taken care of him through health issues, as he has with me. I have on the side of my full time job ran three companies he has owned for no pay to get them off the ground. Happily. Give and take.

    I think you may be confusing financially taking care of someone with someone who will stand by you and take care of you, while you take care of them, through it all.

    I think if you rethink your goal to have someone who is your PARTNER and who cares for you the way you care for them, you might just find the right kind of person.

    I see why people are complaining about that comment but I suspect that isn’t quite the reality of what you mean.

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  • avatar

    LisforLeslie January 17, 2017, 6:30 pm

    I remember the original letter and how confused I was that a woman in her 40’s with her own career could possibly think that a man should be the provider. I’m even more befuddled by the update and all caps update.

    LW you missed the first window to find a sugar daddy. At 40 you need to start looking for men in their 60’s who have either recently divorced or are widowed. They will have kids. They will take Viagra. They will want you to take care of the home and in return they will give you a credit card. The women in their circle of friends will cluck at you behind your back because they know precisely why you married him.

    If you’re not already in Scottsdale AZ or Boca Raton FL – it’s time for you to move.

    Good luck.

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  • Moneypenny

    Moneypenny January 17, 2017, 7:10 pm

    Geez, no wonder he didn’t tell you about his disability. (Which I take to be a learning disability?) He probably thought you’d judge him too harshly for it and wanted to try to pass the bar without you finding out about it. If your financial neediness comes across so strongly in these two updates he probably felt it all along in your year+ relationship- which is sad. I feel sad for the guy, frankly, that he was involved with someone as superficial as yourself for so long. Hopefully he makes a full recovery.

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