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 “Cross Cultural Divide” a woman from Belgium who originally wrote in when her Croatian fiancé wanted her to spend her entire two-week vacation with his family in Croatia. She complained that his friends and family don’t try to speak English with her even though they can and that she works hard and would like to spend part of her vacation relaxing by herself or with her own friends. She updated us once the vacation was over, and now she has a new update.
Things have progressed and in a very good way. Shortly after the holiday, we decided to stop working together as a team. Once we went our separate ways, it became clear how much being colleagues had put a serious strain on our relationship. Sure, we have a great creative vibe between us, but the romance was suffering since we were working or talking about work most of the time. We also had a sexist boss who didn’t ever give me any credit, further adding fuel to my stress (I would get angry and my boyfriend would try calm me down, making me wonder if he truly understood what I was up against). I also think, looking back now, that the need to be alone with him on the holiday itself stemmed from these problems.
Right now, he’s working full-time and I am working freelance, which means that, at times, I don’t work at all – the crisis in Europe takes a toll on creative professions. But I keep myself busy by writing a blog (in Dutch, so I won’t hawk it) and planning our wedding in March! When we come home now, we get to talk about our day, gossip, relax, have a drink and laughs. It’s great.
We also talk a lot about those working-together days, putting things in perspective. We can laugh about it now – though I never want to see that sexist pig again!
Browsing through the comments of the update, I’m again thrilled it sort of sparked a debate about mayo and french fries, two of my favourite things in the world. To address a comment on how I flip between calling him my boyfriend or my fiancé: I feel that mentioning the word ‘fiancé’ all the time is kind of obnoxious (and frankly, pretentious) to listeners. It reminds me of an early Seinfeld episode where some woman at a party keeps asking everyone if they have seen her FIANCE. It’s a temporary term that just won’t grow on me. I even feel weird about calling him my husband in a few weeks, but I guess I’ll get used to that one in time!
Thanks again, Wendy, and the Dear Wendy community. You’ve got a good thing going.
Thanks for the update. I also felt funny about using the word “fiancé” when I was engaged and ended up just referring to Drew as my “boyfriend” most of the time. It was a much easier transition calling him “husband” once we got married. Maybe because it’s not a French word. Anyway, congrats on your upcoming wedding!
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.
If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at email@example.com.