Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

Updates: “Looking For More” 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 “Looking For More,” the widow who was seeing a widower who just wanted to have sex and be friends (and date other people) while the LW was looking for more. “When I’m with him, he’s very caring and generous, so part of me says why not be happy as long as I know it will never be anything more. The other part of me thinks he’s enjoying the sex too much. He says that he doesn’t date me for sex and that he cares about me. How did I get to be so stupid and why can’t I just walk away?” Keep reading to see whether she’s still seeing the noncommittal widower.

It’s been a while since I wrote and so far I’ve continued seeing “Jack” while he has also been seeing the other woman. She has no idea he sleeps with me — she doesn’t ask. I, on the other hand, know everything. This makes her sweet and loving to him, and me the bitch because I have to envision him doing to her what he does with me. It has gotten to the point that this is harder for me to do. I caught him in a bit of an evasive answer. He told me he went kayaking. I asked him whom he went with. He said a kayak friend. Up until a few weeks ago she hadn’t been to his house as she lives an hour away. I asked him if she’s now been to the house, he said yes, and I said: “She went kayaking with you..right?” Right. And she slept in the bed I’ve been sleeping in.I told him I will never sleep there again — that I wasn’t stupid. We had the big talk the other night and I told him he should just leave me and be with her — that I can’t be intimate anymore as it is too hurtful to have him sleep with her one night then back to me two days later. He asked why we can’t still be friends as he misses me when I’m away. I don’t think I can do it and what kind of a man is he that he basically lies to her?

I truly wish she would find out what he’s doing. At least she could decide if it’s ok with her. It’s not ok with me and I think I deserve better.

This is so hard for me to say goodby though I know I have to as it is an awful situation and ultimately I will be the loser. I’m already the loser — the sex buddy. After having a wonderful husband, how did I get here? How do I do this?

You’re not a loser. You’re someone who found a person who made her feel less alone after the death of a beloved husband. You enjoyed Jack’s company and the intimacy he provided. And for his part, Jack really didn’t lie to you. He told you early on he didn’t want to be exclusive and that he was seeing someone else. You wanted to believe that if he were a good person and if he really liked you, he would eventually commit to you. He never led you to believe that would happen though. And now you’ve accepted that, and it’s time to move on. Wanting to believe something, having hope that you’d found a relationship that could make you happy — those things don’t make you a loser. You are a little rusty in the dating game, and that’s understandable. Don’t get too discouraged. Brush yourself off, put yourself back out there, and next time believe someone if he tells you that what he’s looking for isn’t the same as what you’re looking for.

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If you’re someone I’ve given advice to in the past, I’d love to hear from you, too. Email me at wendy@dearwendy.com 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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8 comments… add one
  • avatar

    Ale August 7, 2017, 3:14 pm

    You’re not a loser LW. You’re braver than you think you are because you have acknowledged that you deserve better and have walked away from a situation that was hurting you. MILLIONS of people are incapable of doing this and you did it, you are not a loser.
    Please don’t let him make you feel like you’re not worth it. You’re very valuable and someone will come along who will appreciate that. Take some time for yourself and then go back to dating.

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  • redessa

    redessa August 7, 2017, 4:15 pm

    Wendy, it says near the end – those things “to” make you a loser. I think you meant to write, “those things [don’t] make you a loser.”

    And they don’t LW. You had a long marriage to a good man. I can’t imagine how difficult it must be to be alone after all that time. You were grieving and vulnerable when you turned to someone familiar for companionship, comfort, and affection. He’s turned out not to be the kind of man you were hoping for. That’s disappointing, but not something to get down on yourself about.

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  • juliecatharine

    Juliecatharine August 7, 2017, 4:26 pm

    Webdy and the other commenters are dead on. OP I think you’re doing amazingly well. You lost your husband and you’re getting back out there with self respect. Frankly you are eons ahead of most single people and you should be kinder to yourself! It’s hard to open yourself up to new people/relationships and I think you’re doing great even though things with this guy didn’t work out. You’re not in denial and you’re not compromising yourself. That’s huge!! You two wanted different things and that’s ok.

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  • avatar

    Another Jen August 7, 2017, 8:11 pm

    There is nothing embarrassing or losery about caring for people…even if they don’t reciprocate to the same degree. Try treating yourself with the same compassion you’d show a friend who went through this. You’d offer comfort…not call them a loser. So, you’re a bit heart-broken…nobody feels the pain of it but you. This was a hard rebound. You hit the ground, knocked the wind out of yourself, and you survived. All of this makes you wiser about what you need to be happy.

    aj

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  • avatar

    LisforLeslie August 8, 2017, 6:53 am

    You’re not the loser here. You have clear sight and the full picture. You are able to make choices that are right for you.

    Although I realize this situation hurts, at least you don’t have the wool pulled over your eyes.

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  • avatar

    Essie August 8, 2017, 9:35 am

    I’m not seeing how any of this makes you a loser. You wanted a monogamous relationship. He doesn’t want one. Neither of you are wrong, or bad. You’re just not compatible.

    Most of the bad stuff that happens in our lives comes with a lesson. The lesson for you in this relationship is (to paraphrase Maya Angelou): “When someone tells you who they are, believe them.” You knew he wanted an FWB relationship, but you kept hoping he’d change. That’s a recipe for heartbreak.

    End this. Free yourself to meet men who want the same things you do. And above all, don’t date people who DON’T want what you do. Don’t date men who would have to change in some fundamental way for the relationship to work. Date men who are what you want, right now.

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  • avatar

    Leslie Joan August 10, 2017, 5:09 pm

    You’re not a loser, LW, but you’re also only making your own self miserable by continually going in the same circle. You know what he’s doing, you are not okay with it, and you keep on raging about it but you don’t want to break it off. You were vigorous in castigating the first other bedmate, because she’s been married 3 times and so you think “she knows how to get her hooks in a man”?!!! I assure you, it takes two people to get married, and your part-time fella doesn’t seem at all interested in getting hitched, so being critical of the woman seems irrelevant.

    Guys his age are in short supply. It’s simple demographics. He can pretty much have what he wants, and if you don’t go along with it, there will be others willing to take your place. That’s not a criticism of you and what’s important to you, it’s just a pragmatic statement of the facts. You can’t force anybody else to share your values or preferences, you can only choose for yourself.

    No one said it would be easy to walk away from him, but you are just consumed with jealousy when you’re with him. Make the choice, and own your choice, and live with the result. It’s all any adult can do.

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