Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

Updates: “Miss Independence” Responds

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 “Miss Independence” who wrote way back in February of last year, complaining about her clingy boyfriend. “He gets upset if I make lunch plans with someone else or if I want to spend a night by myself (he thinks we should spend every night together).” She wrote, “When I explain that I need time to myself, he gets real quiet and then says something like, ‘You know that I don’t like that.’ Then he wants to compromise by ‘giving’ me the evening to myself, but then sleeping over anyway. And if I don’t like that, then I’m being ‘stubborn’ or ‘mean.'”

I saw you needed updates, and because you were so helpful and honest in your reply, I am happy to give you an update. You gave me some advice on my boyfriend and his “clingy” habits. I didn’t feel he was controlling until you and all your lovely and concerned readers pointed it out. Then I noticed more and more you were right.

While I agreed whole-heartedly that his behavior was a problem, and while I found the comments and personal stories of the readers to be eye-opening, I wasn’t in the emotional or mental state to MOA. You see, it was still hard to mentally relate my situation (which had previously been frustrating, and nothing dire) to the horrible examples I was being given.
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For the next four months we had some on-and-off struggles. I would tell him where his boundaries were, he would verbally accept them, and then he would undermine them. Then I found out that he’d been propositioning a few women for sex. As far as I know, he never physically cheated. No one would take him up on his offer. When I confronted him about it, he denied it. Then he said it was just because he was stressed. Then he said it was because he wasn’t getting enough from me. He wanted to be my world, but I did things like go see my friend on the fourth of July instead of spend time with him and his family.

Then I broke up with him. I don’t regret that it took me four more months [after I wrote for advice] to figure him out. That experience was good. Frustrating, yes, but I learned a lot. Now I’m more aware of what I truly should not compromise on, and I’m receptive to the warning signs.

 
I’m glad the advice you read last year settled in and you began to see your boyfriend for the tool he was. I’m sorry it took finding out about his propositioning women for sex to MOA, but it sounds like you learned a lot and will notice potential warning signs that much sooner in the future (but hopefully you won’t have to). Thanks 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 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.

9 comments… add one
  • avatar

    TECH June 4, 2012, 1:07 pm

    I’m glad this LW wrote in now. It’s been over a year since we gave her advice, and sometimes that’s how long it takes to give a true, solid update. Some people write in a couple weeks after we give advice. It’s better to wait at least a few months until things properly unfold and resolve themselves.

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  • bagge72

    bagge72 June 4, 2012, 1:16 pm

    Nice job LW, good for you! People need time to themselves, and that is OK!

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  • avatar

    ktfran June 4, 2012, 1:20 pm

    I’m happy for you LW.

    Also, everyone needs to end things in their own time. I’m glad you finally realized that this guy’s behavior was unacceptable and M’dOA. Fours months really isn’t that long.

    I just read your original letter and some of the comments. How did he take it? Did he become a creepy stalker?

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  • iwannatalktosampson

    iwannatalktosampson June 4, 2012, 2:06 pm

    I would also like to request forum updates.

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  • rilooyah

    rilooyah June 4, 2012, 2:26 pm

    I second the forum updates! And using the original tag line! yesss

    And LW, I too would like to know whether he became crazy-stalker-tastic. And strangely, I have found (in my experience, nobody jump on me for this) that the controlling ones are the very good looking ones.

    Im so glad you realized (in your own time) that such controlling behavior is unacceptable (and likely to only escalate). I TOTALLY dated a guy like this in undergrad (and moved in with him in Sept and broke up with him on Halloween over his antics) and it is amazing how when you are young you rationalize it in your mind- “but he loooooves me so much, he doesnt want me around other guys,” “he looooves me so much that he wants to be with me all the time cause he miiiiiisses me sooooo much.” Blah, ***shaking my head in disgust at the memories***

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  • Fabelle

    Fabelle June 4, 2012, 2:31 pm

    This is a good update– I’m glad the advice sort of slowly sunk in, & I think this sounds really self-aware: “You see, it was still hard to mentally relate my situation (which had previously been frustrating, and nothing dire) to the horrible examples I was being given.” Good for you, LW!

    (Hope this doesn’t sound like a condescending head pat, but seriously, I think the mature updates need some kind of “Hey, good job, you!”)

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  • katie

    katie June 4, 2012, 2:36 pm

    i just went and read this original letter again.

    good for you for getting out a terrible situation! even if he never became dangerous, im sure that kind of person would be NO fun to be with. i like to have a nice group of people in my life all the time. i couldnt handle just one all the time.

    yay!

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  • sobriquet

    sobriquet June 4, 2012, 3:59 pm

    I think you handled the situation very well, even though it took a few months to truly figure out what was going on. If you had broken up with him 4 months ago because a bunch of people on the internet told you to, you may have had doubts down the line. Now you know for sure.

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  • avatar

    Caris June 4, 2012, 10:11 pm

    Yay updates! I SO Want to know what happened with that guy that was living with his fiance and friend. That was forever ago, we should have an update on how things went!

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