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.
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 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.