Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

Updates: “Missing my Salvation” 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 “Missing my Salvation,” whose boyfriend of four years — a man she’d known her entire life who had never shown signs of being abusive — beat her one evening during a heated argument. “I want to be mad, but I just cannot connect that the man who hurt me with the man who has loved me all these years. […] I have never felt such emotional pain like this before. My daughter misses him so much. I know that even though HE did this, he is not this horrible person. […] I have easily walked away from bad relationships before, but this is truly the love of my life.” After the jump, find out how she’s doing today and whether she has walked away from the “love of her life.”

Several months have passed since I wrote to you and while my situation has not come to any definitive conclusion, I felt it best I finally give an update. First, you cannot imagine the warmth in my heart that I felt when I read your honest advice and it became clear that you did not just respond with a quick answer, but thought long and hard about every detail I included in my letter to you. At the time I did not feel comfortable confiding in anyone, but I was able to turn to you and receive invaluable advice. I cannot find the words to thank you enough or stress how much you helped me.As to your specific advice, I agree your answer was a controversial one, however, I am glad that you realized that this was not just “any other circumstance” to MOA but that there were so many factors at play that for me did not easily allow me to just MOA without thought. For the real update: I have not jumped back into a relationship with him. He has continued to attend therapy and anger management and provided me with some of what he has learned. Of course, he is still not living with us and I have kept a safe distance while allowing him the chance to possibly prove/redeem himself. I am happy to report I have taken ALL of your advice and continue to soul-search as you put it. I am not sure what will happen in the long-term, but I think what has transpired since I wrote to you are only good, productive things on his part and smart decisions on mine. My daughter (who remains my absolute number one priority) misses him terribly, but they have been able to see each other from time to time (in public places with me present) and write to each other on an e-mail account I created for that purpose (which is monitored by me of course). I do hope that one day I will know that it’s the right decision to be the family we once were again, but I’m just not there yet. Maybe I will never be. But for now, I am proud of what I have done so far.

I would like to respond to some of the things mentioned in the comments. I could not understand why some of the people claimed I was lying about it being the first time this happened or about other things I had written. I assure you that everything I wrote was honest and not clouded by anything. From what I have tried to learn about typical abuse cycles, etc., I was not even close to being in one. I truly do not believe he was a manipulative person. Just to clarify, I only used to word “salvation” because I could not think of a better word to demonstrate who he was to us. I did not intend for it to sound as creepy, pathetic or dependent as it must have. He also did not get me to quit my job or alienate me from anyone ever or anything at all like that. I never was and never would be financially dependent on anyone. I was as independent from before I met him to today and blessed with close family and friends. My independence was one of the things he admired about me when we first got together. Aside from that, many of the comments were so appreciated and helpful, and if nothing else, it was nice to hear people hoping to give me some strength.

I would love to reply to every single person who wrote in, but I think I am writing too much as it is. One that really stuck out to me was Waters Edge, so thank you. Kare listing the National Domestic Violence information and questions were very helpful as well. I did not answer yes to any of the questions, aside from the obvious one. I hope no one thinks I ignored any of the advice that maybe one would think I didn’t want to hear either. I heard you all loud and clear and continue to read the advice and take one day at a time. I will end with saying I hope that if anyone else is ever in the position I was, that they are able to find this post. Thank you again, Wendy. If ever a stranger runs up to you on the street asking for a hug, its me.

 
Thank you so much for your update and for your kind words. Your letter was one that stuck with me and you’ve been in my thoughts these last few months. I hope you continue to find peace and are able to move forward, making decisions you feel confident are best for yourself and your daughter.

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.

15 comments… add one
  • avatar

    melikeycheesecake September 29, 2011, 12:13 pm

    Wow. What a moving update. You’re in my prayers LW. Best wishes!

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    Amy September 29, 2011, 12:13 pm

    I feel so warm inside – that was such a touching update. I wish you happiness and joy!

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    JennyTalia September 29, 2011, 12:21 pm

    “If ever a stranger runs up to you on the street asking for a hug, its me.” Love it.

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    Miss Lynn September 29, 2011, 12:32 pm

    LW, I agree with your point that some readers/commenters are quick to judge and automatically assume that the letter is not the whole truth but a sugar-coated version of it, or that there has to be more shady details to the story. Luckily, most of the readers/commenters are understanding, fair, and firm in their advice which is what is so great about this site. But you will always have those with opposing opinions, no matter what the topic is. Just the yin and yang of the universe I suppose. Best wishes.

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  • landygirl

    Landygirl September 29, 2011, 1:17 pm

    LW, you are very inspiring, I hope more people follow your example.

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    oldie September 29, 2011, 1:47 pm

    A moving update, but I don’t think the issues are all being addressed. The ex-bf is undergoing anger management and general counseling, which is all too the good, but since the physical assault was triggered by both alcohol and words from LW, which she describes as intentionally vicious and intended to make him as angry as she was, two other steps seem warranted. He should enroll in AA, perhaps they both should. LW needs counseling on how to resolve fights and settle issues constructively, rather than deliberately escalating the anger. I think they would be wise to limit their drinking to a single wine. These steps should minimize the odds of another physical assault — a possibility that is still present.

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      honeybeenicki September 29, 2011, 2:01 pm

      Unless they are alcoholics (which is doesn’t appear to be the case) AA is not going to be very helpful. It may be helpful for them to ask their therapists to conduct an AODA evaluation, though.

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      • avatar

        honeybeenicki September 29, 2011, 2:02 pm

        Just ignore the “is” from the first sentence.

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    SGMcG September 29, 2011, 1:48 pm

    I TOTALLY remember this letter and voicing concern over the word “salvation.” When I first wrote my initial response, I was so ANGRY about what happened to you, the severity of what occurred and what it could have meant to your daughter – the salvation he provided was the last thing I wanted to hear about from someone who beat you. I can only imagine the beginning of the complex emotions you were feeling yourself LW. I think you’re being really smart in your approach about how to deal with him – and continue doing whatever it takes to make certain you’re damn sure of the next step. The contemplative caution, practiced patience and independence your exercising now, is a great example to your daughter. May you and her continue to be the family you already are and may you both have the happiness you deserve.

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    RMM0278 September 29, 2011, 2:38 pm

    I was one of the commenters who registered concern about the word “salvation” and his desire to help her financially. I still stand by what I said on both counts.

    I understand she didn’t mean to come off as dependent, however, that was the best word she could find to describe him. I still don’t think that’s a good thing. She is/was in (supposedly) a relationship of equals. Using that word certainly didn’t sound like it. She had a good life before him, and she can have an equally good life without him. He may make it easier for her financially but that doesn’t rob her of the power to make a good life on her own. It’s still very telling.

    Which brings me to my next point. I believe the original letter said, “He believed I worked hard enough as a young single mom and his goal became making my life happy, full and easier.” Yes this sounds very valiant and generous. But for women who have been abused, cutting off financial support is one way they get trapped. Sure he never overtly asked her to quit her job or anything, but that doesn’t mean he has sincere motives in saying something like that.

    I applaud her for not immediately running back into his arms. I also applaud her for reconsidering a relationship. I still maintain, however, a relationship with someone like this just isn’t possible. He had it in him to do something like this. He’s capable of inflicting pain and anguish on her. Yes it’s great he’s going to anger management and other counseling. I sincerely hope he’s doing it for himself and not just another perfunctory measure to get her back.

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    • avatar

      splashes September 29, 2011, 8:53 pm

      “He believed I worked hard enough as a young single mom and his goal became making my life happy, full and easier.”

      Why are you automatically assuming this means in a financial only way? Why can’t this mean helping out around the house, babysitting, just making her life easier? I try to make my boyfriend’s life happy, full and easier too – doesn’t mean I give him money. Sometimes I bring dinner when he’s working late, help him clean, help put away dishes, plan activities on weekends…

      She addressed the “financial concerns” in her update and said she remained and is still financially independent, so why are you reiterating concern over him making her financially dependent on him?

      Geez…just be happy she’s being sensible and thoughtful in remaking her life without him in it in the same way instead of trying to pound her over the head with something that she did not say.

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    Calle September 29, 2011, 4:37 pm

    It is possible that he was coked up and just didn’t admit it…I know a guy who was totally even tempered and he snapped and beat the heck out his roommate…He had never been in a fight before or anything along those lines. Anyway, he got into rehab and is okay now but if someone flips out with no history, that may be the answer.

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    GTR September 30, 2011, 12:06 am

    It’s worth noting that men who habitually abuse women don’t go to anger management classes and therapy. They justify, explain, rationalise and emotionally manipulate… they don’t try to change.

    They also don’t hang around. They need someone to victimise. The fact that he’s still on the scene seven months later, rather than MOAing to another woman, is very informative.

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    BGD September 30, 2011, 12:51 pm

    As a woman that has been in an abusive relationship and got myself out I wish the best for the LW. However, I do want to make a point that when I was still semi-involved in the abusive relationship (left the home, on my own but still talking to him) I was attending counseling and support groups and I was saying the same exact things. “I’m not like these other women”, “From what I have tried to learn about typical abuse cycles, etc., I was not even close to being in one”, “I truly do not believe he was a manipulative person.”. Until I completely removed myself from him all together was I then able to realize that I was exactly like any of the women I was with in the support group. I guess I don’t see the reason to stay with this man. Yes people make mistakes but is this one that is forgivable? I honestly can say no. My opinion only… of course and I’m trying to not be too harsh. But the LW is spending so much effort and time on this guy. I say there is a lot of fish in the sea and that I’m surprised that she would want to take a chance that her daughter might grow up thinking that it was acceptable. You can’t fix everything… maybe its time to just say goodbye and MOA. Stop clinging to how it was because it can’t go back to that.

    GTR – yes they do hang around and yes they do go to anger management and therapy. Mine did all that and plenty do but there is no way to know if it really worked until the next time… why give them a next time to try? Why do we have to be so needy to hang on when there are so many other men in this world?

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    WatersEdge October 1, 2011, 2:52 pm

    Sorry to be late to this thread LW. It’s been a crazy week and I no longer get DW at work. Thanks for the shout-out. I’m honored to have been of help.

    Sometimes, good people do bad things. Good on you for making him figure his shit out before you let him back into your life. Unlike what some of the other commentors on here seem to think, there ARE some people who hit once and then learn that it is a terrible thing to do and then they never do it again. Not everyone who hits once will hit again. Just like not everyone who cheats once will do it again. People can change if they really want to. Keep being careful with him and I think you’re doing the right thing.

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