Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

Updates: “No Joking” 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 “No Joking,” a woman who hated her boyfriend’s jokes. “He does a variety of bad puns and forced jokes, usually sexual, and usually during serious/romantic talks.” She wrote. “I’m in this for the long haul so I can’t just break up because I don’t like his jokes. But I’m not sure where we can find middle ground in this issue.” Keep reading to see whether they’ve managed to find middle ground since the letter was published.

First off, I should have been more clear on some things. I should have emphasized that he doesn’t tell jokes during all serious talks and that he does it more during light talks. It’s more like an annoying habit that comes out every now and then but still annoys me when it does. As well, my comment that “humour isn’t important to me” is poorly phrased; what I meant was more like if I had to list five characteristics I value in men, “funny” wouldn’t be one of them. I don’t need him to try to make me laugh; I’d rather we laugh together about silly things like dropping a piece of cake than laughing at each other’s jokes. If that makes more sense? Just before I wrote my letter, I had started ignoring his jokes as many readers suggested. It works, actually. He kind of looks at me expectantly after he cracks a joke but I just look at him for a few seconds and move right on with the conversation. It’s actually very helpful because I don’t get as annoyed…it’s as if I had built a joke-repelling wall around me temporarily so it doesn’t bug me afterwards. As for how he has responded: I’ve tried telling him that I was about to tell him something serious “so please don’t make a joke about it” and that worked. Hopefully, I won’t have to resort to that all the time but I think he’s gotten the hint because recently I said that to him and he responded, “I wasn’t about to!” More importantly, he said that he didn’t realize that his joking around was disrespectful; he simply thought I was just offended or simply didn’t like his jokes. I guess he didn’t realize the severity of things and I probably wasn’t clear enough about it in the first place.

So in conclusion, what I had been aiming for was a better way of handling what I thought of as an annoyance. Ever since I wrote my letter and talked to him, he has cut back all sexual jokes and drops only a few jokes here and there. Which means, unfortunately, I won’t be following most readers’ advice of breaking up because things have gotten much better. Sure, I might not always like his jokes, even if they are non-sexual, but that doesn’t mean I don’t love other great parts of him.

What I greatly appreciated was that some of the comments here really made me think about what I value in him and why I don’t want to break up (since that’s what most people suggested and I considered it seriously too). A simple reason would be because in all fairness, he is the best husband material among all men I dated or know well. But more importantly, I think it’s all about learning to accept someone for who he is. Of course, asking him to make slight adjustments here and there is necessary, but dumping him just because I don’t like something doesn’t feel right to me — if I kept on doing that, I’d be single forever. I didn’t realize this until someone’s comment asked me, “Why would he be in a relationship with someone around whom he’s going to have to censor himself?” I think that pretty much nailed my deepest worry — that it’s unfair for him and I’m being too harsh. He deserves better and I need to treat him better, especially since he has willingly accepted my flaws without complaining or threatening to break up. This I will need to keep reminding myself, but it works miracles whenever I do because gratefulness always wins over resentment.

So thank you, Wendy, and everyone; you guys are amazing.

 
Well, if it works for you guys, then great. (I’d just be careful about making your boyfriend feel like he’s never “allowed” to be funny or make a silly pun here or there. It seems like humoring him from time to time would be preferable over him censoring himself all the time and losing a part of what makes him who he is. There’s a fine line between eliminating offensive jokes and stopping all jokes completely.). Anyway, thanks for the update and best of luck to you!

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.

150 comments… add one
  • avatar

    ReginaRey April 19, 2012, 12:20 pm

    I really don’t mean to mince words or be naggy, but I agree that there’s a VERY fine line between letting some things slide, and purposefully trying to accept something that is always going to annoy you. Annoyances grate, over time, and they can lead to contempt and resentment. And I get the feeling, even in this update, that the LW’s boyfriend may always feel a bit “on guard” around the LW, to make sure he doesn’t say anything offensive or tell a joke that’s in bad taste. And if you’re going to spend your whole life with someone, well, that’s going to make for a lonnnnnnnnnng marriage, that’s for sure.

    Speaking of…”A simple reason would be because in all fairness, he is the best husband material among all men I dated or know well.” Again, I’m not trying to nitpick, but that isn’t exactly the best reason to stay with someone. PLENTY of men can be “great husband material;” but not FOR YOU. My ex boyfriend is going to make some woman a really fantastic husband. He’s GREAT husband material, for sure! But he would have been an awful husband for ME; because I would have been constantly (gee, check this out) annoyed with some of his quirks that grated on me.

    If you can truly accept him for who he is, and not feel that his personal sense of humor is annoying or grating on you, then more power to you. But I have a feeling that you’re less *accepting* of your boyfriend’s humor than you are *trying to ingore it as best you can.* There’s a difference, and it could prove to be critical. Alright, I’ll stop being a nag now.

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    • avatar

      Sue Jones April 19, 2012, 12:39 pm

      I have gotten annoyed in some way by EVERY man I have had a relationship with. It is more a matter of degree. I can deal with the small things, and for the sake of my relationships I have to tune some things out. These are small things, like farting on cue like my husband can ( a rare talent), leaving dirty socks on the floor sometimes which my son also does, etc. vs. the big DEAL BREAKERS. I had a sweet BF who whined so much it grated on my nerves and I could not continue being around him. She just has to know her limits. Sounds like they are working it out. And if you ever have kids, be prepared to be annoyed and you’d better learn to deal. Not sweating the small stuff is a great skill. Save it for the big stuff like money, sex, kids, in-laws…

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      • avatar

        Sue Jones April 19, 2012, 12:43 pm

        Oh and substance abuse. And lying. And cheating. That annoys me too.

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    • Lili

      Lili April 19, 2012, 12:52 pm

      This is REALLY applicable to my current feelings right now ‘that there’s a VERY fine line between letting some things slide, and purposefully trying to accept something that is always going to annoy you. Annoyances grate, over time, and they can lead to contempt and resentment. ‘
      I feel like I’m just now getting over all the things I compromised with regarding my ex’s humor and sarcasm. Its amazing how utterly malleable certain aspects of annoyance can be when the prospect of finding someone else is terrifying. I mean, I don’t know about the LW’s bf, but my ex had some horribly misogynistic jokes that far outnumbered his supportive and uplifting comments about women’s rights. I let them ‘slide’ but didn’t realize how much i internalized over the years. Now, i’m JUST starting to get upset at the fact that one of his fb quotes is a diss to women. Before I laughed at it, but now I’m getting like HULK level angry that he finds it acceptable to minimize and ridicule women so publicly.

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    • avatar

      mf April 19, 2012, 1:35 pm

      Excellent point. I think there’s a difference between quirks/habits your SO might have that are annoying vs. annoyance that stems from incompatible personalities. My fiance leaves his socks and jeans lying around the living ALL.THE.TIME. And yeah, sometimes it bugs me. But our personalities mesh well, so 90% of the time, we can hang out, joke around, and work as a team without unwittingly pestering each other. (And he has a habit of tellingly bad/inappropriate/sexual jokes, so he always says that if I didn’t find him funny, he would probably bug the hell out of me.)

      I’m worried that with this LW, it’s difference personalities rather than habits or preferences. For her sake, I hope that’s but if it is, than neither of them will end up happy in this relationship. We all want to feel accepted by our SO’s, not like they are trying to ignore our quirks in order to tolerate us.

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      • avatar

        mf April 19, 2012, 1:36 pm

        *difference of personalities rather than… And*I hope that’s not the case

        Oy vey. I need to not be lazy and actually try proofreading my comments before I post.

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  • Leroy

    Leroy April 19, 2012, 12:25 pm

    Leroy 1, MOA Fanatics 0

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    • avatar

      ReginaRey April 19, 2012, 12:29 pm

      I don’t remember what you said to this LW, Leory, or what your opinion was, but I’ll take this opportunity to point out that this is a great example of when a LW finds the ONE opinion in a thread of hundreds that they agree with, and cling to it. I don’t mean to say your opinion wasn’t worthwhile, but it’s something that happens far too often in people who just don’t want to hear any opinions besides ones they can agree with. Sigh.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest April 19, 2012, 12:33 pm

        Good point RR. I kind of raised the same issue yesterday on the child porn letter. People will do it no matter what though, but it totally defeats the purpose of sending in a letter if you ask me.

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      • theattack

        theattack April 19, 2012, 2:05 pm

        Leroy was certainly not the only one with that opinion. I made several comments about how it was inappropriate, as did some other commenters. There was certainly a clear division of people with two different opinions, and I really do not think this was a case of finding someone who agrees with her.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest April 19, 2012, 2:25 pm

        Still then, a case of finding the opinion she wants, whether by 1 or many.

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      • theattack

        theattack April 19, 2012, 7:59 pm

        Or maaaaaybe the advice was more applicable to her.

        I just don’t like the attitude of “I know your situation better than you do, anonymous Letter Writer, and you’ll regret that you didn’t take my advice. Anyone who has an idea that differs from mine is wrong.” I know that’s not what ReginaRay was saying above, but I found the comment to be very negative and holier-than-thou. Again, not an attack on anyone specific here.

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      • bittergaymark

        bittergaymark April 19, 2012, 8:53 pm

        Seriously, I so agree with that, theattack!

        I mean come on, people. Get over your fucking selves. The LW liked Leroy’s opinion better than yours… (Better than mine, too, for the record.) Get over it. It’s like some of you are all being childishly pissy that he was right and you were wrong… Wah! Wah! Cry me a fucking river already…

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      • avatar

        Something More April 20, 2012, 9:26 am

        This.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest April 20, 2012, 9:33 am

        Whoa! Whoa! Are people seriously pissy about this? I’m trying to think if I even commented on the original, I don’t think so.
        But you (and theattack) don’t think that a lot of times LWs will seek the opinion or answer they want, right or wrong? I really do. People liked to be assured that they are right. I guess that speaks to what you guys are saying about the commenters, but I do think it also applies to the LWs.

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      • theattack

        theattack April 20, 2012, 2:51 pm

        I think that’s true sometimes. But if someone is writing in with a problem that they truly do want to solve, shouldn’t we give them options instead of just suggesting that they break up immediately? I wrote in this winter wanting suggestions about how to do holidays with my boyfriend (with whom I have a nearly perfect relationship, by the way), and a few people suggested that we break up over it.

        My problems with this are partially cultural. I was raised working class by a mechanic and a nurse in a falling-apart house. If something you owned was broken, you fixed it. You didn’t just give up and go look for something new. I take issue with people treating their otherwise wonderful partners as disposable over small little issues that they can work through together.

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    • Leroy

      Leroy April 19, 2012, 12:37 pm

      I have commissioned a song to commemorate this occasion – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=omFJngNAgQo

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      • avatar

        Marta April 19, 2012, 1:52 pm

        Hooray!

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    • avatar

      Addie Pray April 19, 2012, 12:56 pm

      Shut the front door! I didn’t comment on this letter (a trend with all updates), but Leroy did and LEROY got a shout out?! Today has been an odd one when ever since I woke up at 4:10 am. No offense to Leroy. Can I just complain for a second? Yesterday was a great today and today blows. I’m so hot and cold these days. Is it noon yet? Because when it’s noon, that’s an acceptable time for a drink.

      This comment sounds really mean to Leroy but it’s just intended for me to whine for a second. Ok, I’m going to go start a forum where I wine there and do not bother the LWs, or Leroy.

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      • avatar

        Addie Pray April 19, 2012, 12:59 pm

        Can I also just bitch for one second about my typos? Screw this keyboard and my fingers and the lady in yoga today who knocked my water bottle over when the cap was not on right and also screw that one job I had wanted to get but didn’t this morning.

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      • bagge72

        bagge72 April 19, 2012, 4:12 pm

        Yesterday was a great today sounds like Underwater Tigers new album cover! Run it by your BF, and see if he likes it.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest April 19, 2012, 12:59 pm

        A true wine-o would know that its noon somewhere at all times. Silly Addie.

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      • Lili

        Lili April 19, 2012, 1:01 pm

        Its only 10 AM here and I want a drink. But I’m at work. Its just been an annoying morning. And I’m all antsy still from thinking about all the child porn and sexual abuse stuff from yesterday. SO Addie–have a drink for me! I have to be a good little girl and wait til 5 pm, but you don’t have to!

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      • Lili

        Lili April 19, 2012, 2:29 pm

        In case anyone cares, I am making do with too much Sugar. Hey alcohol is processed as sugar right, so until I can go out for cocktails tonight, I intend to eat as much sugary stuff as i can handle. I just ate two of the new starbucks mini treats. and I asked for whip on my soy latte.

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      • Leroy

        Leroy April 19, 2012, 1:05 pm

        You do realize that I’d shouted out to myself – right?

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      • avatar

        Addie Pray April 19, 2012, 1:06 pm

        No. …. That does make me feel a lot better. Thanks, Leroy!

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      • avatar

        Addie Pray April 19, 2012, 1:08 pm

        And in full honesty, “AddiePrayFan” who reared her beautiful head in another thread — just once, people! — was created by me to make me feel better after I saw a ReginaRey fan.

        I’m not above these things.

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      • CatsMeow

        CatsMeow April 19, 2012, 1:10 pm

        hahaha, I saw that…. but I never saw a ReginaRey fan. When did that happen? Was THAT one you too??

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      • avatar

        Addie Pray April 19, 2012, 1:11 pm

        Oh god no! I prefer to inflate RR’s ego out in the open.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest April 19, 2012, 1:11 pm

        Reminds me of that one time I made a fake Facebook account of a hot guy that I was “In a relationship” with to make my ex boyfriend jealous. 😉

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      • avatar

        Addie Pray April 19, 2012, 1:13 pm

        I created a Facebook account for wine once – we were in a relationship. We were in a relationship for a good year – Red even started garnering friends from overseas that I didn’t know. I got jealous. Then Facebook intervened accusing me of creating an “impostor” account. I guess the real Red Wine was pissed or something. Now they have pages you can create. I miss Red from time to time. What we had was real, even if FB didn’t think so.

        Today is so weird.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest April 19, 2012, 1:18 pm

        Just to clarify, i was joking.

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      • avatar

        Addie Pray April 19, 2012, 1:32 pm

        Oh, um, me too. And AddiePrayFan? A real fan.

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  • avatar

    lets_be_honest April 19, 2012, 12:32 pm

    This is bizarre. I missed the original letter, but I feel sorry for your boyfriend. Your solution is to literally ignore his jokes?! He’s now forced to not be himself at all. You say he didn’t realize the “severity” of the situation. Are you for real?
    And then you end the update with “I think it’s all about learning to accept someone for who he is.” So you are aware of this important fact, yet completely ignore it and make him do what you want/like.
    Yikes.

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    • avatar

      sarolabelle April 19, 2012, 2:59 pm

      I have the same thoughts as you.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest April 19, 2012, 3:26 pm

        So your thinking about ass covered in Velveeta too? Weird.

        😉

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  • Fabelle

    Fabelle April 19, 2012, 12:37 pm

    I like that this update came fairly soon after the original letter! Anndd that’s all I’m gonna say.

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  • CatsMeow

    CatsMeow April 19, 2012, 12:38 pm

    “Why would he be in a relationship with someone around whom he’s going to have to censor himself?”

    Was that me? Did I give that advice? I know I said something LIKE that. Yay, now I’m happy.

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    • avatar

      Sue Jones April 19, 2012, 12:47 pm

      Some people really DO need to learn to censor themselves… like Ted Nugent for example, but seriously, as people mature, they learn more how to be appropriate. Some people have the nasty habit of saying whatever pops into their head and only after several failed jobs, relationships, etc. do they learn not to do that. If her BF is behaving in an immature way and he is now improving his behavior, which he would need to do anyhow probably, this is a good thing.

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      • Skyblossom

        Skyblossom April 19, 2012, 12:58 pm

        I think you’ve nailed. Be yourself unless being yourself is harmful to yourself, then you’ve got to change for yourself.

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      • CatsMeow

        CatsMeow April 19, 2012, 1:10 pm

        Don’t get me started on Ted Nugent. AND I’m seeing him play in a couple months! Not because I WANT to, but because he just happens to be opening for REO and Styx. Dangit!

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      • avatar

        Rachel April 19, 2012, 1:44 pm

        That’s annoying. Didn’t he used to be cool? Or maybe I just thought he was cool because I didn’t know what an idiot he is. You should wear an Obama t-shirt to the show.

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      • CatsMeow

        CatsMeow April 19, 2012, 2:18 pm

        Good idea! I hope he gets booed.

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  • avatar

    LolaBeans April 19, 2012, 12:54 pm

    this is crazy… either you accept him as someone who makes bad puns/jokes.. or you don’t.
    don’t try to change the guy to your liking.

    go laugh at a dropped piece of cake with someone else…

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    • avatar

      lets_be_honest April 19, 2012, 12:56 pm

      Right?!

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    • avatar

      Addie Pray April 19, 2012, 1:09 pm

      And besides there is nothing – nay, NOTHING – funny about a dropped piece of cake, especially if it lands in sand or something. The horror!

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      • avatar

        Addie Pray April 19, 2012, 1:10 pm

        I mean, go drop your disgusting skinny broccoli with that silly broccoli hair…. that I wouldn’t mind and that would be super funny.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest April 19, 2012, 1:12 pm

        wtf is skinny broccoli?

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      • avatar

        Addie Pray April 19, 2012, 1:15 pm

        You know that really disgusting vegetable that looks like broccoli but it’s longer and has the funny broccoli froufrou on top? … Broccoliniwiniepoop or something?….

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      • Kate B.

        Kate B. April 19, 2012, 1:27 pm

        Broccolini?

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      • avatar

        Ani Nani April 19, 2012, 1:23 pm

        Skinny broccoli is broccolini. It’s not actually broccoli, but pretty much tastes the same.

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      • avatar

        Addie Pray April 19, 2012, 2:29 pm

        Except I like broccoli – especially smothered in velveeta cheese – and broccolini tastes like ass. (imho)

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest April 19, 2012, 2:30 pm

        How do you know what ass tastes like, Addie?

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      • avatar

        Addie Pray April 19, 2012, 2:34 pm

        I do, actually. It tastes like brocolini. And no amount of velveeta makes it taste any better.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest April 19, 2012, 2:38 pm

        Interesting. I would be hard pressed to believe that literally everything does not taste better with Velveeta.

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      • avatar

        Addie Pray April 19, 2012, 2:39 pm

        Ok, ok, you’re right. I’d rather have ass smothered in velveeta than regular ass, that’s true.

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      • avatar

        Addie Pray April 19, 2012, 2:35 pm

        Oh that was a “how do you know’ question and not a “Do you know” question. I’m really bad about reading things before I answer them. I know what ass tastes like because this one time I went to a buffet and grabbed what I thought was broccoli only it turned out to be broccolini, and that’s how I learned what ass tastes like.

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      • avatar

        Addie Pray April 19, 2012, 2:38 pm

        Btw, you know what’s so great about Dear Wendy? Well, one thing that’s great of many great things? The fact that Wendy posts this update and it turns into a discussion of broccolini and ass. I bet Wendy would have never guessed that’s where the conversation would go.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest April 19, 2012, 2:40 pm

        …I’m enjoying that people seem genuinely annoyed and mad that it either is or is not related to “regular” broccoli.

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      • avatar

        Addie Pray April 19, 2012, 2:44 pm

        People’s priorities are all fucked up. Like, why would you worry about that, when you could worry about whether ass tastes better with velveeta?

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      • Lili

        Lili April 19, 2012, 2:46 pm

        I think I’m the queen of topic derailments. Because for some reason i think thread titles don’t apply to me 🙂

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      • avatar

        ele4phant April 19, 2012, 1:30 pm

        I thought there was something called Chinese or Asian broccoli – or something like that. Maybe its the same thing – differing marketing tactics?

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      • avatar

        Jessibel April 19, 2012, 2:26 pm

        Chinese/Asian broccoli is always in dishes like Pad See Ew at Thai places. I think it’s something entirely different from “regular” broccoli.

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      • avatar

        ele4phant April 19, 2012, 2:35 pm

        Well yeah, but broccolini isn’t regular broccoli either. Are they (chinese and broccolini) the same? They sure look and taste the same, as far as I can tell.

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      • avatar

        Jessibel April 19, 2012, 2:54 pm

        The interwebs and Google say “yes!” kind of. Wikipedia says that Chinese Broccoli is a parent of Broccolini. Broccolini is a mix between Chinese Broccoli and regular Broccoli. Interesting fact, Broccolini was created by the Sakata Seed company of Japan, and the name is a registered trademark of the Mann Packing company (so the word “Broccolini” is kind of like “Q-Tip” and “Kleenex”). Also, apparently in Brazil, if you ask for Broccoli, you get Broccolini, but if you want Broccoli, you have to ask for “brocolis americano”. Kind of like how in Europe if you want to watch Football, as in NFL, you have to say “American Football” I guess. And I wonder how many more times I can write “Broccoli” in this post.

        The database I have to use for work is down today, so now I’ve spent my time researching Broccoli on the internet. Today is awesome!

        Broccoli.

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        ele4phant April 19, 2012, 4:40 pm

        “Wikipedia says that Chinese Broccoli is a parent of Broccolini. Broccolini is a mix between Chinese Broccoli and regular Broccoli.”

        Oh my gosh, this barely makes sense. Crazy botanists. They all taste virtually the same to me.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest April 19, 2012, 2:28 pm

        This is crazy, but whats crazier is that so many of you even know what the hell it is. Venture out with your tastes people! Try McD’s, or Burger King. Broccolini? Yuck! There’s already too much regular broccoli in the world. Its like, do we really need a Rush Limbaughini? No. One is enough.

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      • avatar

        Addie Pray April 19, 2012, 2:29 pm

        Or my personal favorite…. need I say it?

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      • avatar

        Jessibel April 19, 2012, 2:56 pm

        I like Sonic!

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      • MandaNoA

        MandaNoA April 19, 2012, 11:50 pm

        I’m with you LBH. What the hell is brocolini and why are any of you eating it? Also, who names a dish Pad See Ew? I don’t want to eat anything with the word Ew in the name.

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      • avatar

        Rachel April 20, 2012, 12:13 am

        It’s pronounced like “you” if that helps, and Thai food is delicious!

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      • Lili

        Lili April 19, 2012, 1:14 pm

        I know–Dropped cake is A TRAGEDY People. SAVE THE CAKE. This is going to be my new political cause. No cake deserves to be dropped.

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      • avatar

        ele4phant April 19, 2012, 1:22 pm

        That’s what I thought too. If my boyfriend laughed when I dropped a piece of cake (or any dessert, really), I would strangle him. Dropped cake is ALWAYS a tragedy, not a moment of comedy!

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      • avatar

        Addie Pray April 19, 2012, 2:41 pm

        Well now you know the horror of that one time when I dropped a piece of cake in sand. It just sunk into the sand without so much of a bounce, as if it was settling home where it belonged. I was able to salvage the top of the cake but the rest of it, even the sides, had too much sand on it. It was like exfoliating the inside of my mouth when I tried to eat it.

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      • Lili

        Lili April 19, 2012, 2:48 pm

        But, eat it you did. You are a true supporter of the cause.

        #NoCAKEdeservestobeDropped!

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      • avatar

        Addie Pray April 19, 2012, 2:49 pm

        Let’s call it No Cake Left Behind.

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      • avatar

        Gwen April 20, 2012, 7:14 am

        My coworker made a cake once and dropped it on the floor here in the office right before she was going to set it out. Several of us looked at it silently for a moment. Then quietly started picking it all up except for the part actaully on the floor and ate the tasty tasty cake . We don’t talk about it much, but we would all do it again. No cake should ever be left behind.

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  • avatar

    kerrycontrary April 19, 2012, 1:08 pm

    ”A simple reason would be because in all fairness, he is the best husband material among all men I dated or know well.”

    I’ve dated/hung out with/slept with a lot of men. I mean, a lot. But I do not agree that if you keep being particular you will end up single forever, because it’s just not true. You will meet someone where you actually love their flaws because they make you feel ok for being flawed as well. And those annoying things will be little, not so annoying that you need to write into an advice column. Women out there-please be picky about the men you choose, otherwise you just end up settling.

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  • avatar

    Muffy April 19, 2012, 1:40 pm

    I’m glad things are looking up LW. It’s hard for people on this site to give advice when the only information we get about the bf is negative information – no mention of how this is a minor annoyance. The fact you wrote in made people think it was a major annoyance and there weren’t any mitigating factors in your relationship. I think the advice wouldn’t have been so geared towards MOA had you mentioned what you just wrote in your update.

    That being said, no one will ever be able to change – so if you are happy with him curbing back the jokes (but still being a jokester) then that sounds good to me

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  • BriarRose

    BriarRose April 19, 2012, 2:08 pm

    I’m still not convinced this relationship can stand the test of time. I hate that your BF (possible husband) feels like he has to change or hide something that is a huge part of who he is, and that you feel like you are going to try to tolerate it. My ex-boyfriend is a lot like your boyfriend–he jokes a lot, and a lot of the jokes are sexual (sometimes clever, sometimes easy “that’s what she said” ones). Honestly, it didn’t bother me most of the time. Wasn’t a big issue. But it drove his ex-wife crazy. He told me that she was constantly trying to get him to cut back on his joking, sexual and otherwise, and it was the source of a lot of tension for them. I can sympathize with her, because if it bothered her, it must have been a constant source of annoyance for her, because he does it frequently. I can also sympathize with my ex-boyfriend, because being funny is a huge part of who he is. It’s his “thing”. Him trying to hide that or change that was terrible for him.

    I hope you two can work this out, but I wholeheartedly agree with RR. Just like my ex-boyfriend, your boyfriend probably is great marriage material, but that doesn’t mean he’s marriage material for you. Don’t try to fit a square peg into a round hole–you’ll only make both of you miserable.

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      lets_be_honest April 19, 2012, 2:29 pm

      It blows my mind that someone could actually complain about someone joking. Let alone write into DW about it.

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      • BriarRose

        BriarRose April 19, 2012, 3:42 pm

        I dunno. I guess some people just don’t like it. I briefly dated this guy who would just look at me like I had two heads every time I made a joke. He was rather dull though. He was marriage material in every other way though, but definitely not marriage material for me!

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      Jessibel April 19, 2012, 2:45 pm

      I agree with you. I read your comment and kept nodding. Another thing that kind of raises a flag with me is that the update came so very quickly after the original was posted. Plenty of times you have a conversation with someone about something that’s bothering you, they promise to stop or they “get the hint” but then go right back to doing said behavior as soon as a few weeks have passed, not necessarily on purpose, but because it’s a part of them and it takes time to change aspects of your personality like that. While not unheard of, it’s not something that only takes a few weeks and then boom, perfect. I may be wrong, but the sense I’m getting from the original letter and the update are that the LW, while genuinely wanting advice, also subconsciously wanted to be validated for her annoyance and her decision to be annoyed and keep dating him.

      When I originally read the letter, I felt for the LW, because been there, done that! My fiance used to do that, make sexual jokes about virtually everything. It did get exhausting sometimes, and if it bothered me I’d go “DUDE!” to try to be lighthearted but still be like, yo, not appropriate at the moment! Then once I asked him about it and he said he was just trying to make me laugh. I was like, appreciate the effort, but it’s not always funny, especially if the punchline is the same virtually every time, and he can make me laugh in other ways. So he made an effort to stop doing it as much (as in not doing it 10 times an hour), and it got funnier because it wasn’t happening all the time. So don’t try to control his behavior and make him stop doing something forever just because it annoys you. Believe it or not, there’s a balance between being openly communicative and honest, and just being controlling. You don’t want to fall into the latter category.

      You

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  • avatar

    Seri April 19, 2012, 2:47 pm

    So being single forever is better than staying with someone whose jokes–something he obviously takes pride in and enjoys as a natural part of who he is–bug you, and you will pretty much never give him the validation of his sense of humor that he craves? Sorry… no.

    Besides all that though… I just don’t get a sense of PASSION from you towards him. I don’t get that you feel like “the thought of losing him and being without him makes me cry and I could not handle it because I have to be with him, I love him too much.” It’s more like… “this guy seems like the best husband, and I want to get married and not be alone my whole life, so I’m sticking to him like glue and ignoring ALL red flags.” To me… there are a lot of red flags. And your reason for staying with him (husband materials vs. passionate can’t-imagine-life-without-him love) is a GLARING one.

    You also make a lot of excuses for yourself–“maybe I didn’t explain things well the first time.” It should have gotten through the first time; if it didn’t it’s on him and you shouldn’t make excuses for him just so everything can stay okay and you don’t have to be single with no prospects.

    You sound terrified of the prospect of being single, so you’re going to make that square-shaped peg fit in the round hole if it KILLS you. That’s a recipe for misery later in life. You only get one life, so why hitch yourself to the wrong person? Just because you don’t currently know anyone else you could marry, doesn’t mean he won’t pop up later. This one doesn’t seem like the right guy for you, and you don’t seem like the right girl for him.

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    • avatar

      Seri April 19, 2012, 2:48 pm

      *being single forever is WORSE than staying…

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  • avatar

    Mainer April 19, 2012, 2:51 pm

    This whole “huge part of who he is” everyone is referring to is making stupid jokes at inappropriate times. Maybe, just maybe, this dude needs a push in the right direction toward maturity. I mean, all you ladies can’t be serious in that you have never tried to change ONE thing about your significant other for the better. Cleaning up after himself? Dressing better? Behaving in front of your friends? No sweetie, maybe don’t shot gun that beer at my grammy’s 80th. Ever notice how a lot of single dudes don’t seem to want to grow up and all the guys in a solid relationship seem to have their shit (seemingly) put together? Most of the time that is not a coincidence. I know, there are exceptions, and let them roll below with how you loved every inch of your man and he was perfect from day one and how this whole zero-tolerance policy in a relationship is for the best, but the big “change” you all are fearing this lady is making her BF do is simply to act like an adult.

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    • CatsMeow

      CatsMeow April 19, 2012, 3:00 pm

      I feel like joking at inappropriate times is something that can – and should – change. However, his sense of humor and what he finds funny is is something more innate; it’s part of who he is. And in the update, she says, “I should have emphasized that he doesn’t tell jokes during all serious talks and that he does it more during light talks. It’s more like an annoying habit that comes out every now and then but still annoys me when it does.” So it sounds like the inappropriate timing wasn’t actually that big of an issue.

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      • avatar

        Mainer April 19, 2012, 3:20 pm

        From what I gathered, they were being said an inappropriate times *to her*. Even if it’s a light talk about something benign and she has to stop mid-sentence to pause for his commentary on what he’d like to do to her peach sorbet, that gets annoying pretty quick. That is exactly something I’d expect to hear from a high schooler or a college kid and I’d respond with “Okay, you good? Can’t I continue now?” There are times for jokes, I agree. But it doesn’t sounds like those appropriate times where he joked were the issue. It was every other situation where the jokes were interrupting the flow of the conversation. I mean she fell for the guy didn’t she, he must have done *something* right. As the relationship grew, she probably found he made those same jokes when he was alone with her as he does when they’re out with friends. Curbing that inclination he has is hardly break-up worthy, at least in my mind. I think he just needs to learn when it’s cool to make jokes and when he should talk like a big boy.

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      iseeshiny April 19, 2012, 3:03 pm

      Thank you! I got mine to stop making comments about gypsies (seriously, it’s institutionalized racism that no one seems to have a problem with) but it doesn’t change who he is as a person.

      I make that’s what she said jokes almost reflexively – I don’t consider it an integral part of my personality and if my SO wanted me to cut down on them I wouldn’t have a problem with that. It’s not like he’s asking me to get a boob job.

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      savannah April 19, 2012, 3:11 pm

      wait now us wanting/needing to train our boyfriends is a good thing?

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        lets_be_honest April 19, 2012, 3:22 pm

        Duh, savannah, its Thursday so yes. Tomorrow, well, we all know its bad on Fridays.

        I get his point, but someone’s sense of humor v. shotgunning a beer one time at an inappropriate place? Big diff.

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        Mainer April 19, 2012, 3:23 pm

        You train a dog. You find common ground with a boyfriend. And there’s a big difference between Boyfriend-Overhaul and “Hey sweetie, you know when you do this thing? Yeah, I get it’s fun with the boys, but I really don’t like when you do it.” Sometimes you need to remind someone to know their audience and act appropriately.

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        savannah April 19, 2012, 3:29 pm

        sure, but making your bf act like an adult (which is what you’ve said now in 2 comments) seems a lot closer to boyfriend overhaul than “Hey sweetie, you know when you do this thing? Yeah, I get it’s fun with the boys, but I really don’t like when you do it.” type of situation.

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      • avatar

        Mainer April 19, 2012, 3:38 pm

        Two whole comments? I can’t believe I had the audacity to bring up this concept of “acting like an adult” two whole times. I’ll cut back.

        And why is everything so forceful with you? “Train” your boyfriend, “Make” your boyfriend. We’re people, you can work with us. Drop suggestions, allude to certain things you like and don’t like. You don’t need to calibrate us. I tell my friends when they’re doing something annoying. Does that mean I’m forcing them to change who they are? No, it means I’m telling them what they’re doing is a little irritating. And they realize different people like different things, so they simply become conscious of that because we’re friends.

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        savannah April 19, 2012, 3:53 pm

        oh keep your pants on.
        You said ‘make’ and on another thread BGM talked about training, which is why I brought this up in the first place. I mentioned the 2 comments because I way trying to be helpful about where I was getting your ideas and not putting words into your mouth. I don’t believe in calibrating boyfriends, thus why I was making a joke of it…oops.

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      • avatar

        Mainer April 19, 2012, 4:04 pm

        But you made me want to take my pants *off* And what was that about something in a mouth?

        BOOM

        Where’s this LW’s boyfriend, we need to hang.

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      • avatar

        savannah April 19, 2012, 4:16 pm

        So the LW can tell both you and her boyfriend that your jokes are not funny?

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      • avatar

        Muffy April 19, 2012, 4:30 pm

        I agree completely Mainer. Changing the way you act depending on who you’re with is not changing who you are. If the LW is ok with her bf being a jokester in general but curbing back the sexual jokes when she’s trying to talk to him seriously then there’s no problem

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  • avatar

    UK_Femme April 19, 2012, 3:10 pm

    I’m glad that the advice that you read was helpful to you. I’ve written a letter to Wendy myself, and it was published – however, it was heavily edited by Wendy (including typographical errors that I did not make, but which readers bashed me for) and the responses I received were not particularly helpful because my letter was edited by Wendy as to leave out several important factors which readers misinterpreted – because they were unable to read the facts that I laid out in my original letter. After reading some of the nastier comments, I decided that defending myself was futile – so I’ve never responded to a request for a Dear Wendy update.
    Seriously, though – I’m glad that writing Wendy and reading the comments of the readers was helpful to you! Wish I could say the same.

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    • Dear Wendy

      Wendy April 19, 2012, 3:19 pm

      I’d love to know which letter was yours. Email me!

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        UK_Femme April 19, 2012, 3:21 pm

        No thanks.

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      • Dear Wendy

        Wendy April 19, 2012, 3:33 pm

        But you sound like such a sweet person. I’d love to receive another email from you.

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      • iwannatalktosampson

        Iwannatalktosampson April 19, 2012, 4:47 pm

        Why do I have a feeling that the reason you don’t want to send an update is because whatever advice we gave you that you didn’t follow came true? Like if we told you to MOA you didn’t because we just didn’t understand what a great catch he was! And then the shit blew up in your face like a month later. Just my theory.

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        rachel April 19, 2012, 4:52 pm

        Sounds like a good theory to me.

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        lets_be_honest April 19, 2012, 3:24 pm

        The Wendy I know once claimed she knew all… 😉

        Anyway, here’s another case of someone not finding the opinion she wanted to hear, so we are all dumb and the letter was too edited. Ugh.

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      • JK

        JK April 19, 2012, 3:51 pm

        Yeah, I´d never heard of a letter being edited to include typographical errors. Now Ipm racking my brain trying to remember a letter where we called out the LW for typos…
        I got nothing.

        But this did remind me that Margo the other day answered the letter from the girl that was jealous that her sister had a bf. Remember, the one that had the audacity to say he wanted the same super obscure, awesome dog breed that LW wanted? But Margo cut out the part about the dog. And Wendy´s answer was a lot better, of course.

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        Muffy April 19, 2012, 4:41 pm

        who’s margo?

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      • JK

        JK April 19, 2012, 4:52 pm

        Ann Landers´daughter (I think). She has an advice column, but usually her answers are like 2 lines long.

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      • iwannatalktosampson

        Iwannatalktosampson April 19, 2012, 5:03 pm

        Please tell me she gave the same advice we all did. That would be a total money shot.

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      • JK

        JK April 19, 2012, 5:07 pm

        Nope:
        And I quote (can I even on here???)
        “Dear Up: I don’t know what her hurry is, but I’m pretty certain she will not listen to what anybody has to say. (Don’t ask me how I know this.) Alas, I suspect your relationship with your sister will be affected, but there you are. These things happen, and family is pretty well powerless, so understand, to quote Woody Allen when he ran off with his stepdaughter, “The heart wants what the heart wants.” — Margo, rationally “

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      • iwannatalktosampson

        Iwannatalktosampson April 19, 2012, 5:14 pm

        Whatever. That girl sucked. My dog has more maturity than her.

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      • JK

        JK April 19, 2012, 5:27 pm

        But is your dog a super secret amazing breed that noone else in the world is allowed to like? 😀

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      • Dear Wendy

        Wendy April 19, 2012, 6:38 pm

        Yes, I saw that! Someone tweeted me the link (thanks to whoever that was). I was fascinated with how different Margo and I answered the letter. And, yes, Margo edited quite a bit of the letter out, really changing the tone of the question. I’m not saying I definitely have never been guilty of that, but I do try very hard not to edit out pertinent details.

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      Rachel April 19, 2012, 3:42 pm

      Wendy posts a lot of letters and is in the habit of editing them for content and clarity. If she did a bad job at that, maybe your letter wasn’t very clear in the first place. Either way, it seems immature that you wouldn’t want to email her about it rather than make a passive agressive comment on another letter.

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    • avatar

      iseeshiny April 19, 2012, 4:16 pm

      If you really thought the issues cut from your letter were so important, why wouldn’t you mention that to Wendy so she could include it in your update? And why would you even respond here? It’s got nothing to do with you. It’s like you just peed in the pool.

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      • avatar

        Muffy April 19, 2012, 4:35 pm

        hahahaha! lmao

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      Muffy April 19, 2012, 4:40 pm

      Honestly, whenever you need to show how the specific details of your situation make it different from other situations that are similar it usually means that you are in denial and can’t accept the fact that the guy doesn’t like you that much/or something you don’t want to happen is happening (depending on what you emailed about).

      Whenever anyone says “but in my case he did x” that is just denial – thinking that the detail actually makes a difference. People often do this because they want to think that somehow their situation is different and most of the time it isn’t.

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  • avatar

    GatorGirl April 19, 2012, 3:50 pm

    “I don’t want to break up…A simple reason would be because in all fairness, he is the best husband material among all men I dated…”

    Just because he is the *best* so far does not mean you should stay with him.

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  • avatar

    John Rohan April 19, 2012, 5:13 pm

    What I greatly appreciated was that some of the comments here really made me think about what I value in him and why I don’t want to break up (since that’s what most people suggested and I considered it seriously too).

    That’s because “MOA” is the default advice on this web site to any relationship problem – it was the very first response to your original letter, as a matter of fact. I swear some people on this forum must have very worn down M-O-A keys on their keyboards.

    But in retrospect, it’s an extremely minor problem in the grand scheme of things, and if this is your only fault with him, then hell yes, stay with him. As long as you love each other, that’s something you both can definitely work through somehow. If you dump him to look for the most perfect guy with no faults whatsoever, then you will be looking your whole life.

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    • iwannatalktosampson

      Iwannatalktosampson April 19, 2012, 5:15 pm

      Why do you read this site? Literally every time you comment somewhere in your comment is a dig at this site. THEN QUIT COMING HERE.

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      • avatar

        Addie Pray April 19, 2012, 5:24 pm

        Maybe he loves Addie Pray? [Oh my god, my ego is about to explode all over my living room.]

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        iseeshiny April 19, 2012, 5:27 pm

        I know, right? If it’s not a dig at the site it’s about how we call the ex-boyfriends douchebags and we’re so mean to the men in the letters.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest April 19, 2012, 5:28 pm

        Maybe he should, wait for it, MOA!

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      • bittergaymark

        bittergaymark April 19, 2012, 9:06 pm

        Actually, he makes valid points… It is hilarious how quick people are to type MOA around here. Truth be told, I think I was also MOA — but for a uniquely different reason: I thought she came across as a humorless shrew and that HE could do better… 😉

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      • iwannatalktosampson

        Iwannatalktosampson April 19, 2012, 10:18 pm

        Don’t get me wrong – I thought everyone was being kind of ridiculous. I lost count how many times my husband annoyed me within the first month of dating him. People just have annoying habits – it’s called life.

        BUT! I don’t bitch about the site – because I love it. I love people’s responses even when I hate them – you know? I love that people respond and having different opinions (read – wrong opinions) than I do.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest April 19, 2012, 10:55 pm

        I’m drunk. Yup. Said it, family is home. Drank a bunch of wine. iPhone has auto correct. Love u guys. My comments are prob the only ones the LW should read :).

        It took a lot of backspaces to make that legible so I deserve some thumbs up. 🙂

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest April 19, 2012, 11:03 pm

        Oh my. Thought this was onthe AP forum. Night 🙂 have red face 🙁

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      • iwannatalktosampson

        Iwannatalktosampson April 19, 2012, 11:05 pm

        It’s fine we’re all drunk.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest April 19, 2012, 11:11 pm

        No I’m super 4ish bottles drunk. I will say I just tried to log in to the forum and gave up So I did try. So glad u replied FY. It is fun DDWing 🙂

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      • iwannatalktosampson

        Iwannatalktosampson April 19, 2012, 11:15 pm

        I know! I can never do it because my laptop refuses to let me log into it – I can only do it from my iphone. So YAY! Us forum incompetent people can party.

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        lets_be_honest April 19, 2012, 11:17 pm

        I saw u reply and felt the same rush I used to get when my crush Texted me back. Insert confused face

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      • Brad

        Brad April 19, 2012, 11:23 pm

        I’ve been drinking too. Such a wonderful thing. Season Finale of Spartacus season 3 here I come!

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      • iwannatalktosampson

        Iwannatalktosampson April 19, 2012, 11:28 pm

        Insert heart melting. I feel closer to you after this experience.

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      • avatar

        lets_be_honest April 19, 2012, 11:15 pm

        Id planned on agreeing w you. Ttyt. That’s what kids say instead of talk to you tomorrow 😉

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      • theattack

        theattack April 19, 2012, 9:55 pm

        I made a very similar comment on the original letter. I completely agree with him on this. A lot of the commenters jump to MOA instead of thinking about how to work through problems. Occasionally the LWs want some encouragement to leave, but more often than not they just want some advice for how to fix something.

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      • avatar

        John Rohan April 19, 2012, 11:40 pm

        The funny thing is, everyone here seems to agree with me in regard to the LW, yet they just don’t like it when I say it. I feel like the nerdy kid in high school who tried to sit at the popular kids lunch table.

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      • avatar

        John Rohan April 19, 2012, 11:35 pm

        Iwannatalktosampson,

        Why do you read my comments? Literally every time you respond somewhere in your comment is a dig at me. THEN QUIT READING MY COMMENTS.

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      • iwannatalktosampson

        Iwannatalktosampson April 19, 2012, 11:38 pm

        I actually support you a lot of the time! Even about this whole specific MOA situation – I think you’re right and everyone was getting all out of control. But you sound like actually angry at the site and everything about it. That’s what I find strange.

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      • avatar

        John Rohan April 19, 2012, 11:58 pm

        Because I’m not angry all the time? In fact, the only time I’ve ever been angry here was a long time ago when two other commenters made personal attacks against me (one apologized later). That’s it.

        I don’t make a dig at this site in every comment I write, not even close. However, yes, the rampant sexism here and the dismissive “MOA” responses to people who are asking for real solutions to save their relationships do irk me a bit, and hell yeah, I’ll call them out when I see them. Why wouldn’t I?

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      • theattack

        theattack April 20, 2012, 1:14 am

        I’ve vehemently disagreed with John Rohan in the past (and I’ve almost always agreed with you, Iwannatalktosampson), but it’s not like he’s a troll. He’s just in the habit of calling people out on stuff. I don’t think we should group all of his opinions together and make a generalization about him and his comments, especially when his comment here was so calm and rational. He didn’t criticize the site at all. He mentioned a pattern of people yelling “MOA!!” so frequently. I guess it’s your choice of whether or not you want to pull in his previous comments in weighing the credibility of this one, but frankly they’re separate issues.

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      • iwannatalktosampson

        Iwannatalktosampson April 20, 2012, 10:20 am

        You mean how he makes a generalization about everyone on this site? About how our first reaction to everything is MOA? You get what you put out.

        And we’ll have to agree to disagree that his comment was calm and rational.

        And for the record, I don’t consider his responses “calling people out”. I consider them him being rude, aggressive, degrading, and mostly adding nothing to the discussion. He doesn’t ever give advice – just waits for someone to give advice he disagrees with and them jumps down their throat. Give your own advice JR if you think you can do better!!

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        John Rohan April 20, 2012, 12:09 pm

        If you think I’m “rude, aggressive, degrading, and mostly adding nothing to the discussion”, then you are certainly entitled to your opinion on that.

        But you are factually wrong when you say I don’t give my own advice to the LW. Look at my comment above at 5:13pm, third paragraph.

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    • avatar

      John Rohan April 19, 2012, 5:14 pm

      That top paragraph was a quote from the LW, obviously. It’s frustrating that I can’t edit my comments after I hit the submit button.

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  • avatar

    Francine April 19, 2012, 7:08 pm

    “Just before I wrote my letter, I had started ignoring his jokes as many readers suggested. It works, actually. He kind of looks at me expectantly after he cracks a joke but I just look at him for a few seconds and move right on with the conversation. It’s actually very helpful because I don’t get as annoyed

    Then why the letter to the advice columnist saying that you didn’t know what to do anymore and weren’t sure you could find a middle ground???? I’m so confused. And have you found the key to get him to stop joking by ignoring or are you accepting him for who he is???

    Sorry, I didn’t understand this update at all.

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  • avatar

    Mlippart April 20, 2012, 6:58 am

    I dunno, maybe I’m in the minority here, but I feel really bad for the BF. I think he should MOA. This lady sounds pretty much humorless. And how many times in a given week do people have “serious- no joking!” types of conversation? He is already feeling like he has to censor himself. Her response is to stare at him for a few minutes and then ignore what he said? I love to joke around- I would be miserable.

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  • avatar

    No joking April 20, 2012, 10:36 am

    LW here. I’ve gone through all the comments (including the discussions on broccoli, yup) and I kinda feel like I should say something. I think the reason why people are MOA-happy here is because they only see the problem(s), because that’s what LWs do: they ask about problems. Someone mentioned a very valid point that totally applies to me, and that is the fact that nobody knows the positive side of our relationship. Everyone only gets a glimpse of one single thing that upsets me. I said “good husband material” because I wanted to be objective and concise…because I could go on forever about the awesome things he does for me, how much I love and need him, the “passion” between us, how great he is to my parents and friends, yada yada. But that’s not important because those don’t need fixing.

    Yes, in retrospect, this is a little issue in the grand scheme of things. At the moment I can’t think of anything else I could write to DW about because we get along so well. In the end, I was just looking for a way to deal with the joking a bit better, and I find that I have. I don’t really get upset anymore when he cracks one these days because I think of what people have said in this letter and update. Really!

    I’m not trying to “train” him or “overhaul” his personality because that’s not right, but I still think that everyone needs to compromise a bit here and there in a relationship. He always tells me that he wants me to be happy and if cracking less sexual jokes makes me much happier, then he saves them for the boys. Similarly, he doesn’t really like it when I, for example, gossip. So I save that for the girls, who probably delight in it as much as his boys delight in his cup-job-tits jokes. Give and take. Boom. Two happier people.

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    • parton_doll

      parton_doll April 20, 2012, 3:21 pm

      Now this, LW, is an update 🙂 Especially the “Boom.” Love it. Thanks for further clarifying and best of luck in your relationship.

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        lets_be_honest April 20, 2012, 3:23 pm

        Agreed!

        You sound quite more mature than I expected LW.

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        No joking April 20, 2012, 3:45 pm

        Thanks! You made me blush. But a lot of that comes from writing my letter and thinking about everyone’s comments 🙂

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      bethany April 20, 2012, 4:06 pm

      This is what the original update should have said 🙂

      I totally agree that there are certain things that I do that are best done around my girlfriends, not my husband, and the same goes for him.

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