Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

Updates: “Not Into Her New Man” 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 now. Today we hear from “Not Into Her New Man” who was worried that her friend was being taken advantage of when she began dating a man 25 years her junior who “lost” his bank card and was letting the LW’s friend pay for everything. “I’m worried that, if I say something negative about him, she’ll tell him and he’ll find a way to get me cut out of her life.” Keep reading to see if the guy is still in the picture and whether the LW has warmed up to him at all.

Thanks for answering my original letter. Here’s the scoop on what’s going on now. I can’t think of a better way to address everything than a list:

1. Several commenters wondered about the “drinks a lot” comment. By that I meant that he’ll put away a half-pack of beer by himself, in one evening, on the regular (as in 5 out of 7 nights a week), or a bottle of hard alcohol (by himself) in one night. I drink, but I consider the amount he does drinking a lot.

2. Jealousy: I’m not jealous of my friend! I want her to be happy; I love her, and I was sincerely concerned that she was following a pattern I had seen before, i.e., hooking up with a user who at first seems sweet but eventually shows his ugly side.

3. So what’s going on now is that they’re still together. My friend is very happy with him and reports that he treats her well, and he’s hinted at marriage. She does kvetch that he still (after all this time) hasn’t found a job. He works in an industry that’s seasonal, and every time there’s been a job opportunity he somehow has an excuse for why he can’t make it. He’s been unemployed since I wrote you almost six months ago and doesn’t really show signs of actively going after work. She is paying for everything, including all of that booze, and is constantly short on money, even though she has a good job and makes better-than-decent money. (We live in an expensive city, and the money she makes should be enough for her to live comfortably, save for the future, and pay her considerable debts). She has been reprimanded at her job for not fulfilling her duties, because she’s blown them off to do what he wants to do. In general, I’m still worried about his lack of interest in contributing money to their household and in how much she’s taken on his preferences to her detriment; they are together, by her account, 24/7, and she won’t even watch TV shows she likes anymore if he doesn’t like them. Everything she does has to be checked in with him.

4. Still, I took your advice, and the commenters’ advice, to heart and have butted the heck out. If she wants to complain to me about his lack of desire to work, I’ll validate that complaint, and, if she says something like, “I can’t do x because my boyfriend doesn’t like it,” I’ll challenge that statement, but otherwise I plan girls’ nights out with her and don’t see them together. I’ll be there for her if things go south. I still don’t like what’s going on, but he’s giving her something she obviously needs, and so far he hasn’t done anything overtly alarming.

P.S. Shortly after I wrote you, they both came over to my place for a hot tub, and after that we went to a bar. At the bar, she was fairly drunk, and she began railing on his seeming lack of interest in getting a job. He said something like, “You’re crazy, X,” and I said, “Well, she’s right — this city is damn expensive and most couples can’t make it on one income — there are plenty of jobs in (your field), and you oughta go after one because X can’t keep paying for everything indefinitely.” After that, he stopped telling me he loved me or saying “hi” when she talked to me…cold. I haven’t heard from him in 4 months — he used to say “hi” every time she talked to me, which is daily — and she stopped suggesting that we get together as couples anymore. She won’t IM me if he’s sitting next to her because she says he reads over her shoulder, which I find bizarre. She won’t say to him, “Hey, I’m talking to my friend here, do you mind?” Instead, she just tells me he’s next to her and she can’t talk.

 
Well, I guess that was one way to get him out of your life! But, seriously, kudos to you for butting out and remaining in your friend’s life as best you can given her limitations. Hopefully, if/when this relationship ends, she’ll know you’ve got her back and will love you all the more for staying by her side and biting your tongue when you could have said so much. Thanks for the 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.

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46 comments… add one
  • Lyra

    Lyra August 4, 2014, 1:29 pm

    Yikes. Who the heck can drink that much that often??? Not that he’s a big catch or anything, but that’s alcoholism right there.

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    • Addie Pray

      Addie Pray August 4, 2014, 1:59 pm

      Lawyers can! A secretary was talking about how she cut back on drinking to lose weight and I made the comment, “once I went an entire week without a drink” and she laughed so hard like that is nothing to be be proud of…. except I was serious, it was hard to say no to alcohol FOR AN ENTIRE WEEK! I can’t remember the last time I went without at least one drink. Maybe a few weeks ago? Granted I have just 1 or 2 (maybe a couple days max 3) glasses those regular nights and more like 4-5 only one night a week…. God those numbers sound bad.

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      • avatar

        ktfran August 4, 2014, 2:09 pm

        I just filled out my yearly health assessment at work so I can get a medical plan discount. I said I consume about 10 alcoholic drinks a week. I’m guessing that’s average, but some weeks, it may be more.

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        Miss Lady August 4, 2014, 2:16 pm

        My drinking is the same as ktfran. My husband’s is more, and I don’t think it would be that unusual for him to drink 15 drinks over the course of a week, which is what this guy is doing. (Right? If a pack of beer is a sixer? So he’s having 3 beers 5 nights a week? Or is a half-pack something I don’t know about?) If that’s alcoholism, then most of my social circle is alcoholic 😐

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      • Addie Pray

        Addie Pray August 4, 2014, 2:18 pm

        Yeah, same here. There must be a measure other than quantity to determine alcoholism. Like, maybe you could be an alcoholic even if you drink just 3 glasses of wine a day if you NEED it, you know? Shit.

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      • Lyra

        Lyra August 4, 2014, 2:28 pm

        I read it as if it’s a 12 pack based on what she put here…6 12-ounce cans of beer is a lot if you ask me. The bottle of hard liquor in one night also stood out to me.

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      • Lyra

        Lyra August 4, 2014, 2:12 pm

        But an entire bottle of hard liquor in one night?? That takes me 6 months…

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        ktfran August 4, 2014, 2:14 pm

        I did that once in college. Although I think it was only 3/4 of a bottle. It was not pretty. Not pretty at all.

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      • Addie Pray

        Addie Pray August 4, 2014, 2:19 pm

        I can’t drink large quantity of hard liquor. I will get sick before I get drunk. Oh I’m feeling sick just thinking about it.

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      • Addie Pray

        Addie Pray August 4, 2014, 2:24 pm

        p.s. Look at these thumbs, it’s like the good old times! I’m feeling nostalgic now. I’m ready for RR and spaceboy and theotherme to come back…

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      • Dear Wendy

        Dear Wendy August 4, 2014, 2:30 pm

        Jeah, dawg!

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      • Dear Wendy

        Dear Wendy August 4, 2014, 2:28 pm

        Last week, I didn’t have a drink on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday! And then I just had three drinks on Friday and NONE on Saturday. WHO AM I?

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        trixy minx August 4, 2014, 11:33 pm

        I don’t even know who you are anymore.

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        Sue Jones August 4, 2014, 2:37 pm

        AP, since I know you love my stories so much, when I was in India I took a 2-3 month bodywork training (in large marble pyramids, and we wore crystals in our third eyes – a detail I though you would get a kick out of) where we all became so sensitive we were told to stop drinking, etc. I would maybe have a glass of wine in the evening, that was the extent of my drinking then, about 23 years ago… So I did. Then a few months later, after I was back in the States, I tried drinking a glass of wine and it made me feel immediately toxic and yucky. So I stopped completely. Now I can only have a few drops of a really good wine once or twice a year and that is all I can do. And all I want to do. I know, boring…. 😉

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      • Addie Pray

        Addie Pray August 4, 2014, 2:40 pm

        I love a good Sue Jones story – and yes the more details the better! One thing I always am curious about people who don’t drink: how do you, like, hook up with people? I can’t remember the last “first” hook-up where we were sober. Come on, I bet most people can’t.

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        Tax Geek August 4, 2014, 2:46 pm

        That may fall under another call for a deleted thread…Hint, hint.

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      • Kate B.

        Kate B. August 4, 2014, 2:51 pm

        As a non-drinker, I will answer your question: we hook up the same way you do, only we don’t drink alcohol.

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      • Addie Pray

        Addie Pray August 4, 2014, 2:59 pm

        huh, inneressing. … i was thinking that’s probably how it worked but I wasn’t sure, you know

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      • Kate B.

        Kate B. August 4, 2014, 3:13 pm

        This is kind of on my mind, since there seems to be this perception that non-drinkers are boring and never go out. I work in a boozy office, everybody drinks all the time. I never got invited to out after work or anything and when I asked about it, I got blank stares and “But you don’t drink.” So, does that mean I can’t go out? Do you think I stay at home every night? I fact, I have a standing pub night every Tuesday. I don’t drink alcohol, but I do drink beverages and I do like to go out and be social. We are the same as drinking folks, only that brown stuff in the glass is root beer instead of Guinness. Sorry for the rant, but it gets to me sometimes.

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      • Addie Pray

        Addie Pray August 4, 2014, 3:29 pm

        aw that’s sad! i have a good friend who doesn’t drink. she still comes everywhere with us. I’d argue she’s more fun than the drinkers because she doesn’t pass out at 9. Maybe it’s not the fact you don’t drink. Maybe it’s because of that one thing?!? (i’m kidding, i don’t know; i’m sorry the drinkers leave you out; this is like a bad after school special carried over into adulthood!)

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      • Kate B.

        Kate B. August 4, 2014, 3:42 pm

        Totally like an after school special! I’ve got plenty of friends who still hang out with me, so that makes up for it, but it still hurts to basically be told “I can’t hang out with you if you’re not going to drink.” I sometimes wonder if these people think you can’t have fun without drinking? That would be sad to me. (I certainly don’t need to be drunk to act goofy. I can do that just fine sober.)

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      • Cymepkee

        Cymepkee August 5, 2014, 3:50 pm

        Maybe they’re worried you will judge them?

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        Sue Jones August 4, 2014, 2:58 pm

        Well for one thing I am married… Soooooooo boring!!!!! But my husband doesn’t drink either…. that was a happy coincidence. We both have zero interest in it so I know we aren’t teaching our son how to drink responsibly because we never drink! So I guess my husband and I met, had lunch dated for 2 weeks before we “did it” for the first time… But before him , and after India (where even though I wasn’t drinking I was hooking up a lot because there were so many hot European men…) I had a 4 year period where I didn’t “hook up” frequently. Maybe alcohol would have helped that situation!

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      • Addie Pray

        Addie Pray August 4, 2014, 3:02 pm

        tell us about that one time you and your favorite european man did you know what, when the thing happened, and then all the people were like whaaa and then you were like yessss and then that crazy thing happened and then the other men and then you and then what and then holy shit! And provide more detail.

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        Sue Jones August 4, 2014, 3:18 pm

        But AP, it was soooo long ago that I don’t remember that kind of detail! That is one problem I am finding with aging, and perimenopause…. my memory is terrible! So many great stories for AP lost, LOST!!!!!!

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      • Addie Pray

        Addie Pray August 4, 2014, 3:25 pm

        liar, you remember! why are you torturing me like this? it’s as if you woke up and just decided, “today i will not tell AP that one amazing story about that one time…”

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        Sue Jones August 4, 2014, 3:59 pm

        Well I think I told you about my awful boyfriend from Seattle at the time who followed me to India… and in Seattle he was constantly cheating on me, so I went to India to leave him, and he followed me, so the drama continued, only he couldn’t cheat on me in India because European girls didn’t like him. They probably were smarter than I was at the time and could see through his BS… so there he was stalking me in India and I was seeing this hot German guy. So one time I decided to give my ex a mercy fuck, big stupid mistake… and I was visiting my hot German BF that night. German BF was fine with it… I just felt kind of naughty….

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        Sue Jones August 4, 2014, 4:30 pm

        See! It is a boring story. I’m boring!

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      • Addie Pray

        Addie Pray August 4, 2014, 9:04 pm

        Hardly boring, Sue!

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        Sue Jones August 4, 2014, 9:22 pm

        Zzzzzzzz

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      • Lyra

        Lyra August 4, 2014, 3:10 pm

        I get so flirty when tipsy. I’ve never been totally drunk, but I’m such a lightweight I don’t want to test that. This weekend Navy Guy and I were hanging out with my friend and I had two beers over the course of 2 hours and I was so freaking tipsy (I know I know). In hindsight it was pretty funny. Navy Guy was driving, no worries there! But I kept on snuggling up close to him and being obnoxiously flirty and lovey. Then we got home and I was “dude, let’s make out!” so it was great hah.

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        TheGirlinME August 4, 2014, 9:42 pm

        Addie!! You’re a goddess & I adore you 😀 I think the consumption thing is kind of subjective? (Says the woman who unwinds with no less than 3 vodka seltzers a night.) I do a day or two dry from time-to-time to check the physiological dependency factor. I also never lose time at work due to drinking, nor do I ever put myself, my dogs or other humans at risk. Also, I can use words like “physiological dependency” without spell check after aforementioned consumption.

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      • Addie Pray

        Addie Pray August 4, 2014, 10:43 pm

        Haha I can’t spell that sober! In light of this convo today I decided to take tonight, tomorrow, and wed off just to see if I can. Tonight was hard because I have a friend and her son visiting and I came home to a home-cooked meal that his screamed “drink wine with me” but I resisted!! Love you Maine Girl.

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      • avatar

        trixy minx August 4, 2014, 11:32 pm

        Addie all this talk of not drinking is making me sad. I haven’t had anything today..

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  • Kate B.

    Kate B. August 4, 2014, 3:05 pm

    1. That does sound like a lot of alcohol to me. I would be very uncomfortable with someone who drank that much.

    2. You don’t sound jealous, you sound like a concerned friend.

    3. The whole lack of a job thing sounds sketchy to me. If he can’t get a job in his field, he should get a job doing something, anything, to bring some money in. The fact that he hasn’t makes him sound like a moocher. He gave you the silent treatment when you called him on it because he knows you see through him. Sketchy people hate being called out on their bullshit. They are used to manipulating people and they don’t like it when they get caught. If your friend’s job performance is suffering because of this guy, she needs to address that asap. (Although, I bet if she lost her job, the guy would disappear. That could be a nice wake-up call, although sucky for your friend.) And anyone who stops her from talking to her friends is not a good person for her to be around. Unfortunately, I think all you can do is be concerned from afar. If you say anything to her, she probably won’t believe you.

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    lets_be_honest August 4, 2014, 3:27 pm

    It sounds like she’s aware of and annoyed by his lack of desire to find a job. I assume that’ll only get worse with time, so she’ll hopefully move on.
    p.s. 3 beers in a night is drinking too much? yikes!

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    • Lyra

      Lyra August 4, 2014, 3:33 pm

      In my opinion, 3 beers per night every night of the week IS a lot. She also mentions him drinking an entire bottle of hard liquor in one night. That’s more than excessive.

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        lets_be_honest August 4, 2014, 3:39 pm

        Actually, I must be interpreting wrong because 3 beers a night (to me) is VERY different than an entire bottle of liquor. Maybe she means 6 beers a night? Even that seems like very little compared to a bottle of liquor.
        3 beers every single night? I guess that could seem excessive if it really was every night of every week for a long time. In the summer though, I could throw back 3 over the course of an evening not even realizing it or getting buzzed.

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      • Lyra

        Lyra August 4, 2014, 3:49 pm

        Yeah to me it was definitely the entire bottle of hard liquor that stood out to me and that’s why I commented about it. I’m also such a lightweight that’s probably why 3 beers seems like a lot to me haha. I was so buzzed after 2 beers this weekend.

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        lets_be_honest August 4, 2014, 4:06 pm

        Every once in a while I’ll feel buzzed after just 2 glasses of wine and I LOVE it.

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      Lily in NYC August 5, 2014, 11:31 am

      I was wondering about that – I think a half-pack is 12 beers, right? Like half of a case? It makes more sense than half of a six-pack considering he will drink an entire bottle of hard booze in a night.

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  • avatar

    Miss Lady August 4, 2014, 3:47 pm

    This isn’t quite the same, but I do have a friend who has been with her now-husband for several years and he has been unemployed for most of it. Like your friend’s boyfriend, he is fully capable of working and the proud owner of a very expensive college degree, but there are always these obstacles that prevent him from being employed in the present. Like, they are considering moving in the next six month, so there’s no reason to get a job now (!) but after the move, he will start looking. This big move has been six months away for 4 years.

    When I first met him, I thought he was taking advantage of her. Over time, though, I have come to see that while he does not appear to contribute financially, he takes care of her. When she is withdrawn in our group of friends, he kind of bridges the gap socially and he seems to meet her high emotional needs. She is happy.

    Your friend’s bf sounds like a real drain, but your friend clearly thinks he is contributing something to their relationship. It’s already been said, but I think patience and tolerance are your only choices here. Eventually he’ll break her heart and you can be her soft place to land, or eventually his good side will be revealed and you’ll all be bff’s together.

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  • bittergaymark

    bittergaymark August 4, 2014, 4:19 pm

    I love how the LW still KNOWS exactly how much the guy is drinking even though they never go out and socialize any longer. (Gee… I wonder why…) Get a clue, LW. Your friend wants a HOT piece of ass. NEWSFLASH!! North of 45 — everybody — men and women alike — usually have to fucking pay for it. Face it! Nobody sleeps with a 20 year old because of their vast intellect. And nobody ever routinely bangs a 45 year because of that super hot starting to sag body. Woof! Wake up and smell the reality, people. Far too many of you live in Fantasy Land…

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      jlyfsh August 4, 2014, 4:29 pm

      Yeah I do find it odd that she knows exactly how much he drinks all the time. Even if you see someone drinking a few times, it doesn’t mean they drink that way all the time. I’m going to assume too that the friend knows what she’s doing and I mean if that’s what she wants…..

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        lets_be_honest August 4, 2014, 4:36 pm

        I got the feeling the friend was bitching to the LW about it and that’s how she knew.
        And regardless of this friend’s age, TONS of people just want a warm body with them and will put up with almost anything for it.

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    The Concerned Friend August 5, 2014, 6:46 pm

    Letter Writer here — I know how much he drinks every night (and I meant a half-rack of beer, for those who are confused), because yes, my friend lets me know. Age in this case really doesn’t mean much; I would say that my friend is in love with this guy, and he has a lot of qualities that appeal to her aside from his questionably hot ass. Peoples’ motivations are complex, you know?

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