Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

Updates: “Scarred by Past” 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 “Scarred by Past” whose ex-boyfriend confessed to cheating on her after she dumped him. She writes: “Why would someone in a healthy loving relationship do that to the person he loves? […] Will it always be impossible to be completely sure that the person you’re with, even if they love you to death, is not cheating on you? I know there must be guys out there that don’t do this stuff, but I think I’ll never truly trust any guy again. At the same time I don’t want to be that girl, like many friends of mine, who never allows herself to get really attached so she won’t get hurt. How should I deal with this?”

First of all, I want to thank you a lot for replying to my letter and all your wonderful readers who gave me really good advice.

When I wrote in I was just so sad and lost, really, I couldn’t think straight. I felt unsure my relationship meant anything at all and I had just heard horrible, cruel things from my ex’s friend (the one he cheated with). When I learned they slept together, I contacted her to know the story from her POV. She said “don’t worry, he must really like you because he only slept with me and it was just once. Handsome and interesting like he is, you should be thankful he was not screwing around a lot more,” like it was a favour to me (well, he DID sleep with another woman). You see, I know he is more attractive than I am and that I’m not the prettiest girl in the block, but my self-esteem was always good. This kinda crushed it.

I never spoke to him again — not even to send the e-mail that was suggested (even though I really wanted to). I think it was for the best. He didn’t try to talk to me again and I just buried myself with work and I try to be always very busy. This probably is not healthy either, but it gets me going. I’m not very social, so I don’t know lots of people but that’s OK because I don’t feel ready to go back to the dating world.

I also started seeing a therapist for other reasons and about this matter I found out my problem is that I’m surrounded by people with bad boyfriends, husbands, etc., so I was romantically projecting a desire that he was what I wanted to find, but now I see how he was so disrespectful of me. Sometimes I still think about him, but I don’t miss him or anything; I just miss the feeling of feeling safe and loved, but I know I will eventually feel that way again with someone else, I just have to wait. Maybe it will last. Maybe not. I’m trying to keep an open mind.

 
You’ll find someone again, and with the experience and wisdom you have now, you’ll hopefully choose a better match. If not, you will know the warning signs better. One day, this will be but a blip in the history of your love life and you’ll look back and think, “Wow, that was a long time ago!” And you’ll be happy.

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.

5 comments… add one
  • avatar

    ktfran February 6, 2012, 12:15 pm

    LW,

    Some extra advice. I go to a therapist too. One of the most productive things I’ve done is make a list of must-have qualities in someone. It doesn’t contain anything about looks or money or superficial things, but more personality traits. It can be used for friends and boyfriends.

    I was having trouble trusting my insticts. For instance, was I staying in a relationship because I was lonely, or because I truly liked the person? This list serves as a reminder of the kind of relationships I want and kind of people I want to hang out with.

    The top of that list is reliability. A close second is similar family values.

    Anyway, a list like this might be good for your future dating experiences.

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  • iwannatalktosampson

    Iwannatalktosampson February 6, 2012, 11:01 pm

    Good riddance. Hopefully you dumped the friend too.

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  • avatar

    One of the Unicorns You Seek February 7, 2012, 4:58 pm

    I have been with the same gal since 18. She fell for the homecoming-court, football-playing bad-boy with the fast car and thick curly hair.

    That bad boy is now 42. I am fit (same waist size as when I played football, abs can grate cheese), a professional (yup, good money and social status to boot), same sense of humor (I keep them in stitches at the pub), and the (ahem) plumbing works as well as it did when I was 18 (there is nooooo need for any little blue pills to help things along). In short, it would not take much to find a side piece or (gasp) replace my wife, if that was my goal.

    Never cheated. Not once. Not gonna. I am here with her until death or she dumps me.

    In short, dear, yes, we are out there. Gotta look carefully, though, and remember that we tend to find mates earlier in life…and stay with them. If you wait until you are older, well, we paired up long ago, and we don’t much fancy change when it comes to the ladies.

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    • becboo84

      BecBoo84 February 10, 2012, 11:44 am

      Evidently, modesty wasn’t something your wife required in a mate.

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  • avatar

    Taylor February 8, 2012, 2:53 pm

    Hi LW,
    You will feel safe and loved in a relationship again! I actually feel like guys get better at relationships in their thirties. I feel that way about myself too – I did my fair share of not great things in my early relationships, I didn’t have a clue and it took me a while to find one. Then I did, and found someone else who did, and we often comment that meeting at an earlier time in our lives would have led to a different (and likely not lasting) relationship. There are lots of good people out there – unmarried ones too – so, no sweat. Enjoy your life, keep up the therapy, and good things will come.

    Best of luck to you!

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