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 firstname.lastname@example.org with a link to the original post, and let me know whether you followed the advice and how you’re doing now.