Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

Updates: “Tired of UTIs” 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 “Tired of UTIs” whose boyfriend was “always always huffy and argumentative” about wearing condoms even though they helped the LW avoid painful UTIs.

All those comments were pretty overwhelming!

First, just to clarify, it seems a lot of readers assumed that condom use was my only strategy to prevent UTI’s, which is not true. I didn’t get into gory details in the original letter because I didn’t think they were necessary but I take every precaution I can (showering before and after sex, peeing before and after sex, taking cranberry pills, etc.) and condom use is simply one of them. I never intended our condom use to be permanent either, as some readers understood, but we’ve been using condoms almost every time for the past several months and I haven’t had a UTI, so for now, our combined precautions are working and I want to keep it that way. I was pretty shocked at how many people told me to MOA over this issue, but I guess it makes some sense coming from readers reacting to an isolated incident and not knowing all of the wonderful things about my boyfriend.

Anyway, to the heart of the matter, a week or so after our fight my boyfriend and I sat down to talk about this in a more neutral environment and it was pretty much a non-issue. He said he doesn’t mind using condoms and he of course wants to spare me any pain he can. I told him I understand his dislike for condoms, and I don’t like using them either, and we’re going to keep up our regime for now. I think his anger over the issue may have been frustration over a combination of things, as we cope with a lot of recurring sexual issues because of trauma in my past.

It was really helpful to hear so many outside opinions, so thank you! I was furious at the time and it was a relief to hear many readers echoing my feelings. After having some time to arrange my thoughts, we have talked through this issue and are still going strong. 🙂

 
Great! Good luck to you both.

If you’re someone I’ve given advice to in the past, I’d love to hear from you, too. Email me at [email protected] with a link to the original post, and let me know whether you followed the advice and how you’re doing now.

48 comments… add one
  • landygirl

    Landygirl January 2, 2012, 2:25 pm

    Thanks for the update. I love updates. Funny, there is an ad for catheter and urology supplies on my page.

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    MiMi January 2, 2012, 7:13 pm

    Meaningful insight by the varied and knowledgeable commentators on this site would be more…meaningful…if letter writers would kindly include more of the pertinent details….

    Revisionist updates where the writer essentially says, “yeah, well, thanks for the comments but y’all were wrong because of this this and this, which I neglected to tell you” are off-putting to say the least..

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    • avatar

      Painted_lady January 2, 2012, 10:27 pm

      Yeah, it’s definitely a valid point, but having written in once over a year ago and once about six weeks ago, it is really difficult to try and see the situation objectively and figure out which details are pertinent and which are extraneous. Both letters I wrote had a few details that I thought were pretty significant when I wrote in and were edited out (no fault to you, Wendy, you were absolutely right), and then I spent a couple of hours agonizing over other details that I left out and altered the readers’ perceptions of my situation to the extreme. I didn’t want to be that person who wrote in with an unnecessarily long letter, but it’s more difficult than you might think to be objective about what people need to know.

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    • avatar

      KL January 3, 2012, 10:23 pm

      No, I agree with the LW in large part; she got a lot of advice that seemed really obvious (the cranberry pills that were in fact mentioned in the original post, for example, and “wipe from front to back” which I think most of us know by now!). It felt a little condescending.

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  • avatar

    Calle January 2, 2012, 8:54 pm

    First I thought the boyfriend was kind of dick, but now I’m kind of thinking LW is neurotic. Cranberry juice, showering before and after, peeing, and condom use…Honestly, you shouldn’t have to do every single one of those to prevent UTI’s. She needs to talk to her doctor and ask EXACTLY what the doctor’s advice is to prevent UTI’s.

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    • TaraMonster

      TaraMonster January 2, 2012, 10:00 pm

      Actually, as a chronic UTI sufferer (who was pretty vocal about it on the original thread), some of us really DO need to take all those precautions. And the things she listed ARE what doctors tell you to do- so if you think it’s neurotic imagine how frustrating having to do all those things on a regular basis must be. There are many theories as to why some women are more prone to them than others, the most popular being that some women have smaller urethra’s than others and it causes recurring infections.

      I actually had a UTI when this letter came in. And I was at the freaking end of my rope after 8 years of this nonsense. I started taking a supplement called D-Mannose, which I read about on some holistic health forum. LW- Go to your nearest health food store and get this supplement. My symptoms started going away within a couple of hours of taking it and were completely gone within a few days. I nearly cried I was so relieved that something finally worked. It’s only been about a month, but so far so good! You can Google it to find out more info, and I really hope it works for you too. I wish I’d known about it years ago. Good luck!

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    blueskies January 2, 2012, 11:47 pm

    I’ve only ever had a UTI once…and MY GOODNESS, it was HORRIBLE! I have nothing but utmost sympathy to anyone who gets these on a regular basis. I think some of the unkind comments are from people who just can’t relate, or haven’t experienced the FUN of a UTI.

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    • avatar

      artsygirl January 3, 2012, 9:19 am

      The unkind comments were directed at the BF not the LW. According to the original letter, the LW was suffering from chronic UTIs and she had her BF had a fight because he didn’t want to use a condom despite the aforementioned UTIs. I stand by my original assessment…if you are caused pain and that pain can be alleviated through something as simple as a condom, I would hope a signification other would be happy to being slightly inconvenienced rather than bring it up during a fight and make someone feel bad about it.

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  • bagge72

    Bagge72 January 3, 2012, 12:49 pm

    Thanks for the update, and I’m glad everything worked out. I think this update goes to show that a lot of these issues might be fixed if the LW’s just talk to there significant other before even writing in, because then they wont have to deal with being upset over the comments of people who only have the letter to go by. I think every letter that comes in that isn’t of a serious nature always starts off with talk to your SO.

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    • avatar

      amber January 3, 2012, 1:00 pm

      i think too it shows that waiting until you’re not angry about the issue to talk about it is also a good idea! and sometimes that means writing in to someone like Wendy and thinking through things before approaching your SO. but i definitely agree that most LWs need to get better about communicating!

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  • avatar

    John Rohan January 3, 2012, 12:49 pm

    WOW! I feel somewhat vindicated now. At the time, I pointed out that most of the comments were going way overboard in bashing this guy:

    In fact, TaraMonster went so far as to say: “my blood was absolutely boiling at the few people who think her boyfriend has even the most rickety leg to stand on.”

    Moreover, I was even personally attacked elsewhere in the comments for defending the boyfriend! I’ll leave out the links to those, but I can provide them.

    I hate to gloat and say “I told you so”, but oh it is soooo tempting after having being hammered in those comments so hard. LOL.

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    • JK

      JK January 3, 2012, 12:55 pm

      If my memory doesn´t fail, you were “personally attacked” because of your terrible flimsy excuses to not wear a condom (my personal favourite was slicing your finger open on the condom wrapper).

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      • avatar

        John Rohan January 3, 2012, 1:50 pm

        Apparently, your memory does fail, because instead of an “excuse” that was actually an answer to Savannah who asked me specifically what problems I’ve seen with condoms.

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      • avatar

        savannah January 3, 2012, 1:56 pm

        I’ll back John up on that one!

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      • JK

        JK January 3, 2012, 2:05 pm

        I do remember that you were asked why you disliked condoms.
        I´m sorry, I thought that they were excuses, because I really couldn´t imagine a person having so many problems with condoms in real life.

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      • theattack

        theattack January 3, 2012, 2:09 pm

        I think the issue here was that you stated all of those condom catastrophes while you were also defending the bf for not wanting to use condoms. Perhaps those were two totally separate thoughts of yours, but in context, it seemed that you were justifying not using condoms by some absolutely ridiculous scenarios. And while hardly anyone really wants to use condoms, they are one of the most harmless forms of birth control available. In an audience full of women who have been messed up by hormonal birth control, or gained a ton of weight with the depo shot, or had doctors refuse to insert an IUD in a childfree woman, or actually did go through a potentially painful procedure to have an IUD……. we do not feel sorry for anyone putting on a condom. It sounded as if you were suggesting that he shouldn’t have to go through those condom troubles, when the alternative is for her to go through something much, much worse.

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      • avatar

        John Rohan January 3, 2012, 4:43 pm

        No, the point was that no man in a committed relationship expects to go on using condoms forever. And I NEVER said that him wearing condoms is worse than her getting a UTI, or anything even remotely along those lines.

        And btw, I also said:
        Wearing condoms is something you do with someone you just met. I think he’s cringing at the thought of using them throughout decades of your future life together. Of course it’s very much a big deal to get urinary tract infections too. However, his feelings should not be simply dismissed, so he’s not necessarily being unreasonable, but neither are you [the letter writer].”

        But it’s funny how some of us like to jump to conclusions and remember reading only what we want to read. Kind of describes the update above too!

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      • theattack

        theattack January 3, 2012, 4:46 pm

        I know that is not what you specifically said. I am only trying to tell you how your comments came off, and why people reacted to them like they did.

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    • avatar

      amber January 3, 2012, 12:58 pm

      i’m confused as to how you feel vindicated since you were advocating for no condom use and the bf here has said it’s a non issue and he’s willing to use them to spare her pain?

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      • avatar

        Something More January 3, 2012, 1:22 pm

        Probably because almost everyone here attacked the boyfriend, yelling for his head for being so inconsiderate when in all actuality, it wasn’t that big of a deal to him. Yet another example of people on here taking one piece of a letter, creating a situation in their minds and blowing it out of proportion.

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        amber January 3, 2012, 1:38 pm

        But according to her first letter (which didn’t include this information) he didn’t want to use them even though they were relieving her issues. If he had continued to say this then I would still have said MOA. And that’s what the entire letter was about not one piece of it, him not wanting to use condoms. Even she didn’t know until she talked to him that it was a non-issue, the letter she presented to us the first time made it seem like it was a giant issue, which was why people reacted the way they did.

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      • avatar

        ele4phant January 3, 2012, 1:54 pm

        While we now know the boyfriend is willing to wear a condom to help prevent her UTIs, the letter implied he was being a whiny and resistant brat about it, hence the yelling for the head.

        If john was trying to say we were a bit hasty in our reactions, that’s not what came across. If I recall, he doubted the LW’s claim that condoms were helpful, argued that condoms were extreme boner killers and any man who used them was compromising greatly, and dreamed up the most ridiculous scenarios about why condoms shouldn’t be used.

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      • avatar

        John Rohan January 3, 2012, 4:25 pm

        the letter implied he was being a whiny and resistant brat about it

        Actually, it didn’t. But that’s how the man-hating knee-erk “MOA!!” people often see these things, just as has been proven here.

        If I recall, [John] doubted the LW’s claim that condoms were helpful, … and dreamed up the most ridiculous scenarios about why condoms shouldn’t be used.

        Unfortunately, like a few others here, you recall incorrectly. The “ridiculous scenarios” were things that I have personally experienced, and it was in response to a specific question to me. And I NEVER doubted the woman’s claims. Here is what I did say:

        Wearing condoms is something you do with someone you just met. I think he’s cringing at the thought of using them throughout decades of your future life together. Of course it’s very much a big deal to get urinary tract infections too. However, his feelings should not be simply dismissed, so he’s not necessarily being unreasonable, but neither are you [the letter writer].

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      • avatar

        Rachel January 3, 2012, 4:38 pm

        “my boyfriend is always huffy and argumentative about it. We had a huge fight a few days ago about how he doesn’t like using condoms ”

        I think that’s the whiny and resistant brat part.

        Luckily when she spoke to him in a neutral setting about it, it sounds like both of them were reasonable and understanding, but since all we saw was the part I quoted it sure sounded like the guy was being pretty selfish about it.

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      • avatar

        ele4phant January 3, 2012, 4:48 pm

        From the original letter:

        “Now we’ve been regularly using condoms for a few months and my boyfriend is always huffy and argumentative about it.”

        That wording led me to believe he was being whiny and resistant (and yes, I know he WAS using condoms). The LW has since talked with him, and it now sounds he is okay with things. Whether he always was and the wasn’t clear in the initial letter I am not sure, but given the the original wording, I don’t think my original reaction was unwarranted.

        And I do take some issue with “Condoms aren’t acceptable EVER as a long term solution”. Yeah, they suck for everybody, but when it comes to your partners health (whether she can’t handle hormonal birth control or they help cut down on recurring UTIs), sometimes it’s the only option. You can be sad about that, but venting and throwing a fit (if that’s what he actually was doing initially as the letter suggested) isn’t okay.

        If you love someone, and they require condom usage over the long haul to be healthy, you suck it up and sacrifice, or you don’t stick around. Arguing, sulking, being huffy, are not acceptable responses. Accept the package or don’t, making someone feel guilty for their health requirements isn’t cool.

        I do owe you an apology for saying you were completely and utterly against condom use, there was also the other guy (that was literally his name).

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      • avatar

        John Rohan January 3, 2012, 1:53 pm

        Because I never advocated for “no condom use”. I just pointed out that the bf has already been using them for months, so it wasn’t fair to say he’s been “refusing” them (as many were claiming) and not unreasonable for him to expect some kind of end date on their use.

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    • bagge72

      Bagge72 January 3, 2012, 1:23 pm

      So you provide the post that people actually agreed with you on as an “I told you so” haha that is hilarious. We all saw your other post, her follow up here actually proves everything else you said as being wrong as well. The other commenters on here were at least wrong, because they went by what was in the letter, you were actually making reasons up as to why this guy didn’t want to wear condoms. I think JK just provided one of those hilarious comments you left.

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      • theattack

        theattack January 3, 2012, 1:45 pm

        …which was honestly the most hilarious comment I’ve ever read on the internet. Not because it was intentionally funny, but, well…

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      • TaraMonster

        TaraMonster January 3, 2012, 3:03 pm

        Haha. It totally made me hear one of those law commercials in my head!
        “Have you recently used a Trojan condom in a foil wrap? Have you sustained a serious injury? You’re entitled to compensation. Call the law offices of Werner, Raymond, and Stevens for a free consultation. No deserves to be cut with a foil condom wrapper.”

        Hahahaha. I crack myself up sometimes.

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    • avatar

      savannah January 3, 2012, 1:45 pm

      John…while you take the time to gloat I’ll take some time to tell you that you clearly misread the update. Despite your hilarious condom hardship scenarios and general condom protesting the LW’s boyfriend does not in fact agree with you about your hatred of those dreaded and sharp instruments of pain i.e. “He said he doesn’t mind using condoms”.

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      • avatar

        John Rohan January 3, 2012, 1:55 pm

        Savannah, I’m actually disappointed that it’s clear you never even read my detailed response to you in that column. You asked me what problems I’ve seen with condoms myself, and I answered you. Read it again. That had nothing to do with the bf in this letter, and was about me only. Understand now?

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      • avatar

        ele4phant January 3, 2012, 2:00 pm

        John are those situations you’ve described something that happened when you first starting having sex? Using condoms isn’t rocket science, I can’t imagine anyone who uses them with any sort of regularity having such catastrophes; certainly not a couple that uses them every time.

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        savannah January 3, 2012, 2:05 pm

        Oh, I understand what you wrote. I simply don’t agree those demonstrated what a ‘big deal’ condom use is, which you did say related to the LW’s situation. Just as I simply don’t agree that this update gives you any reason to feel vindicated. Please don’t assume that just because I don’t agree with you that means I didn’t read what you wrote. And I could really do without the condescending “Understand now?” too. Its not helping you at all.

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        John Rohan January 3, 2012, 4:28 pm

        It’s also not helpful when I actually took the time to carefully answer you in that other column, and you disingenuously tries to twist it around on me here.

        The point was, no man in a committed relationship expects to go on using condoms forever.

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        savannah January 3, 2012, 9:13 pm

        I feel pretty genuine in my understanding of what you wrote.And I appreciate your answer but I don’t understand why you are using it as an excuse in your response to the other commentators today. I simply asked you to substantiate the claim you made about the LW’s situation and I don’t think that was somehow above and beyond. That you told personal stories was your choice, I did not request that.

        The point actually is that you took the LW’s update as an opportunity to attempt to tell the DW community “I told you so” rather erroneously.

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        John Rohan January 4, 2012, 10:45 am

        Hmmmmm…. Savannah, here were your exact words:

        ‘John- I’m very curious about what you are talking about when you say :”Speaking as a man, using condoms IS a big deal beyond the loss of sensation for several reasons that I don’t want to go into detail here.” Wondering if you can actually go into detail about those other issues.’

        So you are wrong here. You did request it.

        The point actually is that you took the LW’s update as an opportunity to attempt to tell the DW community “I told you so” rather erroneously.

        LOL! I told everyone that they were going overboard on their criticism of this guy, and it turns out I was right. So I hate to be so harsh, but the means you are wrong there too. I quite literally “told you so”.

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        John Rohan January 4, 2012, 10:52 am

        “you” as in the community here, not literally you yourself.

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    • TaraMonster

      TaraMonster January 3, 2012, 3:10 pm

      Are you really crying about personal attacks when you just called me out for my comment- which I still stand by- when, um, this update doesn’t “vindicate” you at all. What? LOL.

      Be careful around condoms, by the way. I hear they have extra lube these days. You could drop it, then slip on it and possibly wind up with blue balls AND a sprained ankle. Which! Might hurt more than a UTI! Ooohh I see now how you’re vindicated. Gotcha.

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      • bagge72

        Bagge72 January 3, 2012, 3:42 pm

        Hahahaha!

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      • theattack

        theattack January 3, 2012, 3:43 pm

        hahaha, You are on a roll today!

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      • JK

        JK January 3, 2012, 4:34 pm

        You forgot the terrible cut on his finger from the wrapper as well!!!!

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        John Rohan January 3, 2012, 4:34 pm

        So, Tara, you still stand by your comment that the bf in the letter is a “selfish brat”? Just trying to be clear that’s what you are saying here. Because if it is, it looks like both me and the original LW both disagree with you.

        And incidentally, the “condom mishaps” I wrote about were in response to a specific question from Savannah. But why do I bother? It’s obviously killing you that you were 100% wrong about the bf in the letter, so you prefer to divert attention away from that by making personal attacks against me instead. Stay classy!

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        ele4phant January 3, 2012, 8:11 pm

        I have to say, I’m confused that you feel personally attacked. To be honest, while its clear most people disagree with your perspective, I can’t say I’ve seen any name calling or insults that are aimed at you as a person (or anyone else – you haven’t attacked anyone else either). Wendy is usually pretty good at moderating and curtailing that kind of behavior. Yes, people are disagreeing with your posts, and sometimes even say some of them seem a little ridiculous or far-fetched, but disagreement, even strong disagreement, isn’t the same as a vendetta against you.

        Because at the end of the day, this is all just debate, speculation, and good fun, right? It is for me at least.

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        John Rohan January 4, 2012, 10:38 am

        I’m pretty confident I was personally attacked, and that’s not just my opinion either. As proof of this, at least one commenter (to her credit) immediately apologized afterwards for her personal attack on me:

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    ele4phant January 3, 2012, 2:03 pm

    While I disagree with him, can I just thank John Rohan for nearly single-handily making commenting on the original letter such a good time? Without him it would have been pretty one-note and boring.

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    • katie

      katie January 3, 2012, 7:56 pm

      so very true. he single handedly made the day interesting AND made me thankful that im with a very kind, understanding and rational man. thanks john!

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      • avatar

        John Rohan January 4, 2012, 10:47 am

        Hmmm… so one man’s condom mishaps make you feel like you appreciate your man? Kind of a strange standard to go by, but I’m glad to be of service.

        I didn’t write that necessarily for comedic value, but if it was comedy, then it’s all good.

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  • Budj

    Budj January 4, 2012, 11:03 am

    I’m disappointed by a lot of the comments in this thread, honestly.

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