Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

Updates: “Tired of Waiting” 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 Waiting,” whose boyfriend, after five years of dating and even buying a ring, announced he simply wasn’t ready to get engaged yet. “I want to give him more time,” she wrote, “but at this point, am I being foolish for thinking that he’ll ever change his mind? I thought that months of counseling (after over five years together!) would do it, but it feels like we’re back at square one.” After the jump find out whether she’s still waiting, six months later.

First of all, thank you SO much for posting my letter and for your advice (and a big thanks to all of your readers who commented on my letter, as well). After I wrote in, I realized that while I agreed with your (and many readers’) opinion that I should strongly consider ending the relationship, I also wasn’t yet completely ready to do so. Your advice was really helpful to me in that, though I wasn’t ready to end the relationship at that time, I did realize that I absolutely could not continue on in that situation endlessly. I thought it over for a couple of weeks and decided that I could give my boyfriend about six more months to try to work through his issues, but that would be it, absolutely no more extensions. I made it clear to him that my time frame was limited, but I avoided a full-on ultimatum. I wanted him to understand what he was risking but not feel backed into a corner in his decision. One reason I was able to make it through the last six months was knowing that I had a hard and fast deadline set in my mind for my own sanity, and I probably would not have done that without your advice.

Shortly after I wrote you, my boyfriend started seeing a new therapist who was a much better fit for him than his previous one, and he also was diagnosed with and began treatment for dysthymia, a form of depression. Though my six month deadline was rapidly approaching, he made a LOT of progress in the months following my letter. Just over a week ago, he proposed!! We both couldn’t be more excited and are planning our wedding for next September. I wouldn’t necessarily recommend other women waiting for an engagement to do the same in all circumstances, but I do think this goes to show that it can be worth waiting a certain amount of time IF you both share the goal of marriage and IF he is taking real action to get over his hang ups and reach this goal.

So Wendy, thank you again for your advice, it truly was helpful in my approach to this difficult situation. I am so excited to have a happy outcome to report, finally!

 
That’s wonderful news! Thanks for the update, and best wishes 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 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.

8 comments… add one
  • Jess

    Jess of CityGirlsWorld.com September 12, 2011, 12:03 pm

    Awesome! This is a great example of striking a balance between self-respect and compassion. Not an easy thing to do.

    Big congrats to LW on her engagement!

    Reply Link
  • MaterialsGirl

    Elizabeth September 12, 2011, 12:16 pm

    Great news! You seem to have balanced it out by giving him a “here’s reality” and then giving yourself a personal deadline. My mom did the same thing.. after 7 years of on/off dating, she said to herself: okay, if he doesn’t propose by such an such, i’m out. My dad ended up proposing like a week before… cut it a little close!

    Reply Link
  • avatar

    mf September 12, 2011, 1:10 pm

    Yay! I’m so glad this worked out. It seems like you dealt with the situation with a lot of maturity. I can imagine you had the urge (understandably so) to stomp your feet and throw a fit.

    Reply Link
  • avatar

    Riefer September 12, 2011, 1:42 pm

    I did the same thing with my husband. He was anxious because of his parent’s divorce, and also because his brother was currently going through a brutal divorce. I didn’t give him a deadline (although I had one set in my head), but I did tell him that I needed to know whether he wanted to marry me or not, so that I could then make the decision of whether I wanted to stay together or leave to find someone who did want to get married to me. He did decide to propose, and after he did, the anxiety went away and he was so happy/excited about the wedding!

    Reply Link
  • landygirl

    Landygirl September 12, 2011, 2:02 pm

    Every time I read an update, I always wonder what percentage of the LWs actually follow Wendy’s advice and what happened if they did or didn’t.

    Reply Link
    • avatar

      ForeverYoung September 12, 2011, 6:52 pm

      I know I agree! I have a friend that is a therapist and she said that they are trained to assume that their clients will only follow their suggestions 5% of the time…so they have to expect to have them come in every week after not taking their advice and help them deal with the next fall out of whatever situation. I thought it was really depressing but she isn’t offended by it and reminded me that the point of therapy is to help your clients work through their problems on their own – sort of like teaching them to fish for themselves instead of giving them a fish. Plus she says that if they want to be told what to do they should hire a life coach

      Reply Link
  • Public Pearl

    Public Pearl September 12, 2011, 6:03 pm

    That’s great, but I still think couples/premarital counseling is a good idea, in general, and definitely in this specific case.

    Reply Link
  • avatar

    Kalipzo September 12, 2011, 8:29 pm

    Mazel tov.

    Reply Link

Leave a Comment