Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

I get a lot of emails from people who feel burdened by a secret they’re keeping from a significant other. Often these secrets are about cheating, but not always. Sometimes they’re about applying for jobs in other cities or having been married before or having an STI. There have even been a few people who had secret children they hadn’t told their partners about. In my own social circle, I have a few friends who keep pretty innocuous secrets from their spouses, like taking secret days off from work to have a whole “me day” without feeling guilty about it (these are moms, obviously, who play hooky while their spouses are at work and their kids are at school or daycare). I’ve known people who have regular lunch dates with exes and don’t tell their current partners because they don’t want to deal with the jealousy.

Have you kept a secret from a significant other? Did you (or would you) ever share the secret? Why did/do you keep the secret?

(This post was originally published in 2017).


Hi! Happy June. It feels like summer here even though my kids still have four more weeks of school. (NYC public schools go later than anywhere else in the country. We start late, too, and then we have off all the major holidays of five different religions, which stretches the school year to the very end of June.) Anyway, we’re heading to Montreal as soon as school is out in a few weeks, so if you have any tips, let me know. What about you? Any travel plans this summer? Or summer bucket list plans?

Hope you have a great weekend, and here are a few links you might appreciate, including how to make friends and what beige flags in dating mean.

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I have been seeing my boyfriend for about a year now but have known him for about two years. When we met each other, both he and I were in a similar situation. He had emotionally, mentally, and physically checked out of his twenty-something year marriage and I had checked out of my seven-year relationship. He finally moved out of his ex’s home and now lives with his adult children (youngest is 18) – three girls and one boy. He has been in the process of divorce but nothing has been official yet. My concern is that I have already introduced him to my family and friends, especially all my kids ranging from ages 5 months to 15 years (5 kids total) and I have yet to be introduced to his children as his girlfriend. I love this man, I feel we do have a strong connection, and I can see OUR future, but this has been an unsettling thought. I have brought this up to him as a concern of mine, but all he can tell me is he does not know how to tell his kids. Please advise. — When To Check Out

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I’ve been with my husband for three years and married to him for a year and a half. It’s been an adventure, let me tell you, and I’m ready to cut off my in-laws. I’m done dealing with them. I’m done fighting with them. I’m done trying to be accepted. I’m just done. Let me explain why.

Reason #1. My husband and I had a small courthouse wedding and invited just his parents, but his mother didn’t come. She said she wasn’t invited, even though we verbally invited her while sitting on her couch, and she said she wasn’t invited because my parents hate her. They don’t hate her – they’ve only met her once! From that point on it’s been hell. Let me tell you: HELL.

Reason #2. My husband’s mother got me high. Oh yes, first time getting high. My husband and I were fostering a 2-year-old child at the time that we all got really attached to. My MIL lives about an hour away from us and there’s a baseball stadium in her town, so I decided to invite my parents and my in-laws for a night out together with the baby. Prior to going to the game we stopped by her house to get the baby changed into some warm clothes. Well, my MIL made these delicious brownies, and I ate close to half the pan because she kept encouraging me to. She served me slice after slice. It hit me hard. So my first time getting high was at a baseball game with hundreds of people, sitting next to my parents, while caring for a 2-year-old! I was stoned for two days. My mom had to watch the baby, and my husband was a trooper taking care of me. I didn’t say anything to my MIL though. It wasn’t worth it. She knew what she did.

Reason #3. UNNECESSARY DRAMA. She will find the smallest things to start drama with me. It could do with my tone of voice, or why didn’t I stay at her place for long, or even just a stupid Facebook meme that has no meaning behind it. I don’t respond to her drama anymore. I used to, I’m guilty of fighting back, but not anymore! I’m tired. I’m done. I’ve been unhappy for the past three years trying to please my in-laws and befriend them, but they simply don’t like me. I want to be happy again, so I’m going to cut them off.

I’ve decided that I won’t answer my MIL’s calls or her texts, nor visit her or the rest of my in-laws. I’ll send hugs and kisses to them with my husband when he goes and visits. When we do have kids – the foster child we had is no longer in our care – I’ll let my husband take them to go see her because, after all, that is their grandma. My mom never kept me away from my dad’s family, and I won’t do that to my kids. Nor will I keep my husband away from his family because at the end of the day that will always be his family. He is ok with me cutting them off, and he understands where I’m coming from, which I’m extremely grateful for. These are just the consequences of marrying into that family. I knew they were snakes from when I was first introduced to them, and I was naive to believe they wouldn’t bite.

Is is wrong of me to cut them off? Or do I just keep putting up with the BS?? — Tired of the BS

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