Updates: “Bride Number Two” 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 “Bride Number Two,” who was upset that her fiancé kept pictures of his first wedding in their home. You may remember, she even admitted to ripping up a few of them when a couple girlfriends came over and they all got a tipsy together. After the jump, find out if she confessed her actions to her fiancé and whether they’ve reached any resolution on the matter.

Hi Wendy, I think it’s awesome you posted my letter and responded, thank you SO much!! I’ll be the first to admit I definitely have my immature and insecure moments, but I know how to take criticism. There are some details that I didn’t include to begin with because I know you can’t publish a novel for everyone; my fiancé cheated on me with a few people the first nine months that we dated — we weren’t living together or anything major at that time, but we were in a committed relationship. That lead to me having MAJOR trust and insecurity issues. Was he cheating on me with the ex-wife? I don’t know, but at that time it was possible. Do I want to believe he never dated anyone before me? Of course not. He has old college pics with girlfriends that I put in our photo albums, so I don’t have issues with that at all.

Of course, I’m insecure due to our rocky start, but we have gone to couples counseling because of it and to help us prepare for marriage. We’ve benefited from it immensely, and our relationship just keeps getting better and better. Contrary to what the readers assumed, I didn’t invite ten of my friends over to get hammered, have a slide show and set fire to his belongings. It was my two best friends who are his family members and who actually attended that wedding. The two pics that were ripped up were not professional; they were disposable camera pics of them kissing. I’m not okay with him keeping pics of full-on kissing/making out with another woman.

One reader comment pretty much summed up the reason why the pics bothered me, saying: “She feels the weight of their negativity might affect their relationship.” My fiancé complains and has a negative attitude whenever the ex-wife comes up — just her and only her, no other girlfriends have had this effect on him. So now it seems she has had a similar effect with me as well. But if like you said, he wants to keep the pics as reminder of how far he’s come, then I can understand and I’m okay with that.

Last night I told him that I was over the issue and I don’t mind him having the pics in storage. I also told him about ripping up a few. He was a little surprised and laughed but said that if he found pics of me kissing an ex he wouldn’t have ripped them up dramatically but probably just asked me to toss them. He said he’s glad I let go of the issue, and he’ll try to store them somewhere “more out of the way.” We’re both adults and understand that we’ve made mistakes and all we can do is try to overcome them together.

Sorry the outcome isn’t as dramatic as some of the reader comments hoped for. My letter seemed to have started a dramatic frenzy to see who could be the most personally offended by my situation. Lighten up. People write to Wendy for advice because everyone makes mistakes, but the anonymity of the Internet shouldn’t be an excuse to act holier than thou.

Thanks again!

I’m so happy you talked to your fiancé and that you’re in counseling together. Sounds like you are committed to working through your issues, which is wonderful. It takes a good deal of self-awareness and maturity to own our mistakes, learn from them and actively work toward being a better person and partner. I wish you both much happiness.

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.


  1. JennyTalia says:

    “everyone makes mistakes, but the anonymity of the Internet shouldn’t be an excuse to act holier than thou.”

    You said it, girl. I think everyone could take a lesson – from most of the letters I read here I can see myself in that vulnerable and embarassing position, so I am one of the last people to criticize a LW.

  2. Painted_lady says:

    Oh wow. Having read this, yes, that absolutely makes all the difference in the world. Good on you for having the maturity to admit that ripping up the pictures was wrong – I won’t argue with you there – and I’m glad that you owned up to it with your fiancé. I could see why, with the trust issues and the negative talk about his ex, you would wonder what the big deal about the pictures was and why he couldn’t just get rid of them if he hated her so much. But it’s also great that you’ve compromised now.

    I’ve read several people’s comments how tired they are of getting updates about how the situation is totally different than it was perceived, there’s way more information, etc, and having written in once, I have to say, it’s different than just having drinks with the girls and asking for input. The girls have years of info about the relationship, about you personally, and all sorts of factors that tie in. It’s difficult to write in, figure out what’s pertinent info and what’s not for someone who knows nothing about you, AND not come across as some self-absorbed bitch who just likes to prattle on about herself.

    Anyway, glad things are looking up for you, LW, and good luck!

  3. I remain on my stance that if she is so insecure in their relationship that she feels the need to rip up photos of him and his ex, they probably shouldn’t be getting married just yet.

  4. I’m glad that LW told her fiance and that he wasn’t too upset with her. Also glad to hear that they are going through (or were in) couples counseling to help with the trust and insecurity issues. I hope LW and her SO have a good marriage and continue to work on their issues as it sounds like they are doing in this update.

  5. I’ll be the first one to defend my reaction at you ripping up the pictures-if you had mentioned that he had cheated on you, especially with more than one person, that would have cleared up an awful lot. You can’t pretend as if there’s no possible way someone would read the letter you sent in and get the idea that you had some trust issues, and I still think that bringing out the pictures and ripping them up in front of your girlfriends was really immature on your part.

    Having said that, I am really happy it worked out between you two. But just going off the info you gave us, it seems a little unfair that you’re calling us “holier than thou”.

  6. Exactly. With a letter like that what did she expect? I get she can’t include every detail, but telling someone it’s wrong to rip up their SO’s photos isn’t “holier than thou”… it’s just the truth. It’s not like someone forced her to write in for advice where anonymous internet people had access to her words. I’ve written in to Wendy once. I got some very insightful responses and bit of internet vitriol back. As I expected. Sheesh, lighten up on US, honey!

    1. TaraMonster says:

      I was trying to reply to Heather. Oops!

    2. Agreed. Now that we know he cheated on her, her trust issues make more sense. It’s also better that the friends were also good friends with her SO…..but I fail to see how that makes it much better? Cool, so the pictures you ripped up were of them kissing? It was behavior you disagreed with? Awesome, still doesn’t make destroying your SO’s property in a jealous, alcohol-and-bff-fueled rage okay. I’m glad her SO handled it all so well and they seem to genuinely be getting past it all and compromising, but just because people are calling a spade a spade doesn’t make them “holier than thou”.

  7. fast eddie says:

    Thanks for the extended explanation and great that your both working on clearing it up. Yes we all make mistakes and I’ve made lots and lots of them. When we put something down in a public forum we need to roll with the results. Bottom line is where do you go from here and you seem to be headed in the right direction.

  8. its easy to be “holier than thou” when you’re not the one in the situation and don’t have the feelings influencing you. it feels good, and makes people feel like they make great choices in their lives. wendy doesn’t take that point of view and thats why she gives good advice.

    1. elisabeth says:

      Agreed! That said, though, it did get into a free-for-all of shock at the LW’s actions. Given that, I’m impressed at the clarity and calm in the LW’s update letter. Go you for being able to respond with such poise, I know I’d be shaken, even if it was “just” because of internet comments.

      1. elisabeth says:

        *I meant, a free-for-all in the comments section! As you said, Wendy gives good, grounded advice, whether or not it’s taken, I didn’t mean to indicate Wendy’s post.

  9. “People write to Wendy for advice because everyone makes mistakes, but the anonymity of the Internet shouldn’t be an excuse to act holier than thou.”

    I totally agree with this summation. I do notice on some of these post, people are so self righteous, or just plain critical because they can be. I take any comment I make serious enough to care about what I say and how I say it. Just like I would do if I was talking to someone face to face.

  10. PS. Wendy I like the top hat!!

    1. For President’s Day! It’s another work of Drew. 🙂

  11. I’m happy to see the additional details, and it definitely helps to understand the behavior more. I’m very happy that things are out in the open and that all seems to be moving along well. I still believe that the destruction of the pictures wrong, but that doesn’t mean I feel like I’m judging behavior from a position of perfection – I live amongst enough red flags to teach a semaphore class.

    I hope this motivates others who write in to try to include, briefly, things that explain their situation in a little more depth. Writers – any of us – often forget that the readers only see what they’ve written, not the context.

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