“He Loves Another Woman, But I Still Want to Marry Him”

Last March, I noticed that my boyfriend of 3 1/2 years had been texting a new girl frequently. He never mentioned anything about her other than her name. Naturally, I was curious so I causally asked about her one day. Basically, all I got was a ‘don’t worry about it’ response from him. Clearly, this didn’t make more me comfortable. Flash forward about a month, and I looked at his phone one night. The two most hurtful things I read in their rather flirty exchanges was how he mentioned he wanted to “hang out with the girl he loved” and “being a sneakster so his girlfriend didn’t know.”

Afterward, I sat him down and told him I looked at his phone and what I found. I told him I was most upset that he deliberately omitted any information about the girl and that I couldn’t understand why he felt he couldn’t tell me. He equated their friendship to my platonic male friendships. I told him I’ve never omitted telling him!

He explained that he loves her in a platonic way and didn’t understand why I was upset about that. I told him I didn’t think he would be happy either if I was telling my male friends that I loved them — a point that he agreed with. Eventually, we somewhat straightened the mess out, but I later found out he told his friend that I freaked out at him, and then she apparently freaked and they are no longer friends.

Basically, our underlying issue is our difference in communication. I am very upfront about everything and who I’m hanging out with, male or female. It’s my way of trying to include him in my social life since we only see each other on the weekends. He doesn’t quite reciprocate this in the way I’m looking for. I’ve expressed an interest in hearing more about his daily life, but he never shares anything about the people and friendships he cultivates on his own. When I press him, he gets defensive and doesn’t want to share. He tells me I’m crazy, paranoid and that he wants to keep his privacy. I just want to be included and occasionally be told about the other people in his life.

So, how do I better explain this to him? Or am I actually that crazy girlfriend and just can’t recognize it in myself? We have been slowly making plans for marriage (saving money, etc.) but I wonder if that’s truly a good idea. I think breaking up with him right now is a rash decision. But I don’t know how I feel about the thought of him acting like this, brushing any concern of mine off and calling me crazy. What do you think? — Communication Pitfalls

Breaking up with some guy who acts shady, repeatedly disrespects you, tells another woman he loves her, refuses to tell you anything about his daily life or the people he interacts with when you’re not around, and then calls you crazy for wanting to know stuff about him IS NOT A RASH DECISION. You know what would be a rash decision? Marrying the douchebag.

Come on. You can’t be serious, can you? Oh, I know you’re serious. Sadly, for every letter like yours that I post, there are ten others just like it. Ladies, ladies, ladies, let’s get it together. This is not what a healthy relationship looks like. This is not the way we — or anyone! — deserves to be treated. Life is not so lonely as a single person that putting up with crap like this is a worthwhile cause. It’s not. I promise!

If we women continue putting up with behavior like you’ve described in your letter, we will continue being miserable. The change you’re looking for isn’t going to come from the guy you’re dating. It’s been 3 1/2 years!! If he were ever going to come around and be the decent sort of boyfriend and human being you want him to be, it would have happened by now. It would have happened after the first time, let alone the second, third, and fourth times you pleaded with him to share more of his life with you. WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR? What do you think is going to happen? Do you think you’re going to get married and he’s suddenly going to wake up one morning and be a good guy? It doesn’t work like that.

You are dating a douchebag. He’s going to continue being a douchebag. Why? Because he’s gotten away with being a douchebag for 3 1/2 years now. He’s gotten away with having some sort of secret life from you, complete with women he never mentions, and he has no interest whatsoever in changing that. He chose you because he can get away with being a jerk. If he was forced to make a decision between being a jerk and being with you, I’m sorry to say: you aren’t going to win that contest.

No, the change you’re looking for has to come from you. So, wake up, pull yourself out of whatever fog you’ve been living in all these years, get some freakin’ self-esteem and tell this guy you’re over. He doesn’t deserve you. And this is no kind of relationship to build a future on. Breaking up with this jackass will be the first step you need to take to finally empower yourself and begin a path toward personal fulfillment.

The path you’re on doesn’t lead there, I promise. It only leads to heartache, misery and self-loathing. And there is no way off the path other than dumping your boyfriend. I know that’s not what you want to hear, but it’s what you NEED to hear. It’s what so many women in your boat need to hear.

MOA! Enough is enough. Life is too short to spend precious time hoping other people will make the change you want them to make. BE THE CHANGE YOU NEED.

Be the change you need. It’s the only way.

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If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at wendy(AT)dearwendy.com.


  1. LolaBeans says:

    done and done. good advice as always, wendy. love the fire in your advice!

  2. Shadowflash1522 says:

    Amen to that, Wendy!!!!

  3. The_Yellow_Dart says:

    Ditch the loser, as Wendy says! His claims that you are “crazy” and “paranoid” are just ploys for him to divert your suspicion from his shady, shady ways.

    1. Always pays to be suspicious when someone tries to flip the script on you

  4. I said it before and I’ll say it again. Any guy who calls you “crazy” is only doing so to cover up his suspicious behavior. And how can you consider marrying someone that you hardly know given that he won’t share his daily life? I only see my boyfriend on weekends. But we talk every day and text a lot throughout the day. I know pretty much everything about his life. While that isn’t everyone’s style, you should be very wary of someone who won’t share his life with you. Basically you are just a weekend girlfriend and I can almost guarantee that this is the sort of guy who forgets to mention he has a girlfriend when he’s out at bars hitting on single women. Oh, and having your boyfriend say he loves another woman is always a good reason to break up. always.

    1. ForeverYoung says:

      Sorry I posted before I read what you wrote – but um yeah – totally agree about the crazy thing. It is always so ironic that pretty much everytime a guy calls his girlfriend crazy – in my mind that is the same thing as him putting up the white flag and admitting to cheating. When they resort to calling their girlfriend crazy it is pretty much just a last ditch effort before being caught. It reeks of desperation. And the fact that after being called crazy girls back off and quit researching in order to try to prove how not crazy they are is equally pathetic. It’s like you are one step away from finally discovering the truth – and you want to back off now?

      My husband jokingly called me crazy once when we were dating and I am normally pretty laid back but I flipped. I got all super serious and was “do not ever call me crazy”. The way I said it was really unexpected – and actually kind crazy within itself, and we still kind of joke about it. But he has never even jokingly called me crazy since. It’s a touchy subject for me for some reason and i’m not quite sure why, it’s not like i’ve been called crazy and then found out a boyfriend was cheating or anything.

      1. oppositeofzen says:

        Guys who call their current and ex-girlfriends crazy are definitely sending up a red flag. I dated a guy who said all of the exs were crazy, but didn’t think much about it. After we broke, he informed that because we broke up I was now crazy. He was a winner.

      2. There’s a great article about how people (not just men) will call women “crazy” in order to dismiss them or manipulate them: . Really opened my eyes to the idea how people can use the stereotype of the emotional woman.

      3. That’s a fantastic article. It actually made me feel really good to read, because I realized that it’s not something my boyfriend does, and I am so grateful. I’ve noticed recently that I’m in the habit of dismissing my own feelings for exactly this reason – I feel guilty for being emotional, feel bad for feeling bad – and it’s been unhealthy.

        Just a few weeks ago, I had about four straight days of misery – I was feeling emotional and upset and on the verge of tears and I couldn’t pinpoint why. I put it down to being stressed out, and every time my boyfriend asked what was wrong, I replied “nothing, I’m fine, I'[m sorry.” Which obviously wasn’t true. Finally my boyfriend sat me down one evening and said: “Are you upset with me? Is it something I did or didn’t do? Are you feeling neglected? I need you to tell me if something’s wrong so I can fix it.” And it was like a lightbulb went off – I had been stressed looking for a job, he had been busy with work, we’d hardly spent any time together; I *was* feeling neglected, I just felt too guilty to say anything, so I’d convinced myself there was some other reason. It took me a while to put my thoughts together, but when I finally did tell him, he answered “Okay. I’m sorry. What do you need me to do?” No excuses, no telling me I was overreacting, no guilt. I was shocked, and so incredibly happy. It really did reassure me that I’ve got a good thing going on, and reminded me that I’m allowed to ask for what I want in other areas of my life, too.

        Anywhoo, that’s my story 🙂 Thanks for reminding me of it.

      4. ForeverYoung says:

        I know, it’s sad that women have been guilted into feeling like an emotional reaction is something to be ashamed of.

      5. What a great article! Fascinating read.

  5. Why would a guy with nothing to hide feel the need to be “a sneakster so his girlfriend didn’t know” about his ‘platonic’ friendships??

  6. Other than agreeing with Wendy’s advice all I can think to add is that you need to ask yourself is are you thinking of staying because you really love him and want to make things work or because it’s comfortable and you don’t want to be alone. There are far worse things than being alone, like a boyfriend who doesn’t want to share his life with you, calls you crazy and has other ‘girl’friends that he loves.

  7. There are so many things about this that I find very sad.

    -The only thing you got from that incident is that you have a communication problem?! Your guy is very possibly either cheating on you or in the very least, is thinking about cheating. The message didn’t say “the girl he loved as friend”, it said “the girl he loved”-period. You know, if it walks like a duck…Why would you believe his half-assed explanation only you would know.

    -You have been dating for 3.5 years and you still only see each other on weekends? No Tuesday night movies? No middle-of-the-week dinner? Never? In my opinion, that is only normal if you are in a long distance relationship, and even then, you should find a couple of weeks a year to spend together. Because he is spending that time with someone, very possibly his “platonic” girl friends, and being all proud that “his GF doesn’t know”.

    -It is very normal to want to be a part of your SO’s life. You don’t have to spend every moment together, but yes, you should know what he does the other 5 days a week, and who he hangs out with, not in order to keep tabs on him, but to get to know him better as a person. To me, this alone would be a red flag.

    Look, you gave it your best shot. You sat down calmly (which shows way more patience than I would have had in this situation). You talked, you explained what you wanted, he refused. This is not a guy you should marry, this is not a guy you should even be friends with because he simply doesn’t really respect you.

    1. i also think it’s odd that after 3 1/2 years they only see each other on the weekends. i can’t even imagine that. i realize that everyone doesn’t follow the same time line but, that’s still along time in a relationship to be spending such a small amount of their time together.

    2. I just want to comment on the only seeing each other on weekends thing. My boyfriend and I are long-distance so we only see each other on weekends. Yes there have been periods of time where we’ve been together for 10-14 days. But, when we are together, we are spending time together 100 percent of the time (except for when one of us is in the bathroom). Also, since we talk on the phone every night and text throughout the day we’re really good at verbal communication. While it isn’t “normal” it’s been working pretty well for us. I would argue that we get to spend a lot more time together overall than busy couples who can only fit dinner in every couple of days. Obviously we have solid plans for not being long-distance in the near future since we do want to see each other more often. I’m just saying that every couple needs to find what works for them. I think the difference with this LW is that her and her boyfriend do not seem to talk on the phone that often and he doesn’t share his daily life.

      1. That is exactly what I said. Unless this is a LDR it is very fishy on the guy’s part to never be available to her during the week.

  8. ForeverYoung says:

    I am really sick of women that are sane, rational, and just asking for a loving stable relationship to accept being called crazy. And then not only that, but they choose to walk on eggshells and cater to their boyfriends because they are afraid of being labled crazy.

    Lets get one thing straight – if your boyfriend calls you crazy that should be a HUGE red flag that you are completely sane and just one step closer to discovering something about him he doesn’t want you to know. You know the kinds of guys that have secret second lives? The ones that have multiple girlfiends. I bet Elliot Spitzer had a secret life and his wife just assumed she should relax and trust him and not “act crazy”.

    As to whether to break up with him or not – I am not as convinced as Wendy that you need to do that now – although I am surprised you have waited 3 and a half years to suddenly become confused about his secret life – because i’m assuming it has always been like this or you would have mentioned that you were concerned that he had just suddenly quit telling you who he hangs out with and what not. So all that being mentioned – if you can not explain to him that you just want to be a part of his life – his WHOLE life – meaning knowing what he is up to and caring about him even when you two aren’t together – maybe this isn’t a relationship that will ever become more serious than it is now giving you the things you want like marriage. The only thing that makes me think that you should in fact break up now is that he has told you you’re crazy and you didn’t argue and instead started doubting yourself. Seriously? You have such little self esteem that he’s acting shady and you start considering what you should change?

      1. Stephanie says:

        Awesome article

  9. It seems to me the only true “difference in your communication” is the fact that you told the truth. He, in turn, lied, shifted blame, and denied.

    Now you’re in denial because you still want to marry this guy in the hope that he’ll change. It hurt when he lied to you. It should hurt even more when you lie to yourself.

    Time for some hard truth: He will not change. If he’s lying to you, he’s lying to her. It’s who he is. Do you really want someone like that as a husband? A potential father?

    He will not change.

    Accept it, and end the denial. End this relationship now and end it for good, for the sake of your self esteem and self respect.

    1. honeybeenicki says:

      Repeat after me: “He will not change.”
      Getting married won’t change him, having kids won’t change him, moving in won’t change him, giving him space won’t change him, smothering him won’t change him. In the same context – “He will not leave his wife/girlfriend/fiancee for you.”

      1. Yes, yes, yes. I became a lot happier person once I realized it was not my job to change and/or rescue people (mainly guys).

      2. silver_dragon_girl says:

        OMG the “rescue him” complex. Story of my life. Uck. All the wasted time/energy/emotion…

      3. Yeah… The only ones who truly deserve rescuing are stray puppies… and kittens… and baby birds… 🙂

      4. oppositeofzen says:

        And the friend who is having a bad day and needs to go out for food/drink/shopping.

      5. honeybeenicki says:


      6. Ah yes. The rescue complex. Been there. Almost identical situation. I had no idea it was so common. LW, MOA stat.

      7. If anything he will leave his wife/girlfriend/fiancee for another woman – or women. He will not change, but you can definitely change how you react to guys like this.

        By DTMFA for starters, then looking for guys who don’t fit this pattern.

    2. cookiesandcream says:

      I know this is off topic, but are you going to be contributing while Wendy is taking time off? I always enjoy reading your posts because they’re thoughtful, compassionate, and give clear instructions on what you think should be done.

      1. I didn’t work up enough nerve to ask…and thank you for the compliment.

  10. silver_dragon_girl says:

    NEWSFLASH: Guys don’t have completely platonic female friends all that often. When they do, they don’t tell them they love them and then go on to confess to feeling guilty about sneaking around behind their girlfriends’ backs.

    You know what that means? IT MEANS IT ISN’T PLATONIC.

    1. I just recently “broke up” with a guy friend because of a similar issue. We truly were just friends, in that nothing ever happened between us, but he had told me he loves me (not often, but more than once), I’m the best friend he’s ever had, I’m the only one who’s ever been there for him blah blah blah, but that he just didn’t feel that way about me.
      So yes, I think that some guys are capable of having close, platonic female friends – not that I think that’s the case here – but at the same time, it confused the sh** out of me, and I kinda feel sorry for the girlfriend. I wouldn’t want my bf saying things like that to another girl, and it put me in the uncomfortable position of feeling like “that girl” in someone else’s relationship.

      1. i think it may be possible if the said platonic friend is a friend to the girlfriend as well. i mean, i have some very good guy friends, one that i have known since 5th grade, and i love him very much and would always be there for him. BUT, he also is in my boyfriend’s life- they are friends, my boyfriend has met his family, ect… we are all social together, is what i mean, i guess. there are no secrets. i think that is where the problems are coming in- the secretiveness.

      2. I think you are right here. I have a best guy friend, we say we love each other and we miss each other (living in different countries) so my boyf could be jealous of that I suppose EXCEPT my best friends girlfriend is pretty much the best ever. I love her, my boy loves her, and of course my best friend does too. I will defend to the death my right to have a best guy friend, but I must say, I prefer it that he has this girlfriend, it takes away any “suspicion” or whatever that anyone might have.

  11. honeybeenicki says:

    Oh honey, this is not a good relationship. Not at all. There was one thing that struck me as odd and it was this line:
    “Basically, our underlying issue is our difference in communication.”

    No, your underlying issue is that your d-bag boyfriend is sneaking around behind your back talking to another girl and telling her that he loves her. There is no way on Earth or any other planet that this is a “platonic” relationship. The other underlying issue? You let him treat you the way he does. He doesn’t tell you about ANYTHING in his life and gets defensive and calls you crazy if you want to talk to him like a normal human being? I understand having some privacy, but this a total shut-out. He isn’t just omitting things, he is purposely keeping things from you.

    Leaving him now is not a rash decision. If anything, it is a decision that has been delayed too long. How do you expect to ever marry him and have a life together if you aren’t allowed to be in his life? Do not, do not, do not marry this guy. Just don’t do it. Are you that afraid to be alone? I know how that is. I was with someone for 4 years who I knew I didn’t want to be with after about 18 months but I stayed because I was comfortable and didn’t want to be alone. I was much happier when I realized I was better off without a man in my life than I was with him. Move on now so you can find someone who will treat you well, love you without sneaking around behind your back “loving” someone else, and open up to you and embrace your presence in his life.

  12. AMEN, Wendy!!

    LW, you say “Basically, our underlying issue is our difference in communication”- I can assure you, that is NOT your underlying issue! Your underlying issue is that you and your BF want different things. As someone else pointed out, he wants regular sex, and a fall back person. You want a life partner. Those are clearly 2 different things!

    Why would you allow some loser to treat you this way? Grow a pair and dump him before he dumps you!

    1. Betty White:” Why do people say “Grow some balls”? Balls are weak and sensitive. If you really want to get tough, grow a vagina. Those things really can take a pounding!”

      Just seems relevant, and I love Betty White.

      1. I watched a Tosh.0 episode that indicated to me that vagina’s are not able to take a pounding….or the girl in the video was a complete wuss.

      2. At risk of flooding the “most recent comments” with my name I HAVE to apologize for that unnecessary apostrophe in vaginas.

      3. Can I google the Tosh.O thing (because I have no clue what that is) or am I going to get fired for that? 🙂

  13. Amen, Wendy! You told the truth like it needed to be told!

  14. GatorGirl says:

    Amen, Wendy. Amen.

    LW- this dude is sneaking around, with holding information from you, and telling you you’re crazy. What in the world is your question? Grow some balls and dump this loser. You deserve better.

  15. Haven’t read Wendy’s response or the comments but:

    – He doesn’t want to share details with you because the more clueless you are the easier it is to get away with being a dirty scum bag.

    -The girl (you said “friend”, I say “side-squeeze”) freaked because you found out about her.


    -Lastly, why aren’t you more upset and righteous about exorcising him from your home?

    1. Also, yes he is telling you you are crazy to make you doubt yourself and believe his story…have some freaking confidence in your own ability to assess a situation.

    2. Jeebus I can’t believe I was fooled. I have to amend my 2nd bullet. She totally didn’t freak out…she freaking went under the radar. He told you she freaked so you would stop worrying about it.

      Some how manage to give him an STD without giving it to yourself and GTFO of that relationship.

      1. Wow. You really just told her to give this jack hole an STD. So effing funny!

  16. Ugh really LW, this guy is texting some girl behind your back, wont tell you about her, and tells this girl he loves her, cant wait to be with her, and sneaks around on you. What more could you possibly need to find out to make you believe that this guy is cheating on you? It may not be physical yet (probably is though), but he is at least mentally cheating on you. If this girl was really his platonic female friend he would have told you about her right away, introduced you two, and would have tried to get the two girls he supposedly loves to hang out with each other. This guys is definitely playing you for a fool, and you need to dump him now, because since he already got away with it this time, it will be that much easier for him, and every time he gets caught he knows exactly what to tell you so you will stay with him. I just can’t believe you bought all the bullshit your boyfriend was selling you!

  17. ReginaRey says:

    I haven’t even read Wendy’s response yet because I’m too steamed!

    I fail to understand how we women continue to convince ourselves of ridiculous things. LW, you convinced yourself of a HELL of a lot here. Your boyfriend told another girl he loved her, he’s actively hiding things from you, he’s turning the blame on you, he doesn’t want you included in his social life, and when you ask to be included he calls you crazy, and yet you still want to “work things out” with this guy? Not only that, you want to MARRY him??!

    Your boyfriend is using you. He’s dating you because he probably enjoys the regular sex and comforts that come from regular association with another human being. He’s waiting until something better comes along to drop you, which he was actively trying to do when you discovered his communication with another girl. The only reason he hasn’t broken up with you is because you won’t let him, and he’s too damn lazy to do it himself.

    How could want to marry a man who actively wants nothing to do with you??? He hides things from you, he doesn’t want you involved or knowing about his social life, and he carries on secret communication with other women. This man doesn’t want to marry you! He doesn’t even love you or respect you! Good lord, acquire self-respect IMMEDIATELY. This is so unhealthy, my brain is pulsating!!!!!

    1. Shadowflash1522 says:

      I would like to clarify that “he told another girl he loved her” isn’t the problem here. The problem is that he’s a two-timing douchetastic playerface. The difference happens to be important to me.

      There are lots of people that I love and I like nothing more than to tell them so every time it crosses my mind and with as much enthusiasm as I can muster. If every text that read “I love you” was construed as a betrayal, then I’m apparently cheating on my (imaginary) boyfriend with my female roommates, my mother, a handful of guy friends, and my cat. He can love other women if he wants, *AS LONG AS HE LOVES AND RESPECTS THE WOMAN HE’S WITH*. I cannot emphasize that enough. If you commit to romantic monogamy, then you’d better resign yourself to platonic love for all the rest (sidebar: I’m not totally sure I can do that, hence the lack of boyfriend).

      The LW’s boyfriend is, of course, not doing this. He told another woman that she’s THE girl he loves, as in he doesn’t care about the one he’s with. Yowch. Nevermind the “sneakster” comment, this dude has crossed the line. But there is an important difference between loving other people and disrespecting the person you’re with.

      1. honeybeenicki says:

        That’s ok, I’m probably cheating with a bunch of people (family and friends) and my animals too then. My issue was that the text said “the girl he loved”… definitely says something more than just a platonic friend that you love.

      2. Shadowflash1522 says:

        Agreed with both of you. I just wanted to throw out my clarification now, since we’re being inundated with a plethora of “guys who love you don’t love other people” statements (and variations thereof). It just rubs me the wrong way to think that someday it might be me you were writing about…and all b/c of my undying devotion to my cat.

        All those flavors, and only one word for love? The English language sucks sometimes.

      3. It’s just that he said “the girl he loved”. Not “the friend he loved”, not “the girl he loved as a friend”, throw the “sneakster” into that mix, and it really becomes interesting. Unless, of course, he is being a sneakster because he is planning a surprise party for his GF with a “girl he loves platonicly”

      4. Shadowflash1522 says:

        Mmm. “Platonically” and “as a friend” are not free passes either. Call a spade a spade – if he loves her romantically, tossing around phrases like “platonic friend” doesn’t make it better.

        It’s HIS phone. She’s HIS friend. Presumably, she (other woman) knew what he meant when he said “I love you” no qualifiers (romantically, platonically, douchetastically) would have been needed if no one else was going to read the message. Do you qualify it every time you use the phrase?

        You’re right, his phrasing of “the girl I love” is a huge red flag, but it’s because she’s *THE* girl he loves – “the” meaning there is one and only one girl he loves, a girl who is not his girlfriend. As opposed to the presence or absence of a qualifying “I love you…platonically.” Does that make sense? I’m bad at explaining these things.

      5. I understand what you mean. When I say “I love you” to a friend I don’t add “platonically”. I just think that if the girl is just a friend, wouldn’t it make more sense to say “hanging out with the friend I love”, but even that coupled with the other quote sounds sneaky.

      6. honeybeenicki says:

        Its ok, I have undying devotion to my cats and dogs and my husband gets jealous. He calls one of my cats (who is 19 years old) “the bastard” because the cat gets really possessive of me. He hates when anyone touches me and insists on sleeping between us, etc.

      7. Completely agree! I love my friends–male and female, gay and straight. I say “I love you” to all of them. I wouldn’t say refer to any of them as “the girl/boy I loved” unless I was purposefully trying to make them uncomfortable.

      8. ReginaRey says:

        I think I took the “he told another girl he loved her” as “he told another girl he loved her in a ROMANTIC way.” Obviously, one can love other people. This douche is just a two-timing loser.

      9. Your cat is accessible by txt? Cool 🙂

      10. I think people are forgetting that men commonly feel a strong sense of infidelity when their partner physically does something with someone else. If a woman has a touchy guy friend then her boyfriend my be more on the defense even if they are just friends. Women however feel a greater impact when their partner is committing infidelity on an emotional level. So in the LW’s case yes he may be just friends with this woman that he “loves” (I don’t believe it for a second for the record), but love is a strong emotion so that’s going to naturally cause her to wonder if he’s more emotionally connected to this woman over her. From my experiences and perspective women have to coach themselves that a true male > female friendship doesn’t mean he’s connecting with her on an emotional level she isn’t at and it’s ok. It takes a while.

    2. ReginaRey says:

      Ok, so now that I’ve ready Wendy’s response, I want to emphasize a great point she made, which is that the only reason he’s dating you is because he gets to act like a jackass while still getting to have a relationship. Because you have no backbone, no self-respect, no ability to understand what you’re worth, he gets to have a girlfriend whilst vying for the title of WORLD’S LARGEST ASSHAT. Being single, self-respecting, and confident is a whole hell of a lot better than having no self-respect and dating a douchebag who treats you like shit, because you’re the only girl who allows him to do so.

      1. Addie Pray says:

        I think it’s cute that your advice had the same fire that Wendy’s had! I think you and Wendy should pitch to the Today show that you replace Kathy and Hoda. If there’s going to be FOUR hours of the Today show – which still confuses the hell out of me – maybe it should be you two giving relationship advice. Do it, do it!

      2. ReginaRey says:

        Well Wendy and Drew have the in when it comes to the Today Show…I definitely think she should offer herself up!! Personally, I’d swoon if I got to meet Hoda and Kathy. Love that pair.

      3. Addie Pray says:

        Oh that’s right – I remember reading that is where Drew works, right? Well, maybe they could create a fifth hour for you two so you can keep on watching Hoda and Kathy. 😉 One day. I’m sure there’s enough material for you to give relationship advice every day for an hour.

      4. Hmm. Sorry LW’s bf, “the title of WORLD’S LARGEST ASSHAT” has already been claimed by my ex. But thanks for playing.

    3. ReginaRey says:

      You know what, for the sake of posterity I’m going to re-define what a relationship is. Because it’s strikingly evident after reading this letter that some people don’t understand what a relationship is.

      A relationship is: Mutual love, respect and passion.
      A relationship is: Two people choosing to spend time together regularly, because it matters to both of them.
      A relationship is: Sacrificing some personal wants or needs and compromising for the good of the unit sometimes.
      A relationship is: Composed of TWO people. It cannot operate when one person puts forth all the work, all the effort, all the energy, all the time, all the consideration, and all the love.
      A relationship is: Loyalty, dedication, and fidelity. Not having “secret platonic friends.”

      Anyone else care to add to my growing list?

      1. Shadowflash1522 says:

        A relationship is: Honoring the commitments both parties have made. If you agreed to monogamy, put your money where your mouth is.

      2. A relationship is: putting the needs of the person you love above your own and NOT keeping score.

      3. ForeverYoung says:

        YES on the not keeping score.

        A relationship is: the safe place to go at the end of the day to completely be yourself while being motivated to be the best version of yourself.

      4. I couldn’t find a way to formulate the part about being motivated to become a better person, but that is definitely a big part of being in a healthy relationship

      5. A relationship is: talking about goals and dreams and (hopefully) sharing some of both.

  18. cookiesandcream says:

    LW, your boyfriend seems to get off on being withholding. He rebuffs your many attempts to try to get to know more about his life and he enjoys sneaking around behind your back. Only people who have a need to be “in power” and like stringing people along would do something like that. Not only that, he’s being extremely selfish when he knows that his behavior is hurting you, and he’s making no effort to change.

    Other than the difference in communication, I think what’s frustrating you the most is the fact that he’s refusing to include you as a part of his life, and you’re just waiting for the day when he’ll finally open up and incorporate you into his life. I think you might be still holding onto that hope because you’re preparing for marriage (which, unfortunately, won’t change a single thing; it’ll just make things worse because once you’re married you’re actually living with every single problem in your relationship instead of going to your own house to get some escape), but deep down inside you know that it’s not the right solution for you. If you’re having doubts about spending the rest of your life with this man and you’re not even engaged, it’s a pretty big red flag. You mentioned in your letter that you weren’t sure of how you felt, so I would definitely recommend taking some time to yourself to figure what you really want from a relationship and whether breaking up with him would really be all that bad.

    Good luck, LW!

  19. Honey, where exactly do you intend to draw the line? Where is the point that you stop bartering your self-respect for the semblance of a relationship? Is it at disrespect? At disloyalty? At lying? At infidelity? At the point where he is confessing his love for another woman? Or will you wait to catch him having sex with someone else in your bed? Or when he gives you an STD? Will you wait until disrespect spirals into contempt and abuse? Where exactly is your line in the sand? What is your self-respect worth to you?

    You know what you need to do.

  20. ugh, this dude is a straight up player and the LW has got her head buried in the sand…”hang out with the girl he loved” and “being a sneakster so his girlfriend didn’t know.” this is all the evidence i would need that the guy is a total cheater…you don’t tell platonic friends you love them, you don’t sneak around behind your girlfriends back and brag about it, because number one it is dishonest and number two it is disrespecting your girlfriend… personally i don’t know why either of these women would want anything to do with this guy. its letters like this that make me glad i am single.

  21. I want to add my voice to this growing chorus of “move on.”

    LW, please hear this: You should not feel guilty about wanting to be involved in your boyfriend’s life, or for asking about his friends and daily activities. That is not being clingy or possessive or crazy. It’s normal for people in relationships to want to share things with each other and tell each other about their day — especially when they don’t see each other every night. His avoidance of your questions, the way he shuts the conversation down by saying, “Don’t worry about it” … that’s not a difference in communications styles. That’s his way of shielding his life from you, and only giving you crumbs of what a true relationship is.

    When he tells you you’re invading his privacy, what he’s really saying is that you’re crossing the lines he’s drawn for you, and and you’re finding out too much about his true self. And that true self is someone who is emotionally (if not physically) cheating on you. It’s someone who doesn’t value you enough to let you in.

    The way things stand now, you aren’t even really in a relationship. If it were me, I would tell him that he’ll be happy to know he’ll soon be getting all the privacy he wants because you’re leaving.

    1. 6napkinburger says:


      I hated that part about “privacy.” When if you want “privacy” to hange out with your friends, then don’t invite her/go without her. But that doesn’t mean you can’t tell her where you are/were!

      -“Hi honey, welcome home, you’re later than usual. D’ya go out with your friends?”
      -“Don’t worry about it”

      -“Hey sweetie, did you eat yet? I’m about to get dinner”
      -“Don’t worry about it”

      -“Hi darling. Have you tried that new mexican place in town? It looks amazing!”
      -“Don’t worry about it”

      Go fuck yourself, man.

      1. ForeverYoung says:

        Haha awesomely hilarious to break down what he’s doing. I couldn’t quite explain why his need for “privacy” was so irrational, but you’re dead on.

      2. Yess, the only thing I needed to hear from this letter to know the bf is a douche is that he ACTUALLY said “Don’t worry about it” to avoid answering something. Ajfds;ajkga!!!! That is the worst.

  22. Why are you saving up for marriage. Not once did I read that he has actually proposed to you, nor was it on his agenda.
    No guy “platonically loves” a girl and tells her so – unless it’s his sister. Not when the text messages he’s sending are flirty and he feels like a “scumbag sneakster” (he’s feeling what he IS there darling).

    Whether or not he consumated the on-the-side relationship is another concern. At best, he was starting to cheat (emotionally first) and he has very poor communication skills. At worst – he was out and out cheating on you and tried to turn it on you and claim YOU were the one that misread everything. You didn’t. He’s a douchebag and since he has fullfilled his usefulness, it’s time to get rid of him.

    Let him go be with this “platonic” love of his. I’m sure that’s who he’ll be dating next.

    1. Proposals aren’t really necessary to decide to get married though. The decision to get married can also come from a rational decision between two adults.

      1. I think she would have said “we were planning on getting married” had that been on their radar. Instead, SHE is saving up to get married. If a couple is planning to get married as a conscious decision made together, then they BOTH save money, not just the bride.

        To me, her wording (and letter) suggested that she felt that he may have proposed eventually, or they would have decided eventually, but that she wanted to start saving now, as a head start. How many women have we seen over the years saving money in college and their first jobs for that “dream wedding” and they are still single at the time?

  23. My boyfriend has platonic female friends. I know all of them, he tells me when he’s hanging out with them, and we all go out together on occasion. He does not tell them he loves them, and he does not hide them from me. Because nothing is going on with them. You don’t have a communication issue. You have a cheating issue.

    1. My husband has platonic female friends too. We all hang out together with their bfs/fiances/husbands, and if he hangs out with them alone, fine by me, because he’s HONEST about it!! (and he’s certainly next texing them saying that he loves them behind my back!!!)

      1. Agreed. Plus, she said he never even mentioned that he knew her, so obviously he was hiding something. You don’t just hang out with someone and text them all the time and then conveniently forget to mention that to your girlfriend.

    2. Jess of CityGirlsWorld.com says:

      Ditto what Michele says, unfortunately. I’m usually one to try to weigh things out carefully and not make too many assumptions based on the limited facts in a letter (besides, I am afraid BitterGayMark will yell at me).

      But this one screams with clarity for me. It looks like LW’s boyfriend has mind-warped her into thinking SHE is crazy and he’s doing that as a pathetic attempt to shame her out of seeing what is really going on. I believe its called gas lighting? The reality is that he’s (probably) cheating. If he’s not cheating, he’s TRYING to cheat. Either way….

      We can tease out the nuances of the content in those texts but gut check is clear on this one. Let’s call a spade a spade.

  24. “We have a communication problem” is fast becoming the most over-worked phrase and conclusion. LW — you do not have a communication problem, you have a cheating problem. If your bf were a perfect and honest communicator he’d say “I’ve found this other woman that I want to cheat with. I think I might like her better than I like you, but I don’t know for sure, so I want to stay with you while I see how things work out. I may come back to you full-time, at least until the next good opportunity with a hot woman comes along. I hope that’s ok with you. I don’t like talking about this or having you look at my phone messages, because, although this is what I really want to do, it is a little awkward when you know about it and I don’t know quite how to explain it, so that you’ll be okay with it. Really, you’ve been just great to me and I sincerely hope that never changes.” Would that really make the situation at all better? Does it really add any information that you don’t already have?

  25. Listen honey, your problem isn’t communication – it’s that this your BF is has had an emotional (and possibly physical) affair with this other woman.

    Please listen to Wendy’s reply and the advice in all the comments. There’s a reason we all agree this guy is a giant d-bag.

  26. BREAK UP WITH HIM! There is no doubt in my mind that this is what you need to do!!

    Even if you take the possible cheating out of the equation, you still have someone who doesn’t include you in his social life, doesn’t share any information about his day-to-day activities and gets defensive when you ask, calls you CRAZY or PARANOID and completely brushes off any concerns that you have, and basically doesn’t take your feelings/wants/needs into consideration in any way whatsoever.

    Ugh, I got mad just reading this. He is SUCH a douche. PLEASE do not allow him to continue this behavior.

    I know there must be SOME good in this relationship to keep you hanging on, but Wendy is right: it’s time to MTFOA!!! (Move the Fuck on Already!!)

    1. I’d also like to reiterate this:

      “Ladies, ladies, ladies, let’s get it together. This is not what a healthy relationship looks like. This is not the way we — or anyone! — deserves to be treated. Life is not so lonely as a single person that putting up with crap like this is a worthwhile cause.”

      and this:

      “Breaking up with this jackass will be the first step you need to take to finally empower yourself and begin a path toward personal fulfillment. The path you’re on doesn’t lead there, I promise. It only leads to heartache, misery and self-loathing. And there is no way off the path other than dumping your boyfriend.”

      Thanks, Wendy. Excellent advice as usual.

  27. parton_doll says:

    “Be the change you need.” Love it. Love it so much. This is a statement Dr. Phil would be proud of.

    1. Also, Mahatma Ghandi. =)

  28. Temperance says:

    WTG, Wendy!!

    Seriously, LW, you seem nice, but so, so naive. Dating for 3.5 years is serious, and the fact that you aren’t intimately involved in the details of his life is a red flag .. scratch that, it’s a whole army of red flags.

  29. I understand the importance of communication, but if he just doesn’t give a shit, you can talk your head off and it won’t make one bit of difference. Communication only works if everyone’s listening.

  30. atraditionalist says:

    This one doesn’t need much explanation: just dump the guy. You don’t need to rationalize it, you don’t need to think it through, you don’t need to try and “straighten things out”: he’s bad news. Just dump him. And to be perfectly honest I wouldn’t really give him the benefit of an explanation either-I’d just tell him “sorry our relationship isn’t working for me anymore.” Don’t give him anymore ammo to call you crazy-just simply say “I’m no longer interested”

  31. Tears poured down my cheeks as I read this. I have tried so hard to get the women in my life to have more respect for themselves, that it is okay to have standards and expectations, and to be the change they want in their lives…As I read it though I am reminded of my own relationship, and the way that I make excuses for behaviour I swore to myself I would never put up with, and here I am still making excuses for love for the 2nd…3rd…4th time…

    Thank you, Wendy (and all the wonderful posters on this site!) for reminding me to see things as they are, not as I wish them to be-and that no matter what, there will always be people who can help you see the light 🙂

    1. Good luck, honey! Just keep reminding yourself that you deserve better.

    2. And your response made me want to cry.

      It sounds like you know what’s what. I’ve been you (and I’ve been the LW). Making excuses. Wanting to believe things are different.

      Please trust me- it may be inconvenient and very scary to break up with someone. Your lives are so intertwined. But, you WILL feel so much better. I am guessing you live with a little (or big) pit in your stomach. It is CONSTANT. You can make it go away. You can make yourself feel like you’ve lost a million pounds. Why keep doing this with someone that hurts you? What’s the point? You may love this person, but love is supposed to lift you up. Stop being pushed down!

      Wishing you the best!

  32. LW, I hope that all of these comments help break down the huge wall of denial that you are hiding behind. If you really need proof to see what is so glaringly obvious to everyone reading your letter, why not call your boyfriend’s platonic friend and calmly ask her about the situation? As for the moving slowly towards marriage bit, you are also moving slowly towards divorce! This guy has “communicated” who he is quite clearly to you, but you are refusing to believe it. The money you are saving for your future wedding would be much better spent on a therapist to help you figure out why you allow yourself to be treated so poorly. Sorry if this sounds harsh but I have been both cheated on and cheated with, and at one time was every bit as deep in denial as you seem to be now. Hopefully you will be smarter than I was and not have to learn these things the hard way!

  33. I see my husband only on weekends since he’s stationed two hours away, and I know everything about his days. I know what he trained in, how his dog did, what he’s doing that night and who he’s going with. I don’t even have to ask for this information: it’s freely given because we enjoy sharing our days with each other since we cannot physically be with each other until Friday. That’s love. Period.

    You are a fool. Your boyfriend says that he is sneaking around on you, and you think that it’s just communication that’s your problem? Tells a woman he loves her ‘platonically’, but wont talk to you about her? You snuck into his phone because you don’t trust him, and for good reason. Wake up and smell the douchebag in the bed next to you.

  34. Holy frack! This isn’t a relationship – it’s a disastrous break-up waiting to occur. The longer you refrain from doing this, the worse-off you’ll be. A relationship is not a weekend thing – it’s something that you develop over time, with great consideration and mutual respect. The minute he stopped communicating with you in order to develop that consideration and mutual respect, he stopped being in the relationship. I would say he checked himself out the day you asked about this girl and he responded with “Don’t worry about it.” There is no consideration or respect for your feelings in that response.

    DTMFA. For real.

  35. I am 100% against snooping, but letters like this make me feel like snooping is necessary.

  36. Why oh why oh WHY are there so many douche bag boyfriend letters on here recently???? Good grief.

    Hint: If your spidey-sense is telling you that there’s something not right and something is going on that he’s not telling you about, chances are you’re right. Most of us girls have great intuition. I hate that so many resort to looking at their significant other’s phone instead of talking to them outright about an issue. That just opens up another can o’ worms.

  37. caitie_didn't says:

    LW, read this article:

    Actually, everybody should read this article. It warms my cold, black heart.

    1. Great article! Thanks for the link!

  38. GingerLaine says:

    All right, LW. :::deep breath::: I want to say all of this to you in a way that I think you need to hear it.

    What your “boyfriend” is doing to you is one-half starter emotionally abusing asshole, one-half cheating asshole (and don’t be fooled: if he wasn’t cheating on you yet, he was veryveryvery close to doing so – whether with this “friend” or other “friends”). He devalues your opinion & your feelings. He calls you crazy and makes you question your own sanity. He has eroded your sense of self-worth. (because surely, no self-respecting person would tolerate that kind of treatment from a friend, let alone a significant other). I did a Google search to find some ways to identify emotional abuse for you and found some questions that I think may specifically relate to your situation, so I wonder what your responses would be if you could asked yourself: “Do you feel that you can’t discuss with your partner what is bothering you? Does your partner frequently criticize you, humiliate you, or undermine your self-esteem? Does your partner ridicule you for expressing yourself?” Yes, yes, and yes? He chooses to tell you nothing about his life because as long as he avoids talking about it altogether, he can avoid slipping up on the detailed lies he’d have to create to keep you in the dark about all the things he’s doing that a trustworthy significant other shouldn’t.

    Don’t you realize?? “Hang[ing] out with the girl he loves” should be a phrase reserved for his time with YOU! “Being a sneakster so his girlfriend didn’t know” is not necessary when he’s not doing anything wrong! After 3.5 years, why, oh why, don’t you respect yourself enough to DEMAND better from someone who is your potential mate? Love yourself more!

    A couple of years ago, my husband began his own love affair… with his job. We’re still young. Too young to be spending our lives at work and being too stressed, worn out, or sick to enjoy our time together at home. I cried, I screamed, I railed(!) against becoming second place to his job & the effects it had on him. I DEMANDED better because as the woman he loved, I DESERVED better, and today, we are better than ever because he (and I!) loved me enough to recognize it & do something about it. In love, YOU DESERVE BETTER than someone who hides their life from you, who puts you down for daring to care, who sends questionable texts to women you don’t know, and who obviously isn’t making an effort to do better! There are other fish in the sea! For the love of god, throw this one back and go fish!!

  39. “I told him I was most upset that he deliberately omitted any information about the girl and that I couldn’t understand why he felt he couldn’t tell me.”

    Oh, my goodness.

    This would have been an excellent letter for His Take. I think the guys might have had a few suggestions to help the LW understand why he felt he couldn’t tell her.

  40. I have said this before, and I’ll say it again….

    hold the people you choose to be in your life to VERY high standards.

    i wonder what exactly this guy is doing that is meeting ANY “usual” standards in relationships… to me -and maybe i’m the crazy one- he is epically failing at meeting any sort of standards set in a healthy relationship

    what exactly are your standards, LW?

  41. theattack says:

    So about that privacy thing… Privacy is a great thing. But what he’s wanting is not privacy. It’s secrecy. My boyfriend and I are both big on having our privacy, meaning that we’re not jealous when we go out with friends, we don’t go through each other’s stuff, and we don’t read text messages and emails. It does NOT mean that we hide our friendships from each other or that we refuse to share our social lives. AND we’re long distance and don’t even see each other every weekend. I know the nature of all of his female friendships, even if I don’t know every time he goes to lunch with one. He knows about the guys I talk to, even though I don’t tell him every time we talk. And if something fishy comes up, we share it with each other because that’s what you do in an honest relationship.

    I think this situation is really suspicious, but I suppose I can see how you might want to give him another chance. If you do, you need to very clearly draw out what “privacy” means, and what your expectations are in order to have a healthy relationship. AND DON’T FUDGE ON THEM.

  42. It’s not that he doesn’t understand or doesn’t need it explained better. He knows what you’re saying and is trying to play you. Don’t let him. There is absolutely no reason for a guy to sneak around with some other girl and tell her he loves her, friends or not. It might seem less weird if they had grown up together or something (the loving, not the sneaking), but that’s neither here nor there. A shady boyfriend is bad enough, but the fact that he dismissed your concerns and then whined about it is inexcusable.

  43. I think the next column should be “You know you’re dating a douche bag when…”

  44. Painted_lady says:

    Wow. Had to chime in. LW, the biggest thing I’m concerned about is how you accepted without question that it was okay for your boyfriend to call you crazy. That is why you accepted his story about this girl, and that is why you are accepting partial blame for this fight. Imagine instead what would have happened had you voiced a very real concern and his response was an apology, a validation of your feelings, and a discussion about how this could be avoided in future. Can you imagine the sense of relief? I dated several men in a row who were faithful but made me feel that my being involved in their lives and vice versa was being demanding, clingy, needy, and my favorite, “like you think we’re married” (which was said after over a year together and I suggested he join my family for Christmas dinner). My concerns were dismissed, and my requests were met with rolled eyes.

    There are men out there who see your fear and hurt as valid. There are men you don’t have to beg to be around you. There are men with whom you can confess insecurities and needs without dismissing them. The first time my boyfriend and I had a disagreement, my stomach was in knots – I had very little to expect other than feeling like a silly, emotional, crazy woman after – but an amazing thing happened. He listened. He held my hand, he asked questions if he was confused, he offered his own view without discounting mine, and he came up with what we could both do to fix things. I was so relieved I cried. And he brought me Kleenex.

    You can have this. You don’t have to feel like a piece of shit for admitting your feelings. You’re not asking too much, and you’re not even getting what you ask for now. Guys like mine exist. Lose this emotionally manipulative dick and go find one.

  45. Oh, honey. Listen to your Aunt Pinky. Listen very carefully.


    Do not walk. Do not pass go. Do not collect $200.

    Do not accept calls from him or have any further communication with this guy. He is emotionally abusive. Please take care of yourself. Please protect yourself. Your letter really scared me.

    Here’s a link:

  46. ape_escape says:

    rash decision?!

    honey, the only “rash” here comes from all the sexually transmitted diseases this dickwad will be bringin’ home – if he hasn’t already.

  47. maybe this will make me sound like a jerk, but I am always a trifle disappointed when the LW’s situation is so obvious to everybody that there is no conflict in the comments section. I mean, it’s great that the LW has such a clear path forward, but for my own edification, I love my bread and circuses. Maybe next time, sigh . . .

  48. bittergaymark says:

    Thank God the LWs on here are finally turning out to be such strong, confidant women who truly have their act together at long last… The cool, level headed and straight forward thinking this young lady bravely displays here is truly the standard to which everyone on the planet (male and female) should aspire to…

  49. AndreaMarie says:

    Umm…he texted another woman ‘I don’t want to be a sneakster”. Which I’m assuming means he didn’t want to sneak behind his girlfriend’s (you) back in order to see this friend. Yet, he refuses to tell you about said friend or any friend for that matter, thus he’s being a “sneakster”.

    I think this guy gets off on the “sneaking”. Whether he’s actually doing anything sexul or whatnot with these women I think he enjoys the whole secret, behind your back, you have no idea what he’s up to, thing.

    This fun game he enjoys will only progress when you are married. (ooooh now it’s even more sneaky and exciting when wifey doesn’t know).

    Break up with him!

  50. Absolutely dead on Wendy!!! It’s about time someone came right out and said, “Dump the asshole already!!” and about being our own change rather than waiting for someone else to change for us.

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