“I Can’t Choose Between the Divorcé and the Sex Offender”

I am having trouble choosing between two men in my life. Guy #1 is a man whom I met at my old job. When we first met, I was automatically attracted to him, but he was just getting out of a divorce and I had just ended a three-year relationship. At first, we were just friends, and then we started spending a lot of time together and were inseparable; everywhere I went, he would go — he even went to all of my family functions.

About three months after we started hanging out, we were watching a movie together and we fell asleep. Nothing happened sexually; we just slept. But that is when he started to tell me that he liked me. We continued hanging out, knowing that we both liked each other, but he never wanted to make our relationship official. We were acting as if we were a couple in private but not in public, which hurt me.

Meanwhile, I would do everything for him. If he needed me, I was there for him no matter what time it was or what he needed me to do. The part that hurt the most was when Christmas came. I put a lot of thought into his gift and then he didn’t get me anything, and the same thing happened with my birthday. After awhile I finally started to realize nothing was going to come from our relationship and I began pulling away from him, which is when he finally started to express his feelings. He started to say that he loved me, which he had a really hard time with after his divorce. But I was already so emotionally closed off. I finally told him that I needed my own space, which he gave me.

While I was taking space, I met Guy #2. Guy #2 is so sweet and treats me well. He is honestly like the male version on me. After we went on a few dates, he opened up to me and told me that he was a registered sex offender. I accept him for who he is and everything that has happened to him. He explained what had happened, and I even talked to his whole family about his charge and I trust him. We have gotten very close within the last four months — he has even talked about marriage. I am becoming close to his family, and I really get along with them. My family knows about his charge and are kind of skeptical, but they have all said that, if I’m happy, then that is all that matters.

After I started spending time with Guy #2, Guy #1 asked if we could have a talk about everything. Afterward, I started to realize I have feelings for both of these men. I am now spending a lot of time with each of them, and I’m just getting more and more confused. I’ve been talking to my family about their opinions on these men as well, and it’s kind of a toss-up.

One big issue that I have is that while Guy #1 wants the same things that I do — a spouse and kids — Guy #2 got a vasectomy at the age of 19 and does not want to have kids. He has always said that if he has kids, then it would only be to make his wife happy. Having kids is very important to me. My whole life I have always wanted to be a mother. I want my own little monsters to raise into wonderful adults. So, I am starting to feel that while I am momentarily happy with Guy #2 — he treats me well and we are so similar — in the long run I will be happier with Guy #1.

What should I do? — Trying to Decide Between Two Men

Is Guy #2 — the guy who’s a registered sex offender and has had a vasectomy (thank God!) — really a viable candidate for your future husband and father to your kids? Seriously? Because if we were consulting a Magic Eight Ball here, all signs would point to “NO!” What part of “registered sex offender” sounds like good husband or father material? What part of: “I had a vasectomy when I was 19 and do not want kids” sounds like someone who will make a great dad? ALL SIGNS POINT TO NO!

But that doesn’t mean that the answer is clear-cut here. Obviously, Guy #1 must not be such a prize if Guy #2, the registered sex offender who doesn’t want kids (thank God), is actually posing some competition in the race for your heart. In the six paragraphs you wrote about feeling conflicted between the two men, you say absolutely nothing about what you like about Guy #1 other than being automatically attracted to him and wanting similar things (a family — which isn’t such a unique thing to want). You do mention that he led you on for months, refused to make your relationship “official,” neglected to buy you gifts for special occasions, and only made attempts to express his feelings for you when he realized you were moving on with someone else. Yeah, sorry, but this doesn’t sound like a romance worth exploring either.

You don’t say how old you are, but I’m wondering if you’re old enough that the idea of missing out on your chance to have that family you desperately want — to “raise your own little monsters into wonderful adults” — is the main driving force in your need to choose between two less-than-ideal mates. Of course, loneliness is also a powerful motivator and it could be that you’re still young enough that fertility isn’t such a concern, but spending another month or week or day without a solid partner in your life is crushing. And I get that.

But as hard as it is to face the loneliness of being single, I promise you it’s nothing compared to the loneliness one feels in a relationship that isn’t right. At least as a single person, there’s still the hope that Mr. or Ms. Right is just around the corner — a fateful meeting away. But stuck in a relationship with someone who is wrong for you is the opposite feeling — it’s hopeless and bleak. Because getting out of a soul-sucking relationship — especially one where there are kids involved — is much more difficult than getting into a relationship. Remember that: as hard as it may feel sometimes to find a good relationship — or to choose between two potential relationships — it is so much harder to find a way out of a bad one.

So choose wisely. Don’t let loneliness or fear guide you into a wrong decision. Let your heart and gut guide you. Step away from any decision that doesn’t feel right, and give yourself space to find a man who meets more of your needs. This isn’t your last chance at happiness. These two men don’t represent your only options. Aim higher.


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


  1. WWS. One thing, though: “registered sex offender” is not a very descriptive term. It can mean a really really awful crime, or it might not. One of my friend’s dads was a registered sex offender because he had consensual sex with a 17 y/o when he was 19. He was treated as an outcast by much of our town who did know he was on the list but didn’t know why.

    1. this is true- but i wonder why she wouldn’t have included this.

      1. Avatar photo iwannatalktosampson says:

        Based on the rest of the content of the letter (cough cough) I am assuming it was something pretty bad or she would have mentioned it. If it was a “haha he peed in public wasted a few times – isn’t that hilarious?” I’m guessing an LW would want that known. Also the 19-17 is extremely rare and in most states would not qualify anymore. So maybe if Guy2 is over 40 that MIGHT have been the crime – but in case my skepticism isn’t clear – know that I am skeptical. And if it’s what I’m thinking it is – well shame on the LW for even befriending him. Gross.

    2. I was thinking that too. BUT he had a vasectamy. How messed up is that? at 19? I am sorry but that guy sounds all sorts of creepy.

      1. Yeah, the vasectomy is weird. How would that thought process even work in a 19 y/o male?

      2. someone with alot of demons.

      3. Avatar photo iwannatalktosampson says:

        It probably wasn’t a hard choice for someone who will never be allowed to be around kids.

      4. great point. you are totally right.

      5. Aren’t most Drs hesitant to do that sort of procedure on someone so young? It makes me think that there had to be some really ‘valid’ reason for doing it… A creepy, valid reason.

      6. 6napkinburger says:

        Yes but no. I’m guessing that a vasectomy would be ok because of how easy they are to reverse and that (medically speaking) they are not a serious operation or anything.

        Plus, if this was after his crime, I think Dr’s may be more open?

      7. right, this makes me think that it could be a very messed up sex offense then.

      8. I would have to think that the vasectomy is in some way related to the crime. But maybe I’m wrong. Was it a way to ease his guilt? Was it to prevent repeating an accidental pregnancy?

      9. Or, to go further out on a limb, I wonder if he suffered an abusive child of his own. I think it would have to be something extreme like that for a 19 year old to feel so strongly as to sign up for elective surgery in THAT part of his body. It’s not something you wake up and decide to do one day.

      10. EXACTLY!!!! I totally agree.

      11. I was thinking the exact same thing!

      12. I don’t think that having a vasectomy at 19 is necessarily creepy or wrong. I have known since I was 15 that I would never have kids due to medical reasons. I can get pregnant, but I likely would miscarry after just a few months, and even if the baby survived, I would pass along my own medical condition, which I could not, in good conscience, do to my child. I would have gotten permanent birth control by now if it wasn’t such an invasive procedure (made even more invasive by my condition. And don’t worry, I’m not sexually active right now so it’s not a major rush issue).

        Just saying that there are all kinds of valid reasons to not want biological children, and taking steps to ensure that, at any age, are not by default “creepy”.

      13. I absolutely get your point, but that doesn’t appear to be the case here since he said that he would be willing to have them to appease his wife.

      14. Well, the letter just says “kids” not necessarily “biological kids,” so it’s possible that he meant he’d adopt with his wife, or have her get a sperm donor, or any other of the other number of ways to have children. It doesn’t necessarily (although it could, I’m not denying what you’re saying could definitely be true) mean that the vasectomy is related to the “having children” issue.

      15. i am not saying that alone. I was say sex offender + vasectamy = creepy. like he can rape girls without worrying about getting them pregnant.

      16. + being 19

    3. Avatar photo MaterialsGirl says:

      I was just going to ask if it was one of those slightly older than 18 having a relationship with a slightly under 18 person or something similar. If that was the case, I would have expected the LW to write that? I dunno. I’m hoping that’s what it is since he was honest with her about it? Still, when it boils down to it, neither of these men seem right for her

      1. ele4phant says:

        Yep. She she said they talked about it, she talked with his family, and she believes he’s “a changed person”. If it was an 18 year old having sex with a slightly younger minor, why would you need to “change”. Its a legal technicality, there’s nothing morally wrong with having sex with someone who is only a few years younger than you.

      2. Ditto with getting busted for peeing in public!

      3. I agree, ele4phant. I don’t believe she would have even needed to discuss it with his family if he just had sexual relations with a consenting minor as a young adult. And I think she would have mentioned it if that’s all it was. Whatever it was, I don’t think it was a misunderstanding.

    4. Exactly. One of my good friends is a registered sex offender because of a video found on his computer of his 17 year old girlfriend when he was 19. He took it to campus IT and they turned him in.

      1. That is so fucked up. I dated a 19-year-old when I was 17, & I remember a couple years ago (we’d broken up by then) he got paranoid & sent me all my old topless pics so he could delete them off his computer. I thought he was being kind of nutty, but I guess not!

      2. I know of a guy who has to carry around his marriage certificate and family photos… to show to potential employers, landlords, etc. He is a registered sex offender because his 17 year old girlfriend decided to have sex with him for the first time for his 18th birthday, and her parents didn’t like him and they walked in on them. This was a long time ago, so the laws were more black and white, and he went to jail and is now a registered sex offender for the rest of his life. And the two of them are now married with children. Thus the marriage certificate and family photos- to explain the permanent “sex offender” status.

      3. Wow, that really sucks!

      4. Wow, talk about really hating your in-laws.

    5. Yes, I was thinking that exact same thing, too. However, if that were the case and I was the LW, I’m pretty sure I would have included that info… right?

      1. I’m thinking yeah, she would have– those kind of cases usually evoke sympathy. So I hope she comes in & clarifies…

    6. kerrycontrary says:

      I’m also concerned about what he did to become a registered sex offender. Yes, she talked to him and his family about it, but there are many articles describing how family members will still support registered sex offenders even if it is something horrible like child porn. So I wonder how she would feel if she spoke to the *potential* victim (if there is one and it isn’t something like streaking).

      1. kerrycontrary says:

        Also, she describes it as “what has happened to him”. Like he was a passive bystander. So I bet he probably plays the victim in this case. Even if it was a set-up sting (think To Catch a Predator), he may have still had the intent of doing something.

      2. Agreed. And why didn’t the LW give any details about the sex crime? If it was something ee could get past she would have shared.

      3. My SO knows a guy that is a registered sex offender. If you believe the story this guy tells, it was a horrible thing “that happened to him,” like he is the victim or something. In this case, the guy was 22 at the time and let some guy that “he thought” was 17 give him a handjob. Turned out the 17 yr old was actually 15 and his parents walked in on this. So, in this guy’s mind, he was the victim- this 15 yr old boy lied to him and it just happened the kid’s parent’s caught it. Obviously, I think something is off with the story but that’s the way that he tells it.

        I suspect many sex offenders tell stories of their offenses like this because they honestly believe that they’ve done nothing wrong. Families, of course, want to believe that their family members aren’t bad so they’re going to believe whatever they are told. And some people are just easy to manipulate emotionally and are likely to believe anything.

      4. kerrycontrary says:

        This is just me…but I don’t think 22 year olds should be hooking up with 17 year olds…ever. There is a huge difference in maturity, sexual experience, and where you are in your lives.

      5. I completely agree with you. There is no much wrong with this guy that the more you know about him in general the creepier it gets.

        I wish my fiance would stop making these sketchy friends on the internet but he’s one of those people that is very forgiving and wants to help everyone out. It’s a good quality until he invites the guy that pulled a knife on a mutual friend to the Halloween party (true story).

      6. *There is so much wrong

      7. completely agree. I think alot of people lie about the details so it doesn’t sound so bad. like people getting pregnantbecause the condom broke. It happens but not as much as we think.

      8. my father is a registered sex offender and his family still doesn’t believe it (there was physical evidence and a conviction) and he went on to get married and have more kids (both boys luckily, which he as far as anyone knows hasn’t harmed). so yes, family often does have a hard time believing. not all family, but some.

      9. kerrycontrary says:

        While I don’t “understand” this persay, I guess I could see it happening. I think it’s something you can’t really empathize with unless you have a family member convicted of such a crime.

      10. yeah i guess being one of the people he harmed makes it hard for me to empathize with them at all. they tried to convince my sister and i that we were making it up, which makes me even less able to have any empathy for them.

        if this is a case of there being a victim that pressed charges and was able to get a conviction then it should give her a little more pause before she considers having kids with him. his family (and her) might be so blinded by who they think he is that they can’t see that part of him.

      11. I’ve never understood the way that some people will try to cover up or ignore harm to children in their own family just so that they can avoid being uncomfortable or to “erase” some sort of thing that they see as a black mark on their family. Like their own comfort or sense of family honor is more important than harm to a child. It really makes me sick.

      12. kerrycontrary says:

        I’m so sorry that happened to you. That’s horrible in every sense.

      13. I have said this a million times, but whenever someone you know/love does something bad, it happened “to them”, they had a “lapse in judgement”, rehab will “fix” them, they didn’t mean it, ect, ect… But when it’s a random person on the news, they are the devil and deserve any and all punishment.

        Familiarity skews opinions.

      14. theattack says:

        I would say that both familiarity and anonymity skew opinions. The truth has to lie somewhere in the middle in most cases.

    7. I agree that I assume she’d include the info, if that were the case. Aside from moral concerns, though, you’re still going to lead a rough life being married to any registered sex offender because you can’t really shake that kind of thing off very well.

    8. That was my thought too. I wish she would have included that if it was the case, though.

    9. The nature of the sex crime is pretty key here, not sure why it was left out. Had sex with a 17 year old when he was 19? Sure, maybe he is husband material. Sex with a 13 year old at 40? Not so much.

      1. temperance says:

        She would have said that if it was something like that.

    10. So I’ve never commented on DW before, but I feel like I have to here. I work at one of the largest police departments in New England, and we don’t really register too many statutory rape sex offenders. I’m sure they’re out there, but when it comes to spending the time and money on putting people on the list, it’s usually not the drunk kids peeing on the sidewalk or the 18 year old dating a 16 year old.

      Like so many of you have said, if he was on the list for something like that, LW would have made it clear.

      ok time to go back to obscurity.

  2. As has been said many times here before, if the question is which man? the answer is neither.

    This whole letter just sounded so immature. And that “little monsters” line? Sheesh.
    The only thing about the registered sex offender that might not be so bad is in my understanding sometimes a guy can becoe a sex offender for peeing in public or something. Not that that´s a good thing, but of course it is better than the other options.

    LW MOA from both these guys (and seriously? what upset you most about guy 1 was no birthday or Christmas present???) Take some time to grow.

    1. I so agree with you about if there are two guys then the answer is neither. Marriages are hard, and the LW needs to feel confident and happy in her choice of spouse. She’s not going to feel that way with either one of these guys. Besides, *I* personally don’t want to be with someone who had to make a pros and cons list to decide whether to marry me or another woman.

    2. Agree especially in this case. Neither seems to be the right guy.

      And I agree also that registered sex offender can mean a myriad of things. And how good of a Father is someone going to be if they agree to have kids just to make his wife happy???

    3. AndreaMarie says:

      Yeah the No birthday present was sooo lame. When I first started dating my boyfriend is was 2 months before Christmas…he didn’t get a me a gift….I still dated him

  3. ill take a page out of RR’s book- if you are torn between two guys, the answer is always NO guys. period. always.

    1. especially when you’re torn between a divorced guy that ignores you and a registered sex offender. definitely no guys.

    2. Where is RR these days? I feel like I haven’t seen a comment from her in a while.

      1. See what I did here, everyone?

        If we say her name enough times, maybe she will come back like Sarah did!!


      2. temperance says:

        Candyman rules apply!

  4. Wendy, it’s like you knew I had an exhausting week and I was using DW to get through it. These are stellar letters and your responses are well thought out. You even threw in an “or Ms.” to generalize your relationship advice to all readers. I really appreciate that. Oh, and your headline is delightful.

    Side note to LW: Some people are just bad at gift-giving. Either they don’t realize it’s important to you, or they have some hang-up about gifts, or any other reason. People have different gift-giving styles. If you have high expectations of gifts, you should let your boyfriend (whomever he is) know that. Or you could get over those expectations.

    I’m writing this because my gf and I have very different gift-giving styles. I like to spend a lot of time and money picking out the perfect gift or three. She seems to buy something that she saw that she’d thought I’d like and gives no thought to the cost. If I were to get sensitive about the fact that my gift from her cost 1/12 of what my gift from my bff cost, I’d be unnecessarily upset. I liked both gifts. The cost shouldn’t matter. Why would I get bent out of shape about it? Once I reminded myself about different gift-giving styles, I felt really petty. But! We live, we learn, (we get Luvs). (Anyone else remember that commercial?)

    And FWIW WWS. Single isn’t a bad option.

    1. I like your point about the different gift giving styles. SO true. I am freakishly obsessive about finding the perfect gift, and I sometimes spend more than I should to do so. My fiance would be perfectly happy if the tradition of gift exchange was eliminated, because he is pretty bad about selecting gifts.

      1. Friend of Beagles says:

        I adore my husband, but he is absolutely the worst gift giver (he’ll admit it too, which is one of the things I love about him). I think I eliminated gift giving between us entirely when the haul he brought me was all cutesy stuff from the dollar store (never mind that he is not fond of all my clutter–he just added to the clutter!).

      2. lemongrass says:

        Weights for christmas last year. Because I was using cans of food- they work just as well. I get the thought process but no woman wants to open weights on Christmas morning.

        Someone else beat me at that though- they got a vacuum for mother’s day.

    2. im SO BAD at gift giving. i do try, i really do, but its just never as good as i want it to be. it sucks.

    3. kerrycontrary says:

      Such good timing on this. Boyfriend and I just had a big discussion on gift giving last week. I like thinking for a long time (months ahead) on what to give him. I like giving surprises. He on the other hand wants to make sure he gives me something I want, so he always asks for a list. So I’m never surprised. I felt horrible for bringing it up because I’m appreciative of everything he does for me, but I felt like he wasn’t putting any thought into it. All of this is solved through communication. Maybe Guy#1 didn’t know they were exchanging presents? Or he just doesn’t care about her and this was his big hint.

      1. I know! I love surprises and my gf HATES them. So she always wants to tell me what my present is, and I always want to tell her that I’ve gotten her a present but then not tell her what it is. We just don’t talk about gifts anymore.

    4. Glad you mentioned the gift giving thing. I am TERRIBLE about giving gifts. Half the time, I just forget that it’s something that I should do. When I do remember, I do a TERRIBLE job picking stuff out. I get frustrated because I don’t know what to get. I don’t know how much money I should spend. And then I get frustrated when I have to wrap the item. Etc, etc, etc. I like getting something that someone really likes or wants but more often than not, it ends up being a mess because I got something terrible or lackluster. Anyways. As bad as it sounds, I’ve forgotten to get my fiance (who I’ve been with for almost six years), stuff for his birthday before! Maybe guy #1 falls into this category.

    5. There may be room for a column on the languages of gift giving. Kind of like the 5 love languages? It seems a lot LWs have concerns about gifts, I’ve never thought of it from the point of view of people having a gift giving style…

      1. oh i LOVE this idea. i could learn a lot!!

      2. Love the 5 love languages. It was enlightening

  5. artsygirl says:

    Sweet God almighty this is better than my grandma’s daytime ‘stories’. I am guessing that RSOG (registered sex offender guy) must be on the list for something like having consensual sex with his under age girlfriend when he was 18 which is why you can brush this out of your mind. The only problem is, that the system lumps all sex offenders together so your RSOG is seen in the same light as a 40 year old man who raped a 6 year old girl. That might mean you cannot live in a location near a school, park, play ground, pool, etc. You might have to go around any neighborhood you move to and hand out flyers saying that a registered sex offender lives there. If you have children, that might mean they are not allowed to have friends over to your house.
    On the other hand, you have DG (divorce guy). Now everything about the relationship you described screams emotionally unavailable. He is probably not in a place to jump into a relationship after his divorce so you can wait until he is in a better place or you can move on and look at finding someone that fulfills your needs.

    1. good points about RSOG.

      i wonder too, if he got a vasectomy, if he cant biologically have kids, would there be legal problems with having non-bio kids in his house? i mean i guess he could try to reverse the vasectomy, but that doesnt always work. she would have to get a sperm donor or IVF or something, and i wonder the logicistics of doing that with a partner who is a RSO.

      1. Oh preach, I bet registered sex offenders can’t adopt.

      2. You can get a vasectomy reversed… but, that being said, why would you want to have kids with someone that just plain doesn’t want them? TERRIBLE idea.

        Good points about all the things you’d have to do with the RSOG, though!

      3. Plus, I think getting them reversed is super expensive. I heard that somewhere recently. I may be wrong.

      4. I would expect so, if nothing else than as a deterrent for people who get them without thinking. Plus, I imagine it’s much more invasive and dangerous than the initial snip. Hooking cables up is always more difficult than unhooking them, if you know what I mean.

      5. theattack says:

        I looked it up recently for some reason, and I think Wikipedia told me it was like $10,000, and the chances of being able to have kids isn’t even that high afterward.

      6. You can get it reversed, just like you can get a tubes tied procedure reversed, but there is no guaranty the parts will still work.

      7. One of my friends married an older guy, who had gotten a vasectomy during his first marriage when they were ‘done’ having kids. They reversed his vasectomy, but as you said the parts no longer work. So they had to harvest his sperm, and she had to go through IVF. They are happily pregnant now, but it took a lot of medical procedures, and I imagine a lot of money.

    2. tbrucemom says:

      Actually the part about him being lumped in with a 40 year old that raped a 6 year old is not true, at least in Florida. He would be considered a sexual predator here. A sexual offender is usually something like an 18 year having sex with his 16 year old girlfriend, picking up a hooker, etc. Having said that, you do have to register and people can find out the info fairly easy so there’s always going to be explaining to do. As far as choosing between the two, I agree with the commenter that said when you have to choose between two, choose neither.

      1. artsygirl says:

        True – I also know that in some states RSO also can be taken off the list after a period of time depending on the nature of their crime. Basically, the LW should seriously inspect her local laws as well as pause to make sure she wants to start a life with a man who has so much baggage attached.

      2. temperance says:

        Correct. Thank you.

    3. Avatar photo GatorGirl says:

      Excellent points about the challeneges a registered offender will face, most likely for the rest of your life. Do you want to get into that LW?

    4. temperance says:

      Honestly, I really don’t think that RSOG is, because she would have said that. The way she talks about it is that he’s “changed”, which is a red flag to me. You wouldn’t have to change from indecent exposure, or having sex with a 17-year-old at 18. I think she’s just deluded.

  6. Neither! I only skimmed the letter, but if you’re truly considering dating a registered sex offender, it’s time to take a very, very long break from dating and get your shit together. Seriously LW, your current judgement is terrible and you really should cease and desist all dating activities immediately. You need to spend your time working on becoming a worthwhile person so that worthwhile people will be attracted to you in the future.

  7. Haven’t read anything other than the headline yet, but don’t we always say that if you are torn between 2 guys, the answer should be NO guys??

    I can’t wait to read this letter.

    1. After reading the letter, I stand by “no guys”.

      LW- You do realize that there are more than these 2 available men on the planet, right?

      Guy #1 doesn’t want to be your boyfriend. He likes your companionship, and he likes knowing that you’re around when he wants you. Another guy came in and he felt like he was losing that, which is why he started to make the effort again. He doesn’t really love you, and he doesn’t want to be with you in the long term.
      Guy #2… Even if you forget about the sex offender thing (not like you really can…), you guys want different things. Even if he wasn’t a sex offender, he doesn’t want kids. Sure, he might have them just to make his wife happy, but that’s not a good reason to have them.

      MOA and Aim Higher.

  8. I am sorry but guy 2 sounds so sketchy. I am sorry but a sex offender with a vasectamy at 19 is all sorts of messed up. Think through this. He was right out of high school and had his tubes cut? most guys are terrified of that procedure and he is willingly doing it? Something happened to that guy and chances are that he is doing the same thing to other people. I know that this is supper judgemental but really. this is crazy.

  9. Not to downplay the problems of LW, but when I saw the headline it sounded like another ridiculous rom-com in the making.
    But I’m with Wendy #2 is MOA no questions asked. I know sex offender is arbitrary and we don’t know why he is one but he’s had a vasectomy and still doesn’t want kids- that’s enough for you to forget about him.
    #1 needs more time but just from the way he’s treated you privately and publicly you probably need to find another guy because if he liked or loved like you said he did he wouldn’t have a problem.
    Wendy’s killing it this week :).

  10. Need more info on the sex offender thing, but considering you omitted it I’m guessing it is bad.

    Divorce sounds distant and like he only expresses intereset when you become unavailable. That is a bad combo.

    I answer your question with another question…are either of these men a good pick?

    1. Nice. If either one was what she truly wanted instead of what she was willing to settle for then she would have no hesitation in choosing – she would have rejected the advances of the divorced guy when she was with the sex offender if she really wanted to be with the sex offender or she would have left the sex offender in a heartbeat if the divorced guy was the guy for her when he came back ready to give her what she always wanted. LW, the inner conflict you are feeling is your intuition telling you to choose neither.

  11. Even before I read Wendy’s response, my answer was choose neither.

    Guy #1 made you feel bad about yourself and he didn’t express real interest until you decided to move on. Really? You’re thinking about settling for someone like that? He doesn’t want the kind of relationship you want. He just doesn’t want to be alone. And being with you is easier for him than finding someone who might not let him walk all over her. Aim higher.

    I need to know more about Guy #2 to pass judgement on his extracurricular activities. But that’s besides the point. If you really did want to be with him, you wouldn’t entertain the idea of choosing Guy #1. Do both of you a favor and end it with him. You’re just not that into him.

    As Wendy said, find someone who has it all for you. You’ll be much happier in the long run and a lot less likely to divorce.

  12. THE ANSWER IS NO MEN (I feel like this will get repeated 100x over, but yeah, LW– you need to hear it that many times.)

    I’ll echo everybody who said this guy may have just gotten on the sex offender registry because of a couple year difference between himself & some underage girlfriend. I have a lot of issues with the sex offender registry because of this reason– but still, it is a thing that exists & will present Guy #2 a lot of limitations in life. Do you want to deal with that?

    As for Guy #1, he seems unsure of what he wants– how many times has he gone back & forth on even wanting you? How do you even know he’ll want to commit to having a family with you, if he only seems interested once you “pull away”? My advice is to ditch both of these men (yes, even though you have so many feelings for both of them). Your life doesn’t need to be an adventure novel centered on some fucked-up romantic triangle situation.

  13. Avatar photo GatorGirl says:

    So your choice is an emotionally unavaliable guy or a sex offender who doesn’t want to have children (which is something really important to you)…What is the question again? Which crap-o-la dude to saddle yourself with? NEITHER.

    Also, a word about gift giving. Talk about it before!! If Christmas is coming up have a nice little conversation about if and how big of a gift you’ll get. My fiance and I set dollar limits, but maybe you could set a different level. You can’t be pissed at a guy who doesn’t even admit he’s dating you for not getting you a gift…good greif. Actually you shouldn’t be mad at anyone for not getting you a gift as gifts are just about never required and are considered a nice voluntary thing to do.

  14. LW is too desperate and needs to take more time off from dating post the end of her last relationship. Considering marriage to a sex offender and won’t offer the reason why he’s on the list? That is seeking a husband out of emotional panic, not clear thinking. You need to slow way down.

  15. For fuck’s sake, you are not on “The Bachelorette” handing out the final rose…
    you have a pool of millions of other males to choose from, hold out for one of them.

  16. “Because getting out of a soul-sucking relationship — especially one where there are kids involved — is much more difficult than getting into a relationship. Remember that: as hard as it may feel sometimes to find a good relationship — or to choose between two potential relationships — it is so much harder to find a way out of a bad one.”

    Wow! Bulls-eye Wendy. I couldn’t possibly add anything more.

  17. LW, before you begin seriously thinking about having “little monsters”…
    PLEASE stop dating MONSTERS*

    * I personally believe rapists, attempted rapists, convicted pedophiles, people who contribute to the proliferation of child pornography, and sexual assailants who violate men, women, and children to be monsters.
    I realize not every single sex offender commits such abominations but I am pretty sure if the LW ‘s boyfriend’s offense was something more forgivable like statutory rape for having sex with a 17 year when he was 19 or indecent exposure for having sex in a semi-public place she would be screaming that from the roof tops.

  18. None. None of the above. Guy #1 treated you like garbage. The only time he appeared to show feelings for you was when he thought you were going to leave him. How does that sound? I’m not sure why you think you’d be happier with a guy who refused to show feelings for you in public. And beyond that, if his divorce is honestly causing him so many emotional problems that he can’t treat you the way you deserve, then he’s not ready to be with someone else.

    As for Guy #2, sex offender should be all you need to know to run the other direction. I don’t know what he did, but sex offenses are bad. Really. From what I understand, sex offenders are sort of like alcoholics in that they are “recovering” because there’s always a good chance they will re-offend. Personally, the thought of someone inflicting that sort of pain on another person would make me not want to even associate with him. But in practical terms, do you know what it would be like to marry a sex offender? When you move, the police will release notices to the town and it will be published in the newspaper informing everyone that a sex offender has arrived and is living at your address. Read or watch “Little Children” to see what fun that is when people start vandalizing his home. This will follow him everywhere, and if you’re not careful, it might be following you.

    Aside from that, if you want children, don’t get together with someone who had a vasectomy. Even if he’s willing to have children (by reversal?), then it sounds like he wouldn’t make a good father. You have to want kids for that. Plus, if his offense was against children, don’t think for a minute that he wouldn’t sexually abuse his own kids…

  19. Michelle.Lea says:

    I vote for mystery door #3. seriously, MOA MOA MOA. neither of these guys is the right one.

    1. That are almost the exact words I was going to post!

      1. “those are”

        “that is … thing”

        — sigh —

        Is it still Monday?

      2. God, I hope not!

    2. Moneypenny says:

      I was going to say the same thing too! And behind door #3…

  20. I always want to respond to the letter but between Wendy’s sage advice and the DW community, there’s never anything left to say!

    Once again, this point does need repeating, if you have to choose between two guys, the answer is NO guys.

  21. When we had just moved to Texas, I was walking my dog around our new neighborhood and was surprised to see a sign in someones yard that read ‘Warning: registered sex offender lives here”. There were bars on all the windows and doors, to keep the sex offender in or other people out I don’t know. I’ve never seen that anywhere else, so maybe it was court ordered? In all my walks I never saw the person who lived there. My point is; being married to a registered sex offender is going to be restrictive in ways none of us can imagine.

    For someone to get a vasectomy so young means that they really, really, really don’t want children. He says that he would have children to make her happy, I bet you dollar to donuts if they do have children, Dear Wendy will get a letter from the same letter writer in a few years complaining that her husband never helps out with the children.

    It’s best to walk away from both men

    1. ele4phant says:

      This is such a good point. Even if Guy #2 wasn’t doing anything sexually deviant, like taking a drunken piss in a dark alley and had the misfortune of being seen by the cops, this will follow him, and whoever ultimately ends up with him, FOREVER.

      There will be limits on where you can live, what sorts of jobs he can have (and how much income he could feasibly contribute), and if you ever do end up having children, well that’ll make things tricky. I mean, he won’t be allowed to drop kiddos off at school when you’re sick/can’t get out of work, now can he?

      Maybe its not fair to treat individuals who are on the sex offenders list for pretty tame reasons like pariahs, but still. Being with him will make your life so much harder. Seeing as you really haven’t invested that much time in him LW, and you aren’t even sold on him, is that hardship worth it?

      If it were me, I’d move on (and not necessarily back into the arms of Guy #1).

  22. Why the f would you mention the registered sex offender thing and then not actually say what the crime was?!?!

  23. It sounds like she will always be wondering what would have happened if she chose the other guy,

    Guy 1 sounds like he has a lot of baggage from his divorce and is not someone who would meet her needs. It sounds like she was a random hook up that he could control and now that he can’t he is trying to win her back just to treat her like crap.

    Guy 2 – Has he had counseling? Would he be ideal to have children around? Would you always be wondering if he was doing something to the children?

    I have a friend who got a vasectomy at age 20. He said it was because he did not want to spend his 20s worrying about having children, women lying about birth control, etc. He plans on getting it reversed if he gets married. If not, then he is pretty safe.

    You can like two different men, but loving and giving your heart to two men is impossible. And it sounds like she is keeping one as a backup in the wings for when the other one doesn’t work out. I think she is being selfish and needs to get over herself. Pick one and stick with it no matter what or pick neither and take some co dependency therapy.

    1. I’m not sure why you call guy #1 a random hookup. From her description, their relationship sounded more platonic friendship than anything. She never says it became sexual and at one point, when they were fairly far into it, says it was not sexual.

  24. Avatar photo landygirl says:

    LW, I’m sorry to say that you have terrible taste in men. Maybe you should be single for a while and clear your head.

  25. Wow, in what universe is a sex offender a viable option????

  26. If your feelings aren’t strong enough to even know you want to be with someone, you shouldn’t be with them. Relationship advice is all well and good, but you shouldn’t need prompting to “choose” someone. If you can’t even do that on your own, the relationship is doomed anyway.

    Oh and also, my default feeling about registered sex offenders is that they are un-dateable. I have some issues with the fairness of forcing someone who has served their time to wear a scarlet letter for the rest of their lives (if they’re dangerous then don’t release them in the first place!). Also I have seen a few random “sex offender” situations where the guy was a statutory rapist of a consenting girlfriend that was very close in age (say 17 and 18), which to me might be a different situation than other sex offenders… BUT you give absolutely no clue as to what occurred in this letter, so I am extremely weary.

    So yeah, no guys.

  27. Sue Jones says:

    WWS. Registered Sex Offender? RUN!!!!!!!!! Guy #1 may not be ready or the best match either…. I would say none of the above only because Guy #1 still seems a bit ambivalent and not so committed and perhaps your heart isn’t in it either… Better to be alone than with the wrong guy IMHO.

  28. LW, how old are you? Are you afraid to be alone or not to have kids or a spouse? If you are nearing the end of your child bearing years, I can see why this would be an issue, but the way you wrote your letter, I would assume 20s, early 30s at the oldest. Why are you trying to cling to both men when it is so obvious that you would be settling? Seriously, which seems like the “better” of the two – Guy #1 who strung you along then said all the right things to make you go back and admitted he doesn’t want kids for himself but would do it for his wife? He is ultimately saying that really, he wouldn’t be the best of fathers because it is not something he absolutely desires. Or Guy #2 – registered sex offender (HUGE RED FLAG) and “vasectomy” at age 19. Does NOT want kids. Aren’t “little monsters” something you strongly desire?

    Is there proof Guy #2 actually DID have a vasectomy at the age of 19? Most doctors won’t do that because they see 19 as young and impulsive and there are many counseling classes etc that the man would have to go through in order to get said vasectomy. And that’s only IF the insurance covers it. There are many worms in that can that encompass the insurance as well.

    Keeping all that in mind, I ask again, why are you settling? What exactly do you have in common with either one of them that you could see yourself spending the rest of your days with? If you HAVE to choose between the two, why choose either? There are plenty of men out there that want a wife and kids and have great qualities. Maybe you should look at those men so you DON’T settle and get stuck with someone that really wasn’t a great match for you to begin with.

  29. This is brilliant Wendy: “But as hard as it is to face the loneliness of being single, I promise you it’s nothing compared to the loneliness one feels in a relationship that isn’t right”
    That should be one of the ten commandments!

  30. Ummm….I’m wondering what kind of response the LW was hoping to get. Does she want Wendy to say that the sex offender deserves the chance to prove he’s changed? Or, does she want to hear that the Divorced guy was just scared of getting hurt again and now that he lost her, he realized his mistake? I’m asking in all seriousness because you know that the LWs secretly hope for a certain response to justify what they want to do.

    1. I only ask because sometimes the answer to the letter is as plain as the nose on your face. Like with this letter, it is obvious that the answer is NEITHER. So, I’m really curious as to what the LW was hoping to hear from Wendy and the commentators.


    Bachelor #1: Divorcee: No, just no. He’s only reaching out to you now because he doesn’t want you to break up with him. He’ll treat you the same way once you commit back to him. This is a classic douche move that you should have picked up on. Then again you are also dating…

    Bachelor #2: the SEX OFFENDER: ……..I can’t even………what.are.you.doing. what are you DOING? What are you doing. This is a terrible idea. Ok, for sanity’s sake, let’s say that this guy only got arrested for being an 18yr old dating a 17year old. Or, let’s not say that. Here’s why I’m suspicious of this whole situation.

    a.) You didn’t mention it. If it were just a 18/17 thing, wouldn’t that be the first thing you mention if you brought up this guy you really like was a SEX OFFENDER?? Maybe, instead, it was a longer more complicated story like “well he thought the girl was 18 because she dressed older and she begged him for sex but it turns out she was 14 but she tricked him and he’s the best..” and you know how bullsh*t that sounds so you didn’t write it down. Because we wouldn’t get it anyway because we don’t know him and he’s so great, right? Maybe its even worse, but he’s reformed now ok you guys you just don’t understand him he’s learned his lesson. Is that it? Are these any of the crappy justifications running through your head?

    b.) WHY WOULDN’T YOU CHECK THE STORY OUT FOR YOURSELF? You took the word of the two groups of people MOST LIKELY to lie about whatever crime he committed, the offender and the offender’s family. If I was dating a guy who said he was a sex offender, no way would I just take his word about it. I would be looking him up on Megan’s Law, looking for the court records, everything to make sure this guy wasn’t really a monster.

    I once knew a guy (who I always hated) who got arrested for distributing child pornography. The story he told his friends and family was that he was dating a 17yr old (its always a 17yr old isn’t it?) and she dumped him, so to punish her he sent a naked pic of her to his buddy over email. His family and friends completely believed him, even though he was sentenced to five years in a federal prison. One skeptical friend found out the truth (though the offender still doubles down on his story). He was distributing pictures and videos of young girls through the mail.

    The only reason I could think of you not looking it up for yourself is that you know the charge already sounds bad, but you believe his justifications. The thing you have to understand is that NO offender will tell you the real story, they will tell you the one that keeps them from being watched, which in turn keeps them from going back to prison.

    C.) He got a vasectomy at 19??? What??? That doesn’t sound weird to you? Did he get one because he’s afraid of himself around kids? Or did his parents make him get one so they could trust him? This is all guessing on my part because you didn’t share the reasons of these actions. And I’m very concerned that you omitted a lot of this on purpose.

    So, to answer your question, NEITHER. Find some new men, get some counseling to realize you can do better, and for the love of bacon cut contact with the SEX OFFENDER. For f*cks sake, I haven’t even had coffee yet.

    1. Sarah, I’m so glad you’re back.

      1. Seconded. 🙂

    2. Haha I love all of this, but especially “Maybe, instead, it was a longer more complicated story like ‘well he thought the girl was 18 because she dressed older and she begged him for sex but it turns out she was 14 but she tricked him and he’s the best..’ and you know how bullsh*t that sounds so you didn’t write it down.” That sounds pretty much accurate as to why this LW did not mention what the crime was.

    3. Flanagan.er says:

      Re: the guy you know that went to prison. Yeah, what he really did was obviously worse. But the story that he’s telling people to redeem himself is still awful. If you told me “yeah, I was arrested, but only because I emailed nude photos of an ex-girlfriend as revenge” I would think you were a terrible person.

    4. Yeah, the vasectomy + sex offender (especially one who is much younger than most vasectomy recipients) is sort of distressing. They could be totally unrelated, but it sounds like SOMEBODY thinks he’s going to commit another sexual crime and doesn’t want a baby to come from it. Specifically, someone who has the power to make him get a vasectomy. Aka, himself or his family.

  32. AndreaMarie says:

    I’m sorry LW but I don’t understand how Guy #2 is even close to being an option. Sure there are some not creepy/serious offenses that could get someone registered as a sex offender (i.e. being 19 and having sex with a 16 year old or peeing in public)…HOWEVER I would bet my house on the fact that Guy #2 commited a serious offense. Why would a young man at the age of 19 even think of having a vasectomy let alone actually do it?!! Even if you are un sure of whether or not you want to have children, that is a drastic step. I bet the nature of his crime was so serious that he is banned from being within 50 feet of children for the rest of his life! Forget that you would even consider being romantic with someone who is a child molester, even if he is “reformed”…what kind of life would you have? You certainly could never adapt. Also, he wouldn;t be able to accompany you to any family function etc where there are children….I cant…

  33. It’s actually a known psychological phenomenon that we adapt our judgment of a certain option depending on what other options we have available at a particular moment. That is, we tend to think comparatively. But in certain cases, this is irrational. “Guy 1” shouldn’t start to look more attractive when “Guy 2” enters the picture, nor vice versa. Because “Guy 1” didn’t actually become a better option for you when “Guy 2” entered the picture. With potential relationships, you have to judge each for itself. Only if you have two GREAT potential relationship options should you use comparative judgments to decide between them. If you can’t decide between two guys, choosing one of them is only a good idea if both guys are truly great for you. That is, they don’t have any major, potentially deal-breaking flaws. Unfortunately, that really doesn’t seem to be true for either of these guys. Which of course means that the best option for you, which you don’t mention, is none of the two. But if you’re not sure, evaluate each of the guys separately and check whether they can truly meet your standards. And check your standards, too.

    1. WSS! I really like how you broke down the faulty thinking here, and did it so well! I think it’s easy to get caught up in the “they both want me, whom do I choose” mentality and forget about other options because of “two in the hand is better than one in the bush” thinking. It’s like “should I have a Whopper or a BigMac for lunch” when really, heading down to the corner deli for a fresh salad and half a pastrami on rye would be tastier, healthier, and an opportunity to think for oneself instead of following faulty logic!

      1. Thanks!

  34. WatersEdge says:

    A sex offender who got a vasectomy at age 19 is FUCKED UP sexually. Stay away, stay away, stay away.

  35. Oh, forgot to say (or, I mean, I guess I just noticed it?)– I love that stock photo.

  36. Avatar photo GatorGirl says:

    So, just a thought. What if he’s just giving the vasectomy line so he doesn’t have to wear a condom? You know like I’m shooting blanks so why bother deal?


    1. Avatar photo bittergaymark says:

      Really? Somebody is going to be HONEST about being a registered sex offender — yet LIE about having a vasectomy? C’mon, the guy clearly has some issues, but this accusation is beyond messed up.

      1. Avatar photo GatorGirl says:

        eh, it was just a thought. Personally, I would not take any mans word that he had had his tubes tide with out documentation. (I would hope men would do the same with women).

        There are also a lot of sick shit heads out there and the last thing the LW needs to to get pregnant by the sex-offender in her love triangle.

      2. I know some people are dumb, but surely, he’d realize that that was a one-way ticket to getting someone pregnant.

      3. temperance says:

        I worked in domestic violence. It’s something I heard from a LOT of clients, sadly. Not uncommon at all.

    2. painted_lady says:

      That makes sense, actually. If he raped someone, then chances are he gets off on power. Lying to someone about having a vasectomy is a total power trip.

      And if you plan on dating someone long-term, the sex offender part is eventually going to come up, so lying about it would be pretty stupid. Not saying this guy isn’t stupid, it’s definitely a possibility, but the other scenario is also plausible.

  37. *SIGH*

    I think the only reason you are even dating these guys is because you are desperate to have kids, and anyone will apparently do. Even a guy who is a registered sex offender who got a vasectomy at 19 who says he’d have kids to make his wife happy. Something tells me you haven’t really thought about what having kids entails. It’s not all flowers rainbows and unicorns.

    So, just like everyone else said, you need to remain single until you get yourself some self respect, grow up and stop thinking that a sex offender and an unavailable guy are good options.

  38. Avatar photo bittergaymark says:

    Gee, why sell yourself so short, LW? Personally, I’d hold out for a convicted — then acquitted murderer… But how lovely to (FINALLY!) hear from such a together young woman who is anything but desperate. Wow! So many choices! How could she not be confused?

    Oh, and frankly, after all this time on Dear Wendy, I wish MORE 19 year olds would go get that vasectomy.

    1. Avatar photo MackenzieLee says:

      I agree. i see the vasectomy as a guy taking an active role in preventing those accidental babies that just seem to keep happening all mysteriously to all the LWs

      1. Avatar photo bittergaymark says:

        E X A C T L Y ! ! !

  39. fast eddie says:

    The creepiest thing about this letter is the doctor that performed the vasectomy on a healthy 19 year old “man”. Not wanting kids is not a bad thing. I got clipped at 30 after the divorce of a bad marriage and don’t regret it. However I do regret not being a grandfather. Without details the sex offender status might be a technicality. The LW seems intelligent enough to weigh it’s importance.

    To her or any woman that thinks he’ll change his mind about having kids:
    ************** DON’T EVEN CONSIDER IT ***************
    Being a good parent takes dedication and a desire to be one. Kids deserve no less and forcing them onto someone is abuse to all concerned.

    1. Avatar photo iwannatalktosampson says:

      But a man listed as a sex offender that will never be allowed to be within 1000 feet of a school? I mean the side effects of being a sex offender are astronomical. For good reasons – they’re lives are not like normal people’s. He could never see his child’s school play, never live by a school, always have to disclose it to employers. The list goes on and on. Depending on what crime he committed it might have been the one good thing to come out of his situation that he got a vasectomy. There’s a good chance he SHOULDN’T be a parent.

      1. fast eddie says:

        Good point iwanna, I hadn’t considered that.
        On the assumption that his offense wasn’t violent etc. he might get it expunged but he doesn’t want kids and he’s clipped, so that point is moot in this case.

      2. temperance says:

        From the way that the LW was talking (he “changed”, etc.), he sounds like an offender, not someone who got busted on a statutory.

  40. temperance says:

    The only thing I can say to the LW is “oh honey”.

    What I can imagine Wendy would say in two words would be “aim higher”.

  41. I was telling my husband about this letter last night, and he told me that there’s a guy on the Flyer’s who’s a sex offender (I looked into it this morning, and it looks like he hasn’t been sentenced yet, but whatever). Anyway, he described the situation as “Like in American Pie”– A guy hooked up a webcam so his buddies could watch, and I guess they were underage, and they all got busted.

    Am I the only one who watched that movie and never once stopped to think that what they were doing was totally a disgusting crime?!

  42. Letter writer says:

    Okay, in response to everyone…

    The offense was technically attemptive distribution of child pornography. I did look up the case, I’ve researched the laws, and I’ve talked to his parol officer. The situation was that he was downloading porn from lime wire and would select lists to download, one of the lists had included child pornography. There are actually a lot of cases like this, there are even lawyers who deal only with lime wire cases. He really isn’t a bad guy, I didnt mention what the charge was because I’ve Come to the point where it isn’t a big deal. He got the vesectomy at 19, was charged at 23, they are in no way related.

    As to the conclusion I’ve come to, I’m not only dating these two guys. They are just the ones I’m most emotionally attracted to. And I ended everything with the divorced guy yesterday anyway.

    Thanks for your opinions. They are helpful.

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