Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

Morning Quickies: “I Kissed My Friend, And My Boyfriend Called It Cheating!”

I’m a single mom to a little boy who is three years old. I met my boyfriend a year ago, and though we’ve had ups and downs like a lot of couples, we’ve always stuck together. Anyway, my friend Lydia and I had a weekend away last week. There was a lot of partying, a lot of drinking and just having fun. I stayed in contact with my boyfriend the whole time I was away (I let him know what I was up to and how I was, etc.). I sent him a few videos of Lydia and me dancing at clubs, and in one video she and I had a kiss (it lasted about 5 seconds). We were drunk, just being silly, and I didn’t think it would cause any problems; however, my boyfriend has said it’s cheating and that I have broken the trust in the relationship.

I’ve never gone near another man or have ever cheated. This is the first time “cheating” has ever been brought up. He’s so heartbroken, and I’m starting to feel really guilty about the situation. My questions for you are: How can I win him back and make him see it was a harmless kiss — nothing more than a bit of fun? Our relationship has basically just started and I don’t want to lose it over this. — I Kissed a Girl

If your relationship has “basically just started,” and you’ve already had a series a “ups and downs,” capped off by this latest down in which your boyfriend called you a cheater, it’s time for you to cut your losses and move on already. A relationship with this much drama this early on is not one that will sustain real problems (instead of made-up, manufactured ones). Plus, you already have one three-year-old; you don’t need a man-child pressing the same buttons a toddler does with his drama queen bullshit. Seriously, move on. And maybe next time don’t send videos of your every move when you’re away for a weekend. A quick phone call or text in the morning and again at night to say “hi” should suffice for a short weekend away.

My granddaughter, “Rebecca,” is planning her wedding and my son (divorced from her mother) has agreed to help with the cost. She needs his financial support for the wedding, but she has told him that his girlfriend is not to come. He said he would not pay unless his girlfriend is invited, and Rebecca says he is making this an issue about him and his girlfriend, and now she has asked me to tell my son that his girlfriend isn’t invited but that that should not stop him from paying for some of the wedding. It feels like I have to choose between my son and my granddaughter. I think her mother is behind it. I have already lost connection with my two other granddaughters because of their mother.

Is there a way to answer Rebecca without hurting our relationship? — Grandma In The Middle

 
Your granddaughter sounds entitled and selfish, and maybe that is a result of poor parenting (or, as you argue, poor mothering), but at some point a grown woman needs to take responsibility for her own actions and behavior. To accept money from her father to pay for her wedding while telling him his girlfriend isn’t invited is such a spoiled, ungrateful, childish way to behave, and I hope your son won’t enable that kind of behavior. I am so sorry you were dragged into the middle of it and that you are already estranged from your other two granddaughters. They should feel so fortunate to have a living grandmother who’s interested in being part of their lives. I hope in time they appreciate was a gift that is.

In the meantime, you want to know what to say to your granddaughter who has asked you to talk to her father on her behalf. I say tell her you’ll encourage your son to try to work things out with her, but that he’s way too old to be told what to do by his mother. If she continues pressing you, just stick with that line: “He’s too old to be told be told by his mother how to live his life. All I can do is love you both and encourage you to work this out.” I have a feeling your granddaughter is the kind of person for whom the money is going to talk, and that your son’s girlfriend will be sitting next to him at the wedding. Please keep us posted!

***************

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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.

34 comments… add one
  • avatar

    JD March 7, 2019, 8:39 am

    LW2: The only way it would be ok for her to demand this is if the girlfriend was the cause of the divorce (well the husband cheating rather). I do suspect mother is behind this.

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      JD March 7, 2019, 8:53 am

      OH my part for LW1 didn’t come through.

      Agree with Wendy however YOU don’t just get to decide something isn’t cheating. Just because you kissed a woman it doesn’t count? Well to him it does, and to many people. These are conversations people have before being serious….what your limits are, what is cheating. Some people don’t think talking to another person in an intimate way is cheating, while I’d lose it. Some people don’t even find just casual sex cheating. This is why you are clear on someone else’s feelings about this stuff before you get to this point. Regardless the relationship shouldn’t have a bunch of ups and downs in a year, so it is flawed anyway.

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    csp March 7, 2019, 8:56 am

    LW1 – I wonder if you are ready to be in a relationship. Just take time being single. I mean, why did you take a video of your kissing your friend? What was the goal of that action? Were you kissing her to get attention from the men at the club? of your boyfriend? do you and your girlfriend have feelings? If you want to be in this relationship, I think he is looking for more monogamy and it seems like you both define that differently. maybe find a guy who is less traditional.

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    • avatar

      Essie March 7, 2019, 9:49 am

      Yeah, LW1, I’m wondering why you sent a video of you kissing another person to your boyfriend. We can argue all day about the definition of cheating, but to me, a five second kiss is sexual. Doesn’t matter if it had no emotional meaning, doesn’t matter if you consider yourself straight, doesn’t matter if it’s the only time you kissed her and nothing sexual has ever happened between you before. You sent a video of you doing something sexy with the person you’re away on vacation with to a boyfriend you’ve had a rocky relationship with. What did you think was going to happen?

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      Essie March 7, 2019, 9:49 am

      Yeah, LW1, I’m wondering why you sent a video of you kissing another person to your boyfriend. We can argue all day about the definition of cheating, but to me, a five second kiss is sexual. Doesn’t matter if it had no emotional meaning, doesn’t matter if you consider yourself straight, doesn’t matter if it’s the only time you kissed her and nothing sexual has ever happened between you before. You sent a video of you doing something sexy with the person you’re away on vacation with to a boyfriend you’ve had a rocky relationship with. What did you think was going to happen?

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  • avatar

    Fyodor March 7, 2019, 9:06 am

    I don’t think that the boyfriend is acting like a toddler by responding this way. Even if they were just “joking” , from the context it sounds like they were kissing in a romantic/sexual manner. He’s entitled to not like that. I don’t think that I would like it either from my partner.

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    • Dear Wendy

      Dear Wendy March 7, 2019, 9:14 am

      You know, re-reading the letter and my response, I think I was a little off-base. My gut feeling was that the LW was in such constant contact with her boyfriend bc he was requesting it, and that seemed child-like to me. But she doesn’t really say that that’s the case. At any rate though, this is not a good match and she needs to move on (and probably be single for a while).

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      • avatar

        Fyodor March 7, 2019, 9:46 am

        Yeah, in most of these cases, adjucating who is right or wrong doesn’t do anyone any good.

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    ron March 7, 2019, 9:09 am

    LW#1 does seem to define cheating as actions with a man, so there is no way of knowing how far she has gone with this friend or other women. Cheating seems a distinct possibility. A five-second kiss is not a kiss between mere friends. One-one-thousand, two-one-thousand, three-one-thousand, four-one-thousand, five-one-thousand — that’s a romantic kiss, and I’m willing to bet that there postures and all-over-each-otherness also screamed romantic kiss. So yes, I agree with CSP that you were sending some sort of message with the video of this kiss. It pretty much shouts ‘fuck off!’ to your bf. I think it best for all concerned if you just MOA and let him get on with his life. You are deliberately mind fucking him.

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    • avatar

      csp March 7, 2019, 10:13 am

      She might have been trying to show how sexy she is to her boyfriend. Like “Doesn’t this turn you on?” However, he wasn’t there. The people there were this girl and all the men they were performing for at the club. There is a time in your life that you are wild and a time you settle down. I just think she is not in the settle down phase.

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      • avatar

        Leon March 7, 2019, 3:33 pm

        My girlfriends, young and wild, kisses each other when they party. More than a sexy thing to do, is like having fun and enjoying not giving a crap. Certainly his boyfriend is not aligned with the LW, so it is better to move on.

        I remember once my partner kissed my best friend to prevent a creep to keep on harassing her on a party. LOL. I almost felt betrayed, but those were times being naive and carefree, and as they explained, it was just a kiss.

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      • avatar

        csp March 7, 2019, 3:55 pm

        Leon – I strongly believe that girls kissing at clubs is to get male attention if they are supposedly straight. So for this LW to do this at a club when her boyfriend wasn’t there and then send him the video was very much challenging him. I think she hoped he would find it sexy but he found it to vindictive. Even in an open relationship I think this would be hard to take. He might have been more open to it if he was at the club with them but I think they needed to get these relationship rules organized.

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      • avatar

        Leon March 7, 2019, 4:34 pm

        So male centered. Phalocratic? Not everything woman do is to get the macho attention. In this case I think LW is pretty young, and nowadays kids like to be attention seekers. Like sharing and see us how wild we are and lalalala. Whatever it is it doesn’t matter, this relationship is doomed. I suspect the guy was looking for an easy way out, and he have found it in this scenario.

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  • avatar

    Kate March 7, 2019, 9:30 am

    I wonder sometimes if younger people grew up with more surveillance and that makes them tend to over share (I.e. document your every move for your bf on a night out). When GenX were kids, there was no expectation ever that you’d contact loved ones while you were out and about, until it was time to call mom to pick you up. Often on a pay phone. And someone might have a camera, but like, you’d take a few posed pics and then not see them for days or weeks if ever, because they had to be developed at CVS and usually there was only one copy. Now it’s like, let me FaceTime you as I walk down the street, and basically document every detail of my existence for other people.

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    • avatar

      JD March 7, 2019, 9:33 am

      I agree. Younger people now seem to share an insane amount. My 16 year old cousins Instagram is basically every thing he eats, see’s, thinks. I don’t get it but whatever makes him happy….but I do think they feel a need to share everything. I actually wish I was a little better about it….not to share with the general public, just to actually have some pics to remember now and then. I ignore my phone for the most part when out and about and wish sometimes I’d have a picture of a fun thing I did so when I am old and blue haired I can look back fondly.

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    • avatar

      csp March 7, 2019, 10:11 am

      I totally agree that the amount of contact has gone up. I am an old millenial but when I was young i had a beeper so I needed to find a pay phone and it was a hassle.

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      • avatar

        Kate March 7, 2019, 10:19 am

        I remember when my boyfriend gave me a beeper. I was 19 and dated the cell phone kiosk guy at the mall where I pierced ears, while on a break from my HS boyfriend. This guy gave me a car phone in a bag, and a pager. But all of a sudden it was like, someone can reach me no matter where I am. I’d be in my college classes and he’d page me and expect me to call him back. It was really weird and uncomfortable.

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        JD March 7, 2019, 10:21 am

        That is weird. I do miss the beeper days. I seriously some days wish I had that instead so I could respond to people at my leisure. It would work even better now because I can REALLY say “I wasn’t near a payphone”.

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        Kate March 7, 2019, 10:22 am

        Also! I caught him cheating because of his stupid pager. He got a beep from “Sharyn,” his ex, and tried to play it off like it was his sister Sharon! I was like uh-uh! She would have had to spell her name for the operator. Give me a break.

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        Vathena March 7, 2019, 10:36 am

        LOL. I had a good friend in HS whose bf went to a different school. They each got beepers, and every day at lunch she would use the pay phone outside the cafeteria to beep him. They would beep each other “6969696969”. She had to explain to me what it meant! Lordy I was so sheltered.

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      • avatar

        JD March 7, 2019, 10:39 am

        My BF and I did full paragraphs using the keypad so you had to figure out which words based on the possible options. I eventually could just read it without looking at the keypad of the phone to decipher.

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      • avatar

        csp March 7, 2019, 3:46 pm

        The good thing about now is you don’t decide whether to “wait by the phone”. In high school, I was so into this guy. And he said he would call me and I stayed in on a Friday night waiting for his call. Now you could just go out and not worry about missing a call.

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        JD March 7, 2019, 4:49 pm

        Ya but now I don’t answer my phone or texts anyway. Super tired. Haha

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  • bittergaymark

    Bittergaymark March 7, 2019, 10:39 am

    I’d sure love to hear LW1’s reaction to a video of her BF and his best guy friend making out in a club for five minutes… (just for fun! tee hee hee!) Wouldn’t mind seeing it, too. PS — is your friend actually supposedly straight, too? That very much plays into this picture.
    And — really — it must be said… everybody I’ve ever made out with in a club, I’ve banged shortly thereafter…
    .
    LW2. So… How long has your son been dating this women? And when did she enter the picture…? That you fail to mention this IS rather revealing…

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  • avatar

    CET March 7, 2019, 10:59 am

    LW1 That was not very bright of you. Follow Wendy’s advice. Try to think more before you act in the future.
    LW2 Tell your granddaughter she is being unreasonable and if she invites her dad then of course she needs to invite his significant other. If she takes money from him to pay for the wedding then of course she needs to invite them. Tell her to GROW UP.

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  • avatar

    Oracle March 7, 2019, 2:13 pm

    LW1. Whats with the need for constant updates? Does he have a problem if he does not know where you are at all times? MOA

    LW2 Love Wendy’s response for telling her that her son is to old be able to be told what to do. If you do not want someone to not be invited, pay for the wedding yourself. Sounds like the girlfriend had something to do with the breakup of the marriage. And grandmother never liked the DIL and was a problem in the marriage too. Like to hear the two granddaughters and ex DIL side of the story.

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  • avatar

    Leon March 7, 2019, 3:29 pm

    LW1: At my age, I see a kiss as a child’s game. But I’m a mature person, I guess your boyfriend is not.

    LW2: What a bitch! I don’t understand people pretending their parents to pay for their dreamy wedding. Girrlll? Hope your son does not pay a single penny.

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    • avatar

      anonymousse March 7, 2019, 4:36 pm

      Right, kissing other people and sending the video to your bf IS a child’s game. And he’s an adult.

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    • avatar

      Ange March 7, 2019, 5:50 pm

      Yeah I don’t really see the big deal, my husband wouldn’t blink twice at a video like that and my friends are mostly lesbians. However LW doesn’t have a guy like that and I wouldn’t send a video like that so she has to take her lumps. The relationship sounds crappy anyway, they probably both need to be single for a while and mature a little more.

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  • avatar

    dinoceros March 7, 2019, 6:25 pm

    LW1: How old are you that you go off on your weekends away to dance at a club and kiss your friends? You sound fairly immature, and I’m not sure a relationship is the right thing for you right now. Regardless, when you send a video of you kissing someone and your partner gets upset, the solution isn’t to convince him he’s wrong for being upset. It’s to accept that he thinks it’s cheating, and you can either try to regain his trust or decide it’s not the right relationship for you. Why is it so important to you to retain the “right” to kiss your friends?

    LW2: Tell her that it’s her wedding and her dad, so it’s her problem. In nicer words. You don’t need to get involved. I don’t know what happened with your other grandchildren, but if you normally get in the middle of situations like this, it probably contributed. If it hurts your relationship, then that’s sad, but clearly your granddaughter has been raised to be a selfish, entitled person.

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  • avatar

    Brise romande March 8, 2019, 8:38 am

    Lw2: do protect your relationship. I would recommend to your son to dissociate his financial support to this wedding (parents do that, I would) and the girlfriend invitation problem. Money with conditions don’t endear anybody and the links seem fragile. By the way, this is a girlfriend, not a second wife. And a wedding belongs to the happy couple. It is their day. If they dont have a relationship with the girlfriend, and if she played a role in the divorce, it could be a mistake to impose her. Don’t rely in your granddaughter’poverty to force a condition. It won’t work. But maybe your son could negociate. The Gf could join at some point. Compromise. Of course, on the principle, it is irrational and childisch to forbid her présence. But this is my advice. Lastly, dont involve her mother in your approach of the situation. Your son shares a responsibility in the divorce too.

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  • avatar

    Brise romande March 8, 2019, 8:40 am

    Lw2: do protect your relationship. I would recommend to your son to dissociate his financial support to this wedding (parents do that, I would) and the girlfriend invitation problem. Money with conditions don’t endear anybody and the links seem fragile. By the way, this is a girlfriend, not a second wife. And a wedding belongs to the happy couple. It is their day. If they dont have a relationship with the girlfriend, and if she played a role in the divorce, it could be a mistake to impose her. Don’t rely on your granddaughter’poverty to force a condition. It won’t work. But maybe your son could negociate after his donation. The Gf could join at some point. Compromise. Of course, on the principle, it is irrational and childisch to forbid her présence. But this is my advice. Lastly, dont involve her mother in your approach of the situation. Your son shares a responsibility in the divorce too.

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  • Skyblossom

    Skyblossom March 8, 2019, 12:56 pm

    LW2 If the girlfriend was an affair partner during your granddaughter’s parent’s marriage then be super sensitive to her feelings.

    I’d tell your granddaughter that you can’t control her dad. Tell her that as adult she gets to make an adult decision. She can have the wedding without dad’s girlfriend and without his money or she can have the wedding with dad’s girlfriend and dad’s money. She needs to decide whether her priority is the money or if her priority is the absence of the girlfriend. She should go with the one she wants both because you can’t force your son to give her both.

    If your son ended the marriage with an affair with the girlfriend you should stress that you are sorry that her dad cheated and that you wish it hadn’t happened and you will fully understand if she turns down the money to avoid the girlfriend.

    Offer any support you can give. Is there anything you can do that would save money on the wedding. My aunt baked her daughter’s wedding cake. I doubt most people can do that but my aunt made a professional looking cake. Do you know someone who would be willing to take photos at a discounted price? One of my cousins bought flowers in bulk and made her own flower arrangements. Many of us attending the wedding joined in the evening before the wedding to help with the flowers. Is there some area or thing that you could help with that would cut the cost of the wedding. Do you have a backyard that would make a nice location for a wedding reception? Is there a local park that would be a great venue for a wedding or for a reception?

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    • Skyblossom

      Skyblossom March 8, 2019, 12:58 pm

      The last sentence on the first paragraph should say she should go with the one she wants most because you can’t force your son to give her both.

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