Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

Morning Quickies: “My Boyfriend Sexually Assaulted My Classmate”

My significant other of seven years, “Chris,” allegedly touched a female acquaintance – “Jericho” — whom I’m in a weekly driving class with. I’m 45, Chris is 49, and Jericho is 30. Jericho needed a ride from class because she and her boyfriend had broken up. We gave her a ride to her friend’s after class. The following week she had rented a room at a local motel — because she and her boyfriend are fighting/going separate ways — and wanted a ride after class. I agreed; however, I had to go to a store in an adjoining town to pick up my order. I left her in the vehicle with my Chris, and I was out of the car a total of 15 minutes. When I come back to the car, she seemed to be impaired and nodding out. (The next day she told me she had taken two nerve pills; however, I find that hard to believe.) We proceeded to take her to get something to eat through a drive-through, and she accused Chris of grabbing her money bag, which it did look like he was doing. She then said that while I was in the store, he had inappropriately grabbed her between her legs. He denied touching the money bag or touching her. Within an hour’s time he did admit to both of us that he had had her money bag and was thinking about stealing money from her but hadn’t. When she told me that he touched her, he denied it.

A week has gone by and today he admitted that he did touch her and he asked for forgiveness (this after I kept hounding him to tell the truth). I knew in my heart the other day that she was telling the truth. I am totally sick about this and do not know what to do. What advice can you give me? Please keep in mind that the relationship wasn’t very stable and healthy prior to this incident. — In The Passenger’s Seat

Color me shocked that your relationship wasn’t healthy or stable prior to your boyfriend assaulting a woman and attempting to steal from her, right under your nose. This is a no-brainer question though: you leave the mother fucker and never look back. You aren’t safe with him. You may be taking a driving class, but metaphorically-speaking, it is beyond time for you to take the wheel of your own life and quit being a passive passenger. There’s no reason to stay in an unhealthy and unstable relationship, and there is every reason in the book to leave a man who is a perpetrator of sexual assault. MOA!!

I am back on the dating scene, and my best friend and I recently discussed getting an apartment together this fall. Right now we are both currently seeing other people but nothing too serious yet. My concern is that if something does become serious, there’s the potential of losing a roommate. I know things happen and there’s no guarantee that either one of our current relationships would get to that point of discussing moving in with our partners, but that is something that crosses my mind since I haven’t had a roommate since college. Do I bring this up? Or should I just focus on the positives of moving in with my friend and letting whatever happens in our dating lives happen and worry about those bridges as we cross them? — Moving in with a Friend

 
Look, any time you move in with someone, there’s a potential for losing that roommate before you’re ready, regardless of what everyone’s relationship status is. There is no guarantee for any length of time. Even if you discuss with your roommate what her plans might be, it’s impossible for either one of you to know how your respective relationships are going to unfold and how long you may want to live together. Even aside from your dating lives, there may be other factors that will affect living circumstances and the duration of your living together.

One thing you can do though is to talk with your friend about keeping open communication about plans that may affect each other as much as you’re able to and to give as much notice as you can if either of you plans to move out. I’d also talk about how issues, besides your dating lives, may affect your relationship as roommates. I wrote this post eight years ago about topics you should discuss with a potential roommate before signing a lease. It’s pretty tongue-in-cheek, but there are some very valid concerns on the list that it would be wise to address with your friend. For example, you should discuss your expectations about dates/significant others sleeping over; dividing household chores and bills; how you feel about sharing groceries; how you feel about having company over. Be sure to read the comments on the post for topics worth discussing and examples of how things went wrong – or right – when friends moved in together.

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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.

19 comments… add one
  • avatar

    golfer.gal June 6, 2019, 8:19 am

    LW #1, it’s really, really sad and disheartening that you had to write in to an advice column to ask what to do about this. Your boyfriend is a perpetrator of sexual assault. For good measure he tried to rob the woman he assaulted. He openly admits this. The answer was simple the second this happened. Leave. Immediately. And tell the woman you will give a statement to police supporting her if she wants to report the sex crime your (hopefully by now ex) boyfriend committed against her. Work on your self esteem, get therapy, whatever you need to do to make sure you stop staying in relationships like this.

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  • avatar

    Vathena June 6, 2019, 8:21 am

    “I’m in an unstable, unhealthy relationship with someone who assaulted and tried to steal from a mutual acquaintance when I turned my back for a few minutes. What advice can you give me?”

    Wendy…I seriously don’t know how you don’t give yourself a daily concussion in this job. I’d be all, constant headdesk.

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    • avatar

      Marie June 6, 2019, 8:59 am

      I never cease to be amazed by the wild stories that people write in to her about…

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    • Dear Wendy

      Dear Wendy June 6, 2019, 10:30 am

      Well, there are two ways to look at these sorts of situations: you wonder what the hell people are thinking! Is the thought of being alone so scary that they’d rather be with someone like the LW’s boyfriend? The other way of looking at it, which is the way I try more often to look at it: aren’t I lucky that I have avoided the kinds of situations that would lead someone to thinking any kind of relationship is preferable to being single. Aren’t I lucky that, so far, I’ve had the tools and resources to get out of any unhealthy relationships, that I have good judgement, and enough faith in myself to trust my judgment and my capabilities. Everyone isn’t so lucky, obviously.

      But, yeah, it’s frustrating when people seem to miss very obvious solutions to their problems or make what seems like obviously awful decisions, and it is easier to cast judgment than extend compassion – especially when children are involved, which doesn’t seem to be the case here. I have to remind myself all the time that we are all on different journeys, and they are far from equal in terms of privileges and challenges.

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      • avatar

        Vathena June 6, 2019, 11:52 am

        Yeah, part of the reason I’m addicted to advice columns is that they make my life seem so sane and stable by comparison. Haha. I do really wonder sometimes what must be going on with a LW that they just don’t seem to know what to do in a situation like this one. There are so many lost and damaged souls out there. I always love to read the updates from the people who took the advice to MOA, and are so much happier and more confident on the other side. Makes up for all the headdesk!

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      • avatar

        Allornone June 6, 2019, 12:31 pm

        Hate to say it, but these stories really do make me regret my 20s less…

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  • avatar

    Essie June 6, 2019, 8:23 am

    “I am totally sick about this and do not know what to do. What advice can you give me? ”

    Yes, you do know what to do. You dump this sick creep’s ass. This woman trusted you, and your boyfriend sexually assaulted her and tried to rob her. I hope she calls the police and reports it.

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  • avatar

    anonymousse June 6, 2019, 8:29 am

    OMG. You leave the motherfucker, call your friend and tell her you will accompany her to file a police report and give a witness statement if she wants to go to the police, which she should because your EX bf is a criminal.

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  • avatar

    Miss MJ June 6, 2019, 8:48 am

    LW1: Because it may need to be said — given that you’ve framed it as your BF begging you for forgiveness and you apparently not knowing what to do here — this isn’t about your BF “cheating” on you. It’s about him sexually assaulting your friend by violently grabbing her genitals, while also robbing her. (The fact that he gave the money back after being confronted doesn’t negate that he intended to (and did!) steal from your friend, by the way.) This guy is a fucking criminal, not just a bad BF.

    You don’t continue an unhappy and unstable relationship with a criminal who sexually assaults and robs your friends. You dump him, you support your friend if she chooses to report him, and you spend some serious time reflecting on how you ended up with this giant sack of shit and stayed when it wasn’t stable or happy and only got out once he confessed to sexual assault (preferably with the help of a counselor). These are not good life choices. Learn from them. Make better choices.

    Finally, please know that if you disregard all of this advice and stay with this shitdick, that the overwhelming odds are, sooner or later, he’s going to physically assault and steal from you, too. (If he hasn’t already.)

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  • avatar

    ron June 6, 2019, 11:58 am

    You refer to him as ‘my Chris’, which suggests that you plan to forgive and keep him as a bf. That is a very serious mistake. He really is as bad as all the other posters have said. He feels entitled to steal from and to grope an acquaintance of yours. Way too much Trump privilege going around among loser white males. Your Chris is a creepy loser who feels entitled to a woman significantly younger than you. In his mind, I doubt he’s ‘your Chris’. If he was, he wouldn’t have behaved like this, basically right in front of you with a woman you know. Sometimes it truly is better to be single.

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  • avatar

    ele4phant June 6, 2019, 12:06 pm

    LW1 – It is time to peace out. Your relationship was already in a shitty place to start, now you know your boyfriend sexually assaulted someone.

    If that’s not the end of the line for you…then you have serious issues.

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  • Skyblossom

    Skyblossom June 6, 2019, 1:50 pm

    LW1 Your boyfriend is an opportunist and a predator. He saw someone he considered vulnerable and he preyed on her. If he thinks he can get away with it, if the opportunity presents itself, he will prey on you too. That’s what predators do.

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  • avatar

    MP June 6, 2019, 2:15 pm

    LW #1 you were gone for not even 15 minutes and he managed to sexually assault and rob someone. You also said your relationship wasn’t stable or healthy to begin with. Make a safety plan and leave him – he sounds like a dangerous person.

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  • CurlyQue

    CurlyQue June 6, 2019, 3:47 pm

    LW, definitely MOA from this terrible person, but ALSO tell your friend to move to a different motel room if your bf knows where she’s staying he may attack her again.

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  • avatar

    dinoceros June 6, 2019, 3:56 pm

    LW1: You break up with him, obviously. Aside from relationship problems, I find it hard to believe that someone who lies, steals, and assaults women otherwise seems like a good person, so I think you should also take a good look at how you judge someone’s character and the kind of behavior you tolerate in order to keep a boyfriend around.

    LW2: Generally speaking, you sign leases for a year or so and most people will use the ending of a lease to make decisions about moves, whether related to moving in with partners or moving for other reasons. It’s not like an alarm is going to go off 6 months from now that forces you to move in with him or vice versa.

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  • avatar

    Alison P June 7, 2019, 12:23 am

    I normally just lurk and never comment but I just had to for LW1. Why use the word allegedly in the first sentence? He admitted he did it. Do you want a guy who sexually assaulted someone in your life? If you are any kind of decent person than the answer would be a resounding HELL NO!!!!!

    MOA!! If you stay you will never be able to trust him around any of your female friends or even with your own belongings. He may have stolen from you in the past and you just didn’t notice or wrote it off as spending the cash.

    You’ve taken the first step in seeking outside advise, take the next step and take it. GET OUT NOW!!!

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  • nolabelle

    Andrea June 7, 2019, 2:58 am

    I assume drugs are involved based on some terminology and the “nerve pill”/hotel information. Leave. Do not waste anymore time with this person.

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  • avatar

    brise June 7, 2019, 8:06 am

    LW1, you do realise that you could be considered as an accomplice, right? Did this happen in your own car?
    I couldn’t call a man who steals and abuses a woman my “boyfriend”, how can you? You break up at once and report him to the police, so that you are not yourself in trouble if this classmate files a complaint, which she should do.
    It is difficult to get a lower quality boyfriend. Just run and protect yourself.

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  • avatar

    Hazel June 7, 2019, 2:58 pm

    leave him. Make reparations, if you can, to your friend. Move on and leave this far far behind.

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