Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

Morning Quickies: “My Friends Keep Telling Me What My Ex’s New Wife Posts on Facebook”

My last marriage ended in divorce after 38 years due to my ex’s cheating. He remarried a few years later and his new wife puts things on Facebook about our former marriage, saying they both came from horrid situations. She also refers to my adult children as her daughters. I have no contact with my ex as he put me through eight awful years of his chasing other women prior to my filing for divorce. I doubt he told his new wife the real reasons for our divorce, but I’m upset she posts things like this on social media. We have a few mutual friends, so I hear about these posts and they show me when she calls my girls her daughters. Do I confront her about this or what? — The First Wife

No, you confront your friends and tell them to stop showing you and telling you about these posts. Make sure you’ve blocked your ex and his wife on social media and tell your friends there’s a reason they’re blocked and that you have absolutely zero interest in what they’re posting, even if it indirectly relates to you, and that your friends need to stop updating you. If they won’t stop, they aren’t really your friends and you should block them too.

I live in a small village, I’m 17, and I’m gay. I have never met anyone else who is also gay. A week ago I added a great guy from a dating site who is my age, from my village, and also gay. He was kind, funny, intelligent — everything I look for. We scheduled to meet at a cafe in our village last Friday, but on Wednesday morning we were talking casually and he said that his ex of two years, whom he broke up with last month, has apologized for an argument they had. He said they are back together, but he still wants us to be friends. I feel obviously disappointed. Should I be friends with him and hope he leaves his ex, or should I leave it alone? Thank You! — Hopeful

 
It would be great if you can be friends with him and NOT actively hope he leaves his ex. Being friends with him — and maybe even his boyfriend — would bring you the start of a community of people like you, which you have lacked thus far. He may even be able to introduce you to other young gay men (one of whom might be an available match for you), but being friends with him solely in hopes that he’ll leave his boyfriend for you will be more damaging than beneficial, leaving you frustrated if it doesn’t happen.

My boyfriend and I have been having a hard time lately communicating effectively about our wants and feelings. He recently went away for nine days to visit his friend in another state, and he seems like a different person since he’s been gone. He keeps bringing up how he isn’t stressed while there and that he has no worries, almost like saying life at home is his stresser. He also told me the first day he was gone that I was contacting him too much and to cut back a little (which I did).

At home, he complains that I don’t pay enough attention to him, but now that he is out of town it’s completely opposite. It seems like he doesn’t want to talk to me at all or that it’s a burden to just call and say good night. We also have argued three times since he has been gone about my being “emotionally manipulative.” He keeps saying I am guilt-tripping him and making him feel bad about being with his friend. I’ve told him over and over that I’m happy he got to go and I just want to hear from him sometimes and for him to say good night, etc.

I am starting to feel it’s all me? Maybe I should just leave him alone entirely and let him enjoy vacation when he goes? Am I being unreasonable/unrealistic about our still having some contact with each other when we are away? I miss him a lot, but I get the feeling it’s not mutual, or am I really guilt-tripping him and not even realizing it? — Am I The Problem?

 
If, on the first day of your boyfriend’s vacation, he had to tell you that you are contacting him too much, and then he proceeded to argue with you three different times about your being “emotionally manipulative,” I have to assume this is more than your wanting a simple good-night from him at the end of the day and that you probably have different ideas of what “some contact while he’s away” actually means. It’s only nine days and it sounds like the vacation is already at least half over, so, yeah: back off and let him enjoy the rest of it in peace. If he contacts you, great. And if not, you’ll hear from him when he gets back. Honestly, if you can’t go a day or two without hearing from your boyfriend and making it into some big emotional thing, then, yeah, the problem IS you and you need to fix it.

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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.

23 comments… add one
  • avatar

    brise May 16, 2019, 8:46 am

    LW1: I can’t understand your friends’ actions, unless they are shocked about your ex’s wife’s remarks and want to share their shock and show their support to you. But this is very awkard and unsensitive. Yes, the best is to talk very explicitely, calmly and assertively to your friends, once and for all: “please, this is painful to me. I am divorced. I don’t want to hear anything about my ex or his wife. I had a very painful time and this page of my life is turned definitely. I ask you, once and for all, to stop mentioning him or her. I can’t do anything about their Facebook posts. I blocked them. And I would like to block them in your reunions as well. Please respect my wish and let’s speak of something else.”
    Use the word “respect”: it is a matter of respect to you. Say it openly. I doubt they will go on, but if they can’t, well, they suck.

    LW3: you are really very insecure. Let him breathe and work on yourself. I would end a relationship like that if I were to be harassed while on a trip by a partner. And I wonder if you shoudn’t end it and figure out what is going on that you are so dependent and controlling.

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    brise May 16, 2019, 8:47 am

    PS: I would like to block them in “our” reunions (not your reunions): sorry

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  • avatar

    Logan May 16, 2019, 8:47 am

    @ The First Wife,

    I would reply to one of the post and tell this lady to stop calling your daughter’s her daughter’s straight up on the reply feed for everyone to see. I’m sure she will stop after that, and tell her to have fun with her cheating husband if you want to stir thing up, lol

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    • avatar

      Poppy May 16, 2019, 9:41 am

      Yea but what if the daughters are completely okay with step mom calling them her daughters. Not exs place to have an opinion on what her daughters call her.

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    • avatar

      snoopy May 16, 2019, 10:00 am

      It’s up to the daughters to decide what they are comfortable with their step-mom calling them on social media.

      Starting passive aggressive comment wars on social media is never a good idea. Continue to stay out of it and ask your friends to do the same.

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    • avatar

      scorpio May 16, 2019, 10:29 am

      If the daughters are okay with it I don’t think there is anything wrong with calling them her daughters. It isn’t her choice to make that call, family dynamics are changing and that is a very inclusive way to include her husband’s daughters in her family.

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      • avatar

        Sarah May 21, 2019, 5:45 am

        It’s not an inclusive way to include her husbands daughters in her family – saying step daughter would do the same thing. It’s a POWER play. They are not her daughters and never will be no matter how hard she tries to erase/replace their mom.

        Who said the daughters are ok with this woman calling them that?

        Who airs their dirty laundry on Facebook? What trash

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    • avatar

      Allornone May 16, 2019, 11:49 am

      I know my stepfather would not hesitate to call me a daughter, and I personally, have no problem with it because he’s been such a positive, supportive figure in my life. That being said, my bio dad would be super pissed if he found out, especially since he raised us as a single dad. He doesn’t even like my niece and nephew referring to my stepdad as grandpa even though my mom married him a good twenty years before they were born. I think he’s wrong, but I feel bad for him that he feels that way.

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  • avatar

    Poppy May 16, 2019, 9:35 am

    LW2 yes you should try to be friends… But not in hopes he leaves his bf.

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    Poppy May 16, 2019, 9:38 am

    LW3 I think its time to end the relationship. He doesnt sound happy and sounds more like he is giving clues to end it in jopes you will break up with him. If a person called me an emotional manipulator I would take that personally as if it were an insult. If someone thought of me that way i wouldnt want to be with them.

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    • avatar

      am_I_the_problem May 17, 2019, 7:53 am

      The thing is I only said have fun a few times and I’ll miss you in the same sentence. Then he messaged me about being emotionally manipulative? I felt like what I did wasn’t manipulative or a lot of communication. When we are home together we do our own things a lot. His personality changes a lot depending on who he is with so that could of been why he was acting like that also. I backed off communication after that first day and gave him space. When he would call me at night the 3 times he did it seemed like he was in a bad mood. I excused myself and said I’m tired or I said go hang out with your friends it fine and he got mad at me. He stated that I was trying to make him feel guilty…when I had zero intention too. I literally meant go have fun or I’m going to bed. I didn’t want to argue which seemed like what would have happened if I stayed on the phone. I tend to try to excuse myself before arguments happen. Somedays he is always saying everything that’s good about me and somedays its everything thats bad. So I dunno. Thanks for replying!

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      • avatar

        Poppy May 17, 2019, 8:15 am

        If telling someone goodnight or have fun brings on mood swings and anger id think id be breaking up. If his personality changes in unpleasant ways when he is around other people I think id be breaking up.

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      • avatar

        Allornone May 17, 2019, 10:29 am

        I’m sorry to say, I think that either he is unstable or he’s gaslighting you into thinking you’re the problem so he can either break up with you and make you the bad guy or get you so fed up you break up with him. Either way, he’s not being a good boyfriend. I would consider moving on. Trust me, these games are never worth it. You should move on. In a good relationship, you can express emotions and sentiments without him turning it back on you and attacking you. I’m sure you can do better.

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      • Skyblossom

        Skyblossom May 17, 2019, 10:31 am

        If that was all you said and he complained and he just called to be angry I’d think about breaking up.

        It could be that the trip isn’t going well and he isn’t having fun. If that is the case he needs to learn to tell you how he is feeling instead of just taking out his anger or disappointment on you. Don’t let yourself be the target of his anger. He must learn that he can’t treat a loved one that way. You deserve respect.

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  • avatar

    K May 16, 2019, 10:46 am

    I feel like we need more context from LW3…how old are they, how long have they been dating, etc. If this is a 21 y/o and they’ve been dating for 3 months, that’s different than a 31 y/o who has been with her boyfriend for 2 years. In an established mature relationship it makes sense for her to want to hear from her partner every day while he is away (unless he was in an area with no cell service). But I have a feeling it’s a younger newer relationship, in which case yes, she should back off.

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    • avatar

      snoopy May 16, 2019, 1:04 pm

      Funny, I actually feel the opposite.

      In a newer and/or relationship where you are still working out your needs/boundaries etc, I could see calling/texting more frequently until you sort out what communication style works best. That’s not to say it’s better to be in so much contact earlier on…but that I could see why it would happen.
      In an older/longer relationship, I could see needing to touch base less because you are more and deeper connected in general. Or at least that’s how it works for me!

      When my husband and I were less than a year into our relationship, he went away to Europe for three weeks and we basically emailed back and forth daily or every other day and tried for phone call 2x a week. Now….9 years in and married, it’s the opposite. I was away for 10 day and we maybe texted daily and called one time total. Being more secure in our relationship has led to us needing less contact when we are apart.

      Regardless, LW, your BF has asked for less contact and is using language like ’emotionally manipulative’. So back off. When he’s back have a conversation about how you would both like to communicate when you are apart. Talk about your needs. And reflect on whether you are asking too much of your partner. They shouldn’t be your only source of emotional stability

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    • avatar

      Ange May 16, 2019, 5:35 pm

      Yeah I currently don’t live with my husband and while we text daily and chat on the phone here and there we certainly understand people have stuff to do and lives to lead. The fact LW and her boyfriend have been talking enough to have three fights in several days is really bad. If the quality of conversation is so bad the last thing you need to do is increase the quantity of it.

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  • avatar

    anonymousse May 16, 2019, 11:45 am

    I do not think anyone should expect frequent contact with their partner when they are on a short vacation. That’s not reasonable. I’d hope if you are on vacation, you aren’t staring at your phone, and instead are enjoying the friends or family you’re visiting, and the locale you are in. A text goodnight or good morning if fine, but it’s ridiculous that you’ve had three fights about your need for contact. Yes, it is stressful to have a needy partner. He’s been gone for a couple days, and he’s coming back. He has asked for space. It’s been a couple days. Take a break and enjoy your alone time, or call a friend. Call your grandmother. Leave the poor man alone for a few days. Absence makes the heart grow fonder, but there needs to actually be some absence there.

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  • avatar

    Fyodor May 16, 2019, 1:54 pm

    LW3, it doesn’t matter. He’s unhappy and he’s on his way out, one way or another.

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  • avatar

    Hazel May 18, 2019, 5:47 am

    LW1 you have to gently let your friends know that you just don’t want to hear any more about him. Sounds like they are trying to be supportive (or selfishly, miss you as a couple and don’t enjoy the new partner), but just explain that as you’ve moved on so successfully it’s counterproductive for them to keep mentioning him. It may take a while for them to believe you truly mean it, but every time it crops up just smile and remind them you have zero interest in anything he says or does, and change the subject.

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  • avatar

    Kali May 18, 2019, 12:29 pm

    LW1 – I actually go through this with my parents. Ugh. I get that after a 20+ year marriage, they like my ex and they love that he treats them like VIPs at his restaurants but come on! I do NOT want to hear about him or his new wife. He was emotionally distant and abusive, stayed out all night, and ran us deep into debt which I had to pay after the divorce. I am a private person and didn’t share this with my parents although they had some clue about the money issues.

    I periodically have to remind my parents that he’s persona non grata in my life. I know my mother (Miss Sensitivity 1952) does NOT get it. My siblings are pretty good about not sharing his news with me although from time to time I do see Facebook posts on their pages about him. I grimace and scroll on by.

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  • avatar

    Kali May 18, 2019, 12:31 pm

    Oh yeah, and his new (OK it’s been 10 years but whatever) wife calls my grandkids ‘HERS’ and I detest that. Still… mouth shut, no comments on FB. Scroll on by.

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