“My Boyfriend Sleeps With Tons of Other Women!”

I have been in a relationship with a guy for six years. He is 62 years old and I am 51. We did a whole lot together for the first three years or so, traveling and just being together. He has a home in another country, and we also went there. When we met, he told me that he leads a complicated life, with two divorces and two children behind him. He told me he had a dependency type of set-up with a woman he had known 20 years and was still half house-sharing with, as well as staying in his own home almost next door.

The other item he mentioned was that he was interested in much younger women, and that older women held no attraction for him. He hates haggard older women, especially if they’re no good in bed. I happen to know that he was friends with a girl 20 years his junior, and that he had rejected her mother. Over time, I found out he had multiple sexual partners. Safe sex seems unlikely from what he has said.

We were on a cruise once and had an argument because he mistakenly thought I was phoning another man. I was not; I was listening to a message from work. He went completely mad, accusing me of being disloyal to him. He then told me he was going to F*%# very woman he could lay his hands on.

After this, he flew into tempers frequently. I am still seeing him when he calls me and that is usually during the week, when his real girl is at work (although I work, too), and in the evenings.

The whole thing has ruined my self-esteem. I feel obsessed with him and unable to move on.

Are there any good books you could recommend for self help? — Obsessed with an Asshole

You’ve spent six years with a man who says terrible things to you all the time, sleeps with God knows how many women while exposing you to countless diseases, and has regular temper tantrums. You are beyond the stage of self-help books. You need real, psychological help and possibly some sort of 12-step program. You’re addicted to this man who you KNOW is no good for you and yet you keep going back for more and more. There’s really not much I can tell you or that you can read in a book that is going to undo whatever damage there has been to your self-esteem over the years to bring you to this point. You need someone who will meet with you on a regular basis over many weeks/months/years to get to know your story, help you unpack some of your issues, and give you the tools to move on from this awful relationship and live your life to its fullest potential. And until you make the commitment to make your emotional and mental health a priority, this man will continue to take advantage of you, chiseling away at your self-esteem until there’s nothing left and you’re but a shell of the woman you could be. Come on, love yourself better.


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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. artsygirl says:

    All I kept thinking was that this guy must be James Bond…

    1. I was thinking of a meme I’ve seen spoofing the Dos Equis man: “I don’t always drink beer, but when I do, I beat my wife and children savagely.”

  2. WWS! LW, ewwwwww. What do you see in this guy? I 100% guaran-fuckin-tee, you’ll be happier alone than with him. Dump him. Think how good it would feel to just cut those nasty, greasy ties. And get a therapist.

  3. The only positive thing I could get out of this letter is that that LW knows this is a bad situation and is looking for support to get away from it… The rest of it’s just so sad.

    LW- Do what Wendy said- Get some help. In the meantime, delete his number from your phone. Don’t answer if he calls, don’t email him, don’t drive past his house. He’s no good for you, and you know that.

    1. Thank you for your generous take on this LW… I was incapable of such constructive thought

    2. What bethany said. Oh, and don’t sleep with him ever again. And get yourself tested. There’s no telling what he may have passed along to you.

  4. Yeah, you don’t need a self-help book. You just need to MOVE ON. Like, immediately. Right now. Don’t answer the phone for this guy. Ever again. Seriously.

    I mean, jeez, it’s not even like he’s cool with having an open relationship (since he’s being all aggressively jealous). He’s just a straight-up asshole about his promiscuity—& doesn’t even practice safe sex (?!?!) LW, you’re putting your physical health in harm’s way just as much as your mental health.

    BUT don’t listen to that, & think, “Oh well, too late to change anything now—” because that’s ~not~ true. It’s never too late to simply STOP seeing this man, & re-build yourself. Do it NOW.

  5. kerrycontrary says:

    WWS. You need real help because your self-esteem seems very damaged right now. I’m just very curious about this man’s lifestyle. So he has essentially a “kept-woman”? And he’s 62 and he sleeps around like crazy? Is he really attractive and really rich? I’m imagining this man is very rich. I’ve recently begun watching gossip girl (don’t you dare judge me DWers!) and he sounds like a character from gossip girl. Or like a nastier version of Big from Sex and The City.

  6. If you’re looking for some good books, to supplement therapy, I would recommend “Women Who Love Too Much” by Robin Norwood and “CoDependent No More” by Melody Beatty.

    1. Codependent No More has helped my mom move on from many codependent relationships. I’m not sure if that’s a positive or negative. She doesn’t really succeed at taking the book’s message to heart.

  7. Older and (hopefully) wiser says:

    Isn’t it sad that aging men are still in demand but aging women aren’t? But guys, just remember that even if you can still get it up at 62, as soon as your health starts to fail, your 25 year old girlfriend isn’t going to stick around.

  8. A good lay really fucks with your head. The only option I see is therapy, you have put up with so much shit for 6 years, and still wont leave.

  9. Holy shit. What the french?

    At least this confirms to me that age is no indicator of “having your shit together”.

  10. Avatar photo GatorGirl says:

    Ugh, this breaks my heart. Please get yourself into therapy. A Self Help Book isn’t enough.

  11. “Come on, love yourself better.” Line of the day.

  12. MIchelle.Lea says:

    this is not only a MOA situation, it’s GTFO situation. you’re too old to be wasting your time with this guy.

  13. LW, I think you like “being one of the chosen” for this guy. You like that he has his choice of women and keeps choosing you. What you really want is to be chosen above all others and that won’t happen as long as he can still play the field. What you need to do is realize that your value isn’t based on a man finding you attractive. I think you should focus on the things that make you proud of yourself. Do you consider yourself a great tennis player, well read, adventurous, or caring? Make a list of the things you are proud about yourself then do activities that bring those out. If you love animals, then volunteer at a shelter, if you love books then join a book club, was your proudest moment when you hiked a mountain then start hiking.

    1. I agree. And also LW, what’s the pride in being “chosen” by a guy who “says terrible things to you all the time, sleeps with God knows how many women while exposing you to countless diseases, and has regular temper tantrums” like WWS?

      1. So, I see what the LW is doing. Haven’t we all bent over backwards for someone who could only seem to give us the minimum back? I have dated guys who seemed so suave and cool and made me feel cool when I was with them then lonely when I wasn’t

      2. Yep.

      3. Been there. Done that. Once. And it fucked with my head. Seriously. Took a year of therapy to figure that out too.

        So, I agree with Wendy. LW, find a good therapist.

      4. Yea, It took me awhile but I only surround myself with people who are big fans of me. I know that sounds silly, but I don’t waste my time or energy unless people think I am awesome and make me a better person.

      5. You are awesome for just saying that!!!!

  14. lemongrass says:

    This is sad. No woman, regardless of age, should put up with anyone treating them with such little respect. Being alone is better than being in such a shitty situation. Tell him to stop contacting you, block his number and get yourself in therapy to find out why you ended up in this situation. Do not be passive in your own life. There are two people disrespecting you, him and yourself. He may be walking all over you but you lay down and let him.

    1. “There are two people disrespecting you, him and yourself” <— love it

  15. I think the LW knows this guy is no good for her (and for the human race as a whole), yet she can’t bring herself to leave him for some reasons, whether it’s she’s afraid to be alone, she loves him so much, she’s obsessed, or whatever.

    Be strong LW, you deserve so much more than how your BF treats you and you know it yourself. I know it’s hard to leave your BF of six years, but you HAVE to do it. Push yourself. After you break up, you’ll feel like shit for a couple of months, but you WILL get through it. Cry yourself to sleep, go to bars, take some classes, eat a ton of chocolates, drink gallons of beer, make sure you have some friends you can call if you feel like calling your (ex)BF, whatever you have to do to distract or entertain yourself. I guarantee you WILL get over him and you’ll look back feeling embarrassed and stupid for dating a loser like him.

    Good luck LW.

  16. This dude better be like George Clooney or something. Wendy’s right. You should find a professional to talk to because for you to care so little about yourself that you let this guy run your life, you must have some big issues to address. If you can’t make yourself stop seeing him at this point, then I’m not sure a self-help book is going to make you suddenly do it. The first step is definitely to stop seeing him, and only then will you be able to start repairing your self-esteem.

    1. Avatar photo Addie Pray says:

      Speaking of! Let’s start taking bets on who willl be the next tall, slender, classically beautiful, not-too-famous, demure brunette in her late 20s or early 30s to win the role of George’s lover for the next 2 years (until it’s time to dump and replace). I’d pick moi, but, like, you know, I’m too loud, that’s what takes me out of the running.

      1. I read that he and his most recent ex (Stacy Keibler is her name I think) broke up because she wanted a husband and kids. You know if Stacy Keibler wrote into Dear Wendy saying, “I’m dating a 50 something year old man. I’m 30 and I want a husband and kids. He doesn’t want those things.” She’d receive a barage of “MOA!!!! Stop being stupid and MOA!!!”
        But it’s George Clooney. So probably no one blames her for putting off her life goals for two years to date him. Dating him is a life goal in itself 🙂

      2. lets_be_honest says:


      3. And then Stacy’s update would be, “Actually, I left out some information. It’s GEORGE CLOONEY.”

      4. That would be an amazing update.

      5. I wonder what our response would be? If we’d be like, “OHHHH that’s cool then”, or if we’d try to still be All Serious. (“Girl, it doesn’t matter who he is. He’s still not treating you right, & his values don’t match up with yours. MOA!”)

      6. Well, the thing ahout anyone who dates George Clooney is that they know going in it’s not a “forever” relationship. I’m sure she dated him knowing he wouldn’t be the father of her children. She probably just figured, “Holy crap this is George Clooney, I have to go for this!”

        If she wrote into Dear Wendy, we’d probably just say, “Have fun while it lasts, but don’t get too invested!”

      7. Sometimes I try to imagine what sort of advice fictional characters would get. Like “Dear Wendy, I had a one-night stand and found out it was my new boss. He continued to pursue me, and after I finally decided to go out with him, I found out he’d left his wife after she cheated on him.” or “Dear Wendy, I just found out that my estranged husband, who was just treated for cancer, cooks meth for a living and is leading a double life. My brother is a DEA agent. What do I do??”

      8. so great!

      9. Avatar photo Addie Pray says:

        If I had to choose one of those responses, it would definitely be “OHHHH that’s cool then,” but then I’d add something like “enjoy the moment because this is as good as it will ever get!”

      10. lets_be_honest says:

        Ha. Yea, its pretty much all downhill from there.

      11. Right! There is a big George Clooney lifestyle too. Like oh, let’s live in Italy. I need to go to Cannes for the weekend, want to come? I am having brad pitt and barak Obama over to dinner, k? like, I would putt off kids for two years of that.

      12. Lily in NYC says:

        I think her “beard contract” ran out and Clooney decided not to renew. I don’t normally believe gay rumors, but the ones about him are so detailed with names, etc.

  17. Avatar photo Addie Pray says:

    This letter is sad but, as someone mentioned above, it is a very good and hopeful sign that the LW recognizes the relationship is not healthy. I think getting out is Step 1 to fixing yourself.

  18. “He hates haggard older women, especially if they’re no good in bed.”

    LW… how much you must hate yourself, if not your entire gender, to spend even one minute in the company of a man like this. Please, get yourself a good therapist and a new phone number. No book or advice column is enough to help you.

    1. See, but don’t you see how easy it is to take that line to mean, “That means he thinks I am pretty and good in bed.” In a different time or place, I would have fallen for that hook, line and sinker. I once had a guy tell me that he could get any girl. He said if a girl valued her looks most of all, he gave her a book. If a girl valued her intelligence, he gave her a negligée. I was always “smart” and the first guy to tell me I was sexy and objectify me, I fell hard. I would have followed him anywhere and done anything. messed up, I know, but I needed to work through how to be both those things.

      1. Avatar photo Northern Mermaid says:

        Holy crap. That guy is terrifying.

      2. tell me about it. But I think that this LW is feeling something that she hasn’t ever felt or hasn’t felt in a long while. Though she feels like she has low self esteem, there is one deep insecurity that is being fed by this guy.

  19. A friend of mine dated one of these. He had older women to sponge money off of, and younger women to bang. Totally did a number on her. GTFO

  20. Turtledove says:

    LW, I think you might benefit from hopping over to Captain Awkward and reading up on the Darth Vader boyfriend.

    The thing is, what you’re experiencing towards your boyfriend, that mix of anxiety and desire is so incredibly intense and it feels so much like love. It’s this intense NEED you’ve developed. But it’s not love. It’s anxiety and desire and hormones and good sex and it’s so easy to get addicted to it because it is so intense that everything else, pleasurable or painful, feels so small and dull in comparison. What you probably need, more than anything else in the world, is a complete detox. Go someplace by yourself- a silent retreat or really remote beach would be ideal. Learn to sit in your own skin again, get used to smaller sensations, smaller emotions. Learn to be simply content. It will take time. You will need help. But start by going someplace for a week or so where you CAN’T scratch that itch to see him or be near him. You won’t be able to move on until you learn to love simplicity rather than intensity.

    1. Awesome article. Reminded me of Painted Lady’s roommate situation (which I just read the update on in the forums. Bummer =( )

  21. lets_be_honest says:

    Women like this, or any woman “stuck” in a relationship because they are scared of change or being alone really should just have followed Iwanna’s story.

  22. What the what? Yeah, WWS. You need advice and mental health care that goes way beyond self help books and internet advice. It’s good you know this guy is bad news and you need to work on yourself so that you can believe you deserve better, but that’s going to take serious work, work that needs to be guided by a professional.

  23. Sweetie, you can do better. You should want better for yourself.

    I know it’s hard and scary, but honey, trust me – it will be so much better for you if you leave. This douche is a controlling, manipulative, jealous ass. If listening to work voicemails from (possibly) men are his justification for sleeping with any woman he can, as well as insisting that older women are “hagard” and “unattractive”, then he is just pulling a con. He was going to sleep around regardless of what you did and what you look like.

    Walk away now. Yes, it hurts, yes it can be hard, and yes, he may try to keep contacting you, insulting you, and generally doing whatever he can to get you to engage in him. Be strong. You are better than this.

  24. Avatar photo bittergaymark says:

    I am on set today with no time to read comments… but after reading your letter, LW… I’d have to say ANY self help book would be of some use, I suspect. ANY book…

    1. lets_be_honest says:

      Even Harry Potter!

    2. Moneypenny says:

      Hahaha!! True that.

  25. Sue Jones says:

    Women, Sex, and Addiction is a good book.

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