New readers, welcome to Dear Wendy, a relationship advice blog. Read some of the most popular Dear Wendy posts here. If you don’t find the info you need in this column, please visit the Dear Wendy archives or the forums (you can even start your own thread), do a search in the search bar, or submit a question for advice at wendy(AT)dearwendy.com.
I don’t believe I can force her to give up this “celebration of his death” but I want her to understand that she does not have to include everyone she knows on how she is still grieving. She should at least consider my feelings. I’m not asking her to completely give up her rituals on the anniversary of his death; I can understand that they were partners. But at the very least, she should not post all her thoughts and photos and other stuff on social networks for the world to see that she misses him everyday. I really feel uncomfortable with it — it makes me believe that she has low interest in me and that she really believes that that the dude was her soulmate, which makes me a rebound who doesn’t feel like she loves me with everything she’s got.
I am wondering if the lady is really ready to be in a relationship where she can give her heart to a guy. It kinda sounds that her heart is in the grave with her ex right now. For me, dead or not dead — he’s still an ex. Please advise me on this as I really don’t know what to believe. — Tired of Competing with a Dead Ex
First of all, your “lady’s” dead boyfriend isn’t really an “ex” unless they were broken up when he died. If they were still dating, which it sounds like they were, he’s her “late boyfriend” not “ex-boyfriend.” It’s more than just semantics — “ex” has a different connotation, symbolizing a type of closure that is different than the closure you get from a partner dying.
It may be that she still hasn’t found closure from her relationship with her late boyfriend. Or it may be that she’s simply still mourning. Or it could be that, like many people who have lost someone they love, the anniversary of the death stirs up a lot of emotions that take a few weeks to absorb and process. This doesn’t mean your girlfriend isn’t “ready for a relationship” or that she can’t “give her heart” to anyone else though.
What’s most striking to me about this situation isn’t so much her behavior, which sounds pretty normal for a 21-year-old still processing the very early death of her high school sweetheart, but it’s your reaction to her behavior. You sound jealous, possessive, and disrespectful. To say she’s “celebrating” the anniversary of her late boyfriend’s death, for example, rather than “observing” it is akin to calling him her “ex” — it signals a total lack of regard on your part for what he meant to her when he died and how his death affected her.
And not for nothing, but calling your girlfriend “the lady” is another example of how your choice of semantics speaks volumes about how you regard her. I don’t sense love or compassion from you at all. And I don’t think you have the emotional maturity to handle a relationship with someone dealing with complicated emotions. Or, like, any emotion at all that deviates from blind devotion to you and the public expression of that devotion so that everyone knows whom she belongs to.
Women do not exist to serve you, to fluff your ego, and to make you feel adored. That doesn’t mean you can’t find one who will do just that (lord knows I’ve received hundreds of letters through the years from women who eagerly fit that role), but clearly this woman has other priorities. If you can’t handle that — and it doesn’t sound like you can — you need to MOA.
He thinks because he isn’t “inappropriate” with these girls he is doing nothing wrong. He says he thinks Facebook is just silly fun, that he is committed, and that he is a private person, so I need to get over it. I keep saying I am not comfortable with it and do not want to date someone who behaves this way.
We keep breaking up over this until he says he understands and admits he needs to do things differently. But then a new girl pops up and he does the same thing all over, and we repeat the same words. Do I just need to give up and lose this guy? I want to show him your answer – he thinks he is doing nothing differently than anyone else does. — Tired of His Behavior
I get where you’re coming from — I wouldn’t want to be with a guy who behaved the way you’re describing either. Some people might not be bothered by it, but I would be. Which is why I’m not with a guy who behaves that way. Why are you? You’ve told your boyfriend multiple times you are uncomfortable with his behavior and that you don’t want to date someone who behaves that way, and yet… you keep dating someone who behaves that way.
You can’t control his behavior, and he clearly isn’t interested in changing anyway. But you can control your own behavior! If you say you don’t want to date someone who behaves like your boyfriend behaves, STOP DATING YOUR BOYFRIEND. He sounds like a loser, anyway. A fifty-four year-old man friending random women on Facebook and then liking everything they post? Creep alert! MOA!
Follow along on Facebook, and Instagram.
If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at wendy(AT)dearwendy.com.