Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

We could all use a little levity right now, so I am resurrecting an old feature from back in the day called Google Search Terms. Below are some of the different questions and phrases people type into their Google browser to end up at my site. Check out what’s been on the minds of inquiring people recently.

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Here’s what we’re discussing this week in the forums:

CoronaVirus/ COVID-19 / At-Home Support Thread

Is this a relationship red flag?

I don’t know if should breakup with my boyfriend?

Caught Husband Lying again

I am FURIOUS at my husband

Anyone going on awesome dates?

I don’t know what to do

Sister woes

Follow along on Facebook and Instagram.

If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at [email protected].


What If…

While the enormity of what we all are collectively dealing with right now is still sinking in, I am trying to find bright spots through the challenges. This helped me a lot to reframe some of my fears and anxieties and maybe it will help you, too. While we are all understandably feeling fear and anxiety and stress during this global pandemic that has turned our lives upside down, what if:
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I’m 48 and dating after leaving my marriage in September 2018. After a year-plus of one-night stands and hookups and situationships, in January of this year, I finally met a guy, “Carl,” 51, whom I really like. He shows up. He’s attentive and kind. We have a lot in common and I very much enjoy the time we spend together. He’s pursued me and just this weekend told me that he loves me. He wants to date exclusively and I’m on the fence. I can’t decide if my fear is of intimacy (working on this in therapy), fear of missing out (on dating other guys), or red flags.

My question is about what I perceive to be the red flags. I’m not sure Carl has sufficient boundaries around his ex-wife. They’ve been apart a shorter time than I have from my ex. They have teenage boys together that they split 50/50. I’m sharing parenting as well, so I get the need to be in contact with your ex, but I don’t think he’s as boundaried as I’d like.

Here’s what’s bothering me: During his ex’s custody periods, he picks them up from school when she can’t. He takes them to her house (he has keys), cooks for them, and waits for her to come home. On days when she’s able to pick them up, he’s often there fixing one thing or another. Last week he was there for a few hours fixing her computer printer. He invited her over to paint their rental unit, and then he seemed surprised when their old dynamic (and disagreements) came up. She has the keys to his house (where they lived for 19 years), and when she was over last week, he felt the need to remove all the things he’d bought for me to use when I was there. When I was staying over at his house last week, I made some offhand comment and, the next thing I knew, he opened a bedroom drawer where his ex *still* has her underwear, etc. His explanation was that she keeps things everywhere and one day she’ll come get them.

Because my own marriage was abusive, my boundaries are much firmer and I rarely see or speak with my ex. I know my situation is at the other extreme, so I’m not sure how this works for people who broke up for other reasons.

I’m not jealous; I just don’t want this to be some kind of red flag I ignore at my peril. Until I can make a decision about this, I’m having trouble deciding if I want to commit to this otherwise seemingly good relationship.

I’d appreciate your advice. — On the Fence

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Hi, DW community. We are starting this week in what feels like a whole new world. Here in NYC, schools are closed for at least the next five weeks (and possibly through the end of the school year) with online classes set to begin next week. Bars and restaurants are closing for everything but take-out and delivery, and everyone is encouraged to stay home and put all in-person social interactions on hold for the forseeable future. (These /measures are painful – especially for those whose income and businesses will be so dramatically affected and for the many children who depend on school for a myriad of social services- but I agree that they’re necessary, and probably should have been implemented a week ago.) I know so many of you in other communities are also going through similar life upheavals – and if you aren’t yet, you will be soon – and experiencing the stress and anxiety that goes with it, as we brace ourselves for the impact this pandemic will have on our healthcare providers and those whose health it will compromise.

As I said last week, I want DW to be a place you can escape some of the bad news and experience a little bit of normalcy, so to that end, and as much as I’m able to (with two kids at home, around the clock), I will keep posting columns and updates and my regular content. Please send me your letters to answer! And your updates, please, too!In addition, there’s a thread in the forums dedicated to Covid/coronavirus support when you want to seek some solidarity and share your updates and experiences. Now, here’s an update from a past LW:

updatesIt’s time again for “Dear Wendy Updates,” a feature where people I’ve given advice to in the past let us know whether they followed the advice and how they’re doing now. Today we hear from “Needs Space” whose boyfriend’s mom and her partner were living with them after falling on hard times and refusing to move out. She wrote: “My boyfriend does not want to be rude and kick his mom out. I feel like she is taking advantage of our kindness. I’m trying not to stress because that is bad for my health at this point, but he won’t take charge.” Her update below.
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