Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy
My older sister, “Janine,” and I are eight years apart, and because of our age difference our parents raised us pretty differently and disciplined us in different ways. Janine got married to her now-husband about two years ago. My parents gave her $10,000 for her wedding, saying “anything over 10k you’re paying for yourself, and anything left over you can keep for honeymoon, down payment on a house, etc.” Now I am getting married, and my parents haven’t offered us a penny. We already booked a photographer (paid for by ourselves), and lodging (we’re getting married out of state), and they are only offering to pay for their own room. I don’t want to confront them and directly ask for money…but I’m feeling like my fiancé and I are being treated differently. We do live together, so that might be a reason why my parents are being stubborn and not helping us out (they’re pretty religious).

I’m feeling confused, upset, and a little angry, to be honest. I’d understand if they couldn’t give us the full 10k, but to literally not even offer to pay for our lodging? It seems ridiculous! And since my parents aren’t giving us anything, I feel like they’re completely disengaging from our future marriage… which again, is disappointing.

To add more context: I’m also in grad school and only able to work part-time, and while my fiancé makes decent money, he also pays for most of our household expenses because I have such little income. We could probably pull off a small wedding, but the costs would be put on credit cards and stuff. I feel like part of my frustration is that we don’t have a lot of money, and the other part is the principle that my parents aren’t giving us anything.

How can I talk to my parents about this, without sounding like a snob or spoiled? How do I live with the consequences if they refuse to give us anything? — Unsupported Bride

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

“Are My Expectations About Love and Romance Too High?”

My Husband Lacks Empathy

Should I End Our Friendship?

Rejected by a woman whom I thought liked me – did I misread the situation?

My boyfriend broke up with me before I even got an abortion

Is He Telling Me the Truth?

Fashion Sites/Blogs/Magazines for Women Over 40

Anyone going on awesome dates?

Anyone going on awesome dates?

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].

My boyfriend, “Carl,” (age 47) and I (age 32) have been together for nearly five years. We met at work, and for the first three years we had to keep our relationship private among our colleagues because I was in a position where I was not allowed to date co-workers. But our relationship has not been private to our families and close friends, and for the past two years I have worked somewhere new, so the privacy hasn’t been an issue. I only mention this because we barely see each other — maybe once a month — and I understood it more when we worked together while now I don’t as much.

We are both single parents. Carl has shared time with his child — every other day and weekend — while the father of my two kids is non-existent. Carl has a ranch three hours away that needs to be tended to every weekend, so he only wants to spend time with me when I can get a babysitter for the entire weekend and go with him, which is very hard to do without family nearby. Carl has two jobs and averages 60 hours of work between them. I also work full-time, and I manage all the kids’ activities, further limiting our time together.

We text everyday, all day, and talk on the phone at least once a day. We live twenty minutes apart and sometimes get the kids together, and we sometimes get our weekend together, just us two. I feel he is the love of my life and my best friend, and I know the feeling is mutual. But…I want to see and be with him more. In the past two years, we’ve probably only seen each other 12 times. We have discussed this several times, but we have no solutions. He feels spread thin and says he is doing the best he can, as am I. When we do see each other, it’s because I make it happen. He doesn’t want to live together until my kids are grown-ups, his words. And while I don’t necessarily disagree, I can’t help but feel that I’m the only one who wants to spend more time together. There’s always some excuse or reason why he can’t spend time with me, and I’m scared there always will be an excuse. I don’t know what to do, or if I’m just “wasting” my time on a future that will never be there. — Needing More Time Together

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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 “Missed an Opportunity for an Affair” who… missed an opportunity to have an affair and regretted it. “I kind of knew in my heart that she would turn me down as time had passed by. Now I feel embarrassed as I feel our friendship is over. Even though I look back at the opportunities I passed up, at the time I was happy with my decision. Why, all this time later, do I regret it?” he asks. An update from him below.

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I have been with my boyfriend, “Chris,” since December of 2017. I’ve always felt some distance between us because there are parts of his personal life I’m not involved in and, since I’m not an intrusive person, I don’t like to push him to tell me. At first, I thought that, over time, he would share more, but he hasn’t. A few months ago I called things off because we had been doing long-distance without any clear time as to when we’d be together again. Recently, we found a way that we could be together and decided to rekindle things; however, before we do, I want to resolve our issues.

As I said, Chris has always been relatively private. I know that his brother and friends openly drink, smoke, do drugs and just generally do crazy things for entertainment. I never knew how much Chris was involved in, but his brother and friends recently told me that he actually is the provider of drinks and smokes, even though he has never admitted to me that he drinks or smokes. I wonder if he is afraid of my judgement, even though I have made it clear numerous times that I need honesty. Finally, when I started sharing some of my past experiences with drinking, he started sharing a bit of his history, too. I appreciated his honesty, but since he had waited until I did so to admit the behavior, that verified for me that he was neglecting to talk about things because of fear of my judgment. It made me wonder what else falls into this category and whether he’s lied about any other behavior of his. For example, he maintains he was a virgin our first time together, but now I question whether that was true.

About a year after we started dating, he went dark to everyone including me. He pretended nothing was wrong and refused to talk much. I found out through a colleague that his ex-girlfriend had accused him of rape. At this point I put down my foot and forced him to talk to me. It turns out that he went dark because his lawyer asked him to and that he wasn’t even supposed to be talking to me. Normally, if it were any other person in the world accused of rape, I would have asked questions, but Chris is the gentlest, kindest, most loving and most sensitive person I’ve ever known, and I know he is not the type of person to sexually assault anyone. I’ve been sexually assaulted myself and know the type who would do something like that. It’s not someone like Chris, who asked my permission for even the slightest touch and who was so nervous the first time we kissed that he was practically convulsing. He was the first person I was able to be confident enough with that I could overcome my own sexual anxiety that had persisted for years after my own abuse; so, without another question, I consoled him when he told me about the rape allegation.

Now, well after the entire case has been dismissed, after everyone he knew defended him, and after he suffered no social repercussions, he is still fearful of the entire incident. He has taken up beliefs and gone as far as to say things like “#himtoo.” I thought he would get past this once he began to heal, especially knowing my story and what had been done to me, but he hasn’t, and I can’t help but start to wonder why. Did I dismiss things too quickly? Should I have asked questions? I don’t think he raped anyone, but perhaps something happened in a gray area that his ex exaggerated? Is that what he is afraid of?

I never did get the whole story of what the ex claimed happened, and I can’t ask Chris or his family because it’s hurtful to them and there’s too much bias there. I have considered going to the ex, but I don’t know if she would bother with me. One of the theories I have is that she was jealous of me — I was the girl that replaced her, plus I’m respected more than she is socially — so she fabricated the whole thing. My own story is decently known and I have been given labels by peers such as feminist or liberal — undeserved, I think — so her accusation would be sensible if she hoped to get my attention and motivate me to break up with Chris. It wouldn’t be wise to go to her if this were true, so I’m left with no options.

I only want to know how I can move forward with Chris and feel confident in our relationship without questioning everything. I know my imagination likely runs away with me more than it should, but I struggle to believe him, even if he gives direct answers, because he’s so vague. How do I get satisfactory answers to these questions from somebody who doesn’t want to talk about the truth? — Needing Satisfactory Answers

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