Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy
I have been with this guy, “Tony,” for a year and four months. He’s 30 now and I am only 24. Age is not an issue in this case though. At the beginning, he told me he did not want a relationship due to the fact he had been cheated on by his fiancée in his own bed five years earlier. Months went by and I asked what we were and where we were going, and he said he just wanted to take things slow, which I understood because of his past. Then somehow I ended up staying the night at his place so often that I was basically living with him; I had my own drawers full of clothes and everything. One night I brought the dirty clothes basket downstairs and he put a clean sheet in it thinking they were clean clothes. When I told him they were dirty, he snapped, and so I left the house that night and went to my house.

At that point, we were like ten months in. For two months after that he told me he was tired of leading me, that he didn’t want a relationship with me, and that he didn’t like how basically I moved myself into his place and overstayed my welcome. He then blocked my phone number, saying I called him too much throughout the day. He said we didn’t have to talk every day and spend every day together, but before that it had never been a problem. After two months, he was fine again, and we slowly started getting back together. I stopped myself from staying the night, but, though everything seemed good, I had a gut feeling something was wrong.

It turns out he had, in fact, been cheating on me. There was a girl that I thought maybe something had happened with, so I messaged her and asked if she had had anything with him in the past, and she told me to come over because she wanted to tell me face-to-face. I thought, okay, she is going to tell me about something that happened when he and I first started dating, but then she told me that they had slept together in early December, which broke my heart. Tony swears he was drunk and doesn’t remember it. He cried and apologized to me. I told him that if he wants me in his life, there will be a title or nothing. He told me he will not be pressured into a relationship that he isn’t ready for. I forgave him for cheating because, what can I say, we aren’t together. I can’t give up on him, but I don’t know what to do. I want to trust him, I want to believe he didn’t remember the cheating, and I want to believe he will never hurt me again, but he refuses to actually be with me.

P.S. We do go to family events together and his family loves me. — Loved By His Family

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

My boyfriend (30) proposed to me (29) last night and I am so disappointed

Regrets over moving in together so quickly

Help! should i marry a guy who has kids?!

My BF doesn’t seem to want me anymore?

Have I found The One?

Pregnancy dilemma: single and the father is nasty and abusive to me

Something happened to my boyfriend but he won’t talk

How to Deal with a Narcissistic Mother Who’s Recovering From Surgery

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].

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From the forums:

I have been dating someone for two years and I love him with all my heart. We live together in the northwest, but I’m originally from the east coast. Recently, I went back home (by myself) for the first time in six years to see old friends. While there, I went out to a bar with my old childhood friends and among them was a guy I had a crush on when I was a teenager. Nothing ever came of it, but there was always mutual innocent flirting – although to be clear, I have not had a crush on him since I was 15 (I’m now 30). I also hadn’t spoken to him much in the last six years, so there had never been any kind of lead up to what I am about to tell you n.next…

By the end of the night, we were all extremely drunk — the drunkest I’ve been in a very long time. My childhood crush was kind of flirting with me, but he’s a flirty guy so I ignored it. Fast forward to my leaving/getting in an uber: I’m hugging him goodbye and he gives me a kiss on the cheek which somehow turns into a full-blown make-out. It only lasted a few seconds but I feel AWFUL about it. To make matters way worse, his girlfriend of five years SAW the whole thing and now they are not speaking (this happened two weeks ago).

I am not the type of girl who ruins relationships or cheats on her boyfriend. It was so stupid and pointless, and my boyfriend deserves a lot better. I don’t know what to do. Do I tell my boyfriend, too? I think about it 100 times a day and here are my pros/cons of telling him:

Pros:
1. He deserves to the know the truth and decide if he still wants to be with me.
2. I won’t be keeping a secret from him (I’ve never kept anything from him).
3. There’s no chance of someone else telling him first

Cons:
1. He could break up with me over something that meant absolutely nothing.
2. If he forgives me, there may always be this doubt in his head that I’ll do it again (we are SO happy and so in love and I don’t want to ruin that, ugh).
3. It’ll cause him unnecessary pain – at the end of the day I am so in love with him and that other guy means absolutely nothing to me.

I made such a stupid MISTAKE. Do I tell him or ride it out?

Side note: I realized through this event that I clearly don’t know how to stop drinking when I should and for this reason I have given up alcohol. I’ve not explained the reason to my boyfriend, but it’s one thing I can do to improve myself/learn from this.

Please help me, I’m consumed with guilt. — Consumed with Guilt

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If Elizabeth Warren doesn’t win the presidency, she might want to consider becoming a relationship advice columnist (she’s good!): Elizabeth Warren Wants You To Ditch That Guy, Get A Dog, And Vote To Tax The Wealthy

OMG, this is insane: The Internet’s Most Repulsive Men Are Throwing A ‘Make Women Great Again’ Convention And Oh My God It’s So SAD

My First Date Was at Age 30

Why killer whales — and humans — evolved menopause (Hint: Grandmothers help to explain an evolutionary mystery.)

A new book, “Why We Can’t Sleep: Women’s New Midlife Crisis,” documents the unique pressures on Gen X women. Here’s an NPR interview with the author. (We also discussed this a little bit in yesterday’s column.)

The High Cost of Having a Baby in America (The average delivery now costs more than $4,500—even with insurance!)

What do you all think about Harry and Meghan “stepping back” from the monarchy? I’m not much of a royal watcher, but even I find the news a little bit titillating. Here’s a good summary of what it means: Harry and Meghan Won’t Play the Game: Their decision to “step back” from the royal family reflects their distaste for the British press.

1 Billion Animals Have Reportedly Died in Australia’s Wildfires, which is so horrific and mind-boggling and we should all be terrified by the devastating effect climate change is having on our planet and committing to, at the very least, some small lifestyle changes to help reduce greenhouse emissions.

Related (because reducing our meat and dairy consumption is, by far, the most meaningful impact we can make in reducing our carbon footprint and decreasing the speed of climate change): The Meat-Lover’s Guide to Eating Less Meat

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I’d love some of your wisdom and that of your generous and intelligent readers. I am remembering your post about how your 40s are a time when life gets real — friends get divorced, children or spouses die, parents die or get old, etc., and I am learning that is true. I’m also thinking about your post from a few years ago about showing up, which really impacted me and I’ve done a much better job about showing up for my friends since reading that, but I want to be even better. Specifically, I’d like advice on how to support friends who are dealing with difficult challenges that often come with this transition into middle age that many of us in our 40s are experiencing.

In the last month, two of my friends have finalized their divorces and one of my dear friends lost her husband suddenly after a brief illness. They all have little ones at home. They are all incredibly brave and they have all been there for me when things were rough for me. When I was going through hard times, I wasn’t a mom (but I am now). These women are going through real heartaches while also showing up as a source of strength for their children. Do you have any ideas for showing up for our friends who are struggling with grief and loss in their 40s as they are also raising kids and doing their best to keep this grief and loss from having a long-term negative effect on their children?

Meals and thoughts and prayers just don’t quite fill the void… — A Forty-Something Friend

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