Shortcuts: “Am I Stupid for Being My Ex’s Secretary?”

It’s time again for Shortcuts. For every question, I’ll give my advice in just a few sentences, because sometimes the answer to a person’s question is so obvious and the need to hear it so great, being as clear and frank as possible is simply the best way to go.

My ex-boyfriend broke up with me the first time in 2009 and this last time in 2012. Both times he immediately moved a new woman into his house. Each time he breaks up with me he calls me and ask me to apply for loan modifications, apply for jobs, write offer in compromise for him (just to name a few things). He said he asks me because he knows that I know how to do these things and that I am only one he trusts. I am confused because how can he be in a relationship with his live-in girlfriend and not trust her? He also can’t let her know that he communicates with me. He says that he wants to kick her out of his house. He took me to court and kicked me out in 2009. Am I being stupid doing all of these things for him? — Two Time Dumpee


My boyfriend and I started dating this past January and stayed together happily and nicely for a few months. But now it’s been one month and a few weeks and he hasn’t even called me or invited me to spend the night with him. If I call him, he’s very nice with me telling me, “My love, don’t worry I will invite you or I will come visit you one day.” But I haven’t heard from him! Please help me what must I do. — What Happened?

Your math is screwy. It’s only early April; if you started to date in January — even if it was the first day of the month — and you now haven’t heard from him in a month and a few weeks, that means you were only “happily and nicely together” for like six, maybe seven weeks. This fling is over. MOA.

My boyfriend is really sick. He forced me to give him my phone number and is now using it to talk to other men who know me and ask them to meet me and just let them wait there for hours. He told me I need to prove my love and give away the past, especially this phone number which is the one many men know. I didn’t expect he wanted to take my phone number to do all of this, so I am really disappointed. We broke up once before as he cheated on me and I did move on and dated someone else. I feel really angry now. Sometimes I just want to yell at his face that he is so sick. — So Angry It Hurts

Honestly, I can’t follow most of this letter — he forced you to give him your phone number? So he could track down men you know and then ask them to meet up with you? None of this makes any sense. But I was able to infer one thing from this hot mess and it is this: you need to MOA.


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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. To all LWs this week: Is being alone really that much worse than being in a situation which makes you miserable? I mean come on people!

    LW 1: he sued you so that you would leave his house – and then you got back together for another 3 years! And you still do stuff for him.
    LW2: you are already single so embrace it. And start dating other men.
    LW3: He cheated on you and you are expected to prove yourself to him? Why are you letting this person drive away other eligible men!?

  2. Wow. The crazy is strong with this round of shortcuts…

    1. For real. I don’t even know. None of the letters made much sense to me. I loved Wendy’s response to LW number 1.

      1. Rachel @ Reality Chick says:

        LW Number 3 is my personal favourite 🙂

    2. Agree. Truly another Facepalm Friday here at Dear Wendy.

  3. Some days the Shortcuts make me really scared for the future.

    All 3 of you- MOA and AIM HIGHER.

  4. Well, these are really…um…something.

    LW1: It’s not that he “trusts” you so much, & distrusts these other women—it’s that he doesn’t want them to know what an incompetent, lazy loser he is. I bet (or at least I hope…) that his new girlfriend(s) would run out the door if he asked starting asking her to fill out his loan applications & apply to jobs for him (or whatever the fuck he’s doing). YOU, on the other hand, will happily do these things even after he’s kicked you out. Twice. Yes, you are being stupid. Stop talking to this man.

    LW2: “My love, don’t worry I will invite you or I will come visit you one day.” “MY LOVE” “ONE DAYYY” What. Who says that?? (Sorry, I can’t even say anything about this one)

    LW3: I’m going to assume by “phone number” you mean…phone? He’s using your phone to pretend to be you, & ask men in your past to come meet him.”you”? Yeah, that is fucked up. You claim to have moved on once; please do so again.

    1. SweetPeaG says:

      Ha ha! I thought the wording on LW2 was strange too. Is her boyfriend from the past? Maybe he can’t come see her because he lives in the 1800’s.

      1. I don’t know why you saying that reminded me of this (past-life boyfriends!) but …

        When I was in college, I ran across a group of freshmen girls when I was a senior who honestly believed that they had spirit boyfriends (think spirit animal but as a boyfriend). And made social media pages for these spirit boyfriends. Who were almost always based on some manga character, I think. Needless to say, I actively avoided them not long after *that* revelation.

        Part of me wishes that they were (successfully) trolling me but I actually think they really were serious. Much like this LW.

      2. lets_be_honest says:

        My spirit boyfriend is Ryan Gosling.

      3. Avatar photo the_other_wendy says:

        In highschool, my spirit boyfriend was Raistlin Majere from the Dragonlance Chronicles.
        Yeah… I was a massive dork.

      4. Maybe he’s a vampire and he’s actually been alive (or “alive”) since the 1800’s. In that case, I’d stick around just to see if it’s like a “Lost Boys” kinda situation or a “True Blood” or a “Twilight” kind of thing. Some vampires are more appealing than others.

    2. SpaceySteph says:

      “Who says that??”
      Someone who is in prison and doesn’t want you to know. 😉

  5. kerrycontrary says:

    WBS. Aim Higher. Short-cuts make me appreciate my life even more than I already do. Except everyone, I have a migraine today and I want to crawl in a hole and never come out. But I had to go to work because we’re busy (and I don’t want to take a sick day).

    1. I feel the exact same way. Last night I woke up at like 3am and I didn’t know where I was or how I got there (for the record I was in my own bed) and I couldn’t remember anything from the night before. I was so confused and panicking because I couldn’t remember anything. Eventually I calmed down and bits and pieces came back to me, and I was able to relax and go back to sleep. But then I woke up this morning with a killer headache and it won’t go away even after coffee. I WISH I could take a sick day. Weird weird shit.

      (And no I was not drinking. It was a normal night. Watch a show, go to sleep.)

      1. kerrycontrary says:

        Sounds like you have a ghost. haha jk. I used to travel a lot more because of my LDR and I used to wake up and not know which bed I was in all the time. It blows. Lets hope our headaches go away.

      2. Seriously. Down with headaches. BUT at least it’s Friday (hopefully you don’t have a weekend job, otherwise that sentiment would be useless…)

      3. kerrycontrary says:

        No weekend job besides going to see the cherry blossoms tomorrow 🙂 My headache is gone now, hope yours is waning.

      4. lets_be_honest says:

        Jealous! My sister sent me a picture. I missed it last year by a couple weeks.

      5. Avatar photo GatorGirl says:

        Oh the Cherry blossoms in DC?? If yes, you must try to find out when the Tamagawa Taiko drummers and dancers. They are phenominal. Hmmm, their facebook says they won’t be in dc (maybe I’m reading it wrong) but anyone in Philly shoudl go check them out!! I’ve seen them 5 or 6 times and the are AMAZING. (And from Japan and a guy I went to high school with, his dad is the coordinator)

      6. Ever since I had a kid, this happens to me. I also have dreams where this happens. I’ve been wondering if it is because I don’t really enter REM that much anymore. At least its not hypnogognic hallucinations.

      1. That was for WBS, not your migraine. I’m 🙁 about the migraine.

  6. oh my… just… wow…

  7. Time for shortcuts already? Where did the week go?

    LW1, stop letting this jerk use you. Cease all communication with him and just handle your own shit.

    LW2, this guy is not your boyfriend. I know it sucks when you really like someone and then they just stop talking to you. It happened to me in recent months (and I’m not even talking about my ex this time…surprised?). All you can do is leave him alone and move on with your own life.

    LW3….your letter confused the heck out of me. I have no words.

  8. Avatar photo theattack says:

    LW3, This sounds like the beginnings of an abusive relationship. He’s trying to take away your freedom and control who can and can’t contact you. He’s severing your relationships with other people without your input. It might start with ex-boyfriends, but he’ll eventually start doing this with your family and friends too. This is a MAJOR red flag that you need to MOA now and never look back. I see him trying to isolate you, and that’s the first step before someone starts beating you and abusing you in other ways. If you can’t believe that he would become abusive, look at the facts otherwise: he’s disrespectful to you, controlling, hurtful to other people, emotionally needy, manipulative, and he’s going behind your back. Leave now.

    LW1: All I have to say is What The Fuck. Why can’t he do stuff for himself? You need to aim higher, and you really need to work on your self-esteem.

    LW2: MOA and stop calling him. If he wanted a relationship with you he would be acting like it. Don’t wait around.

    1. Totally agree about lw3, except to me it sounds like the middle or end stages of an abusive relationship, not the beginning! I’m assuming when she says she gave him her phone number she means password, but when he says give it up, he literally wants her to change her number so no one can contact her — TERRIFYING.

      1. Although, she knows this is sick and hasn’t broken up with him, so … she’s a little scary too.

      2. Avatar photo theattack says:

        This is definitely abusive in itself. I just meant how physically abusive relationships begin with emotional abuse like this. I don’t think the LW sees it as abusive since she doesn’t say that he’s physically harmed her yet.

      3. Very true – I was mostly being facetious about the beginning vs. middle/end thing! And it’s definitely a “yet,” with regard to his eventually becoming physically abusive.

      4. Avatar photo theattack says:

        Oh, ha! I didn’t catch the facetiousness. Is that even a word? Facetiousity? Facete?

      5. Facetity? 🙂

    2. Yeah, LW3 is in a scary situation. She needs to get out NOW. He’s clearly insane and abusive. What is her question? She says he’s “sick” and she’s in a blind rage about it. Just MOA!

  9. LW1, who even cares whether he does or doesn’t trust his current girlfriend? That’s not your problem.

  10. SweetPeaG says:

    LW3’s letter… wow! At first, I thought the guy had a kink and wanted her to go meet other men and then he’d watch or something. My parents had neighbors that were into this. It did not turn out well. The husband talked the wife into going to have sex with other guys and then wanted to hear ALL THE DETAILS. When she finally went through with it, he beat the living shit out of her (and had a gun in the house! and two small children!). She escaped to my parents house at 4 in the morning, after he had beat her. That was one of the craziest things I’ve ever witnessed. They are still together… although it is clearly a case for MOA’ing if I ever saw one. Sorry for the offramp…

    But, after several reads, I figured the convoulted letter out. The guy wants to screw with her ex’s and berate her for having a past. He is clearly being a controlling freak. Get the hell out, seriously. You will never have your own life if you continue to stay with this guy. He’ll want to know everytime you sneeze and probably get mad if another guy says “God bless you”. What is keeping you with this guy? Whatever reason you have, it’s not good enough.

  11. Last letter:

    lol wut.

  12. #3 If your bf truly “forced” you, call the police. I think you mean he convinced you. You gave him the number out of free will. Own your actions. You then participated in the purposeful deceit and abuse of your exes. Is this the person you want to be? Shame on you for treating your exes that way. If you’re afraid of your bf, get out. Do what you have to do to reclaim your life and your dignity.

    1. lets_be_honest says:

      I don’t think she knew what happened until after the fact.

  13. LW3 – I think she transferred her phone number to his phone, so he can text/call from her phone number via his phone.

    As a general rule, if you are calling your significant other ‘really sick’, you should have moved on yesterday.

    1. Agree 1000%
      really sick = MOY!!!

  14. landygirl says:

    WTF to all of these letters.

  15. Addie Pray needs to quit being on vacation and tell me all her deep thoughts on these Shortcuts.

  16. LW#1 – Please just cut this guy out of your life. I have no idea what you’re getting out of this situation, but it’s nothing healthy or good.

    LW#2 – Is this for real? If so, you have no relationship. Feel free to move on. This guy certainly has.

    LW#3 – Your BF is, as you say, “sick” and he fills you with rage. Two very valid reasons to MOA. So do it.

  17. Sophronisba says:

    Odd syntax on each of these letters… it’s official, love makes you lose your mind (and ability to write a cohesive letter)!

  18. Avatar photo the_other_wendy says:

    LW1: Yeah, what is keeping you answering this guy’s calls? This is the point where you say “I’m not going to speak to you, see you, or fill out forms for you, you complete moron. Stop calling me.” and then move on. He is a jerk, so maybe take some time to examine why you’re okay with being treated like this.
    LW2: Uh.. yeah. It’s over. It’s a fling that has been flung. I’m not sure if he’s just waiting around for you to take the hint, or if he’s actually hoping to keep you on the hook, but move on.
    LW3: So, you realize that he is sick in the head. You probably see where the relationship is going (physical abuse, because it’s already gotten to the mental and emotional abuse stages). Do change your phone number, and then give it to everyone who isn’t him. Ask him to stop showing up at your house and if he continues to, look into a restraining order. I truly hope you’re not living with this person, but if you are find somewhere else to stay. Now. No, don’t keep reading this. Do it now.

    I both love and hate shortcuts. They’re always so depressing.

  19. Sometimes these shortcuts are so all over the place, they read like they were written by Miles.

    1. When are we going to get more input from Miles??? I miss him!!

    2. Yes! Miles shortcuts!!! Wendy, will he take questions from our critters?

      1. My roommate’s cat really needs some advice on how to stop trying to eat my food… 🙂

    3. For some reason, I read your handle as “bacon chamber.” Weird.

      1. oh haha, no i’m amber and I’m from BC 🙂

      2. Apparently, “bacon chamber” is a vagina when a guy wears a bacon condom.

        Thank you, thank you *takes a bow* Don’t forget to tip your waitress. I’m hear all week.

    4. Miles is sitting right here on my lap and wishes to say hello to everyone. He will grace us with more advice very soon, don’t worry.

      1. Hi Miles! I send you a gentle scritch =)

  20. LW#1: oh please MOA just MOA. I get that sometimes we fall in love with people that are just not good for us and is hard to move on. 6 months after I got divorced my ex called me to ask me to make a personal loan on my name because he needed money, my reaction: NO. Are you nuts?! hang the phone.
    Two weeks later my ex sister in law call me to catch up with me because she was in town, and she wanted to check how I am doing with the situation.
    Me: what situation? Her: Ohhh you do not know?
    Me: what? She: your ex is getting married.
    I can not tell you ladies how angry I was when it down on me: he wanted me to get him money for his new wedding/honeymoon (yes when I was married to him I was the one with the good credit and the one good about financial matters),
    To end the story I realized that the hold he had on me had been broken away forever. So please I invite you to feel proud of your self too. JUST WALK AWAY!

    1. lets_be_honest says:

      WOW! So, so glad you didn’t make that loan.

    2. landygirl says:

      He’s a piece of work. Thank goodness you’re free of him.

  21. God bless all of your hearts, those who actually attempted a rational response to these letters. Serious question, do you actually think someone that would write a letter like this would be willing to (or even capable of) taking your advice to heart?

    My friend who is a comedian posted on her Facebook something along the lines of “women complain that there are no good men out there, but honestly not every woman deserves a good man”. Uh huh.

    1. Heh. Don’t you kind of lose any right to expect to find a good man the minute you start vilifying the entire sex?

  22. Wowser. These are all so incredible. I don’t even know what to say.

    As a tangent, I was driving back to work on my lunch hour and thought: There should be shortcuts today! It did not come up in my feed! Must look.

    I need a life.

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