Shortcuts: “I’m Beginning to Suspect He Might Be Married”

Screen Shot 2015-03-13 at 10.12.15 AMIt’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 that being as clear and frank as possible is simply the best way to go.

I’ve been in a relationship for a year and six months and I still haven’t been introduced to my boyfriend’s mother or his kids. When I bring up the whole marriage subject he says, “I haven’t thought about it. I want to make sure my kids get off on the right track.” I feel like that’s an excuse. I have never been to his house before and now recently when I call his phone it rings once, then voice mail. I feel deep inside that he is hiding something from me — either he’s married already or he’s in a another relationship. — Suspicious

Yeah, of course he’s hiding something from you (and this suspicion shouldn’t be that “deep inside.” It’s so obvious, it really should be tap-dancing on the surface). But the bigger problem is that you’re wanting to talk marriage with a man whose home you’ve never been to and kids you’ve never met. How low are your expectations of a quality relationship if this is what you consider strong and serious enough to broach marriage? MOA and aim higher next time!

This guy and I started talking about two months ago, and then three days ago his grandfather, who raised him, passed away. Since then it seems as though he’s shutting me out. I did make sure to let him know that I’m here if he needs me. But we’ve barely talked/texted, and when we do the conversation is very vague, or he’ll abruptly stop texting. I know he’s dealing with a loss and people are in/out visiting, so I’m trying not to show my frustration. But am I being selfish by being upset that he’s not being vulnerable with me? — He’s Not Vulnerable Enough

Uh…yeah, you’re being selfish. He just lost one of the closest people to him three days ago and you’re worried that he’s not giving you, someone he’s been “talking with” for all of two months, enough attention? You’re seriously “trying not to show him your frustration”??? Chill out and let him grieve — and share his grief — in his own way. If you want to show support, you could drop off food for him/his family, send a thoughtful card, and ask when the funeral/memorial is and whether you can go. Respect what his needs are now and don’t make this about you. This is NOT the time to analyze his behavior to figure out how he feels about you. His behavior right now has nothing to do with you. He’s just trying to wade through his grief.

I have a boyfriend and we have been together for about a month now. He is a father of six wonderful kids whom I care about a lot. I’m a mom of three kids, and together we decided we are going to be there for each other. But two days ago he got a message from his ex-girlfriend telling him she was three months pregnant and she’s keeping it. He doesn’t have any feelings for this other woman and he wants to make sure if he and I stay together I’m committed to raising our children together. I’m falling in love with him, but I’m a little scared; this will make ten kids between us. Am I crazy to stay with him ? Please help me ease my mind. — Expanded Brady Bunch

Yes, you are crazy. You’ve been with a guy for a month and he’s asking you to commit to helping him raise his six — and soon-to-be SEVEN — kids? (When you already have three of your own!). Oh, hell no. Run, girl, run!

P.S. Birth Control! Birth Control! Birth Control!!


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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. Avatar photo veritek33 says:

    I know that Wendy does her due diligence and weeds out the fake letter when she can, but sometimes I just shake my head and think to myself “this has to be fake. IT JUST HAS TO BE FAKE.”

    I hope these are fake.

    1. I hope that they are fake too… but in a world where reality TV star Donald “If she wasn’t my daughter I would date her” Trump is the leading Republican presidential candidate, I am able to believe they are real. To the question “No one’s that dumb, right?” the answer seems to be… Yes, yes they are.

    2. I hope so, too, but I’ve seen this a lot. People deciding that someone is ‘the one’ after knowing them for a matter of days. It blows my mind. You haven’t even begun to know the person.

      It’s just human biology, to an extent. All of those hormones mess with your brain, and it feels great, and you don’t want it to stop. But what elevates it from ‘silly’ to ‘reprehensible’ here is that they’re dragging children into this nonsense.

  2. PumkinSpice says:

    LW 2, I am appalled at the fact you would even try to make this about YOU! His grandfather just died and you are worried he is not being vulnerable enough with you?! You are together 2 months, not 2 years. Let him grieve with his family and back off. Right now he is hurt and upset, he doesn’t need your drama on top of his and his family’s grief.

  3. “But am I being selfish by being upset that he’s not being vulnerable with me?”
    Sweet Jesus on a skateboard, really? Way to make the DEATH of a beloved family member all about you. Selfish doesn’t even cover it. Self-absorbed, maybe. Clueless, definitely.
    You’re not even in a relationship with this guy. You’ve been ‘talking’. For two months. Which is barely a friendship. I have stuff in my fridge older than that. Why on earth would he ‘be vulnerable’ with you?
    It’s too early for this, I have to have another cup of tea and come back later….

    1. I’d much rather ‘be vulnerable’ with the three month old ice cream in my fridge than someone I’ve been ‘talking to’ for two months.

      1. ROFL! 🙂

      2. Ice cream lasts 3 months in your house? I’m impressed.

      3. snoopy128 says:

        That was my first thought. Even with a lactose intolerant bf, icecream just disappears

      4. I have to hide it in the back from Othello, and then I forget it exists. I found Thin Mints in the back of the freezer that I had hidden months ago. It was like Christmas had come early!

  4. PumkinSpice says:

    LW 3, use birth control. This guy knocks up women like most change their underwear! You have been together for one month. Why do your kids even know this guy and vice versa? And already you two are talking about raising your families together? Slow down and see if this relationship is even going to work out before you start planning a life together.

  5. Anonymous says:

    LW2–Yes, you are being selfish. In fact, if you search the word “selfish” , a photo of you might actually pop up.

  6. LW3 —

    This guy, who has 7 kids with women he claims to care nothing about, has asked you help him raise his kids, because he sees that as a way of convincing you how domestic minded he is and how much he trusts and cares about you. It’s a sham. Have you actually seen any evidence that this guy is raising his kids, or is that something that falls 99% on these other women he cares nothing about? Does he help to support the kids? How much ‘care time’ as opposed to ‘drop by and play with them a little time’ does he actually spend with them?

    He is a guy who measures his manhood by how many kids he has fathered. He wants to give you #4. He’ll then move on and tell the next woman that you are just some woman that he doesn’t care about.

  7. dinoceros says:

    LW1: Of course, he’s married. There is no reasonable excuse for not seeing his house for that long.
    LW2: I had to go back and see how much time had passed. 3 days?? He’s probably with family and grieving. Why would he spend his time with someone he’s not even dating? This isn’t about you.
    LW3: So, 9 kids is fine, but 10 is too much? I’m a little concerned that you guys have only been together a month, but you care about his kids so much. After a month, a lot of people wouldn’t have even met the kids yet. I’m really concerned about his parenting that he keeps adding to the brood carelessly and that he’s got them meeting people he’s dated for a month.

  8. Lw 1: can you not Google? I mean really, in this day and age, you can’t find anything about him online? If after a year and a half with him you actually even know where he lives, I say you just show up to his house on a Saturday and see if his wife and family are home. She deserves to know.

    Lw 2: you little letter makes me want to slap you. You are selfish, and pathetic. I hope this guy drops you asap because nobody needs your stupid dreams in their lives.

    Lw 3: can you really not see that he’s using you? Next he’ll pressure you to have sex without condoms because he is too big/allergic/doesn’t like it/bs excuses. You are not in love with him. He probably love bombed you, and you’ve never been shown such attention in your life. He’s lying, and he’ll leave you soon anyways, probably with your 4th child on the way. So please, use condoms, get on bc, GET AN STD TEST because he probably passed something along already, and a. Pap with an hpv test as well. Or, you can ignore all this and then get yourself on the Maury show when he’ll claim be can’t be the father of your 4th child.

  9. LW3 take a pregnancy test.

  10. I swear LW1 is a coworker of mine. We’ve been trying to convince her that her guy is married for months now. Particularly when there was a news article written about how he and his wife were suing their kids’ school (but he said that the journalist got the facts wrong). And how he’s not in the state’s public list of divorce decrees (his must just have been left off somehow). (Despite every single other person we know who has been divorced is listed in the database). If you feel he’s hiding something from you, he probably is.

    1. dinoceros says:

      I can’t figure out what’s worse — the fact that he would actually think he can lie about those things or the fact that she believes him.

  11. findingtheearth says:

    LW1: The only other reason I can see is that he is a hoarder. I would ask for a candid talk with him and he continues the same dialog, move on.

    LW3: 10 kids? have you looked at budgests? How many women has he dated to get 7 kids?

  12. LisforLeslie says:

    LW2 – back the hell off. When my dad died I was a zombie for a month. I have memories of the funeral and sitting shiva but I went back to work after 3 or 4 days and I have zero memory for the next several weeks. Grief can be unimaginable and it’s different for every person. A friendship of mine (friends 10 years) ended a few months later because she couldn’t understand why I was no fun anymore. It took me months to resurface fully.

  13. wobster109 says:

    LW2: You seem to think the only way to grieve is to “be vulnerable”, and that’s bullshit. There are as many different ways to grieve as there are people, and more, and no one is The Right Way.

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