Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

Topic of the Day: State of Your Unions

There’s a three-year-old thread in the forums dedicated to the topic of dates and relationship statuses, but I wanted to bring the conversation to the main page for a minute and ask: how are your love lives? How has the summer been for your relationships? Anything new that you’re excited about? Any breakups you’re recovering from? And milestones you’ve reached or things you’ve learned or advice you’re seeking about a specific issue?

Drew and I celebrated our ninth wedding anniversary last month and I have a hard time now remembering life before we knew each other. I can barely remember life before kids anymore. And, yet, as the kids get older (Jackson is almost seven, Joanie is three and starting preschool next week), I am anticipating a new chapter in our life together — one with a little more freedom and maybe a teeny more time (and energy) to devote to our relationship (vs. the challenges of parenting very young children). I’m very excited about this.

What about you? What changes in your life are affecting your relationships (either positively or negatively)? What’s the state of your unions these days?

53 comments… add one
  • avatar

    ktfran August 30, 2018, 9:20 am

    Our 1st anniversary is Monday! We’re celebrating by hanging out at the place our ceremony took place. Although it has only been a year, it feels like a lifetime. In a good way. The forum post Wendy linked documents our entire relationship… we started dating three years ago, July. Thank you Wendy, and everyone else for sticking with me and being awesome sounding boards.

    Happy 9 year Wendy! I love reading your stories and I appreciate how much you share about yourself and your family.

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    • juliecatharine

      Juliecatharine August 30, 2018, 9:39 am

      Congrats KT!

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    • veritek33

      veritek33 August 30, 2018, 10:03 am

      Happy Anniversary 🙂

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    • Dear Wendy

      Dear Wendy August 30, 2018, 12:21 pm

      Thank you!

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    • Moneypenny

      Moneypenny August 30, 2018, 12:55 pm

      Whoo! Happy anniversary!

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    • avatar

      anonymousse August 30, 2018, 4:09 pm

      Congratulations!

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    • MaterialsGirl

      MaterialsGirl August 30, 2018, 5:39 pm

      happy anniversary! Enjoy the day

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  • avatar

    MissD August 30, 2018, 10:00 am

    Just moved across an ocean – from Canada to the UK – to live with my partner! I’ve been here an entire week now. Right now we’re focusing on furniture shopping, which is a lot of fun but I’m itching to get everything settled and start organizing. We’re also exploring our beautiful new neighbourhood (it’s new to him too) which has been exciting.

    Like ktfran, my relationship also started in the Awesome Dates thread, and I’m grateful to Wendy and Bittergaymark for encouraging me to continue getting to know this guy even though the relationship would be long distance.

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    • veritek33

      veritek33 August 30, 2018, 10:04 am

      Hope you’re settling in and enjoying your new home!

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    • avatar

      Ale August 30, 2018, 10:39 am

      A success story from the thread. I hope you’re doing great! So awesome

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    • juliecatharine

      juliecatharine August 30, 2018, 11:12 am

      That’s so exciting Miss D! Good luck settling into your new home!

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    • Dear Wendy

      Dear Wendy August 30, 2018, 12:21 pm

      Hope the transition has been a smooth one and you’re enjoying all the time you get to spend together now.

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      • avatar

        MissD August 30, 2018, 6:12 pm

        Right now I’m trying to adjust to sharing a bed with 3 cats and a full grown man!

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    • Moneypenny

      Moneypenny August 30, 2018, 12:55 pm

      Yay! I’m so excited for you MissD!

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    • avatar

      ktfran August 30, 2018, 1:12 pm

      Ooh, you two moved into a new place together. Nice! Keep us updated. Super happy for you!!!

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      • avatar

        MissD August 30, 2018, 6:07 pm

        Yes! New and nicer apartment! He was renting a furnished place before and I couldn’t bring my furniture, so we are shopping for all new things together for our new place in our new neighbourhood.

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    • Copa

      Copa August 30, 2018, 2:00 pm

      YAY @MissD! 🙂 All the photos you’ve posted make me feel jealous — it looks so pretty where you are! Tell us more! How is the transition to a new country going? How is the transition to live-in SOs going? Are your cats digging all the new window perches?

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      • avatar

        MissD August 30, 2018, 6:04 pm

        One of the cats has made his pillow her new bed. She shares his pillow and curls up next to his head each and every night. Now he’s careful to leave enough space on the pillow for her lol.

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  • veritek33

    veritek33 August 30, 2018, 10:08 am

    Things in my relationship are good! So good. We celebrated a year of dating in July, and my life is definitely better having him in it. We are in discussions for him to move in to my home sometime next year after he finishes some course work and finds a job in this area. (we live about 90 minutes apart currently.)
    It’s nice to be in a healthy relationship where we trust each other and I don’t feel that pit of anxiousness in my stomach all the time because I don’t know where we stand. He sent me a text yesterday afternoon that just said “Wanted you to know I’m thinking about you and I love you.” And it’s corny but it just made me feel awesome.

    Thanks to everyone on the Awesome dates thread for commenting and chiming in and keeping it a positive source of encouragement to all of us out there in the dating world.

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    • Moneypenny

      Moneypenny August 30, 2018, 3:50 pm

      Aww yesss, veritek! And I agree about the dating thread! It’s so nice to see all of the support and positive comments and crazy stories over the years.

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  • avatar

    Allornone August 30, 2018, 10:40 am

    Considering my last “relationship” was a ten-year on-again/off again exercise in toxicity, I’m happy to report that I’ve been in a happy, healthy relationship with a good man that I’m deliriously in love with for the last four years, living together for two. I had given up on the idea of finding love for me, gently accepting that some people just don’t find someone and that’s okay. And then he showed up. Yay
    us.

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  • avatar

    Ale August 30, 2018, 10:42 am

    Dating here and there, not ready for anything serious. I’ve had three dates with a guy from Tinder that is very funny but I actually haven’t talked to him about what he wants so I’m dreading it because I feel like he’s serious. Tinder seems like the only way to meet new people these days! But I’m uber happy to be single right now, I actually couldn’t be happier. I feel like I can do anything.

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  • avatar

    Jennifer Norman August 30, 2018, 10:55 am

    At the start of that thread I was in a FWB situation that went awfully wrong.

    Now I’m mid wedding planning with a great man! Funny how quickly things can change in such a short time.

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    • Dear Wendy

      Dear Wendy August 30, 2018, 12:20 pm

      Congrats!

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  • Miel

    Miel August 30, 2018, 11:33 am

    My boyfriend and I finally moved in together after 7 years of LDR (a plane flight away from each other). We first lived in his old apartment and then moved to a new apartment about a month ago.

    It’s different. But nice, and peaceful.

    I’m glad we did the long-distance all that time, it was worth the wait. I’m also glad I was able to live by myself for so many years, I think it made it so much better once we moved in together.

    I’m starting a new job in about a month! That’s probably going to change our daily routine (compared to now where I just stay home all day…) But it’s ok, one step at a time.

    By the way Wendy, thanks for those useful lists of “what to do before moving for love” and others. They were perfect.

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    • Dear Wendy

      Dear Wendy August 30, 2018, 12:20 pm

      Glad you found them useful! And congrats on the move.

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  • avatar

    Kate August 30, 2018, 11:49 am

    My relationship is perfect… except the other day he told me he hopes I die, and also I think he has a thing for his sister. I saw them grinding on the dance floor and he told me she’s hotter than me. But other than that, absolutely amazing.

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    • Dear Wendy

      Dear Wendy August 30, 2018, 12:19 pm

      Lol.

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  • avatar

    JD August 30, 2018, 12:57 pm

    I never really posted about my dating life there but I couldn’t imagine where I’d be today. Was with my ex for 10 years and then we still were kind of around each other for another 5. It was draining. I met my now husband three years ago and now we are married. After waiting for a decade for my ex, which I am glad didn’t end in marriage as it wouldn’t have been right, I really never expected to be married at this point. My husband is amazing and our relationship is great, minus some dealing with teenagers stuff, but that is to be expected. We moved to another state, which has been a serious adjustment for me but now are going to be back in CA in less than 6 months, sooner than we initially planned. I am back in CA for a few weeks and miss him like crazy. As much as I miss him I think it was a good reminder of how much I want to be wherever he is, even if the place sucks. I am still obsessed with the pizza there though and might be missing that almost as much as him. hehe

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  • avatar

    anonymousse August 30, 2018, 1:31 pm

    We’ve been married four years and things have always been good. Maybe even great. It’s easy when you are fairly mature with no drama, skeletons, trust issues, etc. Our kids are healthy and fun and smart.

    This past year has been pretty hard, but we’ve gotten through it. We are still grieving a significant loss. It’s like a portion of the possible amount of joy we can have is gone in a way. There’s always that little feeling of, it’s not fair, this shouldn’t have happened and maybe even a little bit of guilt that we are so privileged to be here and be happy. I don’t know.

    Like (Kate, I think) recently wrote in the forums, good marriage stories are sort of boring. Things are easy, there’s still work to put in, but it’s mostly fun.

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    • kmtthat

      kmtthat August 30, 2018, 2:37 pm

      I’m sorry for the grief you are facing. I’ve suffered a major loss and it’s really changed how I view the world and some of the dynamics of my relationship. Even now, if I am really having fun and happy I still have an edge of guilt that is hard to shake. How can I feel any happiness 4 months after losing my father? But living is for the living and I try to find peace. Hope you’ve found it too.

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      • avatar

        anonymousse August 30, 2018, 3:13 pm

        Thanks, Kmtthat. So sorrry out your loss. ❤️

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      • avatar

        anonymousse August 30, 2018, 3:14 pm

        *about

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  • avatar

    Vathena August 30, 2018, 1:59 pm

    We just celebrated our 8th wedding anniversary (by going to see “Hamilton” finally! It completely lived up to the hype!) Our daughter starts kindergarten next week. Things are good. We can depend on each other. There is total trust and we work well as a team in the day-to-day as well as toward our mutual goals. We have the same values and very high compatibility on the big-ticket items (we’re city mice and love where we live – mostly -, both keep a tidy home, save vs. spend, agree on politics and religion and the number of kids – one and done – we support each other’s hobbies and give space for them, both like dogs but ultimately are cat people, etc.) Need to up our game in the bedroom, sometimes we just value sleep more! But it feels good to know that we are 100% in it for each other and our little family.

    One thing that is making me really sad this week is that my brother and SIL are getting a divorce. They’ve been married 9 years and have a 4.5-year-old and a 2-year-old. I really wish they both could have put more into counseling, but from the beginning I think they lacked some of the basic compatibility needed to make a marriage work. I just feel really awful for them, and for my nephews.

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  • Moneypenny

    Moneypenny August 30, 2018, 2:23 pm

    Happy anniversary Wendy!
    I’ve been with my boyfriend for… a year and 8 months. And things have been going great! We love each other and, according to him, I am his most favorite and important person. Lately my schedule has been busy, so he has been having to come to an understanding that he needs to focus on his own projects and hobbies when he isn’t around me or working (basically, his last relationship was pretty codependent and I’m trying to keep that from happening here). He owns a fixer upper house and he’s been focusing his energies into those projects, which has been great and I’m proud of him.

    I would say that we haven’t spent much time seriously talking about next steps and moving in and such. I have told him a couple of times that if he wants to see me more (currently 3x weeknights plus weekends) it would mean I’d basically be living there, and I *do* want to move in together but I’m really not in a huge rush to do so. And he understands that. I like my apartment and having my own stuff/space. And I’d rather his house be further along in the renovations (which I’m helping with) before that happens too. And I know he’s not ready for me to move in either. I see my friends, a couple of whom have moved in within a year of meeting their SO’s (and one is moving across the country in Oct and she only met her bf in March- and they already say they’re going to get married) – and I’m like, geez, I feel so far behind. But I try to just put that out of my head, and I wouldn’t want to rush things anyway.

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    • kmtthat

      kmtthat August 30, 2018, 2:48 pm

      Yeah, it’s hard not to compare to others ( I’ll be 34 this year and will be the very last of friends to get married…some of my friends have teenagers!) Moving in together is such a big step, you’ll know when you feel ready for it.

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    • veritek33

      veritek33 August 30, 2018, 2:50 pm

      you’re not far behind you’re just moving at your own pace. My parents got married four months after their first date and we all agree that was insane despite the fact they’re still married lol.

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    • Moneypenny

      Moneypenny August 30, 2018, 3:43 pm

      Thanks you guys! It’s totally true. I would feel so uneasy moving so fast. I think my friend moving for her bf of almost-*6* months is nuts. I think you’re right- I’m just moving at my own pace. I sometimes think my bf doesn’t even think that far ahead- he’s focusing on his house, saving money, getting all that in order. I don’t have that on my plate so my mind is already thinking about what comes after that! I try to be clear that he knows what I want, though.

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    • Copa

      Copa August 30, 2018, 5:05 pm

      As someone who has a bunch of friends in the process of divorcing (we’re all in our early 30s), it gave me a fresh perspective on taking my time with big relationship steps. One of the divorcing friends moved across the country with her boyfriend after about six months of dating, got engaged just a few months after that (hadn’t even dated a year), and married a little over a year later. They were young on top of that (maybe 24 when they got together and 26 when they tied the knot). Another got married even though things were super freakin’ rocky leading up to the wedding. Another one, I always felt like she… just wasn’t into the guy or the relationship, but she felt pressured to get married, so she did. I know what it feels like to compare and feel like “oh crap – I fell behind!” But seeing these friends go through the pain, stress, and drama of divorce, I’d rather take my time than rush things that I’m not very confident in.

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  • kmtthat

    kmtthat August 30, 2018, 2:47 pm

    Man, since that thread started, my life has changed a lot. It’s really nice to read everyone’s updates, in some ways I feel like we’ve (internet) grown up together! Three years ago I was still with my ex, who I lived with and later caught cheating on me. I then processed what it meant to be single in my 30s, and met my current boyfriend (who I talked about in the thread). It’ll be 2 years together this November, and it’s been full of the highest highs (Santorini! Buying a house together! Both starting new amazing jobs!) and the absolute lowest lows (losing my grandmother and my father in a 6 month period, his travel M-Th every week). We talk about marriage and children and the future and I’m looking forward to getting engaged (soon, I hope?). Something about everything we’ve been through in such a short period of time and still managing to have fun together and support each other has made me feel really stable, loved, and confident about our future together. I still have challenges and am still working through grief, but grateful my father got to know my boyfriend and that he was able to get his blessing. Happy so many of us are in better places than we were 3 years ago.

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    • Moneypenny

      Moneypenny August 30, 2018, 3:49 pm

      I’m sorry about your losses, Kmtthat. And I remember your stories about your ex in the dating thread! Yikes!

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  • avatar

    Betsy August 30, 2018, 3:34 pm

    We’ve been married for almost 8 years, together for more than 12. Two kids – 1.5 and almost 4. DH got sick about 2 years ago, diagnosed the day we found out I was pregnant with our second. He’s doing better now, but it’s clear this is going to be a chronic illness that we will be dealing with forever. In some respects, it has brought us closer. He never really needed me before he got sick, but now it can be stressful because lots of times both he and the kids need me. To top it off, we moved a plane ride away from friends and family a couple months ago and I still don’t know too many people here.

    I could use some advice on how to deal with a chronically ill spouse! It’s hard to not feel resentful sometimes when I’m up with the kids for the millionth morning in a row, when I know he wishes he could be.

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    • avatar

      saneinca August 30, 2018, 10:04 pm

      Sorry to hear that – no matter what the disease might be.

      Is there anyway you can move back to where your family and friends are in near future ?
      They can provide the additional support needed for the caregiver to occasionally get away and take a break.
      If that is not a possibility, you may to look to professional agencies to provide the same help.
      You really need to care of yourself so that you are in a position to care for others.

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  • avatar

    Sue Jones August 30, 2018, 4:23 pm

    Together 23 years and my husband just came out to me as MTF trans. There were no signs whatsoever. Still don’t know what I am going to do yet. We have a teen son who I am going to prioritize in my decision making. Let the games begin.

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    • avatar

      Ange August 30, 2018, 5:48 pm

      Wow Sue, that’s a lot to deal with. I hope it comes out ok whatever the situation. Remember also that you matter in this process, I know a few people now who have gone through this and it can very easily turn all about the person transitioning and the spouse tends to get left in the dust. You’re allowed to have thoughts and feelings about the massive changes in your life and as long as you can come out the other side as a family in whatever form that’s ok.

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    • Dear Wendy

      Dear Wendy August 30, 2018, 6:35 pm

      Oh, wow. That’s some big news! You’re going to get through it, though I can imagine it must be such a shock.

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      • avatar

        Sue Jones August 30, 2018, 7:17 pm

        Yes it is a huge deal. Very huge. And even if he took it back tomorrow my trust in him is gone. So we are meeting with his psychiatrist in a few weeks and I am interviewing lawyers to get the lay of the land but I do not plan to file for divorce right away. And it is so true that it becomes all about them. He was always a bit self absorbed but this moves it to the extreme. And I told him I am not playing and please do not expect me to be one of those wives that helps him do his hair and makeup. Not happening.

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  • avatar

    Ange August 30, 2018, 5:51 pm

    This has been a challenging year because we don’t live together but we’re coping ok. My husband is taking off after lunch to drive several hours to my cousin’s place and help with some renos and spend a weekend with them at their pub. I so admire his willingness to pitch in with my family even when he doesn’t have to and I’m happy he has something to do this weekend as I know he’s been lonely. I guess ultimately coming up on 7 years together we’re in a good place and can weather things like separation and uncertainty about the future.

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  • Cleopatra_30

    Cleopatra_30 August 30, 2018, 10:20 pm

    I too celebrated 1 year with my boyfriend in July, that was a milestone, pretty much the longest full relationship I have had so far. I would say it is definitely one of the best relationships and dating experiences I have had thus far. I can see a long future with him. We connect in a great way, and I am growing as well and learning a lot because of our relationship, and because of him. I think though we have some struggles coming up. I am planning to go out of province (Canada) for school next fall from where I am living and working now, so that means potentially 2 years of Long Distance. We have talked about it and mutually decided that would be the best move considering the job market.

    We are still learning to communicate better with one another, since we have similar character traits, it often times ends up with us struggling to make decisions. I am also struggling with his lack of enthusiasm for the outdoors. I go hiking almost every weekend, and would like to do more camping. He doesn’t mind, but often doesn’t share the same enthusiasm, so I tend to not invite him when I know there is a good chance he won’t accept the offer. I want to share more of that interest of mine with him, but when he doesn’t show the same enthusiasm it is a little disheartening. I feel like with the rest of the relationship in mind I am willing to offer him more often to join me on weekend trips or a hike once and a while.

    We have a trip in October planned to go back to our home province where he will meet a good chunk of my family, and then we will be going to his hometown for a wedding, and where presumably I will meet some of his family too. He has met my mom already, she was visiting a couple weekends ago.

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  • avatar

    keyblade August 31, 2018, 6:20 am

    Things are pretty good. We think we a currently in a cruise control place in our relationship. We do a lot with the kids. I’m still working on myself. Sometimes I wish we connected more as a couple, but I think that time will come back, later. We are coming up on year 13 of marriage this week. We have so many things going on this month. Hopefully we will find a babysitter and go out.

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    • avatar

      keyblade August 31, 2018, 6:23 am

      *edit “I think we are currently in a cruise control in our relationship”

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      • avatar

        keyblade August 31, 2018, 6:24 am

        Gosh, I’m bad at commenting. I’m sorry, people.

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    • avatar

      csp August 31, 2018, 9:15 am

      Crusie Control is a great description. My husband and I have been married for 11 years and we are so in parent mode. We are happy but sometimes it feels like we are ships passing. We only had 6 date nights in the last year.

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