It’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 “Feeling Controlled,” (LW2) the 30-something woman who was quarantining with her boyfriend of six months and bothered that his ex-girlfriend, whom he refused to inform he had a new girlfriend, kept calling and texting. “He says he can’t ignore her or tell her about me, because he’s afraid she’ll kill herself. I, of course, hacked his phone and know he texts her first every day and tells her he can’t answer because he’s working but he misses her and it will all be ok.” She was also upset that he refused to actually call her his girlfriend, and that he was asking her to leave the house they were staying in because his mom was returning there in a few days. Despite all this, she asked what I thought about them moving in together soon. Her update below.
Anyway, I did leave about a day after writing you. He cried and begged me to stay, and I said I would if he either stopped texting his ex or told her about me. I’ve been in a lot of open relationships and honestly don’t mind him talking to her if she knows. He said he wasn’t ready, and I said, “I hope you regret this.” I then blocked him, but he called a day later from his landline to say he knew I was reading his texts, so I fessed up. We kept talking, but I still wanted the ex to know, and he still refused. So then I called her and told her in a 35-second call. She told him to tell me to go fuck myself. They’re still talking and so are we, and I’m going to a family house upstate and he might come, but I still want him to detach from a woman who threatened to sue him when he didn’t pick up her calls one morning. She’s toxic, and he’s in her grasp, but I love him and I want him to be happy. She was clearly very emotionally abusive and manipulative, I know how hard it is to truly get away from those relationships without support.
Your relationship sounds incredibly toxic, and moving in with someone for “practical” reasons who isn’t “ready for a girlfriend in the traditional sense” (i.e. he does not want to be beholden to you, he doesn’t want to commit to you, and he wants the freedom to do whatever the fuck he wants to do) is just setting yourself up for more toxicity and disappointment. You clearly don’t trust the guy. You’re behaving like a jealous teenager, calling his ex-girlfriend and plotting how to get him to pay more attention to you and keep him on the hook (like blocking him after a disagreement and dangling a “family house upstate” in front of him). And the kicker is that while you think it’s absurd that he won’t detach from a woman who threatened to sue him for ignoring her for one day, you miss the irony of how you refuse to detach from him despite his refusing to treat you like a girlfriend, kicking you out during quarantine and sending you to the epicenter of a pandemic, and lying to his ex about your existence. Moving in together is the last thing you should be discussing with this guy.
If you’re someone I’ve given advice to in the past, I’d love to hear from you, too. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with a link to the original post, and let me know whether you followed the advice and how you’re doing now.
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