Update: “Feeling Regret” Responds

updatesIt’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 Regret” whose girlfriend of nine and a half years broke up with him because he wasn’t ready to get married. He realized after they broke up that he was willing to marry her, after all, but she said it was too late. “I know I need to move on and look out for myself,” he wrote, “and it won’t help me holding on since she’s decided about it. I hope you can help enlighten me and help me slowly accept reality.” Did he accept reality? Find out in his update, below.

I want to thank you again for responding to my message in your April 30th column. As an update, my ex-girlfriend contacted me the same week and allowed me to come visit her for two consecutive weekends. I used to drop her off and pick her up from the train station for her commute to and from work. A few months before she broke up with me, she got a carpool guy from work who is 20 years older than we are and is in the process of getting divorced. He began dropping her off in front of our house the few times she rode with him, and then eventually, my ex-girlfriend would ask me to just pick her up from this guy’s house. I had an odd feeling about the set-up, but I trusted her so much since we’d been together for nine and a half years. At the same time, she’d tell me stories about the old guy and how “lame his personality is and that he has a loser mentality.” But a couple of weeks before she moved out I noticed that she was no longer wearing the engagement and promise rings that I gave her.

Anyway, back to this month as she started calling me and allowing me to visit and spend nights with her, I noticed that she has changed a lot: she became a vegetarian; won’t close the bedroom door to sleep at night; and some other odd things that she wasn’t doing when we were together. I realized that all of these things that she does now are all the things that the old guy does. I felt nervous and suspicious and knew that something was going on. The ex-girlfriend has been contacting me through text messages, Facetime, and phone calls. Then last Tuesday, I was surprised that she called me late at night asking me to come over and spend the night with her since she was feeling lonely. I thought this was the one thing that I was waiting for. But when I arrived at her place, she told me that it was unfair for her to ask me to come by late at night and that she was fine. It was really weird. Eventually, I discovered that she was upset that day because she had a misunderstanding with the old guy, and I suddenly realized that every time she had asked me stay with her over the weekend was when the old guy didn’t agree to her wishes to come over to his place on those days. Finally, I found out that the month before she moved out, there was already “something” going on between them. She moved out March 21, and a week after she was already hanging out in the old guy’s place and was actually “doing” it with him. I found out by reading their text messages through her laptop. She wasn’t able to deny that she’s been “doing” it with him.

Somehow, I realized that although I have my faults and misgivings in our relationship, there was a different reason for her moving out other than the reason she told me: she was already having a relationship with the old guy while she was still with me. Though that was the case, I still told her that I’m willing to work on things with her and settle down. But she chose to stick it out with the old guy. He even told her that he doesn’t have a long-standing plan for the two of them since technically he is still married until his divorce is finalized and that he is just enjoying the fact that he is able to have her around whenever he needs company.

Long story short, I feel bad for my ex-girlfriend and I blame myself for allowing these things to happen to her. Upon finding out the truth and realizing the “real” reason for her moving out and breaking up our engagement, I feel that somehow it really takes two to tango. I’m now in the process of letting go and moving on. I’m hoping that she’ll find true happiness with whoever she will be with. Thanks so much for taking the time to read and God Bless!

Listen, you didn’t “allow” anything to happen to your ex-girlfriend. She’s a grown woman who made her own choices. Did you make mistakes in your relationship? Sure! We all make mistakes. Would you still be with your ex if you’d agreed to marry her years ago? Maybe! But that doesn’t mean she was the right person for you or that you’d have a happy marriage. And your break-up isn’t the reason she’s now in a dead-end relationship with a guy who doesn’t seem to respect her very much. She’s in that relationship because of choices SHE made, not because you allowed it to happen.

Please re-read the advice I gave you in April when I urged you to stay away from your ex. You didn’t listen to me at all. You jumped at the first opportunity you had to spend time with your ex, you asked for her back, you snooped through her private correspondences. And where did it get you? You’re not back with your ex and now you’re a month behind in the moving on process. And considering we’ve been under quarantine during a global pandemic while you’ve been rushing to your ex’s house every time she snaps her fingers, you’ve also exposed yourself to whatever germs she’s exposed herself to, on top of it. Just stop this already. There’s no future for you two.

If you’re someone I’ve given advice to in the past, I’d love to hear from you, too. Email me at wendy@dearwendy.com 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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  1. Interesting that the L.W. s ex seems to have a habit of picking men who are actually not fully available to her /able to give her what she says she wants. She went from one unsatisfactory situation to another.
    I hope the L.W. learned some lessons here about commitment etc. I hope he also makes better choices going forward.

  2. ArtsyGirl says:

    LW – As Wendy said, you are not “allowing things” to happen to your ex. Also, you did not break off an engagement – you were not engaged since you said you were not interested in getting married despite being together for almost a decade. By your own admission, she did not cheat on your since you said you broke up a month before she moved out. You also said in your original letter that you started neglecting your ex long before the break up. Basically you were in a long term relationship that fizzled out and had no future. She moved on and so should you. Yes its shitty that she called you up when she was upset and was not upfront about seeing someone new, but you also should not have snooped in her private messages. Let this be the impetus to make a clean break of it. No more texting, visiting, or having sex. If she is making a mistake, it is hers to make.

  3. I don’t understand your problem dude. You weren’t together when she started seeing the dude. You had broken up with her already, I assume never had a DTR talk, and were just having a FWB situation.
    Who still says “doing” it? Are you 13?

  4. Perhaps this is a minor point but I just can’t get past the euphemism “doing it.” Grow the fuck up, dude.

    1. That seriously tripped me up. I’m all for slang, but if you’re old enough to be having sex, you should be old enough to say “having sex.”

  5. My exact same thought about “doing it.” That, plus calling him “the old guy” over and over shows that you have some growing up to do.

    I say this with kindness:
    if you use her behavior as an excuse to blame her for the “real” reason this didn’t work, you will be missing out. Things you can look at: why were you comfortable stringing her along when you supposedly cared about her (so not cool), why you snooped in her private data (also not cool at all), why you gave her an engagement ring but refused to marry her. None of this is healthy.

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