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 “Addicted to His Sext” who was in a longterm relationship with one man but couldn’t stop sexting another guy from her long-ago past she’d recently reconnected with on LinkedIn. Keep reading to see how the sexting is going now…
I have discovered I need a change in our relationship in order to be happy with my partner. We have discovered we have different personalities, but we are trying to work things out the best we can to avoid a separation for our kids’ sake (yes, we have two young kids). However, I have come to realize that my partner may not want to align our goals together and that we may split up. I feel bad for the children, but I feel relieved when I think about letting go of my image of the “perfect family” with him.
As for the sexting, I have to admit I still sext my summer fling every now and then. I really enjoy it, but probably won’t want a “real” relationship with this man. So, I have been trying to keep this issue outside of my current relationship as much as I can.
Do I need to completely cut the sexting to work on my current relationship? Or what is the place of this fantasy in my life? I like it and don’t want to give it up if I don’t have to.
If you are serious about “working on your relationship,” then you need to give it a real honest effort, and that means quit sexting anyone else. But if you’ve already decided that you want a split and you’re just going through the motions of counseling as a pretense to make you feel less guilty, quit the bull shit and get on with it already. This in-between purgatory isn’t really good for any of you — you, your partner, or your kids.
If you’re someone I’ve given advice to in the past, I’d love to hear from you, too. Email me at email@example.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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lemongrass July 29, 2013, 1:45 pm
Your kidding, right? Your sexting “issue” has everything to do with your relationship. I feel sorry for your boyfriend. How can you not be sure about whether you need to quit sexting someone else to work on your relationship?
rachel July 29, 2013, 2:02 pm
I’m not sure why the LW thinks that sexting with a real live person she’s actually had sex with is just a “fantasy”.
LW, the answer is yes, you do have to completely give it up if you want to work on your relationship. Though, it doesn’t sound much like you want to.
Lindsay July 29, 2013, 2:08 pm
Of course you have to give it up to work on your relationship. It’s also not a fantasy because it involves actual interaction with a real, live person. If your marriage is worth so little to you that you are so reluctant to give up sexting someone you don’t even want a relationship with, then it really doesn’t sound like you’re too into it anymore.
Fabelle July 29, 2013, 2:20 pm
Dude. “we want different things in our future, with our finances, our careers”
“I have come to realize that my partner may not want to align our goals together and that we may split up”
“I feel relieved when I think about letting go of my image of the ‘perfect family” with him.”
Okay, so you realize that none of your life goals line up & neither of you are willing to work on it in any real way. You are actually ~relieved~ when you ponder your imminent singledom, & only seem sad about the kids, not your husband. Maybe it’s time to just put the relationship out of its misery?
I’m not even going to touch the sexting thing. I do believe it only serves as a superficial fantasy for you, LW, but, I mean, “do I need to quit sexting while I’m working on my relationship?” is just *such* a WTF question to ask, I can’t even.
SoCal-Gal July 29, 2013, 2:25 pm
So what’s the update? Nothing has changed from the last time you sent your letter asking for advice. You’re still sexting!! And once again you are asking if it needs to stop, didn’t the 100+ comments help a little. Is it really worth it? You know why you are out of SYNC with your partner because your thinking about some other guy sinking into you. Wendy is right stop with the bullshit. You are putting your family’s life in jeopardy for some dude you had “awesome” sex with 10 fucking years ago.
1daysoon July 29, 2013, 5:00 pm
A little harsh. She is updating. She and her husband are in counseling and they’re finally addressing their issues as opposed to sweeping them under the rug. She’s coming here for advice & it’s helpful to be straight-forward but it doesn’t require being mean.
1daysoon July 29, 2013, 5:01 pm
Her partner I mean
Amanda July 29, 2013, 2:54 pm
LW, you have clearly lost interest in maintaining your relationship with your boyfriend, so just end it already. It’s cruel to drag it out when you have demonstrated that you aren’t invested in a future together, i.e. sexting another person. You aren’t married, but you will have to establish a custody agreement for your kids. I hope that you will provide a stable and loving home for your children as a single parent.
oldie July 29, 2013, 3:00 pm
LW is quite the ideal Mom. Two young children finally make a bare mention near the end of an update. Yikes. It’s reassuring that she at least feels ‘bad for the children’. They’re certainly going to love it when Mom trots off half-way across the country to try to re-live one glorious remembered night of her youth.
kerrycontrary July 29, 2013, 3:03 pm
Ugh. I don’t think the LW wants to seriously work on her relationship. Because if she did she would block this guy on linkedin/facebook/email/any social media. Throw out her phone and get a new one. And tell him to never contact him again. You can’t improve your relationship when you are practically having an affair with someone else.
And maybe you should’ve realized that NONE of your goals align before you brought children into the mix. Could you be more irresponsible?
Miss MJ July 29, 2013, 3:35 pm
LW, yes, you need to quit with the sexting because you seem way too attached to it, and I think it is skewing your view of the situation one way or another. For whatever reason, you’ve prioritized this sexting relationship above most all else. I mean, you’re thinking about breaking up your family – with children, no less – and you can’t even be bothered to give up your “sext man” to at least give counseling a real try. Come on. I’m honestly not sure what advice to give you beyond that, but as long as you continue to distract yourself with a fantasy “online” (sort of?) relationship, you will never confront the reality in front of you. Maybe your relationship with your BF is irreparable. It certainly seems to have problems. But, it might also be that because you’re living in this sexting fantasy where you can consider leaving your BF and going to the sext man (although you say that you “probably” wouldn’t want a “real” relationship with him, either), you are more prone to thinking you should dump your real life relationship because that’s easier than working on it? Sorry, this isn’t coming out right at all, but my point is that you need to drop the sexting relationship, ASAP, and then make sure that you know is really going on with your relationship and that, if you decide to end it, it is because it is unfixable, not because you’re being unduly influenced by something that isn’t real. Your kids deserve for you to do that much.
Boosker July 29, 2013, 2:37 pm
You definitely seem to be in the territory that Wendy mentioned last: going through the motions of therapy and reconciliation so you can say you made a real effort when people asked why you broke up. Your level of investment in this relationship seems pretty minimal, so that should be a sign to you. Apathy is not a great state to be in when there’s a serious relationship on the line.
Bunnycsp July 29, 2013, 4:36 pm
LW, If you changed “sexting” to “cheating”. Do I have to give up my guy on the side to see if my relationship will survive? If you listen to that, what do you think? If you want to give your relationship a shot, you have to get rid of your side action. It seems like you are a rebelling teenager in your marriage. Or someone who smokes through their tracheotomy hole. you are so addicted, that you can’t even see it.
AKchic_ July 29, 2013, 3:53 pm
Stop the goddamned sexting. You sound like you don’t want your “relationship” with your husband to work. Stop trying to assuage your guilt by going to counseling and just pull the fucking plug already.
You, your kids, and your (soon-to-be ex-) husband will be happier in the long run.
1daysoon July 29, 2013, 5:18 pm
Damn, people are harsh up here. That said, I definitely agree with the overall consensus in regards to what she needs to do. People need advice and they obviously come to Wendy (and you all) to help with their issue. However, the way some of you come across may make people question whether they should even write in at all. But then, if anyone is familiar with the column, I guess that’s the risk they take. Advice is advice. There are some people up here though who have definitely offered sound advice in an eloquent manner.
Red_Lady July 29, 2013, 5:44 pm
Sometimes it takes being blunt and straightforward for people to realize what they should probably do. If someone wants to be treated with kid gloves they shouldn’t write in to an advice column.
AKchic_ July 29, 2013, 5:55 pm
Considering the LW was originally given the advice that she should probably choose one or the other: husband or sexting with some guy and she has decided that she really doesn’t want her husband, but is making a half-assed attempt at couples counseling just so she can feel better about herself when she does finally ask for a divorce (and we all know that’s going to happen, unless she stays with him because of the kids or money). Of course, she hasn’t stopped sexting, which is also inflating her sense of wrongness with her marriage, because she doesn’t feel as hot and bothered with her husband as she does with this other guy.
She’s dragging things out. She knew what she should have done after her first letter. She chose to ignore the advice and is again asking for MORE advice, possibly in hopes of getting someone to validate her poor choices. Damned right I’m going to be harsh on this. Chickie didn’t listen to our nice words telling her that what she was doing is/was wrong, and yet she writes in again asking for more advice and throws it in our faces that she didn’t really listen to our advice last time.
1daysoon July 29, 2013, 7:53 pm
But you also bring up another point. Now, I personally don’t think that people should stay together solely for kids. However, if its an amicable home situation, and the couple DO decide to wait until the kids are a little older & better equipped to deal with a separation…there’s something I can really respect about that. Despite her “half-assed” attempts to reconcile her relationship, at least she’s doing something y’know. Which is more than a lot of couples out there do and simply call it quits in spite of what it may do to their kids. At the end of the day, its a choice and if two people are at least trying to do something/anything to keep their family together….I say who are we to say “Go ahead! Pull that plug!”.
1daysoon July 29, 2013, 7:55 pm
But yes, it’s counterproductive if she’s sexting another man…sheesh…
AKchic_ July 29, 2013, 8:08 pm
I’ve divorced with kids. It doesn’t exactly matter what age they are. Change is change. I doubt the husband KNOWS about the sexting. If he did, he’d want her to stop, and if that was the case, she’d probably mention it. She hasn’t, so we have to assume he doesn’t know about it.
How on earth can the husband help fix a relationship when he doesn’t even know the full extent of how bad it seems to the wife? How can the wife work on their marriage when she mentally checked out a year ago?
Doing something to put aside her own guilt at the failure of a relationship when she isn’t even going to stop the catalyst for wanting to separate in the first place isn’t going to strengthen a marriage. It will only continue to deteriorate and eventually, the husband will find out and will be devastated and may even become bitter/angry at her for her lack of fully committing to the relationship, cheating, and stringing him along. How is that helpful/beneficial for the kids involved?
1daysoon July 29, 2013, 9:12 pm
I don’t think we can assume anything. But you are right about if the partner doesn’t even know about the sexting, then counseling is going to be an uphill battle.
Of course, change is change. The writer never stated how young her kids were, but it’ll definitely be easier for the kids to handle if they are much older before their parents separate. I’m a product of divorce, unfortunately, and I’m relieved that it happened while I was an adult as opposed to being a kid and being subjected to the things I temporarily saw while visiting my parents. Thank God I had another home to go to b/c that shit is crazy having to witness the different levels of feelings your parents goes through to come out on the other side of a divorce. And that’s while trying to deal with it yourself. I know it takes it a while before a couple decides to divorce/separate and mine must have been dedicated to us not seeing a thing b/c we had no idea of problems growing up (good and bad!). But I’m SO thankful I still have fond memories of Christmas’, Thanksgivings’, birthday’s, family games, during my childhood. That is what I imagine and plan for my own family.
I don’t know what this writer plans to do but she needs to do some serious soul-searching while deciding what is going to be best for herself, her kids, and family (not necessarily in that order). At the end of the day, we make choices with the information we have at the time and simply do the best we can. Those kids will have questions later on and if she can say she did the best she can (at this point), that will have to do. She’s only giving us a little snippet of info…but right now, those kids come first and all outside influences need to be eliminated. I think we all agree on that 🙂
lemongrass July 29, 2013, 10:24 pm
If she was really concerned with staying for the kid’s sake she would put a real, honest effort into the counselling. She would quit sexting, quit living in fantasy-land and be present, however hard present may be. She is being selfish, wanting her cake and eating it too.
Lindsay July 30, 2013, 1:23 pm
I’ve got to disagree. My parents split up when I was in middle school, which I suspect was an attempt on their part to wait until I was “old enough.” Living with parents who want to divorce but are forcing themselves to wait isn’t the same as living with two parents who love each other.
And yeah, I’m sure that being an adult makes it slightly easier than being a kid, but it’s extremely unreasonable to expect that a couple waits, what, 20 years before divorcing? I’m not sure how fucked up I’d be having to watch my parents torment themselves for 10 extra years for “my sake.” Not to mention how guilty I’d feel.
AKchic_ July 30, 2013, 1:03 pm
I have to agree with lemongrass.
My parents split up when I was 5 and again (for good) when I was 6. Y’know what? It was MUCH better that they split than stayed together. For many reasons.
I’ve been through two divorces with my kids. They are well-adjusted and don’t worry about where they are going to be for the holidays. All they see is “we still get awesome presents and a lot of food” when it comes to holidays.
They also see that Mom and Dad can work together for them. That even though we weren’t compatible enough to stay married, we still love them. You can’t be checked out on your marriage and still try to work it for the sake of the kids. It can lead to depression, which leads to more checking out (mentally, and sometimes physically). This LW doesn’t seem to understand that. She needs to get her shit together. Not only for her sake, but also for her kids’ sake.
painted_lady July 29, 2013, 5:55 pm
Shot in the dark: LW, are you using your sexting buddy as a way to avoid your actual life? He doesn’t ask anything of you, but he doesn’t reject you. He’s exciting and forbidden and it feels really fraught. So in other words, the exact opposite of your relationship. Maybe it’s a fantasy to you, maybe it isn’t, but it’s excellent at helping you avoid your real life.
Fantasies are fine, but if your fantasy is preventing you from addressing your real life, then it’s time to burst the bubble. Anytime you’re this invested in something that isn’t your day-to-day life, it’s a sign you’re avoiding something.
bittergaymark July 29, 2013, 7:07 pm
Yikes… Talk about being a self absorbed bitch. Ugh. Some people REALLY shouldn’t be parents.
howdywiley July 30, 2013, 12:46 am
It really shows how much of a priority her children are here. She is sacrificing actually trying to save this situation and keep her family together over sexting and bullshit.
I have seen so many friends go through this same cycle. The grass is greener, they separate and by then the instigator of the situation realizes what a mistake this is, but their partner has already moved on.
Lily in NYC July 30, 2013, 12:44 pm
For some reason the font I usually see here is different and the text is much lighter and difficult to read. Am I the only one?
LadyinPurpleNotRed July 30, 2013, 12:46 pm
No, it’s been changed.
BreezyAM August 4, 2013, 1:09 am
Girl you need to stop thinking with your pussy for a minute. Yes that was blunt but someone had to say it. You probably should dump your boyfriend, or get real and teach him to fuck you proper, but this sexting dude? Honey this man is not going to be a BF for you. It don’t work like that. yes I know he says he will. If it does work he’s probably unemployed. So first, stop sexting this dude, and then either teach your partner to fuck you proper, or dump him. Then get back to us. kthnx.