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 “Fancifully Fretting” who was concerned about a relationship her boyfriend had with a close female friend of his, especially since he was hiding the fact that the friend was coming to visit. Find out if they overcame this issue and are still together in her update below.
Before leaving, I told Mark I was done. Given the upcoming events in our careers and a pending court martial at which I’ll have to testify against my assailant in a sexual assault, I told him I didn’t foresee my having the emotional energy to try and overcome the issue with Karen (and his dishonesty) in our relationship. He was upset but he understood, and then I left for the exercise. I really expected him to find his new house in the month I was gone, and I even felt that, when I came back, I would at least be willing to help him move. However, the house he wanted went under contract before he could get it and he was still at my home after I’d spent a month away.
Part of me wanted to turn a blind eye to his relationship with Karen, but your advice and the encouragement from friends helped me be confident in the fact that my suspicions were caused by his behavior. I don’t have to be in a relationship – and shouldnt be – wherein I am always suspicious, and it’s on him to earn my trust back. So I told him, “I dont think the time between now and when I deploy in January is enough time for you to earn my confidence back. I need you to move out because I don’t want to play house with you anymore. If you still feel strongly about me when I come back from Poland, maybe we can try again.”
Long story short, the last few days he was out my house really made me feel like we are compatible, that there really could be a future, and that maybe his “I love you’s” are true. But (always a “but” isn’t there?), I feel like this issue with Karen could not be resolved if I turned a blind eye, nor if he kept up his behavior.
I don’t believe ultimatums are good, but I wanted to give him a second chance and (selfishly) move things along before January, so I told him to please stop talking to her, ever, all together, to which he said the decision was easy for him and he said, “no.” We talked it over and he said, “we’ll find another solution,” but by his saying this, I felt he was disregarding everything I’ve been through, everything I’ve overcome, and how I was trying to take the guess work out of re-connecting with me given all the residual difficulties I have that my previous relationships (and assault) have left me with.
All over again, I felt like he was choosing a virtual connection with someone from his past over a real connection with me, right in front of him. He made me feel like I wasn’t good enough for him to make a sacrifice for. I want to believe that I’m crazy and I can get over it, and really it’s all ok but, as you know, I’ve been through it all before (tolerating my ex-boyfriend, James’, weird behavior) and your advice encouraged me to believe that I deserve better.
So he left, and I’m relieved because I feel like the anguish of decision-making and pressure to salvage our relationship was taken out of my hands. I’m a little sad because my hopes of having something (a future maybe?) with this great guy whom I was very compatible with were squashed. But he told me that I’m his third relationship that has been ruined by his thing with Karen… So I wonder if he will ever consider that maybe she’s the toxic person, or if maybe instead they will end up together. Who knows?
I would love your thoughts on my update.
You made the right decision for yourself, and I wouldn’t give Mark another thought, even after you return from your deployment and he’s still very interested in you. The ship has sailed, and if he’s let three relationships be ruined by whatever he has going on with Karen, he needs to figure out why that is. Either he has stronger feelings for her than just friendship, or he does a piss poor job of prioritizing his girlfriends’ feelings, making them feel important to him, and maintaining clear boundaries that are unmistakable to the people in his lives. He is failing at that, clearly, and, luckily for you, it’s no longer your problem.
If you’re someone I’ve given advice to in the past, I’d love to hear from you, too. Email me at [email protected] 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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