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 “Married 25 Years,” whose husband didn’t want to take her to his assistant’s wedding. Keep reading for a fast update.
Thanks for printing my letter. The responses are great and very funny. I do appreciate them.
And I do have an update.
My brother-in-law is in town and we are all having a great time. He and my husband decided to have their family get-together in a restaurant and so I was relieved of any housekeeping duties. I never objected to hosting the family get-together though. I used it to illustrate the double message. I was good enough to host an evening at home but not to take to a wedding.
Meanwhile, I took the time to have a long chat with my mother. She agreed that given my name was on the wedding invitation (not just a ‘plus 1’) that I should go. And I admit I was afraid to tell my husband this, but I did, and, while he freaked out for a while, he did calm down and now has agreed to the idea. One of the commenters suggested we take two cars and we will do that. This way, if the evening is long and I want to go home, I can. I loved the idea of sneaking behind the plants to see what he is up to, but I won’t be doing that. I agree he is entitled to be who he is and I don’t believe he is cheating. I was just hurt because of the rejection. Some of you suggested that perhaps I wasn’t fun to be with and so he had a reason to not want to take me. I’m actually quite a lot of fun and my social awkwardness only surfaces when I see him focusing for long periods of time on other women, especially when he doesn’t introduce me. I even have a sense of humour. Wendy, I will take your advice and walk over to where he is and introduce myself to the people he is talking to. I am sure he will see it as my interloping, but I will do it nonetheless. I will be a friendly and even a gregarious and active participant!
And yes, some of you said this is sad and that our marriage is in trouble. This is true. We have both changed over time, and the last five years have been very difficult and have taken a toll on my self-esteem. We have raised two lovely kids, however, and that is something. I don’t hold out much hope for a future together. We have been to counseling–together and solo. I even went to a psychiatrist at my husband’s urging. The good doctor told me that I needed to disengage from my husband if I want to heal. I know I have some hard decisions to make about my marriage.
Thanks again everyone.
— Married 25 years
I do hope you get the healing you want, whether that’s with your husband or on your own. I can only imagine how, after 25 years with someone, the thought of being without him is scary, but, if you decide that is the best choice for you, I think you will find a lot of excitement and fulfillment in getting a fresh start. Take care!
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.
KKZ May 12, 2014, 1:11 pm
Well, I’m glad we all at least gave you a laugh, considering the serious stuff you’re up against… and glad you didn’t take my hide-behind-the-plants-and-spy suggestion seriously!
“My social awkwardness only surfaces when I see him focusing for long periods of time on other women, especially when he doesn’t introduce me.” Honey, that’s not YOUR social awkwardness. That’s HIM making things awkward, not you. Just throwing that out there.
No Pants May 12, 2014, 1:13 pm
I’m rooting for you, LW 🙂
LlamaPajamas May 12, 2014, 1:18 pm
I’m rooting for you too, LW! You seem to have an awesome combo of self-awareness and the ability to laugh at yourself so I think you’ll end up OK.
bittergaymark May 12, 2014, 1:39 pm
Another update that is more confusing than anything because it contradicts much of what was previously laid out in the initial letter. “I’m totally socially awkward — wait! No, I am a real blast at weddings and parties and social events…
Glad everything worked out so well for you. Oh, wait — the wedding hasn’t even happened yet.
possumgirl May 12, 2014, 2:13 pm
My translation from this is: “I’m going to work on asserting myself. I know this relationship is doomed. I want to be ready emotionally when it ends, and I’m starting here.”
Tmd260 May 12, 2014, 1:46 pm
The fact that your husband got upset that you told him you were going to the wedding, esp since your actual name was on the invitation & you’re his WIFE, still rubs me the wrong way, but I digress.
I hope you find the courage one day to remove yourself from any situation that no longer makes you happy or benefits you.
kali May 13, 2014, 3:15 pm
Kind of a tangential comment, as a woman who was married for 25 years (altho the last five were separate as he wouldn’t sign the divorce papers) and visited many counselors, both together and separately, I can say life is so much better on your own terms. There will be some tough times and some lessons to learn, but don’t be afraid if living on your own is the right decision for you.
You deserve to be happy.