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 “One in a Long String of Girlfriends” who was worried after learning that her 55-year-old boyfriend had lied to her, saying his longest relationship was six months long, when, in fact, he’d had two serious relationships. She wrote: “On one hand, this man is very attentive, loving, and committed to me. On the other hand, I feel like I am one in a long, long, LONG string of girlfriends. I wonder if I am being strung along and will fall to the wayside like 50+ women before me, or if he is sincere about marrying me.” I told her she sounded a little crazy. I also told her it sounded like her anxiety was actually coming from a lack of clarity on where this relationship was headed. Keep reading to see whether she got that clarity.
Your response, as well as many of your readers’ responses, stated that I was acting jealous and over-reacting to the traditions he had in place with his ex for the sake of their daughter. Several comments were that I seemed more concerned about his being a player than a liar.
I heeded everyone’s advice, looked inward at my own shortcomings, and decided to be open and accepting of him as he was very nice to me and attentive. I put my best foot forward, but as time went on the red flags surfaced. It turned out that he had been an online dater for ten years. He’d meet someone and date her for three months, drop her, and then move on to the next. There was one relationship he told me about where he dated a woman for a few weekends before they called it quits. I later learned that they lived together for two years and that they had considered adopting a child together. As our relationship continued, it became obvious to me that sex had no emotion attached to it. It was all about having his needs met. Foreplay was out of the question.
He called me his “girlfriend” and said he wanted to marry me. However, he never spent more than four hours at a time with me. He turned his phone off at 10:00 p.m and turned it back on at 8:00 a.m., so I could not communicate with him during that time if I wanted or needed to. Saturdays and Sundays were allocated for his mother or his household chores. When I asked if we could take a day trip somewhere, he answered that “of course” we could. It never happened.
Although he claimed that I could rely on him, he never came through, even though it was a rare occasion that I asked anything of him. When I made an appointment for my colonoscopy, he offered to take me to and from the appointment, but then, on the morning of the procedure, he called me last minute to tell me to find someone else to take me and he would pick me up later. His reason was that he did not see why he should have to sit in the waiting room that long. I was not able to find anyone to take me on such short notice and had to cancel the appointment after doing the prep work the day before. When I told him he had let me down, he did not have a clue what I meant and actually blamed his shortcoming on me!!! Yet, every time his mother needed him to take her to the doctor, the hospital, or for any procedures, he stopped, dropped, and rolled and would sit waiting on her for hours at a time.
Lastly, the relationship with his ex was over-the-top and went way beyond the family traditions for the sake of his grown daughter. I found out that they talked frequently and he shared with her–and his mother–all of my business. He discussed our sex life with both women!!!! Worse yet, he told his mother my children’s business, too.
When I broke up with him, he said I was negative and critical.
Ladies, if you meet a man who is 50+ and has never been married, run, run, and run faster. There is a reason he has never been married.
Thanks for the update. I’m curious, though. You said in your original letter in October that you’d been dating this man for two years. Had you not noticed these red flags–the lies, the “over-the-top” relationship with the ex, the bad sex, the nondependability, the too-close-for-comfort relationship with his mom –before then, or did they truly not surface until more recently? At any rate, sounds like you dodged a bullet, so congrats on that, and better luck next time.
Her response to my questions:
The thing with his mom did not surface until recently. That is because, in the beginning of our relationship, his weekly visits with his mother were charming and did not interfere with us. When they became more than a weekend morning thing and morphed into two days each weekend, red flags flew. He would drop plans with me to be with his mother. Yet, if I needed him, he was never there.
As this past year progressed, I found that just about every relationship he told me about was a lie. For example, he claimed he dated a girl for five months, but then he told me they went back together the following year. The “business” cruise he told me about a few years prior turned out to be a trip he and this particular girlfriend took together. He told me they went back together for the sex, yet a few months later he denied telling me that and noted that she was “terrible in bed.” Also disturbing was that EVERY breakup was because the woman — as he put it –“did not bring anything to the table.” I found that statement disturbing since all of his former girlfriends were beautiful and formally educated; most held graduate degrees. In addition, all the breakups were because the woman was “angry,” “had issues” or something that was not at all due to him.
The bad sex also became a “new thing.” No foreplay – none. He got what he wanted and was off. Literally, he would jump out of bed, put clothes on, and say he had to do grocery shopping or pick up his mom or something. At 56 years old, he should know better than to behave in that way.
To that end, I wanted to share with you because I did heed your advice and that of the others. In the end, though, my gut told me something was way off and it was.
Your site is amazing. It really is. You do a great job!!!
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.