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 disapproved of her boyfriend’s ex-wife being invited to his family’s annual Christmas get-together, along with their grown daughter, and she worried about the lies he had told about his past relationships. “I feel very torn. On one hand, this man is very attentive, loving, and committed to me. We get along beautifully. On the other hand, I feel like I am one in a long, long, LONG string of girlfriends. He assures me that I am ‘the one’ and he believes we could be married ‘one day.’ 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.” Keep reading to find out where things stand between the LW and her boyfriend now.
I think your advice is spot-on, most of the time. Your advice to me, however, was pretty bad. Your readers joined your bandwagon and loved your advice.
To refresh your memory, I was concerned about my boyfriend’s, now fiance’s, ex (his 30-year-old child’s mother) being invited to all of his family events for “the sake of the child” (who is no longer a child but 30 years old). I was told that it was so great that they were just friends and I should be glad for the child, etc., etc., etc. I believe that sentiment, in theory, but I have a hard time in practice – especially after this much time. However, I listened to you and your readers who found me to be unreasonable with my concerns
As luck would have it, though, my gut feelings were correct. She had an ulterior motive, beyond that for the interest of her grown child.
That said, all is well that ends well. My boyfriend is my fiance. He saw the writing on the wall, and he addressed it. It’s not my issue.
In your original letter, you said that your boyfriend’s ex was invited to join him, their daughter, and his family at his place for Christmas every year. You never said anything about her being invited to “all his family events.” In fact, in your follow-up comment you said that, actually, you loved that the ex was included in the Christmas get-together and that YOU even invited the ex to your boyfriend’s birthday party. You said you were upset because “if given the choice between me and her, he chose her and said that to me. I don’t feel there should be a choice and, if so, at what point do I become the first choice?” You were also upset about the amount of lies your boyfriend had told you about his relationship history.
I stand by my advice. It wasn’t bad considering the information you shared. But, hey, if you’re happy now and have worked out the issues you had, and are now engaged and have gotten the commitment you were yearning for, then good for you. I wish you both the best. (And, out of curiosity, how does your fiancé’s daughter feel about your engagement, I wonder…).
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.
Sunshine Brite April 6, 2015, 12:07 pm
How’d the daughter jump from being 26 to 30 in a few months?
I mostly wonder exactly, what ended? His relationship with his ex? A discussion of boundaries with her? And where is his daughter in all of this?
This marriage will be um, interesting, I suppose. I think 6 months is a pretty short time from feeling put aside and lied to to wanting to marry.
Dear Wendy April 6, 2015, 12:33 pm
Yes on the 26 to 30 in a matter of months. Just one of several confusing details in these series of letters.
Sunshine Brite April 6, 2015, 12:39 pm
I mean, I’m 27. I would like some advance notice before I turn 30 so I can finish trying to check off my arbitrary want-to-get-dones of my 20s. It could catch me off guard.
booknerd April 6, 2015, 12:10 pm
Wasn’t the real issue how much he was lying to you? Did you actually confront him about the lying? What was the ulterior motive? I don’t get it. Congratulations on getting engaged.
Bittergaymark April 6, 2015, 12:20 pm
Lyra April 6, 2015, 1:17 pm
I’m not convinced. This guy lied to you, LW. Saying “oh I’ve never been in a relationship longer than 6 months” when in reality he has been in multiple serious long term relationships is lying. Not that him having a past is a bad thing because EVERYONE has a past, but my question is if he is still lying to you. I’ll bet he is in some way, shape, or form. I will say, being engaged doesn’t magically fix things and make them better. If anything engagements/long term commitments bring out the issues even more. If the issues have been discussed, I highly doubt they’re completely resolved. You were extremely vague in your update about what exactly had changed and what exactly was discussed, which is why I’m having my doubts that this is all fixed and all better. Maybe she did have an “ulterior motive”, but how do you know that? Did your fiance tell you that? Was he telling you the truth, or did he just tell you that to make you feel better?
va-in-ny April 6, 2015, 1:54 pm
“I’m concerned about my boyfriend’s behavior and I’d really love some unbiased advice about the situation, but DON’T YOU DARE tell me he’s a bad guy! You don’t even know him!”
TaraMonster April 6, 2015, 2:32 pm
Look. You’re really good at being delusional and dramatic, but I’m sorry, I have to dock you down to a 9.5 on the crazy scale because you forgot to tell us what the ex-wife’s ulterior motives are. Sheesh. What is this, amateur hour? Can someone give Ramona a call? Maybe she could workshop this with you to get you back on your A game.
honeybeenicki April 6, 2015, 3:25 pm
I’m confused… you loved the advice in your little note posted on the original letter. But now you hate it?
And how old is this daughter? 26? 30?
And what is this ulterior motive? You can’t leave us hanging!
Addie Pray April 6, 2015, 3:50 pm
I’m interested to know Jackson’s thoughts on this one.
bondbabe April 6, 2015, 4:52 pm
Oh please, he schmoozed you–told you what you wanted to hear–and plopped a ring on your finger, so I guess that means everyone on DW was wrong. Riiiiiight! Well, you just revel in your Easy-Bake engagement honey, you little snookems, you…. (Barf-o-rama)
bondbabe April 6, 2015, 4:55 pm
And, yeah, what did the ex do?! Inquiring minds want to know.
Ange April 6, 2015, 11:28 pm
Well you got what you wanted OP. I hope your actions don’t come back to bite you one day.
My parents split when I was 16 and divorced a few years later. It wasn’t an acrimonious split really, or if it was they kept it from us. It still caused a lot of issues at subsequent weddings, christmases etc as we didn’t like having them in the same room and it occasionally caused drama. Only in January this year (and I am now the ripe old age of 34) did my parents spend time together with us at my brother’s place. We hung out and had family dinners and generally just spent time together like the old days. After so many years of not having that simple yet powerful thing, knowing that you would willingly take it from your fiancés daughter just to suit your own jealousy makes me sick. Guess what, even if the ex is trying to get with your fiancé again or whatever it’s up to HIM to shut that down and still put his daughter first.
You won though, I guess. Yay for you.