Ask Wendy

How Can I Tell Him?

Friday, April 28, 2017

home needs repairs can't invite him over


Hey Wendy
 
I have been dating this man exclusively for two months. We both have pretty strong feelings and see this being a long-term thing. Our only problem is that I can’t invite him over.
 
He asks why and I’ve told him I’m embarrassed by the shape of my home, which is 100% true. It is old and just absolutely falling apart. There are so many things that need to be repaired and I don’t have the time, money or skill to do them myself, so some of these things have snowballed into bigger issues. He has seen the outside of the house, so he knows I’m not making that up. He tells me constantly that he won’t judge me, he doesn’t care, and he wants to help me get things on track. I believe him, and based on that alone I would swallow my pride and let him in. The only thing holding me back now is that I have… roaches! I am so ashamed. I haven’t told him that part.
 

I keep a clean house. They came from my next-door neighbor, who had roaches and set off bug bombs. I have tried everything short of setting off my own bug bombs and calling the exterminator. (No bug bomb yet because I have indoor pets and can’t figure out where to take them for the process, and no exterminator because I am broke and ashamed for even the exterminator to see inside my home.) I don’t know what to do…

Dear Over-Your-Head,

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Can Couples with Different Work Priorities Stay Together?

Friday, April 21, 2017

helping hand up the mountain


Hey Wendy

My boyfriend and I value work and career very differently.

He’s amazing at what he does, and he’s in the top of his field. He likes what he does, but he doesn’t live for work. He has a work/life balance that I just don’t have because he goes there, gets the job done, but it ends there for him.

I make a lot less than he does but I work twice as hard and twice the hours. I try to always take advantage of the opportunities that come up to build my career and these opportunities end up being conflicts in our relationship. I’m willing to do what it takes, even if that means I’m traveling a lot, I was out of the country for over a month last month. Do you think we shouldn’t be together? Is there anything that can make this work?

Dear Ambitious,

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How Do I Get Over An Ex I’m Still Having Sex With?

Friday, April 14, 2017

heartbroken going cold turkey

Hey Wendy,


My ex broke up with me a couple of months ago. I’ve tried the no contact thing, but I miss speaking to him. We’ve met up for sex a few times. Before and during it I’m okay with it, but the next day I feel hollow inside and swear that I’d not do it again, but I end up going back just to feel close to him—I cave into the crave. How do I stop? I miss him so much, and enjoy his company, but I know that I’m hurting myself doing this, but it also hurts not seeing him at all.

Dear Ex,

Most of us have been there before, and it’s painful—I’m so sorry! Going cold turkey feels like the wrong thing to do…but it’s not. The answer to “how do I stop?” Is simple: You stop. Why? Because you decide to.

Now, just because something is simple doesn’t mean it’s easy. You’ve probably heard of the hormone oxytocin. Its purpose is to bond us to other humans. When a mother gives birth, her body floods with oxytocin to help her bond with the baby and care for it at a time when she’s exhausted, needs to recover, and would probably rather be sleeping. Oxytocin is also released in our system when we have sex! I could give you the long and complicated story of why, but the bottom line is it happens because biology is doing its part to keep humans alive on the planet.

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Does Porn Play Out In Real Life?

Friday, April 7, 2017

her examining his porn history
Hey Wendy, I am in a relationship with an amazing man. I have known him for 5 years and we’ve been together a little over a year now.A couple months ago I found out that he was very much into incest porn. This is something he is extremely ashamed about.One night, after he fell asleep, I checked his history even though I told him I would respect his personal life. But what I found was brother/sister porn.

When I confronted him about the brother/sister porn he told me he tried watching different types of porn but it always ends up there. That was the only porn he could get off to.

The last time we had sex we were looking into each other’s eyes and then put his head next to mine as he went to town and came. (more…)

Are We Compatible?

Friday, March 31, 2017

Dear Wendy,

My husband and I have been married for almost 5 years. We have 2 kids and one on the way. We are great friends and genuinely love each other. But the longer we’re together we’re realizing how opposite we are. Our differences often leave me feeling pressured and him feeling unloved.

Ever read 5 Love Languages book? I like words of affirmation and receiving gifts. He likes acts of service and quality time.

We read “When Your Sex Drives Don’t Match” and I’m a “Disinterested Lover” Meaning sex isn’t a priority, but when it does happen is fairly enjoyable. He’s a “Dependent Lover” meaning he likes to use sex as stress relief and an escape from the day.

During sex, I like romance, while he enjoys lighter, more playful sex, trying new things, positions, experiences, etc. A hiccup in the “system” can ruin the mood for me.

Because he likes acts of service, he goes out of his way to love me the way I want to be loved: Flowers, candles and small jewelry. Telling me he loves me and complimenting me.

He says I don’t return the same “service” type of love, and that leaves him feeling unappreciated. And I feel like I’m doing it wrong. Help?

Dear Reader,

Books are great, aren’t they? They give us useful ways of relating to each other, they uncover blind spots, and they definitely help us see other people’s points of view. I think books are so great I even wrote one. However, the things you’ve discovered in these books are not immutable qualities or hard-and-fast rules. This is not science. These are not unchangeable differences you are stuck with or must overcome. And your sex dynamic? Yeah, that’s the exact dynamic I’m working with in 90% of the couples’ counseling I do, which makes you…normal. Yep, totally normal.

So let’s back down from, “he’s this one way and I’m that one way,” and instead look at how knowing each other’s preferences and defaults can help you be great for and with each other instead of set you further apart.

The five love languages book was designed to help readers be more effective with their partners. What does that mean? Well, if your love language is gifts and his love language is acts of service, then don’t do gifts for him; do acts of service instead. He’s the one in charge of gifts because if he enacted acts of service for you, it would be lost on you—it wouldn’t hit your radar, right?

I’m not trying to pigeon-hole the genders here, but I have never met a man who didn’t have acts of service connected to feeling loved. I’m not saying those guys aren’t out there—I’m just saying I’ve never met them. And I have literally asked thousands of men the question, “What makes you feel loved by a woman?”

You might think, “acts of service, ugh,” and I get it—most of us are already doing a lot in our partnerships and in our lives in general. Acts of service can be draining, so pay attention to which acts are easiest for you and give you the most points with him. I used to iron my husband’s shirts while I watched All My Children on VHS after work. (Yes, I’m that old.) It was soothing, semi-mindless, and helped me unwind, and it made him feel loved and cared for. What acts of service do you like doing or that cost you little that he might love a lot?

This is a two-way street; what gifts can he give you that mean the world to you but don’t break the bank or totally stump him? Red roses on Fridays? A new pair of earrings? A piece of fancy chocolate? Or perhaps something completely different? What would do it for you? He won’t know unless you talk with him about it.

Now let’s talk about sex. And when I say, “let’s talk,” I really mean you two talk. Since sex is more like an occasional treat for you and a needed meal for him, make sure he’s fed, but you don’t have to do all the cooking. In other words, take it easy on yourself. Make deals around time of day or days of the week, learn what he needs during times you don’t want to make an effort and see where you both can comfortably compromise, and shoot for a balance of both romantic and experimental. Maybe when the creative, new stuff happens, it’s at a time when you’re rested enough that it’s not taking anything out of you to enjoy your intimate time together, and/or maybe when you’ve already had your needs attended to in the ways you need from your partner.

You two have preferences that aren’t the same because you’re unique humans, and this by no means spells out hopelessness.

Good luck!

How To Date A Rockstar

Friday, March 31, 2017musician boyfriend and financial concerns

Wendy, 

I really like the guy I’m dating, and he’s following his passion in music but he’s financially unstable and he makes significantly less than I do. How do I deal with the financial situation of someone I’m dating?

It’s hard for me to come to terms with the fact that there might be a point in our relationship where I may need to be the financial pillar. I can definitely support myself but supporting someone else is scary. He does live on his own with a handful of housemates so he’s independent. But typically artists/musicians don’t make a lot. Financial situations can change over time so I feel like what I’m scared of now may not follow me into the future.

Dear Financially Freaked,

What a great opportunity you have to use your words! I know, I know, I’m being snarky, but really: Don’t leave this to chance. Talk to him.

Does he have a plan for paying the bills while he’s investing in his passion? Do you share similar lifestyle expectations? What’s his relationship with money? Has he planned for a side job that will help the two of you make ends meet? Is he realistic about finances, or does he believe that money is something that other people worry about?

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How Can I Get Her To Like Me? + Where Are All The Single Guys Over 50?

Friday, March 24, 2017

contention with the old girlfriend

Hey Wendy, 

I’ve been with my boyfriend for about a year. He doesn’t have many friends and his ex girlfriend is one of his closest friends. They “share” her dog. He loves this dog, and sees his ex like a sister. I don’t have a problem with that.

What does bother me is that 1) the ex does not like me, and 2) boyfriend refuses to make any effort to change that situation.

Why doesn’t she like me, you ask? About six months ago, boyfriend and I addressed some trust issues. Now she sees me as untrustworthy.

I’ve asked him if he thinks she could ever learn to like me, but he claims she’s very stubborn and probably won’t back down. He then shrugs and says it sucks for him to be in the middle, but there’s nothing he can do.

Currently, he sees her and the dog about once a week, and it doesn’t usually conflict with our time together. It sucks to feel like a part of his life is completely walled off to me.

It breaks my heart that he can’t and won’t budge on this. I’m not sure what to make of the fact that he won’t put in any effort to help his best friend/ex see me in a better light.

This problem you have is not your boyfriend’s to fix. Please don’t put this on him or put him through the paces about it. He doesn’t have the magical power to change people, and that’s a good thing, because everybody gets to own their own feelings.

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Should I Tell My Number? + Can’t Take A Complement

Friday, March 17, 2017

are you hiding your number?

Wendy, 

At the start of dating, my wife told me the number of men she’s had sex with was 3. She’s recently admitted that the real number is 40. How do I not despise her for this? She has been my best friend for a long time, but she has also lied a LOT about sexual things.

Huh! I wonder what I would say to a woman who wrote to me and said, “When I first met my husband, he asked me my number. I was so afraid of being slut-shamed that I wasn’t truthful, and I told him it was 3.  But now that I know, love, and trust him and we’re best friends, I decided to risk it and tell him the truth. My real number is 40. Big mistake! Now he despises me. What do I do?”

(more…)

How Do I Tell Him My Age + Relationship Money Matters

Friday, March 10, 2017

Wendy, 

I’m a single 35-year-old woman without children. Young guys hit on me all the time. I used to be a model and I keep fit. They all think I’m their age.

I’ve met a wonderful man who’s 36, and he doesn’t know I’m 35 yet. He hasn’t asked for my age, but I feel he needs to know ASAP, as he might want someone younger considering I look like I’m 25 maximum. I want a husband and a family, but I’m afraid that he won’t want me because I’m too old. What if no man my age will want me anymore?

I was 35 when I started dating after a long-term marriage ended. I went on a grand total of 121 first dates, and let me assure you, honey—there’s no shortage of guys interested in 35-year-old +++ ladies out there.

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Valentine’s Is One Measly Day

 man with valentine's hearts screaming he loves herFriday, March 3, 2017

Wendy, 

My husband f-ed up Valentine’s Day — again. He’s never gotten it right in the seven years we’ve been together. He just doesn’t think it through. I got a card, and we ate out at a place in the neighborhood we go to all the time. It was just another uneventful night, and I certainly didn’t feel special. How can I get him to nail it? He doesn’t have a clue.

Dear Disheartened,

Valentine’s Day was on a Tuesday. How amazing did you expect it would be on the most mundane night of the week? The good restaurants were packed, noisy, and had prix fixe menus at inflated prices. Flowers were triple their normal cost, and the lines at the candy shops were out the door a full week in advance. Do you really need a spectacle from him on the most inconvenient day of the year? I hate to be the Grinch that stole Valentines Day, but I’d rather you feel loved and special every day, instead of one measly day. (more…)

Let’s Call It Internet Connecting, Not Internet Dating

Friday, February 24, 2017

Hey Wendy, 

This week, I’ve been texting a guy who reached out to me online. We had all sorts of fun, teasing texts earlier in the week, with mentions of possibly getting together for a quick drink and Hello on Thursday. Well, time passes with no word from him after Tuesday. Finally, at 5:00 PM Thursday, he texts me like no time has passed. I’m cranky.

Question: I really hate feeling ignored, and yet I know I’ve never met him, and he’s not in love with me, and, aside from all that, he’s leading a busy life. What’s reasonable to expect in the texting phase?

Online Dating Lesson #1: In order to stay happy and sane as an online dater, hold zero expectations until you’ve met your connection face to face. It’s kind of a good rule for life in general, too—if you haven’t met someone, you can’t trust them for anything.

Train a little part of your brain to say to you, “this could be a twelve-year-old girl I’m texting,” because hey, that’s actually plausible. Or you might be sending sexy texts to a guy twice your age who has no intention of ever meeting you but is lonely and bored in his marriage. It could be someone who’s housebound who flirts via text to pass the time. These scenarios are all as plausible as him being the awesome, busy guy that he bills himself to be.

I vote we change the term “internet dating” to “internet connecting”because you’re not really “dating” online; you’re just gaining access to people you wouldn’t normally run into in your real world. The actual dating happens out in the cafes, the restaurants, the parks, the bowling alleys—not online. It’s why I stress taking your online connection offline and into the real world right away. I know you were already trying to do this; I’m just throwing a reminder out there for the readers.

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Everyone Needs a Little Pragmatic BDSM Advice, Right?

Dominance, submission, switch?Friday, February 10, 2017

Hey Wendy, 

I don’t know if you can help me here, but I need some advice with my Dominant/Submissive (dom/sub) relationship.

My girlfriend and I have been together for seven years. From the beginning, I’ve been the dom and she has been my sub. Recently we had a heart to heart where she expressed she’s no longer happy being the sub, and instead wants to switch our relationship around, and flip the power dynamics so she’s the dom and I’m the sub.

Could this transition work? I’m rather apprehensive, to say the least. Being a dominant is my mindset, so I’m not sure if I can make that switch, but after thinking about it, I’ve noticed her already making the switch over the last month or so in how she interacts with me.

I know she has identified as bisexual and as a switch in the past, and has been on both sides of the ball in different relationships, so maybe this is her way of expressing I’m not a good enough dominant for her, or maybe she’s bored with me and needs something new.

Dear Dom,

I’m sorry you’re getting the old switcheroo on this one. I don’t know if she’s bored with you or whether she thinks you’re a bad dom, but she certainly didn’t say either of those things. I’d ask for some clarification and reassurance if I were in your boots. While you’re at it, talk it through with her and see how you might change your relationship in a way that works for both of you.

Some people switch. For others, switching is a hard limit. Sounds like she switches with ease, but that switching might be a hard limit for you.

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Thank God There’s More Than One “The One”

The one guy that you can tell when lyingFriday, February 3, 2017

Wendy, 

My husband and I broke up two months ago and the split was ugly. A week ago he called me and said he wanted to try again. I was very excited because I missed him so much even though my friends thought he treated me like crap.

During our reconciliation, he told me he hadn’t kissed another woman while we were apart. He also said he would never bring another woman to our house

Last night I came back to our house for the first time. Imagine my surprise when I saw a box of tampons and some makeup in our bathroom. He said he had no idea how the items got there and that they must belong to the housekeeper.

I started to cry and he said I was still “nuts” and he never once brought anyone to our house.

Then I saw the non-stop Facebook posting on a 24-year old woman’s profile. One post was teasing him for being too old for her, and his response was, “maybe you just need a good spanking from me”.

I am heartbroken — I really wanted this relationship to work again. Should I believe him that nothing happened? Am I overreacting?

Love, you know the answer to this. Why are you asking me? Come on, now. You know. I know. Everybody reading this column knows.
(more…)

Politics: Not Your Biggest Problem ~ Rolling Out the Hard Stuff

Too vocal about politics?

angry boyfriend talks politicsFriday, January 27, 2017

Wendy, 

I’ve been dating my boyfriend for nine months. Politics seem to be our biggest issue. He’s a republican and I’m a democrat. I recently attended the Women’s March with some friends and he’s livid. My sign supported Planned Parenthood, and since he’s a staunch pro-life person, he feels I want to kill babies. He also thinks I’m too vocal about my beliefs.

This guy means the world to me and I love him to bits. It sounds to me like he wants to break up, but I’m not sure, and I don’t want to. What should I do?

Dear Dem,

Please, break the fuck up already! “Politics” are not your biggest issue. You not being able to express yourself while being exactly who you are (and exactly who you are not) is the root of the trouble. It appears that the fundamental differences in your beliefs married with his dislike of you speaking your mind are killing your respect for each other, and respect is the cornerstone to any good relationship. (more…)

Do You Want the Baby or the Bathwater?

young attractive hispanic couple on floor, pregnant woman sitting together handsome husband and flying stork bringing baby in pregnancy and family growth concept

Friday, February 17, 2017

Wendy, 

My girlfriend and I have been together five years. We’ve talked about what we would name kids, but two weeks ago I asked her about our future and what she wants for her life in the next decade or so.

We talked about everything from finances and careers, to moving out of our area or not. Nothing surprised me except the important thing. She told me she doesn’t want to have kids.

She said she just never pictured it in her life. She feels the physical and financial responsibilities are a lot and she also doesn’t want to be pregnant or give birth.

I love her and I can’t picture a future without her. But I always expected and want to be a dad and take care of a family. There’s no middle ground here and I don’t know what to do.

So an acquaintance of mine from Rome never wanted children, but her husband did. She said, “I’ll do it for you one time, but if I do, this child is yours; I’m not looking after it.” He assumed she’d warm up to the idea once she was pregnant. She didn’t. She meant every word she said, and she made no attempts to hide this from their child. (more…)

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