I love updates.
Today we have a bunch. (Tomorrow we'll have a light-ish letter.)
This first update is from someone who was dealing with anger. (Original letter here.)
I cut off all communication with Angry Guy and I didn't look back. That was a little over a year ago, and it was hard going for a while. Truth be told, I still think about him sometimes. But mostly I’m proud of myself. I've moved on, and I've accomplished a lot in the past year. I have a new job with a local university, a great apartment, my friends are back in my life in force, and best of all ... I've started seeing someone new!
When it became clear that this new relationship had the potential to become serious, I had an long, honest conversation with New Guy about what had happened to me with Angry Guy, how it had affected me, and what I had learned from it. He listened, and he didn't run away! He is the diametric opposite of Angry Guy in most respects, and that is a huge relief to me. It's still early (a little under three months as I write this), but I'm having fun with him, and I have hope for the future.
Thanks again for helping me to see my situation for what it was. Most likely because I was ashamed of having become a victim of abuse, I didn’t admit to myself that it was abuse, until you wrote the words. Acknowledging that made all the difference to me and allowed me to begin to heal.
The next update is from a snooper. (Original letter here.)
Although your and many commenters' advice was to come clean and be honest, I ended up doing the opposite. I was afraid that coming clean about the snooping would kill our relationship forever, and it is possible that it could have. My original premonition was that this was all normal, post-break-up behavior and that she was just trying to find some closure. Based on the conversations she was having with her ex, I could tell that her intentions were not malicious, I think she was just having a hard time letting go all together.
Obviously the conversations upset me enough to write to you for advice, but I just knew she was not the type of person to just completely betray my trust. In the time since we last spoke, she left her email open on my computer one other time. Yes, I snooped, and to my delight, the dialogue she was having with her ex has completely stopped. She has never mentioned meeting up with him ever again, she has deleted his number from her phone, and she seems to have found the closure she was looking for.
We have still not moved in together, but that has nothing to do with our relationship and everything to do with the uncertainty of her current job (she might be getting transferred to California). I really appreciate the time and concern you took into the advice you gave me, but in the end, I decided to just trust my instincts and hope for the best. A lot of the commenters got on my case for all of the "snooping" i was doing, but I will always defend what I did. While I agree that it was an invasion of privacy, I was just doing my research. When you buy a brand new house or car, you try to compile as much research and information as possible to make an informed purchase because it is one of the biggest decisions you'll ever make. If you are dedicating two years of your life to another person and are thinking about spending the rest of your life with them, I think its important to know as much about that person as possible. I have nothing to hide in my personal life and I do not think it is asking too much for my partner to do the same. I'm glad I was able to move past this now because I truly feel like she is the one for me. Thanks again.
This is an update from someone who couldn't commit. (Original letter here.)
I'd be happy to give you a post-letter update. About a month after writing my original letter to you last December, I saw 'James' for the last time. Though I was the one to initiate the breakup, both James and I agreed that it just wasn't working out for some reason. As luck would have it, I met a great guy (who lives here in Boston!) just 2 weeks after the break with James. 'Ben' and I have now been dating for over 10 months and are very much in love. Thankfully, James and I have also remained cordial and chat from time to time. Great advice, and a great ending to my dilemma!
And now a letter from someone who was pregnant. (Original letter here.)
My letter to you was apparently the only letter I needed to write, thank goodness. I appreciated your advice as it brought peace to something that had been plaguing me for a while. I also liked the advice of your readers, the critics and understanders alike, as it was nice to be woken up on one hand and also supported on the other. It can take me a while to fully let go of people; I think it's because I am both a nostalgic and emotional type of person. I didn't like when that interfered with my current relationship because it is so good on so many levels. My wonderful husband and I have our son now, and he is an amazing baby. Thank you for helping me.
And an update from someone whose sex life was suffering. (Original letter here.)
Hello and happy holidays.
I wrote a letter earlier this year about my pre-marriage sex life fizzling out well before the wedding date. The best update I can give is that we've taken the pressure off of ourselves. Immediately after the letter, I took Meredith's advice to heart and made more of an effort to make physical contact, even in nonsexual ways, by holding hands or just cuddling on the couch. We went away for a long weekend soon after that and had some pretty mind-blowing times, but since then it sort of ebbs and flows. When it's on, it's passionate and great, and when it's off, we're just content being partners in every other aspect. I've learned to relax about it and just know that as long as we stay in communication with each other, there's no one right way, and it doesn't mean we're broken when we're in an off period.
One thing that bummed me out were all the accusations that something must be wrong with me because I was having trouble relaxing enough to get into the mood at the end of a day. I'm pretty sure that's just a normal byproduct of living an active life and having a lot of things to juggle. I also laughed at the criticisms that because we don't fight constantly, we must be suppressing loads of issues. This is why LL amuses me on a daily basis! Thanks for the advice!
And a letter from someone who was dumped. You helped this person a lot. (Original letter here.)
I wrote to you a few months ago about my struggle to get over being dumped (twice) by the guy I thought was "the one." Contrary to what many of your readers predicted, he did not beg me to take him back. I haven't spoken to him in 6 months and in fact, recently had the pleasure of watching him and his new out-of-state girlfriend grope/make out with each other from 5 feet away. (I also wanted to clear up some readers' misconceptions about our "constant contact" -- it was more like frequent texts and g-chats throughout the day and 2x a week in-person visits, not attached-at-the-hip sycophanting).
Your comments about the healing powers of time, however, were right on. Despite my total lack of any new love interests (I'm shy), I feel a lot better now than I did in July, mostly due to my totally outstanding group of friends. Anyway, I don't have any real updates to share ... I mostly wanted to thank those readers who had really kind, thoughtful things to say. I know it sounds a bit ridiculous, but I copied and pasted the most comforting comments into a word document and read them over and over until I felt better/knocked some sense into myself. So thanks guys, you really were a big help. Happy holidays everyone!
Have a wonderful holiday. See you tomorrow.