Thanksgiving Updates — Part 2

I hope you had a fantastic holiday. If you didn't have time to read yesterday's updates, you can find them here. And ... here are a few more:

Remember the letter about March Madness?

Hi Mere,

I think mine was not the most compelling letter of all time, so feel free to use other folks' updates, but just in case, here's mine (Love and Basketball):

I wrote the letter back in March about the guy I was dating who was dismissive about my love for March Madness. Both you and the folks in comments rightfully pointed out that my "invitation" (along the lines of, I would watch with you but I know you hate this) was not exactly inviting, so I reached out and apologized for that and gave a bona fide invitation to have dinner at a place of his choosing and watch a game together. It didn't go well -- he basically mocked me, my team, and college basketball in general throughout the game. We dated for a couple of weeks beyond that but for a variety of reasons this wasn't a match made in heaven, so things ended.

The good part of my update is that I met a really sweet, awesome guy over the summer at a minor league ballpark, where we started chatting before the game. We've been dating for a few months and things are great. He likes that I know how to score a baseball game, and I like that he hates Duke as much as I do; if we're still together when March rolls around, I won't have to worry about hurt feelings, just whether his brackets beat mine.

Thanks for your help :)

This update is from the woman who had a placeholder.

Hi Meredith,

I thought I would take a minute to provide an update on my situation with the "placeholder." Ryan and I got back together and things were going great for a few months -- until we were out one night and he left his phone open on the table. I picked it up and saw a text -- sexual in nature -- and well, it wasn't from me. I asked him about it -- he told me it was his ex trying to get back together with him but he gave me very little details. My guard was up at this stage and the next time I saw him, I took a peek at his phone and there were pictures and texts from girls all over the place. Even when confronted with the information and word-for-word texts that I saw him send and get, he lied. The only two things out of the entire conversation that I think he said in truth were, "I like the attention of girls texting me," and "Yes, I slept with her" (and this admission came out a few weeks later).

I have learned, partly through starting therapy, that there were many things he said and did to manipulate me that I didn’t even notice. So in short, I was conned and this is one of those big *life lessons* for me. Will I ever really know who the person is that I was dating? Probably not, and I probably don't want to.

Needless to say, he isn't my placeholder anymore and I am working on getting through this. Clearly, I missed/ignored the signs and I need to figure out why so I don't put myself in a situation like this again. I have to thank everyone on LL for all the advice… it did help, so thank you.

-- Headed in a new direction, Boston

And an update about love and family ...

She still lives in Boston. She has her own place. She is locked up at work to the point that she was recently promoted. She did finish her degree. We decided not to move in together yet.

She still hasn't told her family about about me, I'm happy, and she's currently happy. The next move is hers and I told her that I'm fine with what we have at this point, but if she wants anything further she needs to let her family at least know about me. I simply pointed out that if something happened to her and we were married etc, it would be severely awkward if they came to get her stuff and "SUDDENLY WILD HUSBAND APPEARS!"

She tells me that she doesn't want anything to do with her family or them be a part of her life. She had told them she wasn't going to see them at Christmas and spend it with me, I'm at the wait-and-see part of that. I also told her that I think she needs to see a therapist due to her own issues with her family.

Still, there are Issues, but they are being worked on.

And an update from someone who fell in love with the military.

Hello Meredith,

I would be lying if I said the comments that said I was "not patriotic" and "you knew what you were getting yourself into" or ones that said "have you ever talked to him?!" didn’t hurt. But the personal messages of hope, love, and support that I got from so many readers was both overwhelming and heartwarming. I really appreciated every single word of encouragement. Those who contacted me and offered to get coffee with or exchange e-mails are heroes among us. That kind of support was something I never expected from e-mailing into the Love Letter Community. You guys really are like a family, one who really cares about one another.

After reading my own letter, I understand why people thought I was a stupid young woman avoiding an important question or why many readers thought my boyfriend was being selfish. But that really was not the case. Picking who you fall in love with is not an option. I fell in love with a man in the military who has given years of his life to serve his country. I assumed that after 6 year, he would be free. When we started dating I wasn't even sure if we would make it 6 days let alone his full enlistment. We had talked about the future, but of course things don’t always work out as planned. I think this is why humans can adapt so well.

I had never planned on asking him to pick between me and his career. I am proud of what he does and I want him to be happy. He had never planned on making me chose between him and my life in Boston. We just needed to figure out a compromise that worked for both of us.

I am happy to report that we did have a talk, a very long talk. As many of you faithful readers know, my boyfriend and I are now engaged. I packed my bags, left my job and started a new life in California (a very happy life, I might add). We decided that our happiness together was the most important thing. As long as we were together, we could make anything work. Our original plan was to get married this June. But like I said before, not everything works out as planned. We decided to push our wedding back a year for 2 reasons. He got deployed this past summer and shortly after he left I found out I was pregnant!

Once again, I want to thank everyone who reached out to me with their strong words of encouragement. It’s nice to know that the military and their families have such strong support from total strangers.

Love always,
In love and war

See you Monday. -- Meredith