Thanksgiving updates

It's time for some holiday updates. I'd like to do this again on Christmas, so if you're a former letter writer, tell us what happened. Send your update to meredith.goldstein @ globe .com with "update" in the subject line. Also send letters. I need good stuff to read while I'm eating this weekend.

The first update is from someone who was dealing with negativity.

Hi Meredith,

Two years later, a lot has happened and it's mostly been positive. Regarding his "constructive criticism," that has stopped. I ask his opinions on things if I truly want input, but as far as unsolicited suggestions/critiques, those are no more. I let him know that there are plenty of women out there that probably fit his idea of the perfect woman and he is more than welcome to go find one of them, but I don't want to hear about it otherwise. He has turned from critical to doting and is great about expressing the things he loves about me.

He also made the long-needed transition into adulthood. He has a successful career and has begun moving up in the organization. Money is no longer an issue on his end and I don't have to pay the lion's share of expenses anymore. He proposed a year ago after he'd gotten his act together.

About his anti-social behavior, well, a leopard doesn't change his spots but it can do a better job of camouflaging in the right environments. He now happily comes to the majority of social events that I'm interested in, and I don't feel the need to stay at his side and to make sure he's having fun. We go out to many more cultural events in the city (ones he scoffed at in the past) and he enjoys spending time with my friends. Most importantly though, he LOVES being around my family when we go visit, and we talk more seriously now about moving over there so I can be closer to them, especially my aging parents. We got married in the spring and want to start a family of our own next year.

I knew I'd be taken through the wringer by the commenters, and I was. The "advice" ranged from "there is no hope for this relationship" to "you have no self-esteem and need to get some" to "this is the start of an abusive relationship – run, don't walk."

I don't for one second regret staying with him, and I don't regret the doubts I had; I needed to question anything and everything about staying with him because that's what got me where I am. I fall more in love every day, and (because everybody here is waiting for me to say it) he's AMAZING! Thanks, y'all.

– No Longer Lost in Love

The second update is from someone with male friends.

Well, the issue turned out to be a larger one than I had originally thought. The reason the boyfriend had been so upset with me having guy friends was because he wasn't making any himself. Actually, he was pretty damn homesick. He couldn’t adjust to living in Boston and being so far away from his family, so he took his anger and frustration out on me. So while I adjusted to my new environment, he withdrew into himself. And no matter how hard I tried to get him to come out of his shell, he just pulled himself further and further away.

He told me that he couldn’t live more than a two hour drive from his parents, and I simply couldn't live with those terms. He told me that if his parents ever moved, he would follow. So naturally, we broke up. He moved away and I have been single for the last four/five months. My friends have constantly been there for me and have provide support throughout the breakup process. I'm glad I didn't sacrifice any of my friendships because now Boston finally feels like home.

And I would like to say this to many of the commenters out there: None of my guy friends have tried to get in my pants. Because guys and girls really can be friends. Friends are friends, regardless of gender.

I love that last paragraph. Agreed. Our last update is from someone who wrote to us in 2010.

My NH boyfriend and I broke up after almost two years of dating. My mom needed surgery and I felt the need to move from my apartment back to her house, an hour south. He and I kept dating and I would go up and visit him every other weekend or so, but the stress of my mom's complicated recovery made things tough.

This is not what ended us though. After nine months of living back home after my mom had recovered, I did some soul searching. I just didn't think I'd be happily married to him, living in the woods of NH. The nearest grocery store was 30 minutes away, the nearest movie theater an hour.

So we broke up and I stayed in Boston. I had two great roommates, met and made friends through sports leagues, and really started enjoying everything the Boston area had to offer. I went on plenty of dates, had a few casual boyfriends, and after two years of living in Somerville I met my now husband when I was least expecting it. (I know it sounds so cheesy.) My husband and I have been married for just over a year now.

My NH ex-boyfriend and I have never stopped talking since we broke up. While the phone calls are now fewer, we still catch up about once a month. I'm thankful that we're still friends, and I do believe we always will be, even though we broke up five years ago. I realize that it's not that common, but we still care for each other.