Dear Wendy: “Hot For Doc” Responds

It’s time again for “Dear Wendy Updates,” in which people I’ve given advice to in the past let us know whether they followed the advice and how they’re doing today. After the jump, we hear from “Hot For Doc,” whose letter to me first appeared in one of my “Shortcuts” columns. She was involved with a guy — a hot doctor — she called a “functioning alcoholic,” whose daily consumption of booze and pills “frightened her.” He wouldn’t walk the dog around the block after drinking for fear of being seen by his neighbors, and his boozing was even affecting the couple’s sex life since he “usually passes out before they can even get started.” Her friends were telling her to walk away, but she blamed co-dependency issues on her inability to leave him. So, have things changed since she saw my advice and reader comments to her? Did she finally get up the gumption to walk away? Find out after the jump.

I wrote you not too long ago about a guy I was dating and you basically told me to jump ship before I drowned in a sea of denial. Well, you were right, but unfortunately I allowed my heart to get involved with this person and although I know he is incapable of feeling love (for anything other than alcohol) and wrong for me in every way, I am still emotionally entangled with him. He is a self-proclaimed alcoholic and I have sent him a few bridge-burning emails and text messages, but then he will convince me that he has stopped drinking for days at a time and as soon as I finally come around he is drinking AGAIN… I want to walk away from this, I want to forget I ever met him, I want to move on and I wish I had never let myself get emotionally involved. Now we are planning a trip to the beach together AND a cruise to the Bahamas. I am dog-sitting for him when he goes out of town in a couple weeks. I am agonizing about this unhealthy “friendship” and I WISH I had taken your advice. — Hot for Doc

After the letter writer sent me this message, I emailed her back and assured her it wasn’t too late to walk away. And she replied: “I know I should walk away, I don’t know one person who has been supportive of me continuing to enable/entertain him.” Ugh! As bad as I feel for her, I feel worse for her friends and family who must be beside themselves. But, you know, sometimes people refuse to listen to reason; they have to make their mistakes and get beat up a bit (um, hopefully not literally!) before they can move on and grow from the experience. Let’s just hope she comes to her senses sooner rather than later and doesn’t waste too much time on this loser. And, HD, if you’re reading this: please use protection when you have sex with this guy. I know you said you barely even do it, but it only takes one time and if you think you’re “emotionally entangled” with this man now, just imagine what a kid would do to the equation.

And to anyone else who is stuck in an unhealthy, co-dependent relationship you just can’t seem to walk away from: if you keep waiting for the “right time” to end things, it’s never going to happen. You have to treat your relationship like an addiction and make a conscious decision to quit despite the discomfort it’s going to cause. You take it one day at a time, surround yourself with a good support system, change your routine, and keep your gaze on your future. You can do it.

* If you are someone I’ve given advice to in the past, I’d love to hear from you, too (whether you liked my advice or hated it). Email me at {encode=”[email protected]” title=”[email protected]”} with a link to the post where your letter originally ran, and let me know whether you followed the advice and how you’re doing now.