Dear Wendy: Introducing MOA!

Every week, about 20 percent of the letters I receive fall into a category Dan Savage would call “DTMFA.” As you might imagine, it gets a little tiresome to try to answer each of these letters, but I can’t help feel a little guilty when I simply ignore them. After all, these are people who are desperate for someone to tell them what they already know they need to do. So, I’m going to try out a new feature called “Move On Already!” or “MOA!” for short (because “DTMFA” was already taken), for which a three-word response (move on already!) is all that’s really necessary for the letters posted. As always, you are more than welcome to leave your own advice in the comments, and feel free to let me know what you think of this particular feature. If it works, I’ll make it a bi-weekly regular. After the jump, five people who need to MOA!

My boyfriend of almost three years is in DC finishing his master’s while I am in NYC beginning law school. The other day, I figured out his email password and searched for things like my name, love, hate, and then I did the unthinkable — I searched for sex. I thought I might find porn or maybe a funny joke. Instead, I found various inappropriate conversations between him and his female friends. In one chat session he asked one woman for pictures of her in the shower. In another, he acknowledged having a girlfriend and said they couldn’t have sex but perhaps they could do “other things.” And then I found an email full of pictures of a woman who has been sending him photos since May. And the other chats were dated throughout our three-year relationship. I confronted him and he admitted to everything but he didn’t seem remorseful. He told me it that although he loved me, he needed to know that if he wanted something else he could have it. We talked for a very long time and decided we needed to work harder on our relationship. I love this man and cannot imagine my world without him. But now I don’t know if I could ever trust him again. He doesn’t see these things as cheating but to me they are the equivalent and I can’t see myself moving on from this for quite some time. What can I do to make this work? — Hopelessly Devoted


I’m 20 and my boyfriend is 22 and we have been dating for almost a year. I’ve known since the second date that he was the one I was going to marry. And I still have no doubt that I could have a completely, head-over-heels, happy marriage with him, except that he cheated on me about a month ago. He was completely drunk and although we both know this is no excuse, we decided that we could work through it. But, for the past week, he has been saying things like, “I just don’t know where my head’s at” and “I don’t know what I feel anymore,” etc. We had a very serious talk about our relationship yesterday and he finally confessed he wasn’t completely happy with how fast our relationship had developed. This came as such a shock to me because I thought we were both equally in love with each other. In order for us not to break up, he asked for us to slow down. My question is, how do you slow down a relationship, when you don’t want to? How can you make someone happier when they say it’s not you that’s the problem? I don’t know how to love him any less, and it’s tearing my heart out to think he needs something more. — Not Ready To Slow Down

It’s over, sweetie. MOA!

I love my boyfriend of two years; however, I have issues trusting him due to things he’s done in the past. For example, while we were together he fully intended to move in with his ex out of state, went on vacations with exes multiple times, slept over at his ex’s house and told me I wasn’t welcome, and canceled on me when I was supposed to meet his parents so he could take his ex alone to meet them instead. Also, more than a few times when he went on vacation with them he did hard drugs. Those things happened over a year ago, and it seems like he is trying to do right by me, but he always defends these women when they happen to come up, and I don’t think he knows (or cares) about how badly he hurt me. Now to pose the obvious question: should I leave? — Exed-girlfriend

Yes! MOA, MOA!

I’m 24 and my boyfriend is 32 and we have been together for almost three years, and have lived together for over two years. We have talked about marriage, and have even looked at rings, but are not engaged yet. However, a few months back I had a weird feeling (call it intuition) that something wasn’t right, so I snooped through his phone and ended up finding explicit and inappropriate text and picture messages between him and another girl. We broke up after this for about a month but decided to get back together. I decided that if I didn’t give him a second chance, I might always wonder “what if” and I was really heartbroken while we were apart, so I took him back. Since then, I caught him in a white lie (really not anything big or important), but it turned into something much more serious. I have solid, irrefutable, 100% proof that he is lying, but he still denies it, which bothers me. What bothers me more is that he insists that I am the one who is being disrespectful by calling him a liar. He actually wants me to apologize and refuses to admit the proof (which I have already seen). I worry that if he is willing to go to such extreme lengths to cover a white lie, instead of just coming clean, that he will lie to me about much more important things down the road. — Problem Child

He’s a cheater and a liar and isn’t even interested in trying to earn back your trust. MOA, PC, MOA.

I met a really great guy last week who totally impressed me. We had a fun first date, and I felt almost immediate chemistry with him. He called me that night to tell me how much fun he had and that he’d like to see the two of us become more. Two days later, he sent me a text message saying how much he’d like to see me and suggesting I get a hotel room. I declined the hotel offer, but he pushed the issue, suggesting it would “make our relationship stronger.” In my book, one date does not make a relationship. This man is 22, and I’m 26, so I want to chalk this up to immaturity, but I was offended by his offer and felt like he was sending me the message that he’s only interested in sex. When I told him how I felt about it, he apologized and said he wasn’t only interested in sex from me, and he didn’t mean for it to come off that way. My intuition is telling me to let the dream die, but I don’t know whether to cut him off and cut my losses or give him a chance to redeem himself. This is the first guy that I’ve met in a long time who I actually like and want to get to know. If you were in my position, what would you do? — Dude Dilemma

I’d MOA.

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