Dear Wendy: “I’m Dating A Sex Addict”

It’s time again for “Shortcuts.” For every question, I’ll give my advice in three sentences or less, because sometimes the answer to a person’s question is so obvious and the need to hear it so great, being as clear and frank as possible is simply the best way to go. Today we discuss dating a sex addict, signs it’s time to MOA, and how to tell a friend she stinks.

I’m 19 and dating a recovering sex addict who is about two years older than I am. I lost my virginity to him about a year ago on the night we met, and I assumed it was just a physical thing. We go to the same school and saw each other frequently after. In the time between us having sex for the first time and becoming exclusive, we became close friends and actually got to know each other, while being physical with other people. I had sex with a few guys after him, but we both realized that there was more to our relationship. We’ve been exclusive for about three months now, and he opened up to me about his addiction. I’m okay with it, but he sometimes makes comments that bother me. For example, we were discussing my breast size at a lingerie store. I consider myself a B. He said to me, ‘I’ve seen enough boobs to know you’re a C’ and laughed. I know that a lot of the time these comments are his way of making light of the situation because he’s ashamed, but they still bother me. I want to be with him and I really care about him, but how do I tell him that these comments bother me without saying the wrong thing or making him feel guilty? — Dating a Sex Addict

I would say something along the lines of this: “I’m really grateful you’ve trusted me enough to be open about your addiction and it’s something I would never ever want you to feel bad or guilty about at all, but I need you to know that when you make comments like about how many boobs you’ve seen and stuff like that, it bothers me. I know you’re just trying to make light of a situation you might feel ashamed of, but I care about you and want you to know you never need to feel shame with me. We’re committed to each other and I want us to focus on each other and our future, not any of the relationships or people we’ve been with in the past.”

I was dating this girl for about a year. In the beginning everything was great, but then she had an ex-boyfriend come visit her. (The trip that was planned before we starting dating). Long story short, she cheated on me in that week he was in town. Ever since then, she’s not sure whether she wants to be with me or not. We finally broke up this September after a year of back and forth. She basically didn’t feel the same way as me and said she saw me more as a friend. She met someone else shortly after me and I decided I needed to move on as hard as it was. So I purged her from my life. The only way for me to move forward. After a little over a month she contacted me, saying that she missed me. I tried to ignore her but was curious. Well we went out for dinner and we talked. I told her my views on our relationship and where I could have been better. Here’s where things got interesting. It turns out she got pregnant from this new guy and he wanted her to have an abortion. Well, loving her the way I do I didn’t want her to be alone and was there for her through the process. She is now in her second week of recovery. I’ve been by her side for a month now and things are great — almost better than before. However, she still doesn’t want to be in a relationship — just hang out together. I told her I’d be there for her until she was 100% and up until she leaves for the holidays next week. Should I stick around and see where things go from there? To see if things work out? I sometimes feel that the only reason she contacted me was because she didn’t have anyone else. I just don’t want to get hurt again and I’m afraid if I stick around that’s going to happen. I am torn between what my heart is telling me and what my head is telling me. I love her to death. What do I do? — Confused in Cali!

This woman is using you and you need to listen to what your head is saying (your big head, not your little one) and hopefully it’s telling you to MOA! I know it must be tempting to stay with someone who is so vulnerable and seems to need you right now — that can be a seductive feeling to be needed — but you’re headed toward more heartache if you keep this up. Get out now before you become any more invested.

I had a long distance boyfriend in college (he broke it off because the distance was tough). I did everything to move on from him, from cutting off contact to dating new people. I got engaged to someone else but at the last minute called it off; there were many reasons, but it was apparent that I still had feelings for college boy. I broke up with the fiancé, college boy broke up with his girlfriend, and we started talking again. We would talk twice a week or so (with a lot of daily texting) and admitted to still having feelings for each other. Recently, I went to see him and he said he still loved me and would have married me by now if we lived in the same place. After I left, though, he dropped off the face of the earth! He stopped taking and returning my calls, and responded to texts or emails maybe 50 percent of the time. I finally got him on the phone after a month of this (a month!) and he said he was “really busy.” What gives? I was willing to move halfway across the country for this guy until now. I’m not buying the “busy” excuse, but why would he say he loved me and then drop me? Should I MOA? I truly do love him, but this is BS, and he’s too old to be doing this in my opinion (we’re both late 20s). Thanks for any advice you can give! — Hooked on College Boy

Well, thank God you were reminded of his true colors and lack of commitment to you before you moved across the country for him. Regardless what his reasons were for giving you false hope only to drop you without explanation, you need to MOA and cut this guy out of your life for good. Someone this flaky cannot have promising long-term relationship potential.

I have been close friends with a girl named Jillian for the past five years. We even lived together for one and half of those years, although we aren’t roommates anymore. Jillian is a great girl, but she has an interesting problem — she stinks. This isn’t due to any medical condition; it’s because she very rarely showers. I always noticed that she often smelled funny and had dirty hair, but during the time that we lived together, it became clear that she regularly would go a week between showers, and occasionally, two weeks or more. Our friends and I have tried to nicely bring it up, as this isn’t a fact she hides from us, but she always maintains that she doesn’t have to shower because she isn’t a naturally smelly person and has curly hair so you can’t tell that she never washes it. I don’t know why she thinks that she is the one person in the world who is immune to dirtiness, because you definitely can tell when she hasn’t showered in a week, just like you can with everyone else! The hygiene issue is unpleasant, but not unbearable, and she is extremely sensitive, which is why we’ve hesitated to be more direct about the issue in the past. The thing is, she is becoming very depressed about the lack of interest she receives from men, and I really think that her hygiene is a big part of the problem. I want to help her, as she seems completely clueless, but is there anything I can do short of telling her, “Hey, you stink and you always have”? — Stinky’s Friend

I wouldn’t say something out of the blue, but the next time she starts lamenting her lack of a love life and wondering why it seems guys are never interested in her, I would ask her if you can be honest with her about something. If she seems receptive to hearing some constructive criticism, let her know as gently as possible that her lack of regular hygiene is more noticeable than she realizes and you think, given what a wonderful person she is, this must be a factor in why she’s experiencing so many disappointments in her love life.

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