Wanda and Wayne aren't the only ones philosophizing on the logic of love these days. The mailman has been busy delivering reader responses to Wanda and Wayne about their advice to recent letter writers.
In April, a man wrote claiming he wasn't willing to break a friendship with an ex-girlfriend, even though that relationship irked his current girlfriend. Wayne said ax the ex, Wanda said tell the GF to chill. Wanda and Wayne were split on their advice, as were our readers:
I did not know that being someone's boyfriend is a job. Wanda is right. Here comes someone who tells you what to do, who to see, etc. -- meaning changing you from who you are into someone who she wants you to be. And a man becomes a puppet and she dumps him down the road for losing sex appeal and not being macho enough, after him sleeping on a couch for 2 years.
-- Adventurer CI
It's pretty obvious to me that if this guy wants to keep his current girlfriend, he's going to have to abide by this particular rule. If she feels this is important enough, and, if he doesn't, it's quite likely a deal-breaker. Maybe he should figure out if this is a long-term relationship, if marriage is in the future, if she is controlling in other aspects of their life.
I liked your response, but you forgot to say, "Be totally open to Girlfriend about each meeting with Ex"! When my now-husband and I started dating (27 years ago), he had an ex-wife and a recent girlfriend. He was conscientiously open with me about both exes -- and it was a big plus in our growing relationship. He made it clear that it was me he cared for. We're far from perfect, but we've always managed to keep our relationship first.
-- Silver Anniversary
I'm going to maintain that it doesn't make sense to invest in a long-term relationship if you're so shortsighted that you'd rather maintain a friendship with an ex than strengthen a relationship with a future partner. What's really important to you? Decide and sort your friendships accordingly.
I stand by my advice. Sometimes a romantic relationship can evolve into a solid platonic friendship. We can't go tossing our pals by the wayside because something might pan out with a potential partner. Loyalty comes in many forms.
Mr. Tidy wrote recently, confused as to what he should do about his new, not-so-tidy girlfriend -- tell her to clean up her act or adjust to her mess. Wanda said communicate and own your space; Wayne said deal with it or get out.
Good response. In our case, I was the Ms. Tidy and my husband was the clutterer. We've been married 29 years. This situation can work if the two people are both able to compromise. In my case, I let my clutter standards drop a little and have certain places that are mine to keep as tidy as I like. And my husband has gotten a little better at tidying up, at least when we have guests over. If Mr. Tidy says something similar and they both try to work it out, they may find a good middle ground.
-- Ms. Tidy
I've seen this one play out a few times in real life. In the situations I saw, the clutterer (be it the roommate or girlfriend) gets tired of being nagged/ freaked out at and leaves. But cleaning is a learned skill as well. Some people would like to live in a cleaner house but haven't been exposed to the routine/skills to get them there. ... Ask her to put (things) away and explain why. If she doesn't do it, take it as a predictor of her general attitude towards you. Unless you want to spent the rest of your life being her maid, get out and run fast!
-- Her Again
Wayne you made it all about the specific problem de jour instead of learning how to work things out as a couple. Thanks Wanda for giving Mr. Tidy some pointers on communicating about this situation and hopefully a start to being comfortable bringing up the next one. Honesty. How novel.
-- Sent from my iPad
We worry endlessly about what to say, or how to explain something, or what reason to give for our decision. Here's a challenge: say exactly what you mean. Then you've cleared the way for constructive conversation. I hope this approach helped this couple clear their clutter and move forward.
Say exactly what you mean? OK. Wanda, you are the wisest advice-giver going and it is a pleasure, not to mention enlightening, working with you ... but if you don't start cleaning up your Lifetime movie collection DVDs I'm outta here!!
• Dating got you down? Love got you confused? Partner driving you crazy? Wanda and Wayne would love to help! Send them an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.