I’ve discovered that my girlfriend (three years) has a university classmate who’s been constantly stating his intentions to have sex with her.
She said he’s been flirting for a year and she’s gently rejected him. But she sees him because they’re in some graduate courses together.
He’s well funded and helps her with minor purchases, lunches, etc.
But I worry because she hasn't stopped his flirting because she accepts his financial help.
I’m not poor but I do have to stay on a budget.
I don't think there's anything going on but I find this hurtful. I provide for her the best way I can.
Your “worry” instinct is right on. He’s bought his way into her life and keeps sending sexual messages that an eventual payback’s expected.
Yes, it may be helpful to her financially but it’s also demeaning to her to be treated like she can be bought, and insulting to you for her to encourage his “gifts,” as well as his pursuit.
There’s also worry for the future of your relationship, even if he backs off.
Your girlfriend doesn’t set clear boundaries with other men.
Tell her how you feel, without apology. Ask if she’d be comfortable if a woman you see regularly kept offering you gifts and suggesting a sexual liaison.
If she doesn’t “get” it, she doesn’t want to end it.
My mother-in-law intentionally cooks food I cannot eat due to my food allergies.
I've asked my husband, 40, several times to speak up during such situations. We constantly argue about this problem.
Though his family complains that we don’t spend enough time with them, when we do visit, they exclude me.
My husband’s defensive about his family and I’ve given up trying to please them as he doesn’t recognize my effort.
He works long hours, has a long commute, lacks sleep, and is irritable. We spend little time together.
He over shares our arguments with his sister, stories get back to his parents. He doesn’t function well under pressure, which is almost weekly.
I’ve encouraged therapy but he’s always too busy.
Our discussions revolve around his work, his stress, his deadlines, his aches and pains, his family, yet no one asks me what I do, how my day’s been, or how I’m feeling.
I work full-time and do every possible household chore, but am surrounded by constant negativity.
I’ve considered leaving and even packed a bag to go to my parents, but didn’t leave. He didn’t try to stop me. He's even said he doesn't believe we’ll last.
He says he wants children, but there’s effort due to his erectile dysfunction.
I often wish I’d just die so all these problems and negativity would go away.
Look after your own needs, immediately.
Call a local distress center hotline if/when you feel hopeless. Choose a therapist through their referral, or your doctor’s, or guided by an online search.
Take time for professional counselling, rather than spend it distracting yourself from these serious problems by doing all the chores. Better to hire a cleaning service as needed, since you both work full-time.
Your husband’s stress level and self-absorption aren’t allowing you two to talk openly and work things out together.
You didn’t mention love for him. Sex is also problematic, not bonding.
Save yourself. Take comfort with your supportive people, e.g. your parents and closest friends.
You have value and integrity, and must not let yourself be defined by others’ negativity.
FEEDBACK Regarding the penis photo sent to a woman’s phone (December 21):
Reader – “The woman had met the male sex-ter “once” in a bar. He was drunk.
“How about advice for her to not engage drunken strangers in a bar and stop giving out personal information i.e. her phone number?
“I’m sure he took getting the number as “having a chance" with her.
“She shouldn’t be such a floozy in bars.
“There’d have been no “harassment” if she didn't invite it to happen.”
Ellie – You’re right about one thing only: It’s foolish and potentially dangerous to give personal information to strangers.
But your “floozy” description is wrong, biased, and nasty. Re-read her letter.
She fled to the washroom and left the bar, to get away from him.
He may’ve got her phone number sneakily when he was “hanging over her.”
Your blame-the-victim mentality is no longer accepted.
Sexual harassment starts with the harasser. Period.
Tip of the day:
When a partner accepts gifts in exchange for sexual flirting, it’s a wrong message to everyone involved.