My boyfriend of seven months is addicted to his smart phone. He checks it often when we're together - his text messages, e-mail, Facebook. It's bothering me that he might be using it as a means to connect with other girls.
I discovered that he has talked to some other women before through the Internet, and his obsession with his phone fuels my distrust. The phone feels like the mistress in our relationship.
I don't know how to talk to him about it. I confronted him once, and he got so angry he spilled an alcoholic drink and the phone broke. He ended up getting a new one and was able to retrieve all of contacts, messages, and applications so my effort was in vain.
How can I get over this distrust, or hate for his cell phone and resist the compulsion to check his Facebook and e-mail?
The phone may be dominating his life, but it doesn't have to rule yours. Recognize that he's one of those people who's gone obsessive about being constantly connected and decide whether there's enough meaningful time together despite this, or not. (After all, somehow, he did become your boyfriend).
Given that your relationship's still young, it's highly likely that he's still in touch with some female friends, and yes, he may be connecting to others, too. But that doesn't mean he's cheating, emotionally or otherwise, especially if his free time is spent with you.
Instead of lowering yourself to snooping, check up on your own level of insecurity. You've seen the phone as the enemy, even "his mistress," when the real divide between you two may just be a bad fit. He's a guy who likes to be wired to many, and you're needy of more attention. Decide whether to hang in or hang up on the relationship.
My friend is stealing from me under my nose and not saying anything about it. When I asked her about it she denied it. It's just little things now, but what if she starts taking bigger things like money, jewelry, or my credit card?
She's been my friend for as long as I can remember and is really kind. I depend on her for a lot of stuff and I've told her my secrets and personal stuff. I want to help her but since she won't talk to me about it, I can't. I want to raise it in a subtle way and fix the problem. Or should I wait and let her confess when the guilt makes her talk?
You're showing great sensitivity to the possibility your friend has a more serious problem than coveting some of your things. Since you're so close, you must surely be aware of any trauma she had, either in the past or more recently, or of what events/relationships could've made her feel shaky, depressed, etc.
If you can identify some such trigger(s), gently start a conversation about it. From there, you can say you're concerned about her and believe that talking to a therapist would help her greatly.
Meanwhile, remove any money you keep at home, and your jewellery to a place she can't find easily, and keep your wallet and credit cards with you when together. That way, you hopefully won't have to confront her about specific major theft.
However, if the pilfering persists and you can't get anywhere with subtle means, you may need to leave something out on purpose and confront her when it's gone.
My mother-in-law showed dislike for me from the start, though she appreciated my help in a family crisis. She was intoxicated at our wedding, on her cell phone with her daughter, 19, who didn't show due to a stupid argument with my husband.
This sister-in-law and I don't get along, as I don't like her boyfriend. So she texts me nasty things, then my in-laws yell at my husband how I'm ruining their family!
My husband says they're wrong in a docile way, as he retains a "childish" fear of his parents. To my face, they're fine and badmouth their daughters! Do I end contact or just deal with the random arguments?
Do nothing... i.e. stay above the arguments saying you know they really love their daughters and will work things out with them. Drop your judgement of your SIL's boyfriend - it's fuelling some of the tension. He's her business, not yours.
Tip of the day:
Season's Greetings to all, for peace, joy, and goodwill in your relationships.