I live several hours away from my boyfriend of one year (I’m on a work contract until March). When we’re together, everything’s great.
We usually see each other every week or two, for a few days. When we’re apart, we fight constantly.
He checks my personal accounts (facebook, email) to see if I'm talking to any guys. I’ve never given him reason to believe this.
I'm always wondering if he’s talking to other girls or doing stuff that I wouldn’t approve.
We love each other a lot, but hurt each other for no reason.
We’ve talked about plans, once I move back, to live together, and get married. I can totally see myself with him, but worry about overcoming the next few months.
How do we learn to trust each other? I want to feel like I feel when we’re together and happy ALL the time.
The Time Between
Sorry, but your image of constant future happiness when always together defies reality.
What you described here is a jealous, untrusting guy who invades your privacy for no reason. And you appear as insecure, anxious, and equally untrusting.
Unless you two can develop a mature, respectful relationship beforehand, moving in together isn’t going to change your nature or his.
Currently, you blame these short separations for the turmoil and fights. Once together full-time, it may be your working with male colleagues, his talking to an ex… i.e. there are bigger stresses ahead than just being apart a few days at a time.
If you both believe you can do better than mistrust each other and fight, get couples’ counselling to help you plan a better relationship, whether together or occasionally apart.
I’m 37, a mother, and have always felt socially isolated. I have some friends, but I’m not invited to outings or parties of our mutual friends.
I’ve made attempts to have dinner parties and no one shows up; I’ve asked friends out to a movie or theater, but no one comes.
I’d learned that a close friend was forwarding private e-mails from me, to other people. The e-mails were advice that the friend had asked about, concerning a pyramid company that she wanted me to join for $500.
She’d been hounding me and asked me to prove why this wasn’t a good deal. It caused issues with other parents in our children’s school.
Now she wants me to help her with her kids, and with taxes. I’m unsure how to reduce contact with her without breaking the friendship.
I feel like a doormat. I’m financially challenged, that’s why people have less respect for me.
But I manage my money well and plan for everything in advance. How can I improve my social standing?
No Door Mat
You’ve described a pattern that’s contributed to your social isolation but the only way to pinpoint its roots is through a process of therapy, and that’s where my advice will hopefully lead you.
For your child’s sake, as well as your own, you need to understand why some things cause you difficulties socially, and learn new strategies for dealing with people that work better for you.
You naturally want to be involved somewhat with the school and local community in which you and your child are involved. Your financial circumstances shouldn’t be an issue, since you manage money well.
There may be affordable counselling through a community agency, local YWCA, your faith community, or by referral from your family doctor.
FEEDBACK Regarding the woman with a suspected brain tumour, and a partner distancing himself through watching porn (July 2):
Reader – “She needs to get away from him for own mental health and self-respect. I’m hoping she has friends/ family, as you said, who could take her in.
“Staying with him may harm her more than help him.
“Perhaps only the shock of her leaving will make an impression.
“She could perhaps, after a length of time, build an entirely different relationship with him. Clearing the slate first is essential.
“Why should she continue to live with him when she’s lost all respect for him? She’s supported him, but he’s made poor choices. She needs to be strong for herself.
“If she decides to separate, she needs a dated legal paper for the courts to use if she files for divorce. Otherwise, the “marriage period” may include all the months/years they were living apart.”
Tip of the day:
A couple which must be together constantly to feel mutual trust, faces difficulties whenever there’s change.