My boyfriend of almost a year separated from his ex-wife three years ago. He's been overseas - they split due to infidelity and that's why he was away for so long and had little to do with her. Since he's been home, he's also had little or no contact with her.
But now they're talking and he's seen her several times. Recently, she emailed him at 11pm and said to call her. I was upset. But he said that they're friends and that's the way it's going to stay. And if I don't like it, then he'll leave.
I don't want to be friends with her. She hurt him deeply and I can't see why he still wants to talk to her or have anything to do with her. What am I supposed to do?
See the red flag waving, and consider leaving him first.
He wants to be her close friend no matter how you feel. I say there's more to this. Maybe it's how he feels manly again after she deceived him. Or maybe he never got over her. What IS certain, he's showing no respect for you and your relationship.
If you accept his terms, then he can do whatever he wants... even start "testing" their feelings for each other while still keeping you around for back up. Better to let him know now, that you do NOT accept his cozy friendship with her as more important than your union. If he does, then get going out the door.
My boyfriend and I are both 23. We began dating in university four years ago, have a great relationship, and have been talking about marriage.
We've always discussed working hard so that we can have a comfortable lifestyle together.
However, since I started medical school I've been getting frustrated with him. He's been working at a retail store for two years and constantly complains about it, saying he wants to leave.
However, he refuses to do anything about it. I've sent him many job postings, but he does nothing. His lack of effort really bothers me.
I'm worried that he has no ambition and is lazy. I fear that he has no drive. My problem isn't only about the money, it's the fact that he's willing to stay at a job for which he's extremely over-qualified, and that he hates, without making any effort to do better.
I am seeing red flags here. I feel as though I am growing and excited about my future, whereas he's stagnant and willing to stay that way.
I'm having trouble envisioning a future with him, but I love him and we're perfect for each other in every other way. I want to make this work.
Yes, you're different.... and you probably knew that already and felt the differences worked.
This isn't the same kind of "red flag" as above, whereby someone's treating their partner badly. Your guy may simply be less sure of himself career-wise, and somewhat depressed from his lackluster job. This is fairly common for some people after graduating and not soon finding a job that's stimulating or on their envisioned path.
Back off and be encouraging without being pushy or showing that he's disappointing you. Also, watch that you don't give the impression that you've already left him behind.
You'll know in a few months whether this is just a dull phase for him, or signs of a true lack of ambition.
FEEDBACK Regarding the woman whose boyfriend acts a bit strange and unsociable around family and friends i.e. he doesn't look at them, talks about himself, etc. (Oct. 25):
Reader #1 - "I know you can't suggest diagnoses in your article.... the socially awkward young man may very well have Asperger's Syndrome.
"Counseling is a suggestion that could lead to uncovering this fact, but only with a knowledgeable therapist."
Reader #2 - "Your advice to "take a break, consider counseling," are reasonable suggestions and I especially like that you focused on a voyage of "discovery" instead of her making "a fast escape."
"May I kindly suggest that the writer be provided with some information about Asperger's Syndrome?"
Rather than direct the writer to a specific condition - based on minimal details - I believe counselling is a route by which she, and he, can find more definitive answers plus ways to deal with his behaviour.
Tip of the day:
Some behaviours are nasty red flags, while others signal that adjustments and compromises are needed.