I’ve been living with my boyfriend for seven years.
Around my birthday, I received a card with no return address, mailed from Chicago. I assumed it was from my one girlfriend living there. I opened the card in front of him and it was a romantic birthday card signed, “LOVE YOU. CAN’T WAIT…” I called my friend in Chicago to see if she was playing a joke on me but she swore she didn’t.
Now, my boyfriend is looking at me like I’m having an affair. I feel like I have to be on the defense for something I haven’t done.
I am so hurt that some cruel person would want to ruin someone else’s relationship. Also, that my boyfriend has no trust or belief in me.
- Mad, Hurt and Confused
If your relationship has been secure, with no backstories of cheating on your part (or his), this will blow over.
Be understanding of his reaction… imagine if the roles were reversed and HE was the one who’d received this anonymous love note. You’d surely be suspicious, then! Don’t overreact to him with anger and hurt, or it will make you look oddly defensive. Just keep up your normal routine, stay in close contact with your guy and when he brings up the subject, calmly say you can’t understand who would try to upset both of you this way.
Meanwhile, consider whether either of you have people at work or other acquaintances who’d like to see you break up.
My boyfriend of four years and I ended our relationship for a short period over a year ago; I briefly saw someone else, nothing serious, and went to the same places where I knew my boyfriend would be. It caused a lot of drama and I know I was wrong.
We’re now back living together and things have been good, but recently, I feel he didn’t put everything behind him. He went to one of the places where all the drama took place. He had said that he could never again go with me to any of these spots; that he didn’t want me to be there with him because he’d get really angry. To me, it was like saying, “I’ll never let it go.”
We tried counselling but it upset him too much. I don’t think it’s fair that we can’t do certain things or go certain places, and I don’t think it’ll work at helping him forget the past.
Am I wrong?
- Old Drama
As in the question above, the issue isn’t who’s right or wrong, it’s about understanding a partner’s jealousy.
The Green-Eyed Monster – when constantly suspicious, and emotionally volatile - can ruin a relationship; but so can overreaction to another’s sensitivities when there’s a cause.
You clearly caused some major drama, now accept that it’ll take time for your boyfriend to not feel uncomfortable to go with you to places where you once humiliated him.
Let it pass. The incidents were not that long ago, especially if the same people hang out in those places.
He needs time to heal his wounded pride, and you should back off from any pressure on this.
My daughter-in-law is an awful cook. Do I offer to teach her and possibly insult her?
- Bad Taste
Bring over a meal to “make her day easier.” If she enjoys it, offer the recipe.
Make no comments on her skills, but offer next time to cook with her.
I’m the baby of the family; when I was younger everyone seemed to get along, we always had family gatherings. But after my uncle died, everyone went their own ways, everyone hates each other, and we haven’t any family get-togethers.
The family’s divided into two parts, and I’m in the middle.
I wish to have one more family gathering before someone else dies. What should I do?
- Missing Out
Emerge as the family peacemaker. Perform some “shuttle diplomacy” by talking sensibly (without blame) to members of each side about the need for a family support network.
Remind them that as the elders die, the rift will only widen for lack of contact and shared history. Invite everyone to get together and bring some old pictures. Insist that you won’t tolerate arguments there.
Organize a potluck with those who’ll come, and enjoy whomever shows up. It’s a start.
Tip of the day:
Don’t overreact to a partner’s feelings of natural jealousy, when there’s a logical reason triggering it.