I'm in my mid-20s, with my boyfriend for five years. The first few months were great; then he became distant.
I discovered through snooping that he was in love with another girl. He’d debated breaking up with me to be with her, but she moved far away.
It was an emotional affair. I never confronted him.
Instead, I reached out to my ex. When my boyfriend realized we were in contact, he was suddenly very committed.
Since then our relationship’s been great. He’s been present and loving.
Now we’re discussing moving to where his former flame lives because I received an amazing job offer.
I’m excited but nervous, and realize I’m still angry.
I wonder if his feelings for her might return, and our relationship would unravel.
I also feel that I should’ve confronted him. I still resent him and want to punish him.
I was a different person then, and am now ashamed and wish I’d broken up with him back then.
Is it too late to discuss what happened four years ago, to let him know how much he hurt me?
Yes, you should’ve confronted him then. But now, after four years of his being a model boyfriend, your anger’s misplaced.
You’re mad at yourself for having accepting something that you wouldn’t today, with your greater confidence and maturity.
Now use that earned wisdom. Tell him you regret but felt compelled to snoop when he was distant. Say that you were very hurt and won’t allow that to happen again to you.
Then say that if he has any leftover feelings for that woman, you can’t move there with him and will go alone.
Whatever his response, believe him. He’s earned the chance to be as open and adult about your relationship as you’re going to be.
I was fired by my therapist. She suggested she stop treating me because I wasn't making any progress and avoiding hard decisions.
She was accurate but I felt I was getting great benefit from just speaking to her.
Admittedly, our sessions were all me discussing my insecurities.
I work in a very stressful field but expected to be confident and decisive.
I cannot confide in colleagues, as that’d harm my status. My wife doesn’t want to hear about insecurities as it makes me look weak in her eyes and scares her.
I have no one to discuss my problems with and feel my therapist abandoned me. My sessions were the only time I could be honest with anyone, my only peaceful time in the week.
I feel quite alone now.
Should I ask my therapist what I have to do to resume treatment or find someone new? I’m concerned that I’ll have the same problem with a new therapist.
Unsettled and Alone
You could tell your former therapist – OR a new one – that you just want to pay for someone to listen to feelings you don’t care to handle.
Your recent therapist was too honest and committed to helping and healing, to just take your money and snooze with eyes open. I’d hope many therapists are similar in professional attitude, but you might find one who’d comply.
Or, you could try to find inner peace by exploring the root of these insecurities with the therapist who clearly thinks you can. It’d allow for more honest connection in all your relationships, including that with your wife.
My husband of ten years has anger issues when he drinks, which caused me to leave him last year. However, he started counselling and begged me to return. I did and he’s been much better.
Recently, my dear aunt visited, and though he drinks less now, he had a few and suddenly lashed out at me for something trivial.
My aunt was horrified. I told her that we were both working on this, that I sometimes attend counselling with him to keep him going, but the incident unnerved me. Is there no “cure” for deep-seated anger?
The “cure” is management. Drinking is his trigger, and he needs to always control his intake or stop.
He also needs to know his other triggers, like work stress or, perhaps, stress from thinking a relative of yours was judging him.
And he must consciously understand that his hostile behaviour’s inappropriate and unacceptable today, no matter its early causes.
If he’s not committed to managing his anger, he’ll lash out again.
Tip of the day:
A past mis-step should be discussed, not silently resented for years after.