I’m a man woefully inept at discussing very personal matters with my partner - major issues remain unresolved, like her accusation of my being unfaithful.
Over the last seven years I regularly went to a blues pub along with some friends.
My wife tried it, didn’t like it, but supported it as an outing for me to pursue my interest.
Until she accused me of having an affair with someone there.
I asked whom she suspected, but no name was given. I asked what information warranted such a terrible accusation. No answer.
Eight people who also attended there are known to her and could be called to inform on my behavior. She didn’t call anyone.
My denial isn’t a cover-up. I invited her to come see for herself. I offered that her friends go to keep an eye on me and videotape anything they wish. None did.
The music has since ended and so too the “affair” accusations, with no retraction or apology. I’m left stuck with it.
She was jealous of something – the fun you had, the time away from her, regularly, over seven years, whatever… but she was wrong to accuse you without a shred of evidence or explanation.
But here’s a clue: I don’t buy anyone’s “woefully inept” self-description regarding discussing personal matters.
You’re an adult, you assert yourself in other areas of life, with none more important than relationship peace.
You could’ve told her that you love her dearly, would not and have not ever cheated on her, and need to know why she’s accusing you.
You could’ve said that if she misses you those nights or feels left out, you’d pursue some other interest, which you two can share.
If she’s also “woefully inept” at answering, you both need to learn to speak up and stop hiding emotions behind excuses and accusations.
My boyfriend has a steady job, pays his bills on time, and has decent savings. But he regularly blows money on hobbies.
Examples: He’s previously spent over $1,000 on collectible Lego and $500 on specialty covers for collectible cards. (The cards cost far more).
He always gets sick of the items within a couple of months and gets rid of them.
According to him, a therapist once said I have no right to be concerned because it's his money.
It’s true that all our finances are separate.
I thought he was getting better. But he's recently been spending $500 monthly on gaming content.
I only found out after he told me that his new counsellor advised that he limit his spending to $100 a month.
Meanwhile, he always experiences intense buyer’s remorse and gets angry at the stuff for not making him happy.
Do I have any right to be frustrated?
Not A Game
He’s not risking your money, yet he may be affecting any hopes you have for buying a home together, travelling, and other costly goals.
More important, he may be suffering a form of shopaholic syndrome which one psychiatrist once described as, “trying to fill a deep dark hole inside.”
He already knows that his purchases are unsatisfying, out of control, and feed his craving for more.
Your frustration’s understandable, but he’s already seeking help. However, he may need to see a specialist in obsessive-compulsive behaviour.
Stay on his side while he’s sharing information with you.
Encourage him to continue pursuing therapy, and to seek a related support group, e.g. Shopaholics’ Anonymous, to see if the information resonates with him.
FEEDBACK Regarding the man who wants a social relationship with his therapist now that their professional sessions have ended (Sept. 14):
Reader – “Clients are attracted to their therapists all the time. It can even be part of the therapeutic process (if raised in therapy).
“It may be what’s called “transference” or it could be something else. Discussing it could’ve been helpful for him to understand more about his attraction.”
Reader #2 – “Patients of any sort, but especially those of medical doctors or psychotherapists, are highly prone to transference.
“There should NOT be a social or romantic relationship following a professional one for at LEAST one year (professional regulations usually state two years) following his counselling, or else he risks her losing her health care provider license.
“There’s ALWAYS a power imbalance when someone is treating you. His therapist would not only risk losing her job, but her good standing or license within her profession.”
Tip of the day:
When neither partner says what they really feel, the “elephant in the room” grows larger.