I recently broke up with a man, 28, after 30 months - the more disagreements we had, the more distant and unaffectionate he became.
I finally voiced my frustration, admittedly harshly, and he said our relationship was un-repairable after this final criticism. Although I was very loving and affectionate 99% of the time, I’d not sugarcoat my disapprovals: he was lazy about searching for a better job despite complaining about his current one. And he was late paying his bills despite requiring good credit standing in his field.
He called my honesty and criticism “attacks” and said he quickly loses emotion when criticized. His mother had treated him poorly from age 2 to 22; his sisters were very loved while he was often picked on or neglected.
She apologized when he was 23, and their relationship is pleasant and respectful now but appears to still lack emotional depth.
I’ve developed anger towards his mother since we parted. I’ve done research and he displays the symptoms of “fear of intimacy.” It can be attributed to childhood events such as a mother’s ill treatment.
I’d like to tell him this so that he can receive counselling and find happiness. I’d also like to tell his mother that she’s largely responsible so they can work out underlying issues. We’ve both moved on and still consider ourselves good friends. Is there any way to bring this up to him and/or his mother without crossing a line?
- Still Angry
No. No. Your amateur, unsolicited psychoanalysis will be seen as intrusive, and sure to end the friendship. Since your ex-boyfriend shared his earlier experiences with you, he already has a sense of their impact on him.
Your “admittedly harsh” way of expressing your views - of him or his mother - will bear no resemblance to professional counselling, which guides people to come to their own conclusions as they explore their past with experienced help.
Here’s another “harsh” reality: He’s as capable as you are of gaining insight and maturing in his emotional depth over time, something which may happen with a next love, even though it didn’t happen with you. Just back off.
Recently, my office got a shared server where we can see the contents of each other’s computers. I stumbled on a document showing everyone’s salaries (it’s since been removed).
Now I know that I'm earning less than a couple of co-workers with less seniority, less responsibility and less work ethic than me - in particular, our secretary earns slightly more, and she was hired around the same time.
I'm feeling bitter about what I feel is a very unfair compensation curve (I sit near these co-workers and know they’re on the internet for hours daily and take long lunches while I almost never have time for a lunch break).
I was happy with my job until now. I can't ask my boss for a raise since he’s currently on leave for medical issues, without anyone replacing him. How can I feel better about my situation?
- Bitter Pay
Write an account of your own qualifications and your contribution to the company. When your boss returns, ask for a salary review - explaining that everyone became aware of each other’s earnings, accidentally, and yours seems questionably lower than some others.
Bitterness can only harm your out-put and attitude, that can counter your bargaining position. Continue to prove your worth until you receive an answer that satisfies you – perhaps even a promotion. If unsatisfied, consider leaving.
I’m 16 and last spring a boy my age and I quickly became serious with each other, but it was on and off and confusing.
Recently, we were seeing each other again and he admitted he’d cheated on me and lied about it. We fought about this, then agreed to be just friends.
He’s been hinting at getting back together, saying he misses me. But when we’re together, he takes me for granted. I don’t know if I should stop all communication to get over him, or get back together.
- Hopeless Romantic
Since you’ve started down this “hopeless” path so young, I fear you’ll approach many more relationships with similar confusion …. unless you smarten up and value your own self-esteem.
So here’s my crucial Rule #1 for Romantics: A relationship is only worthwhile if you’re treated well, and if there’s an equal sense of being honest and caring with each other - all the time.
Tip of the day:
Unsolicited personality dissections are often more of a turn-off than helpful.