A year ago, I was in a relationship. The guy was initially goodhearted but turned super overprotective towards me.
Eventually, I couldn't leave the house without reporting to him where I was going, whom I was seeing, and how long I'd be.
I felt trapped in the relationship.
I started to suspect something was going on with him when he wanted to know everywhere I was going.
It turns out he was cheating on me but not just with anybody, but with a close friend of mine.
Since I have an anger problem, I didn't react very well when I found out. I threw things all over the place and had to cool off by taking a walk.
It's been a year since it happened. Should I forgive them? It's hard to trust them again after that.
You can forgive them – mainly because that’s healthy for you. But you still can’t trust either of them.
Why is forgiveness healthy? Well, for someone with anger issues, giving up the “betrayed” burden means no longer feeling a victim of their deceit.
You forgive them because they actually did you a favour by getting you away from his overbearing controls.
You forgive because they’re both disloyal helping you appreciate true friends more.
But you also forgive them because they unwittingly helped you see that your “anger problem” is a waste of emotion. Throwing things riled up only you.
Moving on did you a lot more good for your well-being and your future.
Reader’s Commentary Regarding the woman who has more libido than her husband (October 24):
“The immediate solution is her masturbating to help her needs, but she’s tried to help him participate by introducing a sex toy that they can both use.
“You ask why he has to be part of her "taking care of herself." Odd question since she has to have less sex because that's what he wants/needs.
“I believe that he needs to "put out" a bit more.
“I’m in the same position as she is but, being a man, there’s the view that most men have higher libidos and masturbate so that shouldn’t be an issue.... but it is!
“It doesn't take away the need for more activity from the partner, but you seem to suggest that his lack of interest is okay.
“Those with higher libidos - your writer and me, and many others on both sides - need greater intimacy than that being provided by our partners, and there needs to be a shared response by the "lower libido” person.
“My partner doesn't like talking about it and has offered great amounts of tears over the years when I’ve tried, so I gave that up.
“What do we all do, those who have greater needs? It can't all be on us to be more understanding.
“Years of "understanding" doesn't help our sexual needs - they require an outlet which can too often lead to other outlets.
“Sex isn't everything, but is sure is when its not available.”
Ellie – I empathize with your situation because shared intimacy, including sex, is a significant bond in a long-term relationship.
However, when the libido issue becomes a wedge, a solution that can work is worth trying.
She’s tried to get him involved, he felt blamed instead.
Since she loves him and wants to stay together, I suggest a practical course of taking care of herself when she needs to, enjoying sex when he does get aroused, and discussing their difference far less.
FEEDBACK Regarding a man whose business burned down and his younger partner's reaction to his mental/emotional state (June 15):
Reader – “Nowhere in her letter does the writer mention (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) PTSD and your having assumed/diagnosed her partner with PTSD is outrageous, not to say grossly irresponsible!
“The man is clearly and understandably depressed and needs therapy, but to label his problem as PTSD with no information having been given to back it up is so wrong!”
Ellie - I agree that my first reference to PTSD wrongly sounded like a diagnosis.
However, I did immediately make two references to the fact that neither that conclusion, or any other, could be known unless he received counselling and a specialist's diagnosis.
Still, your comment warrants being published because I agree that none of us who are lay advisors, no matter our experience, should “diagnose” in the medical, psychiatric, and psychological fields.
Tip of the day:
Forgiving someone saves you from being a victim and hanging onto anger.