I recently got into a relationship with this girl and that’s going decently well. But we’ve had some problems mainly regarding my ex.
I told this girl before we got into a relationship that I talk to my ex and her family. We meet for coffee to catch up and keep in touch, strictly platonic. We’ve been broken up for two years.
My girlfriend started having a huge negative opinion about it a month into the relationship. She’s accused me of cheating with either my ex or some random person. Your opinion?
She’s suspicious because this relationship is still so new. Although you disclosed the ongoing contact before you got involved, the reality of it just a month after getting together upset her.
If this is a frequent meetup, it’s too much. She has to be wondering, what is it you two talk about? If you’re so chummy, why did you break up?
I’m not saying that her “cheating” accusations are acceptable. But it’s up to you to reassure her.
You could invite her along (if she won’t overreact) to show her that it’s strictly platonic.
Or, explain to your ex that your current girlfriend is jealous and untrusting so you need to take a break from the get-togethers.
Or, this girlfriend is jealous and untrusting, period. In that case, do yourself and her a favour and go separate ways.
Reader’s Commentary Regarding a father’s concerns about his son’s bored, angry feelings and poor self-image (June 3):
“Go for walks together. It’s amazing how fresh air can clear your mind. It also creates a relaxed opportunity for constructive discussions.
“You’ll be amazed how addictive a walk can become. I find the mental health benefits are now my motivation.
“Regarding a boring job: Make it a challenge to find ways to excel, possibly incorporating some of his education. Look for ways to improve job efficiency.
“Show genuine initiative.
“If the job is that boring and unrelated to his studies, take an online course to gain some advanced skills/education.
“When the job market opens up, he can show how he’d been further preparing for his dream job when an opportunity presents.
“When interviewers ask what I’ve been doing during the COVID downturn, I tell them that I’ve been taking courses to improve my skills.
“Make the job search a game. The dream job you’re looking for is out there. Maybe even tomorrow. It becomes your task to go find it.
“It will be a challenge. But being persistent will pay off.”
Reader #2 – “The father who wrote you described my son, now 30, as if it were him. This father should intervene now. Not addressing and correcting these thoughts and behaviours right away means things will get worse. Trust me.”
Reader #3 – “The father expressed worries about “where these thoughts may take his son.”
“Something I learned in therapy after there was a suicide in my family, was to get your kids to promise they will not attempt suicide without talking to someone about it first.
“Apparently somewhere deep down this promise is remembered by many people contemplating suicide.
“We need to start talking about suicide openly, as uncomfortable as that may be to get started. And here’s my mother’s wisdom that I also share with my kids much more easily:
“Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem.”
Throughout the 15 years that I’ve been good friends with another woman, she’s been openly unhappy in her marriage. She often unloads all her troubles with me and all I want to do is help her.
I listen, make suggestions, but inevitably she’ll shut down with, “I don’t want to talk about it anymore.”
Basically, she and her husband have nothing in common. In their early 40s, without children to bind them together, he’s busy with his business and she’s stopped looking for a compelling interest of her own.
How can I be a helpful friend to someone who chooses to stay miserable?
Sad For Her
She makes that choice. She reveals a lot to you but not what matters most: Why. She’d benefit greatly from a therapist’s help in understanding herself, but she fears exposure of the inadequacies she feels and others’ judgements. Sad, yes. Tell her that therapy can help her improve her life.
Tip of the day:
When a new partner becomes suspicious and jealous of your ongoing contact with an ex, either lessen the contact right away or re-think the new relationship.