Be open or be on guard

Journal Pioneer - - LIVING ROOM - Ellie Tesher Ad­vice

My boyfriend and I moved in to­gether a month ago.

I picked up his phone and opened a browser and he was look­ing up per­son­als on Craigslist for women.

I then dis­cov­ered he was a mem­ber of over three open sites.

I re­ally love him but I need to know if this is nor­mal or do I need to end it now even though it will hurt?

– Up­set

You snooped and found. Some­thing prompted it: cu­rios­ity or a sus­pi­cion?

You can ra­tio­nal­ize this “dis­cov­ery” with ma­tu­rity, by re­al­iz­ing that, af­ter only a month of the com­mit­ment to live to­gether, he hadn’t got­ten around to clear­ing his con­tacts with dat­ing sites.

In that case, you could ask him if he’s cut off con­nec­tions with per­sonal dat­ing ads, and dat­ing web­sites, as (pre­sum­ably) you have done.

If he says Yes, you have a prob­lem which you cre­ated. You’d have to ei­ther trust him, or snoop again.

OR, you could ad­mit to him right now that you found this on his phone and you want re­as­sur­ance at this still-early stage that he’s not still seek­ing other women through those sites.

Oth­er­wise, you’ll be check­ing up on him re­peat­edly, which is no way to keep a re­la­tion­ship. Is an in­ter­est in other women “nor­mal?” Of course. But that doesn’t make it ac­cept­able to a part­ner with whom some­one’s agreed to start shar­ing a life to­gether.

Tell him so.

Find­ing ap­pro­pri­ate help has been over­whelm­ing and in­cred­i­bly dis­cour­ag­ing.

Please rec­om­mend some in­di­vid­ual mem­bers of the As­so­ci­a­tion for Mar­riage and Fam­ily Ther­apy and/or Psy­chol­o­gists. I’m hav­ing is­sues rooted in de­vel­op­men­tal health (Asperg­ers’) that are wrecking havoc in my mar­riage, which has

nearly col­lapsed.

– Des­per­ate

While I can­not name and rec­om­mend par­tic­u­lar spe­cial­ists, your pur­suit is per­sonal, and the right ques­tions can only come from you.

When you con­tact pro­fes­sional as­so­ci­a­tions of mar­riage coun­sel­lors or psy­chol­o­gists, be clear about your par­tic­u­lar needs and con­cerns. Ex­am­ple: Of dif­fer­ent ap­proaches that ther­a­pists ap­ply to mar­riage ther­apy, what’s best for your sit­u­a­tion?

Ask about costs and time in­volve­ments.

Con­tact your lo­cal Asperg­ers So­ci­ety, too, for guid­ance on how de­vel­op­men­tal health prob­lems af­fect mar­riages. Sup­port groups are also help­ful, es­pe­cially re­gard­ing changes to watch for dur­ing a life­span with some­one with Asperg­ers.’

The So­ci­ety and the spe­cial­ist who’s made the di­ag­no­sis can di­rect you to lo­cal sup­port groups.

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