AskAmy

The Denver Post - - LIFE & CULTURE - by Amy Dick­in­son

DearAmy: I ama 26-year- old woman who bar­tends and is start­ing a ca­reer in real es­tate. I have been dat­ing my boyfriend for more than three years now, and lived with him for most of that time.

He is 13 years older than me. He is very smart, fi­nan­cially suc­cess­ful, funny and sweet, gen­er­ous and charm­ing. How­ever, we have a huge prob­lem in our re­la­tion­ship: his jeal­ousy is­sues. At times it seems to con­sume him and al­ways causes a fight.

I love this man very much, but I don’t know how much longer I can deal with this. I would never cheat on him, and feel his sus­pi­cions are un­war­ranted. He is jeal­ous of cus­tomers I talk to while bar­tend­ing, as I am very friendly to peo­ple, which is part of my job.

He hates when I hang out with guy friends, or send texts to guy friends.

I have stopped do­ing this for the most part be­cause I don’t want it to cause a fight. He knows it’s a prob­lem and claims he’s work­ing on it, but it seems to be the same, if not worse.

He is not cur­rently go­ing to ther­apy, but keeps say­ing he will.

An ex­am­ple: Tonight I went to the gym while he was tak­ing a nap. Half an hour later, he calls me ask­ing where I was, and why I left af­ter get­ting a phone call. The phone call was from the ve­teri­nar­ian!

He was clearly very sus­pi­cious and im­plied I was out with some­one else. Amy, I re­ally can­not live this way. It’s not healthy or right. What should I do?— Torn in Port­land

Dear Torn: You can­not live this way, and you should not live this way, so please do not live this way.

Jeal­ousy is in­sid­i­ous; it is fu­eled by a per­son’s in­se­cu­rity, and jeal­ousy has a way of trans­mit­ting this in­se­cu­rity from the host to the part­ner. It’s like a mad virus, and un­less this dy­namic is in­ter­rupted you could find your own sense of self se­ri­ously eroded.

Cur­rently, you re­port that you have al­ready changed your ( trust­wor­thy) be­hav­ior in or­der to avoid a fight. The slip­pery slope here is that you will start to limit your­self fur­ther and fur­ther, un­til your guy’s jeal­ousy and anger con­trols your every move.

I hope you choose to exit from this re­la­tion­ship.

Dear Amy: I have been liv­ing with my boyfriend for al­most a year and a half. I re­cently dis­cov­ered that he lied about his age by al­most 12 years!

At first I thought I could ac­cept it, but I also re­cently learned that he was pre­vi­ously mar­ried. I haven’t con­fronted him about ei­ther of these facts, yet, be­cause I am afraid.

I can­not af­ford our place on my own and do not have enough money saved right now to start over. I be­lieve he loves me, but I can’t un­der­stand why he lied. I also don’t know how to con­front him. — Con­fused, Afraid and Be­trayed

Dear Con­fused: I can un­der­stand why you might feel afraid. If this per­son ( whom you be­lieved you knew so in­ti­mately) has de­ceived you about these ba­sic facts, you can only imag­ine what else he might be hid­ing.

I sug­gest you find some­place else to stay, in an­tic­i­pa­tion of a con­ver­sa­tion that might turn into a con­fronta­tion, and/ or a breakup. See if you can bunk in with a friend or fam­ily mem­ber for a short time.

I as­sume you in­tend to end the re­la­tion­ship. Put your plan in place, and then ask him to meet you in a pub­lic, neu­tral lo­ca­tion, and, as calmly as pos­si­ble, present him with what you’ve learned, and lis­ten to his re­sponse.

If you hold the lease on your apart­ment, he should move out, and you will have to find a room­mate to help share ex­penses. You need only be brave enough to take this one step at a time.

Dear Amy: I was truly shocked by the let­ter from “Con­cerned Mother,” whose gay son was mar­ried to a trans man who had just be­come preg­nant!

I guess I had never thought about the idea that a per­son who tran­si­tioned from fe­male to male can get preg­nant.

All the same, once I pon­dered this, I re­al­ized that I agreed with you! Ba­bies do come into fam­i­lies in all sorts of ways. In the end, hon­or­ing the fam­ily is all that mat­ters. — Sur­prised

Dear Sur­prised: I have been im­pressed by the re­sponse to this ques­tion: Mainly, it has been very sup­port­ive.

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