Afterward, I sat him down and told him I looked at his phone and what I found. I told him I was most upset that he deliberately omitted any information about the girl and that I couldn’t understand why he felt he couldn’t tell me. He equated their friendship to my platonic male friendships. I told him I’ve never omitted telling him! He explained that he loves her in a platonic way and didn’t understand why I was upset about that. I told him I didn’t think he would be happy either if I was telling my male friends that I loved them — a point that he agreed with. Eventually, we somewhat straightened the mess out, but I later found out he told his friend that I freaked out at him, and then she apparently freaked and they are no longer friends.
Basically, our underlying issue is our difference in communication. I am very upfront about everything and who I’m hanging out with, male or female. It’s my way of trying to include him in my social life since we only see each other on the weekends. He doesn’t quite reciprocate this in the way I’m looking for. I’ve expressed an interest in hearing more about his daily life, but he never shares anything about the people and friendships he cultivates on his own. When I press him, he gets defensive and doesn’t want to share. He tells me I’m crazy, paranoid and that he wants to keep his privacy. I just want to be included & occasionally be told about the other people in his life.
So, how do I better explain this to him? Or am I actually that crazy girlfriend and just can’t recognize it in myself? We have been slowly making plans for marriage (saving money, etc.) but I wonder if that’s truly a good idea. I think breaking up with him right now is a rash decision. But I don’t know how I feel about the thought of him acting like this, brushing any concern of mine off and calling me crazy. What do you think? — Communication Pitfalls
Breaking up with some guy who acts shady, repeatedly disrespects you, tells another woman he loves her, refuses to tell you anything about his daily life or the people he interacts with when you’re not around, and then calls you crazy for wanting to know stuff about him IS NOT A RASH DECISION. You know what would be a rash decision? Marrying the douchebag.
Come on. You can’t be serious, can you? Oh, I know you’re serious. Sadly, for every letter like yours that I post, there are ten others just like it. Ladies, ladies, ladies, let’s get it together. This is not what a healthy relationship looks like. This is not the way we — or anyone! — deserves to be treated. Life is not so lonely as a single person that putting up with crap like this is a worthwhile cause. It’s not. I promise!
If we women continue putting up with behavior like you’ve described in your letter, we will continue being miserable. The change you’re looking for isn’t going to come from the guy you’re dating. It’s been 3 1/2 years!! If he were ever going to come around and be the decent sort of boyfriend and human being you want him to be, it would have happened by now. It would have happened after the first time, let alone the second, third, and fourth times you pleaded with him to share more of his life with you. WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR? What do you think is going to happen? Do you think you’re going to get married and he’s suddenly going to wake up one morning and be a good guy? It doesn’t work like that.
You are dating a douchebag. He’s going to continue being a douchebag. Why? Because he’s gotten away with being a douchebag for 3 1/2 years now. He’s gotten away with having some sort of secret life from you, complete with women he never mentions, and he has no interest whatsoever in changing that. He chose you because he can get away with being a jerk. If he was forced to make a decision between being a jerk and being with you, I’m sorry to say: you aren’t going to win that contest.
No, the change you’re looking for has to come from you. So, wake up, pull yourself out of whatever fog you’ve been living in all these years, get some freakin’ self-esteem and tell this guy you’re over. He doesn’t deserve you. And this is no kind of relationship to build a future on. Breaking up with this jackass will be the first step you need to take to finally empower yourself and begin a path toward personal fulfillment. The path you’re on doesn’t lead there, I promise. It only leads to heartache, misery and self-loathing. And there is no way off the path other than dumping your boyfriend. I know that’s not what you want to hear, but it’s what you NEED to hear. It’s what so many women in your boat need to hear.
DUMP THE ASSHOLES, ALREADY. Enough is enough. Life is too short to spend precious time hoping other people will make the change you want them to make. BE THE CHANGE YOU NEED.
Be the change you need. It’s the only way.
*If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, send me your letters at firstname.lastname@example.org and be sure to follow me on Twitter.