It’s time again for Shortcuts. For every question, I’ll give my advice in just a few sentences because sometimes the answer to a person’s question is so obvious and the need to hear it so great that being as clear and frank as possible is simply the best way to go.
My boyfriend is seven years older then I am, so I don’t like to tell him he can’t hang out with his friends when he chooses to hang out with them over me because there are some things I can’t legally do like drink. However, he has this one female friend who often hangs out with him alone. She asked him to teach her how to play the guitar and then proceeded to tell him that she doesn’t own a guitar herself, so my boyfriend lent her one of his. For his birthday, she got him a pair of pants that were see-through and, in my opinion, a bit girly. She told him she realized he can’t wear them out of the house, but she figured they would be good for “after sex” or something.
Not telling me they were a gift from this girl, my boyfriend puts them on me and then proceeds to tell me that this girl got them for him and that she told him they were for wearing after sex. My boyfriend said that he wouldn’t ever wear them but that they look good on me and he’d like me to have them.
I feel a bit strange about this whole scenario and I’m not really sure if I should keep the pants or whether I should tell my boyfriend that this whole situation makes me uncomfortable. — What Do I Do With These Pants?
I mean… do the pants fit? Do you like them? Are they comfy? If so, you could say: “The pants are comfortable, but this situation is not. Giving post-sex attire to someone you aren’t dating is inappropriate. Passing said gift along to your girlfriend is even stranger. I’m not sure I’m ok with your friendship with this woman, and I’d feel better if you no longer spent time alone with her.” If he can’t guarantee that, you should move on.
My boyfriend of two years moved in with me a year ago. We have a very passionate relationship, the sex is great, and we get along well, but every two weeks he visits his ex-wife. She lives in the same city as we do, and, at the beginning of our relationship, my boyfriend would lie and tell me he was visiting some male friends when he went to see her. I found out he was lying and confronted him, and he said he knew I was going to be mad, which is why he didn’t say he was visiting her. He says she is his friend and he has much gratitude for her — that he will continue visiting her and that I need to trust him that he’s just going to talk and they don’t do anything else. Every time he goes it upsets me and he thinks I’m so insecure. When we’re together, we are great, but every time she texts his attitude changes and he feels like he owes her, and that makes me feel I am not important in his life. I need some advice on how I can handle this situation. — Feeling Insecure
There’s no reason a guy has to go to his ex’s home once every two weeks “just to talk.” Please. Your boyfriend’s a jerk and a liar and you need to listen to your intuition to not trust him. He calls you insecure as a way to distract you from the bullshit he’s pulling and make you question yourself. This is called gaslighting and it’s a classic tactic manipulators use. Fuck that. Oh, and “I lied because I knew you’d be upset by the truth” is also classic manipulation — as if it’s YOUR fault he had to lie. Come on. Dump this jerk and MOA.
My ex and I have two kids together. We’ve been divorced since 2013 and have since moved on. We both have remarried. If it weren’t for my two children, I would have no reason to be in contact with my ex. I’m trying to make a point of keeping our relationship just about the kids. It becomes complicated for me because a few of my friends and family members have become Facebook friends with his wife. It bothers me when I see comments and the phony relationships, for the reason that pics or post about my kids are involved. Am I right to feel uneasy? All four of us are on good terms, aside from some small issues with the kids now and then… I need separation for my sanity. Any advice? — The Ex-Wife
Block his wife and/or him on social media so that their photos and posts don’t show up in your feeds. If you want, you can propose that you all agree not to post photos of the kids. And/or you can simply get off social media. If your relationship with your ex and his wife is cordial for the sake of the kids, it would seem that maintaining that is a much bigger priority than keeping in touch with the girl you sat next to in geometry in eighth grade.
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If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at [email protected].