Saturday, August 18 , 2018, 9:44 am | Overcast 70º

 
 
 
 
Teenagers

Louise Palanker: Cheating Fear, Boyfriend’s Intrusive Sister, Relationship Doubts

Question from Ashley

My boyfriend cheated on his last girlfriend and I’m super worried that he will cheat or is cheating on me. Today is our four-month anniversary and I love him to pieces. He tells me he would never cheat on me, and he lets me go through his phone whenever I want to. He also gets super jealous when I talk to other guys, but he knows I would never cheat on him.

Should I be worried about him cheating?

Weezy

I do get a little concerned when I hear about a guy being too possessive. A healthy amount of jealousy is fine, but you want to make sure that your relationship is built around trust and communication rather than around the lows and highs of fear, anger, relief and control.

Resist the temptation to go through his phone. He should not be overly concerned with yours. We can’t own other people. When you decide to build a life with someone you are faithful to each other because that is what you are both deciding to do every day. Not because someone is making you do it.

If you find yourself feeling a rush when you can make your boyfriend jealous by talking to another guy, then you are generating all kinds of unhealthy energy. That may make you feel powerful in the moment but it is actually demonstrating the absence of true power.

Authentic strength comes in knowing that you are worthy of love and that when you truly love, and are loved in return, you do not need to challenge it in order to test its purity. Instead, your energy goes into making the person that you love feel safe and valued. That is what you should both give and receive.

If what I’m describing is not what’s going on in this relationship, then I recommend that you see a couples therapist and talk about changes in thinking and behavior that can make both of you happier and make your relationship healthier.

(Sexy Confidence video)

                                                                 •        •        •

Question from Emily

Hello. I’m having problems with my boyfriend’s sister, who is constantly messaging him. I don’t get a break from it and want it to stop because it’s affecting my relationship with him.

Weezy

This problem can only be solved with an open, honest and nonconfrontational conversation with your boyfriend. (Read as: Do not confront his sister with this problem!)

You can start by saying this to your boyfriend, “I truly respect that you and your sister are close. That is really important and wonderful. But when I spend time with you and you become involved in a texting conversation with her, it makes me feel hurt. Is there any way you can let her know that you will get back to her a bit later?”

See what he says. Talk this through. Do not ask him to choose between you and his sister. If you put him up against that wall, he will choose his sister. You can, however, gently let him know that when he’s in a relationship with a girlfriend, he does have to budget his time accordingly and make an effort to help you feel loved and needed.

                                                                 •        •        •

Question from Beckah

Dear Weezy. I am 20 years old and I’m in a committed relationship with someone I love and we even live together. Recently, we have been fighting more often and I find myself getting irritated more often with him, and I feel really guilty about it because I do love him. And unfortunately, I have developed a small crush on someone I work with, and I also flirt with him on occasion and him vice versa even though he is also in a committed relationship.

I know this is bad and I feel guilty about it but I just don’t know what to do. My head and heart are both seriously confused.

Weezy

Check yourself. You are about to fall into that horrible trap of attempting to heal the hurt inside of a relationship by going outside of the relationship. That may feel like the thing to do in the moment but you are planting seeds of pain.

You ALWAYS need to finish one relationship before beginning a new one or even before behaving as if you are single. You SHOULD NOT flirt with someone who is unavailable. So much of what you are doing is dangerous.

This raises a huge question: Why are you drawn to danger? You need to take a hard look at why you feel compelled to be so self destructive. What is really going on? A therapist can help you understand your choices.

STOP flirting with the work crush and decide whether you wish to remain in this relationship. Go to couples counseling. Determine what you are doing that makes you get irritated with each other. Name it. Claim it and then decide if you wish to stay with this person. If you are staying, then work at it. Turn TOWARD your partner. If you are leaving him, then make a plan to break up and move on. Even then, stay away from the work crush while he is otherwise involved.

Just decide now to live your life authentically. Do not duck for comfort. Face what is happening. Look at it. Deal with it. Make your best choice and live with a clear and honest heart.

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Got a question for Weezy? Email her at [email protected] and it may be answered in a subsequent column.

Louise Palanker is a co-founder of Premiere Radio Networks, the author of a semi-autobiographical coming-of-age novel called Journals, a comedian, a filmmaker (click here to view her documentary, Family Band: The Cowsills Story), a teacher and a mentor. She also hosts a weekly video podcast called Things I Found Online, and teaches a free stand-up comedy class for teens at the Jewish Federation of Greater Santa Barbara. Click here to read previous columns. The opinions expressed are her own.

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