Thursday, June 21, 2018
Parenting & Relationships

To make relationship work, don't allow the truth to hurt

Adapted from a recent online discussion.

For relationship to work, don't allow the truth to hurt

Q: My boyfriend of a year and a half and I are breaking up. Our fights have turned into WWIII, and he was tired of my being upset because I caught him lying to me a half-dozen times.

The kicker is that none of the lies were deal-breaker issues or worthy of the brawls they caused. He feels like the lies might keep a fight at bay, and I feel like lying over insignificant matters just adds fuel to my fire.

We have a great time outside of the fighting. We've been talking about dating more casually in hopes that a little space plus no relationship title equals less pressure and accountability to each other. We want to keep spending time together but without the commitment. Is this a terrible idea? I love him and I'd like to find a way to move forward with this man.

Lover Not a Fighter

A: If you're going to hang on, then try this: He practices radical honesty, and you practice radical laid-backness in the face of such truth.

I actually think fear of telling the truth, to the point of lying to smooth things over, is one of the more deal-breakery of deal-breakers. But, again, you seem to want this, so by all means try easing the pressure to stay together and emphasizing honesty.

If you promise him — and deliver — a golden zone of safety to say whatever he really thinks without risk that you'll lose your cool, and if he doesn't actually stop lying, then he's not going to do the growing up necessary to make him a good partner.

It'll be good for you, too, to see if you can learn to respond calmly to bad news, instead of just fighting. If you think about it, there's no fight to have here. There's just truth, which you deal with accordingly, or lies, which you break up with decisively. Fighting is just a way to try to rewrite what's happening into something more palatable for you. Time to grow out of that, too.

Complaining about husband's fiancee will create new problem

Q: Last year, my husband asked me for a divorce. I got a job right out of undergrad as a nurse and supported our living expenses while he was in law school (third year). This was devastating for me because I did not see any warning signs. He is already engaged to a girl from his law school class.

His new fiancee interviewed in the legal department of the hospital where I work. She knows I work there because we were casual acquaintances before the divorce. Part of me wants to write a note to the hiring committee explaining how difficult it would be for me to work with her. Another part of me thinks the adult thing would be let this go and deal. Any advice?

Anonymous

A: Painful, I'm sorry. Please do listen, though, to your adults-suck-it-up voice. A note to the committee would draw attention to you that you don't want. I realize this will be singularly unconvincing, but your divorce wasn't about this woman, it was about you and (mainly) your husband — about the atrophy in intimacy that law school likely disguised. Knowing this won't ever make it pleasant to see her at work, but it might just help you detach.

Comments
Big concerts this weekend: Luke Bryan, Hall and Oates, Weezer, Logic and more

Big concerts this weekend: Luke Bryan, Hall and Oates, Weezer, Logic and more

HIS KIND OF NIGHT: Luke BryanItís been three long years since Tampa has seen the well-groomed hide of Luke Bryan, the Hollywoodiest hunk in Nashville. But heís about to make up for lost time. On Saturday heíll headline his biggest-ever show here, a b...
Published: 06/20/18
Top things to do this week: Go Skateboarding Day, Hollywood medium Tyler Henry

Top things to do this week: Go Skateboarding Day, Hollywood medium Tyler Henry

Tyler Henry: Hollywood MediumTyler Henry, the so-called Hollywood Medium who stars in an eponymous E! hit show, is coming to town with a live show called "Life Lessons I Have Learned From the Departed." The soft-spoken 22-year-old has done readings f...
Published: 06/20/18
5 things to do under $5: USF Summer Plant Festival, Bridal Show, free show by AnastasiaMax

5 things to do under $5: USF Summer Plant Festival, Bridal Show, free show by AnastasiaMax

1 Summer Plant Festival: If you think you canít get anything to thrive in Floridaís brutal summers, check out the vendors with fruit trees and advice on how to grow them, along with hundreds of blooming butterfly plants, herbs and tropical and exotic...
Published: 06/20/18

Tell Me About It: Wife punished after being victimized

Q: At a work happy hour, a male co-worker groped me. He later "apologized" with the qualification that I had been sending him mixed signals.Iím married, he has met my husband, Iíve never led him on. And when it happened I was incredibly clear that it...
Published: 06/20/18
Your guide to St. Pete Pride: What's changed for 2018

Your guide to St. Pete Pride: What's changed for 2018

Pride weekend kicks off in St. Petersburg Friday with a free concert hosted by a RuPaul’s Drag Race star, a parade along the downtown waterfront on Saturday and an expanded expo of vendors and art on Sunday in the Grand Central District that ga...
Published: 06/19/18

Tell Me About It: Mom/daughter dynamic feels controlling

Q: I am afraid I may be a controlling mom of my young adult daughter, but we have a dynamic in which she seeks me out often, solicits my advice, and makes me too important in her life. I admit to offering that advice because it is hard for me to draw...
Published: 06/19/18

Tell Me About It: Regretting staying too long in bad romance

Q: I recently broke up with someone after two years. Even though there were things that bothered me while we were together, I would convince myself I was overreacting, he didnít really mean it, etc.Now that itís over, I feel like a fool for not havin...
Published: 06/18/18

Tell Me About It: After years of depression, a diagnosis

Q: Iím 33 and have dealt with depression on and off since my adolescence. I grew up in a household with every kind of abuse you can think of, but I didnít start seeking help until my early 20s via talk therapy, and cut ties entirely with my abusers. ...
Published: 06/17/18
Top things to do in Tampa Bay for the week of June 18-24

Top things to do in Tampa Bay for the week of June 18-24

St. Pete Pride: One of the largest Pride celebration in the Southeast happens this weekend, bringing a rainbow of activities. Things set off on Friday with the free SP2 Concert at North Straub Park, hosted by Coco Montrese of RuPaul’s Drag Race...
Published: 06/15/18
Updated: 06/18/18

Tell Me About It: Pregnancy news confirms estrangement

Q: I just found out my son and his wife are going to be parents. Iím very excited and somewhat confused and a little hurt: Sheís seven months along. I donít know why the long wait to tell me. They live in another state, and I havenít seen them in abo...
Updated one month ago