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HE'S SELLING HER MEDS - AND THAT'S NOT THE WORST OF IT

Q: I found out that my boyfriend has been selling my prescribed antianxiety medication (sedatives) to a friend of his. Not many, but a few. I hate this friend, so on top of feeling ripped off, I don't want to do anything that would benefit him. I found out, however, by snooping through my boyfriend's text messages. So, yes, I am aware we have trust issues; neither of us trusts the other enough. We've had a lot of counseling and are working on it, but it's slow going. What should I do? And, please don't go too far down the road about how it's illegal. We're not talking about narcotics here; Claritin was a prescription drug a couple of years ago.

A: This is good. If I slap my forehead numb, it's almost like homemade Botox.

Normally it's difficult to help people solve a problem when I'm told not to mention the problem. Fortunately, with your situation, I can just mosey on down and pick the next problem in line.

You are rationalizing the fact that your boyfriend is stealing something that you rely on for your health - not to save his dying mother, mind you, or feed his family, but for profit. Wow. I'll give you credit - most people try to rationalize away the little stuff, but you didn't shrink from a challenge.

I appreciate that you've invested a lot of time and hard work in this guy, and that accepting he's a thief means discarding it all. But you're trying to spin his atrocious behavior into something ... I don't know, nonatrocious. (A complete waste of time, by the way, if I haven't made my leanings clear.) And, you're trying to pass off the hated but irrelevant friend as part of the problem.

Instead, why don't you spin dumping the boyfriend as follows: getting your soul back.

You've tried to make counseling work on someone who equates "decency" with "lost income." Now try it on someone who deserves your attention: a certain text-snooping, self-loathing provider of pills and excuses. You have to want more out of life.

Truth will set you free

Q: I was in a relationship with a controller/abuser, and I finally got out about four months ago. How can you tell the difference between "just not ready for" and "just not into" someone? I've started seeing a wonderful woman ... very laid-back, attractive, successful. But I feel very "blah" about things, like sometimes I'd rather just be alone, and when I am alone I don't even think about her at all. I certainly don't want to hurt her, but it brings up the question of whether I'm not into her, or it's just my emotional state right now.

A: And your question brings up this question: What do you have to lose by being honest?

Granted, you don't want to throw around such universally hurtful observations as, "When I'm alone I don't even think about you." However, your circumstances are plainly sympathetic: You've been badly hurt and barely had time to mend (and might have a touch of depression).

You're also admitting you need time alone to someone who, presumably, you'd be otherwise eager to see. If you mean it like you say it, a wonderful person will get it. The truth is unerring that way.

Write "Tell Me About It," c/o Washington Post, Style Plus, 1150 15th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20071 or e-mail tellme@washpost.com.

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