Dear Amy: I think my girlfriend is in touch with her ex quite a bit, via text, phone and social media.
She does not want me to have an Instagram account, so I deleted the one I had. She blocked me on Twitter, said she would unblock me, but she never did. She is very secretive and protective of her phone and makes sure to hide it from me if I come in the room.
She recently attended an event that her ex was at. When I asked her in advance if he was going to be there, she said no.
When she returned, I asked her about the event, and she got angry and defensive. When she talks to him, she sometimes tells me about it but most often gets defensive and somewhat hostile.
She claims I am just trying to catch her doing something wrong. I know she is talking to him with somewhat regular frequency, but I do not want to bring it up. She is going to another event in about a month and will be seeing him again there.
I completely understand if she is happy being with her ex or if they are rekindling that old flame.
I just don’t want to be a safety net while they light that fire again.
Any input and/or advice will be greatly appreciated. — Whipping Boi
Dear Boi: “She does not want me to have an Instagram account, so I deleted the one I had.” Whaaaaat?
Your girlfriend does not get to control your social media presence. Healthy couples maintain their public identity, and don’t need permission from their partner to do so. This is classic abusive and isolating behavior. However, in your case — you seem to realize your girlfriend is doing this, and you are helping her.
There are a number of red flags here. Your girlfriend seems to be in close touch with her ex. But even if she weren’t, her dictates would be unacceptable. I think it’s time to part.
Dear Amy: My wife and I have been married for a little more than a year now.
Unfortunately, I’ve been living overseas for the past few months.
During this time, we’ve really been thinking about our future together, since I’m close to being back home for good.
We’ve come to what seems for me a huge block in our road. She wants to move in and get a place with her close friends (they’re married with three kids), whereas I prefer us to have our home. Together. And start our family.
This is really important to me because I just want to enjoy being married and being together with her, and it seems this is something we can’t agree on.
What should I do? — Expatriate
Dear Expatriate: I agree with you that you and your wife should live together in order to start your life as a married couple with privacy and intimacy.
However, you haven’t been around during much of the duration of your marriage. During your absence, I’m assuming that your wife has done what smart people do — she has found a tribe. She has found a surrogate family.
My instinct is that she is a little afraid. She knows that the presence of this other family and this crowded household will provide a buffer for her.
You have to communicate about this. When you talk to her, ask her to outline her reasoning, and listen carefully to what she tells you.
A reasonable compromise might be for you two to rent a furnished apartment for three months or so while you sort out the particulars of your marriage, as well as your living situation.
Dear Amy: “Coffee Shop Patron” was sitting next to some loud girls.
I was glad you pointed out that interjecting is typically a useless act and can create blowback. It’s best to move out of earshot or leave.
I have a naturally loud voice and can be quite animated when I am at restaurants and so occasionally I get a person complaining to me directly.
I feel I am more distracting than disruptive.
Last time, a fellow complained to me that he and his table couldn’t have a conversation because I was so animated and so I just looked at him and said, “Wow. That’s the first time I’ve been blamed for someone else being boring!”
He should have taken a page from your book. — Animated
Dear Animated: I guess you can add rudeness to your list of attributes.