Dear Amy: My boyfriend and I have been together for three years. We decided to make some major sacrifices in order to pay off debt and save for a house. This includes driving junky cars and moving in with his parents.
He and I were both working out with a personal trainer, him twice per week and me once per week.
I quit the training because I found a cheaper option. My boyfriend decided to start seeing the trainer three times per week. I think this is irresponsible considering we are in saving mode right now. This is why my boyfriend decided to cover it up and lie about it — badly.
I caught on pretty quickly, but rather than be accusatory, I simply told him that if he wants to see the trainer three times per week to not feel as though he has to hide it. Even then, he continued to lie about his whereabouts.
Today, I found his gym clothes crumpled up and hidden. I confronted him, and he came clean.
Amy, I am really upset. He told me he was lying to protect my feelings. What?
Do I have a right to be upset? How can I trust him moving forward? Am I being controlling? As he said, it’s just the gym, after all, it’s not like he cheated on me. — Out of Shape
Dear Out of Shape: Your boyfriend sounds like a bit of a baby. You gave him an out, and instead of coming clean, he doubled down on his lie.
Honestly, taking good care of oneself and maintaining fitness is a good idea — even when you’re trying to economize. But your guy’s choice to watch you stop, while secretly increasing his training, is selfish and immature. He didn’t lie to protect your feelings; he lied to protect his own.
I don’t believe this one episode is a deal breaker, but try to put this in context by taking a long-view look at your relationship: Are you always in charge? Are you the “responsible” one? Do you feel like you are parenting him?
If so, then understand that this is not a great dynamic for either of you. Your control will infantilize him, and his immaturity will make you even more in charge. Healthy relationships have a sense of balance — you are good at some things. He is good at others. You take care of one another, admit to your mistakes and always strive to do better.
Dear Amy: I have two grown sons in their mid-30s. Both of my sons are users of smokeless tobacco (chaw).
They are well aware of my objection to their tobacco use.
I am a registered nurse of more than 30 years and know well the effects of long-term tobacco use. Two of their grandparents died of tobacco-related diseases. They are both educated, family men. They are aware that smoking is obnoxious to most people, hence their choice of “smokeless” tobacco.
Recently, we had an outdoor family gathering. While we were all seated around the fire, they both stuffed their cheeks with tobacco, then sat and expectorated into empty plastic water bottles. Finally, I said an early good night and left.
Honestly, the act of sitting around spitting brown expectorant into a bottle is just as obnoxious as smoking.
My wife, who feels the same but chooses to smile and ignore this, thinks it was rude of me to leave the group. She said I should “learn” to accept this and apologize. What do you think? — I Hate Tobacco
Dear I Hate Tobacco: It seems logical that the accepted “rules” applying to smoking also should apply to chaw. These men should consume their tobacco product away from non-tobacco users. I realize that there is no “second-hand” component toxicity to chewing tobacco, other than being grossed out by people filling cups with their spit.
Your wife can tolerate it — the same way some people will tolerate smoking. You won’t.
I agree with your choice to leave the group when you couldn’t take it anymore. Furthermore, you should explain yourself to your sons. You don’t owe them an apology.
Dear Amy: “On the Outs” was grieving the sudden loss of a work friendship.
I’m surprised that you didn’t mention possible false #metoo accusations as one reason this male colleague would back away from the close relationship. — Realistic
Dear Realistic: “On the Outs” didn’t mention their gender, and while I guess it’s possible that #metoo entered this workplace story, I think it’s doubtful.