Gain self-respect before aiming for trust (Ellie)

Question: My boyfriend of three years had trust issues from the start. He’s been cheated on in previous relationships. I initially didn’t tell him about my guy friends — just friends — as I was scared. (I should’ve told him regardless of what he thought.)

He found out about my friends and I cut them off completely a year ago. Because of that we broke up for a while. I begged him to come back! I love him so much.

Now he thinks I’m talking to guys again. Even before, he’d go through my phone, check my phone bills for anything and he still does. It kills me, but I allow it to happen.

He looks through my private messages with my girlfriends. What can I do? I feel so low as a woman when he does these things. Will he ever trust me again?

Hanging On

Answer: He won’t trust you again, because he doesn’t have to. You don’t show the self-respect and confidence to insist on it. Instead, you beg, drop friends, and cave into his control, so he remains dominant and makes you feel like a doormat. There’s no reason for him to change, he’ll only get worse.

Wake up before you’re stuck for another two years, losing more self-confidence. Call your friends, ask for help making a plan to get out and leave this guy.

Love yourself! What you feel for him is dependency, not a love based on mutual respect and trust.

Question: My best friend of nine years and I have been like sisters. She’s been dependent on either a boyfriend or me. At 18, I didn’t mind either being left on my own to find something else to do on the weekend when she had a guy, nor spending every waking moment with her when she didn’t.

At 20, now, I live with my boyfriend, work nine-to-five, while she just broke up with her boyfriend of five years and was laid-off. She had to move back with her parents and is extremely depressed.

I feel suffocated and panicked whenever she calls. She has no other friends. Every day she cries about her loneliness, implying that if we hang out together, she’ll be fine.

But she just wants to party, yet knows I don’t want to do that every day. She makes me feel so guilty if I want to stay home with my boyfriend even on weekdays.

How do I tell her that I love her and want her in my life, but I need time for my boyfriend and me? And that she needs to talk to a professional about feeling depressed.


Answer: Tell her: You love her as a sister but cannot devote your life to her, any more than she could to you . . . and didn’t when she had her own boyfriend.

Tell her that “sisters” care enough to speak the truth, and she needs professional guidance to help her gain independence — from you and guys. Say that a counsellor will explore with her the neediness that makes her feel so lonely when she’s not relying on others for entertainment.

She’ll be stronger and happier for it, and it’ll make all her relationships more equal and satisfying.

Then, believe what you say and follow through. Allot one night a week to getting together with her, but refuse to let it always be on her “party” terms. And offer to go with her to the first counselling session to make sure she gets started.


If you accept being controlled, it won’t change.

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