My boyfriend began seeing a therapist after his divorce five years ago. On our first few dates, he seemed extraordinarily anxious about everything. He explained that he had difficulty meeting women, so I thought he was nervous and trying not to blow it with me. But I’ve noticed that he makes things up. When he’s talking to someone who doesn’t know him, he actually tells them things about himself that aren’t true. I’ve asked him why he does this, and he either tells me I must have misheard the conversation or flat out tells me it didn’t happen. He’s such a nice man and we have a lot in common but I feel uneasy. Any advice?
Respect your instinct. It’s alerting you that something is very wrong in your interactions with this man. He lies to others and he gaslights you. Could he be lying to you, too? It’s highly likely.
Perhaps your desire for a relationship is too strong. It could be a distraction, one that inhibits normal self-protection behaviors such as taking a break or even breaking up. You might need distance to see how you minimize the impact of his actions. Instead of admitting to yourself that he lies to strangers, you say he makes things up. Instead of admitting that he gaslights you, you think you misheard him. In the process, you normalize his unhealthy style of communication. Real love grows from the union of truth and trust. Without honesty and trust with a partner, you groom yourself for betrayal.
Don’t become a victim. Ask yourself whether you are someone who would lie to others just to get away with it. Be honest about how it felt to repeatedly be told you misheard his lies. Don’t stay. This relationship will erode your self-trust, and that’s much harder to gain than a boyfriend.
My girlfriend always starts fights after sex. I’ll be feeling good and trying to cuddle, and she will get upset about something that happened at work that day or something I did that is totally not a thing. She will tell me to leave her apartment and if I try to talk her down she flips out and starts screaming. The next day she acts like nothing happened, but the whole thing stresses me out. I’m starting to avoid having sex with her. What is her problem?
It’s complicated. She might have conflicting feelings about sex. If so, guilt and shame are flooding her senses after sex. She might also be overwhelmed with hormones. That can spark irritability, which can escalate into anger that subsides after a good night’s sleep. Or maybe she just prefers to sleep solo and doesn’t have the courage to tell you.
No matter how we look at this issue, the core of the problem is an avoidance of intimacy. Your girlfriend would benefit from sessions with a qualified sex therapist. She should also see her primary care doctor to ensure that any prescribed medications, including birth control, are not contributing to her rage.