Q. Glen how do I know if she is cheating on me?
Is she just working, or is she working it? I will help you find out.You have a great gal. So great, in fact, that she attracts packs of men who try to capture her attention or, worse, coax her out of her clothes. They could be platonic friends. Or they could be interlopers, scourges bent on emasculating and circumventing you. What to do?
"Everything starts with having ground rules, open communication, and strategies for how to proceed," says Janice Levine, Ph.D., a psychologist in Lexington, Massachusetts, and the author of Why Do Fools Fall in Love? Either blowing your lid or turning a blind eye could create more problems than addressing the situation head-on.
The following tips will help you suss out a suspect and stand your ground without devolving into a raging, soon-to-be-single maniac. Read on: Your love life could depend on it.
Worry when . . . she's focused on pleasing him, not doing her job.
Not when . . . he's a kindhearted mentor. His motives could be sincere, and if she's happy at work, she'll be happy at home, says Jeffrey Bernstein, Ph.D., a psychologist and the author of Why Can't You Read My Mind?
Your move: Lead with concern for her, not your issues. If she thinks you have an agenda, she'll become defensive and fail to see any negatives, just to prove you wrong. Say, "It seems your boss is really helping you. How's that going?"
Worry when . . . they talk frequently and secretly. Regular contact sends up flares. Covertness fires a cannon.
Not when . . . she has a once-a-year, 15-minute phone call. There's a lot of history -- some good.
Your move: Calmly say, "I have a problem with the relationship, because I don't understand it. Can you tell me what it does for you?" suggests Jackie Jaye Brandt, M.F.T., a psychotherapist in Universal City, California. You're not being invasive, you're just gathering information. An ultimatum leads to resentment -- or abandonment. Be ready to walk out the door if she picks him.
Worry when . . . she drops his name in subtle or obvious comparisons to you. If he initiated the breakup, there's a big chance she's holding on to the fantasy.
Not when . . . it might be just fond memories, so the threat could be all in your head.
Your move: Say, "I just need some reassurance here." She should respond definitively that you're her man, Levine says. If she pauses, follow up with "I'm not trying to control you. I just want to be with someone who knows what she wants." She needs to think it's something to fix. If she doesn't, walk.
Worry when . . . she spills intimate details about his life. Chances are, the sharing goes both ways. "The relationship should be friendly, not familiar," says Rita DeMaria, Ph.D., a marriage and family therapist in the Philadelphia area.
Not when . . . he's just pumping her up. It's his job to give her encouragement and attention.
Your move: Once again, share your discomfort and watch her response. If she's open and says, "I didn't realize that," she's not drinking in the man's attention, and she respects your feelings. If she's defensive, she might be guzzling it, so back off for a few weeks and see how she deals with it. It's up to you how far you push.
Worry when . . . she's ignoring the situation because she hates conflict. That's bad for your relationship, because this issue will recur.
Not when . . . she's simply working at her own pace to let her admirer down easy.
Your move: If you've given her pace a chance, let her know you're uncomfortable. Offer to help. If she allows you, meet the guy: Put your arm around her and introduce yourself as her boyfriend. That should be enough. If it's not, say, "I think it would be best if you limited contact with her," Levine says. Use restrained strength, not tough-guy tactics.
Any personal health questions,mental or physical. Please consult your physician !
Wishing You Great Health,
Glen Edward Mitchell
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