Q: How do you tell your girlfriend that she needs to go on medication for PMS? Believe me, she needs to. Her personality really changes a few days out of the month, and yes, Ive kept track. The problem is, I dont know how to bring this up without getting screamed at even louder.
My first point is from the Department of the Obvious: Normally, its helpful to discuss problematic behavior when you have an example of it in the moment. But in this case, save the structural integrity of your eardrums and choose a different week.
Premenstrual syndrome has such a stigma because of the pop-cultural condescension about it, and its use as an excuse to invalidate and criticize women. In truth, its a complex set of medical symptoms.
After the next phase, when her moods starting to get better, pick a relaxed, pleasant time to say, You havent seemed yourself the past few days. I notice that happening every once in a while. After youve planted that seed, then listen. This isnt about you demanding that she get on meds. Its about starting a conversation, showing your concern and trying to understand her better.
Q: Im pretty certain my husbands been cheating on me with an ex-girlfriend, at least emotionally. I started out being OK with their relationship, because theyd been friends for years. Over time, theyve gone from occasionally having lunch, including me, to texting all the time and meeting after work alone. Hes also gotten much more secretive. I know in a way this is my fault and I dont know how to address it.
You made a decision that was open-minded and kind, and if hes taken things too far, then that was his mistake, not yours.
The details here are less important than your emotional state: You dont feel like youre the No. 1 woman in his life anymore. And the one who is, isnt his mother, sister or the customer service rep that straightened out his phone bill, but an ex-girlfriend. Thats not acceptable, and you have the right to speak up about it. Try not to frame it as the accusation of an affair. That will only turn into a game of deny versus admit. In reality, even if no clothes have come off, theres a problem. So share with him that youre feeling left out, and how this distance concerns you.
Andrea Bonior, a clinical psychologist, is the author of The Friendship Fix. www.drandreabonior.com
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