Loading...
http://super-sound.shopcool.ru АБСОЛЮТНО БЕСПРОВОДНЫЕ BLUETOOTH НАУШНИКИ (АНАЛОГ AIRBEATS) Беспроводные наушники с...

It's a red flag if your boyfriend never admits fault

Carolyn Hax

Carolyn Hax

Loading…

Carolyn Hax

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Q — I’ve been seeing a lovely man for a year. We eased slowly into the relationship — friends for months first — as we were both still hurting after recent divorces.

We are perfectly suited in so many ways — identical interests, shared friends, same-age children, parallel life experiences — and we enjoy one another very much, despite the time restrictions that running separate households and raising children entail. There’s a lot of laughter and a sense of relief and sanctuary.

So what’s the problem? I’m having a hard time trusting him. His longtime marriage ended because of an infidelity on his part. He takes full responsibility.

But he often doesn’t take responsibility for admittedly minor things between us — saying something hurtful, for example, or forgetting plans we’ve made, or other mild but annoying, inconsiderate actions. There is always an excuse — a reason I don’t understand or somehow misinterpreted.

When I raise my concerns, he says he certainly understands but that’s just the way he is — spacy, no filter. And, well, he is charmingly socially awkward and absent-minded-professorish. Which is all fine if he would accept the impact of his actions on me.

On the other hand, I was married to an occasionally verbally and physically violent drug addict for 16 years with all the passion, intensity, gaslighting and insanity that sort of relationship entails. The two men could not be more different. I never gave up hope until the bitter end and nearly died from grief. My current relationship is a welcome, healing relief.

Am I oversensitive or seeing real red flags? — Red Flags?

A — People who can’t or won’t admit fault are always a red flag.

There are judgment calls, always, but — forgetting plans? If one can’t simultaneously be one’s unfiltered self and form the words, “Oh no! I’m sorry. No excuse. Please forgive me” — then that’s not a self around whom I want to spend much time.

But, also always a red flag: Coming out of 16 years of “passion, intensity, gaslighting and insanity” with a “violent drug addict” and still greeting your own distrust with, “Am I oversensitive?”

Questioning your reality is the emotional signature of gaslighting. You know this. It’s when you respond to something done to you that’s objectively bad — as in, something you’d never encourage anyone you care about to put up with — by wondering if you’re the one at fault.

Plus, the reasons you cite for his suiting you — besides sanctuary, which I’ll get to — are ones of coincidence, not character. Interests, kid ages, “parallel life experiences.” These are important for compatibility but they won’t help you trust an untrustworthy person or like an unlikable one. Commonality and character count.

When you question your ability to judge character — especially when your history gives you cause to — then I urge you not to go it alone. Find a good therapist who can help you (re)calibrate your boundaries and judgment.

That you find emotional relief in this man compared with your ex is a character point in his favor, and could mean one of us is overstating the importance of your boyfriend’s defensiveness.

But he could just be less awful, too.

So there’s no overstating how important it is to hear and trust your own voice. Please do not commit further, to anyone, till you do.

Email Carolyn Hax at tellme@washpost.com, follow her on Facebook at www.facebook.com/carolyn.hax or chat with her online at noon each Friday at www.washingtonpost.com.

Loading…

Humans of Greenville

@HumansofGville

Local photographer Joe Pellegrino explores Greenville to create a photographic census of its people.

Look

September 19, 2018

The Leroy James Farmers Market vendor of the week is Nooherooka Natural.

Nooherooka Natural is dedicated to providing quality beef and pork products throughout North Carolina and exhibiting good practices and stewardship for the earth while humanely caring for its livestock. Nooherooka Natural is a…

091918vendor

September 19, 2018

Q: I am trying to decide if I should buy an air fryer. What are the benefits and the downsides of using one? — T.N., Greenville

A: Several of our patients at ECU Family Medicine have told us how much they like the air fryer. I haven’t had an opportunity to use one yet. Dan Olson, a…

KathyKolasa

September 19, 2018

Some of the best restaurants in any given city can be found tucked away in strip malls on the outskirts of town. Well I have one that’s a real gem in the food scene, CPW’s Fine Food & Spirits, 2422 Stantonsburg Road in the Stanton Square shopping center. This casual, inviting…

091918hotdish

September 19, 2018

Q Over a decade, my salary has tripled (I’m quite well-paid now), my work hours and responsibilities have increased, and — because I’m so frequently tired or short on time — my “outsourcing” has increased, too. Think: frequent takeout, a dog-walker, cabs instead…

Carolyn Hax

September 19, 2018

There are certain tried-and-true food combinations that should never be messed with. One classic example includes ripe, seductive figs paired with salty, supple prosciutto and fresh goat cheese. "Sweet, salty and creamy" — you might call this trio a holy triumvirate. Add rosemary to the mix…

LyndaBalslev

September 16, 2018

It should come as no surprise that Pitt Community College found its new president, Lawrence Rouse, just 63 miles down the road in Kenansville.

Rouse is a native of Sumpter, South Carolina, but he spent 13 years in Duplin County as president and CEO of James Sprunt Community College.

That’s…

Bob Garner

September 16, 2018

How did Carrboro writer and teacher Georgann Eubanks become the leader of the North Carolina Literary and Historical Association?

In a word, she earned a top role in our state’s cultural community by her diligent and unselfish community service that has made things better for all of us. For…

DGMartin

September 16, 2018

Q I am reading your book “The Well-Behaved Child” and have a question that it doesn’t address. I am a single mom with children from two different fathers. One of my ex-husbands (my son’s father) and I have arranged to do regular “child-exchanges.” One weekend,…

JohnRosemondGDR_177.jpg

September 16, 2018

Q I have been married to my second husband for 24 years. We have a 16-year-old and I have two adult children.

I have moved seven times in 17 years for his job. He didn’t have to quit and take another job, but they were opportunities for him to climb the ladder in his career. I have had to…

Carolyn Hax

September 16, 2018

DON’T LOOK BACK

Dear Short Answers:

I have a wonderful family with three kids, five grandkids and a terrific husband. I’m not sorry about any of the decisions that I made, but I am feeling more and more like I didn’t fully explore the alternatives that seem to be available to…

Short Answers
268 stories in Look. Viewing 1 through 10.
«First Page   «Previous Page        
Page 1 of 27
        Next Page»   Last Page»