Dear Amy: My partner and I have been dating for a year. We’re in love, but over time the frequency and irrationality of his jealousy seem to have increased – or so I think.
Yesterday after work (I’m a substitute teacher) a male co-worker I had just met offered me a lift home – over an hour away. I naively thought it was a friendly gesture. Quite soon into the ride he suggested we stop for a drink. I quickly asserted that I am in a committed relationship with a fabulous guy.
At the end of the journey he insisted I take his phone number and, not wanting to be rude, I obliged. I had no intention of contacting him.
As soon as I saw my partner I told him the whole thing because it was so awkward. Out of left field he went into a jealous rage. He insisted I had not considered his feelings and accused me of not putting him first because I didn’t call and tell him who I was with as soon as I got into the car.
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I told him he was being overly jealous and has no reason not to trust me. He insists it’s my responsibility to reassure him, since he assumes the worst.
Is my partner justified in his anger? Was I wrong to accept a lift and neglect to call him?
I love him dearly and want us to work, but not at the expense of my sanity.
Am I completely crazy?
Dear Stressed: Your actions do NOT justify a “jealous rage.” His practice of “assuming the worst” when it comes to you is disrespectful.
If an identical scenario happened to your partner, surely you would not be mad at him – but at the person who put the moves on him.
If your guy is flying into jealous rages with increasing frequency, this is a big red flag. In a healthy relationship, neither partner’s sanity should be in play.
All the same – your own choices don’t seem well considered. There is a security risk in accepting a ride from someone you don’t know. One safety tip when you accept a ride from a near-stranger is to call your partner (or someone) from the car so both the driver and the other person are aware of what’s up.
Dear Amy: My husband and I have been married for over 30 years. We own a small business together. Several times a week he drinks at work and comes home feeling highly sexed.
His drunken state is a huge turnoff. When I turn down his offer of sloppy, drunk sex, he berates me, calls me names and retreats to another room where he engages in phone sex with women on sex sites. This lasts for hours. In the morning he looks quite unattractive to me. He is hung over and in his own world.
I have told him if he comes home sober I will be happy to enjoy “time” with him. When he comes home even somewhat sober we enjoy a sex life. I think he is addicted to these sites. How can I reconcile it (in my head) to not think he is gross after his nights of too much booze and porn?
Dear Grossed Out: If your description is accurate, short of you submitting to hypnosis (or drunkenness yourself) – your husband seems gross to you because he IS gross.
He has a drinking problem and the consequence is that you don’t want to be with him. I cannot imagine wanting to stay in this marriage, which by your description sounds depleting and very depressing. I hope you will at the very least start attending Al-Anon meetings, where you will meet others whose lives are affected by alcohol abuse (al-anon.org).
Dear Amy: In your response to “Confused,” who was confused by being courted without sexual advances, you mention that he could be, among other things, asexual. Asexuality is so often dismissed as a phase or illness – I appreciate your calling it out! For more information about asexuality, people can check asexuality.org.
Dear Appreciative: Asexuality is real, valid and for many asexuals – lifelong.
(You can contact Amy Dickinson via email: firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also follow her on Twitter @askingamy or “like” her on Facebook. Amy Dickinson’s memoir, “The Mighty Queens of Freeville: A Mother, a Daughter and the Town that Raised Them” (Hyperion), is available in bookstores.)
Ask Amy: email@example.com; Ask Amy, Chicago Tribune, TT500, 435 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago, IL 60622.