Baggage Check Live: "Long-winded waffling"

Nov 06, 2018

Licensed clinical psychologist Dr. Andrea Bonior was online to take your comments about her advice column, Baggage Check, and any other questions you might have. These comments may appear in an upcoming column running in Express and online.

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Hi, everybody.

PLEASE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE PLEASE VOTE VOTE VOTE PLEASE VOTE VOTE VOTE PLEASE VOTE VOTE VOTE PLEASE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE VOTE PLEASE

Okay, now that I got that out of the way!

Seriously, I hope everyone used their voices at the polls today. Zainab and I were wondering if we'd hear crickets during the chat today-- a sacrifice I'd be more than willing to make if it meant for heavy midterm-ing (my line was super long and Zainab is still in one!), but it looks like you guys are already here in full force. Yay!

So I have some news. As of a few days ago, I've got a "Detox Your Thoughts" challenge out with Buzzfeed/Goodful-- totally free to sign up. If you do, you'll get an every-other-day email for a month with quick, actionable cognitive-behavioral tools for dealing with some hidden ugly mental patterns, to help get out of an anxiety rut. We're excited about it, and we've certainly talked a lot about negative thought spirals here, so I hope to see you on there too, and that you'll keep me posted on your progress.

Now. Today's Baggage: a LW who's going through some stuff with her husband, but isn't ready to tell the family yet. How should she stave them off? And in L2, what happens when you date a divorcee and keep comparing yourself to their ex, for the worse?

Let's begin!

I am the middle child. I have an older sister and a younger brother. My sister is super smart & teaches at a prestigious college. My brother is an athlete who got his undergraduate degree courtesy of this skill. I’ve long accepted the fact that others want to hear their stories. However, over the years, the dynamic has changed. I’ve adopted not one but TWO children. Apparently, that makes me look like a saint to outsiders. My sister cannot accept anyone expressing interest in my life or my children’s. At a family funeral that we both travelled for, she talked non-stop about a variety of topics that interested her. If anyone expressed interest in my life, she tried to interrupt. She once walked between myself & a cousin and started talking about how “clumsy” I am and how often I have to get stitches. That might have been true when we were growing up but it’s been decades since I needed to go to the ER for stitches. She’s there far more regularly than me!! That weekend clearly showed me just how selfish and self centred she is, as well as her husband & daughter. I’m not interested in having a relationship beyond a few texts & the occasional phone call. FWIW, all of my cousins asked me why my sister couldn’t shut up! My sister recently texted me, complaining that I’m “drifting away” and how my dead parents would be “declared” if they were still alive. My response was that I’m too busy trying to juggle two kids & my own health issues. But she won’t let go. Is it ok to say, “You’re a pompous airbag & I don’t want to spend time with you”?!

I think there's a pretty big and beautiful sweet spot in there somewhere between the "busy" tall tale and the "pompous airbag" truth bomb.

Have a conversation. Not over text, unless it is relaxed and can be followed up with a phone call. Tell her how you feel. Nothing grandiose, no pronouncement-list of her offenses, but just "Lately I feel very targeted by you. Like at the funeral. I found it difficult to be around you-- instead of having normal, supportive conversations I felt like you were either talking only about yourself or putting me down. It hurt."

Give specific examples, without making them attack her character-- just paint the picture of your reasons for drifting away. If you happen to have more positive examples of when things DID feel good between you (hmm... jury's still out on that one), then you could bring those up.

Will she be willing and able to look at herself in an open, honest way and develop insight into this-- and be motivated to change?

Not sure. But at least you will know that you tried. And if the answer is no, then you can go back to being busy.

Reading the followup Oct 29, it occurred to me that the OP could consider just volunteering "chatter" about herself and her interests. There are families and even regional variations of asking questions. In the southern region where I lived a long time, one absolutely must ask questions or else you're rude, but I've lived other places where there seems to be a sense that most questions are too prying and are rude. There, people tell you what they want you to know about themselves, thereby giving "permission" of a sort for followup questions. If she tries this and there are no followup questions, well..... But who knows? She could experiment just volunteering stories about herself.

It's definitely worth a try for her to open herself up more... though I do wonder if she's already been doing this to the extent that she's exhausted!

Appreciate the idea, though.

You go to a therapist or you do the Detox Your Thought thing. Because this habit will feed on itself and destroy the relationship.

Thanks.

You know, I really was wondering exactly how severe it was for LW. (Are you out there?) There's definitely a point at which it will corrode the relationship if it's not managed.

Has anyone else overcome this?

My boyfriend (of 5 years) and the husband of one of my best friends (3 years) ended up engaging in a business relationship that went sour. They broke things off business wise but now every time that we get invited to a social gathering my boyfriend refuses to come with me. My boyfriend argues that is not about the business experience failing but rather about discovering that my friend's husband was someone he has no desire to associate with, and that even seeing him puts him in a bad mood. I'm in the very uncomfortable position of always having to make excuses for my boyfriend not coming. My friend (the wife) and other friends in the group always ask if he will come, why he is not coming, etc. It hurts me that my boyfriend doesn't seem to understand how awkward and difficult is for me to have to justify he never showing up and also that it hurts having to always attend these events by myself. I brought up this to him and he got upset and said that it is disappointing that I seem not to care about his feelings and rather just care about my feelings and what my friends would think. I don't know what to do about this situation.

I do think he has a reasonable counter-argument here: that if he should value your awkwardness, difficulty and discomfort in having to explain his absence, so too should you value his awkwardness, difficulty and discomfort in spending time with this guy. So, we've got nausea on both sides. Is there a potential compromise?

The first thing I'm wondering is just how many social interactions this applies to. Is it the type of thing where you have a larger group of friends that these folks are a part of and now he's gone from going out with you twice a week to these gatherings to zilch? Or is it just the occasional double date he is missing? If it's closer to the latter, I think you need to give him more leeway for a while.

But clearly, if 99 percent of your social life is connected to these folks, the you'll have to reevaluate how to handle this moving forward, whether by his taking the initiative to branch out into some new relationships, for you to eventually become complacent with showing up solo, or for him to gradually agree to going to a few of these things here and there.

But perhaps a larger question looms-- how egregious was this friend's husband's behavior? Might there be something insurmountable there-- like it's not just awkwardness, but that he will never want to condone, say, embezzlement?

Lots to consider-- but in the meantime, I say, give him some time and keep talking to him about it to find some overlap for social-life-coexisting-potential.

All that long winded waffling will only aggravate the problem. Question from family: XXX? answer: I am not ready to talk about it. Follow up question: YYY? Answer: I am not ready to talk about it. Clueless question: ZZZ? Answer: How about them Bears?

Well, I'm sort of proud that I managed to squeeze long-winded waffling in to my miniscule column word count!

I think the general concept is the same. Don't give more detail than you want. When in doubt, turn to Da Bears. But I do think a few extra words that validate their concern and promise the potential to talk about in the future could help stave off questions Y and Z.

In Exhibit Q of The Case For Andrea Barely Functioning Without Zainab, it appears I was "publishing" things but not really publishing them after the intro.

So sorry, guys! We are up to speed now-- you can guess why. She is back from doing her civic duty and all is right in the Baggage Check world once again.

Thanks for your patience!

I signed up for your Detox Your Thoughts challenge and just wanted to tell you it is already helping! I had a stressful interaction the day of the first email and instead of getting sucked into it, I just used the techniques of imagining the thoughts as smoke fading away. The difference was kind of amazing. I felt so much calmer and didn't let the interaction get to me. Anyway, thanks so much for doing this and I can't wait for the next email! I've already passed it on to a few friends and relatives and the cool thing is that we're talking about it and supporting each other. And no, this is not Mary from Tucson. :-)

Smiling huge here. Marion in Tempe, perhaps?

Seriously, thank you-- and I am so glad to hear this. The slow, mindful visualization of anxiety-provoking thoughts fading away on their own can be something of a game-changer for people who struggle with the itchy negative rumination. With all the writing I've done over the years, this project is the closest I've come to being able to dish out some true cognitive-behavioral tools in a systematic way. And I couldn't be more excited that you and others are cheering each other on. Beautiful!

Thanks again for writing.

For the last few weeks, and including today, I have been unable to read or comment on the weekly Baggage Check column. I can see that there are currently 3 comments, but I can't see the comments themselves. I don't have this issue with any other columns on WaPo. I'm using Microsoft Edge.

Wah! I so wish I knew the sorcery to fix this.

For now....Zainab? She's a workhorse against those little green men in the computer when they start to get ornery!

Hmmm, I can ask the tech folks about this. The comments are showing up for me, but I am using Chrome. Have you tried another browser?

I have three best girl friends, since high school, and we are now thirty. I have a four month old daughter, one friend is newly pregnant, and another friend is several months into trying. My fourth friend "Julie", who I am probably the closest to, is not yet at that life stage. She is in a committed relationship and they just moved in together, and they want kids at some future point. The issue is that Julie feels incredibly anxious about being left out of our experience together of motherhood and she's spiraling out about how it's only going to get worse from here. She's convinced that we are going to "be moms" together and she will lose that closeness we all share. We've had a several long talks about this, where I assure her that there's no secret bonding between the three of us without her. We're also all at very different life stages- I am after all the only friend in the group with a baby! Julie tends to shut down from the world for a bit when anxious, so she has cancelled on plans at the last minute several times recently. So if she's missing out on get-togethers, it's not because she isn't invited, it's because she doesn't show up. I just don't know what I can do other than reassure her over and over. It's getting a little frustrating to keep saying the same thing, hearing how much she misses us, and then having her bail on plans. As I've recently returned to work and my daughter isn't sleeping through the night, I only have so much energy in my life to support someone who keeps shutting down. Do you have any advice?

Yes. Let yourself off the hook as you let go.

"Let go" in this sense potentially means a whole bunch of things. It can mean letting go of the idea that you can "fix" this. Letting go of the amount of time you pressure yourself to spend in the same wash/rinse/repeat cycle of reassuring her. Also-- sadly-- letting go of the friendship, ultimately, if she is not willing or able to take care of herself enough to be an active participant in it.

Honestly, this is a Julie issue that is only masquerading as a life-transitions-that-you-other-friends-are-going through issue. There is only so much you can do, like with any friend that is suffering with their own stuff. But you can start by encouraging her to get help. "You've been so upset by this, and I've tried to help but I feel like I'm not. I don't like seeing you do this to yourself-- and it saddens me that you don't feel up to hanging out with us-- you seem to shut down. Have you ever thought of talking to someone? I just want you to be happy."

I assume Zainab will be super-busy all evening (maybe even overnight) working on posting/updating election stories and voting results.

You are definitely right! I'll be posting live updates of local elections on the Express social media accounts (@WapoExpress on Twitter, Washington Post Express on Facebook, @wapoexpress on Instagram), as well as updating stories for the print paper. But we're getting Nandos catered, so there's a plus :) 

I'm the OP of the somewhat cryptic question regarding my husband victim-blaming me after traumatic experiences. My marriage ended about a month ago, and the process has been a huge learning experience and eye-opener that made me realize that my STBX has no capacity for true empathy (in an emotionally stunted way, not necessarily a personality-disordered way) and cannot handle someone else's (my) negative emotions. I think by blaming me for my feelings and intellectualizing the cause of those feelings, he deflected from his inability to hold space for my feelings and support me through them. This should have been a huge red flag, I now realize (hindsight being 20/20), but I feel much more secure in my knowledge that in this case, the problem was he, not me.

Thank you for this update. I am sorry that it is such a negative insight to develop-- but on the other hand, it really does seem to give you a certain type of peace about the limitations of what he was able to offer, and the point at which you just had to let go.

I wish you a smooth transition as you further make peace with this!

My wife had a little trouble initially with constantly trying to compare herself to my ex when we started dating. Everything was a competition - did we reach some milestone faster than I did with my ex, were we more in love than I was with my ex, who was smarter, who was prettier, etc. Eventually, she was able to realize that she was with me, not my ex, and our relationship is defined by the two of us, not against some absent third party. 10 years of marriage and still going strong.

So glad to hear it! Thanks for writing in.

So part of it-- if I am hearing you right-- just takes time.

And that's a whole other area of comparison that LW didn't even mention (but is probably suffering from)-- the relationship-milestone comparison! (But in those cases, given that the first marriage ended in divorce, I would hope that any comparison just ends with "Well, their way wasn't necessarily better since it didn't end up working out.")

Be sure to get the Pastel de Natas for dessert -- egg-custard tart dusted with cinnamon -- my favorite Portuguese sweet, which I get everywhere I can when I go to the Azores each year!

That sounds delicious! I'll definitely give it a try.

Either way, everybody's just going to think he was having an affair.

Laughing here!

You know, I actually worked with someone once whose partner had gambling issues they were going through, and what finally pushed her to say something to her family was that she got the feeling that they were assuming an affair and she wanted to defend him!

Maybe it's because of my line of work, though, but I can think of 25 common "secret" problems within a marriage that don't involve infidelity.... substance abuse tops the list, most likely.

Can the OP sign Julie up for Detox Your Thoughts?

haha!

I feel like I am at the top of some pyramid scheme, having chatters do my bidding for Detox Your Thoughts sign-ups!

In all seriousness, though-- Julie does need help. And maybe if therapy is a bridge too far.....

Just kidding, but I wish I could; someone close to me is an untreated depressive who refuses treatment but lashes out at people because of her negative thought patterns.

I am sorry!

You know, it really is worth thinking about when someone refuses "treatment," though-- sometimes it is a hesitance for therapy per se, and all the potentially intimidating/uncomfortable associations that that has. In reality, there are still other options for self-help that might be baby steps in the right direction.

Thanks!

I participate in several weekly gatherings. When someone who is a regular at one of those gatherings disappears for an extended period, I usually send them a text or e-mail saying something like, "Hey, I haven't seen you for a while, are you okay?" Most write back and are grateful that someone noticed and cared about their absence, and sometimes they tell me about painful circumstances that led to their disappearance. I had always thought that people would do the same for me if it were me who disappeared. However, when something happened that caused me to disappear from church, there was radio silence from the people I had thought were my friends. It has been months, and no one writes to say, "Are you okay?" or "What the heck happened to you?" or "I miss you." It is clear that my presence or absence means nothing to these people who mean everything to me. I'm trying hard to focus on the relationships I have with secular people (who have not abandoned me) but I cannot get church and my church "friends" out of my mind. It hurts so much that no one from church cares enough to spend 20 seconds sending me a friendly text message. It's especially painful because the church talks a lot about "building community" and I did everything I could for YEARS to be part of the community. How can I move past this? (Therapy isn't an option, for financial reasons.)

This really, really hurts. I can completely imagine.

But I also think you are making quite a mental jump from their silence to the idea that you mean "nothing" to them. Their disappearing act is a friendship crime, no doubt about that, but it also doesn't necessarily reflect their feelings. People pull disappearing acts for all kinds of reasons in these situations-- they don't want to "intrude," they don't know what to say, they are embarrassed that they don't know what's going on, they wonder if you have stopped caring about them-- the list goes on.

So, don't treat these single actions (or lack thereof) as a referendum. Talk. To. Them. Pick the person you like(d) best out of the crowd and reach out.

"Hey-- I wanted to reach out. I've missed being at church. To be honest, I was kind of surprised I didn't hear from you." Go from there. Don't assume you know their feelings. And if they immediately say "It's so good to hear from you! We were wondering what happened to you!" then you can think "Geez, then so ridiculous that they didn't contact me"-- which, if you're willing to take a little step back from your assumptions-- can also morph into "Geez, then so ridiculous that I didn't reach out to them either."

All this said, it could very well be that your other friends are more connected to you, and that this really DID reflect something about the weakness of your relationship with the church friends. But you can't quite judge that until you at least start a conversation.

The ex-wife obviously can't be that great, because either (a) she couldn't/wouldn't make a marriage work with your husband, or (b) your husband thinks you're better than she is. Remember that, and all the "she's more accomplished than me" stuff will trickle away.

Yes, that's one way of looking at it. It really is all about the match at the end of the day. Thanks!

I could have written a similar letter (constant comparison to my now-husband's ex wife - except that she's younger, prettier, thinner, etc. Total horror show). What worked for me? LOTS of talking about my own insecurity, him being open to hearing without having to defend himself/be defensive. It gets better as long as you acknowledge what's going on inside. Hugs!

So glad it got better for you!

Yes, he could (should!) be a significant source of support/mitigation in this as well!

Hi Dr. Andrea, I was curious if you'd have any tips/coping mechanisms for dealing with a passive-agressive and slightly controlling roommate. Thankfully my family/friends have been able to pull me from the anxiety spiral caused by a few of her antics, but considering my lease goes until June any advice would be appreciated. I moved in back in June. She’s the owner of the condo as well as my roommate, and the place was listed as fully furnished. When I first moved in she talked about incorporating some of my things into the common areas to make sure I feel at home, and that since the kitchen is small we should likely just move in any of my “unique” tools and share the common stuff. After a few weeks that shifted to “the house was listed as fully furnished when you signed the lease” and rather snarky questions when I put the measuring cups back in the (adjacent) wrong drawer after doing dishes. I'm more than happy to be flexible and keep things in the common areas neater than I would on my own, but I have to laugh at the hypocrisy of the basket of dog toys I set in the living room "cluttering up the space" when we literally have no counter space in the kitchen for cooking because she lines up all her spices and most groceries on the countertop rather than in a cabinet, and when the washing machine started leaking yesterday she spent more time trying to find a way to blame me (as it was my laundry in the machine) than find towels to sop up the water. I'm starting the process to purchase my own home, so there is an end in sight. Thankfully I manage my own anxiety issues with lots of research and planning, so I even have legal backing for issues if she were to try to further push things (i.e. trying to add a 3rd roommate to the home, which was NOT what I agreed to when signing the lease and has been mentioned in passing). Thanks!

Ah..... bad roommates. Hell on wheels, sleeping within yards of you each night. What's not to love?

What's important here is that you create an oasis wherever you can. Logistically-- by limiting your interactions when necessary, by having your private space be sacred (maybe go heavy on the hygge!), by not being in the common areas as much when it doesn't feel good to you. But also within interactions, having a simple mantra that helps you detach (she accuses you of something, you say "Mmhmmm, I'll make note of it" or whatever rather than escalating or even engaging.) Choosing your battles. Keeping things very clear about what you will continue to stand firm with versus what you will relinquish. Not rewarding what might be a potential need to drum up drama.

Unfortunately, there's no magic wand to make her change her behavior. So you just have to build as much of a moat around your castle-- physically and emotionally (the latter of which you seem to be handling well)-- as possible.

Have any chatters lived through one of these situations?

My ex (dad) has slept with our 10 yo since I left him 2 years ago. My daughter was in therapy b/c of our divorce and has done well. She sleeps on her own at my house. Both her therapist and I believe nothing sexual is going on. However, he just moved his bed into her room (and moved her smaller bed out). This is concerning for me. She tells me she likes sleeping with her dad. Her dad and I are involved in contentious litigation but thankfully have settled child issues with mediation (50/50 custody). Thoughts?

It's the moving the bed that I don't like.

Because that makes it about his choices, not hers.

It's one thing if she was the one bringing herself into his bed. But for him to move himself into her space has a different flavor. And I'm not even insinuating anything sexual here, but rather a question about who's doing it for what reasons-- what needs are being served. It's not uncommon for parents to co-sleep with their kids with the ostensible reason that their kids want it, but in reality it's them. And the most basic guard against that is to not be the parent coming into the child's room!

Also, by moving her smaller bed out, that puts the burden on her to leave.... creating his being in there as the default setting.

So, yeah... I'm not a fan.

subscribe to the detox your thoughts newsletter and share it with Julie. Both of you will feel better.

I swear I am not paying these people! :-)

Happens to me, too. But if you click on the comments link, they'll load. They just don't show automatically like they used to do.

I wonder if that is it. I have that problem site-wide sometimes.

I do wonder if this is a Baggage-central issue, though, which I wouldn't rule out (those little green men can't stand me.)

It's very clearly this. This person thinks that medications are a crutch and therefore bad (even though I pointed out the parallel with insulin for diabetics) and also says that s/he could never trust anyone enough to open up their thoughts to someone else. It makes me feel pretty hopeless.

Yeah. As much as I can empathize with people's discomfort, it really is frustrating when it gets in the way of help.

At the risk of bringing up a proctology metaphor twice in one month's time.... if one had a bowel problem that needed to be treated, one would not love the fact that a doctor had to be up in there, but would accept that it was necessary.

In terms of "opening up" in therapy, it's a similar cost-benefit analysis a lot of times.

Thanks.

I had a couple friends leave our church, and I was embarrassed that I didn't notice, but it's because we alternate between 1st or 2nd Service, and so did they. It took a while to realize they weren't there at all. I wish they had let me know, because it was definitely awkward after a long absence.

Yes! Helpful perspective here.

And it's interesting, I think the church aspect lends a complication I hadn't even though of... friends wondering if maybe the person had a break with their faith, etc., and feeling even more hesitant to bring it up. Thanks.

Here's the problem, your baby-free friend (BFF) is right - the dynamic will change. I saw with my own group of friends when they had kids (I'm the child-free one of the group). What really helps me is setting rules for limited/no baby talk when we are together. It gets really awkward and I feel unwanted when my friends just talk about baby/kid stuff that I can't relate to. Why not acknowledge the concerns of BFF - at least she feels like she's being heard - and set limits or boundaries with kid-talk outside of that?

It's true, there's definitely a reality here that things will change somewhat. It sounds difficult for OP to even address that reality with Julie, though, given her anxiety about it. But having some no-diaper-talk-allowed zones could definitely help.

No, No, NO!!!! This is just plain wrong. Get thee to your family practice attorney ASAP, in order to file whatever actions are necessary in order to put an immediate stop to this.

I knew this would raise some alarm bells.

Again, I don't think we have to conflate this with anything more sinister, but it's plain and simple that Dad is putting his own needs above daughter's.

Two of my friends have had adult children (ages 24 and 26) die from overdosing on opioids - one in August and one last week. Both families are loving and supportive, both children had made it through college, were starting careers, and had been through rehab at least once. These families are devastated. Watching the father last week carry his son's cremains out of the church last week is just such a heartbreaking image. These were good kids that made a bad choice. Both struggled with mental health issues and were using drugs to medicate themselves further. I want to be supportive, but have no idea of how. We don't live nearby either family. If it can happen to them, it can happen to any family. I just feel so helpless, and I can't imagine how they are coping.

Yes. My heart goes out to you-- and them-- more than you know.

Anyone who has the luxury to believe that the opioid epidemic (or addiction in general, for that matter) can only affect certain "types" of people is very lucky that they have not had it hit home yet. And sadly, it may only be a matter of time.

You be supportive by hanging in there. You don't disappear. You write notes. You call. You text. You say-- when you don't know what to say-- that you don't know what to say. You ask-- when you don't know how to help-- exactly what you can do to help. You don't put any demands on them. You view them as humans going through something soul-crushing. Which it sounds like you already understand. That empathy gets you so, so far.

People want to have the perfect tips about how to handle something like this, how not to say the "wrong" thing. The truth is, just hanging in and not disappearing is the right thing. There is no perfect thing. It is just being, and listening, and opening your heart.

On the other side of the coin, when I stopped believing (this was long before the internet, email, etc.), I found comments re my church disappearance to be intrusive, because I didn't want to get into a theological argument with them.

Good point. And that is exactly what some of the disappearing friends might be fearful of doing. Thanks.

How about if YOU sign up for it for yourself, then rave to your friend about how much you're enjoying it, and maybe s/he might want to share the experience with you by signing up for it, too.

The original word-of-mouth marketing! Thanks. Yeah, I have had a lot of people make slight inroads with their loved one's mental health-- or exercise, or eating, or what have you-- by doing just this.

I recall that the late Roger Ebert and his wife Chaz were reluctant to discuss how they met, because it was at AA, and they took that Anonymous aspect seriously.

Very interesting! One would presume, though, that if they both are okay with having been outed, then they could certainly share....

I'm experiencing infertility and am thus the "baby-free friend". So I can relate to some of Julie's feelings. Whether or not you mean to, your talk is likely more centered on babies now. And of course that's natural and part of it, but consider whether you and your other friends can make a more intentional effort to NOT talk about babies sometimes so that Julie doesn't feel as left out of conversations (in addition to her side to agree TO talk about babies sometimes so that your needs are met).

Yes-- thanks! It's definitely worth a reality check. It could be that a closer, more honest look will reveal that the times that Julie bails, for instance, are times when it was clear that baby talk was going to be heavy on the agenda.

I am sorry to hear about your challenges with infertility. I hope there is some light at the end of the tunnel coming soon.

Sorry, but NO child that old should be sleeping with an opposite sex parent. EVER.

Well.... I do think this varies by culture and family. I'm not prone to see it quite as black and white. But I do agree that the potential for problems is real. 

I have a different perspective based on my experiences. Sometimes it's not all new partner who's feeling jealous and actually about the other partner exploiting their insecurities to gain control. Granted, that's not always the case but I've learned that, as an overall non-jealous person, if I'm ever feeling really jealous, something is wrong with the situation and not just "me."

Yes, we really don't know much about Boyfriend in this situation. I want to give him the benefit of the doubt-- innocent until proven guilty-- but it could be worth a closer look. Thanks.

It's that time again. Thank you so much for being here. And if you haven't gotten a chance to vote yet, it's my final plea-- please do!

We'll see you again here next week. And thanks for all the love on Detox Your Thoughts-- I really hope it's helpful. In the meantime, I'll see you in the comments and on Facebook!

In This Chat
Dr. Andrea Bonior
Dr. Andrea Bonior is a licensed clinical psychologist and the voice behind Baggage Check since its start in 2005. She serves on the faculty of Georgetown University and is the author of the Publisher's Weekly best-seller "Psychology: Essential Thinkers, Classic Theories, and How They Inform Your World" and "The Friendship Fix.”
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