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Love Letters

Love Letters: He's Traveling With His Female Friend


Q:

Dear Meredith,

I've been dating my boyfriend for two years. We lived on opposite coasts until about six months ago when I left my own home, quit my job, and left my friends and family to move to Los Angeles to be with him. Now that we share a home, I feel a bit taken for granted.

He now travels by choice a lot. Currently, he is on a 5.5 week trip in China with a female friend, which I expressed deep disagreement about before they even booked the airline tickets or hotel. I couldn't attend this trip due to work.

He has been gone for three weeks already, and since he has arrived he will go days without contacting me and has been starting arguments over me being worried about his safety. During the most recent disagreement, he told me that I could pack my [stuff] and leave (this was after I asked for a daily email that would let me know he was safe, healthy, and having fun). He has WiFi in the hotel so I didn't think this would be an unreasonable request. When I mentioned that he has free WiFi in the hotel and that I didn't see the big deal in one short email at night or in the morning, he said that he feels like I'm trying to control him.

I'm very confused. Am I being unreasonable for asking for an email or not being overly joyed about him being overseas for that long of a period of time with another female?

It seems like he just doesn't want to compromise. It's become a relationship where he just tells me what he is going to do and if I don't agree with it, he doesn't really care. Everything is always on his terms.

I've asked him if he is interested in other people or just not into our relationship anymore. He always replies that he is very much in love with me and wants our relationship to work. I just don't understand how you can make the person you love so uncomfortable with a trip that isn't necessary for work or school. I by no means think that he shouldn't do what makes him happy, but I find it unfair to book long trips with another female against my wishes.

Help. Any advice and brutal honesty would be wonderful.

– Always Waiting, LA

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A: You're right. It's great that you were invited on the trip (it sounds like your work schedule is the only reason you're not there), but you guys should have come to an understanding about the vacation before he booked it. And the whole "pack your stuff" and leave line was not cool. You need to talk to him about learning to argue without saying something that could damage the relationship forever.

I will say that I am on his side about the email. Sending a daily note might seem easy, but it shouldn't be a rule on this trip. He should check in when he can (and frequently), but it shouldn't be an obligation. My guess is that as much as you're worried about his safety, you also want daily validation that the relationship is OK. But he's not going to send notes every 24 hours that say, "I'm fine! And I didn't sleep with my friend!"

Wait until he gets back to deal with your issues. Ask him for more empathy and better communication. Explain that next time, if he tells you in the heat of the moment to pack up and leave, you just might go.

Readers? Should he have taken this trip? Should he be sending the daily email? What about how he fights?

– Meredith