What’s your love and relationship problem?
Ask Meredith at Love Letters. Yes, it’s anonymous.
I am really struggling. My boyfriend and I have been together for almost six years now and we have a baby. We are both pretty young (early 20s). He suffers from bipolar and I have my own issues. I have been pretty confused about whether I want to continue living in this relationship, as lately it’s been constant fighting (seems to be a pattern). My boyfriend took it upon himself to delete one of my male friends off Snapchat (not that it matters, but I have been friends on and off with this person since we were kids).
When my boyfriend did that, we got into a huge fight and I told him that if he could not respect that it’s my phone, he could stay off of it. Flash forward to 2 a.m. this morning and he was deleting another one of my friends from my Snapchat, someone whom I have yet to even talk to on this app. It seems every time I get a male friend, he becomes super insecure.
When I told him he crossed a boundary, he told me he does not feel bad and will continue doing this when it feels right. That’s why I went and changed my passcode on my phone. He does not know yet, and I can only imagine the fight it is going to start to when he discovers it. Can you tell me if I am in the wrong?
You’re not wrong about privacy, trust, and his unhealthy desire to want to control your behavior. He shouldn’t stop you from having friends or mess with your phone without your permission. Feelings of jealousy are OK, but they shouldn’t result in him crossing clear boundaries.
I did have a bunch of questions about your life and the relationship.
1. Is the controlling behavior new? When did it start?
2. How well does he know your friends? Does he embrace you having any other relationships?
3. How much are the two of you sleeping? (I’m wondering how well you’re both communicating while you get used to having a baby.)
4. Does anything good come from your fights? Do you feel like you know how to have healthy conflict that results in good change?
5. Are you both finding the help you need to manage your mental health?
My thought is that this is a big change (the baby), and that you’ll need as much guidance and support as possible. Again, I will not defend his behavior; it sounds controlling and immature. But it’s part of a bigger question about whether you can be healthy parents together. You need to learn how to communicate about so many complicated things. Please tell him you want to be in counseling together to talk about how the early stages of parenting have worked for both of you.
The thing is, it doesn’t matter if I think he’s wrong about the phone because he thinks he’s right. Instead of turning this into a “who will win the argument” conversation, make this about finding ways to be better at all of this. Then answer these questions with him, in the presence of a professional.
You know you don’t want to stay in the relationship as it is. That means you have to work to change it – or figure out how to be co-parents instead of romantic partners.
Readers? Seek help? End it now? Did the sleep question come up for you?
I wish I had more positive vibes about this situation, but I don’t. It is the same feeling that I believe you have in your gut – that you should leave. You did not mention anything positive about the relationship at all. It might be time to consider extracting yourself from this relationship, but I would do so with the support of family, friends and a therapist.mhouston1
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