How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Rafael M.T.Therapist Your Own Question
Rafael M.T.Therapist
Rafael M.T.Therapist, Psychotherapist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 3191
Experience:  MHT-MHRS-MS-MA Integral Psychotherapist & Life Coach
65591635
Type Your Relationship Question Here...
Rafael M.T.Therapist is online now

Hello, Id like some relationship advice! My partner of

Resolved Question:

Hello, I'd like some relationship advice!

My partner of three years has become very friendly with a colleague at work (who is married with two young children). They chat everyday on facebook, it all seems quite harmless the usual 'what are you up to today' etc. It's been going on and off for a few months. My partner has used my laptop to access facebook, so I have his password, he also has mine. I have asked him about his relationship with her, he gets very defensive and says they are friends and he has lots of female friends (which he does). A couple of weeks ago we had a major bust up over it, as I pushed for further details saying that it sounds like he is having an emotional affair. He said he doesn't discuss our relationship with her, so it's not an emotional affair! I walked out and he eventually apologised, saying he doesn't want to hurt me, and that she is a good friend, but there is a line that he would never cross. Yesterday they went skiing together, just the two of them (it's a 3 hour journey on the bus each way - a lot of time together, the first time they have been alone for so long). Other colleagues from work were supposed to go, but for various reasons didn't. I couldn't go as I had a family birthday party to go to. I know this colleague as I work in the same place one day a week and she is very friendly and I thought she was my friend.

Last night when he returned he said he'd had a good day, but that they didn't get as much skiing as they wanted as it was too busy and they had to sit around most of the day bored. He said she talked about her kids a lot and he isn't interested. He said he would rather have stayed here with me. Naively I believed him. This morning I went to log onto my fb account and I used another browser which brought his fb account up and her name was flashing up in the message box and the gist of it was they had both had a fantastic day yesterday, they had so much fun and they wished it was Sunday again

Am I being stupid here? When I try to talk to him he says I am being jealous and he doesn't want a jealous partner, he says he would never cheat on me and that he loves me very much. I love him, but I don't want to be deceived. Or do I need to just chill out and trust him and forget about what I think 'might' have happened or could happen. I believe that neither of them want to jeopardise their relationships, but I think they are on the verge of crossing the line.

Should I just end the relationship and let them get on with it?!
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  Rafael M.T.Therapist replied 3 years ago.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

I am very sorry to know about this concerning and distressful situation.

Customer:

Hi there, I am just on my way out to an interview, could we chat a bit later? Sorry, is that ok?

Customer:

I am very grateful for your reply.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Sure it is, just join the chat and post something, so I will know you have come back, and we'll chat about it.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

I am glad to support you and will be looking forward to dialoguing with you later.

Customer:

Thank you :)

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

You're welcome :o)

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Bye for now and have a great interview.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

In the mean time I will share what i see form your story.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

So you could read it once you come back and have time for it.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

First this is about your long term relationship, you are just not dating without any form of commitment, but you have become and been living as life partners for the past three years. This means you have a greed to build a long term exclusive commitment, where you set each other's health, happiness and well-being as number one priorities in your lives, and from there everything else would be adjusted in order to promote your ability to build and promote a mutually fulfilling and healthy reality together.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

In this reality, clear and healthy limits and boundaries must be set, where your core needs and expectations form each other must be very clear, so you both could respect them, and work on making sure good understanding, and from there consistent support and caring evolve.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

But you described how for the past few months your partner has been deepening this close relationship with this coworker, who is married and has children, to the point of sharing everyday through FB, to the point you have felt uncomfortable with their level of closeness and intimacy, and for the time he invest on her. Sadly he does not see anything worn with it but refuses to acknowledge how the intensity, closeness and frequency of their relationship is affecting you and your relationship.

Customer:

Hi there, apologies for the delay in responding

Customer:

Yes, that is basically it, you've summed up well in the last sentence.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Hi, good.

Customer:

From his point of view, he is a great boyfriend. He is kind and considerate and has always taken my thoughts into account

Customer:

He has lots of female friends, and he is close to some of them, this is ok, I am happy for him to have friends of the opposite sex. He is an outgoing guy and is a woman's man

Customer:

He is not loud, or lewd and does not make any kind of inappropriate advances

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

He justifies that it is totally fine, that it is not an emotional affair because they do not discuss about your relationship, but that is not a good reason at all, but sounds like an excuse

Customer:

but I have an uneasy feeling about his friendship with this particular woman.

Customer:

Yes, to me it is an excuse, but if he is not willing to talk about it, it's difficult.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

I see, and it does make sense for you to feel this uncomfortable, because of how it's been evolving, and he has already been lying about the level of intimacy they have

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

That's a core issue and big read flag, I 'd say it is more than a read flag,, it is already an issue since he is totally disregarding the impact it's been having in your relationship, and it in unwilling to make anything about it, but continues to deepen their relationship in those ways.

Customer:

the thing is I cannot prove the level of intimacy they have. I only have suspicions or what I saw this morning on facebook...it doesn't add up to much. There is nothing 'sexual' or that UI wouldn't say to a very close female friend of mine...but at the same time, in my gut I know I am not imagining things

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

When incidents like the one you just described around this trip together happen, , they should not be dismissed at all, if you join that to the other concerns it gives you a bigger and very concerning picture.

Customer:

Should I tackle it in a certain way? What is the best course of action?

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Right. In this recent incident he complained about the trip, said it was boring and would have preferred to be there with you, but he preferred to go with her,and the FB messages show they truly enjoyed it and expect to have another nice times like that in future weekends, right?

Customer:

Yes, he complained yesterday evening, saying it was such a pity that they couldn't ski much and sat around all day bored waiting for the bus to come home. I actually believed this! I felt bad for them and even sent the other woman a message (she is also my work colleague one day a week and we get on well together), saying how sorry I was that they didn't get much skiing, but I was glad they had some company (i.e each other). Then the message this morning, they both had a great time! she was the one who was saying she wished it was Sunday and that she couldn't wait to do something again. He did not respond directly, just sent her a smiley face.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

I believe that the core point to be taken into consideration here is how you feel about his behaviors with this specific person, to reassess your core needs and expectations in this relationship, be clear about the boundaries and limits you need to respect in order for it to work, evolve and get stronger, healthier and more mutually fulfilling, instead of weaker. Here it is obvious he prefers to deepen this relationship than taking good care of your relationship, respecting your feelings and concerns. I do not think most people in his shoes, nor him would feel very happy and comfortable with you doing exactly what he is doing with his "friend". I do not believe he would feel even OK with it, It is not about another make friend, so that[s an obvious issue here.

Customer:

He genuinely loves to ski, we had gone together the week before and had a fantastic time. I know he would have been a little disappointed not to ski

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

I believe you need to talk about these core needs, expectations, set good boundaries from them, and agree to fully respect them for your relationship not only to continue but to evolve,mature and get better.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

You need to choose what and how much you are truly willing to afford about heir relationship, and then take consistent actions base don that. I he is able and willing to respect you, then you could make things work, otherwise I think it would just undermine your relationship more with time.

Customer:

Yes, I know you are right. You've explained it well. It just hurts so much knowing that if I don't accept this relationship with her, it will be over for us. I know that's how it will be.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

I am very sorry to hear that, then his priorities are clear for you, and it is this painful to come to terms with them, but it is obviously necessary for you, so you know what you are doing and what you chose to afford now and in the long run.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

I am afraid it does not show a solid, healthy and mutually fulfilling future together. But you are the only one with the right and power to choose your won path, just be mindful about it.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Does it make sense?

Customer:

Yes it does

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Good.

Customer:

I thought I might hear that everyone has friend of the opposite sex and it's ok for them to spend time together and I just being a jealous girlfriend!

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Many people have friends of the same and opposite gender, but when the person's sexual preference allows more attachment and intimacy to develop because of the closeness and intensity of what they share, then clear boundaries should be set, otherwise problems would arise, unless you happen to have a non-exclusive relationship.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

You just acknowledged that he will not think twice and end your relationship if you do not tolerate this behavior, then that is very clear showing this core point about reality.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

I do never sugarcoat things, since any form of codependency is incompatible with any healthy approach to things, and while here with an answer , or through counseling and psychotherapy bad professionals would do exactly that to please you and get your money, it is incompatible with my personal and professional approach and values.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Please feel free to contact me if you have any further questions and to follow up, since I am here willing to support you as possible. Thank you for your trust. Take gentle care.

Customer:

Thank you very much for your advice.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

You're very welcome. Thank you for your trust. Please keep in touch to follow up if you want.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

...and remember to rate session

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Bye for now.

Rafael M.T.Therapist and other Relationship Specialists are ready to help you