Worried by His Need for Privacy
Q: My boyfriend locks his phone all the time. He doesn't want me to use his computer. I know that he's talking to some woman who he knows from a long time ago, though he said they are just friends. Should I be concerned that he always puts his phone away and locks it? — Silvia, 47
Dr. Susan: You could ask your boyfriend to tell you a little bit about this old girlfriend/friend of his, and gauge his attitude. Does he act embarrassed? If he seems open about her, tells you a bit about her life, perhaps she really is "just a friend" now. And as hard as it is to share someone you love with other people, the reality is that you have to extend some trust and allow him that privacy if he wants it. Could be that in his past, a woman has behaved intrusively toward him, and now he needs to ensure he's the boss of his own life. So long as locking his phone is the only concern you have, I'd let it go. For now, anyway. If he starts disappearing at night with no good explanation offered, then you'd be entitled to delve more deeply.
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Advice for Her
Advice for Him
Susan K. Perry, Ph.D.
Susan K. Perry, Ph.D., is a social psychologist, relationship expert, and bestselling and award-winning author. Her books include Loving in Flow: How the Happiest Couples Get and Stay That Way, and Kylie's Heel, a novel for adults.
Pamela G. Chollet, Ph.D.
Dr. Pamela Chollet has a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and Master degrees in educational psychology and fine arts. Her passion has been helping people face and get through those times when they feel trapped and unable to move forward.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist, stress management expert, and author. If you're feeling overwhelmed, stressed out, or struggling to make changes in your life, Anna can help.