Doesn't Want Her Working With Her Ex Boyfriend
Q: Okay, so I was just offered a fantastic job offer at this advertising agency that would bump my salary up by almost 30%. My husband and I could really afford the extra income and it would make things a lot easier, considering we have been having some financial difficulties. Who doesn't these days? The problem is, my husband doesn't want me to take the job because my boss would be… get ready for this… my ex-boyfriend! I told him he's being insane but he says it's really important that I don't take the job. What's a girl to do? Kate-30
Dr. Pamela: You received a great job offer— that's a good thing. Your husband doesn't trust you — that's not a good thing. You tell your husband he's insane for being concerned — that is a very bad thing. Why? Because it's an attempt to control and invalidate his feelings, which are real. In a marriage, trust is non-negotiable. Nothing will harm your marriage more than jealousy, suspicion and mistrust. If your husband has doubts about you working with your ex, you need to address his concern before you even think about punching the time clock. Your husband's lack of trust didn't just blow in from nowhere. Distrust in a marriage usually doesn't stem from one significant breach. Rather, trust erodes over time from a series of smaller events: a broken promise here, little white lies there, a secret or two, bits of flirting, past affairs. A pattern of uncaring behavior leads to mistrust. The most important thing you can do is remember that if you handle jealousy properly, it will pass.
Talk with your husband about his feelings. Where do they come from? Be willing to open up about how you feel, and to hear and appreciate how your husband feels. You can't reach a lasting solution otherwise. Talk about what the working relationship will entail. Will you be eating lunch together? Working late at the same time? Having business calls after working hours? Going on business trips together? Don't hide information from fear of your husband's reaction. Full disclosure is necessary because details unrevealed now will be explosive when discovered later. Be patient. Keep your communication open. Allow the trust between you and your husband to grow.
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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.