Wise Counsel From Susan Quilliam: Am I being unfaithful?

Dear Susan

I have never so  much as touched another man since I met my boyfriend six months ago. But he’s wobbling because I’ve now become really good friends with a guy at work. We spend every lunchtime together, have a regular arrangement to go for a drink on Wednesdays, and I really like his company. But we totally don’t fancy each other and there’s no way we’ll have sex or any sort of physical relationship. I try to tell my boyfriend this, try to reassure him that I’m not going to betray him, but he still gets upset and angry – and then I do too! I just don’t know how we’re going to resolve this.

Trude

Dear Trude

I can see both sides of this story. You know, absolutely, that nothing physical is going to happen between you and your colleague – but your boyfriend doesn’t know that, and he imagines the worst. He feels, absolutely, that there’s something suspicious going on – but you feel outraged that he doesn’t trust you; surely someone who loves you should believe in you.

What’s at the heart of all  this is that the two of you have very, very different ideas of what the word ‘infidelity’ means. You feel you’re not being unfaithful because you’re not having sex with another  man. Your boyfriend feels you are being unfaithful because you have a very close emotional connection with another man. And I have to say that there’s right on both sides.

Either you have to stop spending time with your colleague – which may mean you end up feeling resentful. Or your boyfriend has to learn to live with your friendship – which may mean you end up feeling resentful. I’m not saying you should split up. But I strongly suspect that’s what will happen in the end.

Susan Quilliam also offers email, phone and face-to-face coaching on relationship and sexuality issues. Contact her here

 

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