Dear Wendy: Boyfriend’s Crazy-Jealous Of Girlfriend’s New Boss-Man

I have a girlfriend of eight months who I have not been able to see for three months due to financial issues and concerns. She recently started a new job in mid July 2009. Things appeared okay at first, but I noticed that things started to change quickly between us after she returned from an out-of-state training she went to with her (married) male boss. She started telling me she has to attend weekly lunch meetings with her boss at least 2 – 3 times per week. She’s stopped answering her cell phone during the day when I call, she refuses to respond to my text messages, she has been deleting e-mails from her computer so her children won’t be able to see them, she has been hiding text messages on the cell phones she is using (both the company’s and her personal). She removed the house phone and placed it in her car stating that she was concerned that her children would abuse it. She leaves the room when she gets a phone call that she does not want her children to hear. She calls me on her company issued cell phone as being private caller. When her boss calls her she quickly gets off the phone with me to talk with him. Today she referred to him by his first name three times. She told me that we could not see each other until she is able to lose 40 pounds. And she said that her boss told her that he cannot wait for them to relocate into their new office building so they’ll be able to share an office. What is going on that I am not accepting or seeing? I feel in my heart that they are having an affair. I need to know if I am justified in my feelings.

What’s going on that you’re not accepting is that your girlfriend is trying to avoid you. She’s started a new job she wants to be successful in and she doesn’t have time or the inclination to chitchat on the phone with you during business hours, or reply to all your text messages throughout the day. Has it occurred to you that you’re suffocating her? That you know that she’s been deleting emails “so her children won’t see them,” that she hides text messages on her cell phone, and that she “leaves the room when she gets a phone call she doesn’t want her children to hear” is a little, well, stalker-ish. And so what if she doesn’t want her kids up in her personal business? It’s normal and healthy for a grown woman to keep some things private from her children — it doesn’t mean she’s behaving illicitly.

You’re upset that you can’t be with your girlfriend and you’re jealous of the man who does get to be with her — even if their relationship is strictly professional (and, by the way, it’s common for colleagues to call one another by their first names! It’s also common to have lunch meetings, especially if a company is in a state of flux or transition as your girlfriend’s seems to be). Your girlfriend is only fueling the fire by telling you how often she meets with her boss and how excited he is to share an office with her. She’s being manipulative and you’re being clingy. This isn’t a healthy relationship for either of you. Break up with her and find someone in your own town who doesn’t insist on dieting for three months before she’ll agree to go out with you.

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