Life Advice


Health & Spirit

Recovering liar seeks an authentic life

Carolyn Hax on

There's another, more practical reason to share. If you don't, then you will just live in a new kind of fear: the fear of discovery. You will always have some awareness in the back of your mind that your most cherished relationships hinge on your ability to keep your secret. That's torture.

You may risk losing people when you tell, yes. But the ones who know all about you and then choose to stay? Those are worth the risk.

Dear Carolyn:

My boyfriend's (of four years) parents do not like me ... or rather his mom doesn't like me and is a very controlling woman so it's hard to tell what his dad thinks of me. They just booked tickets to visit us for the second time this year in spite of my boyfriend saying it is a bad time because he is very busy again.

He is overloaded with work, so instead of confronting her when he found out, he has chosen to push the confrontation until later. Last time they claimed they would occupy themselves but of course when they arrived, the "we paid all this money to see you" guilt trip started immediately.

He is younger so he still is working on the standing up to her. Any suggestions for me to help him put his foot down with her? (Suggestions for me to keep calm enough to not give her an actual reason to hate me would be nice too.)

-- Unwanted Hosts

No, I will not give you suggestions to help you become the next controlling person to whom your boyfriend outsources his uncomfortable decisions.

He is "younger" so he's still "working on" it? No to that, too.

You're clearing two different paths with that rationalization. One is toward taking over the decisions your boyfriend fails to make. This is how people wind up either exhausted and resentful for having to carry the entire mental load both for themselves and a partner -- the role you're training for -- or detached and resentful for having little say in their day-to-day lives -- the role he's rapidly slipping into.


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