He Thinks You're Overreacting
February 5, 2007 Ask Dr. Love Advice Column
I have been with the father of my son for about 4 years & he has been so patient and honest, until during the middle of this year when I discovered that he lied to me after I caught him with this lady whom he claims that they were starting a friendship.
My problem is he has been having female friends for quite a time until when I told him that I did not like this since he wasn't willing to let me meet them. He sacrificed some of his female friends but he still continues to make friends with his female colleagues whom he doesn't find any reason for me to meet, but they know our son.
The question is why doesn't he want me to meet these people? I tried to talk to him but he says I am overreacting. Please help because I think that he does not want to be seen with me or he is ashamed of me.
I am very sad to see that your self-esteem is so low that you actually think that he won't introduce you to these other women because he's ashamed of you.
I don't believe this for a minute! There are many other interpretations for his behavior that have nothing whatsoever to do with you. For example, he may be the kind of person who has a great need for space. The friendships that he maintains outside the marriage may give him this sense of space.
Only he can tell you why he doesn't want to make the introductions. I have to say that his refusal to introduce you to these women made me feel suspicious. What does he have to hide? Is it possible that he is cheating on you and calling these women friends in order to throw you off the scent. . . . of other women?
The real problem here comes down to your low self-esteem. Because you feel so badly about yourself, it reverberates in all kinds of unhealthy ways in the relationship. For example, because you don't feel good about yourself, you don't feel entitled to put your foot down and tell him what you will and won't accept. Likewise, I think that you feel that no other man would have you.
These self-doubting thoughts send the message to him that you will put up with anything that he says or does because you don't have the power or confidence to leave him. In this weak place, you are not in a position to make any demands of him, such as that he introduce you to his friends. I want you to hear me. You aren't being treated properly and you should be.
First of all, he is dismissing your feelings and telling you that you're overreacting. In a good relationship, both partners should take each other 's feelings seriously and do their best to listen and understand each person's point of view.
I wrote an entire book, which shows couples how to do just that! Nothing is going to change in your marriage until you entitle yourself to be more assertive with him. You need to tell him that he's not responding properly to you and then tell him how he's supposed to respond.
I suggest that you read my book (Create your Action Plan and you will see a link for the book), so that you are completely familiar with how to communicate what's troubling you and know how he should be listening and responding to you and vice versa.
If he refuses to be more considerate of your feelings, then it's time for marriage counseling. If he knows that you mean business; that you are ready, willing, and able to walk if he doesn't shape up, he'll start paying attention to your feelings very quickly--that is if he wants to keep the marriage.
"If anger and fighting are ruining your dream of a happy marriage, Dr. Turndorf’s conflict resolution program is for you."
-- John Gray,
Author of NY Times #1 bestseller Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus
"This well-researched book offers a thorough, step-by-step program that provides tools for couples to heal even the most troubled relationships."
-- Dr. John Mack
Pulitzer Prize winning author and Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School
“This book is mandatory reading for every couple that wants to build lasting love.”
-- John Bradshaw,
Author of NY Times #1 bestseller Homecoming
"Dr. Turndorf is an amazing individual who has wonderful advice to offer men and women of all ages and in all types of relationships. Ignore her counsel at your peril!"
-- Bill Hammond III,
Winner of the Best Historical Fiction Award, 2012
"You are awesome Dr. Jamie. You really are. The best part about you is the way you translate complex psychological stuff into easy to understand and actionable insights."
-- Kajay Williams,
Producer Relationship Advice Cafe
"Let me tell you why you're extremely important now. I really believe your message is there. You're spot on. More and more people should be taking advantage of what you're offering."
-- Michael Dresser,
Syndicated Radio Host
"Good stuff. Great insight. I love your approach. Who doesn't need more healing. I love your idea of using your partner as a healing agent. That's such a great way to see your partner. You give great labels and patterns to look for. I love your method. You make it sound so easy. You have a great website with lots of great information and resources. These are the tools we all need."
-- Dr. Matt Townsend,
Host, The Matt Townsend Show