Question: I am a 22-year-old man and I have been in a relationship with my college sweetheart. We recently joined the same organisation as assistant managers and spend the majority of our time together. Despite being so close, both physically and emotionally , I have trouble trusting her. Let me explain the reason for my lack of trust. She has some very close friends from college and it's an all-girls group. They meet every weekend. But what really worries me is that they have a nasty habit to gossip about everything under the sun. They talk openly about each other's love life and even share what goes on in their bedroom. My girlfriend tells me everything, even to the extent of how her friends make love to their boyfriend. I had once warned her not to do that and maintain some privacy about our life. She said that she never discusses our life. I got to know that she is lying when one of our friends cracked a private joke about me and my girlfriend at a party. Things are getting messier and her friends influence her a lot. I don't know how can I make her understand that her behaviour is ruining the relationship. I love her but I can't trust her. Should I be with her or leave her? Please tell me what should I do? —By Anonymous
Response by Kamna Chhibber: The decision to continue or let go of your relationship must be yours entirely. However, you should try and reach this decision after substantial consideration and evaluation of all possibilities.
The relationship had been a long standing one and there is emotional and physical connection and reliance that both of you share with each other. It is understandable that you do not feel comfortable with the level of influence and extent of conversations your girlfriend may be having with her friends. However, you may need to understand the nature of the relatedness they share.
Simultaneously, you need to share your own apprehensions and concerns about the impact on your relationship and its quality that this is having. Use language that is empathetic and does not involve blame or anger. Do not communicate that you feel there may be disregard for your sentiments. Instead broach the topic pragmatically, helping your girlfriend understand how you have been seeing the quality of your relationship change.
In case you feel your communication may not be considered seriously, you could ask a friend or family member with whom both of you have a good relationship to also help you with the same and reinforce your perspective. If none of these mechanisms work, do reach out to an expert who could help you mediate this situation. Do not be in a rush to make a decision. Give it time and see what best can be done to improve things on this front.
Kamna Chhibber is the Head (Mental Health), Department of Mental Health and Behavioural Sciences at Fortis Healthcare
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