I LOST MY INDEPENDENCE PUTTING HIM FIRST
Dear Willie D,
Your column is awesome! I love the honest, uncut, real advice you give with that slight sense of humor that makes your column so entertaining. I read it all the time. Anyway, I need some advice. I've lost countless friendships in the five years that my fiancé and I have been together. In fact, I don't have any friends of my own anymore as we only hang out with his friends who have now become my friends.
The problem stems from his insecurities. Every time I try to plan a night without him, he acts as if it is no big deal all week. Then when the time comes he can't find anything to do without me. He then gives me the cold shoulder and treats me like I'm leaving him for good; manipulating, conniving, and ultimately convincing me to stay home and keep him entertained.
The last time I hung out with someone besides him and his friends was two years ago when I had a glass of wine at a coworker's house after work. Bug-a-boo called every 30 minutes to "check in," see if I was having fun without him and if I was coming home anytime soon.
I've told my coworkers, "I'm sorry I can't make it" so many times that they just stopped inviting me to places. I've lost my independence and therefore myself. How do I regain my independence and keep my partner's self-esteem intact?
You didn't lose your independence; you gave it away to your fiancé. But that's okay. This is fixable, because independence in a relationship is not as important as freedom. I say this because oftentimes when people bring an independent mindset into a relationship it's easier to walk away. But when they're reliant upon each other; not financially but in a social, sexual and emotional sense, the closer they are. Freedom is what you're after.
Your fiancé is controlling because he is insecure. Tell him how you feel and reassure him that you only have eyes for him. It also wouldn't hurt to break him off a little some-some before you leave or when you return from being out with friends. If he's smart, he'll come to associate your hanging out with friends as a benefit rather than an encumbrance. If that doesn't work, cling to him like Saran Wrap on a cold jailhouse sandwich.
When he's watching the game, hanging out with his boys or at the gym, prop underneath him like an armrest and ask a bunch of nagging questions. If that doesn't make him want to get a break from you, he's throwed off -- in which case you should pack your bags and run, Forrest, run!
I'M BEING HARASSED
Dear Willie D:
I have a stalker. My stalker is someone that I know. This person has gone to the extreme. First she spoofed my family and me for over a year; 5,000-plus phone calls. Now she is listening to my phone calls from the past three years as she has recorded them.
She has also hacked into my Facebook account and made up pages defaming my character. I have filed countless police reports as well as contacted the FBI, with no results. I can write a book on the past three years of my life but I really need help. What do you suggest?
This is serious. You have to continue to report the psycho to the police to protect yourself. Even if they don't take action, the fact that you legally documented the harassment could exonerate you if you ever had to physically defend yourself. You have more than enough evidence to get a court order of protection, so do it.
Delete your Facebook account and if you must have one, create a new one with stronger privacy settings. Record a journal of each incident. Take pictures, record the date, time and names of witnesses if possible. Save any text or voice messages and letters from her.
You could also hire a lawyer and file a civil-harassment lawsuit. But you will have to prove you suffered; i.e., your job was affected or you experienced bad health as a result of your stalker's actions. If you lose, you could be out a good grip of money, but if you win you might be successful in stopping the harassment for good.
You can never predict how far a crazy person will go, but you can take steps to protect yourself and make sure you don't go crazy.
More Willie D on the next page.
HE THINKS I'LL CHEAT ON HIM IF I GET A JOB
Dear Willie D:
I've been in a relationship for a little over a year now and we are great. But I have decided that I want to start bartending, and he does not like the idea because he thinks I am going to flirt with other guys.
I think it would be a great experience and I would enjoy doing it. I have always been independent by working hard and buying my own things; right now I could use the extra money for school and myself. How can I get him to trust me that it's only for the money and I am not trying to just meet a ton of guys?
When will people learn? No one likes to be controlled. He probably loves you to death, but is too blind to see that because you're so set on working and having your own money, the more he protests against your desires the closer he pushes you towards them and away from him.
So many of us hurt over things that may never happen. Be candid with him and tell him if you wanted to cheat you wouldn't have to get a job at a bar to do so; you could cheat anywhere. But that's not the case because you love him and would never compromise your relationship by being unfaithful.
That said, women bartenders are a constant target of flirting, so even if my girl floated down from heaven and had wings I still wouldn't be comfortable with her doing that type of work. If you have a great relationship and bartending is your passion, then your boyfriend should support you. But if your desire to be a bartender is strictly for the money, maybe you should consider a profession where you don't have to come into contact with men in an intoxicated environment. It's a lot easier to replace a good job than it is a good man.
TRADING SEX FOR GRADES
Dear Willie D:
I'm an attractive female undergraduate at university in St. Louis, Missouri, who had sex with my 49-year-old professor in exchange for a passing grade. He is average looking and about 5 feet 9 inches tall and a little on the chubby side; not my type, but I desperately need to pass his class.
I just walked up to him after class one day and asked him to help me understand what it was he wanted me to do about a particular subject. I knew he wasn't married so I told him I could come to his home. He agreed, and told me to come by the following day. It didn't take long before we were rolling on the carpet in his living room, humping like crazy.
Surprisingly, he was way above average in bed. Our arrangement was a one-off, but we ended up doing it [having sex] several times. After about a month he became controlling and verbally abusive. When I told him I no longer wanted to see him he rescinded his offer, and said that I wouldn't be passing his class. He calls me everyday to say he's sorry, but in the same breath asks for more sex.
I want to report him to my class dean, but I'm afraid of the backlash. What if the dean doesn't believe me and sides with my professor? That would be humiliating and could hurt my scholastic career.
I don't know what to do. I haven't been to his class in two weeks. I'm basically going through this alone. I can't talk to my family members or friends because it's too embarrassing to reveal what I did to get myself into this position. Do you have any ideas on how I should deal with my professor?
As with running a red light, when someone trades sex for grades each personal experience will vary. You might get away it, you might get a ticket or you could have a head-on collision. Using grades as leverage is a serious offense and could ruin a professor's career if found to be true. I don't think you would want to be responsible for ole buddy losing his income. Give him a call, and firmly remind him of your agreement.
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Let him know that you expect him to follow through, then wait to see what happens. If you get your grade, all's well that ends well. If not, then you do whatever it is that makes you sleep well at night. Even though you instigated this debacle, I don't appreciate people who go back on their word. A deal is a deal, and fair exchange ain't robbery.
Ask Willie D anything at askwillied.com.