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Ask Amy: Hot-tubbing tests relationship

  • Article by: AMY DICKINSON
  • March 15, 2013 - 3:25 PM

Dear Amy: My live-in boyfriend of five years has recently rekindled a friendship with a girl he knew in grade school. Twice in the last week he has invited her to our home to play pool, have a lot of drinks and soak in our hot tub.

He hasn’t shared his plans to have her over until the last minute as I was leaving work; at that point he then extended the invite for me to join them. I feel as if I’m in second place to him hanging out with another woman in our home. I speak my mind about how it makes me feel, and the situation gets spun as if I’m crazy. He then won’t speak to me for the rest of the night. Sometimes he spins negativity back on me so that he can be upset with me on something that is off topic.

She has a boyfriend, and my boyfriend reassures me they would never cross the line and become intimate. I trust that.

I try to speak to him, but most of the time he has had a few drinks, insults me or shuts me down and dismisses my feelings. Should I give him space to be with her? Am I an idiot? I cannot speak to him rationally about this because he loses his composure and it escalates. I feel alone.

Amy says: If you are living together, then he should call you first when he wants to invite someone over. If you agree to this, then you should hang out and enjoy the company, not seethe and sulk. You might change the dynamic by forcing yourself to be awesome in their presence to see if you can also enjoy this guest in your home. Also, perhaps you should extend the invitation to her boyfriend.

Do you want to live with someone who tests you and then drunkenly insults and belittles you when you express yourself? If you cannot alter the dynamic, you should reconsider your choice to be with someone who has so little regard for you.

Friend pays for dinner too often

Dear Amy: I have a friend who likes to buy me dinner. Often I tell him that I will only eat with him if I can pay for myself, and that usually works. But there are other times when he refuses to let me pay. He is struggling financially, and I don’t want him wasting his money on me. Many times I tell him that I will pay him back, and I do. But other times I feel like he might be offended if I do that. What can I do?

Amy says: You should tell your friend that you always want to split the check, no matter what. If this becomes a tussle at the table, you should trade off treating. If he has treated you, you should not attempt to “pay him back” later. That just extends this awkward moment. You and he could economize by cooking at home for each other. If you don’t know how to cook, this is a fun way to learn and share.

Send questions via e-mail to Amy Dickinson at askamy@tribune.com.

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