Tuesday 25 September 2018

Ask Rosanna: 'My boyfriend is convinced I'm cheating - he's losing the plot'

Rosanna Davison
Rosanna Davison

A boyfriend who is convinced his girl is cheating, getting time off to study and a creepy work colleague

Q: My boyfriend has suddenly become convinced that I am cheating on him - we've been together for four years and he's always been pretty cool and easy going but lately he has turned into half a stalker.

He lurks outside my place of work and is always keeping tabs on my whereabouts - I actually wonder if he has had some kind of mental breakdown. We live together and it is becoming too much for me to handle but it's very hard to know who to turn to or help and advice without them thinking I'm half mad.

I'm also wary about involving others in our own personal business but I wonder if I should ask his best friend or brother what to do - he has by the way already accused me of sleeping with both of these people.

A: It's extremely tough for anyone to be wrongly accused of bad behaviour, but especially so when it's from one of the people that you're supposed to have the strongest trust and bond with, and considering you've been together for a number of years now.

It does seem very strange that he's suddenly become suspicious and paranoid about what you've been up to. Can you think of anything that could have been the catalyst for this?

I think you're right to keep your own business private as you don't need others gossiping about you, but before you ask his friend or brother for advice, it's important to try to work it out between you.

Have a very honest talk with your boyfriend and ask why exactly he thinks you're cheating on him.

You need to make it clear to him that you haven't done anything wrong.

Relationships need to be built on mutual trust to work, and it's never healthy to keep tabs on the other person's emails and texts either. Make sure he knows that if he carries on like this, it will potentially push you away completely.

Q: I WANT to go back to college but my company won't give me any leeway with time for study.

I'm really serious about this course of action but I absolutely need to work full-time in order to pay the fees which are quite expensive.

I'm so desperate to do this that I have started to look around for another job but there are none so well paid as the one I am in - I feel trapped and that having been here for almost 10 years my employers really owed me some kind of consideration in my desire to make more of my life.

All I was looking for was to take my holidays in a spate of Fridays off work for the academic year - but they considered this a four-day week and against policy in spite of my telling them that I would forgo any larger holidays in order to do this two-year diploma.

Do I risk accepting the course and seeing if they will change their mind or start looking for another job?

A: Decisions decisions! I really admire you for wanting to go back to studying, as it's never easy juggling work with academic commitments.

I've done it for years and it takes plenty of dedication and focus but it's so rewarding at the end. You really need to prioritise here. Do you feel that you'd hugely regret not taking this course?

If I were you, I would accept the course as it's something that you're so serious about. At the same time, I would advise you to have a meeting with your boss and really try to come to some sort of solution.

You need to explain the situation with money too, and remind them how long you have been a loyal employee. You're willing to sacrifice your holidays for this course, and that's something that they really need to consider.

Your qualification will surely also make you an even more valuable asset to the company.

So they need to weigh up how much of a loss you will be if you leave them because they're unwilling to be flexible. I would make sure they know that you're a valued employee and extremely serious about reaching a compromise that works for everyone.

Q: My colleague is a creep - in the sense that she totally copies everything I buy and wear and doesn't seem to have any sense of her own taste.

She also finds out what I do at the weekend, what restaurants I have been to and follows suit - she gets any info she can off mine and my friends' social media.

She even goes to the same hairdresser. I know that this is considered some kind of form of flattery but I just find it creepy - what can I say to let her know that I think she needs to back off - bearing in mind that I don't want to hurt her?

This is certainly a difficult situation to face, and I do agree that it's bordering on creepy, even if she means well and simply admires you and your lifestyle.

You really do have to treat this delicately though, because you have to work with her and need to maintain a professional atmosphere in the office.

For starters, I would suggest that you try to avoid putting too much information about where you go at the weekend on social media. Make it more difficult for her to find out these details about you.

You may want to consider changing your settings to private for the time being. If the opportunity arises, you could make a light joke about how much she has in common with you, and that she seems to share your dress sense.

She may get the hint and back off, otherwise, the most mature thing you can do is accept it as a compliment and try to ignore it.

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