This week, one reader says she's introduced her boyfriend to her son, but she has yet to know anything about his living situation. Another reader says her new husband doesn't check in with her when he's late. Relationship expert Dr. Gilda Carle cuts through the fluff with her love advice in TODAY.com's "30-second therapist" series.
Q: My boyfriend and I have been together about eight months. He is divorced with two kids in the area. I've never been married and have one child. He's been over my home and met my son several times. I still don't even know where he lives. I respect the fact that he wants to take it slow with me meeting his kids. But they don't live with him. I'm worried it's a red flag that he never suggests I come over. How long should I give him, and how do I handle this without coming across as pushy or suspicious? —Want More Info
Dear Want More Info,
Mommy, what are you thinking? You need to protect your child from mysterious dudes! Who is this guy? You call him “boyfriend” after almost a year, yet you still don’t know whether he’s living in a gated community (uh, jail!), he’s married, living with someone, or even whether he’s homeless!It was your screaming intuition that motivated this email to me. Here’s what to do now:
- Acknowledge that asking for information dude is concealing may cause him to bolt.
- Recognize that you can’t love a person you don’t know.
- Accept that it’s not “pushy” or “suspicious” to protect yourself!
Use your “pass-the-butter” voice to finally tell dude you want to see where he lives. Let his response dictate your next move. Be prepared! —Dr. Gilda
Q: I've only been married for six weeks and my new husband and I seem to have more problems than ever! When he is coming home late from work or a friend's house, I always ask him to check in to let me know. I believe it's a common courtesy, but he views it as too controlling. He says that he doesn't think checking in is important, even if it's important to me, which I’ve explained to him many times. Am I crazy? —Confused Newlywed
Newlyweds often misconstrue a marriage certificate as single status with a new title. But commitment often involves inconveniencing yourself to make your mate happy. Before they decide to marry, or even move in together, my clients draw up new boundaries. This is when they voice their feelings and fears. You and your husband should do that now
As my Gilda-Gram™ says, “Everyone gets a wake-up call—to either answer or not!” Yours comes in the form of a new rule for marital respect, and it warns you to safeguard your relationship. I advise you to answer this call. If your husband has vestiges of feeling controlled by a woman, it must be addressed now, before resentment sets in. Hash this out alone, or seek an objective third party counselor. It will be well worth it later. —Dr. Gilda
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Dr. Gilda Carle is the relationship expert to the stars. She is a professor emerita, has written 15 books, and her latest is “Don’t Bet on the Prince!”—Second Edition. She provides advice and coaching via Skype, email and phone.