Q: (Aldo) When I come home from work I am tired and want to sit down, have a drink, and watch the news. I really need some time to wind down. My girlfriend wants to share her days with me, and tell me about her lunch, her friends, funny situations at work, etc….This can go on for hours. I am really not in the mood for this and just need some down time. My girlfriend blames me for not listening to her. In fact I am interested, but would prefer to talk over dinner. I already told her I need some down time when I get home from work but she thinks it’s just that I am not interested in her. What can I do?
A: (Wil) Aldo, I had the same issues with my girlfriend (who is now my wife). We worked it out by agreeing that we each had one hour a day of “my time” during which we could do whatever activities we enjoyed for ourselves. For me this meant I would retire into the garage to work on my motorbike, while she played the music of her favorite composer Beethoven.
A: (James) Sounds familiar Aldo….! The constant chatting of my wife sometimes drives me crazy…I just pretend I am listening and nod and say mmmmm, really? every once in a while.
Q: (David) My girlfriend still has regular contact with her ex-boyfriend and wants to go out to museum with him. She assures me I have nothing to worry about and that they are just friends. They were together for 8 years, and we have been seeing each other for 3 years. It’s that I don’t trust her but I don’t feel very comfortable with the idea. Should I ask her not to go or pretend it doesn’t bother me?
A: (Pete)Hey David, she has the right to see anyone she wants, including friends you might not like or past boyfriends. I think you need to give each other some room and if she tells you that you have nothing to worry about you should trust her.
A: (John) If you tell her that you don’t like her being out with her ex-boyfriend, then sheshould respect that and cancel the date. Relationships are all about giving and taking and making compromises.
Q: (Martin) My girlfriend does not like having sex in the morning, but this is my favorite time have sex. I just can’t get her in the mood. Anyone have experience with this?
A: (Toby) I am exactly the same, I make her coffee first and bring this to her in bed. This usually puts her in a good mood and then the magic happens
Q: (Jack) My girlfriend and I are planning to have a baby soon. I have heard that once women children, they are so tired they don’t want to have sex as often. I’ve have also heard that this has to do with changing hormones in their body. Does anyone have any experience with this?
A: (Neil) Hey Jack, I have two children from my previous marriage and can confirm that the amount of sex definitely decreased after the first child. This lasted for about six months and as my ex-wife learned to cope with the extra responsibilities and lack of time it slowly got better. However, it never returned to the levels when we first met….
Q: (Reggie) Last night my girlfriend told me that she has been unfaithful in most of her relationships, but that her boyfriends never found out. She doesn’t think it’s a big deal because she doesn’t equate sex with love, and she was only interested in the sex. I don’t find this normal. For me a monogamous relationship is the only relationship I want. Am I being unreasonable and should I be worried?
A: (Dennis) If she has done this before she’ll probably do it again! Get rid of her Reggie!A: (Rich) If you are interested in a serious relationship with this girl, you need to talk about this. If she is not fulfilled sexually and starts looking elsewhere it would make you unhappy. I would ask her if she is happy with the sex in your relationship and ask her to talk about it with you if she is not, instead of seeking sexual satisfaction elsewhere.
Q: (James) I am very happy in my job and the people I work with. I earn a nice income, have a nice house,and my girlfriend and I take a vacation abroad every year. Lately she has let slip that I should be more ambitious, and that I should consider changing jobs if I don’t get promoted. We are fine financially and I see no need to change jobs. I think my status is very important to her, and that she can’t brag about me being a CEO or Vice-President bothers her. She says that we will need the extra income when we have children, as she wants to stop working and be a full-time mother. I feel uncomfortable discussing my work with her as I feel she is not happy with my current situation. Should I tell her that if she feels insecure about our income when we have children that she should consider working part-time? In her family her mother and sisters are all full-time mothers….
A: (Kevin) Talk to her and suggest a compromise: You stay in your current job, and she stays at home for the first two years, and then goes back to work part-time..?
A: (Chris) Hey James, if she feels so insecure about the finances, why doesn’t she get a better job? Her family was probably not so well-off which is why she is so insecure about this. In traditional middle-class families it is still quite common for women to quit working when having a baby. Find out more about her family situation and explain her that she has nothing to worry about.
Q: (Mike) I recently got engaged, and now my wife to be insists that we share all our finances and open joint accounts. I have a significant stock portfolio that I have built up over the years, way before I met her, and I want to keep this separate. She insists however that we share everything equally. It’s not that I don’t love her but I feel it is important to keep things
A: (Sergio) Mike, even though you are in love now and feel that shouldn’t withhold anything,keep in mind that if things go wrong (50% of all marriages end up in divorce!) she gets half of everything, including your stock portfolio that you spent years building up with your own money. Women sometimes need confirmation of being loved and wanted in different ways than men. This could be her way of seeking confirmation that you truly want to be with her. I suggest setting up a solid pre-nuptual agreement.
Q: (Albert) In my relationship I dare to say I am the most laid back with regards to discipline. I often come 10-20 minutes late for appointments and I am not the person in the household who cleans up after himself. My girlfriend is completely different, she is always on time, very neat, and has a structured, disciplined approach to her life. I am worried that when we decide to have children our parenting styles will be very conflicting. Does anyone have experience with this?
A: (Pedro) As a father of two young boys, 5 and 8 years old, I have experienced a similar situation. First of all, there is no right and wrong way to parenting, every couple has their own parenting style. What is important however, is discipline. If one parent is less strict than the other, children will pick this up quickly and try to take advantage of this. It is important that you both agree on the rules of the house, and support each other in enforcing these.This means that even if sometimes you do not agree with your girlfriends position, you need to back her up in front of the kids. If they sense that you do not form a solid front, they will start acting up and play you out against each other.
Q: (Ben) Call me old fashioned but when I have children I want my girlfriend to be a stay at home mother. I have a good job and can easily provide for all of us. But my girlfriend is a laywer, very ambitious, and wants to continue working as soon as possible after she has the baby. I feel that if we both work the baby will suffer because we are not there enough. For me working less is simply not an option. My company would demote me and I would not be able to earn enough to support my family. I feel very strongly about this but so does my girlfriend. How can we best solve this?
A: (Roger) How about asking your girlfriend so stay at home for the first 3 months and then go back to work part-time?
Q: (Andrew) During my college years I was quite the party animal. I have slowed down a bit,but still enjoy going out to bars with my friends and having a few beers. My girlfriend enjoys spending time at home and is not happy with the fact that I go out so often. Once we get married, I still want to hang out with my guy friends but I feel that this might be a problem for us.
A: (Cameron) Relationships are about compromise. You will have to give in some, and not go out with the guys as often as you might wish. You might suggest a fixed night per month or week that you go out with your friends. That way she can make her own plans. This worked for me!