Dear Dr. Tobin,
When we have conflicts, my partner does not want to involve his friends or family, rather he feels free to contact my employer. In one case he contacted a prospective employer and I lost that opportunity. In another case, he informed a prospective employer that I was no longer available for work, which was not true.
What are the guidelines regarding the relationship between a family and a partner’s employer?
He’s Ruining My Name
Dear He’s Ruining My Name,
You know the answer to your question. You know it’s unacceptable. I guess the real question is “Why do you want to remain in this relationship?” Either get into couples counseling immediately or get out.
I rarely recommend ending a relationship. I usually try to help people find a way to resolve conflicts and to grow together. I didn’t become a marital therapist in order to increase the divorce rate. However, with physical or mental abuse I take a much stronger position and will often recommend separation or divorce.
Your partner has crossed a serious red line. What he has done is mental abuse. He has violated the privacy of your relationship, he’s jeopardized your economic security, and he has embarrassed you with your employers.
I can only assume that your self-esteem must be quite low. There is no other explanation for why you would tolerate such behavior. Does your fear of being alone prevent you from taking a stand? If so, I would suggest that you enter therapy to deal with your lack of self-confidence. Every day with a man who uses these kinds of tactics is a day in relationship hell. I hope that you will reach the conclusion that you deserve better.
Dr. Michael Tobin