By Baila Sebrow

Question:

I am dating someone and things are going really well, but there are a few things that bother me about her. I know no one is perfect, but I want to straighten everything out before things get too serious.

The problem is that we get along in every way, but she always gets into fights with people. I once asked her if she has any friends, and she said that she doesn’t like or trust anyone because they are jealous of her.

When we first started dating, I thought that she had a good relationship with her parents, but I once heard her yelling at them on the phone. When I asked her about it, she said that she loves them but that they don’t understand her. I don’t have too many friends, except for one guy I always hang out with. She is nice to him, but she always makes fun of him when he is not around. The funny thing is that she is right about the things she says about him!

I guess what I am worried about is if she will one day hate me. Maybe it’s a female thing, I don’t know. What do you think about all that?

The other problem is about me. There are some things about me, and incidents that happened to me in the past that she does not know. It’s nothing that bad, but I’m scared that if I tell her, she won’t want me anymore. I heard that a lot of people don’t always tell everything to the person they are married to. I want to be honest, but I also don’t want to lose her.

Response:

Is it a female thing to assume that everyone is not good enough to like or trust? Is it normal for a woman to get into fights with people on a regular basis? No. Such a viewpoint and behavior is not owned by the female gender. Since I don’t want to label someone with any particular disorder unless there is more information, I will refrain from saying what a trained mental-health professional might say of such a person.

You definitely have some complications with the woman you are dating. From what you are saying, she is argumentative with everyone she comes into contact with. Moreover, you witnessed a confrontational incident with the people with whom you thought she did have a good relationship. Here is where it gets curious. You say that you have only one friend, and that although she is nice to his face, she makes fun of him behind his back. You are quick to point out that she is right about what she is saying.

Why would you say that she is right if it bothers you? If you agree with her, then it is possible that she is aware that you share mutual feelings about the person, and so she might feel comfortable to express her feelings about him to you. Please do not think that I am in any way condoning making fun of another human being. In my opinion, that is distasteful behavior, but I am not sure what impression you are giving her with regard to your true feelings about your friend. That said, I would not place too much weight on it. But with everything else going on, I can understand why you feel perturbed.

The other issue I would not necessarily focus on is that you heard her have it out with her parents. You says that prior to that incident she gave you the impression that she has a good relationship with them. Family relationships can be interesting and oftentimes misleading to an outsider looking in. There are families who can become very passionate about what they are saying when they speak about something they disagree on, and since they feel so at ease with one another they may even yell when speaking. To the stranger viewing this, it can easily appear that there are major issues between them, when in fact there is nothing but love and admiration for one another.

I cannot guarantee that she has no issues at all with her family. On the contrary, she told you that they don’t understand her. But if that were the only thing bothering you, I would tell you again not to pay too much attention to it.

But I do have questions for you. Does this woman have any friends in the world? Does she maintain a job or is she in school? Have you ever heard her say anything nice about any person she has come into contact with? Does she exude an exaggerated positive image of herself, and does she compare herself to everyone else by proving she is better than they are? Let’s talk about those topics for a bit.

The best scenario with respect to how she relates to others is that she might be overly judgmental. Typically, such people find getting along with those who are different to be very challenging. In fact, people with this type of personality often lose jobs and relationships even if they excel at what they are doing. It can feel extremely taxing to be in the company of someone who is looking down on you. And to make matters worse, you say she tends to fight with people, too.

That brings me back to the questions I asked you about her. You need to look into her history and find out how long she has been able to maintain relationships of all kinds — academic, professional, and personal. If it turns out she has been unable to excel in those areas, and you ask her why, she will probably say what she has said to you before — it’s their fault and that they are all jealous of her. While it is true that jealousy can cause the destruction of many things, especially relationships of any type, if it’s an ongoing pattern, that could indicate a problem, too. Is she deliberately placing herself in certain situations to evoke jealousy? Does that make her feel superior? Whatever is really going on, she is not leading healthy interpersonal relationships with other people in her life.

Could she one day turn on you and hate you, as you asked? I believe that deep down you fear the correct answer to that question. That’s why you are so worried about sharing with her whatever it is that you are keeping from her. Even if she had a more easygoing type of personality, getting into a serious relationship with someone while holding something back is irresponsible madness. Such things rarely end well.

Although you say what you are hiding is not that bad, it bothers you enough that you withheld it from her from the very beginning. So let’s talk about keeping secrets from the person you are married to. Never try that at home!

The fact that you have been holding back specific facts about yourself for a while makes it even harder to disclose them as time goes on. Despite certain opinions, revealing information earlier in a relationship is easier. Sometimes it is specifically because you have not grown close and developed emotional feelings for the person that it is easier to speak your mind. With time and the evolvement of affection comes the fear of loss, as you are now experiencing.

However, you are still not married to her, and so whatever you share with her will not have the same effect if she should find out after you marry her. Keeping secrets is a major betrayal. Although you say it’s not that bad, it is bad enough that telling her makes you worried that she will turn on you. Even if she would not be the type of person who could turn on you, are you aware how many marriages fall apart because one spouse decided that it’s not necessary or important to divulge information about themselves or their family?

The person who marries you is not someone you only hang out with for a cup of coffee — she is your wife and, iy’H, the mother of your children. You will be her partner in building generations. It is the right of every person to have full disclosure about anything and everything regarding the person he or she is marrying. I strongly advise you fess up sooner rather than later.

Baila Sebrow is president of Neshoma Advocates, communications and recruitment liaison for Sovri-Beth Israel, executive director of Teach Our Children, and a shadchanis and shidduch consultant. She can be reached at Bsebrow@aol.com. Questions and comments for the Dating Forum can be submitted to 5townsforum@gmail.com

 

 

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