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Secrets: cause or effect of separation?

- Oct 21 2015 at 10:28
Member since: Mar 2014
Relationship advice I'm in a sort-of long distance relationship. That's a long story, but I can make it short by saying that I live on campus at a college that's 5 hours away from home. I take every opportunity to come and see my girlfriend, and we skype almost every night. I had typed everything out thoroughly before, but I accidentally hit the back button, so i'm keeping this kind of brief lol. If You need anything explained in more detail, please ask before filling in blanks for me :) I don't mind explaining.

My girlfriend and I have been together for just over a year-and-a-half. I don't know if our separation (in space) is what has caused the problem or if the problem has begun to cause a true, irreversible separation (in spirit). Sure, it may not seem like a big deal as of yet, but I feel it needs to be addressed. I just don't know how. My girlfriend and I have both expressed that we don't ever want to keep secrets from each other, but as of late, she has been keeping a fairly big one from me. (this is not the secret) She is a big pokemon fan, and she joined a group of other pokemon fans so she could trade with them. Long story short, one guy messaged her personally and asked if she could give him a specific pokemon. If it had stopped there, it would've been fine. However, he slowly tried to creep his way more and more between us. Ashley made sure I knew every time they talked. She would always send me a message notifying me that he had messaged her--even sending me screenshots of their messages sometimes. I didn't ask her to do all of that; I trusted her. It was him I was wary of. Something seemed a bit off about it when she'd talk about him though.

She mentioned him quite often, and I didn't think anything of it at first, but I began to wonder if she was dropping hints that I wasn't getting. Eventually I figured there were two possibilities; the more likely possibility (I thought) was that she was testing my trust of her--seeing if i'd blow up on her, but I never do. The second possibility was that she was testing my protective/competitive spirit. I know girls Love to be reminded how much they're Loved, but I thought surely she knows I Love her. I told her I Loved her and trusted her every time she told me he was messaging her. However, I did get curious because I was at her house sitting next to her on the couch yesterday, and she got a message from him. Her reaction was strange, and she seemed frustrated that I watched her at first, so I stopped, but then I thought, "It's sort of my business, because she's made it so, and maybe she wants me to step in after all." However, when she messaged him she kept pointing out that I was with her, and I thought that maybe she was warning him for both of their sakes. It got me curious, but I figured she must not have wanted me to step in judging by the messages, so I left it alone. Later, I couldn't stop thinking about it, so I logged onto her facebook and read through their messages. I felt bad about it at first. She didn't seem to be flirting with him, but she told him some things she's never told me, and I don't know if it's that she trusts him more or what.

The point is, it hurts. She knows I don't like the use of drugs, but I never pushed her to stop using them. She just felt bad because i'd just be sitting there watching tv while she and her sister+sister's husband got drunk, so she made the choice to stop drinking. She used to smoke marijuana, but she stopped that too. However, she has a very well kept secret--had one rather. She's been smoking cigarettes, and she talked to the guy about it. In fact, she goes so far as to stop cursing around me. Again, I am not pharisaical about these things, but she felt bad because I didn't ever curse, and she did so she had almost cut them out completely--or so I thought. When she talked to him, she let the cursewords go. I don't know if she meant for me to see those messages or not, but I do know that that's not how she normally does things. Cursewords and cigarettes aren't the issue. In fact, the guy is far from being the issue for me (maybe he's the issue for her, but I don't think so). The issue, for me, is that she's keeping secrets from me. Cursing isn't so hard a secret to keep if You do it right, but hiding the cigarette addiction requires some elaborate work, and the fact that she's doing such elaborate work to keep a secret from me sucks.

Any advice You could offer would be greatly appreciated :) I know I said this would be brief, and it sort of is considering I could easily have typed more, but it's not so brief as I meant it to be, and I apologize for that. Still, if You are having trouble understanding something, please ask me rather than trying to fill in the blanks for me. Thank You in advance :)

Secrets: cause or effect of separation?

- Oct 21 2015 at 11:56
Member since: Sep 2013

when one promises or makes a pact then it should be kept.. secrets are never good if they are harmful... you must talk to her about ur concerns.. because it takes two to build a relationship and she is not keeping her bargain... don't judge her just talk to her... trust and loyalty are very important for anyone... its not just you...

Secrets: cause or effect of separation?

SOULMATE (moderator)
- Oct 21 2015 at 13:22
Member since: Aug 2014
(That's not lengthy. We sometimes read WHOLE, ACTUAL BOOKS, you know. ;-))

I like your nip it in the bud attitude (and, like you, can't stand snakes-in-the-grass, deliberate OR accidental/opportunistic), but, yes I do think you missed one or two buds back when they required minimal pruning. If you're GOING to be a bud-nipper rather than a thorn-bush pruner-hacker, DO IT PROPERLY AND THOROUGHLY or there's no point, it WON'T save you time and effort later on. Because what you've saved will get cancelled-out by that which you let go for too long unchecked.

Ref her having initially taken the initiative in showing total transparency and loyalty: I think her reason for that must be, she was used to lovers reacting jealously (as well, maybe, as trying to bat back by making her jealous), meaning this was her own attempt at bud-nipping out of knowing what trouble could occur later on if not. But if your consistently purely 'chilled cucumber' reactions weren't what she were USED to, her ego would be BOUND to entertain the suspicion that perhaps you simply weren't into her enough to feel it. I think you should have dared included at least a smidgen of it to have reassured her. But then, how were you to know?

Like you say, snakes sidle. And what they sidle up to is PREY - someone with a weakness, e.g. a dire hunger. With you, she'd chosen to 'bend over backwards' by stifling herself, in order to match up to you. But she was basically - under the short-lived turbo power of the initial Honeymoon drugs high (back when it feels easy) - pretending to a large extent to be someone she's not. Then this bloke seemed ready to accept her as she came, warts and all, whereas, from what I gather, you didn't ever once say to her, despite you COULD have - 'Hey, listen, just because *I* don't do or approve of this/that/the other, doesn't mean you can't still be yourself and drink, curse, smoke ciggies and weed', did you. You let her stay doubled-over backwards. So, define "never pushed her".

See what I'm saying? If there's only push and pull back and you don't pull back, just because she's the one to have pushed herself, that still equates to push (albeit passively) because you're saying, Thanks for doing what I would have done or was about to do, FOR me.

That she even HAD to stand so incredibly on tip-toe to match your standards and that you never pulled her back and said, 'Hey, relax, be yourself!', shows me the two of you were not that well matched. HOWEVER, how EASY to say or behave like you don't mind cussing and getting drunk and high when you're never in the actual ROOM with it because the 'relationship' is conducted solely over the ether, eh ("Me too, me too, hey, ME TOO! (lick-slurp-lick)"). Might be a different story if the guy actually had to be around it, again and again, week after week. But that's conjecture because, equally, he might genuinely be as lax with those sorts of standards as she is. But who can say?

...Because, what *isn't* conjecture, is that this so-called close friendship has been formed under only 30% reality (no bodies, no outside life influencing). Ergo, they do not have a relationship. Unless, that is, they intend for only their respective PCs to eventually sit mooning at each other over a candlelit table, etc., etc., until both PCs are finally stood together at the alter? :-p). They just think they do. Plus, I reiterate what I've already implied: he has the means even to have convinced he's the King of Sheba with kingdom and riches to match! So - trust WHAT? He could be a WOMAN for all she knows! The trust is as much false as the rest of it. It's not a relationship. It's a fantasy. OR A TOOL (read on).

Obviously, then, his pull lies solely in the fact she can 'let rip' her true nature and feelings with him whereas can't/daren't with you. And having curbed her true urges for so long, this need would have meantime grown, equalling point of quiet desperation. Not your fault, as I say, but, still...

I think this "show and tell" habit of hers was, as inferred, wholly contrived as well. Hence why, when you basically put it to the test by asking it to perform to the same standard from a new and different orientation, in the process treating the "show and tell" as if it'd become your *right*, something to help yourself to (looking over her shoulder), she suddenly wasn't as willing or happy about it. That, then, translates to her having done it out of wanting CONTROL of a situation, this then getting to meet YOUR wanting control of a situation head-on.

WHAT "things" did she tell him that she's never told you? RSvP.

"Cursing isn't so hard a secret to keep if You do it right, but hiding the cigarette addiction requires some elaborate work, and the fact that she's doing such elaborate work to keep a secret from me sucks. "

Sorry, but re your first sentance, you're wrong. ANY lifelong habit is hard to suppress, particularly if you yourself never had a problem with it, meaning, you're not doing it because you want to, purely for yourself under your own, true urge to. I repeat, she has self-stifled. And I heavily suspect she's merely using this guy as smoke-signal-to-you fodder, a deliberate act of rebellion and leverage. (On which note - you're ASSUMING this guy has designs on her, but for all you or she knows, he's busily trying to make his OWN lover sit up and take notice, using your gf.)

Your choices, therefore are this:

[a] Accept that the woman you're in love with isn't actually the true version of herself, nor therefore your ideal match, and find someone who does genuinely share your morals/self-standards as gets demonstrated 'on the outside'.

[b] Ditto, but ask her to please cease trying to be/behave as someone she's not and just be herself, followed by your getting to know the real her (or COMPLETE real her), warts and all.

[c] Start cussing, smoking, doobie-ing and drinking yourself. (Obviously not an option I'd recommend because obviously that would then just turn the pretences tables 180 degrees, meaning, still at square one.)

If she wanted to keep her 'showing someone the real her' from you, in all its intricacies, then - please, no-one from Intelligence go and offer her a job! :-p. If you really don't want someone to find out about something, YOU MAKE SURE THEY CAN'T. EVER.

So, yes, she (certainly part of her) wanted you to find out AND work out that she can't and doesn't like self-suppressing. Plus, is turning up the jealousy-making dial to finally see some sort of proof that you're even CAPABLE of feeling possessive when it comes to her and your relationship. But without mutineering what she sees as her rightful control of that steering wheel.

Know what you and she are reminding me of? The estranged, divorced father and his bi-fortnightly visiting daughter. She acts like an angel around him because, scared that he's half left her as equally as he has done, mummy, she doesn't want to give him any further cause to take the last few remaining abandonment steps. However, being just a kid with attention-span to match - sometimes (quite a lot) she slips up and misbehaves. When she does, however, he daren't chastise or discipline her like he would have done back in the former family home when still her full-time, live-in dad because, meanwhile, he has his own fear that he's too close to losing HER for good. It's then not a real father-daughter relationship, just a very partial one (as warrants the label, False).

It's warts 'n all or nothing - certainly if, as events suggests, she's realised she can't manage to keep this squeaky-clean act up in a permanent sense. So could you, would you, ..."in a box, with a fox, on a train, in the rain" (- name the author),... remain quite so enamoured if this woman weren't as closely similar to you in those regards as you'd like? Be realistic, now, because what 'today' might strike as just a wee pebble in your shoe, mildly distracting and irritating, will 'tomorrow' increasingly start to feel like you walking on razor blades. Drip, drip, drip........WHOOSH! ("AAARGH, I CAN'T TAKE YOUR BOOZE- AND FAG-BREATH ANY MORE!").


But ask yourself this: women aren't normally so backwards in coming forwards when it comes to saying they can't hack or manage something, so this one is very under-assertive. (Is she naturally so or are you a force to be reckoned with, even when you're not even saying anything?) Instead she's sending you smoke signals, at that, ones meant to provoke, with the fuel for such being a type that's prohibited. Call it cowardly and underhanded. After all, how hard IS it to sit you down and say, 'Look, I can't keep this self-inhibition up, sorry'? Equally, how hard would it have been to have at the time FULLY EXPLAINED EXACTLY WHY she was keeping you in the loop and sending screenshots?

Neither of you communicate effectively or above-table, do you. It's all, relying on tacits, implications and inferences - basically having to DE-CODE each other to know what the other's truly thinking, feeling and wanting. No *wonder* she's used to men getting all jealous, think about it. And no wonder you were there, finding speaking your thoughts and feelings about it too daunting: because you were jealous once, with an ex, and (you think) ended up getting punished for it. (And that's another bud that you and your pruning shears missed.)

Think about how much simpler this would have all been if, the first time she'd confessed she were starting to engage in conversations with this chap outside of the 'business' of Pokemon, you'd said, 'Well, I wish you wouldn't because - right to or not, my problem or not - it makes me feel threatened and jealous'? What's a person going to do if you say that - carry on?... thereby revealing she LIKES you having to suffer under those feelings rather than wanting to protect your welfare, and, though that, risking you concluding she's not a nice enough, caring enough person, as such, one you'll be unable to feel sufficiently SAFE with, leading to you losing confidence and at whatever point, possibly instantly, ending the relationship?

BE HONEST. Your soulmate is the one person on this planet you should be able to admit *anything* to. If she doesn't like the honesty and integrity, if she doesn't feel mightily flattered that you're jealous (particularly as it's not to the extent where you get all melodramatic and Hitler-ish about it or start breaking furniture), if she doesn't like that you apparently TRUST HER to that inspiring degree,... then she's not the woman for you. Because if she were - with something fundamental like jealousy and degrees of, SHE'D BE EXACTLY THE SAME AS YOU in that regard. Ergo, no-one in your society would be 'jealous', just very sensible, very vigilant and impressively protective of your Good Thing.

(PS: Mine's longer than yours. ;-))

Secrets: cause or effect of separation?

- Oct 21 2015 at 15:21
Member since: Mar 2014
Peace, thank You for Your response :) I agree that I need to talk to her about it.

Soulmate, thank You for Your response as well :) Lol, You definitely have me beat. I could guess that You're an avid reader just from Your diction. I imagine that You've written a book or two Yourself. Thank You for liking my attitude and stuff; I like Yours too :) Your first observation of her is a good one. I've made the same observation before, but I never seem to bear it in mind when considering everything else; it just doesn't make the cut for some reason, but i'm glad You picked up on it. I should have clarified that I did tell her that "Just because I don't do a, b, and c, doesn't mean You have to cease to be You. I want to know You; not a reflection of me."

Here's where--if anywhere--Your opinion of me will change drastically. I think she's intimidated because i'm going to a Bible college. i'm a pastor in training, and I hate the facade that comes with that. Of course I don't want her to do those things, but I don't want to change her. If she changes, I want it to be on her own accord. Yes, I will hold her hand and walk with her through it, because I know it's hard giving things up, but there are things that I've changed for her sake, and in hindsight I know that most of those changes were good. She didn't force me to change; my Love for her only gave me two options: Love her and make the necessary changes to improve the quality of her life, OR Love her enough to give some other guy who's willing to do so a chance to do so. I may be old-school for a 19 year old, but I learned from my parents' mistakes. I believe that if something's not broken; You don't try to fix it. You may improve it, but don't keep trying to shove a brick in a wall when a brick's already there; build on and add to what's already there. Furthermore, if something IS broken, You do all You possibly can to fix it before You consider giving up on it. I don't remember why I began that rant, nor do I remember where I was heading with it, but there You have it lol.

I shouldn't have let her bend over backwards for so long. In that, You're absolutely right. However, to say that I've never struggled with any of the things she has would be a lie. I began cursing when I was about 5 years old, and I had a potty mouth till I was 12 or 13. Meeting my dad was a huge turning point in that development. I never personally had a first-hand struggle with addiction to drugs, but it has always hit very close to home because my brother, my role-model struggled with them, and it was really hard to say the least. I have seen countless people struggle with addiction, but I always admire someone who doesn't settle in it. I don't believe Ashley is the type to settle in it, but I don't know how to help her. I thought before that my passiveness was the best I could do. To take action would be to push, and to partake would be hypocrisy. There is obviously a lot of middle-ground to be had between those choices, and that's where I settled. I took no action against it, and I didn't partake in it. I was passive, and I left it all up to her.

She has always been a better communicator than I. I work very much from inferences. I enjoy de-coding. She doesn't so much. I guess that's why it makes so much sense to me that she would set all of those tests in place. She wanted a clear-cut answer to some question, and she--through a strange, likely un-planned turn of events--found a way to get the answer. I don't know if it was her subconscious at work or if she deliberately said those things to him.

Thank You for all of Your kind words and advice :) You really have helped. It would be cool to stay in touch. I always like meeting people like You, but I know it's a small, busy world and we'll only run into each other again when we need to :) hopefully one day I can return the favor.

Secrets: cause or effect of separation?

- Oct 21 2015 at 15:39
Member since: Mar 2014
(For the above post) DISCLAIMER: I did my proof-reading after I submitted my comment, and I realize how conceited "...I had a potty mouth till I was 12 or 13. Meeting my dad was a huge turning point in that development." sounds. It sounds like i'm saying that I've developed in the sense that I've become better than people who have a habit of cursing. That's not what I meant at all. Rather, just like I developed a habit for cursing, my dad helped me develop a habit of not cursing. I didn't become something superior in any sense....just something a little different.

Secrets: cause or effect of separation?

- Oct 21 2015 at 23:06
Member since: Jul 2015
This seems eerriely similar to me and my now deceased wife from a long illness wife.

My wife was from the wrong side of the tracks. I was middle class. She was also sexually abused.

I was not particularly good with the girls, she became more and more versed at sex. Uh, oh.

She would tell me more and more about what she was doing with other guys. I was you. I was the patient one, never one to blow my stack. Just what she needed. A patsy.

We got married. Within a little over a month, she was cheating on me, years later I realized.

She took a job right after we were married 25 miles out of town. In the month before the job started, she told me she was only going to keep the job for one year, for it was too far away, and she then be getting a job in our town.

After the job started, she never mentioned that again. Near the end of the first work year, she told me she was going to continue to work at the same, far away place, for she "like the people." At the end of the work year, she told me she was going to get contact lenses. We had dated for 6 years, and were now married for a year, and she had never mentioned wanting contact lenses before.

A self-beautification program starting a year after we were married? For what, or more precisely, for who? It wasn't for me, for I had dated and married her the way she was. Who is she beauting up for?

Well, that got my attention, but how to you object? And even if you do, does that stop any romance than might be going on? So, I was like you in some of your situations, like when your girlfriend is drinking herself drunk with her sister and her sister's boyfriend. What do you say? How much good is it going to do?

The next work year, she's wanting to go to events where a certain male fellow employee is going to be, and she is sure to flash a big smile when she sees him, and he flashes one back, all within my view. She's starting to talk about him more through the years.

One day, she gets me to meet her at the company where she works, in the lunch break room. She sits facing the door. He walks in and flashes her a big smile walking toward her until he sees me, and then he suddenly says, "Oh, John, good to see you," and walks back out door, all arranged by my wife, where she even set him up to flash her a big greeting before see me, her husband.

After 7 years with both at the same company, she tells me he's quitting. A month later, she tells me she's quitting.

The same as with the I'm getting contact lenses announcement, what do you say? When do you say it?

When do you realize you've been buffaloed? What do you say? What difference does it make what you say after you've been buffaloed?

Or as my wife put it when I told her I didn't believe her when she said she and this man had not been having an affair? She said, "I don't care what you believe!!!!!"

That's your reward for sitting there not saying anything while she and her sister and her sister's husband get drunk watching TV. That's your reward for not saying anything when she curses on her phone texts to this other man.

That's your reward for not saying anything when she mentions the man who she plays video games with and how wonderful he is. Patsy's aren't supposed to say anything when their girlfriends brag of another man in their presence.

Patsies are supposed to wait for their reward of their abusive girlfriend's agreeing to marry them, and then the abuse does start.

Or even worse, the abusive female then plays nice until their child is born, so she'll have a long-term relationship with someone; someone who doesn't complain when they come in at 3 in the morning in a drunken stupor, her hair all disheveled, while she bellows, "What the hell are you looking at, you son of a bitch? Your job is to watch the baby while I go and out and fuck!!!"

"Oh, yeah, oh yeah? Well let me tell you something you bastard!!!! If you don't like what I do, you can get your Goddamn ass out of here right now!!!" speaking in tones you hope are not loud enough to wake up the baby, who you still have high hopes will be raised in a two-parent family. He will, if you'll keep your mouth shut for the next 20 years.

Hey, mouth shut. Does that have any implications for you? You know, the times when you kept your mouth shut while your then girlfriend was drinking herself into a stupor while you sat next to her on the couch with your mouth shut?

Mouth shut! Does that bring back any memories when she's telling you through drunken teeth to keep your goddamn mouth shut if your ever have any hopes of raising the little tike in a two-parent family.

When are you going to speak up? You aren't, and you're being led down a path. And it's not just you. It's the little tike who you're making sure gets treated as poorly as you. Cause you don't have the guts to speak up and leave.

Then you realize what the game has been all along. And its not Pokémon. It's draw your ass in by this sly witch until you get married and have a child and then she can stomp on you like she was trampled as a child.

Your not using drugs while she gets bombed sitting right beside you? It's perfect. You're the perfect gentleman. She's a piece of dirt.

Is she great in bed? Does she have a history of guys? Has she ever mentioned being sexually abused? She may have been, but careful not to let you know it, for fear you'll bale.

She may not have been abused. I'm saying you're on thin ice. Have you met her parents? Do you know what kind of home she was raised it? Have you taken her to meet your parents? If so, what was their reaction?

Are you proud to take her to your parents? You go to college, what does she do?

Hey, for a person, a patsy, who was drug through 37 years of hell, here is my opinion. You need to get out of that.

Secrets: cause or effect of separation?

- Oct 22 2015 at 09:51
Member since: Oct 2015
Hey Daniel, sorry to hear you're having relationship woes.

I think SOULMATE expounded on a couple points pretty well, so I just want to boil down and reiterate it mostly, with my own opinion minced in there.

1) Your lady friend is definitely suffering from Appearances vs. Honesty with you. The good news is that she's doing it because she realizes you're a catch and wants to hold on to you. The bad news is that if those things are deal-breakers, they're not going anywhere and she's convinced herself she has to hide them from you.

2) You're a good kid in a long-distance, college relationship. As painful as it is to say, people outgrow the boyfriend/girlfriend back home sometimes. And you have to realize in a relationship, no one CLIMBS UP to the higher moral ground, one of you will LOWER YOURSELF morally, economically, or socially to be with the other. In that case, it's you going to her level. If you're okay with that, then fine, but...

3) She is what she is. People won't change, only you will. Believe me. If anything, expect them to get worse over time. So at the very least, you need to expect her to stay at this level of behavior forever, maybe even deteriorating as time goes on.

Good luck, man. Life is a lot of hard choices, but I've found out personally that putting them off usually compounds the consequences.

Secrets: cause or effect of separation?

SOULMATE (moderator)
- Oct 23 2015 at 16:04
Member since: Aug 2014
No, "Daniel (Chapter) 4", that disclosure didn't surprise me or alter my opinion, let alone drastically. ;-)

I agree that long-distance is a huge test of love and determination (and that while the cat's away, the mouse might well 'play'). But we're *hard-wired* to aspire. People spend their whole lives attempting to climb higher.

Some don't/won't, though, granted. Same goes for personal self-betterment (if that means enhancing and improving within reason and capability rather than an "ask" too far of total transformation), it relies heavily on motivation and incentives - which turbo boost the Honeymoon Heroin and Novelty high (at its height, prior to our acclimatising to it) can pose as. However, due to turbo boosting being only that - an initial boost - making and *sustaining* respective enhancements/improvements beyond that in order to elevate/feed the twosome takes a 50/50 team effort, meaning if one of the team ceases rowing the little rowboat as equally as the other, it won't work. You'll both just end up going nowhere fast except for round and round in tight circles, bound for Dizzyville and eventual capsize-ment.

"I did tell her that "Just because I don't do a, b, and c, doesn't mean You have to cease to be You. I want to know You; not a reflection of me.""

Then it appears you may as well have literally said blah-blah-blah for all the good it did you, because, irrespective, she got it into her head that she had to stand overly on tip-toe before naturally wearying of it over time, unable to keep up the effort. Voila, it's now starting to hang out more, in what has become a safe place to, as WELL as acts as a tool to force you into behaving more according to what she's used to.

Furthermore, you don't have to 'say' anything. You've admitted yourself you don't like it. You think people can't tell you dislike or disapprove of something(s) unless you spell it out via your mouth? Even just one wince just the once would do it (- have her try to say that when she's half-cut, LOL)... including the failure (tick!) to ever join in. I'm talking vibes, whole body language, actions and noises/lack of actions and noises... added to...

...You may hate the facade that goes with the cloth but that doesn't mean it doesn't exist or effect. Truth is, you *are* superior (or on your way to). You're attempting to spend your entire life resisting the amount and level of temptations and doubts that most can't, to concertedly straitjacket your animal side and give your conscious-spiritual side and its higher standards almost full rein. (Put it this way: compelled to *do* superior, rather than *be* superior (diff/all the diff) compete with YOURSELF. The majority of people are constantly measuring themselves against and competing with/against others all the time. We're pack animals, see. Well, not all of us; some are suited to taking the pack supervisor role, a 'lonely' but still necessary and fulfilling job. But most.)

*Some* animal sides, however, should be left alone because there's nothing "bad" about them, plus they and your spiritual side are marriage partners and should cooperate and compromise, depending on whatever situation and context, so as not to separate or divorce.

Plus you were clearly born aged 40 (old soul).

These above three elements together make a massive tacit to point of, taken as read, no words or requests or demands required.

NOTE: What you're in is the Conflict stage, where partners start to push/test against your boundaries to see which exist and where, which will flex or be stretched (and how far), which can be flattened/removed, and which of them won't ever budge no matter what. Is she, if she eventually marries you, going to have to bust a gut to live up to the squeaky-clean role of pastor's wife 24/7 or is she going to be able to enjoy greater freedoms and laxities, even if only whenever 'off the clock' or in the back room? The latter two are what she's currently making a bid for.

However, when it comes to her measuring up to you and the edicts of your vocation, that, without said back room, is obviously a change too far for her (just at this juncture? forever?), meaning, you SHOULDN'T be prepared to meanwhile 'hold her hand'. That one calls for her own bat - you being prepared to do nothing of the sort unless she takes it upon herself to *ask (nicely)*. Or appointing herself a life coach/counsellor.

You're neither her life coach nor counsellor. Neither are you and she operating in that domain. Vocation-schmocation - here, you're in the ROMANTIC one where you're supposed only to be her LIFE-SHARER.

What is she going to be automatically sharing, what are YOU?

So part of the problem is you and your attempt to be a pastor/life-coach even out-of-hours as well as in a place where it's inappropriate. Neither are you her dad, despite you were obviously permitted that premature role as developed into a firm, global habit. Nor is she the brother you want a second try at in order to actually succeed with 'fixing' or actively encouraging to.

But nor should a woman befitting your current and pending echelon opt to scrape the barrel by using as a tool something that would, even without your prior sampling, naturally constitute a part of your innate Achilles Heel: adultery or even pretend adultery for the purposes of emotional manipulation. If she can't ever just approach you with the honest mouth she was given in order to flag up for simple discussion a set of standards that are proving too much an obstacle for her, then what kind of married life would you have to look forward to with her? What - is she one day going to fart loudly, lengthily and stink-ily from within the congregation rather than say to you, 'Houston, I/we have a problem'?

Whether because you've accidentaly/inadvertently blocked her or because she came to this relationship under-assertive, she's knowingly behaving badly as well as non-befittingly, whichever way or height you look at it. So you need to sit her down, tell her that her nurturing an opposite-gender relationship, even an online one, that in any way transgresses those rights and privileges that are meant to be exclusively YOURS (which this is, considering it centres around meeting her most personal, emotional need to indulge and flaunt her 'warts') is unacceptable to the point of Dealbreaker. Does she want the deal to break or would she rather just come clean and admit she just can't live up to the requisite levels of self-discipline and had better let YOU go to find your better match or else *ASK* YOU IF YOU'D PLEASE HELP HER?

This would be you taking action that was your bog-standard human right in this domain, which, as such, doesn't count as pushing.... just you showing God that you appreciate and value and are prepared to offer protection to the best of your capability ALL of his children within your particular reach as much as the rest of them.

I MEAN YOU. Because if you can't/won't look after and protect the welfare of your very self - this case, by what you are *right* to *insist* on - then how on earth do you think you're qualified to pursue entering a 'profession' which looks after anyone else?

See what I'm saying?

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