Downstairs Visitor Has Me Worried

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Dear Hoopers,
I am in a relationship with a guy that’s truly amazing but I am feeling a bit nervous. Last weekend I was with him and Saturday morning after breakfast, he tells me that there’s a girl staying downstairs. I didn’t ask why and how long she was staying. He explained to me that she doesn’t have a place to stay. She lives in her car, blah blah. I ignored it. But he started texting her while I was sitting next to him. Then he placed his phone in the bedroom. Every time that I head into the bedroom he comes walking in. I felt hurt and teared up, but didn’t make it a big deal. I went into the bathroom and cried. But I didn’t say a word.

I left Sunday evening to come home. What I usually do after we spend the weekend together is, send him a message thanking him for a great weekend. But I didn’t this time and told myself I should cut off contacting him. I couldn’t help it, so I called him but left a message because he was at work. Well, he called ASAP and asked how i was doing and even mentioned he was going to send me a sweet message, later, during his break. So we talked and I wanted to so bad, question him about the odd new behavior Saturday and Sunday. But I didn’t. We talked and I told him I had to go. Why, because I was hurting inside. Since Sunday and even after we both spoke yesterday, I am still feeling broken and feel like he has something to say to me. The reason that I don’t want to bring this issue up is because I enjoy, adore and love the way he treats me. We both introduced each other to close friends and families. We spent Christmas Eve and Day together. He treats me like a queen. Am I being a bit over the line or is it normal to go through this feeling? I was married before, for 14 years and within the 14 years, I was lied to, cheated on.
-Downstairs Visitor has me Worried

Dear Has Me Worried,
Your feelings are real and should be trusted. They are telling you that you should do something about this situation with the downstairs visitor. You’ve been hurt and cheated on before and therefore you developed a warning system for when things aren’t quite right. But remember that with any warning, it doesn’t always mean that there is danger. It’s our job to figure out what’s going on and how to proceed. The question is what should you do about these feelings.

So far your current approach has been to ignore the conversation, attempt to check his phone behind his back, and you even considered cutting off contact with him. Those things may help to avoid pain but they don’t help you to figure out what’s going on in your relationship. My guess is that your difficult marriage may have led you to develop some unhealthy methods of coping in an unhealthy relationship. It will be important for you to figure out those unhealthy patterns for you and find a way to break them.


Those things may help to avoid pain but they don’t help you to figure out what’s going on in your relationship.

-Dr. Ryan

Here is your first chance. You need to be honest with your guy and this past weekend and the thoughts and feelings you were having. Let him explain to you what’s going on with his friend downstairs, how this all came about, and the game plan for going forward.

If this all sounds legit, then this is a sign that your warning system may have been off on this occasion. That’s a good thing! If this is the case, then you have chance #2. Apologize to him for acting weird on your part and that you are still working through your past relationship. Agree that more open communication will be a goal for your future relationship, even when it may hurt.
-Dr. Ryan

Dear Has Me Worried,
Yes, you have reason to be interested and informed of who this woman is staying downstairs. You are not stepping over the line. You are upset. If your intuition is telling you that he has something to say to you, then you should ask. I am curious, what is holding you back? It’s time to get some answers.

I would approach the conversation with the openness that you shared with us in this question. Reinforce that you love your relationship. You adore him. You appreciate how he treats you. And, because you respect each other and have a foundation of trust he should be open and welcoming of the questions and concerns you have regarding this situation. Some of these questions may include; who exactly is this cohabitant in your house? What is your history with this woman? How long is she staying at your home? How would you feel if I had an unexplained person living at my house?  You don’t have to ask all of these questions, but you have the right to know.


Sometimes when there is a block in the road or a confusing time in a relationship, it can lead us to uproot issues of the past.

-Kate

Sometimes when there is a block in the road or a confusing time in a relationship, it can lead us to uproot issues of the past. You stated that you were married for over a decade to someone who was untrustworthy and unfaithful. Is it possible this experience is making you doubt your current relationship because of your painful past? You can learn from your past without letting it shape your future. This is time for your guy to get honest with you.
-Kate