David’s girlfriend, Sarah, works until 2 a.m. every morning working as a bartender. Sometimes she goes out with her clients to sports games and David really doesn’t like this. Sarah counters that she earns in one night, more than David brings in after a whole week of work. She says if David wants her to pay the bills, then he needs to deal with the way she earns it. Bartending, she says, is just a part-time job while she goes to school, so David needs to be patient until she graduates.
You two are speaking to one another with a lot of anger, and there is no way you’ll be able to deal with your issues while in this state. People who are angry don’t listen to one another. Instead, they clam up and become defensive.
David, you need to acknowledge what Sarah is telling you and get over the fact that she makes more money than you do. You need to be honest about what’s really bothering you, too. Not in an angry way, just in a straightforward way. Sounds to me like the real issue is that she sometimes hangs out with other men.
Sarah, you need to tell David exactly what you want and assure him that you’re not fooling around on him. It’s not entirely unreasonable for David to be concerned about your going out with other men. Perhaps if you invited him along that would allay his fears and actually help build your relationship.
This isn’t all that difficult. The two of you just need to negotiate with one another in order to come to an agreement. David, when you babble and complain about Sarah’s behavior, she has no reason to respect you. If you can’t act with confidence when talking with her, then the two of you aren’t going anywhere. So start communicating with one another, and I’m confident you two will get what you both want out of the relationship.
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