Painfully simple solutions for hidden friendship

Ask L.K. – Because life can get a little messy

By L.K. ELLIOTT, Connect Columnist

DEAR L.K.What do you do when your partner of 10+ years hides a “friendship” with the opposite sex? I found out he has been texting a woman day and night, 24/7 for the past month. I read a few of his texts and it wasn’t innocent flirting. I’d call it “sexting”. I confronted him because I trust my gut feeling, and he tells me he’s not sneaking around. Any advice?
– Brokenhearted

DEAR BROKENHEARTED:

Text messages like that are a form of emotional cheating, which explains your gut instinct reaction. He is committing his time and emotion to someone outside of your relationship, and that is a problem.

I’ll keep this simple, there are three possible outcomes for this situation: you stay with him and he stops this behaviour, you stay with him and he continues this behaviour, or you leave him. The outcome depends on a few variables, such as, whether you can forgive him; whether you can truly trust him again; and (most importantly) whether he is willing to stop his behaviour to repair your relationship. Nothing is ever beyond fixing, but you’ll need both parties who are totally committed to fix what is broken.

The only person we can truly change is ourselves (refer to “Ask L.K.” article from the August 6 issue of Connect.) His actions imply there is something lacking in your relationship. If you decide to stick it out, I recommend couple’s counselling to create a game plan to improve those areas that are not currently working. This will only work if he is totally on board, and is willing to do the work. One person cannot fix a relationship on their own.

But if you know – in your gut – that you can’t trust him, follow your intuition and move on to the next amazing phase of your life.

To remove yourself emotionally from the situation, ask yourself: “if my best friend came to me with this exact same situation, what would I advise her to do?” The next step is to take your own advice. If you believe that this is truly a one-time lapse in judgement on his part and you know you can still trust him, then act accordingly. But if you know – in your gut – that you can’t trust him, follow your intuition and move on to the next amazing phase of your life. I realize that it may not seem as simple as I’ve explained it, but it truly is.

Solutions to problems are usually painfully simple, but following through with those actions are where things get a little uncomfortable. Never confuse a difficult situation for a complicated one. This is the time where you need to be courageous, and fight for your well-being and self-worth. This is an opportunity to consider yourself and think “how can I make myself happy today?”

Love yourself enough to know your self-worth, and then decide if this relationship is worth sticking with. Ten years is a long time, but you have many more years left ahead. Choose the option that is going to bring the most happiness into those remaining years.

In life, many situations are out of our control. But sour positive attitude, and dedication to happiness, is not one of them.

L.K. Elliott is a local fitness guru turned self-help author, who sees the potential for personal growth in everyone, and brings that relentless optimism into the lives of Wood Buffalo residents. Have a question, direct them to L.K. on social media at Instagram: @lk.elliott and Twitter: @lkelliott_

– Connect Weekly –