Dear John: My Boyfriend Overshares Our Intimate Details

whisper_flickr_Brian-smithson-old-geordie

A boyfriend disclosing personal encounters, disciplining someone’s child over a cell phone, and unprofessional prevalence of flip-flops.

Dear John,

I am in the middle of a huge fight with my boyfriend over something he did that I called him on. A week or so ago, I got a call from a girlfriend. My boyfriend and her husband are friends and my bf was at his house one night playing cards. They were in the basement, but my friend overheard my husband “entertaining” his friends with a story that shared the most intimate, personal details of our sex life, complete with mimicked sounds. If it doesn’t go without saying, this was not a mature discussion of sexuality. From the sound of it, it was told like it was funniest thing any of them had ever heard.

I know all of these guys and I am so hurt and mortified at the things he shared with them. I confronted my boyfriend asking him why he would do such a thing and he acted like he had no idea what was wrong. All the guys talk that way, blah blah blah. And of course, he blamed my friend for telling me, not himself for doing it to begin with. Am I wrong to be so upset, and how can I make him see WHY I am so upset?

Sincerely,
Exposed

Dear Exposed,

There’s no special trick to making him see why you’re upset — you do it the same way you communicate anything else: by talking. The problem is that a talker requires a listener. Your boyfriend may be hearing, but he isn’t listening.

DearJohnImage22What he did was wrong, and of course you have a right to be upset. But he made it a lot worse by dismissing how it made you feel. All guys don’t talk that way, but even if they did, what difference would that make? If he continues to refuse to accept that what he did was grossly insensitive and a violation of your privacy, you can safely conclude that you have a defensive, pigheaded, thoughtless boyfriend. What you do with that realization is up to you.

Dear John,

My husband and I had some good friends over for dinner recently. Both we and they have kids in the same age range — 8 – 13.  From the moment we sat down, our friend’s son (age 10) didn’t look up from the cell phone he was playing a game on — his mother’s phone, which had been given to him to keep him entertained. (He tends to get very whiny when he’s bored, which means when he’s not using her phone, apparently.) This boy had accidentally stumbled into my husband’s pet peeve. After five or ten minutes, when the boy had to be told everything twice due to his absorption in the game, my husband had had it and he announced we have a rule in our house of no cell phone use at the table and would “Billy” please return his mother’s. That solved one problem but caused another because there was an air of tension hanging over the rest of the meal as Billy began to squirm and our friends were visibly annoyed at my husband’s heavy-handed approach to the problem. I think they felt embarrassed and like their parenting had been called into question. And an email I sent the next day thanking them for coming went unanswered.

Bottom line, I agree with my husband that what the boy was doing was rude, but I think he should have just ignored it. This family obviously has different rules (not to mention low expectations) but they were our guests and they didn’t come to our house for a parenting lesson. He’s being a bit self-righteous and stubborn about it, though. What do you think?

Signed,
No Phone Zone

Dear No Phone Zone,

I agree with you. Rudeness from the guests doesn’t justify rudeness from the host, however mild or understandable. With that said, though, parents who would allow a child to play a videogame throughout dinner are doing a huge disservice to that child and showing little respect for everyone else seated around the table. If your husband’s “lesson” causes them even a moment’s self-examination, I’d say it was worth it.

Dear John,

I was wondering if you understand this annoying habit girls seem to have. How can any woman over the age of, say, 12 like to walk around all day wearing flip-flops when they are not at the beach? Why would they want to listen to the constant flip-flop-flip-flop all day long? At work and the doctor’s office, etc., I think it is very unprofessional and have thought of switching doctors because of it. Half-walking around all day like their feet are too heavy to pick up.

Signed,
Step Up

Dear Step Up,

Girls? I see at least as many men wearing flip-flops as women. And while most of the women appear to have had pedicures, most of the men appear to have had fungal infections.

Paradoxically, summer is a time of less clothing but more bad clothing choices. (I, for example, saw a grown man wearing Crocs today.) When we’re out and about, it’s best to try to find these things humorous rather than irritating. After all, there’s little we can do about them, and who wants to spend the summer in a state of continuous irritation?

But while summer is the time for such things, a doctor’s office, or any professional setting, is certainly not the place for them. If you’ve been thinking of changing doctors and this is the last straw, then fine, but if this is your primary complaint, I would talk to the office manager about it before I took such a drastic step.

 

You may also enjoy: Dear John: Ungrateful Birthday Boyfriends

Photo credit: Flickr / Brian Smithson (Old Geordie)

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About John Simpson, GoLocalProv.com

John is a middle-aged family man from Providence. If you learn from your mistakes, he’s brilliant. His column runs regularly on GoLocalProv.com.

Comments

  1. Tom Brechlin says:

    Cell phone use at the table??? Cells phones are to be put away when people visit our home and that includes adults. Pretty sad that kids are not engaged these days. Then some of the responsibility falls on the parents that aren’t engaging these kids too. Does the host couple know anything about this kid? Does he like, much less participate in sports, any particular TV shows or activities? It’s also the responsibility of the host to see that ALL guests are comfortable and enjoying themselves.

    The last thing that 8-13 year olds want to do is sit and listen to the grown-ups talk about grown up things that relate only to themselves.

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