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Dear Stavroula

Ask Stavroula: My Fiancé Was Messaging on Facebook with Another Woman

December 19, 2020

Dear Stavroula, 

I am 25 years old and engaged. My fiancé and I got engaged four months ago and started living together. You should probably know that we've been in a relationship for three years. When we moved in together, we faced many problems from the start, because we are very different people. We started arguing more often than ever, but we always solved our problems and I did not realize that something was wrong until recently, when my fiancé left his computer open and I saw his messages on Facebook. I was in shock, because he had an ongoing conversation with a woman and he asked her to meet up with him. 

When I asked him what all this meant, he replied that he did it in a moment of weakness, because he felt that he could no longer communicate with me without arguing. I asked him if he wanted us to break up. He told me that he loves me but he is thinking about it seriously, because he can no longer stand the whining and the quarrels. At that moment, I felt very hurt and angry and kicked him out of the house. He returned to his parents' house and for two days did not reply to my messages. I went and found him, I cried, I begged him, I apologized to him and I asked him to come back. After many pleas he decided to give our relationship a second chance. But even though we are living together again, I am constantly afraid that he may leave again over the slightest thing. The fact that he was messaging another woman is stuck in my mind. What can I do to feel better and be more confident about his feelings for me? 

Iphigenia 

Dear Iphigenia, 

When we have a long-term relationship, problems and conflicts always arise with our partner. Many times we think we are overcoming them, when one of the two retreats, but in reality, we just sweep them under the rug. "I solve problems" means that I understand what creates them, how they affect the person I live with, and most importantly, I find ways to overcome these problems. Otherwise they accumulate, grow, and at some point become insurmountable. 

From what you write to me it is very likely that there is a lack of communication in your relationship. Your fiancé seems to be experiencing it intensely. The way he chose to respond to it, however, is not the most appropriate. Trying to communicate with someone he met on Facebook can show despair but also immaturity. 

But in your own behavior one can see the same problem. 

Acting impulsively under the influence of your strong emotions, you drove your fiancé out of your home, widening the rift in your relationship, instead of trying to deal with what already existed. 

So the best way to understand what your man is feeling is to try to communicate effectively with him. You both need to learn to share your thoughts and feelings in a calm way, without criticism and accusations. 

Essential communication presupposes the cultivation of certain virtues, such as being able to accept and respect the peculiarities of the other. It’s the same with love. And although it is difficult to set yourself aside in moments of tension, and try to understand what is behind the other person's words, what emotions are hidden, what thoughts, and how you can help him feel better, the effort is worth it. Because effective communication helps to overcome problems and the relationship becomes stronger, and remains strong over time. 

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