Steph & Dom solve your sex, love & life troubles: I am worried my girlfriend is falling for her lodger
- An anonymous man explained he’s concerned about his girlfriend and her lodger
- He revealed that his girlfriend has rented a room to a man who is her own age
- Steph Parker advised the man to discuss moving in with his girlfriend
TV’s Steph and Dom Parker, 53 and 55, draw on their 22 years of marriage to solve your relationship problems . . .
I have been with my girlfriend, a single mother of two boys, for more than five years. She is in her early 40s, attractive and friendly. I am a few years older.
She exists by renting rooms in her house to lodgers, normally students. Recently, she has taken in a man of her own age.
He says he is married and his wife works abroad. There’s a shared kitchen and he has to pass through the lounge, where my girlfriend watches TV, to get to his room.
Years ago, we almost split up when I found she was in touch with an ex, when she’d assured me he was no longer in her life.
An anonymous reader asked TV’s Steph and Dom Parker for advice after his girlfriend rented a room to a male lodger (file image)
Now I’m worrying about the lodger. I’ve heard he’s a ‘bit of a ladies man’ and I have visions of him flirting. It brings back memories of her ex.
I don’t think she should have taken in a man of that age and character, but when I ask her, all she says is: ‘Just trust me.’
STEPH SAYS: One of the first things that I notice here is that, after five years, you are both still living apart. That’s a long time to invest in a relationship, so why are you not sharing a home as well as your hearts?
Especially given that your girlfriend has been cleverly making her living from her house, which appears large enough to accommodate not only her two children but also paying guests.
So I am tempted to ask whether you’ve explored being one of her lodgers, too? She would lose no income and gets to have you with her all the time!
I am hugely impressed that she’s managed to make a strong solid family and has continued being able to be there for her children. I imagine that she has been running her business for quite some time and is selective about who she has in her home.
As for the lodger who is causing you problems: you’re worried about his age. Well, it’s unlikely he’s the first 40-something she’s rented rooms to, and he surely won’t be the last. But I don’t think that’s the real problem. Simply put, you don’t like the cut of his jib and the situation is understandably stirring up bad memories for you.
Let’s, for a moment, presume that the rumours are true — that this particular lodger is a player.
Steph (pictured, with Dom) advised the man to discuss living arrangements with his girlfriend, suggesting that they start living together
You know your girlfriend lied to you in the past about contact with another man, so it’s reasonable you’re feeling jealous.
But you must honour your promise to forgive her and move on. If you don’t, you are in danger of this very scenario happening again and, possibly, losing her. Try to look at her situation through different eyes. Imagine being her friend, not her lover, and look at the basics of her life. She’s happy doing this for a living, and to intervene and put limitations on it would be wrong. You must trust her.
She will know how to spot the flirts and deal with them accordingly. And you’re missing a crucial detail. In your longer letter, you say this flirty lodger has girls over for drinks and often doesn’t sleep at ‘home’. Well, that would indicate to me, clearly, that he isn’t having an affair with your girlfriend.
As for the ex-boyfriend? Some exes never really go away. But she did not leave you for him, she chose you!
Why not ask her if she is happy with her current living arrangements or would she like to move your relationship forward? Ask her how she would feel about you moving in and becoming one of her lodgers. If she says no, be brave enough to ask why.
My hope is that she’ll be delighted to have you with her.
DOM SAYS: So, you’ve been together for five years. Well, five years is nothing to be sniffed at — it’s half a decade, a long time to have dedicated your life to one person.
At this stage in any relationship, you’re seriously tied in and I think what’s happening here is that you’re becoming scared of losing your girlfriend to someone else. It is, of course, under-standable, to worry about losing her, but you have to get a grip.
Dom (pictured) urged the man to have faith in himself and the woman he loves, otherwise they won’t have much of a relationship
This issue has raised it’s ugly head and it won’t go unless you make it. You have to accept that taking in lodgers is her job. It’s her business — how she makes her living — and it means that there are going to be men, be they young or middle-aged, passing through her door.
You say you’re a few years older, but don’t say by how much and, from your letter, age certainly seems to be a touchy issue. But, really, I think this is about our old friend the green-eyed monster.
Fundamentally, you are upset because your girlfriend is sharing her time and affection with men who are not you. They may be strangers, they may be friends, but the point is that they are not you! This is bringing back memories of her behaviour with her ex. Now, she was wrong to lie, but it’s possible she did so because she knew you’d read too much into it.
I believe it’s perfectly possible to be friends with an ex, but I know not everyone agrees with me. I believe she knows how you feel on the topic, so she lied to avoid causing you offence.
I would suggest that jealousy is an issue for you and for your girlfriend. When she says ‘just trust me’, I imagine she doesn’t say it happily.
The current situation in which this chap chats up your girlfriend every night is being created in your mind and you must deal with it. This is for you, not your partner, to fix. Have a little faith in yourself and the woman you love. Without that, you don’t have much of a relationship.
It’s time to give yourself a talking to. You’ve heard a rumour about his reputation and it’s ruffled your feathers, that’s all.
Don’t forget, if you are to be usurped — at any point and by anyone — there is little you can do about it. We all choose to be in the relationships we’re in — and we keep on choosing.
You are creating a problem that doesn’t exist but, in so doing, you are building a very real one, too. No one wants to live with the shadow of jealousy in the background, so stop bringing it up.
My feeling here is that all will be well, if you let it.
Watch Steph & Dom’s Couples Therapy, their brilliant new video series, tomorrow on mailplus.co.uk/stephanddom
If you have a question you’d like Steph and Dom to tackle, write to: [email protected]dailymail.co.uk
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