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Ask Ellie: When something doesn't feel right, there's a reason

Talk to your boyfriend. Tell him how you feel. Gauge his reaction. You’ll know what to do next.

Dear Lisi: My boyfriend and I have been together for a few months. I’m in my late 20s; he’s 31. We met while working and studying for a volunteer health-care company overseas. We were a big group, from all over the world, all mid-20s to mid-30s.

I joined a week late as I had a family event I couldn’t miss. I was nervous about “breaking in” to the group, but everyone was very welcoming. My boyfriend and I hit it off right away, to both our surprise.

Everything was great for the first two months, but then I started to feel whispers. I couldn’t shake the feeling that people were talking about me behind my back. I asked him if he noticed anything, but he was very immersed in the work and said he hadn’t.

My closest friend on the trip pulled me aside after about a week of this and told me that my boyfriend was cheating on me. I couldn’t believe it, nor could I figure out how that was even possible. We had been staying in each other’s rooms at least five of seven nights for weeks.

I confronted my boyfriend who laughed it off saying they were just jealous.

But something just doesn’t feel right. What should I do?

Confused coupling

Usually, when something doesn’t feel right, there’s a reason. Talk to your friend. Ask her if she’s sure, and if she knows with whom he’s cheating. If she’s just spreading gossip, then it could just be a rumour meant to derail your relationship. And yes, other people can be jealous and trying to break you two up. It’s not nice, but it happens all the time and not just when you’re young.

Talk to your boyfriend. Tell him what’s going on. Gauge his reaction. You’ll know what to do next.

Dear Lisi: My wife and I play pickle ball. We live in a warm weather clime so we play throughout the year. Our court is separated by a soft fence from the tennis court. There are a group of 20-something guys who play often. They are all handsome and in great shape. They play hard, sweat, grunt and groan.

My wife loves it. She flirts with them all the time and they flirt back. They’re obviously humouring her, but it’s embarrassing. Especially since I’m right there!

I can’t say anything to them because that would be embarrassing for me. I’ve told my wife she looks a fool, but she just laughs at me and teases me for being jealous.

I’m not sure I want to play anymore, but it’s great exercise and I love it. What do I do?

Embarrassed Pickle Player

You talk to your wife. Tell her how it makes you feel when she flirts with the boys. Don’t tell her that you think she looks foolish, or that you think they’re laughing at her. That won’t dissuade her. But if you tell her how you feel, that should hopefully hit a chord with her.

There’s nothing wrong with innocent flirting, but if it becomes a regular thing it has the chance to take root and grow. You need to help her see that and nip it in the bud.

Try playing at a different time of day, or take a week off to help break the habit.

FEEDBACK regarding the mom who feels her son isn’t ready for pubescent behaviour (July 23):

Reader – “I had a childhood friend who was a ‘late bloomer.’ His older brother was constantly making fun of him. Then one day hormones suddenly kicked in. The younger brother grew taller than his older brother. The older brother’s female friends suddenly started taking note of the younger brother.

“In your response, you wrote to the mom, ‘But you need to be ready.’ I am in total agreement. The questions will come at any place, at any time. Plus, both partners need to be prepared and on the same page.”

Lisi – As parents, many of us remember those pivotal moments that you knew were about to change your child. For example, taking your sweet toddler to the playground and seeing him taunted for the first time with “I’m the King of the castle, and you’re a dirty rascal.” That changed the playground from a place of discovery to a place with a hierarchy he’d have to navigate.

Enjoy each stage with your children, but remember that the next one is right around the corner. So be prepared.

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