Dear Jody: He has to know everything

Q: "Daryl" and I have been seeing each other for almost a year. Since about the third month of our relationship, he has to know where I am and what I'm doing, almost all the time. Actually, as I think of it, it's gotten worse as time has gone on.

For example: He calls me before I go to work, wants to know my schedule, when I can expect to get home, where I went, and on and on. Believe me, Jody, it's not all that interesting. If something at work is interesting or funny, I tell him. It's not that I don't share my day. And, for the most part, what I have done during the day doesn't make much sense out of the context of my work, especially for those who don't know my job, like him.

Daryl wants to know who everyone is and whether he's cute. I ask him why he wants to know, and he says that he wants to know his "competition." That's so ridiculous since no one I work with is gay, plus if they were, why would they be "his" competition?

Daryl is nosy even when I go see my family. He has to know every little word that is said about most anything, but especially about him. (He has met some of my family, not all.) I haven't done a formal "bringing him home to meet the family" thing. I'm beginning to think that maybe I don't want to bring him home to meet the family. That seems to me to be a very commitment-type thing to do, and I'm just not ready or maybe not sure.

Do you think that Daryl will stop needing to know all this stuff as time goes by or, if I make more of a commitment to him, will it make him feel more secure?

A: Daryl's behavior is very controlling, and I'm sure it feels that way to you. Unless Daryl himself deals with this controlling (and insecure) behavior of his, nothing will change, and more than likely, it will get worse. I suggest you talk to Daryl about this. Start with how it feels to you when he has to know about everything. If he's not willing to deal with it, I don't see it getting better. (Often, this kind of controlling behavior leads to or is associated with physical abuse.)

Come on out

Q: My girlfriend "Sam" is a football nut. That's why I've learned to hate fall; I used to love it. Now, when I ask her to go somewhere to enjoy the weather and be outside, all she can think to say is, "Do you have tickets to a football game?" Of course she knows that that is not what I want, but she thinks that's funny, and then goes back to the game on TV. I would like to go for a walk, hike, or ride our bikes - do anything that allows us to enjoy the last of the good weather before winter weather sets in. Up until the first football game of the season, Sam is a very active person, and we enjoy the outdoors time together. Then, after that, I feel abandoned. Am I being unreasonable to ask her for some time to be outside with me?

A: It sounds like "some time" is the issue here; like how much time? Is she totally not willing to do anything with you during football season, or are you asking her to completely give up football? From your e-mail it's hard to tell. Have you tried compromising, finding a middle ground? That's where I would start. See if you can come up with how much football? How much outdoor time? Besides that, perhaps you could find someone else who likes and would like to share outdoor activities with you. In relationships, one person shouldn't be required to fulfill every need of the other person.

Readers: I'd love to hear from you. Go to Facebook/Dear Jody Valley to see what's happening and check out discussion groups. I'd like to know what you're thinking!

Jody Valley spent 12 years as a clinical social worker. She worked with the LGBT community both as a counselor and a workshop leader in the areas of coming out, self-esteem and relationship issues. The "Dear Jody" column appears weekly. Reach Jody at Letters may be edited for clarity and length.
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