Q: I'm 20, and my boyfriend and I have been dating for about four years. We love each other a lot but he gets suspicious over minor things. For instance, if I'm on the computer talking to a guy friend and he wants to see the chat log, but I tell him honestly that my computer did not save it, he interrogates me. I have been very honest and faithful to him but I can't find a way to dodge those little things because they are just coincidences and I tell him that. It's happened so many times now that I'm finding it annoying as well. I'd do anything to prove to him I'm faithful. We've talked about this and he says I need to prove to him that he can trust me. He says it's not what I've done to him, it's what he's afraid I might do. How can I prove to him that he shouldn't be so suspicious of me? -- Katie
Dr. Susan: Too many coincidences and "little things" sometimes add up to trouble. Are you absolutely sure that you're not flirting, just a little, with your guy friends? It does seem odd that your boyfriend keeps walking in on you at the end of such chats but somehow the chat has already disappeared completely. Computers and software differ, of course, so maybe your words do dissolve every time your boyfriend enters the room. You see? Even I'm a little suspicious!
Not that your boyfriend should be peering over your shoulder during every conversation you have. Seems like after four years together, he ought to be trusting you more than that, unless you've given him some reason to wonder, or unless he's an unusually suspicious sort. Or he may be at least as afraid of his own future actions as of yours.
You say you'd do anything to prove your fidelity. Simply ask him what that would take, then, and do it, if you can. Maybe you could change a computer setting and save those chat logs for a while. Would that reassure him? And instead of simply reassuring him that you love him, talk about how you'd each handle temptation in the future.
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Susan K. Perry, Ph.D.
Susan K. Perry, Ph.D., is a social psychologist, relationship expert, and bestselling and award-winning author. Her books include Loving in Flow: How the Happiest Couples Get and Stay That Way, and Kylie's Heel, a novel for adults.
Pamela G. Chollet, Ph.D.
Dr. Pamela Chollet has a Ph.D. in clinical psychology and Master degrees in educational psychology and fine arts. Her passion has been helping people face and get through those times when they feel trapped and unable to move forward.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D.
Anna Charbonneau, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist, stress management expert, and author. If you're feeling overwhelmed, stressed out, or struggling to make changes in your life, Anna can help.