This is a preview. The full article appears in Neil's book: Love, Sex and Staying Warm: Creating a Vital Relationship

Dear Neil:  I have lived with my boyfriend for 10 months.  A couple of weeks ago he went out with a long-time female friend of his, and he didn’t get home until 3 a.m. on a Tuesday night.   I questioned him about where he was, and he said “at a bar,” which I later found out doesn’t open on Tuesday night.

I don’t question his faithfulness; it is the dishonesty that has effected me so much.  Why lie to me?  I became angry and reactive, and since that time it is obvious that the relationship has changed.

I have asked him to tell me if he feels confident about a future together and he says he will let me know.  I am now feeling very anxious.  I feel “on trial.”  Can you recommend how to deal with this knowing that the relationship may be over?

Anxious In New Zealand

Dear Anxious:  You sound as if your boyfriend is the only person who must make a choice about the future of the relationship.  But that is not so.  You both have to decide if there are enough positives to outweigh the negatives—enough warmth, affection, friendship, compatibility, respect, depth, relationship skills and love to sustain the relationship over the long haul.

Even if your answer is “yes,” don’t give away what’s important to you.  Two people committed to each other agree on certain codes of behavior they both live by.  It sounds as if your relationship is being forced to create such agreements.  So sit down with each other and address the following questions thoroughly.   Consider each question in light of what you want for the future.

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