Dear Nikol, My boyfriend and I both work for a large company, but not in the same department. I am supposed to go to a weekend conference in the spring, and he is already making trouble about it. He doesn’t like the fact that many of my coworkers who will be accompanying me are men. […]

Dear Nikol,


My boyfriend and I both work for a large company, but not in the same department. I am supposed to go to a weekend conference in the spring, and he is already making trouble about it. He doesn’t like the fact that many of my coworkers who will be accompanying me are men. I know he is jealous of them since they make more money than he does. How do I handle this so it doesn’t come between us? So far, I haven’t said a thing.

Working Too Hard



Dear Working Too Hard,


If so far you haven’t said a thing, but he won’t shut up about it, it sounds like it already is coming between you. In fact, if you are already aware that he is jealous of your male co-workers due to their wallets being fatter, I would venture to guess that there are a lot of things related to work that are coming between you and your boyfriend.


First, try to determine if the issue is his jealousy because they are men, his jealousy because they are more financially successful, or his jealousy that you are going away for a full weekend to this conference. If he acts this way every morning when the two of you head off to work or when you are talking about your days later, he has an issue in general with feeling like less of a man and, conference or not, the two of you would need to have a reassuring discussion about how you feel about him.


Jealousy is such a tricky beast in that it makes the jealous partner less appealing, yet when they are experiencing those feelings they need the other partner to affirm how great they are. If you sense that your boyfriend suffers from General Jealousy Syndrome, which symptoms include putting other men down, becoming overly obsessive, and general stupidity, it is time to have a nice long talk with him about how much he means to you and how unfounded those feelings of jealousy are. If you want to be super supportive, you can even tell him that any time he starts to have those feelings he should let you know and you’ll remind him how he’s the only guy for you.


If the real issue here is the weekend away, try to flip the situation around in your head so you can take a look at it in a way that makes sense. Pretend your guy is going away for a weekend with a group of models for a work convention. What can he do? It’s his job. He has to go. Yet, you might be inclined to get a little bit testy, too. I know I’d have any eye clawing implements I could find sharpened and at the ready, just waiting for one of those models to try to step in on my stuff.


Yet again, the solution is in talking. Since he seems to bring it up often enough, take the opportunity to wrap your arms around him and talk to him about how important it is that the two of you trust each other. Be willing to set times during the conference weekend where you will be able to get away and say hello to him. When you go away for the conference, try leaving him a few hidden notes that you know he will get reminding him how much you’ll miss him while you are away.


This is all assuming you aren’t sick of his shit and just looking for some two bit advice columnist to tell you to go ahead and dump him. If that’s why you were writing, my advice is that you go ahead and dump him.





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Questions?

If you have a question for Nikol, you can reach her confidentially at nikolknows@milwaukeemagazine.com. Your anonymity will be protected.


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