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Carol Kryder LMFT
Carol Kryder LMFT, Mental Health Professional
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 808
Experience:  APA Board Certified, Diplomate,Substance Abuse Professional, 20 years family therapy experience
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Hello. I am a 52 yr old female Pilates Instructor that works

Resolved Question:

Hello. I am a 52 yr old female Pilates Instructor that works with college level athletes in a university setting. Several monthes ago I began dating a guy (I became seperated a year ago) who happened to be visiting on one of the days that I work with the teams. When he asked he could drive my car to the university I told him that I wasn't comfortable driving up to the site and having the kids see him driving my car. He totally flipped out and got out of the car saying that I shouldn't care what the kids think. Within a few minutes he got back in the car and I tried to explain that I didn't want them to know that much about my personal life..I felt it wasn't appropriate for this setting...and that I would just rather introduce him as an old friend from my home town (which is true :) ) He was adament that I introduce him as my boyfriend and when I said I was absolutely uncomfortable doing that, he refused to come inside with me. In fact, after he refused to come in, I offered to drop him at the library or student center and pick him up just as soon as I was finished but he was livid and got out of the car and said he would not be there when I was finished. He is a 57yr old man. I feel awkward even recounting this senario, it feels like I am in high school, but sometimes hearing a different perspective is helpful. In retrospect, maybe I shouldn't have asked him to come with me at all but I was excited for him to see me work and know more about what I do.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Carol Kryder LMFT replied 3 years ago.

Carol Kryder LMFT :

Hello and Welcome to JustAnswer. Your question is not closed until you are satisfied. I am happy to assist you with your question.

Carol Kryder LMFT :

You need to trust your instincts. This man's reaction was way out of line. Don't let your fond memories of high school cloud your judgment.

Carol Kryder LMFT :

Has he apologized? Has this happened at other times?

Customer :

Weirdly, he did this just answer thing first and the response he received was surprizing to me which is why I thought I would do it as well. I am going to try to cut and paste what he received for you to see. I certainly understand that we each see things through our own filters so how he remember the senario and how I do differ...I've tried to clearly state what I remember...and yes, it has happened other times, not all of the time but definitely from time to time.

Customer :

My girlfriend teaches college students, male and female, a fitness class a couple times a month. When I went to one of the classes she refused to introduce me as her boyfriend and just told them I was a friend she had grown up with and was visiting. She said her personal life wasn't any of their business. I got upset. I mean, what's so bad about just being truthful. The kids don't care who I am and I doubt they would think anything unprofessional about me being introduced as her boyfriend. That's who I am! She said her personal life is none of their business and won't budge.. I think it's strange of her to even think like that. They all have girlfriends and boyfriends. She's 53.. am I missing something? I find it unsettling to be introduced as just a visiting friend. Am I wrong?




I am sorry to hear about your feelings. It sounds like your girlfriend may have acted professionally. She may not want to show her personal life at work. If you two have been at a school party, she must have introduced you as her partner. She may be the kind of person who tries to maintain distance between personal life and professional life. Indeed, many teachers who work with adolescents and young adults may behave as your girlfriend did. Please let me know if I have overlooked any and you have more questions. Warm regards,



She does try and maintain the distance.. she wouldn't even let me drive the car for fear they might think I was her boyfriend.... OK... it just seems extreme and not all that honest. I mean, it's not like sharing our sex life with them. : ) I'm her boyfriend.. so what? you know? Why the drama?








Hi, I understand your feelings. It sounds like you are open and honest to everyone. Did you two talk about this in depth? What did she tell you more?












She said nothing more really, just that she wants to keep her personal life from them... and I do think being honest is the best way to go. Like I said, it's one thing to share our sex life, quite another to be introduced as who I actually am. I guess I never thought that telling anyone, even students at a college, that "this is my boyfriend Dale" would be too much information. Maybe it is.











Hi, Some college students can be curious about their teachers' personal or sex life. Some students might start asking her about you or her relationship after she introduces you as a boyfriend. She may want to avoid such discussion with her students. What do you think?






Could be. I guess it would have helped if she were more open to explaining it to me. Just saying I'm sorry it upsets you and leaving it at that is not very inclusive I guess. I'm the kind of guy who would have just explained it to her if the roles were reversed. It's the lack of sensitivity I suppose. It's like, this is how it is.. deal with it!! : ) She's not very good at being empathetic in general : )




















Response From Expert




Hi, It sounds like your girlfriend may lack empathy and sensitivity for you in general. You may communicate your feelings with her assertively. Honest communication is very important to your relationship. Perhaps, she may not know how you are feeling about this. What do you think?


















22 hours ago.



Customer Reply




She knows how I feel, not sure she cares : ) I mean.. it's not hard to explain her thoughts to me I wouldn't think. She has no problem telling me what bothers her!!! : )

Thanks Doc.







Read more:







Customer :

No, he hasn't apoligized. In fact, he says that the cause of this whole thing is because he feels like I didn't give him enough information to understand why I felt the way I did....

Carol Kryder LMFT :

It sounds like the expert gave him a good answer. I am concerned that you experienced his response as angry and as you said he "flipped out." He also acted quite childishly in saying he would not be there when you returned. You are also correct in saying that he gave the expert his viewpoint of the exchange, just as you are giving yours. I still believe he acted out of order. You have a right to present him to your students in any way you wish.

Carol Kryder LMFT :

His statement that you did not give him enough information may be true. My objection is to his reaction. It was infantile and quite counter-productive. Did he think you would change your mind if he acted in such a way? I don't think so. He was being irrational.

Customer :

Agreed....It's a pattern ...but I just want to be sure that I'm missing something in my behavior..

Customer :

not missing something....

Carol Kryder LMFT :

If this is a pattern, you need to sit down with him over a cup of coffee and determine just what the nature of this relationship is. You two need to decide what your status is, boyfriend, or otherwise, and to whom this will be disclosed. He is operating under a different set of assumptions than you are. You need to get on the same page.

Customer :

I like him very much but the irrational part of him throws me way off....just like maybe the strong, me in charge part of me throws him off....it makes for some fireworks and I've never had a relationship like this before and am not sure that it's healthy for either of us.

Carol Kryder LMFT :

You might start by asking what being a boyfriend means to him, then tell him what it means to you. Do you consider him your boyfriend? If not, what would change your opinion? These issues need to be addressed in order for this relationship to continue. You are right that once you have this talk you may find the relationship will not be viable. If you cannot agree on definitions, you may need to part ways.

Customer :

He definitely has some terrific qualities and my instinct is to try to work through the differences, the part that worries me is the fact that he even has the ability to react irrationally, i.e., getting out of the car, pitching a fit...it's weird to see a grown up act like that.

Carol Kryder LMFT :

Yes, it is, and if it is a pattern, I doubt that things will change. The question for you is: Can you live with him having tantrums like this? Once it blows over are things OK?

Customer :

yes, but it's very stressful for me during these times..I always think to myself that I would just die if he ever behaved like this in front of my family or friends.

Customer :

and no, I couldn't live with him having these episodes. :(

Customer :

You have been extremely helpful. I am glad that he went to this site :) I think between the two responses we'll have a positive conversation and some growth. Thank you very much.

Carol Kryder LMFT :

Then you have your answer. I still suggest that you discuss this with him first. He may wish to see a therapist to help with with this impulsive behavior.

Carol Kryder LMFT :

My pleasure. Best to you!









Carol Kryder LMFT, Mental Health Professional
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 808
Experience: APA Board Certified, Diplomate,Substance Abuse Professional, 20 years family therapy experience
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