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His girlfriend confides in his mom - about him

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Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, November 19, 2010; 12:00 AM

Dear Carolyn:

My girlfriend, "B," and I have been together five years. Lately, she has started doing something that really bothers me. I am studying for a degree in chemistry. I also work full time, and lately school has been getting tougher.

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Last semester, my mother called and said we needed to talk about something important. She then told me B had approached her, saying I was "miserable because school was always easy to me and now that it was starting to challenge me, I didn't know what to do." This couldn't be further from the truth.

My mother said B asked her not to mention what she had said, but my mom told me because, well, I'm her son. I wanted to confront B about this, but I decided not to betray her trust in my mother.

More recently, we decided to travel out of state to visit B's family for Christmas. I have been so busy with school that I hadn't yet mentioned our plans to my parents.

I received another call from my mom. B told her she was hurt because I had not told my parents about our Christmas plans.

This really bothers me. I feel like we should be a team instead of her teaming up with my parents to get her way, but I don't want to confront her and put my mom in a bad position.

Hartford

I like this - your girlfriend has a problem, which she brings to your mom, which your mom brings to you, which you bring to me, and which I make available to anyone in the world with full access to Internet content - and which, if this narrative fulfills its destiny, will make its way back to your girlfriend.

Since I'm a closet optimist, I'll answer B directly: If you have a problem with someone, then just say it to that person. Not only will it save time, prevent "telephone"-style confusion and preempt the collateral damage of bringing other people into your relationship, but it might even put a small dent in global warming.


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