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Reaching Out!

Sometimes it's not easy to reach out to someone for help. Yet the sooner you do the better you feel!

“Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid." Albert Einstein

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“No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it.” Albert Einstein
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Let's Talk

Dr. Darlene DeStefano, PhD


My Partner Overreacted . . . My Flirting is Innocent

Posted 5/24/2016

Dear Darlene,

My partner and I are having some relationship difficulties that started a few months ago. Finally, I learned my partner was reading my text messages on my phone after my partner exploded accusing me of having an affair. Our relationship has been

extremely rocky as of late, to the point my partner hardly speaks to me. I am a flirt and always have been and of course I answer emails and text messages that way as well. It’s all in fun and since I am not having an affair it doesn’t hurt anyone. I think my partner is overreacting, and being unreasonable. Besides my partner had no right to be snooping at my email and text messages, they are private. We both have brought baggage into our relationship but I have been working on mine which is more than I can say for my partner. I don’t think counselling will work because my partner keep things inside and doesn’t share feelings. The atmosphere is heavy and we seem to have little to say to each other right now. I love my partner and want to grow old together, but my partner needs to respect my boundaries, and at this point I don’t know what to do. I hardly sleep, am just picking at my food, and feel anxious and on edge. What should I do?

Signed, Needing Direction



Dear Needing Direction:

Two rules of thought here. I feel that you are right in that your partner should not be snooping and reading your emails and text messages on your phone. Yet, what is going on that would lead your partner to be  snooping. Furthermore, if it reads too much like an affair could be going on then the flirting may be just a little too much. Boundaries are important and one must recognize when the flirting has become too serious so as to be mistaken for more and be moving in the direction of what is termed as online cheating. 


You both need to take the time to sit down sooner than later and talk. No yelling, no swearing, no accusations, no guilt, no blame. Just talk honestly and from your hearts. You both need to decide what each of you need and want from this relationship AND start fresh, with a pact that yesterday is HISTORY and never bring up or revisit the hurts from yesterday. Whether you stay together or not (and I really hope you do), you both need to ‘let go’, and move forward with love, patience, trust and understanding. When you choose to ‘let go’ it includes letting go of the emotions tied to this issue. In this way the hurt or wound also heals.


Relationships are not easy they do take work, but if you both want a life  together you will both need to work at it together. You both will need to be mindful of each other’s dislike of certain behaviours and learn to curb that behaviour; be better at compromise; be more tolerant of each other’s weaknesses; lean on each other’s strengths; and learn the art of give and take. I suggest you begin by writing down on a piece of paper what you NEED for this relationship to work. Begin with the MUST and following with the WOULD BE NICE. Present your papers to each other and seek feedback and adjust if needed. Make a new commitment to your relationship and each other. This will work if you want it to. In the event more work is needed then I highly recommend counselling. Best of luck and remember compromise is paramount in relationships.


Live Well,

Darlene DeStefano, PhD, CPC, MMsc
Intuitive Counsellor
Life and Business Coach
Passionate Crusader for Meaningful Living & Health Relationships
Catalyst for Living Well


Have a question or a comment? Need help with something to make your life better? Send Darlene an email She will answer you in the Mount Forest Mirror.