The Atlantic

Dear Therapist: My Partner Wants Me to Cut Ties With My Friends

I appreciate them. He doesn't accept them. How can I make everyone happy?
Source: The Atlantic

Editor’s Note: Every Wednesday, Lori Gottlieb answers questions from readers about their problems, big and small. Have a question? Email her at dear.therapist@theatlantic.com.

Dear Therapist,

My partner has a strong tendency to see everyone else’s behavior in black or white. People are either saintly and wonderful or diabolical and dangerous, and the switch between the two can be lightning fast. I understand this is coming from his past—he comes from an emotionally abusive home. After much gentle nudging, he’s now been in therapy for over a year and I can see the results slowly emerging.

Meanwhile, I try my best not to react to his judgments, though they cause havoc with our friendships. He insists that when he writes someone off for an infraction that he sees

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from The Atlantic

The Atlantic6 min read
The Best Athlete Americans Have Never Heard Of
American pro athletes face pressure to stick to sports. Australia’s David Pocock has a different idea.
The Atlantic3 min read
Alone In The Dark In The Bay Area
Earlier this week, Pacific Gas & Electric cut power to hundreds of thousands of Bay Area residents to mitigate the risk of fires. The city of Berkeley put out some vital information for those who might be affected: “If you are power-dependent for med
The Atlantic5 min readPolitics
The NBA-China Disaster Is a Stress Test for Capitalism
On August 19, the definition of a company in America changed. The Business Roundtable, a U.S. lobbying group that represents nearly 200 companies, issued a statement proclaiming that the “purpose” of a business in 2019 was no longer to look out merel