#37 Boyfriend's call interrupts business meeting / Controller upset with controller

DEAR ANN LANDERS: Please settle a disagreement. It could save my relationship.

Recently I attended a business conference with my boss and received a call on my cell phone from my boyfriend. I told him I couldn't talk and would call him back. He asked if my boss was here, I said, "Yes, he's sitting right here. We are in a meeting." He insisted that I say "I love you," right then and there. I refused. I said it was inappropriate. He became angry, and then he hung up on me.

He later said if I really loved him, I would speak those words anytime, anywhere. I told him he put me on the spot and should apologize for expecting me to take a personal call during a business meeting. Now he has stopped speaking to me. What do you say? PROFESSIONAL WOMAN IN VANCOUVER, BC.

Dear Vancouver: I'm not sure your relationship is worth saving. The man sounds like a control freak of the first order. Have you considered what your life will be like if you marry him? Please give serious consideration to what I am saying. His insecurity could be a millstone around your neck—forever. —ANN

Gabby's Response:

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Gabby’s Response:

Hi Vancouver: Lots of valuable stuff here.

What you're experiencing is a mirror of your own pattern of controlling. You seduced an immature boy whom you could control. You have trained him to feel insecure. You have rewarded his previous controlling behaviors. In other words, this argument is not about the burnt toast, it's about an earlier argument, an incomplete—most likely with one of your parents.

Who trained him, who gave him the remotest idea that it would be appropriate to call you? This goes to the core of how you carry yourself. You'd do well to acknowledge that he communicated appropriate to your act which is considerably different than how you see yourself. You signed, "Professional" however a professional would have such things handled. Perhaps you were expecting a business related phone call but most professionals turn off their cell phones when in meetings.

Notice that you have trained him to argue. How did he know to not hang up after you said you "couldn't talk?" The "I couldn't talk" was a lie because you kept talking. He intuitively knew this from previous interactions with you, conversations in which you said something and didn't mean it.

 "I said it was inappropriate." is an argument.  If you recall you used to goad your parent into arguing the same way. You have yet to acknowledge to him/her that you now know what that abuse towards them must have felt like.

You have not enrolled your boyfriend in supporting you in your career—not necessarily using words but though intention. He thought nothing of dumping on you and hanging up leaving you upset and incomplete for the day. This is called sabotage. In truth it was an unconscious payback for something you have done to him. I suspect he doesn't respect you for hanging out with him. You have been equally immature to have been relating with him personally.

That he is so attached to hearing the words "I love you" reveals that you control him. You keep him around by keeping him incomplete, wondering, begging to hear the words.  He was of course jealous. You have communicated something to create that.

Someone not addicted to arguing would have said, upon hearing who it was, "Is this an emergency?" If he answered "No," then before he could say anything they'd say, "I'm in a  meeting. I'll be in meetings all day. I'll talk with you tonight. Love you! Goodbye." —and then they'd have hung up and apologized to their boss and the others.

There's nothing serious here.*  It's all puppy-love stuff. You were supposed to have observed someone with his insecurities and inconsiderateness back in high school from which you would have learned to not date him. My sense is you have several incompletes with your parents, leaving you no choice but to date someone whom you know would upset and invalidate them. The mind will actually kill itself (detract from its aliveness—smoking, drugs, unsuitable partners, and fail in life) to make one's parents wrong. A few conversations with them will release you from this automatic behavior. If not, then do 5 clearings, one per day for five days in a row. —Gabby

* Except: If after reading this reply you continue to date him, then you'll reveal that you need as much therapy/counseling as does he. Your father would be disappointed to think that he trained you to seduce an immature boy and would communicate advice (nonverbally) to drop him. Would you take his advice? This is an important question because it will affect your career. Above I mentioned that he sabotaged you. What's also true is that you may be intent on sabotaging yourself.

PS: Please show your boyfriend this post.

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Check back occasionally for minor edits (last edited 12/3/12)

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