Dear Dr. Ovlowska,
I’ve been together with my Polish girlfriend for nearly five years now and we have a great relationship. At least we DID until she went on a trip by herself, which for some reason made me very jealous and upset. Then a couple of weeks ago I had a “one night stand”. I don’t know how it happened and I don’t think being drunk is an excuse. It just happened. My question is, do you think I should keep my little secret or should I confess?
You had sex with another woman because your girlfriend hurt your feelings by going on a trip without you. That was your way of redressing the balance. Your inner accountant told you that because you’d both been bad – you’re now quits. The problem is that you react instead of communicating.
Basically there are three ways of reacting: Attack, flee or freeze.
My guess is that your spontaneous reaction when you feel vulnerable is to give back the hurt you feel yourself. You don’t attack your girlfriend directly, but subconsciously you take revenge and do to her what she did to you.
That is not wise, for you do not get to talk about what hurt – instead you make matters more complicated by being unfaithful.
Of course your sweetheart will never be able to understand how her trip could possibly be connected to your infidelity, and therefore you have to keep your “little secret” to yourself. Yet, if you want a future in a healthy, well functioning relationship, you need to learn to communicate instead of reacting.
Here’s a trick that always works. Invite her “over the bridge”. Invite her to the land where only Danny-language is spoken. Sit on a chair in front of her. Connect by holding her hands, touching knee-to-knee and looking uninterruptedly into each others eyes.
Say: “I invite you over the bridge. Will you come?” Assuming she loves you, she will say “Yes. Thank you for the invitation”.
The idea is that you tell her how you feel and she in turn accepts and repeats everything word for word because she is a guest in your country and she doesn’t yet know your language. At first it isn’t easy to do, but with a minimum of guidance and a maximum of training, you will learn the true language of your lover.
If you are curious to know more details about a visit over the bridge, I hope you will contact me again. I have used it many times to get couples to communicate on a higher level. Until then I wish you well, and hope you have booked somewhere nice for your summer holidays. Five years of being together should not be allowed to pass without celebration!