Excuses at the Ready ...
Excuses at the Ready...[all personal details changed to protect anonymity]
Ever been given one excuse too far? Jessica, 34, was thinking of calling time on boyfriend, Jason, 30, because he's repeatedly late but always has a ready excuse. She finds it incredibly frustrating because she can't find fault with his excuses. Yet she thinks this goes deeper and couldn't work out what was really going on in his endless list of excuses.
Jason's excuses ranged from his train being late, to his boss keeping him late for work. Or his mother rang him and he, "can't get her off the phone when she gets started!" His dog urgently needed the vet, or he mislaid his mobile losing track of time because he doesn't wear a watch. Believable? Yes. Heartfelt and delivered with charm, Jason could sway a lie detector.
However Jessica had lingering doubts and felt if he had truly good intentions his tardiness wouldn't be habitual. This issue causes real conflict - as it did for Jessica - because most of us want to give the benefit of the doubt. But having the patience of a saint wears thin and Jessica decided to challenge Jason about his string of excuses.
It's a good job too because what she heard she didn't like. Jason thought she was making a big deal and being "demanding" of him. She actually started doubting herself and whether she'd become a control freak. I always say it's a warning sign if someone starts making you doubly doubt yourself when you know inside you’re a reasonable person.
Jason's reaction made Jessica question their relationship. On reflection she decided he lived in a fairly chaotic way, in turn affecting his ability to stick to plans. One excuse, two excuses - those were fine. But Jason had gone long past that, she realised that her instinct was right: it was really an excuse of a relationship and not worth sticking it out.
An edited version of this was published in The Times