DEAR ABBY: My boyfriend, "Scott," and I are writers, although we both have day jobs. During the two years we've been together, we have always supported each other's writing careers.
Things changed after my first novel was published. While initially congratulatory, Scott's behavior was different as the publication date neared. He declined to help my friend throw me a party. When I spotted my book on the shelf of a bookstore for the first time, he chided me to keep my voice down. My novel has now been out for months, but he still hasn't read it. (I gave him one of my free copies.)
When I told Scott how much this hurt me, he agreed to read it and said he was proud of me. But after reading only one chapter, the book was left on the nightstand and he hasn't touched it since.
Scott is a talented writer. He has been published in literary magazines, but hasn't yet published a book. I sympathize with his jealousy and have tried to keep talk of my novel to a minimum. But I'm troubled by Scott's refusal to participate in this exciting period of my life. If he had written a 600-page tome on the digestive habits of the three-toed sloth, and I had to drink a pot of coffee to stay awake through the first chapter, I would still be first in line to buy it. Abby, what gives? -- FRUSTRATED NOVELIST
DEAR FRUSTRATED: I think you have pegged "what gives" accurately. Your boyfriend is suffering the effects of having been bitten by the green-eyed monster. Every reminder of your success gives him a pang because he wasn't published first -- and he may be punishing you for your success by leaving the book unread by the bed. (Anything else going on there?)
I'm sad to say that not every man is man enough to appreciate his woman's success. Some are emasculated by it. And frankly, it will be interesting to see if your relationship survives this.