He is a janitor that is 13 years older than I am. We had sex and now I am paranoid about him telling other people at work about our most intimate moments. I often think that everyone is talking about us, even though he swore that he wouldn’t reveal anything. However, I imagine that every conversation that is going on around me is about me. I see people laughing and I think that they are laughing at me. It’s like everyone knows about my secret and it is getting the best of me. It is very hard to cope.

A. I have little information about your situation and that makes it difficult for me to assess whether your worries are justified. If I had the opportunity to interview you in person, I would want to know more about why you believe that your co-workers are talking about you. Is there evidence of that occurring?

It might help if you were to speak to your partner about your concerns. Ask him if he has revealed your relationship details to others. Repeat your request that he keep those personal and intimate details private. There is no guarantee that he will do so but having a conversation in which you explicitly make clear your feelings may help.

Also realize that even if he has revealed the nature of your relationship with your coworkers, they would have no way of knowing if he was telling the truth or lying. Your denial would be as strong as his assertion.

Finally, you can never control what others think of you. If the truth was that you had never had sex with this man, and that in fact you never had sex with anyone at any time in your entire life, people could still think that you have had sex with every man on the first floor of your building. They would of course be wrong, but then again, people are wrong about their assumptions quite regularly.

If you would like to write back and provide additional details about this situation, I may be able to better answer your question. Please take care.

Dr. Kristina Randle