Dear Aunt B,
I am writing to get advice about my boyfriend and I who are living together. We are very close and get along well, however there is one issue that seems to continue to come up and that we cannot seem to agree on or agree to disagree on, I am afraid that this issue may tear us apart unless one of us gives in but we both feel like we are right.
There are three girls that he considers his best friends and talks to on a regular basis about everything including our relationship. One is his ex wife that he has two children with, one is a girl that he used to date and has been intimate with and one has always been a platonic friend and lives with her boyfriend. He has hung out with his ex-wife on a fairly regular basis since we have been dating, he talks to her on a very personal level and discusses our relationship with her. I even found pics of her in his phone the other day. She is single and they were trying to work things out several months before we started dating. He talks to his ex girlfriend not as often but she has sent him text messages in the middle of the night and I found messages from him telling her he misses her and they should get together for dinner. I have never really had a problem with the platonic friend until I woke up at 1am to find him outside talking on the phone with her. Once again he shares details about our relationship with these girls. I have told him on several occasions that these relationships make me very uncomfortable and that I feel it is disrespectful that he would talk to them on such an intimate level and that it shows a lack of commitment. He has expressed that I am being insecure and controlling and that he has given me absolutely no reason not to trust him. He says that it is unfair for me to ask him to give up his best friends. I want very much to spend the rest of my life with this man but I do not want to spend the rest of my life sharing my time with other woman. I have never been in this situation and I do not know what to do. Am I really being insecure and controlling? Can men really just be friends with women even if they have been intimate in the past? Or am I making the right decision when I tell him that this behavior is unacceptable to me and that he has to make a choice? Please help.
No Ma'am, I don't like it not one damn bit. You betcha I side with you. Now, I'm not about instigating or getting your hairs up either but I do believe you need to deal with this now or never. Put up or shut up, ya know?
As far as I'm concerned, it's plain out and out disrespectful of him to not abide by a very reasonable concern. It's real simple, if it making you uncomfortable, he doesn not need to assert himself in this rebellious fashion. That is exactly what he is doing and flipping the script by making you seemingly insecure because of your request. Not one but three women and one of which is his ex wife who you know he has not long before tried to re-kindle those embers of love? No siree Bob, it's a bit much to ask.
I understand he must maintain ties with his ex wife, that's a given but beyond that, well needless to say, could he be on good terms with your ex and would he not be at all jealous of your little intimate moments, if you behaved the same way? I don't even think jealous is the proper word for this. It's just not a good situation for him to place you in and it has nothing to do with trust or insecurity for you to be uncomfortable in the position he places you in.
Hand Him the Key
Now, it may very well be that you have every reason to trust him, we'll give him that. He may very well have behaved, had honorable intentions and so forth. But the situation is that this all makes you uncomfortable, especially because he does speak about the both of you in intimate fashion and detail with these women. Text messages of "Missing You and Let's Do Dinner" and so on are rather inappropriate as well and you can tell him I said so. He's pushed things a little too far and basically abused your good nature in the name of saying you're just insecure.
Since I know you're not the vindictive kind, as well, I just know you are loyal beyond loyal to your man, you can't very well, in real time, place him in your shoes. I would most certainly have him try to understand just how he would feel if the tables were turned. If you hung out with your ex's, talked on the phone with other guys, had their picture on your phone, had evidence of text messages, how would he feel? The clincher here is; Could he swallow you talking to your ex husband and I mean beyond just amicability sharing such intimate details i.e maybe his sexual performance in bed? Uh oh, I think the shat would hit the fan and he'd be calling you all kinds of unscrupulous names. Now wouldn't he?
He needs to check himself. Yes, he needs to look in the mirror and be for real. The majority of women, I know would side with you on this issue. But the key to this whole thing is the way he does not see just how disrespectful he is being with his continued behavior long after you've let him know you have issue with it. This is a deal breaker and I don't think he realizes it. I sure hope it's not a sign of things to come. See G-Friend, if he knowingly continues this, assured that it makes you extremely uncomfortable, well it doesn't take a rocket scientist to see that he does not know how to respect you, your wishes and he sure doesn't know how to put the shoe on the other foot. Or does he? Is he able to see how upsetting this would be, if you were doing the same thing?
I double dog dare you to print this out and strategically place it where he'll find it. Then remind him that the issue is not so much about trust but R.E.S.P.E.C.T.
Get brave and give him this post. I don't know you or him. What could it hurt?
Keeping It Real,
I agree with you. You're not being controlling and it's insecurity but simplistic common sense. If he's trying to sneak around then it's obvious that he doesn't respect you or your wishes. There's the problem right there. I don't feel you're being unreasonable for asking him to cut or limit his ties with ex's, women in general because how would he feel if you were talking it up with your ex boyfriend? What would he say if you did the same thing, getting calls at 1am, basically what appears to be sneaking outside to have a conversation with the opposite sex.
I wouldn't mind him talking to his ex, as it's necessary, they have kids together but he doesn't need to share details, private matters, etc. Just a few short months before you two began dating, it's a fact that he tried to get back with his ex wife, right? Well, you're not a mind reader, he should know this. How do you know that he's really called it quits forever or if one minute to the next he catches the glimpse of her eye, they share an intimate moment and the fire's begin to burn again? And And And if you play with fire, somebody is going to get burned.
Guys will guys and they always talk smack and about relationships and intimacy but it's taking it too far sharing your private relations with his ex's and even the platonic relationship. It's just not right and that's all I have to say about that. It's just not right!
On Your Side,
Wow, I completely disagree with Babs and Halena.. not often that comes up!
I have said it once, and would repeat a thousand times, if you cannot trust a partner what the hell are you doing in a relationship.
he is right, he hasn't given you any reason to doubt him. And those are his friends. And he has made that clear.
If he were a woman who had three male friends this would be answered differently I bet. And why? it is the same situation on both accounts. It is a double standard in my eye.
Fact is, you are being insecure. BUT, you do have a right to discuss that insecurity and to have your partner acknowledge it and try to ease your worry.
You are within your rights to explain that yes, you are insecure. But how would he feel if the roles were reversed? If you were receiving 1am phone calls from a male friend and i miss you calls from an ex. He does need to see the perspective, no matter how innocent the conduct. And new relationships should be about learning about each other and what each other needs.
I will guarantee that if you make him make a choice, you will be parked outside on the curb. That is inclusive of what he talks to his friends about. You wouldn't want him telling you that you couldn't talk to friends about your life now would you?
Frankly, the inappropriate part is just as much you listening in, watching his phone and being sneeky as it is his not listening to your needs. But still, he is likely to look at it as you being jealous and him being nothing but honorable. So watch your step when talking with him.
Bottom line, he is not going to change his friends. So you need to figure out what you can deal with or not deal with. Because in the end, you need to be able to live with what ever decision you make.