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Thread: My boyfriend's female friend

  1. #1
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    My boyfriend's female friend

    So I am having difficulty with what to do about this situation.

    My boyfriend has a female friend which he says they are no longer close despite a 10 year + relationship. She has done a lot of things that have pissed him off etc (i.e. blocking him of social media intermittently, not paying back money owed etc). Yet he is still friends with her and it seems they nearly talk everyday. In my eyes it is a toxic relationship and every time he talks about her, there is always something negative. So I am baffled at the friendship.

    The situation started around the beginning of our relationship. She never seemed to be interested in meeting me and I never pushed it. He was dealing with a situation with her and it seemed at the time the relationship was coming to an end. BUT they had this holiday booked (the two of them only). This was planned before we were together and I thought nothing of it. I admit to my mistake of not pushing to meet her despite where their relationship sat at that point.

    During the trip it seemed they mended the relationship. During the trip, she sent a post out on social media from his phone which was a selfie of them in bed together. I never inquired about sleeping arrangements and assumed it was separate beds so this surprised me. Naturally I was upset and addressed it with him. He said he was waiting to tell me when he got back as it would've been better face to face. We addressed it when he got back and things were fine. Then hours later of solving that, her underwear shows up in his laundry pile. He is surprised like me but I believe that nothing happened. But it still upsets me as it was either a mix up in washing or she left it there on purpose. I lean towards the latter given everything he has told me about her (she use to do this to her ex etc). The last straw was a photo posted of them that suggested more than friends, they were both in bed. She was sitting and he was lying down in the background. I showed him as he hadn't seen it yet and he was annoyed and asked her to take it down. She asked why, and didn't see anything wrong with it. Eventually she took it down but replaced it with another selfie of the two of them which I had no issues with.

    After all of that I stressed he needed to have boundaries with her. He was banned in his last relationship from talking to her and his ex didn't like her. She had confessed she liked him when his ex was chasing her, and the ex felt she was trying to get in the way. He agreed and said that he doesn't think she meant any ill intent and that when we meet, everything will be fine. I'm not convinced otherwise that she has no ill intent. Later when we speak about he, he told me he spoke to friends and a part of him feels she is trying to cause ill intent. I told I would never give him an ultimatum, but effort needs to be make me comfortable.

    4 months later I still haven't met her. The excuse has been she is busy, or he has been busy. He hasn't hung with her one on one coz he knows it makes me uncomfortable. This wasn't something I told him to do, he just did it because he knew how I would feel and only told me this recently. I was however under the impression they were hanging out. Then a few days ago, he told me they were hanging out after work. I have no issue with it coz I know she is going through a hard time. BUT, he then proceeds to tell me that she will be staying over because the journey back home would be too long (this is her suggestion btw). I explain how I feel about this and he postpones it.

    However, we argue the day after as he doesn't seem to understand why I would be mad? He thinks it is practical and logical and she is in another room. I explain I still haven't met her, and it looks like she is putting in no effort to get to know me and has disrespected our relationship at the start (intentionally or not). I tell him she either makes time that weekend to meet me, even for 15 minutes or I am done trying.

    We have a huge argument about it and I then find out he hasn't told her of my dislike of her. Only after arguing he tells her and she suggests coffee just the two of us and messages me. I agree and we figure out a time and place that very day. She then bails. She doesn't tell me but tells my boyfriend. She however says she will meet us later at a friend's get together. I agree and say that is fine. She never shows up, for whatever reason.

    At this point, I'm not surprised. I don't want this person to ruin our relationship because I see a lot of potential here. But every time she is mentioned, we argue.

    I have to give me boyfriend props for respecting my boundaries, though he may not necessarily understand why (i.e. cancelling the meet up when I told him it made me feel uncomfortable).

    I am baffled he considers this person a friend despite all the problems he gives her. He describe the relationship as her setting fires and he putting them out. She may not like him anymore etc, but she is being difficult.

    I'm not sure how long I should tolerate this or if I even should. What happens if we never meet because of reasons mainly on her side(i.e. busy etc)? We meet and I still don't like her? I won't make him choose but I am at a lost. Or am I being unreasonable?

    Some sage advice or fresh perspective would be appreciated :)

  2. #2
    Platinum Member bluecastle's Avatar
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    Sorry you're going through this.

    So, to be clear, you've been together something like 4 or 5 months?

    Assuming that's the case, I have to say I don't really see much you can do here except what you probably should have done after the trip, the selfies, and the underwear. Which, yes, is to leave this relationship.

    This friendship is off, to put it mildly. Your gut has known since basically day one. No need to break down all the reasons—you've done that clear as day. And you've tried to talk to him about it, which is great. But it should have been a short conversation, early, with immediate results that satisfied, not an ongoing "conversation" for months and months when you should have just been connecting, building trust, security.

    Somehow I think you've mistaken talking about this friend for "healthy communication" when in fact the talks, and the dynamic in general—yours with your bf, I'm talking about—got pretty toxic pretty quickly. No surprise: he seems to be a master of toxic relationships with women. At this point your relationship with him is basically as messy as his relationship with her, as you see it. You say you don't want this to "ruin it" because you see the "potential"—but I'd say this ruined a real relationship long ago, and right now you're basically just dating the potential in hopes of it being actualized. Meanwhile, back in reality you're dating someone with a very blurry relationship with a woman who he prioritizes over you, repeatedly.

    Which sucks to hear, I know. You want to be the exception, not the rule, and at this point, at least subconsciously, you're probably eager to fix this—to keep being patient, keep being open—because if you can just come to an "understanding" with him you don't have to accept that you've kind of been an enabler to this whole thing for months. That some very admirable qualities of yours—openness, patience, a willingness to talk things through—have not been applied to the right person, in the right relationship.

    How much longer do you want this all to go on? Well, that's where you have all the power here. You can continue to keep engaging, accepting that this is just going to be, in some form or another, a near-permanent and ongoing drama inside your relationship. Or you can gracefully bow out, just letting him know that you have different values and needs.

  3. #3
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    You are in very early stages in your relationship and yes it is a time when boundaries are placed and tested.

    You have placed some boundaries and fair ones.
    However from what you have said , he has not crossed them and has respected them.
    So far, so good right?

    So why are still arguing and allowing this person get between you?

    Your bf doesn’t have any control over whether this ex bails on meeting you or not.
    He knows that you want to meet her sooner rather than later and that without meeting her you can’t be comfortable with their friendship.
    It’s not up to you to argue this point, it’s up to him to bring it up with her if he wants to continue his friendship with her.

    Re hashing the point with him is only going to become exhausting and fruitless.

    Your boundaries are in place , he knows them , all you can do is trust that he continues to respect them.
    If he doesn’t then you decide if you want to proceed with your relationship .

  4. #4
    Platinum Member bluecastle's Avatar
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    I agree with everything you say Billie—in theory.

    But I’m not sure I’d call 4-5 months such “early stages” in terms of setting/pushing boundaries in this case.

    It’s pretty clear that this guy is well aware that his friendship with this woman is not healthy, and is more keen on finding someone cool with that than making changes to make it cooler himself. It was an issue in his last relationship, for instance. That he was “banned” from speaking to her—well, there’s really no good conclusion to draw from that. Either he likes submitting to controlling women or needs to be spanked and scolded into sticking to the sort of reasonable boundaries that are par for the course for many. Questionable character stuff, either way. A high appetite and threshold for drama.

    Then the social media stuff on the trip, to say nothing of the bed sharing, the underwear. Is there a single read on that that speaks to someone worth investing in? If I was in OP’s shoes I’d probably have walked then, or at least really slowed my roll, because all that just radiates (at best) a draw to drama on his part. At a certain point you have to just be into someone who is into drama or not.

    So his way of dealing with it all is to not hang with the friend rather than make an introduction, for months. Well, THAT is drama. It’s like he knows she is “bad” for him, or at least “bad” if he’s involved with someone, and so he backs off. Sorta. He hangs after work, casually explains that she’ll be staying over, knowing full well, at that point, that his gf knows this woman only as the underwear travel friend whom he was banned from during the last go.

    What has OP gotten so far by putting her boundaries in place? Very little, it seems, save for mounting stress, anxiety, paranoia, distrust, frustration, and push back.

    The amount of play this woman has already had at 4-5 months is troublesome. I’m not hinting at anything like infidelity, but just a general dynamic in which two people can have legit fun getting to know each other rather than sub that fun time for all these discussions.

    Guess my q to OP is: you’ve had these talks, after the trip/underwear, and his response was to invite her to sleep over. How long do you want to keep trying to teach him how to be closer to your potential version of him as opposed to finding someone who is already there?

    Or, hey, to frame it another way: what is it, OP, that keeps you drawn to all this? Do you have any history of dating men with iffy boundaries?

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  6. #5
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    We've been together for 6 months now for all the guesses above.

    I don't have concerns about infidelity. My gut, which I have bounced off a few friends don't have concerns about him in that regard.

    After the trip and all that drama, I slowed the relationship down as he was talking about wanting to move in etc. We both it was way too early to even think about that.

    I understand Billie28 saying my boyfriend can't control her actions. He has told me that he tried to organise plans but she always cancelled i.e. the last cancellation prior to coffee was because she was stressed about the court issues and restraining order she filed against her ex. BUT, I think her dragging it on for this long says a lot about her character and willingness to invest in getting along with me. He seems to have a long line of chances for her in that regard, but I don't.

    No history of dating men with iffy boundaries. I am generally quite vocal about it especially when it is reasonable.

    He is my potential version of a guy I want to spend a long time with, but he does have this friend who he has a huge tolerance for her poor behaviour.

  7. #6
    Platinum Member bluecastle's Avatar
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    At this point I think you just kind of need to stop keeping the lens trained on her, and focus it more on your boyfriend and yourself.

    Sure, she's an easy mark for venting. She's a drama queen, a social media blocker/unblocker, a poster of questionable content, an accidental underwear dropper. And so on. That's who she is, and she sounds pretty basic. A little fly buzzing around the room thinking she's a rare bird. Yawn. Nothing your bf or you can control or change.

    What he can control is how much of his time and emotional energy he spends on her, just as you can control how much of your time and emotional energy you spend on him. Just as he has a huge tolerance for her behavior, you have shown a pretty huge tolerance for his. Always a tricky line, where compassion and understanding morphs into enabling—cementing a dynamic you hope can evolve.

    I can sympathize with both of you, by the way. I've had some complicated friendships—particularly with a few women—that I engaged in either past their expiration date or in ways that exacerbated an unhealthy dynamic rather than mending it. And some of those unhealthy dynamics got in the way of some romantic relationships—ugh, for all parties. Those ugh moments led me to make some changes in my life, to make space for healthy friendships and healthy romances. But that takes time, and a desire to make changes for yourself more than a person.

    It's tough. She's been in his life for a decade vs your six months. Still, just because you can handle it all with a degree of patience and understanding doesn't mean it's the best use of that patience and understanding nature. There's a point where your frustrations with his tolerance of her will be an extension of your frustration with your own tolerance of him—and that's not a point you want to cross.

    At the end of the day, especially after 6 months, this friendship tells you something about his character. Something that kind of comes with the package of being with him. He seems to push things out of frame rather than deal with them—that's how a somewhat weird friendship evolves into a super weird friendships, over a decade, rather than going from somewhat weird to healthy. He seems to want it all to just be cool, but the big boy steps required for that elude him—maybe not always, but often, enough to be a thorn for you as its been a thorn for others, yeah?

    If you have the patience and security needed to handle these blows, great. If not, also great. That's ultimately a conversation you have to have with yourself, not him.

    Guess all you can do is keep feeling it out. Sounds like all the conversations have been had.

  8. #7
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    Yes I see everyone’s points but I still think this ex is only as big a threat to your relationship as you allow it to be.
    His most recent ex allowed it to be to the demise of their relationship.
    I also get that your bf allowed it to be too.

    I still believe he has so far respected your boundaries.
    Perhaps didn’t understand them at first wrt allowing her stay over , but he has respected you and hasn’t had her stay over.

    So, currently , what is the issue?
    I believe that to be that you simply don’t like her without ever having met her and just wish she didn’t exist.

    Your bf has spoken negatively about her but I do wonder if that’s because of the issues he had with his gf before you.
    He clearly DOES want to remain friends with her and you need to trust that your bf has good reason for wanting that friendship. Obviously there are positives to her , he was with her for 10 yrs after all.
    They each have had relationships since then and are still friends.
    Relationships have come and gone.

    As for the selfie. On holidays the only place to retreat to inbetween events is a bedroom generally.
    She was sitting on a bed that he was laying down on. No big deal and doesn’t imply anything.
    I assume they shared a room. Also no big deal when on holiday.
    Living out of a suitcase , stuff gets chucked in the floor and packing to go home is never as precise as when packingto go on holiday. You just make sure everything is in the bags and that’s it.

    At this point , there is nothing to discuss further with your bf until he arranges to meet her again.
    And i hope that’s a meet while with you or after you have met her.
    Until those scenarios crop up , don’t even mention her name and enjoy your time with your bf.

  9. #8
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    To clarify Billie28, she is not his ex, but a long time friend.

    You are right though, I don't like her and think poorly of her without having met her. Part of it is what happened on the holiday (ill intent or not), another part is what he has told me (a mix of negative things she has done in the past and has done to him recently) and me filling the rest of the gaps as well.

    To clarify, the holiday bed situation was they shared a bed which I wasn't aware off. Had I known prior, I would have dealt with my own personal feelings about it because it was booked. But because it wasn't communicated prior and I found out not directly from him, I was quite annoyed.

    From everyone's thoughts, I do agree there is probably nothing more to be done. We've spoken about it so much we just default to getting heated about it. He has respected my boundaries even though he doesn't completely understand/agree with them. And I'm sure he will keep respecting my boundaries as that is the type of person he has shown me to be since we've met.

    We can't control her behaviour towards us at the end of the day. Albeit it is frustrating haha

    If we meet and it goes well, then great! Best case scenario for everyone.

    If we do and it goes sour or we never do, I guess I gotta decide guess how much my patience and tolerance extends.

  10. #9
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    Originally Posted by orangecat123
    To clarify Billie28, she is not his ex, but a long time friend.

    You are right though, I don't like her and think poorly of her without having met her. Part of it is what happened on the holiday (ill intent or not), another part is what he has told me (a mix of negative things she has done in the past and has done to him recently) and me filling the rest of the gaps as well.

    To clarify, the holiday bed situation was they shared a bed which I wasn't aware off. Had I known prior, I would have dealt with my own personal feelings about it because it was booked. But because it wasn't communicated prior and I found out not directly from him, I was quite annoyed.

    From everyone's thoughts, I do agree there is probably nothing more to be done. We've spoken about it so much we just default to getting heated about it. He has respected my boundaries even though he doesn't completely understand/agree with them. And I'm sure he will keep respecting my boundaries as that is the type of person he has shown me to be since we've met.

    We can't control her behaviour towards us at the end of the day. Albeit it is frustrating haha

    If we meet and it goes well, then great! Best case scenario for everyone.

    If we do and it goes sour or we never do, I guess I gotta decide guess how much my patience and tolerance extends.
    My apologies ! I read a 10+ year relationship to be a romantic one. Sorry!

    Sharing a bed with someone he has never had a romantic relationship with is only a big deal if he is in a committed relationship with another. I sense it wasn’t then as it was only weeks into your relationship ?
    I can understand your annoyance at finding out indirectly , but you must also see why he might have omitted telling you?
    He was interested in YOU, went on a holiday with his friend and he knows that most people would not like to think of their partner sharing a bed with another even though HE knew it was innocent.

    He obviously didn’t think you would see her social media pic. How did you btw? Did she tag him in the pic? If so, how did you see it and not him?

    As I have pointed out and you agreed , he has stuck to boundaries. And that’s awesome!!!
    You don’t have to like all of his friends , her or even some male ones. But you should give him credit for respecting boundaries. And stop berating him for her actions.

    I really believe that you minimising her actions will also minimise her threat to the relationship.
    He is not giving up a decade friendship easily , he has his reasons for that , despite what you or anyone else in the past has thought of it.

    Remove your focus on her , place it back into your relationship.

  11. #10
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    All good!

    By the time the holiday happened we had been together for 3 months. Totally understand why he wouldn’t have told me. We spoke about it and I understood the reasoning.

    The photo was sent via Snapchat story. The first one was a selfie that showed me they were sharing a bed. The second photo was off herself and a filter. He told me he asked why would she do that because I wasn’t aware yet. He is not adept at social media apps and didn’t know you can delete stories, but she lives on social media. In my mind, a good friend would’ve removed it straight away if their friend said that. But like you said I can’t control her actions and neither can he.

    Absolutely agree on no longe the berating him for her actions.

    Definitely will redirect my focus since I think I’ve exhausted enough time and energy getting upset at her.
    Last edited by orangecat123; 04-15-2019 at 03:55 AM. Reason: Forgot something

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