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my friends liking my boyfriend- my obsession


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this has been a huge issue for me and has even started to interfere with my relationship, and i fully admit how irrational i've been. this is my story....


about 4 years ago, i got into a relationship with a guy (lets call him paul) that i probably shouldnt have. he was arrogant and not nice to me at times. we fought alot. i cried alot. we dated for about 2 years. my best friend HATED him and made that very well known to me and my other friends. soon she became a ringleader, constantly talking about how dysfuctional paul and i were and how awful he was. looking back, he WAS a jerk, but i still think it was inappropriate what she did. paul found out, and started to really dislike her as well. soon enough i was caught in the middle of my best friend and boyfriend. my best friend proceeded to stop talking to me (and him) even though we lived together. i still resent her for how much drama she created. feeling caught between my friends and my boyfriend was HORRIBLE. i did not deal with it well. it triggered something in me. it sent me into a deep depression. it was one of the worst times of my life so far. it may sound a bit dramatic, but 4 years later and i still cant get over it. i havent fully forgiven my friend for how miserable she made me, and needless to say i hate my ex-bf for many other reasons (we dont talk anymore)


now we get to 2007. i am in a relationship with a new guy. hes very sweet, kind, modest, etc. the opposite of paul. hes a great boyfriend and i love him very much. lets call him matthew. here is my problem: i am OBSESSED with my friends liking matthew. i know its crazy and irrational, but i spend alot of my free time thinking about it. matthew is nothing but nice to them but hes also a little shy. sometimes i worry that my friends dont like him because he's shy. sometimes i worry that they dont like him bc he's not super cool or a big party-boy. sometimes i worry that they dont like him just BECAUSE. i want to emphasize that these thoughts are not justified by anything. its all in my head.


i am 99% sure that the reason i have this problem is because i am traumatized from what happened with my last relationship. i cant go through that pain again. i just CANT have a boyfriend that my friends dont like. the idea of it sets off a panic response in my head. its a reflex that i cant stop. thoughts of that really dark period in my life creep back and i get so upset and nervous and anxious and scared. its like an emotional form of PTSD or something.


whenever matthew is around my friends, i feel like i'm watching him like a hawk to see how he behaves around them. everything is always fine, but i need to make sure every time because thats how much of an issue this has become to me.


nobody has ever said anything negative about him. this is my own, freakish paranoia getting the best of me. i am convinced that matthew is suffereing because of whats happened with paul. matthew knows about paul and what happened and he knows i have this issue. he's a good sport about it, but i really want to stop putting him through this. last night, matthew was over and he was really tired. he was sitting on the couch with me and my roommates and he was tired and didnt say much. (he's usually not like that). i proceeded to get very paranoid that my friends would think he was unfriendly and stop liking him. afterwards i got mad at him and told him that he was being rude to my friends and he got upset and told me that he thinks im always "grading him" on how he performs in front of my friends. he knows about my history with paul and what happened. this whole friend issue is something that he and i talk about sometimes. he's a good sport about it but i know it makes him upset.


its not fair to him. he's totally right. i dont know why i do this or why its such a big deal to me. i apologized and everythings ok now.


ive never told any of my friends about this. i am afraid to because i know they'll say im crazy. i also am afraid to ask because of this irrational fear that they'll say "youre right, i dont like him". nobody has ever given me a reason to believe it but like i said, this whole thing makes no sense.


please help me get over this. i know its totally irrational and crazy but is such a touchy sensitive issue in my head. i feel like a prisoner in my own obsessive thoughts. i think i need to see a therapist because of it. its been 10 months with matthew and hes been so great. if i could shake this obsession i could be so much happier.



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Tell your friends that although you appreciate their input your boyfriend is your boyfriend and if he makes you happy keep him. Tell them to quit obsessing over your boyfriend and go find there own. As long as you happy with him quit worrying, let them say what they want "ah..he's ugly why you with him ?" "he is so shy, he doesn't like to go out". So what, you like him and thats all that matters.

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no no, my friends DONT obsess about my boyfriend. they dont talk about him at all really! this is MY obsession. they only say nice things. i am just going crazy...


They say horrible things about your pass boyfriend and say nice things about your current boyfriend but who cares what they think, you obsessing over there comments, if you happy and he makes you happy you dont really need there opinions.

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Hi there,

At some point you need to stop caring about what others think and focus on what YOU think. I think that due to your past experience, you feel as if this train of thought has been taken away from you because the battle between your friends and boyfriend made you so miserable. It's going to be tough to get it back, but you can do it and it is possible.

What I suggest for right now is to stop hanging out with both your friends and boyfriend at the same time. Sometimes that is hard to avoid, I know...so try to hang out with them less together. When you start to feel better about the situation, you can work your way back to hanging out with both of them together, whenever you want.

Right now you are stuck in the past, and I do think a therapist would be a good idea. If that isn't an option for you though, try to TELL yourself when you hang out with both your boyfriend and friends that you don't care what anyone else thinks. Tell yourself that you love your boyfriend and nothing else matters. A therapist would definitely help you though. I think that you definitely have a deep rooted opinion about what others are thinking and you would be much happier if you could change it.

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I think this is an issue between you and your friend(s). Maybe primarily your friend who became so involved, and treated you rather poorly.


You need to work it out with her. I think you are deflecting some of your anger at HER towards your great guy. 'Cause, he's there and he is being supportive.


And maybe you aren't so sure that your friend has your back and can BE supportive this time around.


It's time for a girl talk.


What do you think?


Friends can bring up just as many powerful feelings as men. May feel hard to believe sometimes, but I know I've cried just as many tears for friends as for guys.


You need to find out where you stand with your friend. It's scary, but you can do it. It will end your misery.

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ive kind of lost touch with this friend that made me so miserable. after what happened, i was so hurt and traumatized by the whole thing that i sort of distanced myself from her.


so its ironic, she's not even in the picture. ive brought this whole set of issues to a whole set of innocent people. i am afraid to tell anyone because i think it will make the issue bigger than it already is. and i'm embarrassed about it. i feel like i'm a weirdo and i dont know if my friends will understand


this is definitely an issue i have with friends rather than with my relationship. i dont know why but issues with friendships have always really stressed me out.


i definitely want to look into seeing a therapist because i know this behavior is not normal and definitely not healthy.


does anyone know how to go about finding a therapist? do i need a therapist or a psychiatrist?


thanks everyone for your support

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I think the first step is realizing that it's not really about Matthew and it's more about you and your history- and how important it is not to make Matthew pay for Paul's mistakes. It sounds like Matthew is exasperated with feeling like he's always being watched and judged, no matter how good a sport his is being of it.


Just because your friends aren't constantly commenting about how great Matthew is doesn't mean that they don't like him or approve. In fact, in your friend's cases, I'd say silence is golden.


The other important thing to realize is that this relationship is not about what your friends think- it's between you and Matthew and no one else.


I have a great guy and occasionally my friends will comment on something nice he did, but ultimately it's between he and I and what we think of each other that counts. If you think about it, any guy can put on a show in front of a girl's friends and fool them into thinking he's great, it's what goes on behind closed doors when it's just the two of you that truly counts.

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to answer your question, emotional creature:

paul was a charmer, he really swept me away when we first met. it was one of those whirlwind beginnings. the red flags went up after about a month, but i totally didnt even see them. for example, he showed up at my house drunk and acting like an idiot after only like 3 weeks of dating, and we got into our first fight. thats a little early for a first fight in my opinion. we fought alot and he was really mean sometimes. he was my first real boyfriend and the first time i've really connected with a guy. for some reason, i saw the red flags and chose to ignore them. i never made that mistake again.

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