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Is this emotional infidelity or a close friendship?


StillBreathing

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Here is a situation between a Girlfriend, a Boyfriend, and a Female Friend. The bold portions indicate reasons why this could simply be considered a close friendship and not emotional infidelity:

 

1. Girlfriend, who is very insecure, expressed discomfort about a longstanding friendship that Boyfriend has with his Female Friend. This was not the first time Girlfriend felt threatened by another female simply being in contact with Boyfriend. (Boyfriend and Female Friend did sleep together a few times years before Girlfriend was in the picture, but they never dated or had a relationship. Boyfriend said he never wanted to date her - he had many opportunities to do so over the years).

 

2. Boyfriend stopped by Female Friend's house to help her with something, but does not mention this detour to Girlfriend. Girlfriend snoops through Boyfriend's phone, says something along the lines of "Are you SURE that's all you did that day?" and Boyfriend fails to admit his visit to Female Friend in order to avoid getting hassled by Girlfriend.

 

3. Boyfriend invites Female Friend out for a bike ride (mutual interest that Girlfriend doesn't share), but Female Friend is injured and cannot. Boyfriend then then invites Girlfriend out for a run (a mutual interest they share), possibly out of guilt.

 

4. Girlfriend goes through Boyfriend's texts again and sees many "reminiscing" texts about fun things Boyfriend and Female Friend did years ago. Female Friend goes so far as to say "Who sleeps with their best friend and lives to tell about it? We do!"

 

5. Boyfriend tells Girlfriend that he finds Female Friend's constant talking annoying much of the time and on occasion says he "can't really stand her". Boyfriend, however, tells Female Friend that he is one of her best friends and that he loves her and misses her (in a "friend" way, not romantic way).

 

6. Girlfriend blows up about #2 and asks Boyfriend to not see Female Friend alone anymore. Boyfriend is furious, says he never wants to see Female Friend again.

 

7. Girlfriend repents and takes it all back, and begs a fuming Boyfriend not to tell Female Friend about this fight. Boyfriend says he won't, but in fact gets together with Female Friend the next day to tell her about it.

 

8. Girlfriend repeatedly asks if Boyfriend has told Female Friend about this fight and he denies it. However, he continues to discuss the fight and the state of relationship with Female Friend over the course of several months. However, nothing bad was ever said about Girlfriend by either party. Boyfriend did go so far as to say "We are having some trouble right now but we will be 100% okay once we work through this."

 

9. Girlfriend finally confronts Boyfriend about how she knows Boyfriend told Female Friend about the fight, and Boyfriend denies knowing how Female Friend found out. Female Friend privately acknowledged to Boyfriend that he should not have lied to Girlfriend about this.

 

10. Boyfriend finally acknowledges that lying was wrong and that discussing relationship problems with Female Friend was wrong.

 

11. Boyfriend still reaches out via text to Female Friend (possibly on the very rare occasions that he and Girlfriend are fighting); however, discussion of any relationship problems have ceased. Only reminiscing and run of the mill catching up occur. Boyfriend did inform Girlfriend about having made plans with Female Friend and a third person, but ended up cancelling these plans later.

 

12. Boyfriend has always been supportive, devoted and loving to Girlfriend, both publicly and privately. Large commitments have been made (house purchase, marriage proposal plans). Boyfriend is as affectionate and loving towards Girlfriend in Female Friend's presence as he is when not in her presence. Again, neither Boyfriend nor Female Friend discussed Girlfriend in a negative way (aside from expressing shock and disappointment at her suspicions).

 

My feelings: Boyfriend and Female Friend didn't appropriately change their friendship once Girlfriend entered the picture. They don't understand how or why their friendship was hurtful to Girlfriend and instead were simply confused by her reaction. Boyfriend was wrong for lying to Girlfriend.

 

Girlfriend is overly insecure and possessive. Girlfriend is wrong for snooping through text messages and for attempting to control Boyfriend's social life.

 

Both parties reacted inappropriately but are now behaving more appropriately. At least, that's MY view.

 

 

Any agree/disagree or thoughts on this situation would be greatly appreciated! Thanks.

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Small correction to your story - she is not a female friend, she is a fckbuddy. So continuing to carry on with her while in a relationship, lying to his gf about her, talking to her about relationship problems, refusing to get rid of her - all 100% wrong by the guy. Given his shady and disrespectful behavior, it's not surprising that his gf is unhappy and doesn't feel secure in their relationship. Essentially he is putting this other woman and the connection he has with her above his relationship with his gf and it's driving a wedge between them and destroying their relationship. He needs to make a choice - either be loyal and respectful to his relationship or drop the relationship and keep the fckbuddy. Whatever is more important to him.

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So they only gossip about you when you and the bf discuss boundaries?

 

I came up once or twice when Boyfriend was worried I was stressed out about his stressful job, and Female Friend assured him I'd be fine. Other than general "How are you and Girlfriend doing", I don't seem to be discussed much.

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On the surface, it does seem that they are genuinely just friends, especially if you've been digging through his private interactions and not finding anything incriminating. The only real red flag I see is, "How many best friends survive sleeping with each other?" Don't see much reason for that to be said, but in fairness, it is a pretty rare thing for genuine friendships to survive that.

 

Really, this is about whether or not you can accept her. You've invaded his privacy. You've made demands to attempt to control him. Neither measure is conducive to a relationship working out. As you've seen, people will almost always lie before giving up their autonomy. If you can't accept his friendship, which many couldn't, then you need to let him go and move on. It may take a few breakups before he realizes he's gotta readjust his boundaries with this friend. Or he may find someone who doesn't feel threatened by her. Who knows? This is about what boundaries are acceptable for you.

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Sometimes friendships take a back seat to romantic relationships. Does it blow that we live in a culture where we believe men and women can't be friends?Yep. Does it suck that the fact that a long time ago you and your friend tried having sex means you are (culturally speaking) a threat to his romantic relationship? yes. Personally (I have a male best friend) it makes me sad that it is so standard to doubt and trust male/female friendships. But if my male best friend was seeing someone he loved and she was unhappy with our friendship I would back off. I would be annoyed by it... but I love my friend and I support his choices even if they are choices that make it harder for us to be close. I'm lucky that my best friend tends to date women who I really enjoy and who aren't threatened by me.

 

Is it lame that she looks through his phone? Yeah... that's a real lack of trust. But he chooses to stay with her and that is something you don't get a say in.

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Sometimes friendships take a back seat to romantic relationships. Does it blow that we live in a culture where we believe men and women can't be friends?Yep. Does it suck that the fact that a long time ago you and your friend tried having sex means you are (culturally speaking) a threat to his romantic relationship? yes. Personally (I have a male best friend) it makes me sad that it is so standard to doubt and trust male/female friendships. But if my male best friend was seeing someone he loved and she was unhappy with our friendship I would back off. I would be annoyed by it... but I love my friend and I support his choices even if they are choices that make it harder for us to be close. I'm lucky that my best friend tends to date women who I really enjoy and who aren't threatened by me.

 

Is it lame that she looks through his phone? Yeah... that's a real lack of trust. But he chooses to stay with her and that is something you don't get a say in.

 

I am the girlfriend in this situation, yet I agree with everything you said. Thank you for weighing in on this, I appreciate it. Yours is a perspective I need to gain a much better understanding of.

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I am the girlfriend in this situation, yet I agree with everything you said. Thank you for weighing in on this, I appreciate it. Yours is a perspective I need to gain a much better understanding of.

 

Ah, sorry I read it wrong.

 

Do you feel like their is any chance of a friendship between you and his friend?

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That is the problem with snooping...you think you 'know' because you saw this and that but all you 'know' is the tip of the ice-berg, because you don't 'know' what you didn't see.

I don't think either one of them mention me anymore.
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Ah, sorry I read it wrong.

 

Do you feel like their is any chance of a friendship between you and his friend?

 

Nah I was kind of vague, sorry.

She and I were friends, or friendly anyway - we're all in the same group of friends. Then this all hit the fan. I took her out to lunch to apologize face to face and that seemed to go okay. She showed up for my birthday (when my BF invited her anyway, along with the rest of the group). Sometimes she seems okay with me and other times chilly. I don't know what to make of it but it (i.e. her likely distaste for me and all the trouble this fight that I started caused) causes me such distress that I'd rather keep my distance to keep the panic at bay.

 

Before this relationship, I was in an abusive relationship for years. So, now I have PTSD and severe anxiety that basically stem from "I'm an idiot"/"I'm worthless"/"No one wants you"/"You're going to be abandoned and left without a support system" fears. I am working with a trauma counselor on all of it, but sadly addressing these problems makes the wounds fresh again, hence my post here I guess. Boyfriend and Female Friend know I am working through these issues. I dont know why he stays with someone like me.

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you have some issues that I can see

 

but a lot of the issues come from your BF

 

 

with your insecurity and his boundary differences, I don't know if this is the ideal relationship for the 2 of you.

 

Thank you. We are both trying really hard. I have PTSD and severe anxiety issues and this situation (looking for evidence that I am indeed unloveable, not good enough and that no one wants me) is unfortunately the main way these anxiety problems manifest themselves. I'm working with a trauma counselor. It's effing hard but I'm not going to stop trying to get better.

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with his lying and going to this female every time you fight, do you think that is good for you or your health. Even his friend said that he shouldn't be lying to you.

 

 

 

Its hard to judge..is he lying because he is hiding something or is he hiding it because he knows you are insecure.

 

 

I haave 2 female best friends and I make it known since day 1. but I also don't lie about hanging out with them either.

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Before this relationship, I was in an abusive relationship for years. So, now I have PTSD and severe anxiety that basically stem from "I'm an idiot"/"I'm worthless"/"No one wants you"/"You're going to be abandoned and left without a support system" fears. I am working with a trauma counselor on all of it, but sadly addressing these problems makes the wounds fresh again, hence my post here I guess. Boyfriend and Female Friend know I am working through these issues. I dont know why he stays with someone like me.

 

It sounds like your issues don't have much to do with their friendship. How are things going with your trauma counselor? It sounds like you have deeper stuff to unpack then their friendship.

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It sounds like your issues don't have much to do with their friendship. How are things going with your trauma counselor? It sounds like you have deeper stuff to unpack then their friendship.

 

I just started recently, so it's early stages but it's going. It's incredibly hard work, to the point where it's devastating some days (kiiiinda like today). It's so hard to tell what is a real problem (this?) and what is fallout from the trauma. That's why I came here to ask other people. My body and mind are so constantly in panic mode that it's very hard to tell. Everyone says "trust your gut feeling" but I think that is precisely my problem - my gut tells me that EVERYthing is out to get me and that EVERYthing is wrong.

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I just started recently, so it's early stages but it's going. It's incredibly hard work, to the point where it's devastating some days (kiiiinda like today). It's so hard to tell what is a real problem (this?) and what is fallout from the trauma. That's why I came here to ask other people. My body and mind are so constantly in panic mode that it's very hard to tell. Everyone says "trust your gut feeling" but I think that is precisely my problem - my gut tells me that EVERYthing is out to get me and that EVERYthing is wrong.

 

I'm so sorry you are dealing with so much panic. That stuff really wears you down.

 

Right now isn't the best time to make big choices. You are facing a bunch of garbage that is mixing up your insides in unpleasant ways. It's a lot of work and you are brave for taking it on. If you can let go of your fears about their friendship do it. Trust that if something is truly wrong it won't be able to hide forever. Now is the time for working on patching yourself back together. Now is the time for figuring out what you need and what you want. Focus on your work. The more you heal the less overwhelming this will seem.

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Exactly. Trust your five senses and facts, 'gut' can be way off. Use logic/common sense, not emotions to make sense.

Everyone says "trust your gut feeling" but I think that is precisely my problem - my gut tells me that EVERYthing is out to get me and that EVERYthing is wrong.
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Boyfriend and Female Friend know I am working through these issues. I dont know why he stays with someone like me.

 

Aw please don't say that. You may have some things to resolve yourself, but you are in no way in the wrong about this situation. Let me tell you a story: I once messed with this guy I met in school. He was known as a nice guy, but I knew I never wanted to be in a relationship with him. We did our own thing and were FWB for a short period of time while I was single. Everything worked out and things were civil.

 

Then I met my current boyfriend. We started to get to know each other and it seemed to be going somewhere, even though we weren't gf/bf yet. At that point, I wanted to say goodbye to my friend because I didn't want him interfering in my potential relationship at all, even though we had no feelings for each other whatsoever and I haven't seen him since I met my future bf. My friend kept initiating texts to me and I wanted that to stop.

 

I told my friend straight up that I met someone I really like and I didn't want to hang out with him anymore out of respect of my future bf's feelings, but if I happened to run into him at school or w/e then I hoped there were no hard feelings. Then my friend implied that I should keep him as a side piece and cheat on this guy that I like who I was thinkinh of making my bf. I told my friend to go fck yourself. Almost called the police on him for harassment before blocking him on my phone. I told my future bf what happened and that I was sorry if I made him uncomfortable at all. Then we became official a bit after that.

 

I mean, I knew that friend for years and I thought I trusted him. Despite that, I didn't want him around while in a relationship. I did it for my bf, your bf should at least do the same. He is being grossly inappropriate as it is and is not considering your feelings at all. He doesn't care.

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it's not your trauma response. he is a moron. she is taking the relationship temperature, hoping to see a crack in it because that always makes him run to her.

 

don't pathologize your boundaries, they aren't wrong. they are precisely what trauma survivors need to learnto state and reinforce, and to abandon whatever dynamics that don't allow for rules which support a healthy sense of self and the other.

 

you can't heal trust issues with someone who compromies trust by lying, going behind your back and manipulating two relationships to get an outcome most enjoyable for him from both, with no regard for the fact that outcome isn't enjoable to you.

 

have you brought this up with your therapist? do.

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