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Help me get over this.. jealousy over boyfriend's female friend


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Good morning everyone,

 

This is something that has plagued my mind from the beginning of this relationship.

 

I met this amazing man almost a year ago. We had an instant connection like I haven't felt with anyone in years. We've quickly become best friends and head over heels in love. He treats me amazingly well, and his love for me shows in everything he does.

 

I seem to have a pattern of being really unsure for a long time in relationships, feeling like I'm not good enough and being suspicious why my partner wants me. It doesn't help that I've been burned and fooled badly a few times and as a result I'm just highly skeptical especially when things are what feel "too good to be true".

 

So very early on when I met my boyfriend, he told me about a girl who used to be his best friend. At this point (at the time he described her to me), they had recently just started to talk again (couple months before I came into the picture) after having not spoken for what he says was a period of three years.

 

Right away he divulged that after over 15 years of friendship, they had ended up having a brief (couple of months according to him) sexual relationship. He also described that they had always just been friends before, even sleeping next to each other in the same bed ( apparently he even did this during his 9 year relationship he was in) and nothing ever happened, but then they made the leap one day. He said they "didn't want to label it anything incase they would ruin their friendship"...

 

I came to learn later on that this girl had become a problem during his 9 year relationship, according to him his ex was "insecure and jealous of her, so he had to be a bad friend and stop seeing her".

 

The part that is bothering me the most is that he told me after the 9 year relationship ended, after 10 months of splitting up and him being celibate that entire time, he slept with the best friend... Ultimately proving his ex girlfriend's fears were founded.

 

Now according to him that was about three years ago, so you can figure out that whatever their falling out was, it happened around the time they were sleeping together and then they had no contact until a couple months before I came along.

 

At one point early on my boyfriend was pushing for me to meet her which I told him I wasn't comfortable with. He eventually dropped it. As of now, I don't know if they are still in contact or not.

 

Now I feel extremely insecure about this, that I am his second option because he couldn't be with her (after three years of not talking, she is now engaged) and my fear is she is in the back of his mind as the one he really wanted, but couldn't have so he went out and then I come into his life.

 

We have talked about this before and he tells me that I have nothing to worry about, and that she's not really in his life anymore but I worry that they have some lingering feelings there that keep them connected (he admitted they both had feelings at the point where they were sleeping together).

 

I can't shake this feeling like I could be a second option to him, and I don't know if it's all in my head, or if I should look at what happened after his last long term relationship and think maybe that could happen to me?

 

I'm so sorry this is so long guys, and if anyone has taken the time to read all this I truly thank you and appreciate your time and hopefully some advice to what I should maybe do about all this? I want to be with him and feel secure. Right now this whole thing has me feeling very guarded with him and I'd like to let it go if I can....

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Now according to him that was about three years ago, so you can figure out that whatever their falling out was, it happened around the time they were sleeping together and then they had no contact until a couple months before I came along.

 

This blows your theory right out of the water.

 

They were both single, they were sleeping together and they still did not make it work and wanted to go their separate ways.

 

To be honest, it sounds as though whatever they had, was out of convenience and not this big love story your anxiety is making up.

If it had been so great, they would have remained together.

It wasn't great, it didn't work and your boyfriend sought someone else out who would be a more suitable and better partner than this person.

 

You have to find a way to let it go.

 

I would agree that your boyfriend really should be keeping her at an arms distance and not have her in his life, or very minimal contact (maybe once a year if that to say Merry Christmas or something like that) but this girl sounds like she's been disruptive in his life.

Although to be fair, her having an fiancee really does change that dynamic completely and I seriously doubt she would ever be a threat.

Though it would be awkward to say the least for you to all meet.

 

Either way, talk to your boyfriend if and when that time comes around.

But for now, let it go. It wasn't a huge romance at all.

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Please make your relationship boundaries clear now before investing further. In my opinion, when they crossed the line from friendship into being intimate, even if temporarily, that changed everything, and how I would deal with this situation.

 

Decide now if this is a dealbreaker for you or not, if they stay in contact. Since I'm not a person who would be comfortable with them communicating at all, I would tell my partner: Male/female friendships have a different dynamic, and now she's your ex. Even if you never have sex with her again or flirt, I'm not comfortable with you staying friends. If you choose to stay in contact with her, then I'm afraid your boundaries don't match mine, and I'll have to move on.

 

Because really, what does he get from this "friendship?" He doesn't go to dinner with her. You're not going to double date with her and her husband. Why is it so important for him to stay in touch to say what? Hello, how's your day going? Isn't it more important to invest one's emotional energy with a buddy you can go hiking with and to go have a few drinks with?

 

Their past emotional connection makes for a rife environment for when either of them experiences relationship problems, they may seek out each other for comfort.

 

My husband and I also discussed other relationship rules when we got together, that we can't give out our phone numbers and contact info to opposite sex, potential new friends. If he didn't share my goals, I would've stopped dating him. Other couples might be more free spirited and open to opposite sex friends, and that's their choice, and fine because they both agree.

 

It's okay to have your own standards, and don't feel like you have to accept your boyfriends way of operating within a relationship if you're not comfortable with that. If you're more upset than satisfied in a relationship, it's the wrong relationship for you. No matter how much you love someone, if they don't match you in all the major ways, move on so you can find someone who does match you.

 

Have that discussion before you waste any more years living a life that has your gut roiling. Good luck and let us know how it goes.

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Thank you very much for your answer. I have been battling with if this is a deal breaker for me for a while, as I know ultimately it's my problem.

 

As far as what he's told me, he doesn't have her phone number or anything like that. They are friends on Facebook and he says they've only shared a handful of messages on there since she came back into his life a couple months before I showed up. He claims he hasn't received or sent any messages in months and has no reason to.

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If she's not that important, why was he pushing for you to meet her? Sometimes guys reveal these things because they want to hide in plain sight. When you see activity, he'll say: I told you blah, blah, blah.

 

Tell him you don't have exes on your Facebook and you don't feel comfortable with him doing that. If your relationship is more important than having an ex available to message, then he likes to keep his past squarely in his grasp, to access when he desires. You'll get all the feedback you need by his reaction to explaining your boundaries.

 

When you're in a relationship, you can't just operate as though you were single. You're accountable to your partner. You're not being unreasonable in your discomfort. Follow your gut, because it rarely will steer you wrong.

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Sorry to hear this. Keep an eye on this. He needs to make up his mind with this on/off ex. Why is he making your relationship about her? The fact that this 'friendship' broke up his last relationship is a red flag. There is nothing wrong with you and you don't have a problem. He and this excessive attachment is a problem. Don't meet her and stop discussing her.

I came to learn later on that this girl had become a problem during his 9 year relationship, according to him his ex was "insecure and jealous of her, so he had to be a bad friend and stop seeing her". At one point early on my boyfriend was pushing for me to meet her which I told him I wasn't comfortable with.

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I was wondering why it was so important I meet her, so I asked one time after he mentioned it for like the third time. He said "because you two are alot alike and have a lot in common, and talking to her may help you understand me more" I'm not sure what exactly was meant by that, but I guessed it meant because she was his best friend for so long she could tell me a lot about him?

 

Obviously one of my fears was the hiding in plain site thing, but I honestly just feel like it's not my place to tell him to unfriend her and remove her from his life. I was kind of hoping he would just decide to do that himself, which I guess he doesn't feel is necessary to delete her... He just stopped talking to her? And again it makes me uncomfortable that he doesn't just go ahead and do it, but I really feel it's not my place to ask him to remove her from his life.

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I always wondered why he even would bring her up at all to be honest... She had only just recently returned to his life after three years of nothing, then he wants me to meet her? I just don't see how any of that was a good idea. Why tell me about this girl within the first few days of knowing me and admitting right off the bat there was a sexual relationship?

 

To be honest as soon as he told me about her, I knew it would be a problem, but I had just met him so I figured I'd let it play out and see what happened. I wasn't expecting him to want me to meet her...

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She should not be part of your relationship. You have good instincts that this is off, don't falter from that or let him gaslight you into thinking this three is a crowd situation is normal. It seems he's making you feel like a substitute because he can't have her.

 

No, you can't tell him who to talk to be friends with etc, however you can stop letting her be part of your life. You don't even know her and don't need to. This comment is quite twisted. You don't need an instruction manual from a lover to "understand" him. He threw away a 9 yr relationship for this lover. Why deal with this?

He said "because you two are alot alike and have a lot in common, and talking to her may help you understand me more"
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Exactly, that ALWAYS bothered me, along with his admission that they still continued to sleep next to each other in the same bed even while either one was in a relationship ... That really bothers me. He also said something like we would have sex and then one of us would start dating and we would stop having sex with each other. He makes it sound like it went on for a lot longer than what he admitted at times... That's another thing that's off about it. So at this point, she is still a friend on Facebook, although according to him they don't talk and he basically ghosted her last message and never responded. Again, I feel like I can't insist he removes her... Although there are lingering fears in my mind why they both continue to be connected through Facebook.

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You can't insist he remove her from his life but you can remove yourself from his.

 

No need for an ultimatum, just state calmly that you aren't comfortable with his continued connection to this woman and if he chooses to continue it's fine, but you will not remain in the relationship.

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Sounds like this guy likes to triangulate women and enjoys the ensuing drama and jealousy that creates. If I were you, I'd keep an eye on that tendency, because if it's not this girl, it may be some other girl down the road.

 

I think you should sit down with him and have a serious conversation about relationship boundaries and opposite sex friendships in particular and see how he responds to that. Don't talk about this girl, talk about YOUR boundaries and expectations and see if he can agree or compromise enough to make things work with you. If not, walk away.

 

Overall, I don't think this particular girl is your problem as such. It's the guy who is shady. Being in a relationship and sharing a bed with his female friend? I dare say most people would find that this crosses all kinds of lines and basic boundaries even if they are all for opposite sex friendships at large. It's not a necessary friendship activity...or even a common one and he chose to do it anyway even though it was causing problems with his relationship. I think your alarm bells are going off for good reason, except the culprit is him, not her.

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If he really isn't talking to her, should I continue to be concerned? I guess she could always reach out to him again in the future.

 

This was all mostly happening in the first few months of our relationship and he did drop it after about the fourth time saying he wanted me to meet her, I expressed that I had already told him it made me uncomfortable and that it wasn't going to happen.

 

I didn't hear about her again until around Thanksgiving he said he wanted to let me know she had reached out to him and thought he should tell me. It appears they had a brief conversation and that was it, according to him. It was at this time I clearly told him I don't feel comfortable with their communication over Facebook, and he said he would stop talking to her. From that point on, I've been under the assumption that they still are not talking (haven't asked about it since then)

 

Should I still be concerned? How should I proceed?

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I would be concerned about his sense of boundaries in a relationship.

 

He told you that the two of them shared a bed when he was with his last girlfriend. Does he appear to understand why most women would not be okay with their boyfriends doing so, or does he still see this as un-problematic behaviour?

 

I too would be bothered by his insistence I meet her to understand him better. To me, that is something that unfolds naturally in a relationship and is not really the role of a friend he hadn't even talked to for years. I read that more like he wanted to see her, and hoped if he invited you, you'd meet her, like her - and perhaps be okay with them rekindling their friendship. Could that be harmless? Perhaps. But given their history, I would have reservations that he still might not exercise appropriate boundaries. It largely depends on whether or not he gets (in hindsight) why his cozy friendship with another woman could make a girlfriend wary.

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Can I ask how old you guys are?

 

I can see this a few different ways. Let's start with the (somewhat) generous one. I get the impression that this friendship and connection, with all its blurred lines, is important to him. It also, perhaps, is a source of some shame, sadness, and confusion—not in the sense that he still has "feelings" of the sort that you're jittery about, but just that it exists as a point of reckoning in his life, something that has been both sincere and shady. Per his own words, it is a friendship that wreaked some havoc in one relationship.

 

So before he even knew you existed he may have been asking himself questions along the lines of: Can he and this friend be "cool" again? Can this friendship and a new relationship coexist in a way that is "cool"? Can he still be friends with her and not be a shady dude? To kind of test that out—clumsily, mind you—he tells you about her early, since she's reentered his life, trying to present it in a non-threatening way. He didn't want to be shady, so he puts it out there. He asks you to meet her so it's not an issue.

 

Trouble with all that? Well, it all still borders on shady. It is asking a lot of someone—asking, in ways, that you do some of the growth he may need to do. More trouble? It creates a kind of dynamic, right off the bat, where you're thrown off-kilter, where he is cast as the "dangerous" dude who may seek out nebulous attention. Given some of the details he's told you—sharing a bed with her platonically while dating someone else—it is impossible for you not to suddenly ask questions about his character, his own boundaries, or lack thereof, and how that will affect you. But given that all this came up early, you didn't really have a chance to process how it all made you feel, sincerely.

 

How to deal with all this? Along with others, I think you just need to have a clear talk, now that you've processed this a bit, about your own boundaries—namely, that you aren't comfortable with this connection, that it limits your ability to keep building a secure connection with him, in the way you need. Put that out there as a fact, not a judgement. Then listen to what he says, and listen, in ways, to how you two discuss this. Can you come to a legit compromise on this that works, or not? The answer to that question will let you know if you can continue exploring the romance, and your gut will answer it.

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If he really isn't talking to her, should I continue to be concerned? I guess she could always reach out to him again in the future.

 

This was all mostly happening in the first few months of our relationship and he did drop it after about the fourth time saying he wanted me to meet her, I expressed that I had already told him it made me uncomfortable and that it wasn't going to happen.

 

I didn't hear about her again until around Thanksgiving he said he wanted to let me know she had reached out to him and thought he should tell me. It appears they had a brief conversation and that was it, according to him. It was at this time I clearly told him I don't feel comfortable with their communication over Facebook, and he said he would stop talking to her. From that point on, I've been under the assumption that they still are not talking (haven't asked about it since then)

 

Should I still be concerned? How should I proceed?

 

See that's kind of my point - triangulating. He literally has no reason to bring her up, especially if they aren't really talking and he is not doing anything inappropriate. It might be mild, but he is trying to stir the pot with you. Should that tendency of his concern you? Yes. Again, it's not about this girl, emphasis added, it's about this guy you are dating and his behavior, his need to stir the pot and triangulate women even mildly so.

 

Do not talk about her. Do not even bring her up. Do discuss boundaries. At the heart of all this it comes down to can you ever trust him or will you always be looking over your shoulder wondering what's up with him?

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We are 34(me) and 35(him). I feel like everything you wrote it's exactly how I've felt about the entire thing from the start.. As I said in my last response, at this point it has been since about Thanksgiving that these two have had any contact. I haven't asked about it since then, but around Thanksgiving was the point he had told me he will stop talking to her.

 

I didn't ask him to delete her from Facebook,I was hoping he would do that himself but he hasn't which is one of the main things I'm wondering about ... Maybe he can't let go of a chance that she may be back in his life at some point?

 

I really agree with what you said Ankur trying to make everything "cool" , there could be two scenarios there why he'd want that. Either so he can hide in plain site, or he genuinely wanted to rekindle this friendship and have me involved?

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I always wondered why he even would bring her up at all to be honest... She had only just recently returned to his life after three years of nothing, then he wants me to meet her? I just don't see how any of that was a good idea. Why tell me about this girl within the first few days of knowing me and admitting right off the bat there was a sexual relationship?

 

To be honest as soon as he told me about her, I knew it would be a problem, but I had just met him so I figured I'd let it play out and see what happened. I wasn't expecting him to want me to meet her...

 

I read the entire thread and I think dancing fool says it best, he is the problem. Not the woman. And I also agree, he might get some kind of ego boost from the triangulation.

 

I quoted you above, brcause this is your gut speaking to you. Your true feelings are your first reaction before your concious mind aka ego can start distorting it. You struggle because you love the guy and you want him to choose you over her, but you fear he wont.

 

You are limiting your place and stifling yourself, letting this impact your self esteem. Making this woman better than she is. She was FWB on and off. And next time they are both single, they will be again.

 

The only solution is to take a chance. Put your heart and feelings out there and discuss it. My advice is to pick a good time. Don't lump this in with some other argument etc.

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He clearly has boundary issues. If he was sleeping with another woman while in a relationship and defended it as friendship, etc. Even though she is engaged, I think he is prepping you and defending/justifying contact with you/giving you fair warning about this. Engagement doesn't matter with people with poor boundaries - they could still be speaking with eachother inappropriately - oversharing about eachother's relationships with eachother. My ex was talking to "the one that got away". She was describing sex she had with a guy and even was to the point of having two kids wth a guy not married to him and my ex only finally stopped talking to her when he was upset he wasn't invited to her wedding. I never met her, btw.

 

I would say no thanks to this since i was through something like it and had to be cool about it, but its up to you.

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Yes, the trust is the big issue. I need to find within myself if I can move past all this and just trust him. Yes it does feel shady, some it the behaviour. It's hard to ignore some of it.
I advice against you finding a way to be ok with it, without including him. sometimes we sacrifice a piece of ourselves for another person without them knowing it.

 

While there are instances where this is a true act of love, shouldering something for someone"s benefit. However, i don't think turning a blind eye to another woman falls into the same category. In time you will resent him over this and he will be blindsided, which makes you both wrong.

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I want to discuss it but I'm not sure what to say, how to approach it without causing any drama between us.

 

Keep it simple and direct. Say something complimentary about how happy you are with him and this relationship and that since things are progressing nicely, you'd like to talk about relationship boundaries and be sure that you are both on the same page about it to prevent any potential hurt, confusion, and conflict down the road. Then explain to him what your boundaries are - like no ex-fck buddies on your phone or social media, and whatever else you want to say. Think about it, make a list, be sure it applies to you too. Then listen carefully to how he reacts.

 

You can say your peace as calmly as you like, but you don't control how he responds. If he is on the same page, then there shouldn't be any fighting or tensions between you. Rather the opposite, you can put this whole thing that's eating at you to rest once and for all. However, if he gets upset, turns this into a fight, starts talking out of both sides of his mouth.....you'll have some hard decisions to make about this relationship.

 

Don't be afraid to rock this boat because he has already been rocking it for a long time and it needs to be dealt with. You can't continue in this relationship while this keeps eating at you as that alone will doom the relationship. You've got to clear the air one way or another here.

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Be here, done that, got the T-shirt.

 

I'm sure they will sext down the road when she or he needs to stir drama up in life. It's a compartmentalizing thing. What you are seeing is just the tip of his iceberg. His need to self-sabotage will never change until he figures out why he does it - and no, it's not up to you to have him figure it out. He's gotta do the hard work on his own.

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