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Should my boyfriend have my back with his friends?


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My boyfriend and I are in our mid-twenties and first starting dating 10 months ago with a brief separation. When my boyfriend and I first began dating, a woman in his friend group (the girlfriend of his close friend) was openly against our relationship. I had been friends with her but the friendship dissolved because of the relationship. She became very vocal in bf's friend group about my recent family struggles making me too toxic of a friend to have around, and lied that I had a close friendship with boyfriend's ex and had betrayed the girl by dating him. At the time I had begged him to speak up about this not being true but he refused to get involved and this ended up causing our brief breakup.

We ended up reconciling and he was willing to see my side of things, but he still refuses to talk to his friends every time this girl escalates the situation. The girl and I had actually talked and she apologized about the false things she said, although she did it privately to me and my boyfriend. I've gone out of my way to be kind to her but despite claiming everything is fine, she continues to be hostile in certain situations. 

After yet another issue with her I finally asked my boyfriend to support me and tell her he wasn't ok with her behaviour. This turned into a big fight where he eventually talked to her days later. I also asked him to tell a couple other friends that there was more to the story than what this woman had said about me and our "fight". I never asked him to get into details but simply introduce the concept that I might not be the monster she painted me as. Once again, another fight where I'm being told that I'll never get over this, his friends weren't involved, etc. 

We're approaching fight number 3 in the last week about this person because I finally asked if he was going to tell his friend (the bf of this girl) that he didn't like what his girlfriend was doing. I'm frustrated because I feel like I shouldn't have to fight this hard for my boyfriend to have my back. I'm not asking him to cut these people out of his life or yell or swear at them, but simply say he doesn't approve of the way this girl is acting, especially when she's saying these things directly to him!

I realize that the original argument is dated now, but she continues to create new issues and it sucks to feel like my boyfriend doesn't want to help the situation. She's very good at putting herself in a victim role which is why I'm so stressed about the opinions of his other friends who have only heard her side. I care for him deeply and everything else has been so good, but his refusal to have my back is making me question our relationship. I've tried asking why he won't talk to his friends, especially when he agrees with me and doesn't like this person anyway. He always has an excuse and usually gets defensive and insulting to me. Am I expecting too much from him?

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7 minutes ago, abykann said:

He always has an excuse and usually gets defensive and insulting to me

I personally would not date a guy like this. 

It's only been 10 months. You've already broken up once, and there are still too many problems. Your boyfriend is part of the problem too, since he apparently sits on his hands and does nothing to support you, while being rude to you. 

Walk away, is my advice. This relationship is already off in the ditch. 

I am curious, though - why does this strange girl object to your relationship so much? Has she got a thing for your boyfriend and is jealous of you? Because that is what it looks like.

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28 minutes ago, abykann said:

 dating 10 months ago with a brief separation., a woman in his friend group was openly against our relationship.

Sorry this is happening. Does he have a thing for her? 

40 weeks dating is a good time to observe incompatibilities, red flags and deal breakers.

So far you've already broken up once and have chronic arguments.

Jump out of this catfight. Walk away from them.

Bickering about this woman is a symbol of bigger issues that you don't want to face.

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Hey abykann,

Personally, I have always felt gossip reflects far more on the person spreading it than the target of their ire. This girl clearly has an issue with you, and she is seeking to create drama. In my experience, that makes for some pretty boring conversation. Your boyfriend doesn't buy into it, and doesn't much care for her. Likely that is the wider friend groups take on the whole situation. Your boyfriend's approach of rise above may not only be the classic "bigger person" approach, but pragmatic as his friend group doesn't really want to engage in the drama. 

That said, you are entitled to stand up for yourself, and it is reasonable to expect your boyfriend to support you in doing so. This doesn't mean he has to fight that battle for you, but he should at least facilitate you in expressing your position in you so wish. Be aware of the risk that poses to your own position; it is possible that his friends will indeed think less of you for actually engaging with the obvious drama seeking behavior of this other girl. And indeed, it may influence your relationship if your boyfriend places a lot of stock in his friends opinion. 

Finally, this is a fairly common early 20s dilemma in my experience; a residual of the heady hormonal highs of high school. Honestly, I prefer your boyfriend's don't engage strategy, and have used it effectively myself in that period in my life. 

Good luck,

T

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5 hours ago, MissCanuck said:

I am curious, though - why does this strange girl object to your relationship so much? Has she got a thing for your boyfriend and is jealous of you?

This story is actually really complicated so apologies for the long read...In the beginning, it appears she disapproved of our relationship because of her friendship with my boyfriend's ex. I do know his ex, however her and I are far from close and I know very little about the girl personally. She was friends with various people in my bf's friend group so I'd run into her from time to time. The ex had actually been encouraging of us being together and suggested I "take him for a spin" on an occasion where she was spending time with his friend group.

Unfortunately this girl giving me trouble has a habit of assuming people feel the same way as her, so she actually began arguing with me that this ex, who I had maybe seen 3 times in group settings for the past 5 months was my "good friend" and was appalled that I would treat her this way. I later found out that this ex was clearly not over him, and these two girls both implied that I had betrayed their friendship by dating my boyfriend. I actually tried to discuss this with the ex because I was so confused, but the only thing she told me directly was that she felt "hurt I didn't tell her I was thinking about dating him because she would have been happy for me" while she told my boyfriend fake stories about my non-existent friendship with her and how betrayed she felt.

I originally thought that the girl believed the ex, however after discussing all of the facts with her, it almost seemed like she was the one manipulating his ex and egging her on to make up these stories. As of now, she claims she's staying out of our relationship and feels indifferent about everything that happened. But, she continues to exclude me from things while still welcoming my boyfriend, and claims it has absolutely nothing to do with our past issues. It's put a strain on things because I get along quite well with the rest of his friends and am trying to get closer with them. He never tells them the real reason I'm absent from certain things and he doesn't want me to rock the boat either. I feel like if he was up front with his friends they wouldn't be ok with the girl acting this way.

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6 hours ago, abykann said:

My boyfriend and I are in our mid-twenties and first starting dating 10 months ago with a brief separation. When my boyfriend and I first began dating, a woman in his friend group (the girlfriend of his close friend) was openly against our relationship. I had been friends with her but the friendship dissolved because of the relationship. She became very vocal in bf's friend group about my recent family struggles making me too toxic of a friend to have around, and lied that I had a close friendship with boyfriend's ex and had betrayed the girl by dating him. At the time I had begged him to speak up about this not being true but he refused to get involved and this ended up causing our brief breakup.

We ended up reconciling and he was willing to see my side of things, but he still refuses to talk to his friends every time this girl escalates the situation. The girl and I had actually talked and she apologized about the false things she said, although she did it privately to me and my boyfriend. I've gone out of my way to be kind to her but despite claiming everything is fine, she continues to be hostile in certain situations. 

After yet another issue with her I finally asked my boyfriend to support me and tell her he wasn't ok with her behaviour. This turned into a big fight where he eventually talked to her days later. I also asked him to tell a couple other friends that there was more to the story than what this woman had said about me and our "fight". I never asked him to get into details but simply introduce the concept that I might not be the monster she painted me as. Once again, another fight where I'm being told that I'll never get over this, his friends weren't involved, etc. 

We're approaching fight number 3 in the last week about this person because I finally asked if he was going to tell his friend (the bf of this girl) that he didn't like what his girlfriend was doing. I'm frustrated because I feel like I shouldn't have to fight this hard for my boyfriend to have my back. I'm not asking him to cut these people out of his life or yell or swear at them, but simply say he doesn't approve of the way this girl is acting, especially when she's saying these things directly to him!

I realize that the original argument is dated now, but she continues to create new issues and it sucks to feel like my boyfriend doesn't want to help the situation. She's very good at putting herself in a victim role which is why I'm so stressed about the opinions of his other friends who have only heard her side. I care for him deeply and everything else has been so good, but his refusal to have my back is making me question our relationship. I've tried asking why he won't talk to his friends, especially when he agrees with me and doesn't like this person anyway. He always has an excuse and usually gets defensive and insulting to me. Am I expecting too much from him?

I don’t see why you have to defend yourself at all or enlist a defender/your boyfriend to help you. They seem like a deeply judgmental, crass and toxic bunch of people themselves.

Your boyfriend doesn’t want to respond so quickly to the comments from his friend’s girlfriend because I think everyone is entitled to an opinion. He may even believe some of the things being said about you. That may be hurtful to you but it’s something to reflect on. You may be in denial that your boyfriend agrees with some of the things she says. 

I know you want to be part of this man’s life and his friend group but step back for a moment and reflect whether it’s the best choice for you. They don’t sound like a pleasant or respectful group of people. All it takes is one instigator and often people follow like a herd or are too scared to say anything different.

Unfortunately if the group has individuals who tend to follow rather than think for themselves what you have is… this. A very shallow group of individuals thinking homogenously. I’m sorry you’re torn. 

 

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Well, this woman is having a lot of success in tearing you and your boyfriend apart. That's her goal,. isn't it? The two of you are allowing her to reach her goal with the way you're fighting about her.

Why are you allowing her to ruin your relationship?

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6 hours ago, abykann said:

with a brief separation.

What was the brief separation about? Are those problems resolved? Are they related to this friend group and all the infighting?

Your BF is the problem. You can point fingers at this woman, but your BF and you have unresolved ongoing conflicts, including this one.

Step back and reflect if you want to hang out with a parade of his exes and whoever else he's been with and defends. 

You don't have to hang out with them and he doesn't have to explain anything to them about that. He seems like a divisive instigator. Reflect on that.

He's getting off on this catfight at your expense. Step away.

 

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Why are you doing this to yourself? You can't change your boyfriend into a better person or partner. You can't change a catty girl.  You can't change a group of friends committed to making you the bad guy. 

You don't have to beg true friends,or boyfriends to treat you right. 

The best thing for you is to accept  his true colors (as not being good enough for you) and move on.  Find a better guy with real friends.

This bunch sucks! And you're harming yourself the longer you deal with this. Do better as a true friend to yourself.  When someone shows you that how you feel doesn't matter, you dump them.  period.

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27 minutes ago, boltnrun said:

Why are you allowing her to ruin your relationship?

I actually very strongly agree with this...I genuinely think her goal is to have us break up but I'm trying my best not to blame her for my boyfriend's inaction. It would be so much easier to ignore her behaviour if it actually looked like my boyfriend disapproved of it to her or the rest of his friends...

I knew this girl pretty well at one point and I know if she felt any resistance on this behaviour she'd cut it out.

I'm trying to find any way to salvage this because I care deeply for him and his family and this has been are one main recurring argument.

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17 minutes ago, Wiseman2 said:

What was the brief separation about? Are those problems resolved? Are they related to this friend group and all the infighting

It absolutely was related to his friends and the fight. He did initially believe what was being said about me...but over time her story kept falling apart and he apparently can't stand the girl anymore and just tolerates her for the sake of his friends.

He seems to think that being silently mad at her is the best solution, but all I really want from him is for him to respond a bit more directly when she's being like this. Like when she lets him know I'm not invited to something because she "only wants close friends" at her large group outing I'd love for him to say "Alright, I hope you can understand that I won't be going if my girlfriend isn't welcome" instead of just "ok". He has been doing the right thing (e.g. not going to the event) but he doesn't say why to his friends and just acts like we aren't available. 

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5 minutes ago, abykann said:

I actually very strongly agree with this...I genuinely think her goal is to have us break up but I'm trying my best not to blame her for my boyfriend's inaction. It would be so much easier to ignore her behaviour if it actually looked like my boyfriend disapproved of it to her or the rest of his friends...

I knew this girl pretty well at one point and I know if she felt any resistance on this behaviour she'd cut it out.

I'm trying to find any way to salvage this because I care deeply for him and his family and this has been are one main recurring argument.

Who cares what it "looks like"? Why is this so important?

If your relationship had a solid foundation she wouldn't be able to break you two up. But you're focused on insisting he "back you up". The result is she WILL succeed in breaking you two up, which is what she wants.

Instead of insisting he speak to his friend (her boyfriend) about her, why not decide you're not going to allow her to destroy your relationship?  Decide what your goal is: to insist your boyfriend speak to his friend or to stay together.

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10 minutes ago, boltnrun said:

Who cares what it "looks like"? Why is this so important

I wish it wasn't so important, but I do value being supported in relationship, especially when I'm forced to interact with this person.

His friends mean a lot to him and I can tell he's upset when this girl creates issues within the friend group. It just seems like a no-brainer for me that he'd want to speak up about this.

I guess the reason I'm so dead set on him speaking up is because his lack of comment has been interpreted as agreement and approval of this girls actions by her and his friends. She literally uses this to justify why I shouldn't be bothered when she pulls some new stunt...because he doesn't seem too bothered by it.

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35 minutes ago, abykann said:

when she lets him know I'm not invited to something because she "only wants close friends" at her large group outing I'd love for him to say "Alright, I hope you can understand that I won't be going if my girlfriend isn't welcome" instead of just "ok". 

Your BF seems overly attached t the hip with his friends. That's about him,  not this woman. He's never going to become some knight in shining armor who defends you against a wicked witch.

You'll have to decide for yourself how long  you're willing to put up with him and his people and argue about it.

 He doesn't see you as long term. That's why he's not standing for you and not giving up his friends no matter how much discord there is. This is a relationship problem not a friend group problem.

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20 minutes ago, abykann said:

I wish it wasn't so important, but I do value being supported in relationship, especially when I'm forced to interact with this person.

His friends mean a lot to him and I can tell he's upset when this girl creates issues within the friend group. It just seems like a no-brainer for me that he'd want to speak up about this.

I guess the reason I'm so dead set on him speaking up is because his lack of comment has been interpreted as agreement and approval of this girls actions by her and his friends. She literally uses this to justify why I shouldn't be bothered when she pulls some new stunt...because he doesn't seem too bothered by it.

Then you two will likely break up yet again.

You both are digging in your heels and insisting the other one do something neither of you is willing to do.

I would stay broken up this time. It's not like this has been a long term relationship. And you've already broken up once over this, which proves you two are not on the same page.

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1 hour ago, abykann said:

Like when she lets him know I'm not invited to something because she "only wants close friends" at her large group outing I'd love for him to say "Alright, I hope you can understand that I won't be going if my girlfriend isn't welcome" instead of just "ok"

That is very different from expecting him to stick up for you when she is rude (which could be warranted but this is different).  Hard NO on your boyfriend going to any event without you where you are not invited because the person doesn't like you.  That's never ok IMO.  He has to show respect for his relationship with you and say "you don't have to invite her but then I won't be attending either."  Everyone knows if you just want close friends that's fine but their SOs are invited unless it's a gender specific outing which it isn't.  

If he says OK he is showing her that you are not important to him -her outing takes priority over his relationship with you.  It's not about asking him to stick up for you but for him to stick up for his relationship.

Please do not settle for this crappy treatment.

Edited by Batya33
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3 hours ago, abykann said:

I wish it wasn't so important, but I do value being supported in relationship, especially when I'm forced to interact with this person.

His friends mean a lot to him and I can tell he's upset when this girl creates issues within the friend group. It just seems like a no-brainer for me that he'd want to speak up about this.

I guess the reason I'm so dead set on him speaking up is because his lack of comment has been interpreted as agreement and approval of this girls actions by her and his friends. She literally uses this to justify why I shouldn't be bothered when she pulls some new stunt...because he doesn't seem too bothered by it.

He’s not who you want in a partnership. Don’t nag, plead, cajole. It’s unattractive and frankly beneath you. Only decide whether he’s the man for you. 

You may also want to consider birds of a feather… he associates with these individuals and this may not be your crowd. Drawing considerable attention to your issue with this woman makes you the crazy one in their group. 

Pick your battles and choose your company carefully.

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If you want to know who the man really is, take a good look at the company he keeps.

Your bf, sadly, values the company and approval of this harpy over you. Does it sting? For sure. Should you continue to make the mistake of fighting for this relationship and for his approval? Heck NO! Stop it, just stop it. Dump this loser because he IS a loser. Raise your standards above gutter level.

OP, the longer you stay, the more you argue and fight over him, the lower your self worth and self esteem drop. Value yourself more than this. When a dude shows you so clearly that you are just the good for now chick, DUMP HIM! Yes, I'm yelling because this is a frustrating thread to read. Do not ever stoop so low as to get into a fight over some sausage. It should be beneath you. Do not sit there and fight for his approval and attention or argue about how he should stand up for you. IF he actually cared about you, IF he respected you, you would not have this argument at all. His friends would not dare say a word wrong about you. They are literally sh$tting on you because behind your back, that's what he is doing as well. His friends are reflecting like a mirror what he thinks of you.

Please for the love of....find your self worth and dump this loser with extreme prejudice.

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I truly appreciate everybody's input and suggestions. As much as I hate to see it this way, I may have to give up on making the relationship work. We're meeting to discuss these problems and I want to make it clear that his support is an expectation for me, I don't think I'm asking for very much. If he can't provide that, it looks like we're at the end.

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1 minute ago, abykann said:

I truly appreciate everybody's input and suggestions. As much as I hate to see it this way, I may have to give up on making the relationship work. We're meeting to discuss these problems and I want to make it clear that his support is an expectation for me, I don't think I'm asking for very much. If he can't provide that, it looks like we're at the end.

Why do you continue to put it on him and make it his decision, when in fact, it should be yours.  YOU need to make a decision on whether his behavior and the way he has treated you is good enough. Speaking for myself, I would have dumped him long ago. Don't play second fiddle and don't place your agency into others. Decide for yourself if this is acceptable or not and if not, boot him. Stop negotiating.

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5 minutes ago, abykann said:

I truly appreciate everybody's input and suggestions. As much as I hate to see it this way, I may have to give up on making the relationship work. We're meeting to discuss these problems and I want to make it clear that his support is an expectation for me, I don't think I'm asking for very much. If he can't provide that, it looks like we're at the end.

Why are you going to repeat that and why in the world shouldn't it be obvious to an adult who wants to be your partner that he should decline an invitation you're excluded from out of spite? She's not his mother or a close family member or his boss -where there might be a stronger obligation -he chooses to attend a gathering you are excluded from out of spite.  It's insulting to both of you to have to communicate that.

I would say "you have chosen to hang out with people who deliberately exclude me and that  is a dealbreaker for me.  I'm going to set you free so you can be with your friends."

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57 minutes ago, abykann said:

I want to make it clear that his support is an expectation for me,

Haven't you already told him this? Didn't you already break up before over this very same topic?

I'm curious to know why you believe this relationship is worth you trying to save it. And "Well, other than him blatantly allowing his friends to disrespect me, our relationship is great!" seems kind of weak, TBH, because it seems these friends are more important to him and it seems he spends a lot of time with them.

I dated a real turd years ago, but one thing he did do is not allow his friends to break us up. And his best friend tried. Oh, did he try! But my boyfriend at the time dug in his heels and basically told his friend "She's not going anywhere. So you can deal with it or not, your choice."

Edited by boltnrun
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