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So... she has a new "guy friend"


chrisrad
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My girlfriend recently befriended a guy at work. A little backstory, we've been together 6 years, have two kids, live together, etc... Anyway, so she went to a company bbq a few weeks ago and this guy gave her a ride home. I thought nothing of it. Next day, I see them talking after work in the parking lot. He takes off when I get there to pick her up. I thought it was a little shady, but again, I just blew it off. Next day I come to get her for lunch, he's there again but this time not working. He is just there to see her or check his schedule or whatever it was. This time she introduces me to him. The next day, she is supposed to get out of work at 10, I was at a meeting til 10, she said she would just get a ride home and meet me at home at 10:10 or so. I say fine. She doesn't show up til 6AM! And this guy is bringing her home. So now I am FURIOUS. I was actually outside waiting because I was up anyway since our daughter has to be to school at 7am. I confront her and she says I am blowing it way out of proportion and that he is just a friend and nothing happened yada yada yada. So I confront the both of them. They both ademantly deny any physical contact or anything like that. So now I am just feeling like a psychotic, controlling, untrusting boyfriend. I reassure myself that nothing is going on seeing as as far as I know, she has never lied to me in the past or given me a reason not to trust her. She claims that he is just a good person to talk to and that he is fun to hang around. Well, that doesn't sit too well with me. Keep in mind now, that I am not even allowed to talk to old friends that happen to be girls over the internet. A girl I went to college with 4 years ago, who lives 1000+ miles away and we NEVER had an interest in one another, sent me an email just saying "hi" and I was told to tell her it would be best if we didn't communicate. So I had to end that little ordeal. So back to she and him-- I told her it makes me VERY uncomfortable that she goes to visit him in his apartment...ALONE at night. She said to me, "I am not going to stop talking to him. You have to trust me." Trust or no trust, I am uncomfortable with it. I asked her if I could at least hang out with him and her other friends from work and she does not want me to go. She says she doesn't want conflict between him and I. I assured her there wouldn't be any because hey- You two are just friends, right? Still no dice. They talk on Instant Messenger and he is always saying stuff to her like, "I hope I can see you" and crap like that. She says he only says it because I read her conversations. Ok yeah, I snoop. But I am just trying to protect myself from getting hurt. Now how in the hell do I approach this from here? I've told her it makes me uncomfortable and that doesn't matter. I won't play eye for an eye and go find some girl-friend to hang out with. That's just not my thing and in my eyes will only cause more problems. I just need some GOOD advice right now.

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Either you trust her or you do not. Period. Perhaps she is getting concerned about living with you, having children who see her living with a man she is not married to - and the impact that might have on your children -- and finds herself searching for something more stable although she is not cheating. It has nothing to do with this particular guy but it does have to do with her. Even if she has only platonic feelings for him - and she is allowed to have friends, of course! -- this might be a good time to discuss your relationship- don't your kids deserve to grow up in a home where their mother and father are married to each other so that it will increase stability? I do make it a rule to have my boyfriend meet my male friends or at least I offer him the opportunity and vice versa - that way everything is above board.

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We planned on getting married soon. Marriage is definitely not the issue here.

 

OK good. I would have a calm conversation with her where you explain that you think it is appropriate that if she wants to be friends with a man, that you get to spend some time with him too, and that even though you completely trust her, that she might give him the wrong impression if she spends all night with him and that could make for an unpleasant situation for her. It's fine to say you're not comfortable with that - a little jealous - but you have to stop short of trying to control her.

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Well if my partner came home at 6am in the morning with another guy I would be peed off. There is a line somewhere between trust and burying your head in the sand. If you had just blown off the 6am home time then I'd have said your head is in the sand.

 

All the other things seem to add up to something, the IMs, the socialising, his hanging around etc.

 

I am not saying she is having an affair, in some ways that seems unlikely. But she is flirting with something, something sounds like it is brewing. You guys need to talk about it and set some boundaries you are both comfortable with around her interaction with this guy.

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Ugh. That sucks, chris.

 

How is your relationship otherwise? I'd guess you two have been having problems or feeling distanced for a while?

 

Personally, I'd be less concerned about my partner having an opposite sex friend than about some of the other behaviors you've described. Like, the fact that she's staying out all night without checking in with you, and is disregarding your feelings when you're expressing them to her. Both these things show a certain amount of disrespect to you and your mutual relationship.

 

It sounds like the two of you are in need of an honest relationship assessment, because loosing respect for your partner makes having a healthy relationship difficult. Are you respectful of her wants and needs when she expresses them to you? Are the two of you able to talk openly and honestly about difficult subjects? Look closely at your own behavior first.

 

Good luck!

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Chris, I hate to say this but your girlfriend sounds like a controlling, hypocritical woman and something that rhymes with "ditch". You have to confront her NOW and tell her to stop seeing this guy. Hey, she won't even let you EMAIL a past female friend of yours. She's testing you, Chris and she knows you're willing to take a lot of crap. The fact that you have two daughters is the only thing that's an excuse for trying to fix this relationship. Otherwise I would tell you to move on and find a lady who actually treats you like a man and not a doormat. Stand up for yourself and tell her to stop seeing him. If she breaks up with you, consider it a blessing in disguise.

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Trust me on this, ive been through it... do trust me.

 

You tell your girl that you love her, and that you have been more than accomidating when it comes to you not talking to your female friends. You realize that she has the right to have friends outside of you, but there is a line drawn to be drawn, relationships have boundaries. She has the right to whatever friends she wishes, hang out with whoever, wherever she wishes. HOWEVER you are simply unwilling to have a girfriend/wife/fiance who thinks it ok to spend the night at another mans house. This is single behavior, not the behavior of someone who is in a commited relationship. F* the trust, its about respect, and she is not respecting you at the moment. Not in the slightest.

 

If it were me I would pretty much lay down the law, and tell her (in polite terms) that its either put her friendship with this troll into persepctive or she can forget about you. I would bet my left testicle that she slept with the guy the night that she showed up at 6 am. And even if she didnt, how would she react if the situation were reversed... you know that it wouldnt be pretty bro, so dont let her turn it around on you. And she really needs to be more concerned with your feelings, and your relationship than this guy, and "not having conflict".

 

If it were me, id be ready for a real big conflict, either the guy goes, or I go. But thats just me, ive been down a similar road, and Im NOT going down it again. Ever.

 

Theres a big difference between you telling her she cant work, or cant leave the house, or cant have ANY guy friends (thats controlling), Or you simply asking that she not spend 10 hours alone, in his house, without you around, and refusing you being there. Dont be naive, dont be 'trusting' dont try to be the cool boyfriend that lets her do what she wants. You know what you expect in a relationship, and this isnt it. If this is the kind of thing that she is gonna think is ok for the next 20 years, maybe its best you found out now.

 

As far as the trust thing, when she says ya its ok that I spend the night at his house, you just have to trust me, were just friends. Simply tell her, and Im your boyfriend and you should have enough respect for me, not to put me in a situation where I have to put my trust in another man. Talk about putting the fox in the henhouse... that whole situation just reeks of potential (more likely real, current) trouble.

 

Put your foot down, nicely at first, but however you must if you have to.

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Spot on, Rabican. I feel very strongly about this too because a friend of mine went through the same crap and he just lost all his self respect and the respect of his friends and family by putting up with her cheating. There was no real proof, no hardcore evidence (pun intended). But we all *sensed* it was happening and guess what, we were almost right. His girlfriend didn't actually sleep with the guy until one day after breaking up with him. Almost like she timed the whole thing. But the only reason it got so far was because she convinced him into believing that he was the controlling one.

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Spot on, Rabican. I feel very strongly about this too because a friend of mine went through the same crap and he just lost all his self respect and the respect of his friends and family by putting up with her cheating. There was no real proof, no hardcore evidence (pun intended). But we all *sensed* it was happening and guess what, we were almost right. His girlfriend didn't actually sleep with the guy until one day after breaking up with him. Almost like she timed the whole thing. But the only reason it got so far was because she convinced him into believing that he was the controlling one.

 

I know my stuff, what can I say.

 

The only person controlling anything here is her. Shes controlling him when it comes to his female friends. And shes controlling the tempo when it comes to a very innapropriate friendship with this guy (hereafter named Troll).

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I completely agree. The out all night aspect is fundamentally disrespectful, and all the more galling that she's out with some guy who she's behaving oddly about. This is no ordinary friendship, and whether they have become physical or not (yet), it is a definite threat to the relationship. She is behaving appallingly.

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I completely agree. The out all night aspect is fundamentally disrespectful, and all the more galling that she's out with some guy who she's behaving oddly about. This is no ordinary friendship, and whether they have become physical or not (yet), it is a definite threat to the relationship. She is behaving appallingly.

 

Yeah tell me about it. I am not at all comfortable with the situation. She worked all day yesterday for 10 hours. Came home around 11pm and immediately got on the computer and started talking to him. It was all bs talk with nothing personal, but it aggravated me since she hadn't seen me all day. I told her I was going to bed in 10mins trying to give the hint "hey, come to bed with me". I layed down, and she didn't come. I gave her 10mins, I got up, and yanked the cable modem out of the wall and disconnected everything. She got PISSED and threatened to walk out of the apartment. Everytime I ask her what makes him more important than me, she has no answer or says that he isn't. She also keeps telling me to let things work themself out. All the while I feel like I am being hoodwinked. She knows I made this post here and she read the replies. She thinks nobody here knows what they are talking about. The only post she didn't tear apart was the one where the lady said I need to stop being controlling and to trust her. I keep trying to explain to her that it's not the fact that she has a guy friend but the circumstances surrounding it. If you want to be friends with some guy, that's fine. But go about it a different way.

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She knows I made this post here and she read the replies. She thinks nobody here knows what they are talking about. The only post she didn't tear apart was the one where the lady said I need to stop being controlling and to trust her. I keep trying to explain to her that it's not the fact that she has a guy friend but the circumstances surrounding it. If you want to be friends with some guy, that's fine. But go about it a different way.

 

So how on earth does she rationalise the not coming home? Could it be that her values are that different to yours and you hadn't picked up on that? What if you had done the same thing to her?

 

You have some issues here that are far more than merely having a friend of the opposite sex:

 

1. She stayed out all night and didn't tell you that (a) she was going to, or (b) where she was. This is pretty poor regardless of who she was with or where she was.

2. She did the above with a guy, which most people would find inappropriate given #1 above. And it's not like they are old friends and you have been given the chance to get to know him or trust him.

3. The guy she stayed out with seems to have been prioritised too highly for your comfort in general (eg the contact after work, the messaging).

4. She allows him to disrespect the relationship by saying things in messages to get a rise out of you (assuming she's telling the truth on that).

 

When you enter into a committed relationship, part of that commitment is to protect your relationship, and to build walls against those forces that might endanger it. She is not doing that, she appears to be inviting the threats in. And you have children! What if there had been an emergency that night she was out and you couldn't get in contact? I think her behaviour is irresponsible and she needs to get a grip about what is acceptable behaviour.

 

Have you had a more calm conversation about your relationship generally and what each of you need? It is fair enough for you to state your needs and state what is acceptable to you. She might also have needs she feels you aren't fulfilling, which is partially why she's rebelling like this. You don't have to agree with her but it might help you understand the situation better and find a way to engage with one another. It seems you need to negotiate an outcome here that's separate from those painful 'you shouldn't do that, it's wrong' versus 'no it's not wrong, you're paranoid, trust me' type arguments.

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You have a few options.

 

Agree to disagree, in which case you will probably grow to resent her and her behavior when this continues. In the meantime she will probably grow more fond of this guy than she already is. You will continue to be 'hoodwinked' as you called it. One day you will get up and either itll all be over, she moved in with him, or youll find out she cheated.

 

Decide that one good turn deserves another. Call up any and every female friend you have ever had, and go visit them. She has to trust you, dont listen to her crap about its not right, you cant see your friends. After all you are just friends, so go spend the night at some chicks house. Yer just talking anyways... nothing is gonna happen right... *rolls eyes*

 

Sit her down and just tell her that your version of a relationship, and hers are not the same thing right now. You feel that she is being disrespectful and dishonest and that is not something you want to deal with. You can either work it out or end it. Try to draw up a compromise about this new guy:

 

1. She can remain friends with the guy

2. She cannot spend the night at his house

3. You should be allowed to spend time with 'them', to get to know him

4. He should not be sending 'flirty, or dirty' text messages or emails, thats innapropriate.

5. If she is going to hang out with him, you should know where, and when.

6. The where, and when should not involve a motel, apartment, locked doors or alcohol.

7. For your part, if she agrees to the above you will not be hanging out alone with your female friends.

8. You remain in the relationship, and endure their friendship but keep your head out of the sand so to speak.

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I would strongly advise going with option #2 that rabican suggested. #1 is of course totally out of the question unless you want to have your heart broken. As for #3, it only works with logical people who know what they're doing is wrong. She doesn't sound like such a person. It can backfire because if you attempt to compromise or discuss with her, it shows that she has bargaining power and she doesn't deserve an ounce of that power. Morals are on your side, use it. The worst that can happen is that she abandons you and your kids. Better now than 5 years from now. I might get flamed for this but some women don't think logically. I know you're just weighing the pros and cons and trying to figure out the best way both of you can be happy but that approach requires her cooperation and you WON'T get that. She isn't thinking with her brain, she's thinking with 'that down there'.

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Chris -one word-mindf***!!!!!

Or better still -HYPOCRISY.

It reminds me of my ex. If I were you..and I know it's always so easy to say it from the outside looking in..but walk away you deserve a lot better and her behaviour is very very suspicious. And even if she's not doing something wrong...she's not being fair with you..she should understand why this bothers you especially considering her high standards she set on you!

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I personally agree it's ok to have guy friends, and hanging around them is perfecty fine, but once you start paying more attention to the guy friend than the boyfriend, then there is a problem. Trust goes a long way, but coming home at 6 am without an explanation doesn't sound right. I think that it's not right that the whole situation is spun against you. You are together for a pretty long time, so out of respect things like that shouldn't happen. I would recommend listening to see what's going on and find out if there's something she doesn't feel comfortable telling you, but can tell the guy friend, but personally I think the behavior is inappropriate.

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What makes it even scarier is that you say she read this thread and the subsequent replies.... and STILL thinks that what she is doing is acceptable.

 

No offense to her or her perceptions of reality, but alot of what people are suggesting is common sense, relationship courtesy. If she can't understand that, I'd seriously begin to question whether or not YOU should even bother with her.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Another update--

 

So Friday night it was that guy's birthday. I was actually invited to go out with them to the bar. So we got a babysitter for the night and we went out. It was a group of us (not just the three of us). The night went pretty well. Him and I talked a little bit (albeit drunk ) and he didn't act like anything other than a friend towards her. Hell, he even bought me drinks on his birthday. But that's neither here nor there. In a way, it kind of showed me how their relationship is outside of work. And the fact he was trying to pick up women kind of clued me in on the fact he wasn't interested in my woman.

 

One thing I did notice though, is that he is VERY clingy and emotional. We got home and there was 10 messages on my voicemail. All from him begging for someone to come over and help him since he was drunk and alone. I wish I had saved them and transferred them to the computer so I could post them on here, lol. They were actually kind of funny some of them. But, I get the impression this guy is very lonely. He even wrote that in one of the messages he sent her. He was saying how he comes home every night to an empty apartment with nobody to talk to. All his family lives in another state. And as for the emotional part, the littlest thing sets him off. For example, her sister came in to see her at work yesterday, and he went up to her and asked her if he could be introduced to her sister. She said to him, "You're not THAT great of a guy..." He got pissed at her and wouldn't talk to her the rest of the time she was there. Its like he is bipolar. Sometimes he is nice and pleasant and other times he is pissed at the world for no reason. Or for reasons that wouldn't bother most people. It kind of scares me because I think he is emotionally attached to her now. And if she ends up having to sever ties with him altogether because of his incessantness, then I am afraid for her safety. I try to explain to her, that once there are emotions involved, it is difficult to maintain a 'friend' relationship. She seems to think that women are in control of any relationship and that it will only go as far as she chooses it to go.

 

Anyway, I am pretty much over the thought of her 'cheating' on me. I guess it still makes me jealous that she talks to him though. The idea of another guy taking time with her away from me sucks. And the fact that between her working a lot and me running around all day with the kids, it really only gives me about two hours with her a day (when we wake up and go to bed). But anyway, we are on the road to recovery. We had a good family day yesterday and I guess she wants to go out again next weekend with me (not with the other guy though). So I guess I'll just have to wait and see what happens.

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In my past similar situation I went and hung out with the guy, went target shooting, spent a couple of days with him and thought ah hes not so bad after all. seemed like an ok guy. The first day I wasnt around with him and my girl together things went VERY BADLY. We ended up breaking up afterwards, and later got back together. She is no longer in contact with him, and if she so much as emailed him i would end our relationship....

 

The point is, it sounds good for you but dont put your head in the sand. I would still be totally against my girl hanging out alone behind closed doors with another guy... thats just me some people are ok with it, i am not.

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In my past similar situation I went and hung out with the guy, went target shooting, spent a couple of days with him and thought ah hes not so bad after all. seemed like an ok guy. The first day I wasnt around with him and my girl together things went VERY BADLY. We ended up breaking up afterwards, and later got back together. She is no longer in contact with him, and if she so much as emailed him i would end our relationship....

 

The point is, it sounds good for you but dont put your head in the sand. I would still be totally against my girl hanging out alone behind closed doors with another guy... thats just me some people are ok with it, i am not.

That's the thing. I am NOT okay with it. It kills me. We have a damn family and it's just plain inappropriate. They laugh at me behind my back because I am so protective over her. Or "controlling" as they call it. They treat me like I am the third wheel. She tells me to leave him alone... and he tells me that what they say to one another is none of my business. I told him point blank in a message today that if he can't respect the boundaries of my relationship than I cannot respect his friendship with her. Even though I really won't respect it anyway because it still puts me in an unfair position. My biggest issue here is that I cannot just walk away from this relationship. I have too much invested with her and I love her to death. I would do anything for her and she knows that. I think she even uses it as leverage. But at the same time I cannot just sit here and let her walk all over me and disrespect me. She throws it up in my face all the time that I talked to my ex-gf after she and I started dating. And yeah, I even visited my ex-gf a couple times. But that was almost 6 years ago and I was just a kid myself at the time. I was 20 then and I am 26 now. Not to mention since then, anytime she has asked me to sever ties with a female I have done it. Even females that live 1000+ miles away who are in relationships themselves. And its funny because I tell her that I will start hanging out with girls and all of a sudden she doesn't care anymore. Hmm...

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I think you have all the information you need in that last post. It doesn't really matter whether she is hanging out with some other guy or not. She is simply not respecting your wishes at all. She *knows* you will do anything for her and, so, she can get away with whatever she wants. Also, this particular guy seems a bit unbalanced... I imagine that in his need to have company, that he will not respect anyone else but himself.

 

That said, you *need* to make a serious decision on whether to put this to rest.. or stand up for yourself. Either way, you need to prepare yourself for the consequences of your decision and be willing to own them. You are straddling the fence, and it's not going to do you or your relationship any good.

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I think you have all the information you need in that last post. It doesn't really matter whether she is hanging out with some other guy or not. She is simply not respecting your wishes at all. She *knows* you will do anything for her and, so, she can get away with whatever she wants. Also, this particular guy seems a bit unbalanced... I imagine that in his need to have company, that he will not respect anyone else but himself.

 

That said, you *need* to make a serious decision on whether to put this to rest.. or stand up for yourself. Either way, you need to prepare yourself for the consequences of your decision and be willing to own them. You are straddling the fence, and it's not going to do you or your relationship any good.

Well, I have a deadline in my head. I am not going to push the issue with her anymore. She's knows how I feel about this. I have made it abundantly clear. I have never asked her to do anything like this before and its the one and only thing I have asked of her. If she can't accommodate me on this one thing by the time I have decided on, she will come home from work one day and my things will be gone. The only contact she will have from me will be regarding the kids. It's a last resort, and I don't want to do it, but I have a life to live too and I don't want to go through it being disrespected and second fiddle to another guy. I regret deeply anything I ever did to hurt her in the past. I know sometimes people like to play the whole eye for an eye thing. Difference here is I don't want the kids to suffer because of it. And it shouldn't be an excuse for her actions. If she wants to remain friends with him AT WORK and talk to him outside of work on the phone or computer on OCCASION that is fine with me. I can make that compromise. But hanging out with him alone at his apartment is still inappropriate to me. No matter how much they try to reassure me nothing is going on. Are there any females on here that can agree with me on this? I know men are usually more protective of their females than the other way around. I just want to hear it from a female's point of view.

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and he tells me that what they say to one another is none of my business. /quote]

 

Id walk right up to the guy and tell him i was sorry to announce that his friendship with my girl was over, starting now. If he had anything to say other than Ok sir have a nice day... id lay him out. You tried to be nice about it, you tried explaining it, if your girl and him are not willing to respect your feelings about this, in fact they are making you feel like the 3rd wheel so to speak... something is going on behind your back. I dont think either of them would be acting like this if the friendship was innocent.

 

I would be checking her phone, email acct etc. to find out if I was just crazy, or if theres more going on. That said however, the flat out disrespect by this guy would demand a man to man confrontation by me.

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Id walk right up to the guy and tell him i was sorry to announce that his friendship with my girl was over, starting now. If he had anything to say other than Ok sir have a nice day... id lay him out. You tried to be nice about it, you tried explaining it, if your girl and him are not willing to respect your feelings about this, in fact they are making you feel like the 3rd wheel so to speak... something is going on behind your back. I dont think either of them would be acting like this if the friendship was innocent.

 

I would be checking her phone, email acct etc. to find out if I was just crazy, or if theres more going on. That said however, the flat out disrespect by this guy would demand a man to man confrontation by me.

 

Yes, I suppose I'd end up doing something like this, too. Actually, I would have done it the night she got home at 6 AM.

 

But...is this going to solve your problems? I don't think so. It would just make you feel good...for about half an hour.

 

In my opinion, for your girlfriend to be doing something like this, your relationship must have had some pretty serious problems already. For example, the fact she forbids you to communicate with other women. Now, it does sound like she's being controlling and unfair there...however, I can't help but wonder if you two have had a volatile relationship for some time now, based on trust issues you both have.

 

It seems to me you have two choices. One, lay this guy out. And possibly end up going to jail for it. Or two, tell your girlfriend it stops right now, you two go to counseling, or you're out the door...for good.

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