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AuroraWinters
04 Feb 2012, 01:08
I need some outside, unbiased perspective on a situation concerning my boyfriend. I am an active member on another forum, but the people who frequent that forum are a little more... well, "rough-around-the-edges"/jaded/a little angry about men... I know the immediate response from over there would be to "dump his ass" so I'm looking for a little more insight than that.

Long story short, my boyfriend of 9 months is still friends with a girl who he used to have a "friends with benefits" relationship with. She fell for him - he did not return the feelings. They stopped sleeping together, and a few months later, I came into the picture. They weren't even really talking when we started dating, but she was so upset that he was with me, that she forbid my boyfriend from ever bringing me into the bar where she works (the bar that he frequents as it's right down the street from his apartment). Eventually, I was "allowed" to go in with him on nights she didn't work, but have still not been allowed in the 3 nights a weeks she works. I didn't really care until I noticed he was bringing her up in conversation a lot - talking about how she took him shopping for pants, he was escorting her to her brother's weekend-long, out of town wedding, I noticed she was texting him all the time... Apparently, they reconciled their friendship, though nothing has changed in her childish behavior about me. I admit I snooped (once) to see if the texts were anything to worry about - they weren't - just her looking for attention, and he insisted the reconciliation was simply because she was part of his circle of friends and he couldn't just ignore her forever. I told him it was fine to be civil in public, but that the one-on-one meetings and large favors were inappropriate, considering the circumstances, and needed to end.

He agreed, and I attempted to ignore her continued presence (texts, her seeing him 2-3 nights a week at the bar after he gets off work, her showing up at the restaurant where he works to visit him, her buying him a semi-expensive Christmas present), but I finally snapped. I told him that her behavior was ridiculous and immature, and I wasn't going to humor it anymore. 9 months is more than enough time for an ex-"FWB" to get over the fact that she never dated someone, at least to the point where she should be able to handle me being in the same room. My boyfriend openly admits that she would NOT be nice to me if I was around, even though she has never even met me! It is purely from jealousy. I told him that she was blatantly disrespecting my position as his girlfriend by constantly pawing at him for attention and demanding that I never be around him at the same time that she is, and that by him going along with it, he was disrespecting me by default - that this was unfair to me and it needed to end. He promised he would do something about it...

But it's been 2 weeks (during which time, I know he has seen her at least 5 times at the bar) and he hasn't said anything to the effect that he's brought it up to her. My resentment of her and this situation has gotten to the point where I spend large quantities of my day thinking about how angry I am about it. The thing is, I am actually fine with never being around her (I now don't like her much more than she likes me), and I kinda wonder if I should just let it go since I know that nothing shady is going on... but the other part of me says that it's the principle of the thing - that my boyfriend should be sticking up for me rather than allowing some other woman to order around the boundaries of OUR relationship, and that if I'm not around her, it should MY choice, not HERS. Even my best friend, who originally tried to calm me down about her, has reached the point where she thinks this is all wrong. Should I just feel sorry for this woman, be the bigger person and let it go (especially since I don't really wanna hang out with her either)? Or should I talk to my boyfriend again and make sure the situation is resolved? How can I push him to make this right without coming across as nagging and insecure?

Really, all this drama isn't me. I'm not looking to start trouble, but I feel slighted when my boyfriend allows this woman to treat me like this and goes along with it for the sake of her feelings without considering mine. When we first started dating, he told me he didn't want to bring baggage into the relationship, but she has been nothing but baggage since the very beginning. I don't want to be this pushy, jealous girlfriend that demands he cut off a friend... but I feel like she's pushing me into it by being this pushy, jealous, ex-FB that won't keep her distance from a taken man.

Sorry for the super-long post, but I couldn't sleep without sending this problem somewhere out into the world for feedback! I'd appreciate any opinions and advice!

Tylluan Penry
04 Feb 2012, 02:26
Deep down I think you know the answer to this. He isn't behaving like a boyfriend, more like a Lothario who is flattered by having women put up with his bad behaviour. By all means allow it to continue but you'll hate yourself for it eventually.

He is not helpless in all this. Indeed I believe he is playing you both along on a piece of string - the puppet master in fact. He could put a stop to it at once. He chooses not to. So what does that tell you about him? Really?

And just in case you're wondering, - I'm not anti men at all. Mr Penry and I have been manacled together for many many years now and I love him to bits... but if he behaved like your boyfriend then he and his testicles would have parted company a long time ago....;)

perzephone
04 Feb 2012, 10:21
Be honest. First and foremost, any relationship that lasts the tests of time is a relationship with communication. Let him know how you feel and set your own boundaries. Some men sometimes need messages handed to them on the head of a sledgehammer in order to understand them, and words may not be enough. If you are tired of him being around this woman, make it obvious - either she will get tired of having to compete with you for his attention, or he'll show his true colors (if he is hiding any and not just that naive about women).

If you'd rather just maintain the status quo, or act out, find an 'old friend' of your own. ;)

Caelia
04 Feb 2012, 13:17
I've had to deal with something similar with AzazelEblis. It took me unleashing my inner diva to spell it out in a way that he understood. No, you shouldn't put up with blatant disrespect. It's clear like others said he enjoys the attention. If he can't figure out that he's in a relationship that no longer involves this chick you may have to let him go. Can you tell me you really have this much energy to keep devoting yourself to this drama?

I also hate to be the bearer of bad news, but you say it isn't your drama. It is. It directly concerns you. I highly doubt you'll have to confront the other chick, but it may resort to that because it looks like she's doing this just to get under your skin. Also, she may be doing this in hopes that you let him go and she then "has a chance". Someone needs to make it clear that it's over to her or to him. Ultimately it's your call how and to whom. You see what's going on, but you finally have to admit first that what you see is what you see.

habbalah
04 Feb 2012, 15:25
I agree with the others when they say he's probably enjoying the attention and flattered by the way his old flame is still fawning over him.

Like Perzy said, you need to set your own boundaries. If you truly would not feel comfortable with him continuing to be friends with this girl, you need to tell him that. The fact that he still is friends with a girl that he used to sleep with who is so blatantly disrespectful of you and your relationship is a huge red flag to me. Especially when he's aware of this but continues to see her and dance around her rules (you're not allowed to come into her bar).

Bottom line, if it makes you uncomfortable, you shouldn't have to put up with it. If he won't respect your feelings, then cutting him loose might be the best thing to do. You'll only become more and more bitter at the both of them the longer this goes on.

ConnollyCelt
04 Feb 2012, 15:36
I understand your views on drama, but as others have said you can not allow yourself to be disrespected like so. You are a human being, and if you are spending hours of your day brooding over how you are being mistreated then it is your duty to do something about it. You need to tell him. It seems he is not giving you what you deserve in a relationship and you need to tell him this.

You do not want to break up with him, so you must forge a compromise. Yes, he can be friends with her, but you are his girlfriend and your feelings should count for something. If he thinks your overreacting then explain to him how angry you are, and if in the end he flatly refuses to give you what you deserve then it really is time to drop him. You do not have to feel slighted. But you do have to feel content and happy, as that is what a relationship is for.

Good luck.

Medusa
04 Feb 2012, 22:54
I think when he said they were just friends with benefits he was bold face lying to you. He more than likely said things to her while they had sex to make her think he cared.

She has no responsibility to you. So everything you don't like that's going on, is his behavior.

Men never do what they don't want to do. So it seems he's doing what he wants.

thalassa
05 Feb 2012, 06:20
I was once in a FWB relationship with someone that I had *way* more than FWB feelings for, and I was a *total* bitch to his gf (not because of jealousy, but because *she* was a total bitch), when he ended up dating someone...so I think its perfectly plausible. I also think its perfectly plausible that she is going out of her way to sabotage the relationship and throw herself in front of him in the hopes that he gets over you and turns to her--I've known enough females that have tried the same tactics, or worse (I was in a sorority in college and the Navy for 6 years--after living with 40 other women for an extended period of time, I can only say that you are lucky she didn't sabotage the birth control to get pregnant to ruin his life and get a steady paycheck for 18 years). AND, having married the most clueless-about-women's-ulterior-motives man in the world, I can say that it is also perfectly plausible that he *was* totally clueless about her motivations and her agenda, or that he thinks you are overstating/overreacting because he really just doesn't see her that way.

But I don't know this guy...so I can't tell you how realistic that plausibility happens to be in your situation. What I would say is this...talk to him. If you don't have open and honest conversation, you can't have a healthy relationship. If you can't trust that he is telling you the truth, you can't have a healthy relationship. If he doesn't take your heart-felt feelings into consideration, you can't have a healthy relationship. BUT, he was friends with this person first--its sort of like the person with the asshole friend...the friend *was* there first. Having pussy doesn't change friend status--contrary to what some people think, guys and girls can be very good friends without sex, and even with/after sex (I got over my FWB thing, and we went back to just being friends quite well--once he broke up with the bitch and started dating a nice girl)...and to a degree, it might just be something to suck up. If they were good friends before the FWB thing, he might just be hoping she gets over him that way and they can go back to being friends.

The thing is though, you need to talk about the situation, and he needs to listen to what you have to say and talk back to you and you need to listen to what he has to say. There is no reason you can't go where she works, while she is working, and with him--that is just childish. Actually...I think you should go, as a couple...if nothing else, to prove a point. And I think he needs to stop going by himself when she is there...not because of how it looks to *you*, but because (if what he says is the truth) of how it looks to HER. If he's giving in to her, it looks to her like he's siding with her...and she won't ever give up that way, if he is unwittingly caught up in her scheme. And, if he *does* have feelings for her, or is playing you or both of you, then you should know so you can move on.

Dez
05 Feb 2012, 10:11
Something else to consider; say you two stay serious, and someday start talking long-term relationship. If he can't stand up to an ex now, what makes you think he'll stand up for you with his mother down the line?

DanieMarie
05 Feb 2012, 10:14
^^^

I'm going to have to go with what thal said above. I've also been on the other side of that situation in a way. I had a FWB thing with a very close friend of mine before I moved to Germany. We had been friends since we were 16 and had crushes on each other and had kissed a couple of times. But then something happened that I wont get into (it's super personal, and embarrassing) and it sort of ended it. I was really hurt because I really liked him. I didn't really expect a lot, because he moved to Alberta and I moved to Berlin, but I expected him to act better about it. Anyway we did patch up our friendship a few months later and stayed in touch while I was here. Then in 2008 he got a girlfriend. I was cool with it, but she wasn't cool with him still talking to me and I got a message a while later on facebook saying that he couldn't be my friend anymore and had deleted me off Skype and defriended me. Since we'd been through a lot as friends, it was really hurtful and it bothered me that she couldn't even handle a facebook friendship between us. I mean what threat was I? I lived halfway across the world! They broke up a few months ago and he and I are talking again, but it's not really the same. We're not close anymore. We lost that.

Anyway, he was friends with her first. I'm not sure how close their friendship was before they got involved, but if it was close, that might be a bit tough. A lot of people say stuff like 'he has to ditch her' but it's not that easy. Giving up friends, even for a serious relationship, sucks. And it sucks for the person who lost their friend as well.

I also agree with Thal that you have to talk to him about it. And I agree that she should get over your presence and you should at least be able to go to the bar she works at. Because that's really immature of her.

AuroraWinters
06 Feb 2012, 22:14
Thank you everyone for your replies! Especially this:


I was once in a FWB relationship with someone that I had *way* more than FWB feelings for, and I was a *total* bitch to his gf (not because of jealousy, but because *she* was a total bitch), when he ended up dating someone...so I think its perfectly plausible. I also think its perfectly plausible that she is going out of her way to sabotage the relationship and throw herself in front of him in the hopes that he gets over you and turns to her--I've known enough females that have tried the same tactics, or worse (I was in a sorority in college and the Navy for 6 years--after living with 40 other women for an extended period of time, I can only say that you are lucky she didn't sabotage the birth control to get pregnant to ruin his life and get a steady paycheck for 18 years). AND, having married the most clueless-about-women's-ulterior-motives man in the world, I can say that it is also perfectly plausible that he *was* totally clueless about her motivations and her agenda, or that he thinks you are overstating/overreacting because he really just doesn't see her that way.



This is pretty much how I see it. I do think he truly didn't see exactly how she was trying to manipulate her way into his life inappropriately, and I've had to explain to him straight-up that the things she was doing were specifically pawing at him for attention (and had to admit that I know because I've been that girl). He gets it now, but I truly don't think anything bad was going on - just that he was trying to keep everybody happy and not cause drama.

I do agree that she was his friend first... but I never had any problems with her continuing to be his friend until she started this... I honestly cut her a lot of slack at the beginning - he would call her crazy, and I would say "Oh, I'm sure she's not that crazy" (since, hey, guys exaggerate about how "crazy" ex-girls are), and I even said that we didn't have to go into the bar on nights that she worked. Then one of her guy friends tried to physically attack my bf when he brought me into the bar on a night she wasn't even there... and she didn't feel any sort of remorse for it, so then I started to get mad at her. I still didn't think much of it, because he wasn't really friends with her then. But when they started being friends again, she was just pushing it too far... the things she was doing and asking of him were not platonic forms of attention... Overall, what made me snap about her was that she was more or less trying to "borrow" my bf. She wasn't just wanting to hang out as friends occasionally or keep on good terms when they crossed paths, but she was wanting to hang out with him 2-4 times a week, specifically without me, even with group activities. If she is demanding that his gf can't be at the same group hang-out session as her because she doesn't want me encroaching on her time with my bf, that's not ok. If she can grow up, I have no issues with them being friends, but she's not acting like a friend - she's acting like an obsessed, jealous freak who's trying to separate me from my bf every chance she gets and weasel her way back in.

Bottom line is, if she can't respect me as his gf, then I can't respect her as his friend. I have done absolutely nothing to this woman - we have never even spoken, so she has no reason to hate me and not want me around except jealousy. If she is still that obsessed with my bf 9 months later, then I feel it's perfectly reasonable for me to be uncomfortable with her being around him.

Anyway, just a little more backstory and my thoughts on the whole friendship thing. I did talk to my bf the other night. I actually blew up at him over a misunderstanding, and found out he has spoken to her... He didn't tell her the details of why her behavior was not ok, but simply told her they weren't going to hang out anymore until I was allowed into the bar. She got mad, and apparently they aren't hanging out at the moment. I still am going to push to go in this Friday night since I've spent the last 2 Fridays sitting home alone after work, since I "couldn't" come to the bar with him. So, I'm going to push for that, and see if he really understands that he needs to stand up to her and "allow" me into a public place...

Again, sorry for the super long posts. Just wanted to update everybody who gave me such helpful advice! Thank you all so much again!