The creation of security within the boundaries of a relationship should be a major priority between partners. When this security is breached or not given the attention due it allows distrust, doubt and anger to creep through the door and settle into your relationship. I was with someone who had a lot of friends, particularly of the female persuasion. The issue wasn’t the gender of some of his friends but more so the way the relationships were presented and handled at least in my eyes, I’m sure he would beg to differ. When I brought this to his attention, his stance on the issue was that they were my insecurities to deal with and had nothing to do with him. I wasn’t completely sold on his position, but did partially agree as I believe my personal insecurities within myself are totally my responsibility to work on. But insecurities felt in the relationship that were based on things he did or said had more than a little to do with him and vice versa. I will admit that I may have over reacted slightly to all of his female friends initially, as I allowed my past experiences to guide my thinking many times in the relationship, but none the less I had some real concerns.
My ex had one female friend in particular, let’s call her Fern, that sent my cheating radar into alarm mode. Granted I never found out they were anything more than friends but the entire situation didn’t sit well with me. He initially told me they were just friends, but I found out later that they had been in a sexual relationship years prior, he still had photos and video of her in his phone, would pick her up from work and he texted or talked to her constantly. When I began acting suspicious, I was made out to be the irrationally jealous girlfriend that just didn’t want him to have any friends, which wasn’t true at all, I just didn’t want the secrets that came along with these relationships. This led to me looking at his other relationships with a bit more side in my eye because I wondered about what else he was hiding. I’m not really the type to have a huge issue with my boyfriend having friends of the opposite sex as I do as well. But I am a huge proponent of knowing exactly where the relationship stands and expect honesty. If you are having similar concerns, I would suggest speaking to your significant other, communicating your concerns and ask them to do the following four things then watch for changes.
1. Be open and honest: Had my ex disclosed the fact that he and this woman were more than friends in the past I may not have had such an issue with their friendship, but I felt that pertinent parts of their relationship were kept from me purposely and it made me extremely suspicious. I understand that the past is the past and had their relationship remained in the past then fine, but she was still in his present. You shouldnt have to feel as if you are being naggy because you ask questions about a relationship if they be reasonable and it shouldn’t be like pulling teeth to get a truthful answer. Honesty should always be extended in regards to legitimate concerns. Relationships are all about communication, if one party feels as if that communication is one-sided it will only cause them to shut down, leave or continue the relationship in doubt, which only ends badly.
2. Include you: if your partner and this person truly are ‘just friends’ they shouldn’t have an issue including you in their discussions or outings if that’s something you’re comfortable with. When you enter into a serious commitment, the dynamics of your other relationships are bound to change and not necessarily for the worse, who knows you could gain a new friend out of the deal. There were times when if I was at my ex’s house and he got a call from someone who asked what he was doing, his responses would never include me, except for with certain people in his life. He was very selective about who knew we were together and who didn’t and I believe that Fern happened to fall into the latter category. Had I been included in their discussions I would have felt somewhat more comfortable and not as if he was hiding the fact that we were together from her.
3. Be present: If your significant other spends tons of time on the phone or texting their friends everytime you are together, you’re bound to feel slightly neglected or at least slighted in some way, unless you’re doing the same. I can recall a time when we were watching a movie together and he was constantly texting Fern. Instead of focusing on our quality time he was focused on her, telling her how she would like the movie, sending memes and other messages but when I got upset and called him out about it, he saw nothing wrong with his actions.
4. Put themselves in your shoes: I’m sure if the shoe was on the other foot, your significant other would feel some type of way, unless they really don’t care. Unfortunately, I often learn from making mistakes and am a pro at playing tit for tat and I began doing many things to spite him. Many of the things he did, I became guilty of and them some. Since he would constantly chat with his female friends, I began to engage more and more with my male friends (some of who I knew wanted more than a friendship), I would talk to them constantly, go out with them and entertain talk that I probably shouldn’t have. It got to the point where I would actually be on my phone more than he was when we were together towards the end of our relationship. This is not, I repeat not the correct way to let someone know you want them to know what you feel. This only created a deeper divide between us, it was childish and unnecessary because it exacerbated the real issues we had.
Hope this helps someone!