Q. I fell in love with this amazing guy whom we do almost everything together, feeling lost when we are always around each other and almost everyone around knows we are dating and seriously in love. I give him all the space he wants and also encourage him to spend more time alone with his buddies but I’ve started noticing he doesn’t update or carry me along anymore about his activities.
He prefers being intimate with one of his friends and they do almost everything together (he isn’t a gay though, cos his friend is married) but the guy has great influence over him than me.
I’ve sat down to discuss this with him severally and it almost resulted in a quarrel. He changes today and the next time he starts again with him. I’m tired and planning on giving up on the relationship. I’ve stopped picking his calls but he still calls and sends txt messages that he’s worried about my silence. I picked one of his calls where he asked what my reasons were and I told him that we’ll talk about it later on. I really don’t want to say things that the blame will be on my path or maybe he begins to feel I’m biased with his friend.
Please what do I do? I’m confused.
A. Dear Confused,
In my opinion, you are very much on the right path ending the relationship.
It is easy to keep a relationship together in the good times, it is the challenges or red flags that determine the true viability of a relationship. You have two major warning signs here, one that you are feeling as if the friend has greater influence with your boyfriend than you and the second is that you are unable to register a complaint with him without it being turned back on you. Both of these issues create unhealthy relationships.
First, you need to trust your instincts!
The sense is that something is not right about how your boyfriend puts his friend on a pedestal. It doesn’t matter why, it just matters that you don’t feel right about it. Trust yourself. The truth is neither partner should feel second to anyone or anything. Over time, if we are taking a backseat anger and resentment grows eroding the viability of the relationship. There are no excuses, the person either wants to be in it or doesn’t, they either want to give 100% or they don’t and I strongly suggest you don’t settle for less. We all deserve better.
The other issue is in your last sentence, if you are blamed for having a concern then you have a far bigger issue than the friend.
In all relationships, a person should be allowed to express an opinion or feeling without being blamed or victimized. Not only will issues never get resolved because it is always “your fault” this is also a form of “gas lighting”.
Gas lighting is a powerful form of abuse, which over time breaks a person down to start believing they are the problem. It undermines self-trust and creates self-doubt, it weakens a person. In all healthy and happy relationships, there needs to be great communication and problem-solving skills. It is easy to keep things together when everything is good, the truth of the partnership shines when challenges are presented.
You deserve a lot better than what you are getting from this person so please trust yourself and find someone who listens and values you above all else.
Take good care,
Cynthia Pickett, LCSW