Today’s question is one that has plagued each one of us women, at some point or another of our love lives – how to deal with a close female friend of our man, who we don’t feel comfortable around.
- Should we share our discomfort with our man?
- Should we play the “cool” girl and pretend everything’s ok?
- Should we put our foot down and say in no uncertain terms that we won’t “tolerate this?”
Rebecca is in a similar situation, and it’s driving her crazy. Here’s her question to me:
“Hi Sami. There is something that REALLY bothers me. My boyfriend has a close female friend that makes me really uncomfortable. They have known each other for over 10 years now, and he spends so much money on her. And each time I bring this up, we fight, he says she is very important to him, and he will not give her up because she has always been there for him. I can really understand that, but why would she not be there for someone who is constantly buying her expensive presents? I sent him a text today sharing my discomfort with him, and got an accusatory text back saying I was jealous and I have to pull my socks up and be more grown-up about his friend. I realized I was pushing him a bit too much, so I wrote him that it’s all good and I love him and it’s fine. In response, I got even more rude messages back from him telling me that he is tired of my jealous bouts and cannot trust me anymore. I am at my spirit’s end. Please HELP ME! Thanks and much love, Rebecca.”
Rebecca, first of all, a big hug to you.
Your letter feels very triggering to me. I am going to be straightforward here, so don’t read ahead if you don’t want to…
Now that you’ve decided to read this, then first go back and read your own letter to me.
Do you notice how confused you sound?
But the confused part is okay. We all feel confused at times.
To me, it feels like an oscillating pendulum, swinging between extremes.
At one moment you find it unacceptable that your boyfriend has close proximity with a female friend who he spends so much money on, and in the next moment, you text him, “it’s all fine and I love you.”
And then you express surprise and shock at his stream of accusatory messages towards you.
Let me get this straight for you, Rebecca:
# Relationship Reality Check 1
Every time you take a stand like that with a man (it’s a choice you made to share your discomfort about the woman with him, and I LOVED that bit of your confidence), you have to STICK TO IT.
You have to fully embrace your “bad” feelings around this woman, and give them respect over and above any reasons your man has to offer to you for his friendship with this woman.
Like a broken record, you have to go, “I don’t feel comfortable around her.”
# Relationship Reality Check 2
You cannot change your version from one moment to the next into – “It´s all fine and I love you.”
Why would you say it’s fine, when you know it’s not fine for you that he spends so much money on a supposed female friend?
When you do something like this, not only does your man sense your discomfort and insecurity around your own feelings, he also takes you less and less serious.
When you yourself don’t take your feelings and your own stand seriously, he has no reason to take you seriously either.
And the worst part of it is:
# Relationship Reality Check 3
Repeated incidents like these reduce our man’s attraction for us.
You made an active choice to share your dislike of the friendship, and it’s fair and it’s what I would have encouraged you to do too.
But you backed out on your stand the very second he sent you a text that told you he was sticking to HIS stand.
Again, it is his choice, and I have respect for him at this moment – for sticking to his truth.
Your choice, on the other hand, Rebecca, was to decide if you want to spend the rest of your life with a man who values his friendship over and above you, your feelings and his relationship with you.
Instead, you followed your insecurities, you ignored your own feelings, and you apologized to him.
Frankly, and it hurts my heart to say this, but I am not surprised that what followed from him was a series of messages that were accusatory in nature.
As harsh as it sounds, this is human instinct.
When men feel in our “vibe” that we treat our own selves badly and as less important, they feel alright with doing the same.
And that’s what’s happening between the two of you right now.
What is done is done (and if you are wise and self-serving, you will take this an opportunity to learn and not beat yourself up about it).
But for next time Rebecca, please be less “urgent” in your reactions. Seek a girlfriend to get clarity on your own ideas if you must.
If I were you, Rebecca, I would respect myself in the situation, and not get further and further trapped in having “discussions” with a man who is giving you a clear sign that he is not at the place of commitment that you would want him to be.
I would simply not invest myself further in this relationship.
There are so many men out there in the world who would be READY to give you exactly what you want.
And yet Rebecca, this will only solve the current situation and prevent a further downward spiral with THIS man.
If your self-esteem is inherently low inside (I sense it to be), these patterns will repeat themselves in whatever relationship comes up next again.
I don’t know how old you are, and what your life story is, but I highly recommend you prioritize building your inner confidence and sense of self worth.
In my free, confidential relationship support group on Facebook (link in my bio below), I offer tonnes of motivation and free expert advice – join us!