dear sharideth: is my friend making a mistake?

Dear Sharideth,

I have a friend that has been dating a guy for a couple of months. They’re both insistant that it was love at first sight, etc. Normally, I would be concerned about the speed, however, this particular friend is very responsible and guarded about dating and has been single for almost 5 years because of it. I get that she can’t help who she loves, so I’m not going to jump her case about the speed. I believe she knows what she is doing. Now to the problem:

This guy has a female best friend. That doesn’t really bug my friend, but he told her he and the best friend dated for a while back in the day. Apparently, he has mentioned this several times. Before the guy and my friend started dating, the best friend planned a trip to come and stay here for a few days at the guy’s house. She is now married and has her own family. My friend has a problem with the ex staying at her boyfriend’s. My friend proposed a compromise asking if the ex could stay at a hotel; there’s one at the end of his street.

She broke down in tears because he is completely unwilling to listen to her on this matter. The ex didn’t book her flight until the day after my friend ran out of his house crying. The guy told the ex to book the flight anyway. On the one hand, I think my friend is somewhat justified here. On the other hand, she assures me this is not a trust thing with the guy, it’s just that she doesn’t know this girl so maybe he’s right. Not sure. Thoughts?

Thanks!

Trying to Help

dear TTH,

i know there was more drama to your question, but i had to edit for length.  sorry.  i will take the rest of it in consideration when i answer though.  cool?  cool.

this is one is pretty easy for me.  he doesn’t respect her feelings.  any woman, neurotic or reasonable, would be weird with another woman, especially an ex, she’s never met and constantly hears about coming to stay in her boyfriend’s house for any amount of time.  the fact that he won’t (not can’t, big difference) see how not cool this is, just makes the whole thing pretty cut and dried for me.

he’s not over his ex.

he’s willing to hurt his girlfriend in order to hang with the “best friend”.  that speaks volumes.

there are options to make this whole situation less weird and more happy-making for everyone.  he’s just not willing.  he’s not willing because he’s got issues that the girlfriend is either unaware of or only suspects.  either way, her well-being is not his first priority, the ex is.

booo!  hisss!

i’ve been the friend coming to visit, though never to an ex’s house, and i know it can be done respectfully, where everyone is comfortable.  this isn’t that.

this whole thing feels really off to me.  add in all the other drama, and it’s Lindsay Lohan off.

he’s not as in to this relationship as you friend is.  i don’t care what he says.  real men in love, don’t do this.

oh so sincerely,

sharideth

guys, i’d really like your thoughts on this.  would you do this to a girlfriend?

ladies, would any of you be okay with this?

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19 comments on “dear sharideth: is my friend making a mistake?

  1. Dude is a tool. Drop him like a hot potato.

    Granted we readers didn’t get all the drama, but the dude is being a jerk.

    Also, the “friend” is married?! Let me get this straight.. a husband let his wife FLY somewhere to visit a “friend” who she dated in the past and stay at his house? Uh, I don’t think so.

    Sounds like bad juju all around. Get out while the getting is good.

  2. If I was in that situation the “best friend” would be at a hotel or staying at a friends house. If my girlfriend had any problems with it, there is no way the “best friend” would be staying at my place.

    Sharideth, your advice is right on. He’s not over his ex. It is possible that he doesn’t realize hes not over her(guys can be idiots at times) but clearly if he is prioritizing her over his girlfriend then it’s a major issue.

  3. jennw2ns says:

    Well put, Sharideth-and-guy-commenters. Feels to me like this scenario is also a “test” of how “cool” the girlfriend is . . . and not a valid or respectful or self-sacrificing one.

  4. Rachel says:

    Okay, I HAD to comment. Almost this EXACT same thing happened to me years ago with my “first love.” It, too, was practically love at first sight, and we were crazy about each other. About two months into our relationship, he let me know that an old friend was coming to visit and would be staying with him. I let him know how uncomfortable I was with that, but he went ahead with their plans anyway. [Side note: This was when we were in college, so they would be sharing his dorm room. And what’s more, (this was me pre-saving grace) we were practically living together, so that meant that he was not just letting her stay in his room, but he was leaving my apartment, where he had been staying for weeks, to go stay with her “so she wouldn’t feel uncomfortable and alone.” Uh, how did he think I was feeling?

    Anyway, it wasn’t until she arrived that a friend of mine mentioned in passing that she couldn’t believe I was so cool with his ex visiting. I almost had a heart attack. When I confronted him about it, he played it off like he was sure he had mentioned that fact and that I must have just forgotten. Not likely!

    Anyway, the whole weekend was awful and did major damage to our relationship, sowing seeds of hurt and distrust that only brought more pain the longer we stayed together. It was awful, and if I could go back and do anything differently, it would have been to walk out right then. Your friend is worth more than that. If he can’t realize that and choose to do whatever he must to put her first (in this not-unreasonable expectation), he has no business being with her. He is not caring for her or her heart, and if he is willing to do something so potentially hurtful this early in the relationship, I would say his love and respect for her is not enough to build a trusting relationship or future marriage.

    Tell her to run! If he truly loves her, he will choose her over his ex and seek to understand her heart and do what is right to honor her. If he is not willing to do those things, no matter how “great” he seems, he is not demonstrating real love and will likely only bring her more hurt in the future.

    • Jess says:

      Isn’t it tough to have this kind of perspective in real time? Women are so often stereotyped as crazy, neurotic bitches, that when the fella is genuinely in the wrong, he can use our fear of becoming insanely unreasonable against us. Then you swing the opposite way and try to be the cool, understanding girlfriend, and you’re really just being played.

      Talk about sowing seeds of hurt and distrust! Not only in this relationship, but in future ones as well.

      • Rachel says:

        Yes, if I only knew then what I know now. All the times I settled for less than what a relationship should be. Ugh! And you’re absolutely right, the worst part is swallowing your hurt because you are afraid of being seen as “jealous.” I finally learned that a certain jealousy is a good thing. Yes, there are a very few neurotic girls–and guys!–out there who are insanely jealous everytime their significant other speaks to someone of the opposite sex. But by and large, we are given those feelings to let us know when danger is present. And we should want to preserve a good relationship from harm. If nothing else, jealousy should lead to communication and mutual understanding.

        Well, I am thankful at least for all the learning that has come with my mistakes.

  5. Exes are bad news. Friends can be too. With my ex, I had a huge fight over meeting with a (girl) friend on my birthday, while not inviting her. It’s obvious to see why she was upset, but we were toward the end of a relationship and she was upset (sometimes even rightfully, like here) every other day. I honestly didn’t see why meeting my friend was such a big deal to her. I only later realized how I put her before my girlfriend, which is bad no matter what the situation is. I would indeed say it’s a bad sign he’s not listening to her (for whatever reason), but having an ex involved doesn’t make it better.

    I am quite surprised how far you drag this though (also goes for commenter #1). I mean, you are right, but he could also not be plotting all this. What if she confronted him with the priorities he is making? My own priorities are often out of line with my actions, but I can change that when family, my girlfriend or my bible reminds me of that. When dragged in a fight, I can stand my ground, even though I see I’m not right. That’s what a fight (and a girl being upset) does to people. It seems like the girl here is in a relationship that seems valid, relationships should be able to figure this out too.

    • jen m. says:

      just a sidenote, but our priorities are not really ever out of line with our actions- our actions prove our priorities. actions may be out line with what we want our priorities to be, or wish they were, but actions clearly speak what our priorities actually are.

  6. Brian says:

    I’m all about trust, and believe men and women can maintain close friendships, but this situation has red flags all over it. Even if his intentions are good with this friend, him choosing to upset his girlfriend by doing this is so wrong. Maybe he’ll find another girl that’s okay with it, but he’s with one who’s not. He should either reconsider, or she should leave him.

  7. Well, I’m pretty sure she’s got to dump him. While I don’t think the boyfriend’s position was wrong (in fact, I’m pretty sure I would stick firm if a girlfriend tried to make an issue out of a similar situation with me, too) it is clear that this matters a whole lot to her (and there’s nothing wrong with her position either) and also either it matters a whole lot to him as well, or else she doesn’t.

    What isn’t clear is whether he realises that he can’t have it both ways. As I said, I would also be adamant that I would not change the plans: a person I’ve only known for two months doesn’t get that kind of veto over the rest of my emotional life, and thinking she does would be a big red flag to me that she wouldn’t respect my boundaries in other ways (though not on purpose). So I would be clear with her that, if it truly upset her that much, then she should leave me, while explaining that I didn’t think she was wrong to feel the way she did either, just that our values and needs were too far apart. One, the other, or both of us would be sure to get hurt a lot more if we carried on and however much I loved her, if we only end up hurting each other, it’s better off ending it. I know that I can’t have it both ways.

    What I suspect from the OP is that the guy doesn’t realise that he has to make that choice. He still seems to think he can have both the girlfriend and keep the friendship with his ex on the same terms; and that really is disrespecting her emotions.

    If he won’t make the choice, make it for him and dump him. If he has made his choice already, then it’s already over, they just haven’t made it official yet.

  8. JBen says:

    Sharideth, you have a gift in cutting right to the heart of things. He’s not into is as much as she is. AND, your little side not about won’t vs. can’t is worth several posts all on its own.

    People should be grateful you exist and freely share your caged wisdom.

    Come on, people!

  9. Well maybe I’m not the best one to comment here, since I don’t have a girlfriend (have wife instead) but if I did have a girlfriend, I would not do this to my girlfriend. Wouldn’t do this to my wife either, cause she’d drop kick me in the nuts faster than Rush Limbaugh can call a woman a slut!

  10. ghfool says:

    I had a very similar experience some years ago. I had a college GF (CGF) and I flew to see a former High school GF (HSGF) and was very clear to the CGF that we were just friends. She freaked out and told me to fuck off. Then she wrote me an incredibly angry letter. And I never saw her again (although I tried). The point being that I was just visiting a friend and I really liked the CGF. She ruined our relationship by overeacting. If he seems trustworthy, then trust him. Trust is the foundation of all relationships.

  11. Daveinjax says:

    The boyfriend is right. He should not make new arrangements because his new girlfriend is insecure. It may be a test and the girlfriend is flunking. Close friends are hard to come by. The ex is married with a family so she is past the old flame stage and her husband is appears to be ok with this also. I would not put any space between any of my good friends for a new girlfriends insecurity. I bet the old friend will be around long after drama queen is gone. Good friends last a lifetime and insecure girlfriends will come and go.

    • I really don’t think it’s about insecurity. She has her set of values and he has his, and it looks as though they can’t reconcile them. Either that, or he doesn’t care about her values enough to try.

      If he’s really only doing this to test her, then he’s an arrogant jerk and she’s better off without him also.

    • Regan says:

      It’s pretty hard to believe that the husband would be ok with his wife staying at an old boyfriend’s house. In that respect, it looks all wrong to me. I would be totally uncomfortable with it and agree with Snowdrop on this one.

      It’s not an insecurity issue. It’s that when something looks like a duck, talks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, heck, it’s a duck.

  12. asoulwalker says:

    No way. Not ever. I know what this means. Dump him.

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