solution for. We’ll call her “Amber.” Amber and Scott have a several mutual friends from their childhood and youth group. Scott had strong feelings for her in high school, but unfortunately for him, they were unrequited. From what we’ve discussed, I gather that she was a girl who liked the attention and genuinely liked Scott as a friend, but nothing more. But she was the girl who broke his heart. I’ve always known that they’ve kept up with each other via email – not often, just occasionally. I know that he met up with her several years back, just to catch up. This was before we started dating. Two years ago, he mentioned meeting up with her for a drink after work. I would be out of town for work, and he seemed pretty relieved that I wouldn’t be able to join them. After some discussion (the crazy insecure girl inside of me came to the surface), he explained that he just wanted closure, that he wasn’t looking for a friend, just wanted to get some feelings resolved. Well, I had to understand that. I can’t keep somebody from trying to move on from hurt feelings.
Then six months ago, he casually mentioned that Amber’s marriage wasn’t doing well. I was pretty surprised by the conversation. I didn’t even know that they had been talking. It turns out that he had met up with her twice. He insists it was innocent. I’m not being stupid; I completely believe him. He apologized that he did not tell me, he honestly thought he’d mentioned her name. We often each meet our own friends on our own. He promised he’d always keep me in the loop going forward, but the kicker is that he told me that he did not want me to meet Amber. His reasoning is that she can be catty and mean and he thinks that she would say something to me that would hurt my feelings. And if she does that, then of course his friendship with her would be over.
So he has not sold Amber well. She is now getting a divorce, she’s having an affair with a wealthy married man and now apparently, she would be mean to me. I can’t understand this. Why would Scott want to be friends with this woman? He knows that I am hurting over this friendship and that I cannot understand it, and yet there is no resolution. I can’t get past these feelings that either he doesn’t
care how I feel or there is something more. And I cannot be the kind of woman that forbids her man from having a friend who is a girl. But the whole “not meeting” is a big kink. This is just too much for me. Am I being an idiot by being so trusting? Or is he just completely clueless? — Concerned Fiancée
First of all, let’s get something clear: you are not a “crazy, insecure girl” because you’re worried about your fiancé meeting up for “closure” with some chick whom he once had unrequited feelings for and being relieved that you’ll be out of town when he finally sees her. Second, it wasn’t “closure” if he’s still meeting up with her occasionally behind your back. Third, he didn’t forget to mention he was meeting up with her. He purposely didn’t tell you about the occasions when he saw her because he knew it would upset you. You two are engaged, which means you probably talk a lot (and if you don’t, you shouldn’t be engaged). I know how couples are. They discuss every detail of their days when they’re apart. They talk about whom they ate lunch with, what they watched on TV last night, what crazy thing their mom said in an email this morning. When you talk to someone every day, as most couples who are engaged to be married do, there’s very little day-to-day activity that goes unmentioned. Unless, of course, there’s an activity that one party wants to keep secret from the other.
You are not stupid. You have a bad feeling about Scott’s friendship with Amber and for good reason. It’s shady. He said he wanted closure and wasn’t looking for a “friend” and yet he has continued to see this woman he once had — and maybe still has? — unrequited feelings for. You are not wrong for feeling suspicious. And you would not be wrong for expressing your discomfort to Scott and telling him you have a real problem with him spending time alone with a woman he was had more than platonic feelings for and whom he can’t bring himself to introduce to you. You are not wrong in telling him you can’t understand why he’d WANT to be friends with someone he speaks so negatively about and that you have to wonder what it is that keeps him wanting more from her despite having supposedly gotten “closure.” You can tell him you have no problem with him having female friends — maybe even female friends he has crushed on or dated — but you do have a problem with him having female friends he sees behind your back, can’t bring himself to introduce to you, and has such unpleasant things to say about. (And for the record, I don’t believe the reason he wants to keep you apart is because he’s worried she’ll say something mean to you. I think it’s because he’s worried what you’ll think when you see them together. Maybe there’s chemistry there he doesn’t want you to witness. Maybe he’s concerned that because you know him so well, you’ll see how he acts when he’s with her and cut right through to his real feelings. I’d be worried, too, if I were him).
What you know about this woman is that she has no problem screwing a married man and that she likes attention from men who want her regardless of what her feelings for them are or what effect she has on them or their lives. What you know about her relationship with your fiancé is that it has, at one point (and perhaps still), included romantic feelings and that most of it — including the woman herself — has been kept secret from you. I’d say for those reasons alone you have very good cause to be concerned, and to feel disrespected. So tell Scott that. Let him know he’s treading on thin ice here and that his behavior is putting your relationship in jeopardy. Establish the kind of respect you hope to have in your marriage NOW. Let him know that his relationship with you should be the most important thing in the world and that it’s both of your jobs now to put your relationship FIRST, to take care of it and nurture it and not let outside influences, like a “friend” of one of yours who is apparently so unpleasant she can’t be introduced to the other, fuck it up.
Maybe you don’t feel comfortable dictating whom your fiancé can and cannot be friends with, but I hope you also don’t feel comfortable marrying someone until you feel 100% confident that he has the best interests of you and your relationship at heart, above everything else.