“My Girlfriend Thinks I’m Cheating With My Longtime Female Friend”

I’m dating this wonderful woman named Eve. She’s so beautiful and smart that sometimes I feel like I’m not good enough for her. I’ve loved Eve since the moment I laid eyes on her and I would never do anything to hurt her. That’s why I don’t understand why she doesn’t trust me. She seems to think that I’m cheating with my friend Jane. I’m not.

Jane and I have been friends since childhood. She was there for me when my parents got divorced in middle school, we went to the same college, and we lived together for a while after college until she moved in with her boyfriend. After Eve and I got serious, Eve moved into my apartment, but recently Eve discovered that Jane still has a key to our apartment because, when we couldn’t find ours, I suggested we call Jane. Eve and I got in a big fight about it and I told her that I would ask for Jane for the key back, but Eve said that the key wasn’t the issue.

She claims that Jane and I are more than friends and listed off things we do that make her uncomfortable, such as the fact that every time a superhero movie comes out from DC or Marvel we go see it together, and that we talk on the phone every Sunday to catch up because we’re busy the rest of the week with our respective partners. I don’t understand what her problem is. I invite her to the movies with us, but she always say no even though Jane’s boyfriend goes with us. It’s a tradition that we’ve kept since we were ten and my dad took us to see Tim Burton’s Batman. And I don’t hide when I’m on the phone; I’ll talk right in front of her.

Eve says that I’m disrespecting her by continuing to associate with Jane and that she feels like an outsider when the three of us are together. Jane and I are both in our thirties and nothing has ever happened between us. We’ve never dated or ever slept together. If we had wanted to be together, we would have gotten together years ago. We’ve ​had plenty of opportunities! But when I made this point to Eve, she got even angrier.

Now, she says that she doesn’t want me to talk to Jane anymore. Which is unfair. She has guy friends and I’ve never told her that she couldn’t hang out with them. I explained the situation to Jane and she gave me my key back and said that she understood. She’s going to back off for a few weeks and then talk to Eve if things haven’t calmed down.

Eve is the one for me. I couldn’t imagine being with anyone else, but Jane is like my sister. I’ve known Eve for two years; I’ve known Jane since I was five. Before all this, I was ready to propose, but now I’m having doubts. If I marry Eve, then maybe she’ll feel more secure in our relationship, but if she doesn’t, then I might never be allowed to see my friend again. Eve doesn’t even want me to talk to Jane on the phone. How can I convince her that there’s nothing going on between us, or am I the one in the wrong? — Just Friends with Jane

Unfortunately, there is nothing you can do to convince Eve that she has nothing to feel threatened by in your life-long friendship with Jane. She simply doesn’t seem willing to accept your friendship with her, the end. And, no, marriage is not going to make her feel more secure! If anything, it will give her even more leverage to control your social life. I think this comes down to making a choice between Eve and Jane. You already know what you get with Jane, your longtime friend who doesn’t seem to demand anything of you, and is understanding of your situation and what you are able to invest in your friendship (weekly phone calls, occasional movie dates that partners are invited to). You don’t know exactly what you’ll get with Eve, whom you’ve known for much less time, although you do have some idea. You know there will be jealousy, distrust, and some attempts to control your social life.

I’ve known women like Eve before. And I’ve known some men who marry women like Eve. Maybe you do, too. Their marriages don’t look like what I’d want for myself, though I can’t say that the men have seemed miserable. They seem… resigned. Do you want to resign yourself to a life of demands and control? It does seem to eliminate the need to think too much for one’s self, and I think for some people there’s a certain liberation in that, even as they sacrifice some of their personal freedom. You’ll have to decide if you’re that type of person or not. If you aren’t, I’d highly recommend moving on and finding someone who can make some room in her life and her heart for your longtime friend, Jane, and her partner.

I’ve been dating a gentleman for about two years now. We get along really well, have a ton in common, have great sex, and seem to want the same things for our lives. We don’t currently live together, but he helps me with some financial stuff.

Here’s the problem: He’s going through a really gnarly divorce. He has two children — one 17-year-old girl, one 10-year-old boy. The girl lives with him full time, and he has 50/50 custody of the boy. The girl and I get along well, but I’m not allowed to be around the boy. So my boyfriend and I get to spend about half of our time together. This seems fine for me, for now.

I do want to get married at some point in time, but my boyfriend is unsure if he will be able to marry me. He goes through periods of feeling extremely guilty about this, and he withdraws from the relationship. He stops communicating his feelings during that time. If I tell him I think we should break up, he says no, but he’s having trouble being in a relationship despite wanting to be in said relationship. It feels like he wants to break up without having to do it himself, but if I ask him if this is the case, he denies it.

I don’t know how long I’m supposed to give him to come around. Do I wait for his divorce to be final and see if his attitude changes? Do I split now and save myself the heartache? Do I give him a time limit for this behavior? — Ready to Move Forward

I mean, if a guy is still legally married and you aren’t allowed to ever be around his son, whom he has partial custody of, and he isn’t sure he’ll ever be able to marry you (whatever that means) despite your wanting to get married at some point, and he regularly withdraws from the relationship, stopping communication with you, and he seems to have trouble even being in the relationship, I wouldn’t be investing any more time or energy into this if I were you. He’s got some stuff he needs to settle (literally) and figure out, and it seems his being with you is distracting him from that. Certainly, his having unsettled affairs is distracting him from his relationship with you. I’d say adios for now and move on. Leave a window of opportunity cracked for the future if his situation and feelings ever change, but go live your life without waiting around for him to come around.


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If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at wendy​(AT)​dearwendy.com.


  1. Bittergaymark says:

    LW1). Run. Just run, run, run as far as you can from this (NON)Lady Eve who is quite clearly a bad apple. You can — AND WILL do better. MOA. Psycho jealous controlling people ONLY get more psycho, jealous, and controlling with time. Marriage will NOT make this better. But only up her concept that SHE alone is the only woman you can converse with on a sunday or any afternoon…
    LW2). Wait. Banned from seeing or being around his son? Huh? Why? More info definitely needed… But it you are a barrier to this guy spending as much time as he ought to with his kid, it’s time to step out of the way and find somebody with less baggage and more time for you….

  2. Sigh to both letters. Eve is insanely insecure and the only way it wil work is if you give up jane. That feels unreasonable. Wendy is very right. I’ve had the same situation before with male friends of mine and nearly every one eventually gets back in touch with me when it ends, which due to this jealousy, it does but it impacts our friendship from there on.

    LW2: it’s time to move on until his divorce is finalized. It sounds bitter and like this problem won’t be going away anytime soon.

  3. Northern Star says:

    LW 1: Marrying someone does not cure insecurity. It will always be there. You definitely have to choose between Eve and Jane—Eve is forcing your hand. Realize that, if you choose Eve, this issue may crop up again with another friend. This is who Eve is. Her inability to accept you having a female friend won’t be “fixed” with a wedding ring or breaking things off entirely with Jane.

    LW 2: Your gut is telling you your still-married boyfriend’s heart isn’t really in this relationship anymore. Trust your gut.

    1. artsygirl says:

      I agree 100% that Eve will continue to do this. After all, if the LW drops his life-long friendship, Eve will just focus on some other woman as being a potential threat. Because honestly that is what all women are to her – a threat. Next a co-worker, or neighbor, or mail carrier will suddenly become the woman she accuses the LW of sleeping with or desiring. Unless he is willing to never speak with, look at, or in anyway interact (in real life or in the media), Eve will never be ok and who in their right mind wants to live like that?

      1. Not even just women! If he started going out with the guys on a regular basis, I bet she’s have a problem with that too! Like OMG, another female might be in the same vicinity.

  4. LW1: It won’t get better.
    I’ve been Eve in the past, with my ex boyfriend and his closest friend. The difference here is that she never backed off, and even went so far as to call me names and tell me she was always going to be there for him, no matter what, and I was just another girlfriend. Jane is doing great backing off for a while, she is showing you how good of a friend she is. She wants your well being. Eve is being insecure and she has absolutely no right to tell you that you can’t talk to Jane again.
    I feel like you have two choices, and no, marriage is not one of them.
    You either decide to stay with Eve and try to help her overcome her insecurities, maybe with the help of a therapist, and you try, together, to work on this. Or, you just quit this relationship. With the first option, Eve would have to be willing to work on it. She would have to know she’s doing wrong. And be open to establishing a relationship with Jane. But from the letter, I don’t think that is the case.
    I don’t think you are doing something wrong here. But Eve is. I didn’t like my ex’s best friend because she was very rude from the beginning, like she was jealous, but eventually I had to decide that my BF was going to keep that friendship no matter what. And I backed off and tried to work on it with him, but I NEVER told him to stop being friends with her. That right there, is a huge red flag. If she succeeds with her demands, and you stop talking to Jane, you’ll resent her forever.

    1. ^^ This is really good. I think you love Even immensely and you should try and work this out. I think you need to have more conversations and you need to do a lot of listening. Remember, your goal is to keep your friendship with Jane and make Eve comfortable. So listen to her more and get to the root of the problem. I would even have frank conversations about marriage. Say, ” I love you and see myself marrying you. I need you to trust me and figure out what needs to happen for that.” I know you say that you do not have feelings for Jane, but does Jane love you? Does this have to do with her in previous relationships or her upbringing? Maybe this can’t be saved but if you love her, I think it is worth trying to make this work.

  5. LW2: Did this start as an extramarital affair? You’ve been with him for two years and he’s still married…

  6. RedroverRedrover says:

    LW1, this isn’t a “Jane” problem, this is a trust problem. At the core, Eve doesn’t trust you. If she did, she wouldn’t have an issue with Jane. You can’t force her to trust you – all you can do is tell her that trust is something that you require in a partner, and that it’s something she has to work on. And she has to actually try to work on it, go to therapy etc.

    There’s no point in you giving up Jane as a friend. That’s not going to make her trust you. If she can’t get to the point where she can trust you, then you should end the relationship. Any relationship not built on trust is DOA. And definitely don’t plan on marriage or any further commitment with her until this is resolved.

  7. LW1: I think your best scenario is if Eve goes to therapy to work on her insecurities. If Eve doesn’t want to acknowledge that SHE is the issue, then I say move on and find someone else. This level of insecurity is not normal and really unattractive.
    FWIW, I’ve dated a male Eve and he’d make me feel so guilty about having platonic friendships with other guys that I DID pull back and made changes to accommodate his wants. Nothing I did made him more secure. He associated with whomever whenever he wanted, but I had to tiptoe around his self esteem issues, and that double standard drove me batty after awhile. I remember picking a fight with him because he’d gone kayaking with two of his girl friends from high school and hadn’t told me beforehand. I wasn’t threatened by them, I’d just reached a point where I was SO ANGRY that he didn’t hold himself to the same standards he held me to! But you know what? I did it to myself! Because instead of bending over backwards to try to prove to him that I was trustworthy, I should’ve said , “Nope! This isn’t normal! You either trust me, or you don’t!” If I had, I think our relationship would’ve ended at least a year sooner because at the end of the day, if we’d both been honest with ourselves, he didn’t trust me and never would have.

  8. LW1: Eve is bad news. Either she’s baselessly jealous and insecure or she’s a raging control freak looking to make sure that the only relationship you have in your life is with her. In any event, neither a wedding ring nor giving up Jane as a friend will cure either one. Like Wendy, I’ve seen these kinds of relationships before. Trust me, if it isn’t Jane, it’ll be something or someone else and marriage only tightens the hold. You’ll never go socialize anywhere alone without the third degree, you’ll never have your own friends because they’ll have to be “our” friends and sooner or later, you’ll realize that the only non-acquaintance person in your life is literally Eve. And then you’ll bring kids into it and that’s a whole other mess.

    Tell Eve that you’re not giving up your decades old friend because of her misplaced jealousy. And tell her that she either needs to work on her jealousy/control issues or you two need to go your separate ways. If she agrees to work on her issues – great! See how it goes and then months down the line maybe consider that proposal if things really improve. If she (as I suspect she will) instead throws a fit and claims that you don’t love her and if you did, you’d, blah, blah, blah, then leave and never look back. That manipulative shit will ruin your life.

  9. LW1, count me in the Eve has some serious insecurities camp. Her being this threatened by a long time friend is not healthy. If she doesn’t understand that this is her problem to work on, I’d cut my losses and run if I were you. Even if you give up your friend Jane, which I think is complete BS, Eve;s insecurities will manifest in other ways. Oh, and kudos to Jane for taking a step back and not calling Eve out on her crap. IMO, Jane is 100% a keeper.

    LW2 – I can’t even today. Ugh.

    1. Also, what Miss MJ said. Damn, she’s on a role this week.

  10. LW1, I know a man who is married to a woman like Eve. He’s happy sometimes,
    but most of the time, he describes his marriage as “okay”. Do you want just
    okay or do you want more? He has talked about divorcing his wife, but they
    have a child and he is honestly afraid that she will use the child against
    him if he tries to divorce her. So, he’s waiting until the kid is old
    enough to be on his own and make his own decisions. This is your future if
    you stay with Eve. Only you can decide if it’s what you want, but I know I
    wouldn’t settle for that.
    LW1, I know a man who is married to a woman like Eve. He’s happy sometimes,
    but most of the time, he describes his marriage as “okay”. Do you want just
    okay or do you want more? He has talked about divorcing his wife, but they
    have a child and he is honestly afraid that she will use the child against
    him if he tries to divorce her. So, he’s waiting until the kid is old
    enough to be on his own and make his own decisions. This is your future if
    you stay with Eve. Only you can decide if it’s what you want, but I know I
    wouldn’t settle for that.

  11. LW1, you don’t want a girlfriend who is controlling like that. I had my best guy friend cut off all contact with no warning because his girlfriend (now wife) didn’t want him talking to me. She was jealous just because we were close friends. We were friends for 12 years, since the beginning of college, and we never kissed/dated/etc. and I never had one ounce of attraction towards him. He totally cut me out of his life. Anyway, at our 10 year college reunion last year, he was offended that our friend group didn’t invite him along on a wine tour that we went on. If you totally cut off contact with one of us, sorry, we’re not going to invite you to come along. Plus his wife probably would’ve been pissed that I was there. I wonder if his marriage is going to eventually come crashing down, since she seems quite controlling.

  12. “If we wanted to the be together we would have gotten together years ago. We’ve ​had plenty of opportunities! But when I made this point to Eve, she got even angrier.”

    Haha. What a dope.

    1. I’ve said this to men about my best friend before. If it was gonna happen it would have. ????

      1. I understand his point, but it’s pretty clearly not the thing to say to *this* woman since it shows that he’s at least considered it.

  13. LW1, there isn’t any way for you to prove to Eve that your friendship with Jane is platonic. Because the problem isn’t in anything you or Jane is doing. It’s in Eve. Even if you completely purged Jane from your life, Eve’s raging insecurity will still be there, and it will eventually, inevitably kill your relationship. The only question is how many years of your life you’ll throw away trying to prove your trustworthiness to her.

    I mean, aren’t you even vaguely insulted? Eve thinks you’re a liar. She thinks you’re a cheater who’s screwing Jane and lying to her face about it. That doesn’t sound so “wonderful” to me. I sure wouldn’t be considering marriage to someone who thought so little of me.

    1. dinoceros says:

      Yeah. Not only does she assume he is the kind of person who would cheat, but she apparently thinks he’s totally dishonest, too. Why would you want to be with someone who thinks so little of your character?

  14. Juliecatharine says:

    LW1, Wendy and everyone else have said it already but you seem dangerously smitten with Eve so here is one more voice in the chorus. The issue is Eve. She is controlling and illogical. She is a hypocrite who spends time with male friends but won’t extend the same trust to you. Think about it, would you *ever* treat her the way she’s treating you by demanding she give up a lifelong, supportive, positive, completely platonic relationship? How many lifelong friends do you have at this point? I’m betting Jane is the only or nearly the only one. Giving her up for a woman who does not have your best interests at heart–as demonstrated by her wanting to deprive you of a positive relationship–would be beyond foolish. You should dump Eve hard for this and spend some time soul searching why you would cave to manipulation and unreasonable demands from anyone, especially someone you are romantically involved with. If you don’t follow the advice here today remember it down the road because her controlling you will not stop with Jane and will absolutely get worse with marriage and (god forbid) children.

  15. Avatar photo veritek33 says:

    I’ve been both Eve and Jane in the past. FWIW – Jane is bending over backward for Eve and so are you.

    Eve doesn’t trust you. Marriage wont’ fix that. When I was Eve, I thought if my ex and I got married that would make the situation better – I was wrong. I just didn’t trust him around his best friend. And in that case, I had reason not to trust him because it turned out he wasn’t faithful. However, if you don’t trust your partner you have to figure out why. Mine was a combo of my own insecurities and his shady behavior. I should have ended it far before we did. Lesson learned.

    In the Jane situation, I have a close male friend who is experiencing something similar. We have never dated or been intimate, purely platonic friends. He has a girlfriend now that wants nothing to do with me for reasons that are known only to her. We went to a public art festival shortly after they started dating. We met in public, behaved completely appropriately, even invited her to attend. She declined and instead texted him the entire time asking for every detail of what we were doing. It was exhausting for him. I don’t anticipate that relationship will last very long. I offered to meet her, have her come along, etc. She declined.

    I think Eve needs some counseling and you two need to either break up or take some time apart to figure this out. I wouldn’t marry her right now.

  16. Has this always been a problem LW1? I’m curious because if this has recently become an issue it may not be insecurity but rather her way of pushing you out as the relationship becomes more serious. You sound completely head over heels…but…are you sure she feels the same way? Granted insecurity is more likely, and it may not change your actions at all, but it’s a thought.

  17. LW1 Eve isn’t as awesome as you think.

    LW2 What Sarah said… sounds like you were an affair (either way we know you were seeing him while married…so yeah) That is probably the reason you can’t see the son. Or maybe the son doesn’t want to see you because he knows you played a part in the breakup of his parents. (Of course the bulk of the blame belongs to his dad who stepped out of his marriage, but you should have known to steer clear of this relationship from the get go)
    Maybe (probably) he is going through a divorce and isn’t interested in jumping into a relationship. You might think you are in a more serious relationship than you really are and he is really just using you for what started as (and kind of still is) side stuff. Find someone who is available cause this guy really isn’t. Sorry!

    1. Juliecatharine says:

      Your first sentence is so true. I hope this thread is a wake up call for him.

  18. dinoceros says:

    LW1: Eve needs to be with someone who doesn’t have female friends. Like Wendy said, you can’t change her mind. You just need to find someone else who is less controlling. (I will say that if your reasoning to Eve for why you talk on Sundays to Jane is that “you’re busy with your partners during the week” is what you actually say, you might want to rephrase in the future. It sounds a little weird.)

    LW2: You’ve already given him too much time. You’re with him under the assumption that he’ll eventually get past all his drama and want to marry you then, but there’s no evidence that’s going to happen. Don’t get involved with someone who is still mired in a divorce.

  19. findingtheearth says:

    I know someone who married a woman like Eve and it made his life miserable. They lasted a total of 3 years before she cheated on him. I am not saying Eve will cheat on you, but marriage is not how you provide emotional security to someone.

    LW2: Why can’t you be around his son? I feel like that is important information. Is it because his wife won’t allow it? Is it part of their custody agreement? Will it ever change?

    I would put the relationship on hold until the divorce is finalized and he knows what he actually wants.

  20. #1 — MOA and learn to stand up for yourself.

    #2 Oh boo hoo! You’ve been dating a married man for two years and haven’t been able to meet one of his two kids. You are nothing to this kid, other than the woman with whom the father broke up the family. If he was in the process of divorce when you started dating him, then he is certainly dragging his feet for some reason.

  21. Iskhabibble says:

    LW1, I’m (unfortunately) occasionally jealous when I’m dating someone. (I’m mature enough to know that this usually means I’m feeling insecure/not feeling loved in the relationship, and not a sign of something improper with any friendships.) But from what you’ve described–a regular phone call once a week and marvel movies that her bf goes to and that you’ve invited Eve along to too–I can’t figure out what she is jealous of! Especially when you’re sounding so smitten with Eve.

    I did a mental exercise to try and figure out what would make me jealous in this scenario, and it would be this: if your phone calls go on for several hours; you’re telling Jane things that you haven’t told Eve; or she doesn’t get to spend alone time with you (or feel like she’s a priority in your life) because you’re either on the phone with Jane or have plans with her. (If you both work full time, maybe your only time to do things together would be Sundays, but you can’t go anywhere or do any fun activities if you’re waiting for a phone call in the middle of the day.) If any of that rings a bell, perhaps you should make sure that you’re spending enough time with Eve. But otherwise, she’s completely out of line, and does sound controlling.

    Just a note–in the future, don’t give out keys to a shared living space without letting your partner know. That really isn’t great. I get that in this case, Jane had a key before Eve ever existed; but it’s Eve’s living space now and she has a right to feel like it’s her apartment too, rather than like she moved into your space and doesn’t really have any rights there of her own.

  22. Ugh. I had a visceral reaction to LW1 because I am So. Fucking. Tired. of neurotic, insecure, controlling women trying to destroy my friendships. (Not that men don’t do this; they just haven’t ever done it to me.)

    LW1: You need to think long and hard about why you believe that you love, and more crucially are loved by, a woman who repeatedly calls you a liar and a cheat to your face with literally no evidence. You can call that a lot of things (attachment, attraction, infatuation), but one thing it very definitely is *not* is love. Irrational,controlling jealousy is just another flavour of psycho.

    It would be great if Eve could recognize that this is her problem and get counseling about it, but in my experience there is virtually no chance that will happen. So you can stay and accept that the person who claims to love you simultaneously treats you like you cannot be trusted, or you can stand up for yourself and refuse to be controlled. Eventually this relationship will die, whether you stay together or not. The question is, how much of yourself are you willing to let die along with it?

    Whether you end it with Eve now or not, i suggest you do some reading on attachment types. That might help you to understand why you have tolerated Eve’s behaviour at all.

    And as an aside, I call bullshit on this pervasive theory that your friendship would be somehow less valid if you had ever been involved with Jane. I have a fair number of close male friends that I dated briefly before we clued into the fact that it wouldn’t work out. Those friendships are no more inherently suspect than any others.

    1. So many seem to confuse the amount of the drama with intensity of love: she wouldn’t be this jealous if she didn’t REALLY love me. If I have to give up my best friendship from childhood to keep this gf, she must REALLY be worth it. Until the breaking point is reached, the magnitude and unreasonableness of the sacrifice, makes the lover demanding the sacrifice even more desirable, otherwise, why the hell would I be putting up with this nonsense. The disconnect gets rationalized into ‘she’s the one, the deepest, strongest possible love ever’. Natural, no-work, no-grief, happy relationships are often cast aside, because one member craves drama — if it’s this calm and easy, how important can it possibly be. Drama can be a way of making up for the passing of the heightened emotional intensity at the start of the relationship. Many give up on the relationship, when that honeymoon period passes, because they crave the emotional high. Drama provides the high.

  23. LW1: don’t cut off Jane. It won’t solve anything. Eve is controlling more than insecure. But before making drastic choices, try to establish reasonable boundaries. Indeed, it is not OK that an other woman has the key to your flat. It is great that you solved that. But it is not OK that your partner asks you to cut off a good friend. That is controlling and exaggerated. So do resist and speak frankly, calmly with Eve. Yes, you were a bit too close (in an friendly way) with Jane. As you grow in adult life and get involved in a love relationship, you naturally take some distance with childhood friends. But: it doesn’t mean you have to stop seeing Jane or talking with her on the phone. This is an excessive and unreasonable demand. It is even unacceptable.
    In general, never accept unreasonable demands in order to secure your partner. It doesn’t and they start despising you. It opens the door to more demands and more despise. It is a power game. So if you are serious with this girlfriend and it seems you are, you had better set your boundaries in a clear and respectful way with her, if you want a happy relationship.
    Lastly: never offer marriage to solve a crisis or fix a relationship problem. It is an obvious mistake and she won’t even like it. You will look like submissive, and something in your tone suggests you are submissive. Don’t: she will despise you.

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