When I learned of this, my initial feeling was that the relationship was irreparable. I viewed this as a betrayal and violation of my trust. It was immature and unwise of him to share this with his friends as it both damages their opinion of me and makes for awkward future interactions since they now know they offended me.
I’m upset that this happened but would like to learn from the experience. I learned on the one hand to wait and process my upset feelings more before sharing. I’d also like to learn how each of us can get the outside support or sounding board we occasionally feel we need when we’re not getting along without creating bad feelings between the person we confide in and our loved one.
Lastly, and I realize this is more anecdotal, but do relationships survive this kind of thing? I was married eight years to a man who has passed now and he would never dream of saying a word to others against me even at my most unreasonable and ridiculous — and I was plenty ridiculous at times as I grew and learned and made mistakes in that relationship. — Bad-Mouthed By Boyfriend
Your boyfriend is a jerk. This isn’t about needing outside support or a sounding board to help deal productively with a significant other. That’s not why your boyfriend bad-mouthed you at the dinner party you weren’t invited to. He wasn’t looking for support. He was looking for people to nod and confirm for him how unreasonable you are and what a great guy he is to put up with you. So he went to people who: a) probably already aren’t your biggest fans (hence the exclusion to their dinner party); and b) would be equally, if not more, offended by your reaction to not being invited to their dinner party and thus be quick to confirm for him how wrong and unreasonable you are.
This is not how a loving partner behaves and, no, a relationship generally doesn’t survive — at least not happily — one person in the couple being a thoughtless dickhead. While we all have different characteristics we look for in a partner, there are a few traits that should be universal and top among them are: respect for you; having your back; liking you. It doesn’t sound like your boyfriend possesses these traits. I think you need to MOA, and, in the future, use your late husband as a model for how a potential partner should treat you.
If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at [email protected].