“My Boyfriend Bad-Mouths Me To His Friends Behind My Back”

New readers, welcome to Dear Wendy, a relationship advice blog. Read some of the most popular Dear Wendy posts here. If you don’t find the info you need in this column, please visit the Dear Wendy archives or the forums (you can even start your own thread), do a search in the search bar, or submit a question for advice at wendy(AT)dearwendy.com.

I told my boyfriend I was upset that his friends (another couple) invited him to dinner without me. I thought it was poor etiquette for his friends and him to exclude me, but the real problem happened when a third party reported to me that my boyfriend was bad-mouthing me at the dinner table by telling his friends how upset I was to not be invited and complaining about how unreasonable I am.

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.


Follow along on Facebook, and Instagram.

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


  1. artsygirl says:

    LW – was there any reason given for you to be excluded from the dinner? I can think of only a small number of reasons why a SO would not be included in an invite when their partner was (such as non-exclusive relationship, gender only event like a bachelorette party, or if plans had been made before the relationship). Truthfully your BF SHOULD be your sounding board and if my husband had accepted a dinner invitation while I was expressly not invited I would hope that, outside of some reasonable explanation, he would politely decline let alone not talk shit about me for having a completely understandable reaction to the snub.

  2. SpaceySteph says:

    Hah, loving the use of “thoughtless dickhead!”

    I agree that your desire to have a boyfriend who respects you and doesn’t trash talk you behind your back at a dinner party is a reasonable one. I also think it’s pretty damn reasonable to be upset at not being invited, but I think regardless of whether what you wanted is reasonable, being in a relationship is about dealing with the other person’s feelings– both rational and irrational. You want support, you have a douchnozzle. Definitely agree with MOA.

  3. StarryNight says:

    I think we’re overreacting a bit to the boyfriend’s actions and assuming a lot of motivation that we can’t know.

    First of all, it’s not crazy that he might want to hang out with his friends without his girlfriend, nor that they would want to hang out with him without her. Just because you’re in a couple doesn’t mean you don’t want friend time without an SO involved. We don’t know the prior relationship here to know whether or not her not being invited is weird or against precedent.

    Second of all, I think we’re missing the really interesting heart of her dilemma:

    “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.”

    I can’t be the only one who struggles with this! Certainly bitching about your SO is a no-no, but I’ve often needed support when I’m in a disagreement with my SO, and know that if I air my issue, my friends or family won’t look at my SO in the same perfect rosy glasses I want them to wear. But also my SO can’t be my only support system, and it’s crazy to think we’d be in agreement all the time and when we’re not that I can’t talk to anyone about it. What do people do when they need support or help working through an issue with their partner (other than writing into an online advice column)?

    1. Completely agree on them not all having to hang out together, partially depends on circumstance though. Do they typically invite the LW and this is out of the norm or is it the other way around?

      I can think of plenty of friends with significant others who I see on a semi regular basis but we don’t all hang out together, all the time. There’s a few situations where I am friends with both in the couple, but usually its the situation where one person has been my friend for a long time, and significant other I am friendly with but they aren’t necessarily a friend, there is a difference.

      To me, it sounds like the LW’s boyfriend complaining is a sign he’s unhappy about something and needs some alone time with his friends to complain about it- pretty normal human reaction, we all complain about people to our friends at some point. Regardless, it is hurtful and I think perhaps maybe its a suggestion that the relationship isn’t where you think it is.

    2. dinoceros says:

      So, I can’t speak from personal experience, but most of my friends do not talk about disagreements with their partners. IMO, their relationships are healthy enough that none of the disagreements leave them super distraught to where they really need a lot of support. Those who have been are usually already seeing a therapist, so they already have an outlet who is unbiased and who is not intertwined in their social lives.

      A couple of friends have talked about issues, but it’s more along the lines of how one partner wants something different than the other. It’s never framed as there being something wrong with the partner or complaining. Just stating that they want marriage and the other isn’t sure, or they don’t want marriage and the other does. None of it really frames them in a bad light. Also, it helps that I am not going to gossip about them, so they are seemingly picking their audience well, too.

      1. I have been seeing a guy for 2 yers now it was casual for a very long time, He is a bachelor who turned 50 and never married or had kids, I dont have kids and did nit marry but had 3 longterm relationships, This guy is french, He grew up in quebec and hangs with all french people mostly. Im not from here im from the east. He also is a golfer, So hes taken me to karoke in that french city i dont feel comfortable as I do not speak french, he kniws many people there, at first he used to leave me a few times alone and play pool etc, I would always drive us back home in his car its 25 mins drive, we live in the same apt, i also have never met hus family he has a big family 4 brothers 1 sister etc i used to get upset about this and would cause fights, He has promised about 5 times now then it never happens, I was suppose to volunteer at the golf course family golf event they had but it never happened. i now was told im going to his nieces wedding in august. his family wants to meet me they keep asking, the problem seems to be from him. he keeps testing me to see how i will react. about a year ago he was flirting around etc so told me to see others, he mentioned a guy met once who likes me, one night he was at that bar and my bf was trying to get us to sit together etc i do not like this man at all hes also too old for me. My bf t hat night flirted and talked to the 28 yr old bartender i felt so bad and hurt. in the past 5 months things got well between us he rarely goes to bars. he has always stated im the woman for him, im his queen. hes very attracted to me he thinks im smart etc. He had lost his job months ago too so hes got alot less money now. At one point i thought i was pregannt and he was freaking about that and went to his siter in law andbrother to talk, they told him if shes not pregnant dump her. also my bf was angry that i talked when we were broken up to his brother and a girl who works at the golf club on facebook he was very mad about that for like 3 months, i was trying to find out more about him to protect myself from getting hurt i had awful men in my life before. the pattern i see is he talksabout me to them, they never met me, thinhgs get twisted, then out of the blue one of his friends does not like mr or thinks he should leave me. so last week he invited mr to see him. He said he and taht guy at the bar talked and taht guy said he thinks he should leave me that i am strange lol. this guy does not know me at all! so my bf said i told him i like u as a good friend alot and shes a big support for me. so he also said he thinks hes doing that to break us up! I said for what reason he has a gf, i have zero interest in him. then i said to my bf you should be standing up for me! I felt so secure he was even talking getting gold rings and moving in together and adopting a child for gods sake, when we are togeter its great when we are not he does what he wants, he does not want alot of contact when we are not together. so that same night we went out to a karoke bar- he was flirting some with the dj whose like 225 lbs not that pretty, he hugged and kissed her in front of me (but thats a french thing) and he said shes amazing at her job to me with her right in front of me. Then we left and i drove us home. \so now i dont know what to do or say maybe my bf is behind all of this and making it up? sO i will breakup with him.? Im going back to college for a course soon, also last night i called him he was out with golf friends and i said something happened to a guy we know we gave a dryer to in out building he was with a black girl from africa and when i called this guy to tell him drop the dolly to my bf apt- this woman was there and freaked out and said why am I talking to bob! they have lots of rights in this area we live in- here i gave this guy bob a dryer for free! I knew bob for 3 yrs hes rough around the edges and gets into trouble alot but i felt bad for him, too good hearted. So I told my bf about this incident and he does not seem to care! He said i dont care if you fought for 2 hrs! I was so shocked why has he turned like this. we always had the respect, most of our issues were caused by him he was chasing 2 or 3 women and was with me at the same time i never did that i dont go to bars either im devoted to him…but he tries to paint me as the problem one and politically we are different too but that should not matter really..what would you guys ask or say to find out the truth about this friend and stuff being said behind your back? my bf is thye only one who knows me well to talk about me no one else he knows knows me or very little…lol…and there is drinking involved too.

    3. artsygirl says:

      I agree there are times that partners hang out with friends and family without their SO but it sounds like the LW was expressly not invited to an event that obviously included at least one other couple. If this type of thing had an established precedent I doubt it would have caused the LW to be so upset.

      Also, completely agree that couples are not going to always agree, but the fact that the BF was complaining about her attitude to the very group that caused her to be upset shows a complete lack of respect. Even if the LW was unreasonable regarding the situation, I would hope that a good partner would find another group to vent with rather than a couple that sounds like they were already biased against her.

    4. Certainly agree that you can hang out with one half of a couple without it being a big deal. I actually ran into this issue with a really good friend who started dating a guy then all but demanded that we hang out with both of them or not at all because they were instantly a unit. Despite the fact that she hung out with me and my husband both separately and together. I told her nope then started cutting down on the times we hung out because I couldn’t stand the guy.

      1. OMG people and the “unit”. I can’t stand that! You are two separate people! You did not morph into one person!

      2. Haha, yep. Drives me crazy! Sometimes me and my husband joke when one of us goes to a social gathering without the other that we’re “representing the unit.” Because if you really are a unit and interchangeable, why do you require both people to be there all the time?

  4. Avatar photo Raccoon eyes says:

    WWS. LW, it is great to want to learn and grow from an experience… but really, the lesson learned here is that your BF is a d*ck. It IS unacceptable- Aim Higher.
    Starrynight- I get what you are saying…kinda. But you know what? Now that Im not in the immature relationships of my earlier days, I really dont have anything to discuss with other ppl that would tear off the “rosy glasses” other ppl see my boyfriend through. (Relationships that, at the time, I thought were the healthiest ones ever! Guys I could marry! Omg Omg, gush gush! The ones we hear about on here often- the My-Guy-Is-Soooo-Great-EXCEPT-This-One-Glaring-Thing relationships.) Because we dont have rip-roaring arguments that neither of us will back down from- it is called being in a mature, adult relationship. LW’s bf wasnt just blowing off steam (or whatever you wanna term it) with this couple over drinks or dinner- he did it in front of AT LEAST one other person, and person who took that info back to LW. A cardinal rule of a good relationship being that yeah, no matter how unreasonable some one may be, you dont just carte blanche sh*t talk them to others. You just dont. Ick. Im kinda ticked just thinking about that.

    1. I agree. I do talk about M to our friends sometimes, but only things that I would also say to her if she were there. Like, “M sees it this way, so she’s all X, but I don’t find X to be the most important part of this, so that’s where are we are disagreeing.” I think it’s OK to talk about your relationship with trusted friends, just not in ways that paint your partner negatively, and certainly there are things that are too personal (like sex stuff) and therefore off limits. But we’ve been together forever and the friends in this case are people we’ve both known well for decades. It’s a little more like family in that way. Not that family trash talk isn’t also a bad thing when done without respect.

    2. Seriously? Seriously! says:

      Couldn’t agree more, except…Wait until you go to get married and try to plan the wedding (if that’s your bag). Then you’ll have TONS of stuff that, while insignificant in the long run, create the rip-roaring-est arguments you can’t believe you are having, venting to your friends is the only way to handle it. Especially when it involves the other person’s family’s opinions and shit you just can’t/shouldn’t say to your partner. I really am agreeing with you, but you think you’ve outgrown it, until… bam… it’s back! (Though it is usually more ragging on the family than the partner, except perhaps the partner’s refusal to stand up to the family).

      1. RedRoverRedRover says:

        That really depends, I think. My husband and I didn’t have any fights about wedding planning. And he was involved too, it’s not like we avoided fighting by just having me do it all.

      2. Seriously? Seriously! says:

        Not one? Then I’m guessing your inlaws and his inlaws kept their noses out of the details. In which case, lucky you.

      3. RedRoverRedRover says:

        Yeah, we paid for it ourselves, so no one else really had a say. 🙂

      4. My experience was similar to yours, RR. I told my husband up front that if we were having this thing, then we were in it together planning-wise. But we actively kept both families out of planning (each was in charge of family relations for our side) and paid for it ourselves. And our wedding was far from the first time we’d stood up to our families’ opinions.

      5. RedRoverRedRover says:

        Yep, sounds like exactly what we did. 🙂 I still ended up doing most of the legwork, but he was in on most of the decisions. He didn’t care about stuff like flowers and bridesmaid’s dresses, but like the venue and the invites and bar and menu and everything like that, he was involved in. Each time something came up where we needed a decision, I’d ask if he cared about it. If he didn’t I’d make the decision, if he did we’d do it together.

      6. I didn’t do a ton of legwork, but we got a planner, so neither of us really did. As far as decision-making, The one huge coup from my husband was finding an officiant because that was the one area where we didn’t like the planner’s recommendation. I don’t want to think about how many hours he spent contacting people. Also probably helped that we didn’t have flowers, attendants, complicated centerpieces, or favors.

      7. RedRoverRedRover says:

        Yeah, we had a planner too, but we had a bunch of other stuff. We made our own centerpieces, invitations, my MIL made the cake based on a design I had to find, we had some other decorations we made. And then I knitted shawls for all my bridesmaids, myself, and my husband’s “best woman”. Man, I did an assload of stuff! Just thinking back makes me stressed. 🙂 Loved the result though, it was a great time!

  5. dinoceros says:

    I think that when the different issues are separated individually, it’s a lot different than thinking about the situation as a whole. Yes, it’s OK in some situation to invite someone out without their SO. Not the most polite thing to do. And I can see how someone would be offended by it, depending on the situation.

    Yes, it’s OK to sometimes complain about your SO. But it’s best done within very close relationships with trusted friends. A person who goes and blabs to someone who blabs to the SO is not a trusted enough friend for that. My friends don’t often complain about their partners, but if they do, it’s more about inconsequential things like their boyfriend eating all of their snacks. It’s not like she’s using descriptors like that he’s greedy and selfish.

    My main concern if this were me would be what his overall view of me is if my doing one thing he apparently finds annoying (aka, expressing my feelings) terrible enough to go call me unreasonable to the exact friends that I was talking about. Because just as much as a person should get to complain about their SO sometimes, a person should be able to express thoughts and feelings to their partner without those necessarily going to be spread around to their social circle. I’d agree with the MOA advice. At this point, it sounds like he’s not got much compassion for the LW anymore.

    1. Agreed, they are kind of two different situations, but I still don’t see a massive problem with her not being invited to dinner, depending on how the invitation was made. Was it, hey, LW’s BF/our friend, lets do dinner, we haven’t hung out in a bit, or was it LW’s BF/our friend, lets do dinner and you cannot bring your girlfriend, or was it LW’s BF/our friend, lets do dinner and he says he won’t invite the LW. Very different scenarios.

      They are his friends, not hers, and I think that grants him time to hang out alone with them, and vice versa for any of her friends. Should she feel obligated to invite him out every time she meets up with a friend to shop or see a movie, or meet up with a friend and that friend’s SO? If its specifically a couple’s night out or something, yea that’s one thing, but they aren’t joined at the hip. I hang out with friends all the time without their SO’s, and when I’ve been in relationships, I’ve hung out with friends without my boyfriend.

      I think the real issue at heart is that he didn’t want her to go to dinner, regardless of what the original invitation was from his friends, and that is the root of the problem.

      1. dinoceros says:

        Yeah, I wouldn’t say it’s a massive problem. And it definitely matters what the context was. I personally try to err on the side of being welcoming. I’ll tell friends if it’s just a “girls” event and boyfriends aren’t invited, but if I were going to dinner with my boyfriend and a friend, I’d feel kind of rude for not inviting their partner. It seems like more effort to not invite someone and possibly upset them than to just have dinner with them. But you’re right that the bigger issue is that he preferred it that way! I assume that if he had wanted her to, the friends would have been fine with it.

      2. Yup, that’s what I think! If he wanted her to go, he would’ve invited her.

    2. vanderjohnsenberg says:

      Agreed. I don’t think it is right to compartmentalize this situation into is it ok for him to see friends without me and is it ok for him to complain about me. When I look at the situation as a whole, what he did was not ok.

    3. Seriously? Seriously! says:

      Agreed. It matters if (1) he was invited, but it wasn’t said either way about whether she was invited; (2) he was invited sans any SO, because they wanted one-on-one (or I guess two) time; (3) he was invited sans any SO because of a common trait between the guests (all went to the same college, or similar) and that trait was intended to monopolize conversation; or (4) he was invited sans LW specifically. I also think it matters that it was a “dinner party”, with more than just the BF and the host couple.

      Depending on how he presented it to her, he may have made any of 1-3 seem like it was a situation 4, when it wasn’t. Her getting offended doesn’t mean she doesn’t support him having non-couple time; he may have just presented it badly. And I think it matters how he was talking about her — was he saying, after the 3rd hour of taking about the best and worst Freshman Dorms in terms of vending machine selection, “And my GF was offended that she wasn’t invited!” “Really?” “Yeah, sometimes she can be so unreasonable! Like she’d have enjoyed this? Oh, can you pass the Funions?” “Do you which dorm ALWAYS had Funions? Ligett!” “No, that was Danforth!”

  6. Um. Are there any of us who haven’t complained about our SO to our friends? We all do “OMG, he was being such a whiny pain in the ass about going to dinner with my parents again”, or something like that.

    So, if what the BF was doing was “OMG, she was PISSED about not being invited, and she just would not let it go,” I don’t know that I’m inclined to criticize, other than criticizing the third party who was trying to start drama by reporting back what was said to the LW.

    Of course, if he went on a half-hour rant about what an awful bitch she is, that’s something else. So without knowing exactly what was said, it’s hard to judge.

    1. RedRoverRedRover says:

      That’s what I was thinking. Did she lose it on him when she found out she wasn’t invited? Because if she did, then he probably had good reason for venting to his friends. And it doesn’t sound like this was an “event”, just a dinner with two friends. It’s not mandatory to invite the SO every time you want to hang out with a friend.

      So yeah, if the situation is that these are close friends of his, they wanted a chance to hang out with just him, she flipped when she found out she wasn’t invited and gave him an earful, and then he complained about that to his friends… well, that sounds reasonable from his perspective.

    2. What you’re saying is true, that people do vent. And if he framed it that way, saying he can understand how common FOMO is and that there will be other things and was generally supportive then has to be considered. We don’t have any information that shows that he treated the relationship as important or said anything positive or understanding about it. He can feel annoyed and she can feel left out. Ideally they both have to come to an understanding, not just one of them.

  7. Ele4phant says:

    Hmmm – I kind of disagree.

    I think it was presumptuous of you to think you should have been invited to dinner with his friends. This isn’t the 1950s, not everything has to be done by the book. If they are his friends and they wanted to spend time alone reconnecting, I think that’s fine. And even if they were in the wrong to exclude you, it wasn’t appropriate for you to complain to him about it. What’s he supposed to do? Take you in disregard of the invitation? Stop being friends with these people over this? Seems extreme to me.

    Also – I think there’s a difference between bad mouthing your partner to others and letting out some frustration to a third party so you don’t keep it all in or create a huge fight with your partner over something small. Other people may disagree, but I’ve always talked over life issues with close friends, sometimes that includes relationship issues. I think there’s a difference between saying “My girlfriend is an asshole” vs “I am frustrated because this happened in my relationship…”.

    I guess others may disagree with me and find that disrespectful, but I don’t know. I don’t think failing to pretend a relationship is always sunshine and roses is disrespectful. Ultimately issues between a couple need to be worked out within the couple, but sometimes you need an outlet and it’s okay to talk – within certain parameters – about problems you’re having.

    1. After my response above, I realized maybe the LW is a bit older than some of us, perhaps has different expectations from a different generation? Your 1950s example hits that on the head.

      1. Ele4phant says:

        I think she is at least somewhat older. She said she had an eight year marriage and is a widow, and she also justified that she should have been invited “per etiquette”. I think that that expectation and the expectation that a couple *never* complains about issues to an outside party maybe speaks to the values of an older generation.

        Not to say my values are right, but I definitely view the situation thru a lens in which she was being unreasonable and he had a right to feel frustrated and depending on exactly what he said, she may be further unreasonable in her reaction to hearing he talked about their disagreement.

  8. Whether or not it is a etiquette break depends entirely on the dinner invitees. If all the friends and their SOs are invited but for the LW, then yes it is poor manners.

    If only friends are gathered and not the SOs then it would be ok. But public complaints against SOs are still rude.

    1. Ele4phant says:

      I dunno I disagree. Even if other couples were invited, depending on the friend group it’s fine. If they are all long term friends and the girlfriend is kind of new on the scene, I think it’s fine for them to want to keep it to the original friend group once in awhile. Just because you couple up doesn’t mean you have to get an automatic invite to every get together, even if other couples are going.

      And even if technically she should have been invited, it sounds like she complained about it to him, which was wrong. Pointing about and complaining about a breach of ettiquette trumps any other ettiquette lapse, in my opinion. It would be one thing to ask to tag along, another to start an argument about it.

      And I also just don’t agree you can’t ever talk about your relationship issues with anyone else. If he was insulting her as a person I get it, but if he came to the dinner frustrated and somebody asked him was up and it came out, I dunno, I wouldn’t find that a threat to my relationship or a show of disrespect. I just wouldn’t.

      I think we are allowed some space in our lives to complain about things that bother us – including sometimes things are partners are doing to bother us.

      1. Avatar photo Stonegypsy says:

        I’m curious why you feel it was inappropriate for her to voice her feelings about not being invited to her boyfriend. Isn’t that exactly what we usually encourage people to do?
        And while I definitely will confide in *a* friend when I am frustrated with my partner, it’s a giant dick move to talk to a group of people about how unreasonable your partner was being when she was clearly feeling rejected by that same group of people.

      2. ele4phant says:

        Fair enough. Just as there’s a right way and a wrong way to talk about your relationship issues with other people, there’s a right way and a wrong way to talk with your partner about your disappointments, and I (as we all were) am making assumptions that cast her in a less flattering light and him in a more generous one.

        Yes, I think it’s fine to say you are disapointed that you are excluded, so long as it’s an “I feel” conversation not an “I should be invited why am I not? You need to…”. I assumed (maybe rightly maybe wrongly) that she was trying to argue her way into going or telling him he should not go. I was also assuming that the invite was coming from the friends, not that the boyfriend was part of putting it together himself. It’s pretty unfair to pressure or complain about an invite your partner received from somebody else? What is he supposed to do in that situation. He’s not in charge, what is he possibly supposed to do?

        I also assumed (perhaps incorrectly) that this was a small get together (maybe just him and the other couple). In my mind it is just as okay to talk to a small group of close friends as it is one close friend. Everyone at a large party, no. But my read of the situation was not that.

      3. Yep, StoneGypsy got it right. That is why I said public complaint.

        Yes we do complain about our SOs from time to time. In a private setting with close friends or family. Not loudly in front of the dinner crowd.

      4. Ele4phant says:

        I think the crux of it is we are imagining different things. You’re imagining it as a large dinner party. I’m imagining it as a small dinner party – just the three of them.

      5. Seriously? Seriously! says:

        But there was at least one more friend there — the one who decided to stir the pot and tell LW that the BF was trashing her.

      6. RedRoverRedRover says:

        Not necessarily. I assumed they were out in public (like at a restaurant) and someone who knew the LW overheard. Otherwise why would the LW say “a third party” instead of “another guest”?

  9. This was just a dinner, not a “dinner party.” We don’t have enough info, but my guess is that the friends called the bf up and asked him to grab dinner, and he didn’t ask if LW could come, probably thinking it wasn’t a big deal. Either that or he knows that the friends don’t really like LW and so just assumed she wasn’t invited. In these scenarios it seems pretty reasonable that LW wouldn’t be invited this time, and if she threw a big fit over not getting to come out with his friends, that may have been an overreaction.
    The bf seems like he made a bit of a dick move by talking about LW’s reaction. But we’re missing a couple key pieces of info, such as how long LW and bf have been together, and the details around this mysterious “third party” somehow knowing about what was said and telling LW. If LW and bf haven’t been together very long and she overreacted at not being invited to something, it seems like a pretty normal reaction for him to then tell his close friends about it and get their input. The “third party” hearsay report might also be blowing things out of proportion – bf may have just simply mentioned what happened because it was on his mind and he wanted to get feedback.
    LW, the focus on comparing him to your late husband caught my eye. Is it possible you’re trying to jump into a new relationship assuming that you are automatically entitled the level of commitment and prioritization that your husband gave you? Because it takes some time in a relationship to work up to the point where you’re both each other’s top priority and would never talk about your SO to your friends.

    1. RedRoverRedRover says:

      I agree, I didn’t read this as a “dinner party” at all. I assumed his friends called him up and asked him to go out to some casual restaurant, and the 3rd party was either waitstaff or someone else coincidentally eating at the same restaurant. The 3rd party happened to know the LW and the bf didn’t realize it.

      If that’s the case, then it’s messed up that she thinks it’s “etiquette” for her to be invited along to that kind of dinner. And if she thinks that, then it’s likely she got upset at her bf before he went out. And then he vented to his friends, someone overheard it, it got back to the LW and now it’s all blown out of proportion.

      Because it seems to me that if this was a dinner party, or a big friend group, and the bf had been saying these things in front of a big group of people that the LW also knows, then the LW would have mentioned that. And instead of saying “3rd party”, she would have said “one of the other guests”. The way it’s all worded leads me to believe it was just her bf and his couple friends.

    2. Yeah I’m more interested in the shit stirring third party. Who was it? Did they give the info unprompted or did LW go looking for it? So many questions that could totally change how I see this…

  10. bittergaymark says:

    Eh, usually when somebody ISN’T invited to dinner there is a damn good reason for lack of invitation. Oh, and they tend to always damn well know what it is — but somehow never bother to mention it as it would make them — the LW — look bad. Grow the fuck up already. PS — That some of you are so aghast at this BF behavior is HILARIOUS as the forums are nothing but page after page of people talking smack about people behind their backs, but whatev.

  11. A solo dinner isn’t a reason to break up. All couples need space. And for the boyfriend complaining about you: you weren’t there, you don’t know exactly what he said and how. So I wouldn’t take that in consideration. You seem very sensitive about other issues, probably. A lack of involvement on his part? Anyway, “friends” seem to play a too big role in this problem. I would go to more direct communication with the boyfriend, not defensively: just express how you both feel, what would make you happy, how you see the future, and so on.

  12. Avatar photo Dear Wendy says:

    From the LW:

    Thank you for taking the time to respond to my question. You certainly summarized my feelings in your response. I felt disrespected, like he didn’t have my back and like he didn’t like me. It was a triple whammy.

    He has since apologized to me and seemed sincere but I’m having some trouble moving forward, largely because there has been no correction or apology to his friends acknowledging regret for his rude behavior toward me. I asked him about it and he said he didn’t plan to say anything and would rather show them than tell them.

    I read the comments your readers posted. I don’t expect my bf to elevate me to wife status. In my experience gentlemanly behavior isn’t improved in a man because of a deeper commitment. It’s like class, you either have it and are cultivating it or you don’t and aren’t. Bf is 27 and I’m 34. This is only his second relationship so I’ve hoped it was his inexperience (I will forgive almost anything if someone’s intention toward me is good) and not a lack of care driving his behavior. I’ve asked myself the question and am having a hard time arriving at an answer. He has done other things that suggest he’s trying to make the relationship work.

    I support and encourage my partner to have alone time with his friends and family. I get it that it is healthy and good for them to have periodic chances to connect on their own, even if everyone is fine with my being there.

    We’ve been dating nearly two years and his circle of friends and his family have all welcomed me warmly with the exception of this couple (who claim to like me?) so I was more disappointed about being excluded by them *again* than thinking bf should invite me to everything. Same couple is hosting an upcoming party and sent an invite to my bf + 1 (did I mention we’ve been dating for some time and they have met me multiple times and know my name?). The couple is in his parents age group and have an 18 year old daughter who they encourage to drink and be friends with the guys in my bfs circle (all late 20s, early 30s). I don’t think it’s appropriate or beneficial for their daughter to be in these situations so maybe they are sensing some unspoken judgment from me in the same way I am sensing their unspoken dislike. Their 18 year old daughter and her younger sister were at the dinner and privy to my bfs bad mouthing, adding to my embarrassment.

    Bfs friends don’t know I know he blabbed about me at the table but the thought of spending time with these friends at their upcoming party as my bfs “+1” or even just having them see me and bf continue on as normal is wounding to my pride. It makes me feel embarrassed and foolish…and like I should do better.

    At the moment I’m stuck in disagreement with myself about what to do.

    Thank you again for your time and care in responding to me. I appreciate it

    1. Seriously? Seriously! says:

      LW, can you tell us what you heard he said about you? That really makes a huge difference.

      1. bittergaymark says:

        Oh, for fuck’s sake. Get over yourself. This whole tedious drama is about as classless as it can get.

      2. Seriously? Seriously!:
        She did tell us “my boyfriend was bad-mouthing me at the dinner table by telling his friends how upset I was to not be invited and complaining about how unreasonable I am.” That’s apparently all there is to the bad-mouthing.

        LW is very judgmental. She clearly doesn’t like the couple who made the invitation. Based on her comments here, it sounds like this couple is well aware that she sees them as a pair of perverts who give alcoholic drinks to their 18-year old and younger daughters and then throw them at late-20s to early-30s guys for whatever perverted reason perverts do this sort of thing. She also clearly thinks that this couple is too old to be inviting her bf and his crowd to dinner parties at their house? With that level of disdain and firmly believing the worst about this couple, why in the world would she expect an invitation? She loathes them and they sense that and dislike her. It sounds like she wants to be there to keep an eye on her bf and protect him from these predatory perverts and their bf-stealing, 18-year-old daughter.

      3. It’s pretty embarrassing for a boyfriend to have said these complaints. There are ways he could have brought it up that would have worked better. If he was asking what’s going on or if they had anything reassuring that he could pass along, that would have been ideal. If he had come back to her and was like “Oh I talked to them about it and they love you! They just also like spending time with me” If he said that, it would speak positive volumes about the relationship

        The whole idea that people’s feelings are “drama” is almost always off base. Feelings are feeling. The facts that these feelings are based off of aren’t any form of twisted thinking. Feeling excluded, embarrassed, unsupported.

        WWS <3

  13. I just went through this just last night
    My boyfriend and I were arguing the night before because when he gets drunk he gets mean. Well I was giving him the cold shoulder and while he was tattooing the client, he bashed me to him and to make this even worse allowed his client to trash talk me right in front of him. I had access to his video camera at his tattoo shop and I heard the whole conversation. They both called me a bitch. I couldn’t believe my Ears. I was so hurt and livid. It’s been a string of things like his drinking but honestly THIS was the icing on the cake. I literally packed up ALL my stuff and moved out. TOTAL lack of respect and loyalty. I’m DONE

  14. The issue isn’t that she hasn’t been ibvited. It is that he is bad mouthing her. This will be the reason she hasn’t been invited. It won’t be the first time.

    I had a boyfriend like this. I once caught him trashing my family on the phone talking to his friend. There was no reason for it. My family always welcomed him and liked him. But my ex was a schizoid and a narcissist. He needed to trash me and my family to look good in front of his friends. He had no back bone and tried to brown nose them, because ..???.. whatever reason. He was sick.
    I just realised with time that his friends started to get more and more aggressive towards me. Bit by bit I realised that he used to complain about me when he was with them.

    I wasn’t that close to his friends and actually from the beginning they weren’t very welcoming towards me. First time I ever met them, they didn’t talk to me at all.

    I later understood he must have a personality dissorder that makes him incapable to emotionally bond with a partner. That is the source the bad mouthing comes from.

    He never put any effort in working on his relationships with women. Instead he pretended to be a victim and ran to his friends like a baby complaining to get self justification from them.
    He wasn’t able to reflect his own behaviour or his mental problems (schiziod personality dissorder).

    The friends couldn’t know and they only knew his site of the story and never what horrible partner he was.
    But I think they saw late that he is still on his own as all women leave him and that he isn’t the victim he claims to be all the time.

    He also tried to find out if I was available after years of us having zero contact. From the message he wrote me it was clear he was frustrated. He was alone and everyone else got married and had families. Again, he felt and behaved like he was a victim. But now this crazy guy tried to reach put and complain to me and thought I might want him back…

    Don’t know if it gets clear from my twisted story. But bad mouthing ones own partner comes from a narcisstic mind. Those people are at war with their partners without their partner knowing. They are passive aggressive people.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *