The problem is that Phil doesn’t like Liz and won’t hang out with her. When I try to get a straight answer from him about why, I never really get one. He’s so stubborn and this is the one thing that’s causing problems in our relationship. The most I’ve been able to tell is that he didn’t really like how she handled things with the ending of their brief “hook up,” even though they never dated, and he doesn’t like Liz’s current boyfriend, whom he grew up with and is known to be a recovering drug addict.
Liz has invited Phil and me over her house, has offered to talk it out, and really wants us all to get along, but Phil just isn’t interested. It really sucks because Liz has been my best friend since high school (we’re 25 now) and we’re really close. She says her only guess is that Phil might have some unresolved feelings or resentments from their “hook up” or maybe it was a blow to his pride that it didn’t work out. Phil has denied any of this to me.
The last time Liz saw Phil they bumped into each other at a party. She said “Hi, how you are you, Phil?” and he just stared back her and didn’t reply. Liz also said that a while ago her boyfriend left his jacket at Phil’s and she left him two voicemails trying to get it back, and he never responded. She says he’s been very rude to her and she’s tired of trying.
Recently, Liz and I were out for a drink and started talking about weddings. I told her that if Phil and I get married (and I hope we do) I want her to be in my bridal party. She said she would love to, but only if Phil comes around and tries to be friendlier. She says she feels as if she’s trying, and he’s not, and he’s forcing me to be in the middle. I know she has a point, but I am very much in love with Phil. He treats me wonderfully – his stubbornness is the only thing that’s been causing a problem. What do I do? – Caught in the Middle
It sounds to me that the “breakup” or whatever you want to call it between Phil and Liz wasn’t as “mutually agreed upon” as either of them — especially Phil — would like you to believe. If it were, why on earth would Phil feel such animosity toward Liz? Something happened while they were hooking up or breaking up to make him resent Liz and until you find out what that something was, I doubt anything is going to change.
My bet is that Phil was really into Liz and it was her call to end things. This would also explain why he doesn’t like Liz’s new boyfriend. He’s jealous of him. I mean, think about it: a guy doesn’t like his girlfriend’s BFF’s boyfriend and THAT is going to be the reason he’s a jerk to the BFF? It doesn’t make any sense.
It sounds like Phil’s being “stubborn” because he doesn’t want you to know what his true feelings are. Even Liz is aware that Phil likely has unresolved feelings about their hook up. You don’t think that’s a little strange? That your boyfriend has unresolved feelings about his brief relationship with your BFF?
I know you think Phil treats you “wonderfully” but part of treating someone wonderfully is making an effort to emotionally support them, from supporting their goals, interests, and hobbies, to supporting the friendships and relationships they have with others (provided those relationships are healthy ones). That Phil refuses to make any effort to engage your best friend, to even behave in the most cordial way to her, and won’t explain to you why, is a major red flag, not just because it signals he has unresolved feelings, but it’s also just … jerky. Like, really jerky. He can’t even say “hi” to her at a party? That’s messed up.
If I were you, I’d demand he give you a reason for treating your best friend like crap or MOA. Tell him you’re sick of his behavior and unless he has a good reason for being such an ass, you simply don’t see how you two can have a future together. It’s one thing for him not to like or respect your best friend; it’s quite another for him to actively be rude to her and not be able to communicate with you the reason for his behavior. Until you get to the bottom of this, and he puts some effort into behaving like a normal human being around your best friend — or can give you a really good reason why he shouldn’t — I don’t see how you can possibly continue hoping you’ll marry this guy eventually. Behavior like his often speaks volumes of one’s character.