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Friends with the Opposite Gender

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  • #891327 Reply

    “What is a controlling partner versus reasonable”

    A controlling partner gaslights and manipulates you by saying they “would never prevent you from seeing your friends” when you ask him to spend less time with his affair partner. A controlling partner lies about only seeing another person in a group setting when he’s really texting them asking to spend every single Friday together on top of the 2 plus times a week they already hang. A controlling partner flips the script and accuses the other person of being the controlling one for asking for reasonable boundaries, particularly if those boundaries require him to prioritize others over himself and stop an affair that is currently the center of his life. A controlling partner “invites” his spouse to join them, when the spouse knows damn well if she started tagging along every time they got together that she’d catch major hell.

    A reasonable partner asks her husband to cut his affair partner out of his life completely, and then has the self respect to leave when her husband won’t do that.

    #891328 Reply

    Honestly, if this “friend” were a man, I’d still believe something else/sexual was going on. It’s fine for married people to have friends they spend time with but this is not that. No one spends this amount of time going on dates, texting, driving his partner crazy over a friend. He’s telling you over and over through his actions that she is his priority, not you. How he’s managed to convince you that it’s fine boggles my mind.

    What do your friends say, Tina? How about your family?

    #891329 Reply

    “Here’s the deal, there have been a lot of changes that have happened and that I am thankful for. For example he only hangs out with her in a group setting, he invites me to join, he doesn’t go out drinking with her anymore late at night.
    Those are the things that I asked for that I said a would make me feel respected and more comfortable. And he is doing them.”

    So… you told him what you needed to feel respected, he agreed to do them and you are telling us that he has actually followed through and done them. So what’s the problem? Clearly, from what you’ve written in this thread you still do not feel comfortable, or respected, or happy. Were you afraid to ask for what you really wanted? It sounds like what you need to do is to leave this guy. Something about him and the dynamic between the two of you is going to keep you unhappy, no matter what. Multiple past cheating will do that. Lying will do that. You just can’t trust him and really, you have no reason to trust. Little changes in his behavior won’t bring your trust or happiness. You say you are now allowed to join their get-togethers. Does that mean you will be spending the two weekend days with them. If not, why not? Are you actually not allowed to join most of the time, don’t you want to join them? Will they be spending these two days at part of a group? Has he really lived up to what you asked for and he agreed to?

    If a relationship is savable, you should be able to ask for what you need, have him discuss with you, reach an agreement, and have him implement it. And once he has implemented it, you should be a lot more ok with the relationship. There is a huge contradiction in your responses.

    #891330 Reply

    Look Amber regardless of what we think is “normal”, this is your husband’s normal. You either need to accept that this is who he is and this is how he prioritizes his life or you move on. IT’S TRULY THAT SIMPLE.

    And I will tell you that there is no “normal.” Personally, I wouldn’t be happy if my husband behaved like yours (spending multiple days a week / texting all day every day with friends) REGARDLESS OF GENDER. And this is coming from someone who is extremely independent.

    #891331 Reply

    I get it.
    I still feel relief and just an outlet being about to get it out.

    For those of you who have heathy relationship, what does your partner do so you guys aren’t constantly together? I mean 5 nights a week he is home with me. And then Saturday and Sunday.
    That is why I ask what is reasonable. Is it reasonable for him to plan one day each week to get together with her since she is his only friend? (He has a guy friend but he talks about himself all the time and isn’t enjoyable, I get it.)

    #891332 Reply

    At this point we ARE constantly together, because there’s a pandemic.

    #891333 Reply

    Ron, as I recall the last time she tried to truly tell him how she felt and what she wanted – that there would be major problems in the relationship of he kept prioritizing this other woman – he outright told her he wanted a divorce and that she wasn’t worth staying married to. She knows what the answer is if she pushes too hard, and she isn’t willing to leave, so she’s doing the mental gymnastics to stay. It’s heartbreaking honestly.

    #891334 Reply

    Truly, it doesn’t matter what we think is reasonable. Every couple has their own comfort levels.

    And yes to what Kate said. Hanging out in bars and big groups in bars is irresponsible right now.

    • This reply was modified 8 months ago by avatarktfran.
    #891338 Reply

    There’s a pandemic. You’re not supposed to be seeing people and hanging out in groups.

    Regardless, our normal is spending most nights at home. Luckily, we have a lot of friends that come over. But- and this might shock you- we enjoy each other. I’m my husbands favorite person. He’s mine. I find him endlessly interesting and entertaining. He’s funny. If anything, I wish I spent more time with him. Crazy, right?

    He has male friends and I have to force him out the door to go hang out with them.

    Why is it that your husband has only one friend? This woman? And what about your friends, Tina? What do they think about this situation? How about your family?

    And yeah, thanks for the reminder- I had totally forgotten that she made a fake ultimatum and he asked for a divorce. Why on earth are you staying with him? He’s mean to you. Forgetting for a moment all the other shit, he doesn’t even make you happy.

    There is a better life out there waiting for you. I wish you had the courage to take the next step for yourself.

    #891339 Reply

    Tina – I will give you the information you are looking for on how other relationships work as far as this is concerned because I think it may actually be helpful to you.

    Some details for context: my wife and I have been together for 7 years now. We have partial custody of my daughter who is with us around 50% of the time. I’m pretty introverted and don’t make friends quickly. She’s very extroverted and can’t leave the house without making a new friends (pretend we’re not in a pandemic for the moment).

    Neither of us are jealous at all. We’ve discussed even the possibility of some day opening our relationship down the line, but it’s not something we’ve done. I have never cheated on her, and to the best of my knowledge she has not cheated on me.

    I’m primarily attracted to women. One of my best friends is my co-worker we’ll just call V, who is straight and married. We don’t talk often outside of work, but what we do talk about is often serious. I have intimate knowledge of deeply personal things like her family relationships and the state of her marriage, and she has similar knowledge about me. We don’t really hang out outside of work but will occasionally message each other, but rarely more than once a week.

    My wife is pansexual and extroverted, so I’m only going to look at her friendships with men and women who are attracted to women. For many years she had a very close friend who is a straight male. They would text frequently (daily at minimum) and talk on the phone for 1 to 2 hours every week. A few times a year she would visit him and spend the night (he lived a couple hours away). I was ok with this. They eventually had a falling out and they aren’t friends anymore, but it has nothing to do with me.

    She’s also very close friends with a woman who is a lesbian in her late 20s (about 9 years younger than us.). They text each other all-day every-day. They bond creatively over their writing, share cute animal pictures, and pre-pandemic would meet up maybe once a month for the majority of the day. I will admit to being a little bit jealous when they first became friends but it’s become clear that over time they have more of a mentor-mentee bond and I’m over it.

    My wife has another friend who is a lesbian that she has a very deep connection with. They have worked together regularly on public works and planned classes together. They have comforted each other through multiple heartbreaks over the years. This friend officiated our wedding and my wife was the maid-of-honor at hers.

    She also has a friend whose sexual orientation I’m not totally sure on, but on the chance that she’s bi or pan we’ll include her. They text regularly every day. They bond over health issues and joke around a lot. They have a once-a-week phone-call that lasts 3 to 4 hours. They’ve really only gotten to know each other post-pandemic so they don’t see each other in person often currently, but I suspect that will change.

    I could got on with more examples, but my point is, there’s a lot of deep, close personal friendships between people who could technically partner up, but we don’t get jealous of the time we spend with others of potential partners or connection that the other is spending. If there was a couple where “I’m going to hang out with X person every Friday forever” would be us. And it’s still a totally unreasonable request.

    #891342 Reply

    Thank you for the examples. Maybe I am just still struggling to really comprehend that this man does not love me. Regardless of him saying so, and feeling like there’s love and affection between us when we are together.
    So if I told him that I still feel nauseous inside, and the excessiveness and frequency still gives me a really sick feeling inside, and his response is “she’s my friend. And if you don’t like it, leave.” Or if he says “I don’t want to be with a controlling wife who I have to check in with and ask to see my friend”
    Is this case in point that he truly doesn’t love me?
    Or is he just a narcissist asshole?

    #891345 Reply

    Also with knowing he isn’t going to change, is there a concise response I can give him when he says: “I thought you were a progressive woman. You’re telling me women and men can’t be friends? You can’t handle the fact that I’m friends with another woman.”

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