“He Hides His Friendship With Me From His Girlfriend”

Home / Forums / Advice & Chat / “He Hides His Friendship With Me From His Girlfriend”

  • Author
  • Avatar photo
    March 27, 2023 at 8:18 am #1119359

    This was a comment that was made on an old post over the weekend, so I’m posting it here for better view ability:

    “I have a friend of the opposite sex – I’ll call him Joe – and we’ve been close for 30 years. Close as in he will call me once a week or so and we’ll talk for hours – but only when he is on the road and not home with his girlfriend, which of course makes sense because it would be rude to say the very least to talk to someone else for 6-7 hours at a time when you SO is there with you.

    My husband of 30 years recently died, but during our marriage he was perfectly fine with my friendship with Joe, and we kept our phone calls to limited calls (time-wise) then. Joe is a well-known public figure who tries to be very private about his family life with the press, which I understand given the fact that he is onstage and on TV or in the media a lot due to his career. Imagine my shock when Joe told me recently that (prior to a concert in our town) that he wanted me to come to the concert, but not approach him because his girlfriend is too jealous of me. I have no sexual interest in this man; we are just great, close friends.

    I told him last night how hurtful this was to me but either he doesn’t get it or he gets it and does not care, which also shocks me after 30 years of friendship. He wants to get together for 2 days next month to hang out but told me he plans to lie to his girlfriend about where he is, pretending that he will be taping some press, so I nixed it. It’s insulting to me on many levels, the least of which I am being treated like some kind of sidepiece when I’m not dating him nor have any intention to. I get that maybe she feels insecure about the fact that he and I can talk about anything but I would never try to exclude her; she was not part of the original band where he and I met and grew up together so when I meet other bandmembers’ wives/SO I am mindful of this, and it’s not usually any kind of problem. For her part, other band members (Joe and I used to tour together) tell me she is equally hostile to them to the point that they can’t easily hang out with him, either, with her around. They are male, but at least she doesn’t ban them (or rather, Joe doesn’t go along with her banning of friends) from being in the same room. It is his choice, obviously, to go along with this so I don’t accept that her jealousy precludes me from seeing him. Although he and I often talk about deep philosophical things in our lives, we also goof about stupid things and make each other laugh. And I assume that he’s with her because he loves her and she loves him, although the relationship seems unhealthy to me.

    I don’t want to end a friendship that has seen me through many happy times as well as dark days (my mother’s death, my husband’s premature death, etc.) but I really cannot figure out why he has made this choice to pretend to her that I don’t exist at any level in his life. It’s not a competition and I’ve told him so, but he won’t budge on the lying part to her, which makes me lose respect for him. Any advice?”

    March 28, 2023 at 8:31 am #1119383

    I think this friendship is seeming unbalanced. Calling someone when you’re on the road and talking for 6-7 hours seems… I don’t know, like not reasonable boundaries at the very least. And then he’s asking you to do things you’re not comfortable with, which further pushes your boundaries and feels like taking advantage. I get he’s famous, and not all relationships need to be 100% equitable all the time, but this has definitely veered into uncomfortable territory for you.

    And this isn’t about his girlfriend, it’s about you and what you’re comfortable with. I don’t think you need to cut off the friendship, but really think about what you’re getting out of it, and I think it’s fine to say, nope, I’m not comfortable with that, I won’t be doing that.

    For the record, it’s actually not complicated why he’s doing this. It’s because it’s easier. For him. Period.

    Avatar photo
    March 28, 2023 at 12:55 pm #1119388

    I think he’s using you to kill time while he’s on the road and bored. You’re probably the only person in his life willing to chat on the phone for 6-7 hours at a time. In what other ways is he showing you that you’re important to him? How does he prioritize your friendship? How does she show care and respect for you? If your friendship boils down to super long phone calls when he’s bored and got no one else to talk to, I don’t think you’re the close friends you believe you are and you should probably set better boundaries if not move on entirely.

    March 28, 2023 at 1:14 pm #1119389

    My mom’s brother calls her all the time when he’s driving somewhere because he just wants to talk to someone. He’s married, but like, my mom is retired and his wife is busy. And I’m sure he can gab about stuff with his sister he can’t necessarily with his wife, or it’s different. Anyway, he does not care if she’s cooking or doing whatever. I don’t think he even asks her if she’s busy, he just assumes he can talk her ear off when he wants to. This feels a bit like that, but on steroids. Like Wendy says, there are few or no other ppl who are willing to chat with my uncle like that for long periods, and on demand.

    March 28, 2023 at 1:30 pm #1119390

    So let’s assume given that you were married for 30 years, that you’re somewhere in your 50’s or 60’s. Do you think this behavior is normal? (psst – it is not normal)

    So she’s jealous and controlling but there is something about her he doesn’t want to lose so he puts up with it.

    I agree that you’ve put up a reasonable boundary. I don’t think you have to end the friendship, but I would be taking a step back and be less available. Shit, 6-7 hours on the phone is ridiculous. What can you possibly talk about for that long? Seriously, I will talk to some friends every 6 months and we have done a complete catch up in an hour including perspective on current events.

    March 30, 2023 at 11:59 pm #1119429

    Of course you don’t want to ruin a 30-year friendship, but you have to take into account the impact he’s having on you. It’s not right that he should expect you to hide your existence from his girlfriend or lie about spending time together.

    Maybe it’s time to have a heart-to-heart with your friend and let him know how his actions are affecting your relationship. He may be at a loss as to how to handle the mounting pressure from his girlfriend. It’s also possible that things between him and his girlfriend aren’t as good as they could be.

    You must decide for yourself what level of intimacy you are willing to accept in this friendship. If your friend treats you like a secret or an afterthought, you may need to establish some boundaries with them or, if necessary, end the friendship. Take care of yourself first and foremost in any relationship you have.

Reply To:

“He Hides His Friendship With Me From His Girlfriend”

Your information: