I really need to get advice from a guy. I’ve already talked to so many women and we see my situation the same, because I am being told by my fiance of two years that “I just don’t get it.” So I thought I’d ask for a guy’s perspective.
So when we began dating he had a friend that is a girl, that once was a “friend with benefits.” But once he was serious with me he said they were just friends. They continued to talk (Long distance) on the phone and she would call him for anything and everything she needed. After some time of this, I put my foot down. Let me rewind a little first though. Before I did that I would listen to their conversations because they were always at any inconvenient time like during our dinner, or when, or wherever. He would always drop everything to tend to whatever she needed to talk about. So, I put my foot down and basically said her or me. He chose me and did truly cut things off with her. They haven’t talked for a year and a half. He didn’t see anything wrong with carrying on the way he did with her. AM I wrong and not wanting to have my boyfriend, now fiance, talking in a teasing playful way to another woman?
The other part to my relationship is that he is divorced, but only had been married for 5 years and has been divorced for longer than that. He got very hurt by his ex because she cheated on him. I think a lot. He has told me that NO WOMAN will ever tell him what to do. I don’t tell him what to do, but I think he wants me to see him as a guy that is going to do whatever he wants and he does do that regardless of how I feel. I think it’s his way of showing me that the world does want him, almost like he’s trying to prove something not to me, but to his ex, but it is taken out on me.
He is the most social 37 year old I know. When I go do things it’s like he doesn’t like me to go out. I see this as a double standard. I guess I just don’t feel like I’m the top of his totum pole……BUT at times when it’s gotten tough between us, he is SO scared to lose me. I don’t get it. I think he’s just trying to control me in a way he couldn’t do with his ex by telling me over and over that he’s going to do whatever the hell he wants and I need to be submissive.
I’m just hoping for a guy’s point of view because he is telling me that I am the one with the problem. NOT him.
Thanks for your question.
We’re with you on a lot of this. While we encourage people to have friendships with the opposite sex—nothing like getting a completely different perspective on the world—these friendships should not undermine, impinge, or derail a committed romantic relationship. Your fiance’s relationship with his “ex-FWB” definitely crossed the boundary of what we see as appropriate. Maybe he wasn’t cheating on you, but he certainly was having an intimate emotional relationship with her. And she in particular was leaning on him to provide the kind of support a boyfriend or husband might provide. And he happily provided it. So you were right to step in and put your foot down. What bothers us is that he didn’t see it first.
Yes, his past is certainly impacting your relationship. But we can understand how he feels. He probably catered to his ex-wife’s every whim only to find out she was cheating on him. Talk about being blindsided and hit below the belt. He probably made a pact with himself that that would never happen again. The problem is, he’s put a wall up, and that’s fine when you’re dating casually, but not when you’re involved in an intimate relationship that requires trust and open communication.
What he needs to understand from you is that you’re not his ex. And that while you may want to be at the top of the “totem pole”—and we agree you should be–you’re not asking him to give up his life for you. You’re just asking him to keep you in his mind when he navigates the world. Meaning, he should think about you when he makes decisions. Am I being true to her? How would she feel about what I’m doing? Because that’s what people do when they’re in love and committed to another person. They don’t put themselves in positions that might jeopardize their relationship and hurt the other person. What could fall into this category? Drinks with a hot co-worker instead of coming home to have dinner. Putting guys’ night out ahead of your date night. Visiting the coffee shop that’s completely out of the way just to see and talk with the cute barista. None of these things are that bad really—well, maybe they are— but they derive from a selfish place, a me-centered place. You’ve seen those bumper stickers that say, “What would (blank) d0?” Well in this case both of you should always be asking, “How would (blank) feel about this?”
We think you need to start talking about all of this with him. First he needs lots of reassurance. That you love him. That you’ll be true to him. That you want him to be happy. That you think he’s a stud. (We just threw that in for good measure. All guys like to know they’re hot too.) But then he needs to really understand how you feel about his behavior and what YOU NEED from this relationship. He isn’t getting it. And when a guys says, “It’s your problem” you’ve got yourself a problem. Successful relationships involve two people, which means, he should care very much that you’re unhappy and try everything he can to figure out a solution with you. Because we don’t think you’re being unreasonable. In fact, you sound quite level-headed to us about the whole situation.
Last thing: This needs to be resolved BEFORE you get married. Otherwise you both could be headed for a difficult road.
We hope this helps you—AND your female friends. Please keep us posted as this progresses. And leave us a follow up comment. We’d love to hear your thoughts.
ps. Please let your friends know about us. Thanks!