How am I supposed to feel when his friends are women?
Ginger, 50, dietitian
I have been seeing a man since I was divorced 18 months ago. We are both in our early 50’s. I have known this man (never married, no children) for over 21 years. We used to work together. Up until we started dating, we were only friends.
Over these past 18 months – we have spent increasing time together and have spent nearly every night together over the past 10 months. We have taken 6 trips together and I have learned that I am the ONLY woman he has EVER introduced to his family. I do know that he has has several long term relationships and there have been two women he has wanted to marry but due to differences in cultural backgrounds, his mother refused to meet them. She is now deceased but in the beginning of our courtship, he drove me to the cemetery to show me her grave and I have since met his father, siblings and extended family.
Now, we have decided to sell each of our homes and buy a new place together. Seems so wonderful, right? I am very aware that I have insecurity issues and am working on that in therapy. However, sometimes I find that I am concerned about certain situations and am unsure if this is insecurity/needless anxiety OR if this is truly something to be concerned about.
- Whenever I say I love him, he will say “that’s so sweet of you to say,” later explaining that he doesn’t know how to talk about feelings and adding that because he is with me 99% of the time (when we are not working), that should let me know how he feels. He did, however, say that he loved me ONE time (when he thought I was upset with him). Is this true–that some guys just cannot talk feelings? I am aware of my neediness but at the same time, am I blowing this out of proportion?
- This is the real upsetting issue. He has a female friend of approximately 25-30 years. They have never dated or been physical; she is married with a child and he knows the husband, too. Once a month or so, they go out – along with a few of HER female friends. They all like to drink and my man does not so he is their designated driver. He always tells me when they’re going out and he always comes back to my house after.
This entire situation makes me literally sick. Yes I have trust issues as well but is this something a secure woman would accept? I work on Saturday evenings so this is why I am not included although he’s said that if I didn’t work, I could join. I have met all of his male friends/wives except for this small group. I have told him that I don’t like it but that I will not tell him what to do just because his friends are women. But feel that I cannot keep saying it repeatedly. I try to help myself by thinking that he was not in a relationship with her before, so why now? She has not met his family either.
I know he dated a few of her friends (not relationships, just dating) in the past and I obsess about this as well. He has told me that this girl is his link to his old neighborhood pals (he is not involved with social media) and that it’s all innocent and in fact he would not be jealous if I went out with a bunch of guy friends because he trusts me. So… I know I am insecure and needy and I have trust issues and I am very diligently working on resolving these BUT I would like to know (from a MAN’s perspective and/or from a secure person’s perspective) if I really am making something out of nothing here. Thank you.
Our Relationship Problem Advice for You
It’s not really your fault that society has made all of us uncomfortable with having friends of the opposite sex. I, myself, have many excellent friends who are women and we hang out by ourselves all the time! That doesn’t mean it hasn’t created turmoil in some of my relationships…
I usually have to make this clear from the very beginning that a lot of my very close friends are women and if you have a problem with that, then leave now. I’m not going to lose life-long friendships because the person I choose to love feels insecure. Let’s look at the way things usually happen:
- A man and woman meet
- If either or both of them are willing and available, they try to start something
- They are either successful or not
- They date or they never talk to each other again
- A man and woman meet
- They figure out that they are either in relationships and can’t pursue a romance
- OR they discover that they really like this person, but don’t think of them romantically
- OR they have the self-awareness to realize that they might be awful in a relationship together
- OR they simply don’t care if this person is of the opposite sex
- They become friends
Men and women can be friends! Men and women can be alone with each other and not try to have sex with each other because it never crosses their minds! Sure, there are people who are life-long serial cheaters, but unless this man gives you a very specific reason to mistrust him, then your only other option is TO TRUST HIM. It is important to realize that nearly all cases of jealousy stem from the jealous person’s own issues. It has nothing to do with their significant other.
I actually think the bigger issue here is that he can’t tell you he loves you. Now is the perfect time to sit him down and tell him that his girl-friends make you feel jealous, but it wouldn’t if you knew for sure–out of his own mouth… repeatedly–that he loves you, it wouldn’t be so hard for you to take.
Do you agree with this advice or do you have a similar situation of your own?
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