Category: jealousy

Carolyn Hax: You can’t tell your SO who to be friends with

Unhappy with significant other’s friend

Yet another reason why I love Carolyn Hax’s column!  She understands that you can’t tell your husband/wife/boyfriend/girlfriend who to be friends with, except in exceptional circumstances (ie, abuse, child porn, etc.).  And even then, you ask, don’t demand.  You just don’t have the right.

This is what I tried to explain once to Tracy.  She thought she did have the right, and that your SO should “respect” your wishes.  But no, that’s not it at all: That’s a desire for control, which manifested itself in other ways as well in her behavior toward her husband and others.  I’m so passionate about this issue because I have seen firsthand how this kind of control ruins friendships and causes drama and hard feelings, where none were necessary.  I hope that through my posts, others will be spared this.

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Platonic opposite-sex friends without jealous spouses…Or, Saw an old friend for lunch yesterday

It was so good to see my pastor-friend “Mike” again.

He says his wife is “very jealous,” yet she doesn’t know me, doesn’t want to friend people on Facebook just because they’re his friends, doesn’t monitor his conversations with me, none of this.

If what he means is, she doesn’t want to share him sexually, that’s not “jealousy,” that’s normal.  🙂  No, I don’t consider her jealous, since she’s never shown any sign of jealousy with me.

Yes, Mike is in my college memoirs.  We’ve known each other since InterVarsity started up my sophomore year.  I even had a crush on him for a while.  But it wasn’t returned, I moved on to my now-husband, and our friendship has always been strictly platonic.  As Mike puts it, we flirt on occasion, but we always maintain boundaries.

What did we talk about?  Family.  Church.  Religion.  Nothing to be alarmed about.

Some people, even in the twenty-first century, still have problems with married people having opposite-sex friends.  Or people flirting innocently and harmlessly with opposite-sex friends.

While some people do turn it into affairs, that’s their problem.  Let the rest of us have our friends without fear of facing an angry spouse, or having to justify it.

Mike was part of my main circle of friends in college, even though it was mostly female.  We called him an “honorary woman.”  Even though half of us had crushes on him at some point, he never dated us.

I’ve kept up with that circle over the years, and now we’re all on Facebook, connected though scattered across the state.  It would be a shame to break that up because of a jealous spouse.  It’s so good to see this is not a problem.

 

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Carolyn Hax (and the “nutterati”) Stick It to a Jealous Girlfriend

A letter writer is quite upset that her boyfriend of two years still talks–all the time–with his ex-wife of 30 years.  Even “put her foot down” over it, only to find he was still talking to the ex.  Carolyn Hax’s response was not what she expected.  For example:

But this is not up for debate: He has every right to this friendship. You can point out things that bother you, take offense at being lied to, and decide they’re too cozy and break up with him for it, but you can’t tell him who he can or can’t care about based on the way you think coupled people are supposed to behave.

The commenters “below the line” (whom Hax calls “nutterati”) also, for the most part, appear to agree with Hax, and consider the letter writer to be controlling, jealous, insecure, etc.  They note that she’s trying to control a grown man.

YES!

Column here: Why can’t these exes who are “bestest buddies” move on?

And here’s another one in the same vein:

Her hostile reaction to misfired introduction shows trust issues

This girlfriend throws a hissy fit because her boyfriend accidentally called her by his ex’s name, and still has pictures of the ex on his Facebook.  Then he didn’t grovel enough for her taste.  The commenters then started calling her very immature, hoping she’s about 21 and will grow up soon.

One commenter says, “Impossible to care about a person who is so intent on keeping score. Her behavior is poison to any relationship.  Assess the bigger picture, accept what is or don’t and move on.  IMO anyone this insecure and high maintenance is just too exhausting to bother with.

I can attest to that: Even if you’re not the significant other, but a friend of the SO, this can be so exhausting that you finally say screw it and leave.

 

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Reblog: The Narc and Male Friends

Sofia Lee tells her story of a jealous, possessive husband in The Narc and Male Friends.  I especially noted how he would lecture her on her “inappropriate” behavior, even though there was nothing wrong with it.

Tracy was the same way, raging at and lecturing me and, apparently, keeping her husband beaten down as well, over innocent behavior, calling it “inappropriate” and not allowing me to disagree.

It wasn’t just me: I heard the stories from him about other women as well, ones who didn’t pass her approval, especially during hormonal spikes.  Meanwhile, the rules she put on him and on me, she did not follow herself.  It’s all in my story, linked here.

One of these “inappropriate” behaviors was wanting to speak privately with Richard.  Sofia Lee also writes,

Friends, especially girlfriends, are all too likely to point out his douche behavior and convince you to do something about it, so they are a risk. Private conversations are a risk for the abuser. He needs you to be isolated, scared and insecure in order to torture you some more.

Then there was Kym railing on Sabrina in a narcissistic rage on Breaking Amish; my post about that is here.  On blogs and Facebook’s Breaking Amish pages, a lot of people hated Kym’s rage at Sabrina, calling it “trailer trash” and “ghetto” behavior, and sticking up for Sabrina.

That’s how I felt, too, and it was just like Tracy’s behavior with me.

“Kym has no business trying to control Sabrina, but needs to get Jeremiah under control,” they said.  (Or better yet, she needed to break up with Jeremiah because he’s a player who was screwing with Sabrina’s head.)

Then there were my exes.  I never was jealous of Peter’s female friends, yet he accused me (not to me, but to a mutual friend) of a “jealous look.”

This was ridiculous because I was not jealous of his friends, whether male or female.  He had a female friend he wrote to often; I was not even jealous of her, though I’d never even met her.

If anything, he may have misinterpreted my frustration the last few weeks of the relationship, when we’d be at lunch but he gave me zero attention, focusing instead on the other people at the table.  Then whenever we walked around campus, he’d act like he didn’t want to be with me.

He spent very little time with me outside of class and lunch during those last few weeks, yet gave me no, or angry, attention when we were together.

My feeling ignored, is no reason to break up with me or use as some kind of justification for the breakup, telling all his friends I was jealous when I was not.  If you read my college memoirs, you can see how he manipulated me, and later conducted a smear campaign against me.

Phil told me we should tell each other when we were attracted to someone else, so a breakup wouldn’t be a surprise.

Then he spent all summer telling me he wanted three wives: me, his brother’s fiancée, and some other girl who liked him.  We’d go get some fast food and he’d tell me he wanted to take the big-breasted girl at the drive-thru window, into the back of his minivan.

He also told me he was a sex addict who–if we weren’t living together that summer–would not be able to control himself from sleeping around.

When I got upset at him telling me about all these women he wanted to sleep with, he called me “possessive.”

Then, near the end of our relationship, when I told him (as per his instructions, above) that I was attracted to our friend Mike, he went ballistic.  Tried to force me to tell Mike.  Tried to force me to make a decision between us, even though I was already with Phil.

Even got a friend of his, Dirk, to lecture and harangue me because I told Phil I loved him but liked Mike.  It was hypocrisy.

Oh yeah, people like this are everywhere, male and female.  They’re the jealous ones, but accuse you of “inappropriate” behavior while they’re allowed to do whatever they like. 

Don’t let them; if you have never slept with the people they’re jealous about, then get away from them if they won’t listen to reason, because it won’t get better over time. 

As you can see from Sofia Lee’s post, jealousy is used to isolate you from people who see the abuse for what it is, and can help you.

 

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