I’m a single father, divorced for approximately 4 years. It was a messy break up (my ex wife committed adultery). I never thought I could trust a woman again and the thought of being in a relationship really scared me. However, in December my sister introduced me to a co-worker of hers whom she thought I would like. I though I would give it a try and we clicked immediately. She is an amazing woman, comes from a great family and has a great relationship with my son. Although, our relationship is fairly new, we’re at an age where we know what we are looking for, we love each other and want a future together.
I have some concerns I’ve mentioned to her, and she’s always reassured me that she loves me and only wants to be with me. One issue I have is that her best friend is a male. To me this is not the norm. It bothers me and I’ve expressed my concerns and like I said she always reassures me that they are just friends. I guess because I’ve been hurt in the past I can’t seem to let this go. I’m constantly bringing it up and now she’s getting upset with me. I’m scared I’m going to push her away. I really love this woman and want to figure out how to deal with this. Sandro
Here you are with a great chance to start afresh after your crappy divorce, and drats – the woman you love loves hanging out with a dude. I get why this is messing with your head, but I don’t necessarily subscribe to the fact that men and women can’t be friends only or that sex ‘always gets in the way’. When can it be a problem? If, for example, she’s telling her male best friend stuff she should be sharing with you (probably not such a biggie if she was telling her gal pals). Ultimately, I think this issue has triggered some primal, self-preservation switch in you, leading you to pre-empt stuff that will probably never happen.
Repeatedly suggesting or implying to your girlfriend that it might happen is the worst thing you could do. You’re essentially telling her you don’t trust her not to cheat like your ex did, and that’s not only insulting, it may also lead her to get the shits with you and possibly decide your budding relationship is too much like hard work. While you actually need to do is the complete opposite. Back off, be cool about the male friend thing, try to restrain your jealous feelings and maybe even suggest you all hang out together sometime – after all, you’d want to get to know her friends if they were women, wouldn’t you? Plus, only by checking out their dynamic (hopefully completely platonic) can your fears be put to rest.
If it turns out there is some flirty undercurrent between them (or you learn they had some ‘history’ far back in the past), you need to figure out how anxious that’ll make you. If the answer is ‘very’, I would either a) get counselling to deal with the breakup baggage you’re still carting around or b) end it. Because relationships that evoke more worry than joy are just not work the angst.
Love, reality chick