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Joined: Jun 2010
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I�m divorced, and for the past 8 months have been dating a man who is also divorced. Both of our marriages were broken up by adultery (we both had wayward exes). I, more than him, am now extremely aware of establishing boundaries in relationships, and I�m not nearly as trusting as I once was � I no longer give anyone the benefit of the doubt, and I find myself looking for gaps in the story or even creating gaps where none exists.

Now, my boyfriend was married for 8 years and was with the woman for about 15 years. As a couple, they were good friends with another couple. After the divorce, this other couple (the wife in particular) has made a point to remain friends with both my boyfriend and his exwife. The wife is the one who will call to arrange get togethers, chat and catch up, etc.

From what I have seen, this other couple does not have a healthy marriage. She rules the roost, and if she says jump, he says how high. The man can do nothing right. I�ve seen her berate him, calling him an idiot, acting with the utmost contempt and general disrespect. This makes me uncomfortable, just being around them when she�s like this. She is also bossy, and a complainer, and not really all that pleasant to be around sometimes. I don�t understand completely why my boyfriend keeps the friendship going, but I understand she was a good friend for him when he found out of his exwife�s affair, and also right after the divorce his mother passed away.

So, this is the part that I don�t like about the friendship � they don�t see each other very often, because she lives an hour away with her husband and children. Once, months ago, they planned to get together and ended up with her (by herself, because her hubby stayed at home to watch the kids) at my boyfriend�s house watching a movie. Just the 2 of them, all alone, and she stayed until almost midnight. The next day, I immediately expressed my opinion � I wasn�t comfortable with it. I understand they want to be friends, but I don�t think it�s right for her to be at his house, late at night, alone with him. His argument was that he thinks of her as just a friend so it�s no big deal. My argument was it's fine to be friends, but he should go to her house and see her and her husband and her kids, or at least go out to a meal where you are in public. No alone time.

Also, when we are all together, she tends to be a bit touchy feely. She will try to link her arm through his, or she�ll come up and hug him, or even put herself into the crook of his arm to cuddle. Again, I�ve expressed that this makes me uncomfortable. Maybe if she were like this with everyone, I would get that �it�s just her� but she�s way nicer to my boyfriend than she is to her hubby, and it�s not like she�s hugging and cuddling with her girlfriends. My boyfriend doesn�t encourage her behavior, but he also didn�t ever discourage it (by walking away, for example) until I told him how I felt about it and after a very long discussion he agreed to talk to her about it. They attribute it to the fact that I don�t know her very well. Which I don�t, but I highly doubt I will ever be okay with any woman coming to my boyfriends to watch a movie alone with him, or snuggle with him. He admitted that yes, she did this a bit when she was over watching the movie.

I do not know if I�m making a bigger deal out of this than it needs to be. Is it good enough that he is now aware that I�m not comfortable with certain things and he�ll just not do those things anymore? He doesn�t necessarily agree, it�s more that he is appeasing me because I was so upset. I used to believe that men and women can be friends, but I just don�t anymore. I don�t know if I�m just paranoid, or if I�m right to expect certain boundaries be established in cases like this.
When I truly sit and think about it, I do trust him and I don't honestly think there is anything going on between them - but I definitely don't like the impression it gives, and sometimes I think that this is how these things "just happen".

Joined: Nov 2000
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I don't know if it's a question of "right" or "wrong", rather than "what's right for you" .

What I mean is that you have your view of things, he has his. They seem to be different. You expressed your concerns to him, he apparently dismissed them, and apparently plans to continue the same pattern (since he sees nothing wrong with them).

If it were me, I'd have to weigh whether I would want to live with this kind of a pattern in my marriage. If yes, great, if not, you know the drill.

Come to think of it, I did have a very similar situation, with a woman I met who had all sorts of not just male friends that she went on vacations with, but also ex's that she stayed in contact with. I did not like it, and did not want to be involved with someone like that, so I walked away and never looked back.

AGG


Joined: Jun 2008
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I'll take it further than good guy's reply.
Marriage Builder's is all about establishing boundaries. Have you forgotten that Dr. Harley says anyone can have an affair, that's why it's so important to safeguard our relationships? A friendship can start out with innocent intentions and then when someone hits a rough spot, they can find themselves turning to each other in unhealthy ways...why tempt things? I am, quite frankly, surprised her husband isn't complaining about this! I am puzzled your BF is okay with it...maybe he likes the attention she gives?
I'm sorry, but I'd come unglued if that were my BF's and my situation, I just wouldn't accept it. I'm all behind you and am glad you spoke up to him. Your point isn't to restrict him, it is to protect what you have together and it should be viewed as a positive, not a negative thing. It doesn't matter how well you know her or what they mean by any of it, you still need to protect your relationship with him. It's not about trust...weren't all of us trusting enough when we got stabbed by our exes? The point is not to be naive about things.


Enacting life's lessons into positive change... .
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I think men and women can be friends. BUT, not if one of them is being altogether inappropriate. There are male friends I give hello hugs to. The hugs are very short with no squeezing. There are other men that I kiss hello on the cheek. I have done this with them since I was 17. When I was married, there would have been no way I'd leave my family to watch a movie with a single male friend unless I was about to have an affair. it just wouldn't make sense to me.

But, what is actually a bigger concern to me is that your boyfriend seems to be a willing participant in this. He didn't say "Let me call Suzy, I'm sure she'd love to join us." How is he comfortable snuggling with someone who is not his girlfriend?


Divorced.
2 Girls
Remarried 10/11/08
Widowed 11/5/08
Remarrying 12/17/15
Joined: Feb 2009
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You are not paranoid. You know where this can lead and your gut is reminding you. Don't ignore your gut. This one is very simple IMHO. You already know the answer.


Over it.
Joined: Sep 2001
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Justme,

I think you need another talk with him and to ask him for a compromise on this that both of you can be comfortable with. Why couldn't you have been there that night at his house? I don't think I saw anything on that. There is absolutely no excuse he can give you as to why you shouldn't in my opinion, and to me if you couldn't, then reschedule.

Also, I believe while we may come across negative relationships, I like to be surrounded by positive relationships as much as possible, and unless they are family, I would not want to have too much to do with that couple!

A



The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing.
~~Socrates

The secret to happiness is wanting what you already have. ~anonymous

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