We’d dated for over a year and moved in together several months ago. I love her dearly and believe it’s mutual.
But my insecurity’s affecting our relationship.
She has many male friends, ex- boyfriends and lovers, etc.
I know some of these men are interested in taking their relationships with her to the next step. I inadvertently saw a text from one, sending photos of lingerie he wanted to buy for her and claiming he loves her.
There were a couple of explicit texts received from other friends. When I confronted her, she claimed these were in the past and she’s no longer in touch with them.
I’ve expressed many times my discomfort with her continuing to meet or communicate with some of these more questionable male friends.
I suggested hanging out with them in a group to introduce ourselves as a couple and to get to know them.
The one time we were at an event she avoided making any introductions. I don’t even know how many of these friends are aware of our relationship.
Maybe it wouldn’t stop them from pursuing her. I trust her but I can’t understand her desire for maintaining these friends.
Maybe she loves the excitement of being wanted. I can’t get her to open up on this issue. It could be that things are not going as well as I thought for us.
Insecure or a Problem?
Both. There is a “problem” here, not that unusual in still-newly committed relationships, and you are admittedly “insecure.”
The mix of both complicates things. Your girlfriend clearly enjoys the flattery and attention of her male friends, ex’es, etc.
It often takes some time, and an open, honest discussion, for one or both partners to understand that it’s hurtful and unfair to maintain the same levels of flirting and encouraging attention as when single.
They also have to learn to accept that it’s especially unfair to maintain the same behaviour as before with ex’es, etc., if it clearly worries a current love.
Simply put, your live-in girlfriend is creating a problem, then ignoring and dismissing it, which makes it feel worse to you.
As for insecurity, if this was already an issue for you when it comes to emotional feelings and sexual connection, it’s bound to be exacerbated by her behaviour.
If you’re self-aware enough to handle this, you should be explaining the roots of this insecurity to her, helping her understand your reactions.
Then, if she’s still dismissive, something’s missing in her empathy towards you, or her ability to forgo attention-seeking.
In that case, neither the problem nor your insecurity will ease unless you two seek couples’ counselling together.
My wife and I have always travelled whenever we could. I pack light; she packs heavy.
Now, in my early-50s, I’m lifting or dragging her suitcase(s) along with my smaller one, and two carry-ons (she’s usually also got a bulging purse and neck-pillow).
She doesn’t do any luggage-lifting or even pulling because she had back surgery several years ago.
I’ve told her she’s going to have to pack less. After a ski injury last year, I don’t want to trigger a more serious neck/shoulder problem. Is there a solution other than staying home?
Not A Mule
Buy lighter luggage, ship her heavier piece ahead, purchase travel-weight, easily washable clothing, set an absolute limit of the weight you can handle and refuse to carry more, period.
Those are only a few top-of-mind suggestions but I’m sure that readers will have more.
FEEDBACK Regarding the woman who received an email from a long-ago former “brief fling” (September 14):
Reader #1 – “Any man who calls up or emails a woman he had a fling with years ago is trying to spark it up again. She should steer clear and run from the whole idea.”
Reader #2 – “After 10 years, I emailed an old flame, because of news about a mutual friend.
“It provided an opportunity to start a new, different friendship. We were both single when we reacquainted, and never once tried to rekindle that flame. We caught up on our current lives and a friendship developed.
“A few years past, and we’re both in new relationships. I love him as a friend, I love his fiancée, also as a friend, and am very much in love in my relationship.
“Tell the husband to trust his wife with how she wants to respond to the email.”
Tip of the day:
If one partner’s flirty and the other insecure, there’s a problem for both.