Help! My Man Has A Girl “Friend”
by Bailey Powell
By my own admission I am romantically challenged, and because of this general uninvolvement I find myself in an emotionally unattached state that enables me to see situations from an objective point of view. So, when I received this email last week I thought I could provide some handy dandy insight:
After reading How to Truly Exude Class: Part One and Two I really got to thinking about my mission to obtain and maintain classiness…
Let me catch you up to speed. I was seriously dating a guy (let’s call him Dave) back in 2010. He went to Iraq, bought me a ring, we were discussing buying a house, etc. Long story short: My 19 year old bleeding heart couldn’t compete with his gang of mega hot “friends that are girls” and their best friendships that seemed to have lasted a lifetime. It smelled like BS to me, but I don’t believe men and women can have a healthy friendship without feelings involved.
The night before Dave went to Iraq in 2010, we went to a cook out hosted by one of these girls he’d been friends with for several years. She had a boyfriend (now fiancé) and was pregnant at the time, but would frequently call Dave to chat. They would call each other when something reminded one of the other, had a song, and even said “love you” before hanging up. They’re friends so I was making an honest attempt to keep it classy [and be understanding]. We went to her cook out and after we said goodbye to all thirty people in attendance were outside putting [my son] in his car seat when the girl “friend” ran outside dramatically waving around a measly 99 cent toy [my son] “forgot”, yelling for us to wait. Dave went to get it from her when… she kissed him. I was really heated but somehow managed to keep my cool.
Two years later Dave and I are back together and this chick is still a pillar in his life. The other night after a few cocktails and my cousin (married with two children) informing me of her infidelities the topic of cheating really got my blood boiling. I couldn’t resist later interrogating Dave with “You would never cheat on me right?”, “What about [girl "friend"]?”, “What about that kiss?”, “You guys kiss often?”, etc. and told him that I found it very rude and disrespectful that she would have the nerve to do that in front of myself and my son. I feel embarrassed about [the confrontation] but I didn’t yell or seem upset. I was just making points, and being on my mission of classiness I felt I handled it borderline well.
What stinks is that now he knows I basically hate the chick and that I see right through her nastiness. How do I rise above it and regain my level of classiness? I will be seeing her quite often- did I mention she lives down the street? It’s not Dave I’m worried about cheating on me, he’s a stand up guy, but I need your advice. I don’t want to be catty and I don’t want to be passive aggressive. What should I do? She wants to have her cake and eat it too. She’s due to marry another man, has had his baby, and yet wants to “friend zone” my man and be overly welcoming and nice to me and [my son] and tell Dave how much she cares about him and his happiness… I CANT BUY IT! I’m so frustrated with how much she effects me and my normally level-headed, kind-hearted flow. She has me “reaching for the Prozac” as you would say. I’m literally losing my cool over this female. Please publicly address this topic.
My goodness, haven’t you been put through the relationship gauntlet! From what I can tell you’ve handled this obstacle beautifully, if not as assertively as I think would have been ideal.
First, men are fairly easy to figure out. They are wonderfully simple creatures, going for what they want, staying away from what they don’t, and thriving on clear and concise communication. As for women, we can be emotional basket cases, expecting words to do half the work and mind reading to pick up the slack. We often hold grudges, seek revenge, and are mean to each other without legitimate reason (I talk about mean girls in depth here). I am not slamming the tendencies of either gender. God intended for us to have complementary dispositions when paired with the right individual, and each makeup is to be appreciated and understood for what it is.
Fortunately as human beings we have the ability to move beyond instinctual action, training our minds and bodies to think and do things that aren’t necessarily natural inclinations. Men can learn to look out for hidden meanings in words and women can learn to speak plainly and better convey feelings. We must meet each other half way or a meltdown is certainly on the horizon.
Now, ‘scuse my French, but I think I might have back handed the bitch that kissed the man I was engaged to marry in front of me. You deserve a trophy and a slow clap worthy of a feel-good football movie for keeping your cool. There are two things wrong with that picture, though.
The first issue is obviously the girl “friend”. I think we can safely assume that anyone in a monogamous relationship would agree that her behavior is not okay and could easily be grounds for “friend”ship termination. The fact that she and Dave are still friends sounds alarm bells in my head.
In regards to dealing with her, here’s the thing: classiness is not equivalent to being fake. There is a fine line. You don’t have to smile at the people who have wronged you, but you also don’t need to let unworthy people occupy your thoughts and ultimately rule your emotions. Girl “friend” is clearly troubled and if anything you should feel pity for her existing relationship, soon to be marriage, and her child that are put on the back burner while she engages in some recreational life-ruining with your man. Do you see how sad that is? If anything I think I would involuntarily smile at her because you’re witnessing a train wreck of a girl, falling and flailing her arms to regain balance and grabbing onto people around her on the way down (see: you, Dave).
Since she is in such close vicinity, chances are she will continue to reach out to you to get together or to arrange playdates for your children. Kindly decline, and remember, classy is not fake so you don’t have to make up excuses. She probably senses your apprehension and since she has never seeked you out to apologize or explain I can only assume her actions are guilt-driven or even ploys to get closer to Dave. If she has the audacity to approach you and ask why you consistently decline her invitations calmly explain that you felt it was inappropriate that she kissed Dave and that her behavior around him in general makes you uncomfortable. She might deny it or get angry with you, but that’s not your business. She asked you a question and you answered. Do not retaliate to anything she might say to instigate or get a rise out of you. Stick to your level-headed guns, make your point, and remove yourself from the situation as soon as possible.
I’m going to give Dave the benefit of the doubt and assume that he pushed his girl “friend” off of him during The Kiss. However, did he not say anything to you about it after it happened, perhaps in the car on the way home? No explanation, nothing? Since you recently flew off the handle at him about that night I can only assume he did not address it on the way home, or ever. It seems surprising that his knee jerk reaction wasn’t to defend himself and/or lament on how ridiculous his girl “friend”‘s actions were, while simultaneously reassuring you that that was weird, unacceptable, and the first and last time something like that would happen. Him not saying anything makes me feel as if he didn’t think it was a big deal. Alarm Bells: The Sequel.
Classiness also does not mean biting your tongue and allowing people to trample on you, so you shouldn’t feel embarrassed about approaching your significant other with your insecurities. That person is meant to provide you solace, reassurance, and ultimately be a safe haven, and you to him. However, the first lesson in Confrontation 101 is to present an issue as soon as you feel as if it has indeed become an issue. If you put it off or try to stifle aggravation an unintentionally angry encounter is often the result, and while this goes for all relationships it is especially important to remember for the success of romantic ones. Don’t nitpick, use discretion, and pick your battles. Approach him with a calm demeanor and a well thought out argument. I’ve learned that the most effective way to address an issue you have with someone is to utilize this non-accusatory statement:
“When you do/did _________ it makes/made me feel _________.”
There is no finger pointing, just an honest admission to your feelings. This way the ball is in the other person’s court to explain, inquire, or even just apologize.
At this point it’s time for you to have a frank discussion with Dave about the future of your relationship. Tell him that his “friend”ship with this girl is inappropriate in your opinion and makes you more than a little uncomfortable. Maybe even draw parallels between yourselves by verbally illustrating a what-if situation with you and a boy “friend”. He may think you’re being unreasonable, but if he truly cares about you he will take it under serious consideration and be proactive to make alterations to fit your comfortability. Whether this means he will eliminate her from his life completely or simply lay down the law to her by explaining that you’re number one and that she must back off, something on his part must be done. If he is unwilling to make a change, belittles your feelings, or says he’ll do something about it and no results follow I have sad news: he is not the one. I believe that romantic relationships should be centered around a dedication to serve one another and ultimately put the other first. You deserve a recipricol romance and your son deserves to grow up witnessing one. With billions of men in the world there is no reason to settle for less.
Topic you’d like me to address? Email me.