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  • February 13, 2016, 05:18:41 AM

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Author Topic: Is it ever ok to ask your partner to drop a friend?  (Read 7133 times)

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Re: Is it ever ok to ask your partner to drop a friend?
« Reply #60 on: December 15, 2015, 09:07:32 PM »
In general, partners can ask for anything, and the other partner has the agency to say yes or no.  Of course, the first partner has the right to have deal breakers, and if this is one of them, he/she can decide that this isn't something they are willing to live with.  None of that is wrong.

Specifically to my life, my husband and I have a rule that any true friend of either one of ours would have our best interests at heart and would be friends of our marriage.  I don't have to like all of dh's friends, and he doesn't have to like all of mine.  But anyone we spend time with either separately or together needs to respect our relationship and not do anything to drive us apart.  That is something we both agreed on early on.  So, if this happened to me, I'd have some standing to say "this woman is not being a friend of our marriage.  We agreed that we would not engage in friendships that don't respect our relationship", and my husband would have the right to say the same to me in a similar circumstance. 

If I were the boyfriend in this story, well, I agree with the others that said if I felt like I had to ask, I would already know that we wouldn't be compatible.  If anyone I was dating did anything other than say "please don't send me texts like that, I am in a relationship and love my fiance" then I would already know that this just wasn't going to work between us because we aren't compatible.  As someone else said, that's not right or just is.  We are all allowed to have our own expectations for what we want out of a relationship and we are all allowed to end a relationship that isn't what we ultimately want.


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Re: Is it ever ok to ask your partner to drop a friend?
« Reply #61 on: December 18, 2015, 11:37:14 AM »
It is definitely OK to ask a partner to drop a friend.  The scenario in the OP?  Is one of those occasions.  A friend who doesn't treat the partner with respect?  Also OK.  But if one just doesn't like the friend?  Not so OK.

I think the woman is wrong to not drop this friendship.  If it was just a male friend and there had never been a previous relationship?  I'd agree with her.  But combined with the texts of undying love?  Not cool to do that to a partner.

Once again, we agree! hahahaha. I think yes, in the case the OP describes, its perfectly fine to ask the finacee to drop the friend, because of how he's acting.

But if they were just friends, and nothing else, and he asked fiancee to drop the friend simply because he didn't like the idea of her having male friends, no. And if it were me, I'd be seriously considering whether I wanted to spend the rest of my life with someone that controlling!


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Re: Is it ever ok to ask your partner to drop a friend?
« Reply #62 on: December 28, 2015, 11:08:01 AM »
There are two people displaying problem behavior: the ex who's got no problem pushing the boundaries by actively pursuing a woman who's in a committed, exclusive relationship with someone else, and the girlfriend who's in just such an exclusive relationship, but who's refusing to defend the boundaries that go along with the relationship.
Does the girlfriend have problems with boundaries in general? Is she perhaps the adult child of an alcoholic, or does she have trouble saying "no" when a friend makes an unreasonable request? If so, then not being able to say "no" to a pushy ex is just one more example of boundary trouble. It's fixable, provided the girlfriend doesn't buy into the notion that her only two choices are to submit to a boundary violation or drop the boundary-pusher completely. (This notion, by the way, is extremely popular in dysfunctional families, and it's one way that children and young adults are groomed to accept poor treatment from others.)
People who have been trained to not recognize or defend reasonable boundaries are often found in the company of boundary-pushers. The ex is definitely one such.
Boundary-pushers are interested in only one thing: getting what they want from another person. This might be material gain, or it might be an experience involving the other person's body, property, or attention. Whether the other person suffers or loses something important as a result doesn't matter to the boundary-pusher, and consent isn't even a blip on the radar screen so long as the boundary-pusher gets the experience he or she wants. Boundary-pushers only respect another person's rights, choices, limits, and preferences if they happen to coincide with the experience the boundary-pusher wants to have involving that person. Otherwise, the boundary-pusher will simply ignore the objections and bulldoze away until he or she gets what he or she wants, regardless of the damage done in the process. The word "no", pleas to stop, or even a restraining order are often completely meaningless, because the boundary-pusher is incapable of understanding that the target or victim simply does not want what the boundary-pusher wants.
Regrettably, the only things that can stop a committed boundary-pusher are force and distance. The target has to either get out of range (by changing his or her number, moving to another city, changing jobs or schools, etc.,) or enforce the boundary with legal or even physical force. For someone who's actually unhinged (like the bunny-boiler in "Fatal Attraction"), even a restraining order isn't enough and people are murdered by them on a daily basis. Most people never get in that deep, because they recognize boundary-pushing behavior earlier and distance themselves from people who do it on a small scale.
Bunny-boilers are pretty rare and the odds are that this particular boundary-pusher isn't one of them. If so, there's a chance he can be taught to either accept friend status or take a hike. But this can only happen if the girlfriend and the current boyfriend are united in their approach. The deal is: occasional E-mail, texts, calls, and dinner as a trio or as part of a larger group, but no attempts to rekindle the relationship. No late-night calls, no protestations of love, no gifts, no pet names, and no "accidental" physical touching (hint: there's no such thing as accidental physical contact unless someone's tripped and is falling). Many men and women are able to accept the friend role, but a boundary-pusher isn't going to do that.
In order to deal with a boundary-pusher, you have to be willing and able to downgrade the relationship. The girlfriend has the option of blocking the ex's number, unfriending and unfollowing on social media, and such. She's not willing to do that, or to assert that it's what will happen if the inappropriate behavior doesn't stop. It's therefore very likely that she doesn't have the maturity to be in a committed relationship with anybody except the boundary-pusher who's claiming her. If the boyfriend and girlfriend have had discussions or arguments over the boundary-pusher's inappropriate behavior, there's actually no need to issue an ultimatum over it, since the issue has already been fully hashed out and it's inevitable that another boundary-pusher will appear later on. Turning into a control freak and acting like a surrogate spine for the girlfriend is an unhealthy behavior in and of itself.
End the relationship, let the boundary-pusher "win", and move on in search of an adult to be in a relationship with. All three of you will be much happier in the long run. The boundary-pusher gets what he wants and is momentarily appeased, the target gets to be in a relationship where she never has to develop a spine or a will of her own, and you get a relationship where you have an actual partner as opposed to an orbiting satellite.


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Re: Is it ever ok to ask your partner to drop a friend?
« Reply #63 on: December 28, 2015, 11:43:38 PM »
See, I'm confused by the wording of the question. The accurate wording of this question, in my view, would be:

"Is it okay to ask the person you're marrying to stop entertaining romantic advances from other lovers?"

And the answer to that is very much yes. A better question would be,

"My fiance continues to accept propositions from former lovers. Where is the nearest relationship counsellor?"


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Re: Is it ever ok to ask your partner to drop a friend?
« Reply #64 on: January 02, 2016, 07:43:05 PM »
Only a couple of posters had the same question on their minds as I did: 

Why does Fiance know the content of these exchanges?  Why is fiancee' incapable of setting limits and dealing with an ex effectively (that is, without giving her boyfriend a rundown of the communication)?

I was in a long term relationship in which my partner mentioned someone flirting with him.  When he first told me about it, we both laughed.  He brought it up that specific incident again, and I thought, "Meh, that's odd. Maybe he's feeling a need to boost his own ego."  The third time it was mentioned,  I let it sit for a moment without saying anything, and then pointedly asked why he kept bringing this up over and over. He never brought it up again.

I have a theory that when people break up, it is a kindness in many cases to go no contact for six months or so. It allows the one who feels dumped to move on with less of a fantasy that the romance will be re-kindled.  It gives both parties the space to acquire the habit of socializing without the former consort. 

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Re: Is it ever ok to ask your partner to drop a friend?
« Reply #65 on: February 03, 2016, 07:35:39 PM »
I am just having a hard time understanding why someone would be comfortable staying friends with someone who doesn't respect relationship boundaries. if I experienced that from one of my friends, I don't think my SO would need to ask me anything because I would be shutting that down myself and telling my supposed 'friend' that they needed to back off and accept that we weren't going to be a thing.

I can see where it might be upsetting for the guy if the girl stays in contact with the friend - unless she has had a very frank discussion with said friend and friend has agreed to back off, then her remaining in contact with him is rewarding his boundary-crossing behavior and letting him fantasize that he has a chance to "win her over." She's being too permissive, muddying the boundary markers, and not presenting a united front with the man she agreed to be with.

It's obviously not okay to tell someone to drop a friend or be all controlling and "forbid" them from having contact, etc.
However, I don't think there's anything wrong with asking per se, depending on why you are asking and exactly what you are asking for.

This kind of situation doesn't have to automatically become a power struggle. If both parties keep their cool and share a common goal, then there can be negotiation and communication. And in this instance, I don't think it's unreasonable for the guy to ask his girl not to reinforce the misbehavior of her friend.
"... for there is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so."
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Re: Is it ever ok to ask your partner to drop a friend?
« Reply #66 on: February 04, 2016, 10:01:04 AM »
Also, I can see how the woman might not like the ex's attentions, but isn't sure how to make him stop, or feels like that wouldn't be "nice"--in which case, she may need some firm support from her current SO to change her attitude to something healthier. If the current SO leaps immediately to a negative conclusion about her motives, without discussing the situation with her, I can see the woman getting defensive instead of explaining that actually, she's uncomfortable but embarrassed at her own inability to handle the problem. I don't know if any of that applies to the current situation, of course, but it's another argument towards a calm discussion.

This thread always reminds me of this weird guy I used to be friends with, who started speaking to me with greater affection than I felt comfortable with. I finally asked him to stop, and he became extremely defensive and accused me of "lying" to him and all this other nonsense. Fortunately this was over email, and there were other things I didn't like about him, so it was actually a relief when the exchange ended with him vowing to never contact me again (and he didn't). But in a different situation I could see it being really difficult for me, at that point in my life, to maintain my boundaries; and if I'd had an SO, he probably would have been really uncomfortable with this guy, and wondered why I put up with him.