When Your Boyfriend Doesn't Like You Spending Time With Friends
Readers question to StricklyDating:
I trust him, but he doesn't trust me. This has been an ongoing problem and I want it to stop. My boyfriend and I have been together over a year now and he still has trust issues. I have always been 100% honest with him about everything that is going on with me or us and always tell him how I'm feeling. I have never done anything to make him not trust me so I don't know why this is a problem. Every time I go out with my friends and come home late he gives me the silent treatment and acts like I cheated on him. I go out once every 2 months and he knows where I am and who I'm with. This is causing me problems, he thinks its OK to act like this, I don't know what to do or how to feel now.
Response from StricktlyDating:
Thanks for your question. It's always a good idea to stay in touch with your friends and spend some time alone with them when you're in a relationship, so I think your plan of going out with them every two months is a healthy one. It's very unfair that he doesn't support you with this. Giving you the silent treatment and acting like you've cheated on him when he knows where you are and who you're with. It's almost as though he's trying to make you feel guilty for maintaining your friendships.
You do not want to get to the point in your life where you feel it's not worth the hassle of the repercussions for spending time socialising without him. You don't want him to rob you of all of your other relationships. The way he's treating you, twelve months into your relationship is a 'red flag'. Potentially he could end up making you feel bad for any fun times you have without him. It's not just about his 'trust issues' it's also very controlling behaviour, and the silent treatment is a form of emotional abuse. I'm glad you realise that it causes you problems when he treats you like this and that you need the way he is behaving to stop. You are trying to address the matter for what it is, before it could get worse.
Firstly, whatever reasons he gives you for treating you bad after you've been out with your friends, they are HIS issues (That he is inventing for no reason that you've given him). He could feel worried that you may meet someone else better than him, he may feel jealous that you're having fun without him. It could be that he has trouble with trust but he may just not like that you've gone out and left him alone, it might really just peev him off! Whatever his reasons are, he's an adult and it's unreasonable to make you feel bad for spending time without him (Even if it was once or twice a week!). Do not buy into these selfish reasons as there is no excuse for treating you bad. I have no idea how he tries to 'justify' this behaviour as being "OK" like you said. He's the one person in your life who should be making you feel special. Everyone wants to be in a reasonably hasstle free relationship where they feel proud of their partner.
When you are making plans to meet your friends, you could check that he's making plans to do something too, or make suggestions in advance as to what he might be able to do while you're out, so that he is not moping around at home or worrying about you. Don't go as far as organising it for him though (That shouldn't be your job either), just suggest he catches up with someone too - friends or family. You could also make an agreement with him to call him at some point when you're out to let him know you're thinking of him, if you think that would make him feel better. Another suggestion is occassionaly having your catch up with friends at home.
The most important thing you can do to resolve this matter is to talk to him about it when you're both calm and when you can sit down properly with him and explain your feelings. You could say something along the lines of how you need to spend time with your friends because it's important in your life to keep in touch with friends and tell him how much it hurts you when after you've done this he gives you the silent treatment and makes you feel bad. Tell him that he needs to really understand how bad it makes you feel so that he doesn't make you feel awful the next time you do this. Tell him that you feel if he continues to make you feel like he doesn't trust you can see that it will damage your otherwise good relationship. Tell him you love him and you just need to sort this out because it's been upsetting you. Don't argue with him, just reaffirm what is and isn't acceptable behaviour (in your eyes) and tell him you're trying to find a way to resolve this problem, because you don't want to have problems with him any time you spend time with your friends. Then it's just a matter of giving him a chance to think about what you've said on his own, so hopefully he can make the decsion to improve on his behaviour in the future.
After you've had this conversation with him, don't hold the past behaviour against him the next time you plan to go out, give him the benefit of the doubt, a chance to improve the way he treats you when you come home. If he does, tell him how you appreciate his change in attitude. However, if there is some part of his being that just can't decide to make the change dispite knowing he's treating you bad, it may be a case of the more serious you get with him, the more you learn about him as you get to know him, the more you realise he's not able to treat you the way you deserve. Remember that you cannot FORCE someone to change who they are, they have to decide to do it themselves. Hopefully, he does!
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