Seeking a woman's perspective... is this F-ed up or am I being silly? DATING

  • View author's info posted on Feb 24, 2006 02:29

    That stinks theo sounds like he is kinda whiped by this girl.. Prob because it's his first real relationship in a long time.. Sounds like shes a bit of a control freak type.. I personally can't stand them types maybe that's why I find that I'm quite happy being single now adays.. I have friends that sound exactly like yours..And it's sickening to watch but if he's ok with her and how she acts/treats him.. Then you might as well step back and watch the show.. And just be there for him when and if it all comes undone..
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  • View author's info posted on Feb 23, 2006 02:31

    Well you can see the edges to the relationship, the places where it's a little bit raw. For example, she wants him to move to the UK and he's having to go through the pain in the arse process of looking for a job while not in the country and I pointed out that taxes in the UK are twice what they are where he lives, he's also concerned about the quality of life.

    So while he clearly does love her, I think that moving to the UK (especially seeing as he's only been seeing her for like 8 months) might be a difficult move for him. There's also talk of the fact that she wants kids and he doesn't , which is always an explosive and paranoia-inducing situation to be in.

    I can't see him putting up with the power imbalance if he's living with her because at the moment it's just weekends. It's one thing not being able to do what you want on weekends because then you think it's an occasion but when it's all the time... I can't see it working but I guess it'll be his mistake to make.
  • View author's info posted on Feb 22, 2006 07:20

    Well if the walls went up then there is nothing more you can do. If you try anything else and he catches it thats all its going to do is start a fight between you two. Thats all you can do now is let it ride. If you are bothered that much by it the only other thing you can do is remove yourself from the situation. Chances are, she has him wrapped up tight and he wont see any different until he's fed up with it.
  • View author's info posted on Feb 22, 2006 06:42

    That is a tough one...especially it being his first relationship
    Doing what you are doing is best...planting seeds subtly and being there for him
    The walls are probably up because he already knows what he needs to know...just doesn't want the confirmation
    I do hope he eventually tires of her and leaves her for a healthier relationship...i know the fear of lonliness is strong but it isn't nearly as bad as being in a bad relationship
    As to your original question...think you already have your which i agree with everyone else
  • View author's info posted on Feb 22, 2006 02:24

    I did see him and speak to him but the walls have gone up... you essentially can't say anything to him about her. But I tried to plant the seed in more subtle ways rather than coing at the issue head on.
  • View author's info posted on Feb 21, 2006 14:04

    Ok Theo, I know how you love my opinions, so here goes. It has been my experience that you will stay in an unhealthy relationship rather than be alone only when you are not happy with yourself. I would imagine that sometime the subject of his g/f will come up when you two are talking. I don't think that it would be a good idea just to blurt out what you think about her, but if you said nicely to him, "she comes across as a little controlling to me, is she always that way?" chances are it will plant the seed of thought in his head.
  • View author's info posted on Feb 08, 2006 20:58

    Theo, you have my sympathy. It's so hard to see a friend allow their significant other to do this to them. I've been through this. From experience-- NOT talking about your friend's girlfriend might get better results. Instead of saying "Why won't she let you see a friend?" try saying "It's a shame you can't arrange to meet me, I'd really like to see you." Every time he brings up that he can't because of HER, don't even acknowledge it--just go back to something along the lines of, "It makes me sad that you won't meet me/it's too bad that you're unwilling to meet me."

    And he will probably say she won't let him--he's either trying to absolve himself of any control in the matter, or trying to get you to say something negative about her so he can use being upset with your comment to cancel the plans--instead of real reason which is he allows her to control him. I realize I don't know your friend & am presuming a lot, but there are just too many things in common with this situation and those I'm all too familiar with.

    This is a rotton position to be in. I'm sending good thoughts your way.
  • View author's info posted on Feb 06, 2006 23:34


    I'm not sure how blunt you should be with him...maybe a few well-placed hints. But in the end, he needs to learn how to stand up for himself. He may be really afraid of losing her since it's his first real relationship. In that case, it might be a nasty little learning experience for him. And I know that for you, being his best friend, it'll be a huge pain to deal with.

    I'm sorry.
  • View author's info posted on Feb 06, 2006 15:26

    this is a very hard call for you, i sympathise but in my opinion, you should mention your concerns to your friend. Say it one time only to him as diplomatically as you can and then its up to him whether or not he takes it on board. Love is blind and he seems too wrapped up in having a relationship to notice the control issue...or..on the other hand, he may like the control - there are some submissive males who prefer a dom/sub relationship. All you can do is be there as a friend if all this goes wrong. Good luck! :)
  • View author's info posted on Feb 06, 2006 12:48

    Theo he is your friend so you are justified in giving your opinion. However as we all know they will do what they want, at least you may have planted the seed. No a messed up relationship is not better than no relationship, but you already know all this.
  • View author's info posted on Feb 06, 2006 10:50

    If there was sometime of dangerous behavior involved, ie. physical abuse or something like that, then I would have to speak up, otherwise I would just bite my tongue.I wouldn't inter fer in their relationship. I have found no matter how much we complain to our friends about our partners we usually don't want to hear anything bad said about them. Often a friend can see the problems in a relationship long before the people involved in it can, but as they say love is blind, and you just might end up losing a good friend. I think the best you can do is be there for him if the relationship ends. And as has been mentioned, you only know his side of the story, so if he seems happy, I'd stay mum.
  • View author's info posted on Feb 06, 2006 06:29

    unhealthy relationships are much more damaging. loneliness can be repaired eventually, but negative associations/conditions are much harder. You start to avoid things that even REMIND you of the relationship and then the loneliness is harder the next time around. I would speak up. Not just like "mate, thats worrying", but "you need to open your eyes cause thats wrong. on every level. period." You shouldnt have to apologise for someone, or make theyre excuses, OR have to keep things in your life secret from the SO.
    Im sure you know this so ill shush up now ;)
  • View author's info posted on Feb 06, 2006 05:55

    I'm also now torn as to whether or not to intervene.

    Is an unhealthy relationship better than being lonely?

    Is it morally right that I should make that decision for him by wading in and giving my honest rather than diplomatically neutered opinion?
  • View author's info posted on Feb 06, 2006 03:24

    Thank you all :-)

    Relationships are tricky things because most of the time, there's only so much advice you can give. Ultimately all you can do is say "well I wouldn't put up with that" whereas in truth... just like 'Nam... you don't know if you're not there.

    I wanted to check that I'm not missing some obvious justification for her behaviour. My intuitions for what is and isn't fair tends to be pretty good, but I wanted to be sure :-) Thank you all.

    I'm concerned that his inexperience, lonelyness and desire for a quiet life is resulting in his sleep-walking his way into a relationship that doesn't suit him... and really shouldn't suit anyone.

    If this was a one off, I wouldn't have been worried but in truth it's kind of the tip of the iceberg... and that's just the stuff I've been told.

    For example, she doesn't like the idea of dating someone who plays videogames. So she has baned him from playing more than a few hours a week. One timem she spent the weekend with him and went back home, when she called him that evening he said that he'd been playing videogames and she threw a tantrum.

    She once shouted at him for not knowing where some kitchen equipment was in her house, despite it being the first time he'd visited.

    They made a cake together to take to someone's party and ate the left-overs. My friend said that the cake needed cream because it tasted a bit funny. She threw a tantrum again.

    She lies about him to her friends and family. Saying that he's much older (she's 8 years older than him).

    I've also noticed that he deals with her by avoiding the things that make her angry and then apologising for her. This is pretty close to the way people who are victims of bullying behave.
  • View author's info posted on Feb 05, 2006 14:01

    It does sound like something is funky there, Theo. It sounds like you and your friend have a good relationship, and it would be ok to bring this up. I agree though e-mail is not the way to go... I'd do it in person (or if absolutely necessary over the phone). Just approach it carefully, and more that you're looking out for your mate, versus sticking your nose in his business. If he is receptive in the beginning of the conversation, then proceed.. carefully... If he starts getting edgy, then you just might have to let him work thorough this issue for better or for worse.

    It sounds like this chick definitely has some control issues. Your friend may be aware of them, or might be ignoring them just because he's enamoured at being in a relationship after all this time. My sis deals with a similar situation with my hyper controlling brother-in-law just because she's terrified of being on her own.

    Personally I don't get the whole control issue thing. A relationship is a partnership, and yes, you should love spending time together, however you need to be able to go do things, and see friends without the other freaking out. How is your joint life as a couple ever going to succeed if you can't have at least a little bit of a life of your own?
  • View author's info posted on Feb 05, 2006 12:01

    We're talking about 30 minutes here - not 3 hours!?! I think you should just kind of casusally mention it to him. Maybe she just doesn't realize how important it is to him. He also has to be able to communicate it to her - if he's falling short there, that could explain the selfishness on HER part. Just my two cents... I like my space!!!
  • View author's info posted on Feb 05, 2006 10:18

    I think it's a control issue too Zbig, or as they put it in Seinfeld, it's about who has "hand".

    I also think that in any new relationship there's a period of negotiation, where both parties try things to see if it's accepted and eventually the positions stabilise and a "social contract" is formed.

    So I don't regret her wanting to set out a social contract where he has to be there when she needs him, but she's free to go off and do what she wants. What I'm worried about is that the relationship stabilises in that form, I'm more worried about that than I was about not seeing him for lunch.

    I have an "in" in that for every step of the way, he's asked my advice as I've been in a few relationships and he hasn't. We're also of a similar temperament (i.e. we both like to have our own space). As such, I can without coming across as a jerk, point out that I think that there's something wrong... I thought about writing an email at the time but didn't want to do it over email and didn't want it to appear like sour grapes. So I'm just checking that my intuition's okay before I talk to him about it.

    Hence my asking the group.
  • View author's info posted on Feb 05, 2006 09:10

    Sounds like a control issue to me. When alarms go off for me concerning a friend's mate, I wait for the third incident to establish a pattern before I say anything. After the third incident I'd say my peace and then let it be. It is your friends decision how much he is willing to give up in a relationship. Love makes no sense and I've learned not to compete.

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  • View author's info posted on Feb 05, 2006 09:05

    She is being the selfish one and if she thought time was so precious with him, she would skip going to the gym for that one day while he was there.
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