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Am I being over-protective?

  1. May 21, 2010 #1


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    A few months back my girlfriend said she's become good friends with this guy that isn't very social. He keeps to himself mostly and as such, she is one of the only friends he has. Now from my experience when it comes to a guy and girl becoming the best of friends in a short period, and spending a lot of their time together, the bond becomes strong because one of them has feelings for the other. And more than often, these feelings are kept discrete enough so that the other is oblivious to what is happening.

    Well, my girlfriend is oblivious. I came out straight with her and told her not to spend so much time with him because I had a hunch that he has feelings for her. She of course said I was being ridiculous and whatever.

    A few weeks later he starts asking her to go to the city with him. Just them two as friends. Well this is how she saw it anyway... I didn't let her, and thankfully she understood.

    Eventually he lets it out and says that he likes her. When speaking to me about it she wanted to start ignoring him but at the same time cherished the friendship they had. I didn't like the idea of it and thought a friendship that has lasted just one month wasn't enough for any serious attachments and so she should be able to let him go. Well apparently not. I instead agreed to her proposal to stop interacting with him as much, and declining any "friendly" dates.

    Fast-forward to a few weeks ago which should put it around 2 months later. I was over her place and while she was showing me stuff on her facebook I noticed how often this guy appeared to be chatting to her again. I checked her phone and while there were only a few inbox messages from him, there were a whole lot more outbox messages to him. Obviously she had deleted selected texts from her inbox.
    But she says she deleted them because I would get angry with it. Well, she's right about that.

    A few moments later while logged onto her msn he came online and started talking to her. Since I had control of the computer, I read his greeting and did something else to try and ignore it. I was furious...
    If that wasn't enough, he started drawing pictures on msn and sending them to her. Quite the artist he is, I give him that. But to see how much effort he was putting into it for my girlfriend, and while having noticed he asked her to go to the city with him pushed me over the edge.

    I went off at him. Amongst all the raging, I do remember him saying I should stop being so territorial and that I had won, she likes me and not him, so I should let it go. What really annoyed me is that yes if I weren't at all territorial then I'd be allowing him to step all over me and that would basically be saying, sure, try wow my girlfriend all you can, she is fair game and the best man wins. The fact that he also said that I win clearly indicates he was challenging me for her, which as far as I have seen, doesn't happen all that often amongst already established couples. But when it does, fists break loose.

    This time I enforced that she most definitely can't talk to him any more. She has to ignore him completely etc. etc.
    She still feels guilty about it and feels that same attachment for the friendship she felt months earlier. This is when she said that I should stop being so jealous about her and other guys.

    Am I really being over-protective here? I feel I have a right to act the way I did, but it probably depends on each person's opinion on the topic.

    By the way, I am pretty certain that she's completely faithful to me and we love each other dearly, so if she is to have any reason to say that I'm being too jealous about this, it's because she wouldn't cheat on me.
  2. jcsd
  3. May 21, 2010 #2
    Why don't you just chain her in the basement and be done with it? That, or get some counseling for your anger and control issues.
  4. May 21, 2010 #3


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    Then tell me what you would do in this situation. Play out my part. Go on...
  5. May 21, 2010 #4
    If you are certain she is faithful to you, why on earth would you care who she is talking to? If she wants to be just friends with this guy, I don't really see why that would be any of your business. Even if the guy wants to be more than friends... you should be subtly encouraging her to see him as pathetic and needy, not acting all jealous, controlling and competitive.

    EDIT: You are letting this guy become a wedge between the two of you. You don't want her to hide her contacts from you, but that's what you are teaching her to do.
  6. May 21, 2010 #5
    Let me put it another way. If I were the other guy, I would be *thrilled* with your behavior. Do you really want that?
  7. May 21, 2010 #6
    until she sees something in that other guy that is bad enough to break it off with him, she will keep (and increase) the relationship because she sees something that's enticing her--

    --oh, and don't blame him---she's the one that has the wandering mind
    Last edited: May 21, 2010
  8. May 21, 2010 #7
    Brachiating boyfriends. It happens all the time. She knows he is pursuing more than friendship and she still sees him. Then she lies about it, or at least covers it up. After enough time developing their relationship, when she knows if she wants to make the switch, then she says your anger and jealousy have pushed her away. If she chooses not to go for him then you're just imagining things.

    If she wants to be with him then tell her to go. She owns your emotions right now. It's time to start taking them back until she decides where she wants to be. Don't reward her behaviour or punish her for it.
  9. May 21, 2010 #8

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    She can't let him go. So you have to let her go. She's cultivating a relationship with him, while she has one already with you. And if you try to bring it up, she'll tell you you're jealous and overprotective. You're know the one with issues in this realtionship... she is.
  10. May 21, 2010 #9


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    This is a great world for her. All these guys in love with her, if she can just keep everyone under control.

    You go off on him and her, you create a nice little Romeo and Juliet scenario, where it's them against a world that just can't understand them.

    I guess you could just stay with her no matter what other guys she runs around with, but I wouldn't. You're just hanging around for her to make her decision and maybe it turns out to be you and maybe it turns out to be him. I wouldn't want to waste that much time.

    She should make her decision now. If it's not you, then at least you find out as soon as possible.

    Personally, I'd make my decision and dump her.
  11. May 21, 2010 #10
    It is hard to label your actions as "over-protective" when in theory you shouldn't have this problem at all. you need to remind her that you love her and that you are just worried about losing her. she needs to remember why she was in this relationship in the first place.

    However you can't "enforce" that she "most definitely doesn't see him any more" because that will just drive her away - the last thing anyone wants to feel is trapped and controlled.

    In actual fact your girlfriend is being totally unfair on the other guy - what chance does he have of finding someone else and being happy when he is in love with her? By allowing for him to keep wooing her she is giving him no chance of moving on.

    I'm sorry that that gives you no direct answer - just more things to think about..
  12. May 21, 2010 #11
    Men and women cannot be friends. They can have relationships that appear platonic but there is always a sexual component.

    My advice to you is to express your needs to her with respect. When she disregards your completely reasonable needs in this area, dump her. She's not the one for you.
  13. May 21, 2010 #12
    When ever a male and female are friends there is most likely some physical attraction there. It does not necessarily mean anything. I have a wonderful lady friend I have known for years. I am definitely attracted to her, as well as other female friends of mine, and nothing has ever happened between us.

    You need to trust her and if you can not then you ought not be with her. Either she is not someone trustable, and so you should not be with her, or you have trust issues and will only hurt both of you emotionally to maintain a relationship without trust. Even if she decides to stop talking to this guy the trust issue will not go away, it will still be there.

    So trust her and stay with her or distrust her and break it off. Once you have taken care of this consider the obsessed other man her problem, and not yours. Give her advice as a man who has perhaps been in the same situation as this guy or knows someone who has. Otherwise let her deal with her problem on her own. If you get the impression that more is going on than ought to be then leave her. If she leaves you for him then she really was not someone worth being with anyway.
    Last edited: May 21, 2010
  14. May 21, 2010 #13


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    You're not being over-protective...you're being possessive! If I had a friend with a boyfriend like you're describing yourself here, I'd tell her to RUN and I'd be seriously concerned for her safety in such an abusive relationship.

    Why do you feel you have the right to tell her who she can or cannot be friends with? The only friend of hers you have control over her being friends with is yourself, and that's because you have the choice to not be friends with her if you aren't happy with her choices.

    Let's see, who would I pick, the nice, quiet shy guy who sends me sweet pictures, or the one "enforcing" this or that, and telling me I couldn't do this or that? Yeah, I'd pick the quiet one too.

    You said the main issue is this other guy just doesn't have a lot of friends. So, you're demanding your girlfriend not be friends with him either? It never occurred to you that maybe you could just join them rather than forbid her to see him? If you've suggested you all hang out together and she's refused, THEN you have some reason to be jealous that perhaps her interests are drifting. If that happens, all you really can do is step down and start looking for another girlfriend.

    Now, this is all my reaction based on how you've described things here. You may not have actually acted as harshly as it comes across in writing, but I'm telling it quite bluntly so you can be aware of how it's coming across in case you really are acting that way.

    I don't know if you're doing it because you're jealous, clingy, possessive, afraid of losing her, or are actually genuinely concerned for her safety with this other person for some reason (maybe he's giving off "creep" vibes, and it's not jealousy, but worry). None of this I can tell by reading online what you've written. If it's a case where you're sensing some sort of "creep" vibe, and that's why you've used the word "over-protective" to describe your concerns about your behavior, then you really don't want to do things that are going to push your girlfriend to keep her interactions with this fellow secret.

    You can let her know you really don't like the guy, or don't get a good feeling about him, but instead of forbidding her from being his friend, say you'd rather she not spend time with him alone, for her safety. You could join them, or you could ask her to invite another of her friends along, whichever she preferred. Leave the final decision as hers, not yours. You can only share your feelings and concerns and suggest some precautions, otherwise you will just push her away and into his arms.
  15. May 21, 2010 #14
    I've actually known plenty of women who would prefer the later. This could even theoretically be a test to see what he will do, whether or not he will put his foot down like she expects him to. Not likely I do not think but still possible. At the same time he can be strong and assertive without being controlling. His possessive reactions may come off as weak; being stoic may come off as strong.

    And you made me think of something. She may be spending time with this new guy because she sees something in him that she does not get from Mentallic. A problem between them may already exist and she is looking for something to fill that thing that is perhaps lacking, in which case he is almost certainly pushing her away with his behavior. He may want to talk to her about this guy and figure out what the attraction is to see if maybe this guy is doing something for her that he is not.
  16. May 21, 2010 #15

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    ...or, she's just cheating on him because she can (such people do exist), and he should get out of the relationship anyway. It happens...

    Just remember this quote that a scriptwriter once wrote: "It's the honest ones you've got to watch out for, because you never know when they'll become dishonest," or something along those lines.
  17. May 22, 2010 #16


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    Thanks for all your input. The problem I see so far is that while the majority here are saying I'm being too possessive and jealous and I should have instead done this rather than that, I've already done it. What would be the best approach to fixing this? I'm willing to change for the best and constructive criticism is what helps me most of all in doing so.

    Moonbear it seems as though you've summed up everything in your post. I'll point to just one section though:
    The reason this guy doesn't have many friends is because of this. She told me her main reason for not being comfortable with breaking off the friendship the first time is because she's not sure what he would do to himself. He has a history of being suicidal. He's what you would describe as being an emo. I'm uncomfortable with people that choose to be a part of this social status because I find them to be so unpredictable and honestly kind of screwed up in the head if they're going to be doing this to themselves.

    At first when I was subtly implying that she should see him less often, I had no idea what kind of person he was. I still don't. I suppose in a way I didn't want to leave it in between "yes you can still be his friend" and "no you can't" because then he would still have the freedom to do as he wished but also he might be hastier in trying to move forward. I don't see much of a difference in a guy pulling moves on my girlfriend when they're out alone, or if I were in another room at a party. Either way it's disrespectful to me and I won't be giving him the opportunity to try it. This is why I decided on the spot that I'd rather her not see him at all than allow him to try get as close to her as he wishes.

    They enjoy the same music which is hard to come by as it's punk. They also both have low esteem at times, so yes, they do connect well on an emotional level. We are different in that aspect.
  18. May 22, 2010 #17


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    I guess it depends on how many sweet pictures he's sending each day. There really isn't enough info to know how often the two of the them are talking/texting/etc.

    How many "sweet pictures" do friends send each other each week, or do they usually do that on a daily basis? How many texts do they usually send each other each day? (That might be quite a bit considering how much time young people spend texting people.)
  19. May 22, 2010 #18
    You have no business looking into her private correspondence. If you are so insecure that you have to check her phone's inbox, you have a problem. If you get angry easily on her that's another problem. Its possible that she deletes her messages exactly because you are overbearing and aggressive and you do check her correspondence and so on. In a word, you suffocate her.

    Jut to make sure you understand, you are not protective of anyone but yourself here.

    Move on and find another women who doesn't make you angry, and which you dont feel an obsessive need to control.

    Life is full of cheated boyfriends/girlfriends who are always ready to swear on the faithfulness of their partner.
  20. May 22, 2010 #19
    Actually, I think moonbear talks exactly about what Im trying to talk about, not the quantity of pictures and ****, but about the guy's compulsive need to control and check her private correspondence. You dont need to be quantitative here.
  21. May 22, 2010 #20


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    This is a tough one. I'd say is hard not to be suspicious if they are hanging out so often. Even friends don't hang out that often!!. I think just let them be, and if you spot cheating, break it off. Food for thought, She's probably not worth your time if she prefers to spend most of her time with him rather than you.
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