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Hi y'all, I'm having a problem and I really am at a loss. I don't know what else to do.

 

My boyfriend and I have plans to get married in April, we're both going to be 29 this year. I'm feeling like I don't know if I can go forward because of this problem involving his best friend. I introduced them a little over a year ago. They talk on the phone and text several times a day. He lends the friend money whenever he needs it. We live downtown and don't have a car, so he calls this guy first if he needs a ride, every time. They go party together twice a week or so. I really didn't have any sort of problem with any of this until I realized that the friend had no respect for me. It built up over time with small things and now I just don't want him anywhere near me.

 

After attempts to squash hipster-racist and ignorant mysoginistic jokes in my house my concerns are laughed off and the jokes continue. This fella obviously doesn't respect me and tells my guy all kinds of things about me and my depression that 1) aren't true and 2) put a wedge in my relationship with my guy. I got yelled at a couple of months ago by the friend over a conversation that took place in my home with a few mutual friends. My boyfriend never stepped in to say that the things he was yelling at me for saying came from my boyfriend's mouth first. The friend told me I was wasting my life (I've been struggling lately and have stayed home a lot for the last few months) and when I told him to get out of my house he said that technically my boyfriend paid all of the bills here (untrue) so that I couldn't kick him out. I still kicked him out. Oh, he told my boyfriend that my crying fits/panic attacks are a "bipolar ruse" (I'm not bipolar) and not to "fall for it." I'm not sure what he means by that, but really, he isn't a doctor the last I checked.

 

I've had multiple sit down talks with my guy about this situation. I know that I've tried to communicate about it.

 

I try to look at the situation and break it down in pieces and try to tell whether or not I'm feeling this way because of external forces or if it is all inside myself. My feelings at this point are that 1) their relationship is unhealthy, 2) if this friend were a woman that it would be considered inappropriate, 3) if I had a friend who treated my guy like I've been treated they would cease to be my friend, and 4) the way they cling to one another it makes me feel like a third wheel in my own relationship. I'm trying to evaluate whether or not those feelings match reality, or if I'm just a victim of my own brain.

 

I'm starting to think that I just get mad at the friend because it's easier than being angry at the man I love. Since my boyfriend knows how I feel, and I've requested space several times over the last 4 months and not gotten it, that the problem lies with my boyfriend. He obviously sees something in this overgrown man-child.

 

I don't know quite what to say about it or how to say it, since I'm starting to feel like I can't marry someone who doesn't seem to care for how I feel. He loves me, calls me his family, is helping me to get help for my depression, but just doesn't seem to understand that I am serious about this.

 

Bless your heart if you got through that mess. Thanks for reading.

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As I see it, the main problem here is your boyfriend's lack of respect for your feelings, and I'm also troubled that he doesn't defend you with his friend.

 

I would have no problem with a guy having a really close friend---sometimes I think men miss out on something very special if they don't have a good buddy.  However, your fiance should be making it clear to this guy that he can't be rude to you, make comments about your treatment, or comments about who is paying the bills.  Those things are over the line.

 

So you have a decision to make, and I would make it pretty quickly.  I have never cared if a guy was rich or handsome or had a fancy car.  My major requirement for a serious relationship was that the man had to respect me.  Everything else---sex, fun, affection, companionship-----everything else has to spring from mutual respect.  You may love him, and maybe he loves you, but I don't see that he is respectful of you and your feelings here.

 

You said that you've sat down and talked to him about this, but his behavior hasn't changed.  What does that tell you?

 

If you want to try one last time, ask him if he would go for couples counseling before you get married.  If he refuses, I guess he doesn't want to try as hard as you do to salvage this relationship.  If he goes, maybe a professional therapist could get through to him.

 

Good luck.  Remember the old cliché:  it's easier to break an engagement than it is to get a divorce.

 

olga

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If speaking directly with your boyfriend has not influenced his actions and behaviour how can you enter into the contract of marriage in good faith? From my remove a romantic relationship without mutual and obvious respect is doomed.

 

I second olga's suggestion of couple's counseling now, before the finality of saying "I do." I also second her use of the cliché.

 

Best wishes for a soonest resolution.

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Those were my thoughts exactly. We just had a pretty long talk. It was angry at first but calmed down pretty quick. I sat down and explained why I feel the way I do, asked him to think about things from my perspective. I told him that he shouldn't be talking about my issues with this friend because the friend doesn't understand my illness, and the advice he gave was unhelpful and inaccurate. He admitted that he really doesn't understand it either, and he wasn't sure how much of my feelings were the depression and how much were because of this friend. I told him to do a little research and learn from people who know what they're talking about.

 

I have a hard time communicating my feelings effectively when it isn't in writing. I tend to start sobbing and just can't verbalize. Once I calmed down, I went more in-depth this time with why I don't want this guy around and a timeline of what he has done that was disrespectful. By the end of the talk he was seeming to understand what I was saying. He said that I "won't ever see him again" and that he'll keep him away from me. I told him that I'm not telling him not to be friends with this guy, but that I expect to be respected. I expect my home to be a safe space. I told him that he should hang out with his other friends, too, and not to let one guy monopolize his time.

 

Regardless of the outcome of the talks to come, I think that he could use counseling on his own, so I'm going to encourage him to seek some talk therapy. I just didn't want to make any sort of decision under the gloom of depression in regards to keeping/breaking our plans. I was planning to do some premarital counseling anyway, to talk about what the vows that we are planning to take apply in our real lives and to be sure that we're on the same page in regards to what marriage means to both of us and what our marriage will be like. It seems like this will be a growing period, or I'll be going on vacation solo.

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I agree with Olga and indigo.  What a sad situation.

At a minimum you need to postpone the wedding while you enter into couples counseling.

I hope you have not put a lot of money down on venue, photographer, flowers, etc.

 

Just the fact that your fiance let's this friend disrespect you in your home is terrible.

At a minimum a husband needs to protect you and respect your feelings.  And that is just a start.

 

"Oh, he told my boyfriend that my crying fits/panic attacks are a "bipolar ruse" (I'm not bipolar) and not to "fall for it."

 

This is an awful thing that he said.  Just awful.  He is treating you as if you are a manipulative bitch; and he

needs to protect his friend from you.  

I think this dude is trying to destroy the relationship.  I don't know why, but that is my take on it.

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I expect my home to be a safe space.

 

Hold on to this and hold on to it hard. Your health is at stake here, especially since your boyfriend is so close to this guy and you're being manipulated into situations where you're exposed to his company. I agree with everything that's been posted in the thread so far, especially the couple's counseling if you still want to make it work with him, but I'm mostly posting for support. I've been through a similar situation with my husband not long after we were married.

I didn't know the guy very well but J was close with him and at first, there was no problem. The friend was courteous and sweet until he decided it was appropriate to vomit this diatribe: "Life is easier when you aren't dating someone who is bipolar. Damn crazies. Sorry that this may have offended some other bipolar psychopath..." 

Several other nasty things were said but it wouldn't be constructive to repeat them. In any case, hubby was reluctant to let go of the guy--but he's so nice in every other situation!--and although I'm not a fan of ultimatums, this thing was a deal-breaker for me. So we sat down and had a long talk in which I made it clear that I had no interest in controlling which friends he keeps, but that I wanted no part in a relationship that would make my own personal living space triggering and dangerous for my health, and that I wanted my husband to care more about the health of his wife than about the feelings of his anti-MI, bigoted friend.

 

Thankfully, J cut ties with that asshole and now I don't have to worry about being told that I'm worthless, manipulative, and disgusting for being bipolar, and my husband no longer has to worry about "raising his standards" because he can do better than "a crazy". His best friend now is a very loving, sweet person with whom I've also developed a happy relationship; J's new pal knows I have bipolar and I've become great friends with his wife, and their home is as safe to me as my own home is. So letting go of the unhealthy friend turned into a beautiful friendship with other people, and my marriage with J has never been stronger.

So there is hope that everything will turn out okay, Opal, but be prepared to fight for your health. I wish you so much luck; I know how painful this situation is. :(

Edit: Edited for anonymity.

Edited by A208B

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Thanks for listening, and thanks for relating your experiences. My guy has always been 110% supportive of me and my illness and has been a big help in getting me motivated to seek resources, which is why I've wanted to work this out. It seems that when he was presented with all of the information at once he understood what I was saying and apologised for not standing up for me. I'm going to keep my fingers crossed that this is a little bump in the road and that it will bring us closer.

 

We decided against a big wedding some time ago, thank goodness, instead opting to travel for a vacation and to elope. We're definitley going to hold of on taking our relationship further until this is resolved. We'll just go and enjoy the vacation. It will be nice to take a breather from the city.

 

Thanks again, I'm glad I'm not the only one who has been through this.

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My instinct is to RUN AWAY AND VERY VERY FAST but that's just me.

 

If you two can work it out, if he's listening to you when you're speaking about this, then that's good and you shouldn't go running.

 

End of 2011 I was utterly batshit in a mixed episode with some SSRI activating shit thrown on top of it, AND being treated like utter crap by a former "friend" who we took into our home.  My home, my lease, my furniture, my dishes, my TV, my spare room, my extra mattress and blanket and pillow.  Ya.  Anyway.

 

The ex backed up the "friend."  Admittedly I was full of hypomanic rage and was not very pleasant to be around, especially with an abusive dickweed poking at all my buttons with a sharp stick.  I ended up exploding and trying to assault the guy - and I've never ever ever thought he deserved that.  Still don't.  Experience scared me so bad I dove head-first into treatment and haven't looked back.

 

So yeah.  I'm a little biased.  The ex came around some six/eight months later with the "you were right" speech.  Too little, waaaaaaaay too late.  Oh well.  Hope you two manage to work this out because ya, that dude sounds HELLA toxic and I wouldn't want him in my life in any way whatsoever.  I'm still pissed off at people who're willingly friends with the asswipe who treated me like shit in my own home while I was under an incredible amount of stress and very, very mentally sick.  I just don't get it.  I've become something of a hermit because I pretty much cut most of those people out of my life.

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Your concerns sound very real and normal, these are not small things but big ones to consider going forward with the commitment of marriage to another. 

 

In my very humble opinion if your boyfriends behavior does not honor your feelings or respect your wishes in your own home then you may want to reconsider the timing of your wedding.  If he doesn't have your back now what will happen down the road?  Perhaps he is not mature enough emotionally at this time in his life to take the next step?

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Planning a wedding is a stressful time, dealing with a partners MI is stressful. I am not defending your SO's disrespect, but often when I am stressed, my friends get the venting and offer advice, when really I am just sounding off and things are not as bad as I say. I see a lot of guys retreat into bromances when they face bigger commitment. If your SO isn't supportive and putting in good boundaries, he ought to be. But speaking from a broken engagement and from having lived with a partner while suffering from significant MI, if I had honestly communicated about how SO was feeling and listened a bit more, problems could have been solved better.

 

He should show more respect, yes, you are right. But remember, you are a team, it's good to check in and see how he is doing as well as express your feelings.

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For what its worth going to a couples therapy (They have to call it "family" for stupid insurance reasons here) has a couple things going for it.

I joke that our therapist is "Adult Supervision" and if you get into one of those things where the only open solution looks like marital nuclear war you can call a timeout and bring it up in therapy.  Having that out is worth a lot.

Second there maybe things you just fear bringing up and being honest about.  If you have that "adult supervision" there to make it so you at least play fair it becomes a second reason not to reach for the button that blows up your personal world.

Third (I'm sure there are more)  Taking all the relationship ending level crap you can talk about day to day things that a happy couple ought to have working and make things better.  Just better on the everyday level stuff.

Oh and a third brain thats not sleeping with you or picking up your underware thinking on problems is sometime less likely to be biased one way or the other.

Crap now I think of this one too.   "If" things really are at a level where nuclear war is the best option (I don't know this one for sure) the adult supervision might help you insure that both of you walk out less blown up and radiated.

 

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