T O P I C R E V I E W
Member # 47229
posted 12-21-2012 05:29 PM
So, I've been with my boyfriend for three years now (including one long-distance year). During that time, I've almost never hung out with his group of friends. This is somewhat complicated by the fact that, on a brief break in our relationship (during which we still talked frequently, still said I love you, etc.), he dated someone in his friend group; she now avoids him if I'm around, which has made it feel awkward and less inclined to mix our company. That said, we've talked through it and he has claimed this is no longer an issue, at least for him. I've also expressed feeling a bit isolated from the people that matter to him. The other day, when I'd asked what his plans were for a later night, he told me he was going to head to some parties-- he didn't invite me, and said that he wanted to spend some time with just his friends, that he thought if he invited me he'd end up spending the whole time talking to me, and that he didn't want to spend "the whole time making introductions". We're both pretty independent people and I know he values his independence, and I can understand to some extent a desire to do something without one's partner and just hang out with one's friends. That said, I've probably only met these people (who, granted, he doesn't hang out with on a weekly basis or anything, but does see several times a month) about ten times in three years- and several times they've been the ones, via him, to invite me. We've struggled with trust issues in the past, so this triggers some anxiety in that area as well- I begin to wonder what he might not want me to see, what sort of behavior I might not be fond of, etc. So l suppose I want to ask, "Is this normal?" with the caveat that I know wants/needs of different relationships vary wildly. I suppose another way of framing it would be, "Does this sound healthy?" How separate is too separate?
Member # 20094
posted 12-21-2012 07:50 PM
You're absolutely right that asking if this is normal isn't a terribly helpful framework, because for some people, not spending much time with their partner's friends is something that works. I'm not even sure that asking if this is healthy would net you the information you're looking for (because again, if a setup like the one you're describing was one that both partners had agreed on mutually and were happy with, then in all likelihood it would be healthy).
What I am hearing though is that this situation may not be healthy in the context of your relationship, because it sounds like you have a lot of concerns about not interacting with his friends much, and those concerns tie into other problems you've had within the relationship in the past. So, based on that alone, it is something that needs to be talked about. When you say you've expressed feeling isolated from people that matter to him before, has there been a really good conversation about it, or has it been more of a comment in passing? What has his response usually been?