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why do I always pick men with a 'female friend'!

(74 Posts)
timetofaceit Mon 01-Apr-13 18:42:17

I know its acceptable these days to have friends of the opposite sex, but it always seems to cause problems in my relationships. My ex husband had a 'female friend' at first I was fine with it, he was honest about her, it didn't bother me in the slightest, however later on in the relationship it started causing problems as she clearly didn't want anything to do with me and would invite him to things and not me till in the end he was out socializing with just her leaving me on my own. I hated it but kept it to myself for years then various things happened I just couldn't keep quiet anymore, it caused alot of problems.

My last ex who was actually abusive as well, had a 'friend' who was female, at first I was laid back about it, but then simular things happened she didn't want to meet me, she would buy him really unappropiate gifts, I had to leave his house sometimes when she was coming as she didn't want me to be around, anyway that caused alot of problems.

Now however I have met someone else, very happy a single dad who has his 2 children 50% of the time, does a fantastic job does his share of school runs etc so has got to know the other mums especially through his kids friends. He's mentioned one of them having twins and his kids were really good friends with them. They have since moved schools and it seems they stay in touch anyway today they met up with the dogs and the kids went for a canal walk and a drink at the pub. I think its innocent he has said she's not his type but has also hinted that maybe she quite liked him and is single. Am I being a little too suspicious and worrying about nothing due to past issues or would this ring alarm bells with you. I want honest opinions thanks

For those who asked: When I was younger I engaged in monogamous relationships. And quickly became bored, resentful and uninterested in sex. Luckily I was able to work out that the issue was I am not monogamous. I am not even really interested in couple-relationships. I like being by myself.
I'm really glad I worked that out in my mid-20s, before I'd married or moved in with anyone and made him (or her) wretched as well as myself.

LemonPeculiarJones Thu 04-Apr-13 12:24:39

VoiceofUnreason and all those espousing the positive factors of having friends of both genders: I agree with you completely.

But that is not what the OP said she had a problem with!

The OP's first post made it very clear that these friends of her exes were being unfriendly, inappropriate, didn't want to meet her, were hostile. That they were obviously not on her side or in favour of supporting the relationship.

She is entirely justified in feeling freaked out that her new bf has a close female friend - who is single and apparently fancies him. She's had problems before and is understandably nervous of it happening again.

I think that's why OP put 'female friend' in inverted commas - to suggest that these particular relationships weren't quite what they seemed, or weren't straight-forward. But for her to voice her concerns in the past earned her the labels of paranoid etc.

This thread is about boundaries and respect really.

I have both male and female friends btw, as does my DH. But if he had a female friend who never wanted to meet up with me, bought him inappropriate gifts, was cold to my face - there would be a BIG problem.

DontSHOUTTTTTT Thu 04-Apr-13 10:43:19

I have close male friends with absolutely no hidden agenda. There was one whose wife was a bit confused so I was very careful to only see him in groups or at activities. We would chat on the phone a lot too. I had no desire to cause him any trouble with his wife because he was my friend and I wanted him to be happy. I also always made sure I was lovely to his wife.

My DS's (early 20's) all have friends who are girls.

SanctiMOMious Thu 04-Apr-13 10:28:17

Scrazy+1 , nobody on the thread has said that. Although I think there are a few posters who seem keen to boil it back down to that, and that despite repeated points that that is not what they're arguing 'against' they carry on boiling it back down to that neat argument.

At this point on the thread I'm thinking that anybody with emotional intelligence gets it; It being that it's more than whether the partner is actually tempted to have sex with the female friend. If posters persist in boiling it back down to just that then you can't really discuss it.

SGB I'm curious too. Have you ever loved somebody?

I really nod along to 95% of your posts, and I even agree with what you say that society does push the whole two by two stuff. Society doesn't need to push it. Enough people genuinely want it. I want it. I'm fine on my own though. I think society needs to allow people to be single, but that can be done without undermining or mocking couples who want to be together.

Scrazy Thu 04-Apr-13 10:09:17

I find it really sad reading this thread that some women seem to be suggesting I can't be friends with any of these men because it might upset a current or future girlfriend. It's also horribly rude to assume that I am a mad, untrustworthy bitch with a long term goal to steal someone else's man... just because I'm a woman

Piprabit, where on the thread did anyone say this?

SGB, have you never met anyone who you wanted to be exclusive with? Ever? I haven't met many in all my years. I haven't got upset with most men I've been seeing if they were spending time with other women and or sleeping with them, that's why I've ended those relationships. But I have met one or two that I have given all to and hoped for the same in return, it feels very different and even then no problem with female friends in their lives, just problems with them not feeling the same way as me and carrying on as if I wasn't valued.

piprabbit Wed 03-Apr-13 23:32:13

I read it all - and it is really depressing.

SanctiMOMious Wed 03-Apr-13 23:17:20

piprabbit read the thread a bit more carefully smile

SanctiMOMious Wed 03-Apr-13 23:15:12

SGB The OP wants it I'm guessing.

I agree with you that it's certainly not inevitable though, as it never happens to me. I agree with you that it's not superior as I have little time for smug marrieds who might think 'phew at least i'm married despite being dull, fat, ugly {insert or delete as applicable}.

I've been single a long time and I've had time to think about it all. What I want, what I can offer! what is in or out of my control. And whether monogomy is superior or inferior, most people who bother to enter into a relationship would be hurt if the other cheated. if you're not hurt then end it.

I truly do want it. And I'm definitely not too stupid to know what I want. I'm not being fooled by society into thinking I want it. For as long as it works. Then Bye.

MooncupGoddess Wed 03-Apr-13 23:14:35

SGB - I think one can also distinguish between sexual monogamy and emotional monogamy. There are lots of people who are basically happy being sexually monogamous and would be very upset if their partner had a physical relationship with someone else, but don't have a problem with their partner having strong friendships with other people, including those of the opposite sex.

Whereas some people, including the posters on this thread who don't get or feel threatened by male-female friendships, want their partners all to themselves and cannot bear the idea of them being down the pub with an opposite-sex friend discussing life, the universe and everything. I find this possessive attitude rather chilling, but each to their own.

QuacksForDoughnuts Wed 03-Apr-13 23:09:13

The issue wouldn't be playing badminton and having a meal after - it would be, say, HAVING to play badminton and go for a meal and several drinks EVERY (say) Wednesday FOREVER, with boyfriend and his friend sulking if girlfriend suggests that her birthday/the couple's anniversary/her family member's funeral that she could do with hand-holding through/the fact that her waters are breaking while he's hunting out his racket might be a reason to cancel just once. And if she ever suggests joining them for a drink, it's a total scandal because THEIR TIME is OMGSACRED, but the friend can never be asked nicely to call back later and must never hear the terrible words 'sorry I can't meet you today, I'm spending time with my gf, how about tomorrow?'. Nobody in my current situation is that extreme, although one friend in particular tends to have really, really awful timing for wanting to speak to OH and it apparently has to be that moment. But I have total sympathy with the OP, having had worse experiences on that score in the past - it does sensitise you and make you see big signs that aren't necessarily there looming behind the small ones that are.

piprabbit Wed 03-Apr-13 23:07:02

I spent 16 years of my career working and socialising with men. There were many, many more men in my industry than women and it was my colleagues who made my job enjoyable and worthwhile. Some of them have continued to be friends even though they and I have changed companies and careers.

I find it really sad reading this thread that some women seem to be suggesting I can't be friends with any of these men because it might upset a current or future girlfriend. It's also horribly rude to assume that I am a mad, untrustworthy bitch with a long term goal to steal someone else's man... just because I'm a woman.

Scrazy: not everyone wants monogamy. Monogamy is neither inevitable nor superior. It's because people are constantly told that monogamy is the ideal that a lot of monogamous relationships end up in a miserable mess for all concerned. Sure, some people are naturally monogamous - it's just another sexual orientation/fetish - and that's fair enough, but those who are not are generally better and happier people when they acknowledge that, are honest with themselves and other partners, and also are allowed to live the way they see fit without other people trying to change them or bully them or label them as 'damaged' or any other crap.

Scrazy Wed 03-Apr-13 19:56:31

I'm not insecure either and am a firm believer that people will do what they want to do but I would and have left when someone repeatedly tests me with lies by omissions re their female friends.

SanctiMOMious Wed 03-Apr-13 19:31:57

Scrazy yes, anybody of either sex who believes that the pursuit of monogomy is ridiculous is not going to be a person who will make you feel secure, loved and valued. I'm not an insecure person but I could be insecure in a relationship if I was told in no uncertain terms that any existing relationships would continue, unchanged, with no concession to the relationship whatsover. Bottom line, if you are in a relationship that makes you feel insecure, second best and underappreciated, then move on because you are worth more than that.

Scrazy Wed 03-Apr-13 19:19:52

SGB, monogamy is desirable when you meet someone you have strong feelings for. It's hard to imagine how much until you do.

SanctiMOMious Wed 03-Apr-13 19:18:13

Whilst there is obviously more to life than the pursuit of monogamy, if I was already in a relationship with somebody who defended behaviour that upset me with that little soundbite, I would have to kcik them to the kerb quite quickly, and I suspect SGB, you would do that too.

The issue for me here is not whether-or-not-the-bf-will-have-sex-with-these-friends it's all the other issues I've listed out about four times now. Priorities, sensitivities and concessions that would in fact all still be relevant in a gay or bi-sexual relationship.

perhaps it's because i went to a mixed school that I get this. wink

But, sure, ignore the complexities! carry on boiling it down to one very simple issue about shagging and then tell me I'm all hung up on whether friends are male or female hmm illogical.....

<also applauds SGB>

UnexpectedItemInShaggingArea Wed 03-Apr-13 19:08:58

<applauds SGB >

Anyone who starts laying down the law about what pre-existing friendships a new partner is allowed to maintain is a paranoid whinyarse to be dumped sooner rather than later. 'Baww, my last partner cheated' is not a justification for clingy, controlling, stalkery behaviour. People are not property and there is more to live than the frantic pursuit of monogamy anyway.

SanctiMOMious Wed 03-Apr-13 18:58:43

lol at mixed schools being a cure to the disease of not wanting to be joint third on some guy's list. i went to a mixed school.
i quite like the sound of a feminine man though. he sounds nice. but a truly feminised man would have the empathy and the sensitivity to clearly prioritise a gf, and he'd have the emotional intellugence to see that in a relationship u have less time for members of the opposite sex. bring me one of these feminised men please. actually bring me three and ill play them all off against each other. grin

SanctiMOMious Wed 03-Apr-13 18:54:09

ps voice, this is about the third time making this point to you now, but the issue is so much more than whether a boyfriend wants to shag female friends. there are a million other things at play. how she feels, their shared history, his loyalties to female friends compared with his liyalties to a gf, how much time spent with female friends, concession to gf's feelings, confidences and who holds them! that post you made about bisexual couples makes me wonder if you read my posts confused

im a very trusting person as it happens. i dont know if i should be as trusting as i am when every male friend ive ever had has tried to snog me or tequila me.... smile

SanctiMOMious Wed 03-Apr-13 18:47:16

that's a bit of a leap. you are still arguing that x position on the subject of opposite sex friends is "right" and backing that up with some different situation that loosely compares (possibly) and using that as proof that your beliefs are right.

Dad - well said.

And presumably if someone had a partner who was open about being bisexual and had had partners in the past of either sex wouldn't be allowed to have ANY friends of EITHER sex, because they might want to shag ALL of them?

DadOnIce Wed 03-Apr-13 15:26:17

What on earth are "feminised men" hmm and "male interests" hmm ?

Having a healthy mix of friends is part of being a grown-up. If people assume their DHs/ DPs want to shag every woman they're friendly with, they can't think much of them, frankly.

I'm sure I remember reading somewhere that men who have healthy relationships with their sisters are generally kinder and more respectful to women in later life. In fact, the more "non-sexual women" a boy or young man knows, the better he will treat women.

This is why I'm glad mine are going to mixed schools. It's inevitable they will have friends of both genders. Should they stop seeing the ones without the appropriate genitalia when they get into relationships? What about gay men and lesbians? Are the boundaries different? Bizarre "rulings" some women have.

Vivienne - yes, we do know that SOMETIMES it happens. It doesn't mean that every single male/female friendship goes that way.

Scrazy - so, I could play badminton with my friend, but not have a drink or a meal with her afterwards?

Scrazy, you and I have had private messages on this subject in the past so we know each other's personal circumstances, but I think most reasonable people would agree sleepovers would probably be a boundary line not to be crossed.

God, When Harry Met Sally has a lot to answer for....

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