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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

SanctiMOMious Wed 03-Apr-13 13:20:10

that's all very reasonable voice ofreason but fact is from a gf pov, it still makes u a less atractibe bf. just knowing you all this time for other women, that u have ended relationships with a partner for your relationships with married women..... fair enough of course but women who say 'pass thanks' on the chance to be just one woman in your life arent jealous or unreasonable. it's just not what they want. if i go out with a man, i want to be the one he considers his best friend. i think that is a normal thing to want. it's not a sex/jealousy issue. how close can u be to somebody who is close to three or four other women, who know his history as well!? that would just be an offputting factor.

Viviennemary Wed 03-Apr-13 13:25:05

Personally I don't agree with this female friend business. It so often ends in tears. As has proved again and again on those threads. Not saying it always does.

UnexpectedItemInShaggingArea Wed 03-Apr-13 13:35:08

Oh God what a depressing thread. I don't doubt that sometimes friendships overstep the mark but in general who gives a shit what gender your OH's friends are?

If they are unfriendly towards you (male or female) then yes, say something, but to tell someone they can't have female friends because (a) they might have sex with them or (b) they are somehow usurping your position in his affections is just sad.

My DH spends pretty much all of his time with other women - he is SAHD - and I think it's great - far better than being dragged out to competitive drinking nights or following a crappy football team to the end of the country.

<sigh> I think I'm going to regret this post...

VoiceofUnreason Wed 03-Apr-13 13:35:12

sanctimonious - I have ended ONE relationship with one partner because she had insecurity issues over the fact that I had female friends. I did not spend more time with them than her, but she basically felt I should spend very little time with them and never without her. I think that is unreasonable and basically makes me feel I am untrusted. And without trust, a relationship is nothing.

I am quite happy for a partner to BECOME my best friend (and that's when you are living together and/or married, not just "going out with") and my best friend to be become 'second best friend' to some extent. But I don't think it right that a partner can and should dictate who I can or can't be friends with because of her issues. I would never ever state that my partner couldn't have male friends or decide who they could or couldn't spend time with.

I know lots of people who have very close friends of the opposite sex, some married, some single. I know a guy who had a female 'best man' at his wedding. His wife had no issue. They are still married, with kids, blissfully happy. He still sees the female best man (who is also married) separately and also both couples together.

I am NOT saying it works for everyone and I can see others have had problems with it. What I object to is people basically saying it CAN'T work and "isn't right". It's rather blinkered and old fashioned and generally stems from someone's insecurity and trust issues and it is that that causes a problem, not the actual friendship.

MooncupGoddess Wed 03-Apr-13 13:38:27

I am single and have lots of male friends (single/gay/married). Sometimes I even go for drinks alone with married men shock. I have also been in relationships with men who had lots of female friends.

It's never been a problem but there are some key rules, basically summarised by the phrase 'be a friend to the marriage (or relationship)'. If your boyfriend's female friends aren't interested in meeting you, or aren't polite, or step over boundaries (e.g. inappropriate presents) then you have a problem, and it's not just the female friends who are at fault - your boyfriend should be on your side and telling his female friends that if they don't behave appropriately the friendship is over.

However, being jealous just because your partner has female friends who he occasionally likes to go for a beer with is the path to madness.

malinois Wed 03-Apr-13 13:40:53

I would be deeply suspicious of any man who didn't have any female friends. Why would you want to select friends by gender?

MooncupGoddess Wed 03-Apr-13 13:41:22

Yes exactly UnexpectedItem. I have a friend who is a SAHD and he has lots of nice female friends who he and the kids hang out with. He knows where the lines are and his wife is very level-headed and not the sort to strop because he went for a coffee with another woman.

UnexpectedItemInShaggingArea Wed 03-Apr-13 13:52:11

Ah thank you - voices of reason enter the thread MooncupGoddess (truely inspired name BTW) and malinois (although VoiceofUnreason is also a voice of reason I think.

The ability to maintain a good friendship with women without shagging them is a big tick in my book.

VoiceofUnreason Wed 03-Apr-13 13:57:30

Unexpected - oddly enough, I was chatting to a friend (a female, shock horror) about this subject recently and she said she finds guys who have female friends far more sympathetic/empathetic and better in relationships than guys who have no female friends (she finds those without female friends tend to be more controlling too). That's her experience, of course. She also says it's great to be able to get a bloke's perspective on things from time to time.

SanctiMOMious Wed 03-Apr-13 13:58:33

well voice, u kind of missed my point! it's not a question of one way or another way being right or wrong. it just wouldnt appeal to me (and many other women) to b one of several very close women in your life.
Big of u to concede that your gf might your first best friend and your standby best friend might become a secondbbest friend... :-0 do u wanna do up a spreadsheet there?!
what would turn me off that kind of relationship with a man such as yourself is the script u present that objections would be down to insecurity! no. i am such good company, so funny, reasonable etc .... that any truly eligible boyfriend would know without a doubt i was his best friend . he wouldnt need to temporarily reshuffle me in hos hierqrchy of important women!

SanctiMOMious Wed 03-Apr-13 14:02:14

so . point being. women can chose to say no thanks buddy. move on if the relationship makes u feel bad. no matter how unreasonable u r made feel for having your own standards. men who wont be told who they can or cant have as friends have standards.and you have them too. good luck!

VoiceofUnreason Wed 03-Apr-13 14:03:57

Sanctimonious - that's your choice. But there was no need to be so ridiculously sarcastic over the way I chose to word something; most women will regard their partner as their best friend, quite rightly, but I bet most of them still have someone else they still term a 'best friend'. Are you really SO outstandingly wonderful that a man should never want to even SPEAK to another woman who is friends with? Wow.

UnexpectedItemInShaggingArea Wed 03-Apr-13 14:05:33

SanctiMOMious I won't be told who I can and can't be friends with by my DH, but I wouldn't want to maintain a friendship with someone who was mean to my DH. Same goes for him.

VoU I agree with your friend - my experience also.

SanctiMOMious Wed 03-Apr-13 14:13:29

i have had bfs with female friends. but i knew i came first and there was no underlying threat (said or unsaid) of accept this or it is over.
i was concerned that the op has a vulnerability in this area. she could be TOLD to accept something that made her unhappy on the grounds that SHE was flawed and unreasonable if she didnt.
reckon most people on this thread marching to the beat of their own drum. but op sounds conflicted.

SanctiMOMious Wed 03-Apr-13 14:15:19

voiceofunreason, i thought i was FUNNY with my spreadshheet joke. caustic!? wha'? im am not caustic.

VoiceofUnreason Wed 03-Apr-13 14:16:18

A smiley might have been wise, in that case

SanctiMOMious Wed 03-Apr-13 14:22:10

thino your comment "are you really so wonderful ..." etc is 1) far ruder than anything i said/joked to you and it's also putting words in my mouth. never said a bf shouldnt talk to a woman. you are missing my point. and missing it. there is not one correct script in these situations. both parties can choose in or choose out. and you are the one arguing that your 'script' is correct or justified. im saying that's not the point. so for point this out with a joke to try and lighten it, i get called caustic. do you have a label for everybody who doesnt see the world thru YOUR eyes. ?

VoiceofUnreason Wed 03-Apr-13 14:26:10

I thought you were being rude, so I was possibly being rude back. Quid pro quo. I apologise.

But actually, I have NOT said my viewpoint is more relevant. I am merely saying, as have others, that there is nothing necessarily wrong in anyone having good friends of the opposite sex. But I do think, as do others, that it is wrong for someone to decide who their partner can or can't be friends with based on gender ALONE.

newbiefrugalgal Wed 03-Apr-13 14:31:06

my DH had an affair with his so called just a female friend!

newbiefrugalgal Wed 03-Apr-13 14:31:23

not DH - typed that too quickly.

Scrazy Wed 03-Apr-13 14:39:04

I think as in most friendships there is usually something in it for both parties. I can understand that with same gender friendships but wonder a little about close friendships of the opposite sex. Is it female company that men get from it and if that is what they want why not concentrate on the woman that is sleeping with him and giving him so much more.

VoiceofUnreason Wed 03-Apr-13 14:48:24

Scrazy, no it's not company it's friendship. The gender is irrelevent. Put it this way...

I enjoy playing badminton occasionally. I'm not great at it, but I enjoy it from time to time. The woman that is sleeping with me and giving me so much more hates badminton and won't play the occasional game with me. I have no male friends who play badminton but I have a female friend who does. So I might play a game with her now and again.

What's wrong with that?

Viviennemary Wed 03-Apr-13 15:15:05

Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles. Just such good friends. hmm

Scrazy Wed 03-Apr-13 15:15:37

That is fine and understandable, I wouldn't have a problem with a bf playing badminton with a female partner. That is them both getting something out of it. It's the spending special time together, going out for meals and sleepovers which wouldn't be acceptable to me if it was with someone I am trying to establish a relationship with.

VoiceofUnreason Wed 03-Apr-13 15:19:31

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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