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Hello, My SO and I have been fighting about this issue for

Hello, My SO and I have...
Hello,

My SO and I have been fighting about this issue for quite a while now and I'm not sure if it's an issue of me not being reasonable or her not being respectful/considerate. Back in Jan of this year, my SO began exchanging a lot of texts with another woman, (about 2000ish) this went on for a couple months and when I tried to speak with her about being uncomfortable with this, she dismissed my feelings and told me it was no big deal. I eventually blew up at her for this but since then I've asked her to give me some space with this woman. It turns out they were not cheating, but I feel as if my SO developed an inappropriate emotional "connection" to this person. Her behavior included being dishonest with me, going behind my back, and rooming with this person in a study abroad program to another country. When I asked her what was going on, she told me that they connected because they both suffer from depression and my SO said she did not feel comfortable speaking with me about it. I have tried to work on communicating with her and being supportive but when I ask her to stop speaking with this person she won't do it. My SO claims that this person is a good student and could be beneficial to her studies, also that since this person is a VP of a club where my other half is president, that they have to be in contact. Am I being unreasonable when I ask her to stop communicating with this person? Or am I overstepping some kind of control-freak boundary?
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Answered in 4 minutes by:
11/7/2013
TherapistJen
TherapistJen, LCSW, CPC
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 3,567
Experience: Licensed Clinical Social Worker
Verified

Coach Jen K. :

Hi and welcome. I am a Licensed Master Social Worker with more than 20 years experience working with individuals and families on a variety of issues.

Coach Jen K. :

It sounds as if there is a connection between the two of them.

Coach Jen K. :

But do I recommend you force that boundary? Not so sure.

Coach Jen K. :

I might suggest that you pull back from it a bit if you can and let it play out and all will become clear.

Coach Jen K. :

If it is too uncomfortable for you and she has not broken off communication then you may need to reavaluate the relationship and the connection between the two of you

Coach Jen K. :

hi

Customer:

Hello...

Coach Jen K. :

Not an easy space to be in and I can understand you feeling a bit shaky about things...are you able to pull back a bit and let things unfold?

Customer:

this has been going on so long, that I think I could, although I would very pretty disrespected.

Coach Jen K. :

she has connected with this other person and that seems clear so it opens up a dialog between the two of you to look at your relationship and see if it is fulfilling both of your needs. You are important too

Customer:

I've trusted her many times, and I've asked her simple things regarding this person, but it's pretty frustrating...especially when in the beginning, every time my SO and I would argue, she would run to this other woman and tell her everything...

Coach Jen K. :

and that is not a healthy thing for your relationship and not fair to you at all

Coach Jen K. :

how long are you together?

Customer:

I would ask her not to do this, my SO would then cry and accuse me of just "not wanting her to have any friends"

Customer:

it will be two years in Jan

Coach Jen K. :

do you believe that is true? Do you have a tough time with her having friends?

Customer:

Not at all. When I first met my SO, she had just transferred to a new school. I introduced her to all my friends, and encouraged her to make a facebook so she could make friendships of her own from school.

Coach Jen K. :

ok so then you know what is true for you and if she says that it is just being said to manipulate the situation.

Customer:

When my SO voiced that she was sad because her fb didn't have any friends on it, I asked my friends from my sports team to friend her...

Customer:

Yes.

Coach Jen K. :

It sounds as if a deep and honest conversation between the two of you needs to take place about how you both feel, what you want and if that is each other

Customer:

I have tried that, she never sees the issue the same I do

Coach Jen K. :

I hear some insecurities within her and this is why she may need this connection with this woman so that she can get this self esteem boost. does that make sense?

Customer:

To her, they are just good friends who bonded over a deep, and persistent issue. Depression.

Coach Jen K. :

it comes down to you being able to deal with it or not.

Coach Jen K. :

looking inward as to whether this works for you

Customer:

In a way, yet, I don't understand how she can say that she loves me, yet she won't give me space when I ask her

Coach Jen K. :

friends are one thing but your gut tells you another

Customer:

Yeah, I understand that. And this whole friendship started off in the wrong spot.

Coach Jen K. :

and not great that she doesnt share with you how she feels but turns to another in tough times

Customer:

At the time, my SO was upset because she thought I had been unsupportive to her in dealing with her depression. So she shut me out emotionally and I feel as if she replaced me with this preson

Coach Jen K. :

what does your gut tell you about this.

Customer:

In the past few weeks, she as apologized and realized what she had done wrong, but when I ask her not to text this person, she still does it...

Coach Jen K. :

maybe stop asking and let it be and see how you feel and if you can live that way.

Coach Jen K. :

none of us can curb someone elses behavior, only our own so you will know whether you can deal or not. lets not give this other woman so much power by focusing on her

Customer:

Right now, I feel as if it is a choice, either her or me...

Coach Jen K. :

I would try not to go down that road as I believe you will be hurting yourself more and that is not your goal

Customer:

I understand. My goal is to keep her, many other aspects of our relationship are healthy, and every relationship has it's problems, but this is something that has not gone away

Customer:

and I feel saddened, disrespected and at times lonely.

Customer:

I feel as if my other half is choosing to speak to someone else rather than me.

Coach Jen K. :

yes and you are keeping it alive. I understand...truly I do, but I want you to let some of that angst around it go and give it no power

Customer:

And I understand everyone needs friends, but isn't there a boundry somewhere?

Coach Jen K. :

nothing wrong with any of us relying on others...none of us can be everything to our loved ones so try and see it that way.

Coach Jen K. :

yes there is a boundary but if there hasnt been cheating and you believe there isnt an emotional affair then try and let it be.

Coach Jen K. :

no power

Coach Jen K. :

you love her and that ultimatum you are ready to give is not what you want

Coach Jen K. :

as I fear she wont pick you...not because she doesnt love you but because she will feel pushed

Customer:

Right, but I've tried to ask her other things, and they haven't worked. I feel as if my SO has given this a lot of power to the point where I feel a bit run over by it...

Customer:

For example...

Coach Jen K. :

ignore it...go completely silent on it

Customer:

This person asked my SO to meet her at a bar and I voiced that I didn't think that was a good idea, she ignored me and went anyway. I asked her to not run to her after every arguement, she still did for a while...I asked her not to room with her when they went on a study abroad trip together, they ended up as roommates...

Customer:

That is a bit much to ignore...I feel

Coach Jen K. :

notice how you keep asking her not to do things? that can cause her to do the exact thing you dont want her to do.

Coach Jen K. :

if the connection is deep and strong between the two of you, you dont need to ask her not to do all these things because trust and love is there and then there is no power to this outside person

Customer:

I guess I don't understand that. Because where there was a similar situation where my SO felt uncomfortable with someone's involvement with me. I ended the involvement.

Customer:

Yet when I draw a parallel to that, she throws that gesture back in my face saying that, "she didn't ask me to do that..."

Customer:

To which I respond, you didn't have to

Coach Jen K. :

that is a confusion of the boundaries and again if you are strong in your relationship and are each behaving with respect for the relationship then you dont need to put those restrictions out there

Customer:

I don't understand why I don't deserve the same treatment I guess....

Coach Jen K. :

neither of you should be requiring that of the other.

Coach Jen K. :

there needs to be more room to breathe and be for both of you

Customer:

What is a confusion of boundries?

Customer:

I mean definition-wise...so I understand better...

Coach Jen K. :

you can be in a relationship with one another but this placing of restrictions on the other means the boundaries are a bit strong and hard to live within

Customer:

but aren't some boundaries universal? Like don't text someone else 2000 times when you're in a relationship?

Customer:

Or don't run to someone else every time you have a disagreement with your SO?

Coach Jen K. :

yes it is a bit much but my point is that you cannot control that behavior...you can certainly share with her how you feel but in the end it becomes your decision about whether to stay with someone that texts someone else 2000 times.

Coach Jen K. :

and if you or anyone tries to control that then the relationship becomes further strained

Customer:

Ok...

Coach Jen K. :

so dont control it and look inward as to whether she is the right one for you or maybe you are better suited with someone who wouldnt do these things and would just know that that doesnt work in a relationship.

Customer:

I guess it's more of a tell her how I feel...

Coach Jen K. :

make sense?

Coach Jen K. :

yes and she can either respond or not and if she cant then it is time to look as to whether she is right for you

Customer:

But what do I do when she tells me that she can't tell me how she feels...

Customer:

I feel as if that is the root of all of this...

Coach Jen K. :

then that is telling about your connection and to me does not sound like the fit is right between the two of you

Customer:

I try to get her to talk to me about this, but she only replies that she does't feel that she can talk to me about certain things

Customer:

She thinks it is "normal" to speak to others about her feelings with others before speaking to them about me

Customer:

I am of the belief that you should be able to speak to your SO about anything...

Coach Jen K. :

again...the fit and connection doesnt sound right between you two

Customer:

I understand.

Coach Jen K. :

time to focus on you and what you need.

Coach Jen K. :

and it may not be her.

Coach Jen K. :

hard to see that but it may be worth spending some time with your thoughts to see if your views, morals and values about things are in line.

Customer:

Within this relationship, everything else is. It's just this person that we disagree and constantly fight on.

Coach Jen K. :

that is what is there on the surface but it is a larger issue of trust, values and ways of being in a relationship.

Customer:

To her credit, she has stopped texting as much, it's much less now,

Coach Jen K. :

take some time to see how you feel

Customer:

ok

Coach Jen K. :

come back to me anytime for more support

Customer:

alright.

Coach Jen K. :

can I support you further now?

Customer:

At this time, no. I appreciate your time

Customer:

and your insight.

Coach Jen K. :

it is my pleasure. focus on you!!!!

Customer:

ok

Coach Jen K. :

please take a moment to offer a rating of my support and request me again anytime.

Coach Jen K. :

all ok?

Customer:

yes

Coach Jen K. :

ok.

TherapistJen
TherapistJen, LCSW, CPC
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 3,567
Experience: Licensed Clinical Social Worker
Verified
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Satisfied Customers: 3,567
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