Recent and Past Problems with Friends, Boyfriend

By Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

I’ve been going through a lot lately. My mom won’t talk to me because I celebrated Christmas for the first time. Also about 3 weeks ago I had a close friend over for a few drinks and I didn’t want her driving home so I asked her to spend the night. Then in the middle of the night, I went to the living room to see if my boyfriend wanted to come back to bed since he couldn’t sleep earlier. When I got there I saw my friend kneeling beside my boyfriend with her arms around him and her head on his chest. His arms were also around her and he was sleeping. So I asked what is going on and when my boyfriend saw me standing there he thought this doesn’t look good at all. I ran to our bedroom crying and slammed the door. About a few minutes later he came in the room and said nothing happened. I went to work the next morning and my so-called friend was texting me apologizing and I said if it happens again there will be severe consequences. I hated her so much for such a long time and now I don’t trust her at all.

It made me have flash backs when I was a teenager seeing my mom seek the comfort of another man and that lead her to have an affair with that man. My bf at first was comforting and understanding but then after he stopped being that way and took my so-called friends side. He denies it but I kept accusing him. It got so bad my depression that he almost asked me to leave because I told him you might of well have slept with her. Recently we went away for the weekend and he brought up the issue. It really upset me because I didnt want to think about it. He told me that he misses how it was before between my so-called friend and I. I told him that it won’t ever go back to the way it was because of what you and her did to me. The damage is done and can’t be repaired. He also said he was going to continue to be her friend and I said ya but she can’t come over anymore. My bf also comments on how great other women look and it makes me feel like I’m ugly. Like today I showed him a bikini and he asked me if it comes with the body. That made me feel like crap. I don’t like him touching me anymore. I’ve also have thoughts everyday about sitting on the kitchen floor with a chefs knife and slowly cutting away at my wrists. Then having him finding me on the bloody floor. I need help about what to do. I’ve tried talking to my bf about how I’m feeling but he just gets mad at me. Please HELP.

A. This is a complex situation. Your boyfriend seems to have an affinity for your friend and you can’t let go of their betrayal of you. You said in your letter that “the damage is done and it can’t be repaired.” This problem may be repairable but it will require a serious commitment to healing the relationship on the part of both you and your boyfriend. It may also necessitate couples counseling.

You are having thoughts of suicide but seemingly not because you want to end your life. Rather, the purpose would be to punish those who hurt you. Thus the motivation is punishment of the other, not to harm yourself. In essence, you want others to experience the pain and suffering you have endured. Your hurt feelings are understandable but your approach to dealing with them is not healthy. There are other ways to communicate your hurt feelings that do not involve harming yourself.

You say that your boyfriend makes you feel a particular way. Please keep in mind that no one can make you feel anything. Feelings emanate from within you. Your boyfriend may say hurtful and inappropriate things but the feelings generated as a result are yours. The fact that you feel inadequate because of his comments may indicate low self-esteem. Individual counseling could help develop healthy self-esteem.

Your boyfriend betrayed you. Now he cannot understand why you’re having difficulty coming to terms with what he has done. You essentially caught him cheating and he wants to remain in contact with the friend he cheated with. He cannot expect you to simply “get over it.” He has hurt you and if he wants the relationship to continue, then he needs to demonstrate, with actions, not words, that he is worthy of your forgiveness. Thus far there’s little to no evidence of him fully appreciating the pain that he has caused you. If this does not change, the relationship may not be salvageable.

As I mentioned above, you may want to consult a couples therapist. It would be the most efficient way to handle this problem. If your boyfriend is unwilling to attend couples counseling, then you should consider going alone, to an individual therapist. The individual therapist could provide you with the advice and guidance necessary to navigate this complex relationship.

If you feel suicidal, then go to an emergency room or call 911 immediately. The find help tab at the top of this page can help you locate a therapist in your community. I wish you the best of luck. Please take care.

Dr. Kristina Randle

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 13 Mar 2011

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2011). Recent and Past Problems with Friends, Boyfriend. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 21, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2011/03/13/recent-and-past-problems-with-friends-boyfriend/