Hi there, I’ve been in a relationship for 6 months with my boyfriend and honestly this is my first  real relationship. I know I have room to grow but what he has expressed to me is that I have inappropriate emotional dependent relationships with my friends. I disagree and of course I get upset with him if he says harsh things about them which then he counters that I am not loyal to him and I should just accept his brash, rude remarks (because he’s right?). For example he says all my friends are stupid, and they are going nowhere. Most of my friends are actors and like me we are figuring it out, the business is not easy. I tell him if that if he respected me he would not talk about the people I care about that way- which then he counters that I’m more emotionally invested in them. Furthermore we’ve fought about me having gay guy friends, he says its not because they are gay but because they don’t stand for what we are trying to build together. He then just recently said it’s because they are male and I shouldn’t have any male friends, that he should be the only man in my life. I’m not so attached to my guy friends but him saying all this makes me uncomfortable. I don’t see why if my relationships are strictly platonic that I have to cut them off. My bottom line fear is that he’s being controlling. I KNOW he loves me very much and out of respect to me he would cut any of his friends off if I did not like them but I would never do that! (unless extreme circumstances) And he does not see any of his girl friends any more. I’m scared to talk to him about this again because he will think I care more about my friends then him (something he is always saying) and end the relationship. I don’t want it to end over some guys friends I have but I don’t think it’s fair I have to cut them off. What should I do? (From the US)

A:  It is important to explain to your boyfriend that you are feeling controlled by him AND that you appreciate his concerns. If you are going to pursue an acting career you are going to have to work with men intensely for extended hours — away from him. Set the ground rules now with him about what you are willing to do to help with his insecurities and what you are not willing to do because it is too controlling.

It is important to discuss his vulnerability and insecurity as it relates to you feeling controlled. Jealousy is a natural part of human relationships and is a fertile ground for discussion. But it doesn’t mean you have to give up who you are. Talk with him to come to a mutually agreeable plan for moving forward.

Wishing you patience and peace,
Dr. Dan
Proof Positive Blog @ PsychCentral