I’ve known my female friend for 7 years. We’ve never liked nor had any sexual relations of any kind for as long as we’ve known each other but we were close friends. I’ve known and been with my girlfriend (gf) for 5 years and everything has been great. My gf and friend even went to the same high school and knew each other.
Last year, I pranked my friend through my gf’’s phone where I pretended to be my gf and told her that things were not so great and that I (my gf) would have to leave the country forever to which my friend was sad (my gf agreed to the prank, watched me do it and thought it was funny as well). Later that night we all went out together, my friend found out about the prank and hit my face which she thought was playful revenge. My gf was infuriated at this as she views a slap on the face regardless of intention or intensity as extremely disrespectful to which she demanded an apology. My friend responded to my gf’;s messages saying “I’m sorry, but I also didn’t hit him that hard” This enraged my gf further as my friend didn’t understand why hitting the face was SO wrong to my gf. I had forgiven my friend (during the situation) because of the context of the situation. I know her intention wasn’t to humiliate or injure me and it was because of the prank, so I moved on. My gf dislikes this because she feels like I’m “not on her side” and that her efforts to stand up for me (which I thanked her for) was a waste of time. I’m someone who finds it very easy to trust and love because I expect nothing. My gf is different where building trust is very difficult, easily broken and she expects a standard of behavior from everyone. She now detests the idea of me interacting with my friend because she thinks my friend is toxic. I always ask her if it is ok and if she’d like to come along when my friend invites me to hang out but she declines, so I mostly avoid going because I feel like it’ll just cause problems. I thought I acted rational in the situation but now I’m just confused. Was I wrong to forgive my friend? Did I interpret wrong?
It’s always okay to forgive someone, and it is not unusual for people experiencing the same thing having different takes on what it means. My guess is the slap is being interpreted as a more intimate response of betrayal than your girlfriend would have anticipated. Also, this prank was with the full cooperation, knowledge, and help of your girlfriend — and she didn’t get slapped. You both betrayed her with this prank and you were the one taking the punishment for it.
It is a dangerous game to tug on someone’s feelings of loss and abandonment as a prank. My suggestion? You and your girlfriend apologized for putting your friend in such a bad place, accept your friend’s apology, and work on re-establishing trust with each other.
Dan Tomasulo Ph.D., TEP, MFA, MAPP teaches Positive Psychology in the graduate program of Counseling and Clinical Psychology at Columbia University, Teachers College and works with Martin Seligman, the Father of Positive Psychology in the Masters of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) program at the University of Pennsylvania. He is Director of the New York Certification in Positive Psychology for the Open Center in New York City and on faculty at New Jersey City University. Sharecare has honored him as one of the top 10 online influencers on the topic of depression. For more information go to: http://www.dare2behappy.com/. He also writes for Psych Central's Ask the Therapist column and the Proof Positive blog.
APA Reference Tomasulo, D. (2019). Girlfriend Dislikes My Female Friend. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 15, 2019, from https://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2019/11/29/girlfriend-dislikes-my-female-friend/
Last updated: 26 Nov 2019 (Originally: 29 Nov 2019) Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 26 Nov 2019 Published on Psych Central.com. All rights reserved.