Woe Is Me! “My Boyfriend Forgets I Exist When His Friends Are Around. What Should I Do?”
In this instalment: a boyfriend goes MIA for his partner when he's with the boys.
Woe Is Me! is a series in which The Swaddle team indulges your pity party with advice you’ll probably ignore.
"I’ve been in a relationship for the last 10 months. He’s a sweet guy, but there are a few things that just don’t seem right. He has always wanted me to become a part of his huge group of friends. I did too, since I don’t have too many friends in college. I managed to befriend only one of them – the rest just didn’t want to be friends with me and things got awkward. I have made an effort but I don’t like the way they have behaved with me in the past. Whenever they’re around, my boyfriend forgets that I exist.
They recently planned a trip and my boyfriend insisted I join them. Before the trip, we had a huge fight – he was shouting at me about how I never tried to make friends with them and that I shouldn’t come on the trip. I still went, because I had already booked the tickets. We were on good terms there, but he would constantly abandon me. There was a time I fell ill and he didn’t seem to care. I tried talking to him about this but he doesn’t take it seriously. I feel stuck. I know I don’t deserve to be treated this way, but I wonder if I should try talking to him again and wait for things to change. What should I do?"
-- Treat me right
SA: Where is this sweet guy you speak of? Seems like he has a lot of expectations from you in this relationship while offering little to no support or understanding in return. If he wants you to get along with his friends, HE is the one who needs to put in an active effort in fostering that friendship. If they've behaved badly with you, you do not need to be forced into a friendship with them. You don't deserve to be treated this way. And you're absolutely not stuck. You can decide to leave whenever you want. A good partner is caring, supportive, understanding and loving. From your message he seems to be none of these things.
AS: When you know you don’t deserve to be treated this way, you have got to walk out. He’s failing to see all the efforts you’ve made to become friends with people who have behaved badly with you just because they’re important to him. While he’s accusing you of being at fault, has he ever turned to question whether they made you feel welcome in this group or not, or reciprocated your efforts in any way? I don’t see the point in trying to talk to him about this again. You’ve tried, and if he’s not being respectful of you and your feelings, and dismissing them – that’s definitely not okay. Please don’t waste your time on someone who doesn't seem to be the caring and respectful partner you deserve.
NY: Look, from what I’ve seen, taking trips with your partner can be a major eye-opener. It can either lead to some epic bonding or expose the cracks in a connection. The fact that you are feeling pressured to be buddies with your boyfriend's friends is really not acceptable. I cannot get behind the whole “your girl must be buds with your crew” attitude that many dudes still stick to and it’s kinda really outdated. From what I can make of the part about your S.O. being dismissive of you and his friends having misbehaved with you (even though you’re going all out out for them) stepping away from your comfort zone trying to please them (ugh) is probably a signal that they’re talking smack when you’re not around. That’s a big big red flag.
I think it’s time to stand up for yourself, protect your vibe and leave this person who has proven several times over he doesn’t deserve you. He has not an ounce of respect for you within him and you should save your self-esteem instead of salvaging this relationship before it gets too bad for you.