Many people in relationships, both men and women, have huge issues with their partner having friendships with the opposite sex, often experiencing jealousy at the thought. If you’re someone who often finds yourself suspicious or jealous about your partner’s opposite-sex friends, then you might find this article helpful.
What do I mean by ‘opposite-sex friends’? Well, if you’re a man then you’d be jealous or suspicious of your partner spending time with other men, and if you’re a woman then you’d be jealous of your partner spending time with other women.
This is because you know that intimate temptations can often arise from platonic friendships, and your own insecurity about yourself and the strength of your relationship will cause you to fear losing your partner to someone who you’re afraid might be better than you. Even if you don’t lose them, you fear they will cheat on you behind your back.
These fears can be incredibly debilitating. They can drive you insane! You can have so much fear and jealousy inside of you that it can make you do things which really screw up the relationship in ways you never really thought about.
So how you get around that?
For a start, you need to know you do not have the right to dictate who your partner can or can’t see.
It doesn’t matter if you’re a man telling your girlfriend or wife who they can or can’t see, or a woman telling your boyfriend or husband the same. It’s completely and absolutely wrong, and will only end up completely and absolutely destroying the relationship you have with them. Do you really think they’re going to love and respect you when you treat them like a slave, and order them around?
Freedom is of utmost importance.
Your jealousy is based on insecurity, and your insecurity inspires you to try and create security through control. If you’re trying to defeat your jealousy by controlling your partner, then your relationship is headed for disaster.
Men and women who are insecure and jealous need to understand a very basic fact: attempting to control your relationship with another person only creates resentment in them towards you. This will lead to them leaving you, often to run away and be with the very person that you’re jealous about, but only because your jealousy was pushing them away in the first place.
You see, being afraid of this happening often makes it happen, because your jealousy inspires you to control them, which only inspires them to run away.
In order to ensure your partner stays with you, you have to be willing to let them go.
Yes, it’s almost a paradox. How can you let someone go that you want to stay with you more than anything?
You can do this by understanding that you’re not in control, and you never should be, and that your partner has the right to leave you any time they choose, just like you have that same right to leave them.
It all depends on how satisfying the relationship is that they’re having with you. If you’re giving your partner everything they needs and want, then they’re not going to look for someone else to give them what you’re already giving. If you’re denying them anything that they need or want, however, then they will look for them somewhere else.
Freedom is the absolute foundation of what you must give the person you love and care about.
If you give your wife the freedom to have friendships with other men, and you satisfy her in all the ways that are important to her, then she’s not going to want to stray across any boundaries. How can she stray across boundaries when the boundaries don’t exist? Why would she look for happiness elsewhere, when you’re already making her happy?
If you give your husband the freedom to have friendships with other women, and you satisfy him in all the ways that are important to him, then he’s not going to stray either. He’ll know a good thing when he’s got it, and he won’t do anything to harm that.
Remember what I wrote above: your partner has the right to leave you any time they choose.
This is really important, because it helps you understand that they can leave you at any time. Stopping your girlfriend or wife from being friends with other men is only going to make her want to leave sooner. And stopping him from being friends with other women only makes it obvious to him that you are jealous, insecure, weak, and a control freak. Do you want your partner to end up disliking everything you stand for?
Your jealousy, insecurity and control issues are your issues, not your partners. And if you don’t get leave those issues behind, then your partner will get leave you behind.
You need to understand that you will keep your relationship longer if you are the best that you can be, whether you’re a man or a woman. Don’t be the worst you can be – be the best.
And if you’re a woman, don’t think that attitudes of entitlement will get you what you want. You have to give him what he wants, for him to give you what you want. If you don’t, he’s going to decide to go find another woman who will.
Treat each other with respect, love and understanding, and expect the same thing in return. Treat your loved partner as you want to be treated by them, and make sure they understands this, so that they know what your own expectations are about the relationship.
You need to communicate with each other what your thoughts are about your life, and your relationship, about yourself and about him or her. Communicate the freedom you’re giving. Get them to talk with you about anything. Don’t make your partner afraid or cautious to discuss things with you, because you react badly when they do. Let them have the safety and reassurance that no matter what, you’re there in this world with each other and you will support each other. Let them understand that you know you can’t be everything for them, but if there’s anything that they feel is lacking in the relationship, reassure them that they can talk about it with you.
Having your partner feel comfortable to talk about relationship issues with you only helps you see where and how you can improve your attitudes towards them and the relationship. If she feels the desire to be friends with other men, let her. If he has friendships with other women, don’t even ask about them, just let him share his life and friends with you as he sees fit. Be appreciative that there are people in your partner’s life that are helping give them happiness, which is happiness you can share in. You can’t be everything to your partner, so stop trying, and stop demanding they try.
You have to trust your partner, and trust that they’re not going to screw up a good thing by playing around with others behind your back. You have to trust that they’re going to treat you as you want to be treated, and you have to show that by first treating them the same way.
Give the person you love the freedom to live the life that they wants to live, to share with you what they want to share, and to have the friends – of any gender – that they want to have. Appreciate a life shared, with someone who loves you, and who is loved by you.
If there are any men in her life acting like ‘predators’, she’ll reject them if she has your trust, understanding and acceptance. Any man who tells her they’re better than you, that she should be with them instead of you, are only going to be told where to go! How can they be better than you – or even a good man in the first place – when they’re trying to destroy her current relationship? They prove themselves to be assholes. You have to trust that she’ll make the right choice.
If there’s any women in your man’s life acting like sluts, he’ll reject them if he has your trust, understanding and acceptance. Any woman who tells him they’re better than you will get dropped from his social circles faster than you can imagine. There’s no way he’ll want to screw over his wonderful, loving relationship with you for some ‘skanky ho’ that proves she’s a bitch by not respecting the relationship he has with you.
And if your partner doesn’t, then that’s also their choice, even if you think it’s the wrong one. If they decide to sleep with someone else and betray your trust, then they’re telling you that they’re not worthy of your trust. They’re helping you develop a greater understanding about who they are, and you can make better choices as a result.
Giving them freedom is about letting them do what they feel they need to do, even if it’s to leave you or betray you. And if you’ve understood that they have the right to make these choices at any time, then you’ll let them go. You can move on with your life, thankful that you’re not wasting your time with someone that doesn’t deserve you.
Sure, you’ll be incredibly heartbroken, especially if you feel your trust and your love was betrayed, but you can’t be any better than the best that you can be, and if that’s just not enough, then they’re not the right one for you.
Look for the person who will love you, respect you and appreciate the freedom and trust you give them, and who gives you the same in return. You can’t do any better than that.
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