I am a 19-year-old girl in a relationship for the past one year. My partner is extremely loving and considerate. But he has a very close friend who dislikes me and constantly tries to control his life. She demands that he ask her permission before he does anything. Her behaviour irritates me a lot as she even gets annoyed with him when he meets me. I have talked to him about this; he says that he loves me madly but can’t afford to lose that friend. I now feel very insecure though I know that I am the only one for him.
Dina / Mumbai
Looks like your partner’s “best” friend’s behaviour makes you frustrated and insecure, and she has become an irritating thorn in your side.
What matters more is not what she does and how she behaves; but how he handles both her and you. How does he respond when she demands that he asks for her permission before he does anything? Is he able to keep her in her place — that of a friend — while according to you your place is as his partner? If you do not like the way he handles the situation, then this lady will continue to aggravate your relationship.
However, if you choose to stay, then have a positive conversation about setting relationship boundaries. Set aside the time with your partner and share your feelings. Jointly decide what the boundaries are — in which areas this friend is allowed into your lives and where is she not. It is important to sensitize your partner to the fact that this line between love and friendship is strongly needed for a healthy relationship.
Nasreen Hashambhoy is a Counsellor, Life Coach and a Facilitator of training programmes for schools and corporates. Through a combination of coaching, counselling and facilitation techniques based on cognitive science and positive psychology, she helps clients achieve their true potential. She is the author of the series Values In Action published by Better Yourself Books.