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'My partner wants me to cut off the friend who introduced us and I'm really lost.' UPDATED

'My partner wants me to cut off the friend who introduced us and I'm really lost.' UPDATED

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Jealousy and insecurity are natural feelings, but they can really hamper a relationship if they're not properly addressed.

"My partner wants me to cut off the friend who introduced us and I'm really lost."

My (27M) girlfriend Eva (25F) of nearly 6 years and I were talking about the prospect of getting engaged recently when she brought up that it was her expectation that once I propose I'd also cut contact with Leah (27F), one of my closest friends as well as the person who introduced us. (Both names are made up, FWIW.)

Some backstory: Leah and I went to the same middle school/high school, became friends along the way and had become quite close by graduation. We didn't go to the same college but we were still in the same area so we stayed in touch tho we saw each other less frequently. A couple years in she told me I absolutely had to meet this girl because she just knew I'd like her.

She dragged us both (both Eva and I were and still are introverts to Leah's social butterfly persona) to a small get together, introduced us, did some wingmaning and made herself scarce for the rest of the evening. Spoiler alert, Leah was right and I did like Eva a lot from the get-go. We shared interests, hobbies, a sense of humor and we clicked from that first evening.

Leah made sure to give me every chance to not fumble this by setting up our first date shortly thereafter and I thankfully (surprisingly) didn't fumble it. Soon enough Eva and I were officially together and in love, moved in together once I got a job and it felt like a foregone conclusion that eventually we'd get engaged, married and all that stuff.

Eva's recent demand came completely out of left field to me as she had never raised concerns about my friendship with Leah until now, and as far as I could tell counted Leah as a friend of hers as well. Over the course of this relationship the majority of my in-person interactions with Leah also involved Eva and we each met with her individually outside of that.

To be clear I'm not denying that I am closer to Leah than Eva is, just saying they're not complete strangers without me in the equation. A key issue Eva raised is that I did once have a crush on Leah.

"Once" in this case refers to when I was 15 and had just gotten to know her, and is something Eva and I discussed within our first month of dating when she asked me if there had ever been anything between us. I didn't hide anything from her, told her there was a one sided crush at the very beginning, that that had been history for a while and that nothing ever happened.

She was fine with that then and this is the first time she's brought it up since. However, she now says that if she and I are to tie the knot she does not want someone in our lives who I once had a romantic interest in.

She added that she hadn't liked my getting involved in Leah's last serious relationship by telling her to ditch the guy (which I did because she's my friend and the dude was an AH) and that while she didn't suspect that anything had happened between me and Leah at this stage she didn't want to take the chance especially as Leah now has a pronounced interest in finding someone to settle down with.

Eva told me there's no hurry and that this wasn't an ultimatum and didn't want to argue about it, but that I should wrap my head around this ahead of proposing to her (which we weren't talking about as a "tomorrow" thing but not something too far in the future either).

I haven't talked to Leah (or anyone, really) about this yet because I'm still hoping this is something that can be defused and bringing her into it now seems counter productive in that regard (both because it could get her pissed at Eva and Eva pissed at me). I'm really conflicted.

On the one hand Leah is an important friend to me, one who's done a lot for me over the years, brought me out of my shell when I was an awkward teen. On the other hand, by far what I'm most thankful to her for is that she introduced Eva to me so throwing that away is really a non-starter. But back to the one hand I don't really feel like Eva is making much of a case here.

I'd even be willing to concede that the near forgotten and short lived crush could still be a valid argument, but not when it was a non-issue for 6 years.

I just don't know how I'm supposed to approach this.

The internet was quick to respond to OP's quandary.

Every_Guard wrote:

If you wanted to get with Leah you could have tried something again far before meeting Eva. It is a little weird to me that you both have been together six years and Eva would drop this kind of bomb on you to cut out an important friendship from your life.

I get some will get on the whole “guys and girls can’t be friends” and that once married some see it appropriate to cut off communication with friends of the opposite s#x. I think this is just a BS attempt to admit that people like that don’t trust their partner.

She said she doesn’t want to give an ultimatum so tell her: “I love you, but am not going to cut out important people from my life as grounds for a proposal.” Don’t even go the route of asking her to cut her male friends out. As for a silly crush back when you were 15 this is just part of her trusting you not to screw her over. After all what else Is love then that? Lol.

OP responded:

"She said she doesn’t want to give an ultimatum so tell her: 'I love you, but am not going to cut out important people from my life as grounds for a proposal.'"

I guess that's all I can really do, yeah. Just not sure what my next step is if that doesn't work.

Cl3v3r_Duck2022 wrote:

I wonder if she knows something about Leah regarding you or if Leah said something (I.e. “you’re so lucky, I’m so sad I missed my shot with him”)

OP responded:

I did ask her if anything had triggered this stance from her and specifically mentioned if it was something I or Leah did or said, and it was in that context that she brought up my intervening in Leah's relationship (which was a year and change ago), but she didn't point to anything Leah said or did.

shavartay wrote:

Yes, if this is out of character for your GF I’m thinking there must be some sort of catalyst. Is your friend now single after having been in a relationship for most of your friendship/you and GF's relationship?

OP responded:

Leah has been single longer than usual since her last break-up (bit more than a year) but it's not the first time she's been single for an "extended" period of time since I've been friends with her or since I got with Eva. She was single when she introduced us, too.

Omnizoom wrote:

As someone who had a partner that made me cut ties with female friends. Don’t do it. You will alienate your friends and when you realize she’s controlling and you won’t give in and break up, remember this could be the first step of her being extremely controlling in your life AND not trusting you.

My suggestion? Say you won’t cut ties with your good friends when theirs no good reason. Especially since said good friend is the only reason you needed up with this person in the first place, that friendship is the only reason you exist as a couple.

OP wrote:

A small clarification based on something I've seen in a few comments: When I say I don't know how to approach this, I don't mean I don't know whether or not I'll cut Leah out of my life. As things are and from the reasons Eva has given me I don't consider cutting Leah out an option.

What I mean is that I'm not sure how to approach this with Eva to defuse the situation and not lose her if it can be at all avoided.

Consuela_no_no wrote:

How involved were you in Leah’s break up because it seems that’s the trigger point even though it happened a year ago. Something there has made Eva concerned with your potential over involvement in something your maybe should have stepped back from.

Same goes for the aftermath of it, were you spending more time than usual to comfort your friend? Because Eva wants a husband that will have her as a priority and it seems right now she thinks that for you Leah is a priority.

I think you should book at least one if not more sessions of couples counseling, so that you can get to the root of the problem. That is if you love her and before this did see yourself proposing to her.

OP responded:

Honestly? I was pretty damn involved with the break-up. It really hasn't been a habit of mine to chime in negatively on her choice of partners and I even got along quite well with most of the ones I met, but this dude I couldn't stand from day 1. I held my tongue about it for several months but at some point I was fed up with him making Leah miserable, emotionally ab*sing her, gaslighting her.

I was pretty sure he was cheating based on stuff she'd told me...so I intervened. I dropped by her place and told her everything I thought of the guy and that she should break up with him because she deserves better. I actively talked her into it and she ended things with him less than a week later.

Note: Eva knew I would be doing this, and agreed with my opinion of the guy, but it was my call and my call only to actually step in. Leah was kind of a mess in the aftermath, but we didn't really see each other 1 on 1 much at the time. We talked on the phone maybe a bit more than usual and Eva and I hung out with her together a few times but I wasn't her whole support system or anything.

anon_user9 responded:

I am sorry but Eva doesn't look like a good person. She wants you to cut Leah off because you stepped in to protect her? She is alright seeing a friend being in an ab#sive relationship? That's really bad.

A week later, OP jumped on with an update.

So, this week-end and after getting all my thoughts in order, I let Eva know we needed to talk and what it was about. She initially pushed back, re-iterating she didn't want to argue but I insisted and told her it shouldn't need to be an argument and we should be able to discuss this.

I proceeded by telling her that she is the one I love and want to be with, that Leah is still just a friend albeit an important one but that I would not be cutting her out of my life as that was an unreasonable request to make in the absence of inappropriate behavior from either of us.

I told her that this stance was final and added that I hoped we'd be able to communicate and get to the bottom of where this all stemmed from and move forward together. She wasn't happy about this but she didn't shut down the discussion either and we had a long talk afterwards.

Among other things, she again conceded that Leah hadn't done or said anything to cause issues between Eva and I and that she did actually know that the 12 years old crush was not really relevant nor was it a big deal and she was kinda grasping at straws bringing it up.

As it turns out a bigger factor for her was my involvement in Leah's break-up last year and a perceived change in the aftermath of that. She told me that she didn't disagree the guy was an a$$ or even that someone needed to convince Leah to break it off but that she hadn't been comfortable about the way I'd gone about it.

I talked about it in a comment on the original post but basically I just up and decided to do it myself at some point, went to Leah's place and convinced her she deserved better. At the time, I told Eva I'd be doing that but didn't consult with her about the how or anything. She went on to say she'd had this sinking feeling that I was not just a friend in Leah's eyes anymore since then.

She mentioned Leah had been single ever since, not dating much yet had voiced a desire to settle down soon and that I was the guy closest to her, she admitted these things weren't in and of themselves evidence of anything but that she couldn't shake the feeling.

I told her that I didn't think it was the case and that Leah had always been and continued to be supportive of our relationship and that maybe talking to her about it could help. We put that thought aside for the time being and I brought up that her request suggested that she didn't really trust me and that that was a big issue.

Eva didn't really know what to say to that aside from re-iterating she wasn't accusing me of having done anything or of having any intention to, that this was about Leah and that if she was right about her seeing me differently now, our proximity would be a problem whether anything happened or not. I told her that I agreed with that last point on principle but that it all hinged on a basically unsubstantiated "if".

Lastly I asked Eva how all this had affected her own friendship with Leah, because I hadn't noticed major changes there. She said she doesn't harbor animosity towards Leah because of the lack of tangible reasons to, but that her suspicions have indeed meant that there had been a definite cooling in that relationship from her side. She described her interactions with Leah as cordial and not much more for awhile.

I told her that I wasn't going to demand they be friends, of course, but re-iterated that discussing things with Leah might help. I brought up couples therapy at various points throughout this discussion, Eva was initially apprehensive about the idea but I insisted that it wasn't a matter of doubting my relationship with her but one of getting qualified counseling to help us get through this stronger than before.

We have started looking into it and this will make it on the agenda once we find someone suitable. End of the day, Eva abandoned the idea of forcing me to cut Leah out of my life at this stage but we have things to sort through still. I'm glad I was able to actually discuss it with her this time around and hopeful counseling will provide the help we need.

PS: I'd like to thank the people who threw advice my way on the original submission. I don't know that there'll be another update but I owed you this one at least, sorry if it's a bit of a word salad. Left a bunch of stuff out but if you have specific questions I'll try to answer.

The questions came rushing in.

RedSAuthor wrote:

Woman's intuition is usually right. Eva seems like a reasonable person. I suggest you talk to Leah. Instead of convincing Eva she is imagining things, I'm positive you will find out that Leah wants more than friendship with you. At the end of the day, Eva is not comfortable with your closeness with Leah. Why is it difficult for you to acknowledge that and go LC with Leah?

OP responded:

If after Eva does go through with talking to Leah about it, it still doesn't allay her concerns, I'd talk to Leah myself and make my mind up as to whether there's anything to it. At this stage I don't have any reason to believe so.

I am not opposed to reframing my friendship with Leah if there are specifics aspects of it which Eva is uncomfortable with, but so far she has only asked me to cut Leah out entirely which I'm unwilling to do. I'd assume that would come up in counseling if it is about certain aspects.

BMGblackwhitegreen wrote:

Conversation is the key. Maybe you have to talk to Leah at one point if this continues to be an issue.

samse15 wrote:

Question for you…are you at all s*xually attracted to Leah? If Leah came to you tomorrow and told you that she’s always had a thing for you, would you want to be with her? What about if you were single? Would you take a chance to be with Leah if she came to you and admitted that her feeling aren’t just friendly?

You don’t need to admit the truth online, but if the answer to any of those is a yes or even maybe, and you love and respect your girlfriend, then you should probably consider putting some distance between you and Leah.

If it’s really a no, then please, continue as you are. But if there’s anything there, at all, I hope you do the right thing and either end your current relationship or distance yourself from this friend who might become a problem in the future. As someone else here said, no one wants to be the person who’s keeping two best friends from becoming more while they figure out their feelings.

damnwhatasillygoose wrote:

I think this is a very divided topic where both parties aren’t fully right or wrong. OP, I don’t think you are picking up on the valid concerns your gf has raised. You physically when to another woman’s house to convince her to be single, that looks quite off putting to your gf - especially when you used to have a schoolboy crush on the same woman.

Woman are always warned about mens first love and how it’s irreplaceable and things in the media, so it’s extra bad. The same woman is now saying how she wants to find a good man, etc. It is not a good look. For Eva, she needs to understand that you haven’t actually done anything and don’t intend to. Leah is an important person in your life and cutting her off is difficult.

It is easy for her to see that the reason it’s difficult is because it’s a crush because it fits her agenda and not just because it’s a very close friend. It is a particular issue if you have mutual friends and would make waves. However OP, you still need to become lower contact - not cutting off Leah in a way is choosing her in Eva’s eyes. Valid reasons or not. You need to communicate 24/7.

Clearly, the internet is a bit divided on how to best handle this situation.

Sources: Reddit
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