I figured I should ask for advice because this situation is really weird and I have no idea how to handle it. My girlfriend "Maggie" and I have been together for around 3 months, so our relationship is still very new. Things have been going well aside from this problem.
A few weeks ago, Maggie started a new job and quickly became friends with her new co-worker "Joe." For the record, I have no problem with Maggie having male friends. I have female friends and I don't think there's anything wrong with that. But Maggie and Joe seemed unusually close after a very short amount of time.
Like Maggie was telling me that she was scoping out her co-workers to see who was all business and who she could joke around with and maybe become better friends with. She said it would be pretty easy though, because Joe was telling her who was cool. But Maggie barely knows Joe, so why does she trust him so much?
Maggie and Joe were hanging out so much outside of work that I actually did feel a little weird about it. I then found out that, aside from work, they usually hung out with Joe's wife and kids, which made cheating unlikely but was still really weird. Most people don't have near strangers hanging out with their little kids that much.
Maggie has been putting this family above other friends, like when she waited on rsvp'ing to a friend's party until she could nail down other plans with Joe and his family. The plans with Joe's family were very vague and hadn't been decided yet, but Maggie was willing to miss her friend's party if it was the only time Joe's family was available.
I met them for the first time, and it was very bizarre. Maggie isn't a big fan of kids but she was all over Joe's kids. She got down on the floor and crawled around with the baby. The older kid was very shy and didn't seem that comfortable with me but she got very excited when she saw Maggie and climbed into Maggie's lap.
So, Maggie has obviously spent a lot of time with the family in the past few weeks. The older kid calls Maggie "Auntie." Maggie once told me she didn't like babysitting and always tries to get out of it. But, apparently she has babysat for them and she refuses to take money for babysitting.
This is just so out of character for her. They also made some weird jokes about Maggie coming to live in their basement??? Which was really weird in combination with everything else that is going on. (Hopefully that was just a joke).
For Thanksgiving, we decided to just celebrate with our own families because we haven't been together that long. Joe and his family weren't able to travel far to meet their own family, so Maggie invited them to her parents' house. That's very kind, but it was a couple hours away and they all slept over, so it wasn't a casual trip.
Some pictures were taken, including a posed one of Maggie and Joe's family, with the older kid hugging Maggie's shoulders. Maggie made a comment about how she was glad her "chosen family" could come to Thanksgiving.
It is beyond bizarre, she barely knows these people! She has been in the new job just under two months and somehow become absorbed into this random family. And this is so out of character. She told me once that she hates it when people she doesn't know well insist on hugging her or how cheaply some people say "I love you" but she is taking this up to 11.
She is fretting right now because the oldest kid's birthday is coming, and Maggie apparently needs to get that kid a birthday and a Christmas gift and a Christmas gift for the baby, too. The only gift I'd ever gotten a co-worker's kid is when they had a baby shower at work.
I don't even know how to bring this up. I know her friendships aren't really my business, but this is so strange it's making me uncomfortable so I feel like I have to say something, but I don't even know what to say. Maggie cheating on me with Joe would actually make more sense than this. Any advice? This isn't normal, right?
Honestly, this is probably her character and not “out of character” like you say. You even said that you guys have been dating for three months. Three months is the first milestone to make a decision about moving the relationship forward or not. So, you have a responsibility here to objectively assess your relationship.
One thought that crossed my mind would be Joe’s family would love for her to live in their basement as a childcare provider - so they may be taking advantage of her for their benefit. Your gf may be trying to show off in front of you to show that she is lovable/respected by people. Many possibilities.
I would advise you to cool down the relationship. Give her space to make decisions about her life and relationship. If she actively chooses to spend more and more time with Joe’s family... you have your answer. Three months is time to decide the future of a relationship like I said previously. Good luck! Remind yourself what YOU deserve in a girlfriend (better than this!)
I just don't know she's said pretty clearly that she doesn't want kids, doesn't like them that much, and resents that as a young woman, people just assume she likes kids and would like to babysit. Maybe she was lying and really does like kids? But I don't know why anyone would lie about that. Even if she liked babysitting I don't have any reason to care about that.
I don't think Maggie would ever consider being their permanent childcare provider. She is a professional with a full time job that she really likes and went to school for years to be able to do, not a nanny or someone looking for work. I'm just so confused. And she won't even take money from them so she can't make a living that way.
What are your ages? Usually 20’s are for questioning beliefs. I also said I didn’t want kids blah blah blah but I do and I love kids. So it wasn’t a lie, I was just seeing what really felt right for me.
If your relationship was serious, three months is the perfect time to meet each other’s families? But you think it’s too soon however you also feel like you know her pretty well? Could you have a sit down conversation with her?
We are almost thirty so not extremely young anymore. I could understand if this was a more gradual change with her feelings on kids, but she went from refusing to ever babysit and not liking kids at all to a week later saying she loves these kids and will babysit for free and even suggesting it herself.
And I think it's just these kids, she made a comment that might have been a joke, but I'm not sure, that Joe shouldn't tell anyone at work about the babysitting because other people would want Maggie you babysit for their kids and she didn't want to.
I would understand more of there was a gradual change like if she agreed to babysit once in an emergency and realized that babysitting could be fun and was open to doing it again, but it seems like she has always volunteered and refused to take money for something that a few weeks ago she said she hated and would never do.
This whole thing would be much less weird if it took place over a longer period of time and could allow for a change of heart, but she met these people a few weeks ago and is suddenly changing her behavior. Our relationship is new and even I've known her longer than she's known Joe.
To each their own, but I wouldn't meet a girlfriend's family after three months. Especially during a major holiday with extended family. Maggie agreed with that too, it's just off to me that she put so much importance on Joe's family coming.
I’ve got 2 theories on this:
1.) Maggie has a bad home life and is inserting herself into this family because it’s the life she wishes she had.
2.) Maggie is into Joe. I knew a girl who befriended a married couple just so that when things went bad she could swoop in and take the husband. No one saw it coming, but it happened. It was like her master plan after 2 years of waiting.
As a quick summary: I thought something weird was going on with my girlfriend "Maggie" who became quickly and extremely close to her new co-worker "Joe" and his wife "Kate." After just a couple weeks, she was trusting Joe with everything work related, babysitting their children for free and buying them gifts.
She was having the kids call her auntie, putting this family above her other friends, inviting the family to Maggie's family Thanksgiving, and referring to them as her chosen family. I thought that either this whole thing was some kind of cover for an affair or Maggie had attachment issues.
I figured out what was going on and I feel like a huge idiot. I went to see Maggie to ask for an explanation and figured if I didn't like what I heard I'd break up with her, because either she was cheating or had an emotional issue I couldn't handle.
I had the opportunity when I saw the gifts Maggie had gotten for Joe and Kate's kids. It seemed so strange for someone who doesn't really like kids that much to go so overboard for kids she just met. I asked Maggie why she gave the kids such special treatment even though she doesn't really like kids that much.
Maggie explained that she felt differently about these kids because she had been around to watch them grow and was close to Joe and Kate, so the kids are more like family to her, which means she treats them differently than other kids and they're the exception to the rule.
Maggie said she'd probably tone it down eventually, but since they were so young she wanted to get them something really nice for Christmas. I wasn't really sure what to say next because it seemed so irrational, but then Maggie said that she used to exchange Christmas gifts with Joe and Kate too.
But, she said that they had all decided it was too much trouble and unnecessary so these days she usually bakes them something or gets them a nice bottle of wine. I realized I was missing something important.
If Maggie had other Christmases with Joe's family, she couldn't have just met them like I thought. I had thought that Maggie might have emotional issues that made her attach herself to people she barely knew, but I didn't think Maggie was actually crazy enough to imagine that she knew them before. I didn't want to ask, so I acted normally until I left.
When I got home, I went through Maggie's Facebook. She wasn't lying and she's not crazy. I found a ton of photos with Joe and Kate going back a decade. From what I can figure out, they all went to college together. Joe and Maggie were Big Brother and Little Sister in a coed frat/sorority, and Maggie and Kate were roommates.
I also found pictures of Maggie as a bridesmaid in Joe and Kate wedding and pictures of Maggie holding their newborn children so they are obviously close friends who have known each other for a long time. All of Maggie's behavior makes perfect sense now that I know all this.
I think this whole thing is my fault. I have ADHD and I don't handle it well. I've had issues when people are talking to me for awhile, where I start zoning them out. I've been called out for this before. I think it's pretty likely that Maggie did tell me about Joe and Kate and I just wasn't listening.
Maggie hasn't actually done anything wrong or creepy so I think it's more likely that I wasn't listening when Maggie explained instead of this being a trick. This was a pretty big wakeup call for me. I've been ignoring my problem because I didn't want to face facts that it was serious but I know I need to do something before I make anymore mistakes. I'm going to start off by looking for a therapist.
I'm glad you're getting some help. Sorry you had to go through this confusion. I must admit, this is an entertaining twist in the story.
I hope this post helps others see the bias of this subreddit. Everyone automatically assumes the OP is telling them everything they need to know which is ironic because in almost all conflicts there is misunderstanding. Where there is misunderstanding there is often missing information.
Commenters usually take the side of OP. Statically it is very improbable that only people who are more in the right, come to post on Reddit relationship advice subs. Good on you for coming back here and owning up to a personal issue that you can now properly address. Awareness is half the battle. Best wishes.
Imagine an alternate universe where you just went "so, how long have you guys known eachother?"
I don't understand why you jumped to the conclusion that she just met them?
Next time you're confused about your GF's relationships, or other things, just say, "I'm sorry, maybe I wasn't paying good enough attention when you told me, but why are you [insert confusing issue here]?
You'll find that, half the time, people will admit they forgot to tell you something really important. Or they will be basically okay with the fact that you sometimes space out, as long as you're honest about it.