How Trust and Discomfort Collide
Making Your Partner Feel Safe
If you've been in a relationship, chances are you've had trust issues come up. It's a hot subject that can lead to many fights and much frustration. Weather you're married or just starting out, jealousy will come up from time to time. A lot of jealousy issues can come from having friends of the opposite sex. Many of us are comfortable having friends that aren't our gender, in fact it can be nice to have someone that's like a sister or brother without the drama.
But what do you do when the one you're committed to starts to feel uncomfortable at the relationship you've created with this person? There are different angles to approach this from and a few conclusions that will come out of it. There is an opposition to the jealousy and the another way to view it. Both sides have their points and will determine how your relationship with go from the decision you make.
You're on Facebook chatting to your friend that's a girl when your girlfriend sits down next to you and sees the conversation. Nothing bad has been said, no intentions of cheating have been felt, and you're not even attracted to her. So why would your girlfriend start to have jealous feelings? You could let her read the entire conversation you two have ever had and she'd never find one romantic thing. Yet even when you try to explain it to her, she still gets upset that you're not understanding her feelings and you won't stop talking to her.
Now thoughts and perhaps what you're telling her are coming to the forefront of your mind. Shouldn't she trust you? Why doesn't she trust you? You know you would never cheat on her or have an emotional affair with another girl so why is she so jealous? It can be so frustrating when it feels like she doesn't trust your character and integrity. It's true, you should be able to be friends with who you want and not have your loyalty questioned.
The Other Side
While your feelings are legitimate, you must also look at it from his or her side of things, whether this is your boyfriend or girlfriend, wife or husband. We've seen it when we are young and we see it now, boy and girls on TV, movies, books, and real life falling for each other. It's one the most common parts of life that we get to see almost every day. So when your significant other sees you messaging or hanging out with a friend of the opposite sex, they can start to get worry signals being sent to their head. Questions may enter their mind like, "What if they start to have feelings for each other?" They may trust you, but they're afraid of what might be.
You can still tell yourself that nothing romantic will every be with this person, but your partner can think otherwise. They have probably had situations where they were never attracted to a friend of the opposite gender and after hanging out with them long enough, the attraction started to build. Now this may be replaying in their heads and why they question the relationship you have with this other person.
So now you must ask yourself this, "What is more important, this friend of mine, or this person that I am committed to for the foreseeable future?" You see, the person that you are attached to romantically is someone you've made the commitment to whether you say "I do" or "Will you go out with me?" And if you both last, they're the ones you want to make feel safe and secure, because it shows how much you care for them and the relationship. The one you are with is more important because if you get married or already are, you have to live with them everyday. And if your relationship is filled with fear and suspicion and jealousy, nothing healthy and happy will come out of it.
Friends come and go but investing in a relationship that is till death do you part is like investing in your own happiness. You want to be happy and live a good life, but you also want to share it with someone that will be able to add to your happiness.
So what Should You Do?
In conclusion to these two different ways of seeing the issue, your actions will be influenced by which decision you make. Now if you decided to stay friends with this person, then that is your choice, but it won't be an easy road to hoe if you plan on staying with your partner. But if you are seeking to make your boy or girlfriend, wife or husband, feel safe, then perhaps you're wondering what you should do.
It's easily said to cut off your ties with a person, but not easily done. And many times, your decision on how to deal with that friendship will depend on that relationship. If this said friend is a coworker or college buddy, than it will be easily severed but a bit awkward. Explaining the situation to them may feel strange, but if they're rational, they will come to understand.
But if it's a friendship that you've have for quite a few years, it can be harder to let it go. Communicate with them why you aren't going to be talking to them anymore, or if your partner is fine with it, then you can keep him or her as a friend, but not reach out to them unless he or she does. And even when they reach out, keep the conversation brief. If this friend notices your sudden coolness, then explain it to them.
You may feel a big loss, but a healthy thing to do once you have done this is to strengthen your friendships with those of the same sex. You don't have to stop having friends once you're in a relationship. Reach out to your guy or girl friends and build stronger connections with them.
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Lastly, and perhaps this goes without saying, keep your distance from those of the opposite sex. That's not to say, don't even talk to them or communicate with them if in a job or class. But to make your partner feel safe, don't create any more strong bonds or connections with them. It can be a difficult decision to make, but it will make your partner know that you care. And if you're ever in the same situation as them some day, they will be able to reciprocate and honor your heart the way you did theirs.