I have a problem that's making me so unhappy. I am engaged to my partner Adam. We live together and we have been together for 7 years. He is my world. We are both 29 years old. We have a lot of mutual friends but also seperate friends as well. Very healthy.
I have a friend at work called Tom. We have been friends for a couple of years and have become really close. Tom is loud, gay and full of fun, but he is also capable of pushing the boundaries on occasion (like most people). There was one time we fell out last summer. He stayed at mine when Adam was away and he did a few childish things- changed the language settings on my phone, locked me outside for about 5 minutes and just generally had a bad attitude. The next day I rang Adam feeling very tired and upset with Tom. I blocked him off all social media, WhatsApp and only didn't block his number because we work so closely together.
Tom noticed and we went for a drink and I told him why he had upset me and that I wasn't prepared to be friends with someone like that. Within a couple of months things were getting better and he vowed to make more of an effort. We are more honest with each other and things have gone from strength to strength. Tom is seperate to my other groups of friends and that's fine. BUT Adam (who usually gives me lots of freedom) hates him. He doesn't want me to spend time with Tom and every time we meet up, me and Adam argue about it and he gets upset. He quotes me from that phone call as if I am not allowed to have changed my mind. He also says I'm obsessed with this guy because he's dangerous and he's bad to me and I don't see it. I have offered for Adam to meet tom, he gets so angry and upset about the subject I know that's not going to happen. I cry and I say it's making me miserable and Adam simply says 'you know what to do. Stop being friends with him' but I love tom as a friend and it's horrible. It's now so bad I don't tell Adam when I see tom and tom knows nothing about any of this because I don't like sharing relationship problems with people like that.
I know Adam is looking out for me and it's based on that phone call and sharing too much about mine and toms friendship. But now I'm sad. I hate myself for lying and it's just so awful. I have talked to friends about this and nobody has an answer for me.
Any advice is welcome. Every time I try and talk to Adam about it, he shoots me down, switches off and won't talk or storms out.
We all go through life with others (friends,family,spouse,fiancee) looking out for us. Sometimes they can see issues and problems that we can't because we're too close to a situation which can lead to further complications. Regardless if Tom sounds like a bit of a jester, he needs to respect your personal boundaries and your boundaries concerning Adam. He wouldn't be causing problems between you and Adam if he had you to the fore (as true friends do) and he most certainly wouldn't be abusing your hospitality to the extent of damaging your relationship with him which led you to block him. You need to be true to yourself and be upfront with Tom about the issue and the friction it's causing between you and Adam. If Tom is a true friend, then he will respect you and accept you and your boundaries. Furthermore, if Tom was a true friend, then you would confide in him because you could trust him to support you.
It doesn't really matter how you and Tom have resolved any past conflict within your friendship, what does matter is that your actions of seeing Tom without telling your partner of seven years does not bode well for the trust of your relationship together. In fact, you're betraying your relationship by continuing the friendship with Tom without Adam's knowledge, regardless if he likes or dislikes Tom. Respectfully, the more this goes on, the deeper the hole you will dig for yourself..and the more unhappy you will be. Adam doesn't have the right to dictate to you about your friends but he has the right to look out for you, as you mention in your post, after committing to you for seven years.
Yes, it's all very well that Tom is a work colleague and your 'best' friend, but Adam is the man who is your world and who, going by the opening paragraph of your post, you will quite likely marry one day. Make your relationship with Adam your priority because he's the partner you love and therefore, he's the one you should be committed to 100%.
Why would you risk losing a nice guy because you want to be entertained by a loud, aggressive attention seeker?
If you need excitement, get a puppy. Or live on your own for a few years to find out what you really need from a partner.
oh dear, he sounds rather controlling. I don't think anyone has a right to tell you who you can and can't be friends with, that sounds a bit much and rather childish and insecure to say the least.
if you are toms friend and he is separate to you other friends ok, so what? we all have different friends that make different parts of us feel connected. it's not a crime. and it sounds quite healthy to have other friends. what is the problem with having a friend that's fun.
you've explained that you were unhappy and tom has addressed that in a mature way, he cares about you so I'm not sure why there should really be an issue, and it doesnt sound like something that you should be having endless arguments about.
your boyfriend is feeling jealous and threatened, nothing more than that!
the events that happened (in he past) with tom also sound childish and unfortunately your reaction to block him I'm afraid were also rather childish, but the good thing is that you and tom have got over it and it is the present that you should be looking towards.
and as a result of actually "talking" (not blocking like a child) you and tom are still friends, and are now close as you say, and that's a good thing.
I don't think adam is looking out for you! he is just exerting his power over a situation that he feels extremely threatened and jealous over, but he isn't seeing or seeming to care that it is making you so unhappy. (doesn't sound very balanced, mature or that loving I'm afraid ) do you want to marry someone who is so fixed and "obsessed" in his own way against someone who he doesn't actually know!!!!! what happens when he doesn't like another of your friends or something that you've bought or venue you really enjoy.
you are not even married and he seems to have quite a big influence over you in this situation and is denying a part of you that is making you sad already! of course you must do what you want, but me personally I wouldn't even let someone dictate who I can and can't be friends with! it just wouldn't happen, friends are an important part of our lives, and you work with him so its even more important to be around good people there.
maybe there is another agenda going on here with adam? sad if that is true, but do you have any other gay male friends he knows? what does he think is going to happen!!!!! realistically!!!
how does adam KNOW tom is "dangerous"! again that is another manipulative, potentially very slanderous, sly, persuasive, and nasty personal attack on someone's unknown character.
I wouldn't even bother wasting my time or thoughts trying to get them to meet up. that isn't fair to tom to be honest! why would tom want to meet such a person like that anyway.
do yourself a favour and tell adam that you are your own person and you are old enough to choose your own friends whether he likes it or not.
if tom does turn out to be dangerous (locking you out of your home again for another 5 mins
then you have every right to go running into adams arms and to the nearest police station, but let's be frank. this Is a situation about adults and trust. if you don't have trust in a relationship now when you need it, do you really have a good enough solid relationship base for a marriage?!
I suspect your friends are staying silent because in their hearts they might actually see no harm in tom but are frightened to upset your boyfriend if there are a lot of mutual backslapping and socialising going on.but if that is the case, their weakness isn't helping you to find happiness either which is a shame, friends surely should be able to help see the truth of things shouldn't they.
do you tell your friends who they can hang out with, do you tell your parents or neighbours who you think is right for their social needs? do you know that adam isn't dangerous, imm sure he's not at all but you see what I'm saying here. you know tom and you like him (these are facts, not spurious nonsense and trouble making).
I don't really agree with the whole your partner view that quite a lot on forums often say (i respect it workd for them and that's fine, but it should be a joint mutually respectful agreement with the couple concerned, not somehting that should be a rule for everyone alive). but I respect if it works for them and they are happy with that, me? no way. you have to talk, love and compromise not set rules in stone for everything you don't care for, fear or are not sure of.
i don't believe a partner should only ever be a persons sole reference point and what they say and want should always be obeyed at all costs, control if its not making another happy and builds can become a problem in a relationship, especially if no one close can offer support or wants to take sides.
I'm not sure it would be wise to keep saying too much about tom if adam cant handle it, but again you are only forced to lie because trust is missing on this issue!!!
why not rather than being persuaded to look into toms character, try looking a little closer at adams character and see if there is some nasty little agenda or side to him that you don't actually know or want enough in your future. hopefully you wont find anything, but if being looked over for tom is good enough for adam, then maybe you looking over adam in the sam suspicious say is also a fair rule, and see how adam likes the intrusion!!!!
stand up for yourself now before you unknowingly marry someone who could create the boundaries for your happiness based on what he deems fit or appropriate for his needs, and for what appears to right now rather childish and undeniably insecure.
don't make yourself unhappy anymore, there is no need to, just enjoy tom the way he is regardless of your insecure lover. if you have trust there is no issue!