How can I raise this with my BF without seeming insecure or hurting him? Watch

Anonymous #1
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My BF and I have been together 6 months. He has a female best friend.

There is a lot more to this, as there is in every relationship. But basically, he has a picture of himself and his best friend in a frame in his bedroom at his parents house (we're both at uni and sharing a room, I went to his home a few months ago to see his family and that's when I saw the picture).

We are visiting his parents again soon. I know the picture will be there still. It's bothering me. I've thought quite hard about why it bothers me because I want to be rational about it and I don't want to make him feel criticized/defensive. I think my discomfort comes down to:


- It's just the two of them in the picture. If there was a group of people including her I don't think I would be bothered.
- It's on clear display. I think if it was in a photo album I wouldn't be bothered.
- It's not just on clear display, it's in his bedroom, which is an intimate place.
- I feel like there's another woman in the room with us when we're in bed together.
- I don't know the context of the picture - what it means to him, why it's framed/in his bedroom.
- We take a lot of pictures of places we visit/pictures together. He's never suggested framing one or having it in our bedroom. I wonder why that is and whether he framed it himself or she gave it to him etc.
- Most of all - he doesn't see it as an issue/how it would make his girlfriend feel.

I don't want to make an issue of it/create an argument. I want him to realize how it would make a girlfriend feel to see that - I really don't want to have to tell him and make him feel defensive. I'm not saying best friends of the opposite sex can't take pictures together or frame them/display them - but surely past a certain age (we're in our 20's) and when they move into relationships, those pictures probably shouldn't be on display in their bedrooms?

I just want him to see my point of view. I don't think any guy would be happy if their girlfriend had a picture of themselves with another man in their bedroom. But I can't make him see that - he has to come to that realization himself otherwise it's pointless.

How to I deal with a) my feelings b) the situation.


Thanks.
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ilem
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He is either:
a) cheating on you with her
b) wants to be with her but can't so he's settling for you in the meantime
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Anonymous #1
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(Original post by ilem)
He is either:
a) cheating on you with her
b) wants to be with her but can't so he's settling for you in the meantime
Thanks for your reply

I know for certain that it's not 'a)' so that leaves 'b)' which played on my mind so much that I asked him outright. He hasn't mentioned her name since our last conversation about it (3 months ago). He's not made any reference to her whatsoever. He said he doesn't want to jeopardize our relationship and the only way for me to believe it's not 'b)' is to trust him.
He goes out of his way to prove to me he loves me - but I have that doubt of 'b' in my mind constantly. He tells me it's insecurity and that we won't work unless I trust him. Some days I feel like he's right. Other days I feel he needs to make a decision and then I feel guilty for even thinking that he should.
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JustOneMoreThing
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Lord please strike me down.
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HoldThisL
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(Original post by ilem)
He is either:
a) cheating on you with her
b) wants to be with her but can't so he's settling for you in the meantime
Talk about jumping to conclusions lmao.

Just tell your boyfriend you'd like reassurance that he loves you and isn't planning to leave you for her. He might be apprehensive of the fact you're jealous of her somewhat, so be patient with him, but if he reassures you then he loves you and if he tries to put you down over it then you two have an issue to sort out.
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StriderHort
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Just sounds like a long winded way of saying you can't cope with him having female friends.or celebrating that friendship.
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PQ
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"I don't know the context of the picture - what it means to him, why it's framed/in his bedroom."

Use that - comment on what a nice photo it is of them and ask where it was taken. You could also maybe suggest that you get one of the photos of the two of you framed for your bedroom at university.

If you're still uncomfortable with the context/meaning of the picture once you understand the background AND he doesn't pick up that it makes you uncomfortable (although it's in his family home - that means it will always be in his bedroom because that's *his* space in that house, it would be weird if his parents had it on their mantelpiece) then maybe push things further
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Anonymous #1
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(Original post by HoldThisL)
Talk about jumping to conclusions lmao.

Just tell your boyfriend you'd like reassurance that he loves you and isn't planning to leave you for her. He might be apprehensive of the fact you're jealous of her somewhat, so be patient with him, but if he reassures you then he loves you and if he tries to put you down over it then you two have an issue to sort out.
Thanks:

We've already had that conversation. He was very open during it. It's the picture in his room that is bothering me. I feel like it's a separate although connected issue. It's the fact that he says he's 100% certain I'm the one he wants to be with, but the picture sends a mixed message. I'm not clear on how he doesn't recognise that and how to get him to recognise that without making him feel like he has to justify/explain himself.
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sinfonietta
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Sounds innocent enough - especially when it's not even in the room you share together. If it really had some sentimental meaning he wouldn't have left it behind or would purposely hide it when you're at his parents. The fact it's displayed openly should remove concern. It's obviously not something he feels guilty about. :dontknow:
Last edited by sinfonietta; 6 months ago
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Anonymous #1
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(Original post by StriderHort)
Just sounds like a long winded way of saying you can't cope with him having female friends.or celebrating that friendship.
I think that's a bit unfair to be honest. As I said in the original post - if it was a group of people in the photo which included females then I'd have no problem with it. I don't prevent him from seeing her or ask him not to. I just feel like this particular friendship has depth to it that I don't fully understand. This is his only friendship. He has no other female friends and no male friends. Their connection is very close. He has a tattoo of her. There is more to it but this is a public forum so I can't go into it. Basically, I'm not paranoid etc. I'm mature enough to 'cope' with my BF having female friends. But I've never experienced the depth of friendship he has with this woman and I don't know anyone else who has either - ex-boyfriends or otherwise.
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HoldThisL
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(Original post by Anonymous)
Thanks:

We've already had that conversation. He was very open during it. It's the picture in his room that is bothering me. I feel like it's a separate although connected issue. It's the fact that he says he's 100% certain I'm the one he wants to be with, but the picture sends a mixed message. I'm not clear on how he doesn't recognise that and how to get him to recognise that without making him feel like he has to justify/explain himself.
If it's the picture you're worried about then the reassurance you need relates to the kind of relationship he has with her, not hearing that he loves you. Tell him you are feeling insecure and he should have a better idea of what you need to hear, rather than just talking to him and pretending like it's not a big issue.
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mgi
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(Original post by Anonymous)
I think that's a bit unfair to be honest. As I said in the original post - if it was a group of people in the photo which included females then I'd have no problem with it. I don't prevent him from seeing her or ask him not to. I just feel like this particular friendship has depth to it that I don't fully understand. This is his only friendship. He has no other female friends and no male friends. Their connection is very close. He has a tattoo of her. There is more to it but this is a public forum so I can't go into it. Basically, I'm not paranoid etc. I'm mature enough to 'cope' with my BF having female friends. But I've never experienced the depth of friendship he has with this woman and I don't know anyone else who has either - ex-boyfriends or otherwise.
I think,in a kind way, that the issue and the solution lies with you because you have all the finer details that you can't say on this forum. However, you are doing people pleasing. In other words you ignoring your own pain so that you don't irritate your boyfriend. This is why you are so unhappy. The solution is to start respecting yourself snd your feelings just as much as you respect his. If he respects you he would put away that photo and get on with building a completely respectful relationship with you . He should also have that tatoo obscured or removed as well. Also, while he is physically intimate with you he is holding onto to images of her; it is almost like half cheating!? This is not fair to you and you should say so to him even if it irritates him. Why is he that close to her? Why is she is only friend? Your relationship is not yet secure with him and you need to dig deeper with him or have rest from the relationship while he sorts out his loyalties and priorities. This is not about stopping his friendship but he is clearly breaking boundaries with you and that's why you are so concerned so you need to put your foot down more firmly. Why should you go softly softly with him , sleep with him, while he remains not just friends with her but also obsessed with her?
Last edited by mgi; 6 months ago
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Dunnig Kruger
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Mountain. Mole hill.

It's only a stupid picture! It doesn't mean anything!
His behaviour with you, when you are together, means everything!

If his behaviour with you is good enough, you should stick with him and not give any thought to any pictures that he chooses to have in his bedroom. The less you try to control him over small things like a picture, the more chance you have of influencing him over big things when you have a disagreement.

If his behaviour is not good enough, overall, then leave him and find someone that you'll be happier with.
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mgi
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(Original post by Dunnig Kruger)
Mountain. Mole hill.

It's only a stupid picture! It doesn't mean anything!
His behaviour with you, when you are together, means everything!

If his behaviour with you is good enough, you should stick with him and not give any thought to any pictures that he chooses to have in his bedroom. The less you try to control him over small things like a picture, the more chance you have of influencing him over big things when you have a disagreement.

If his behaviour is not good enough, overall, then leave him and find someone that you'll be happier with.
It does not seem to appear that she is trying to control him. It does seem odd that he is still holding onto this other best friend in the way that is described. Personally, i would want an explanation for it. Maybe he has given her one in detail?
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Johndoeskitty
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I disagree with some of the other posters. Having a picture like that with a female who isn't a relative or something is disrespectful to your girlfriend. It would be one thing if he had framed photos of OP and then some small one of him and his friend off to the side, but he just has a photo of him and the friend. I would be irritated too.

When I dated my ex some time back he occasionally would put up photos with a female friend of his on Facebook. Any framed photos in his bedroom was of me or his mother. I never had to talk to him about it, he did that by himself. I have quite a few guy friends and they don't have framed photos of their female friends in their rooms.

The thing is, guys are not super sentimental compared to girls. It takes a lot for a dude to actually print a photo and go buy a frame and then put it in his room. Most guys don't do that.

I personally would be expecting the guy to put the photo away.
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J Papi
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Seems odd. I agree with the poster above - framing a picture of anyone - let alone another girl - is not something that a lot of guys would do. I bet that OP's boyfriend still uses that picture for a cheeky w*nk every so often.
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Dunnig Kruger
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(Original post by JohanGRK)
Seems odd. I agree with the poster above - framing a picture of anyone - let alone another girl - is not something that a lot of guys would do. I bet that OP's boyfriend still uses that picture for a cheeky w*nk every so often.
So what if he does? All that means is that he could be better at using his imagination when he masturbates.

Human sexuality can be a complex thing. It is also a highly personal thing. How many of us can say in all honesty that every time that we have masturbated or had sex that we have only been thinking about our current boyfriend or girlfriend? I can't say that and I therefore am not going to criticise others for doing so.

I really don't mind what is going through my girlfriend's mind when we have sex or she masturbates. Her mind is her own domain. The main thing is that when we are together, including in bed, that her overall behaviour towards me is considerate enough. And vice versa.

To expect or to want to control your partner's fantasies is over controlling. In the long term you will get on better with your romantic partner better by going with the flow and allowing them their personal space and freedom.
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Anonymous #1
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(Original post by Dunnig Kruger)
So what if he does? All that means is that he could be better at using his imagination when he masturbates.

Human sexuality can be a complex thing. It is also a highly personal thing. How many of us can say in all honesty that every time that we have masturbated or had sex that we have only been thinking about our current boyfriend or girlfriend? I can't say that and I therefore am not going to criticise others for doing so.

I really don't mind what is going through my girlfriend's mind when we have sex or she masturbates. Her mind is her own domain. The main thing is that when we are together, including in bed, that her overall behaviour towards me is considerate enough. And vice versa.

To expect or to want to control your partner's fantasies is over controlling. In the long term you will get on better with your romantic partner better by going with the flow and allowing them their personal space and freedom.
Well his thread took an unexpected turn. I hadn't actually thought of the ''cheeky ****'' scenario. But if that actually does happen with that picture involved then that really disturbs me. I couldn't give two hoots whether he whacks off over porn/page 3 whatever because those women have zero emotional connection with him. But jacking off over a picture of a friend who he is super close to goes beyond fantasy to me - it's emotional cheating. So yeah, I'd disagree with you in that instance but pretty much anything else is free reign, I agree.
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harrysbar
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(Original post by JohanGRK)
Seems odd. I agree with the poster above - framing a picture of anyone - let alone another girl - is not something that a lot of guys would do. I bet that OP's boyfriend still uses that picture for a cheeky w*nk every so often.
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Anonymous #1
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(Original post by Johndoeskitty)
I disagree with some of the other posters. Having a picture like that with a female who isn't a relative or something is disrespectful to your girlfriend. It would be one thing if he had framed photos of OP and then some small one of him and his friend off to the side, but he just has a photo of him and the friend. I would be irritated too.

When I dated my ex some time back he occasionally would put up photos with a female friend of his on Facebook. Any framed photos in his bedroom was of me or his mother. I never had to talk to him about it, he did that by himself. I have quite a few guy friends and they don't have framed photos of their female friends in their rooms.

The thing is, guys are not super sentimental compared to girls. It takes a lot for a dude to actually print a photo and go buy a frame and then put it in his room. Most guys don't do that.

I personally would be expecting the guy to put the photo away.
Yeah this pretty much confirms how I feel. I was kind of hoping I was wrong and trying to justify it. He is a sensitive shy guy and he is rather sentimental. But it just doesn't seem right to have that picture there.

I was thinking of giving him a framed picture of us for our 7 month anniversary which is a couple of days before we go to his parents house (where the picture is) - I'm hoping this is a subtle and kind way of bringing his attention to it once we're there.

Is that a good idea?
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