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I've been with my current girlfriend for more than a year now and very happy with her. To me, she feels like 'the one' and every time I see her or am with her, I feel on top of the world. A few months ago, she confessed to me that she started to like another guy from her study, but is not in love with. I didn't really knew how to react to this but I said I appreciated the fact that she shared me with this pointing out that I appreciated that she was honest to me, but that I cannot handle the fact that she is seeing this guy on a daily basis (because of her study).

A few things you should know about this situation and what followed:

  • This guy knows my girlfriend is in a relationship but he apparently does not care: he once send a shirtless picture to my girlfriend (at the moment I was sitting next to her) and this resulted in a big fight between me and my girlfriend. He also told her that he wants to fight for her, but luckily my girlfriend told me that there is no reason to fight for her because she wants to be with me;
  • What followed is that I forced her to stop having contact with this dude, because I could not handle her being in contact with him. I could notice she didn't agree with this but she talked to him and said that they should stop talking to each other. This all did result in me getting distrustful in my girlfriend and said to her that it needs a lot of time for me to get over this and to gain my full trust for her back. After a while, she told me that the fact that I forced her not to talk to him anymore, resulted in her 'getting pushed towards him' by me because I forbid her something (this was really hard for me because I don't want to be this kind of boyfriend, but at the time forcing her to stop having contact was the only possible solution I could think of, hoping she would lose interest in him);
  • From time to time, when I am by myself, I get caught in this mindset where I get totally insane just by thinking about another guy trying to mess with the relationship between me and my girlfriend (i.e. getting really aggressive and wanting to punch this dude in the face / getting real sad). This affects my mood significantly and sometimes results in me and my girlfriend getting back in a fight where I point out that I cannot handle it. She then tells me I should not worry, that she is loves me very much and that I am perfect for her.

The guy and my girlfriend will not see each other anymore after the coming week. There will be a summer break coming, she will do an internship somewhere else in the coming year so that is the thing that keeps my hopes high.

A lot of you guys will say that I should break up, which I can't. This would affect me in such a way that I cannot handle. She is in almost every way perfect for me. For example: I have a mentally disabled sister and she is the first woman in my life who is truly putting effort in trying to communicate with her / doing this with her, which is very important for me.

I know that they sometimes share communication, mainly about the projects they are working on. But still, I find this very hard because somewhere I am afraid he is still flirting with her.

To point out, I am not a weak person or afraid to say what I think except for one thing: I am afraid that when I keep asking her to stop communicating with this guy, I will push her in 'his arms'.

My question is:

How do I tell my girlfriend how I feel about all this without pushing her further away and make sure my girlfriend won't stay in touch with this guy? Am I handling this wrong ?

I'm looking for different perspectives so I can find a way to handle the situation (which I currently clearly can not).

Update

So, to let you guys know what happened a few weeks later:

She admitted she cheated on me several times after I accidentally saw some way too erotic messages on her phone send by him to her (and by cheating I really mean cheating i.e. having sex)

I broke up with her immediately, even though she really wanted me back, cried for hours, called me multiple times (even in the middle of the night). This has again been a big lesson for me: trust is the fundemental of a relationship, and when you can't trust each other, you better leave before you get feelings wrecked as she did with mine. It has been hard to get over it, and still every night I lay in my bed with lots of aggression and sadness.

So, if someone is in the same situation as I was, keep my story in mind.

closed as primarily opinion-based by OldPadawan, sphennings, Fitzy, TheRealLester, Spagirl Jul 2 '18 at 12:46

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

17

Let me start with a personal story, even though you will not like the ending: Oh boy this reads familiar! Only when I was in your situation, my girlfriend was living in another country, and the other guy was there. I can tell you, this leads to a lot of additional uncertainty.

I tried to get her to not see that guy. She would not agree on that (and I also heard the "pushing her towards him" thing). So I tried to cope with the situation, which led to a lot of issues (even health wise). I suffered through it, until she broke up with me, and two days later got engaged to him.

Now, one year later, I still don't see anything I could have done differently, but I realized a lot of flaws on her side, and am not that sad anymore that it did not work out.

Okay, that was my story. On to yours, and hopefully a more happy ending: try not to mention that other guy anymore. As you said, one more week and he is out of her life. That should fix the situation for now! The only way you might want to mention him one last time, is bringing her flowers (or another romantic gesture), tell her that you are sorry about how you handled the situation, and take some of the blame. I am pretty sure she knows that you had a hard time to live through, so chances are good that she is willing to leave it behind, if you don't make her feel bad for it anymore and if she does not feel restricted by you.

As for long term, don't overreact if she tells you of men she is spending time with (especially on her internship). If you make a fuzz, your relationship with her will suffer from it (you mentioned the amount of fights you had yourself), making any other guy more attractive. If the other guy is her new-found soulmate nothing you can do will change the fate of your relation ship, if he is not, then trusting her is the only positive option you have.

  • Thanks, this puts another perspective for me to the situation. – Mr. Johnson Jul 3 '18 at 6:45
  • Have been in the same situation with her living in another country. Was told the same thing. I didn't prevent her from talking to him, but I did ask that she not go to a party at his house. Was cheated that night. She apologized the next day, and said I was right and she wanted to be with me, but I couldn't get over it, so we broke up. – さりげない告白 Jul 3 '18 at 7:02
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First of all, why are you mad at the guy? He is not in a relationship with you, your girlfriend is. She will not cheat on you unless she wants to (in that moment). So I would not think about him. Did you ever spoke with your girlfriend in advance, which kind of contact to guys is acceptable for you? If she cannot agree with your boundaries, you have to think about, whether you can deal with it or if you want to break up. Putting someone in a “jail” will not work, as you already experienced (“you pushed me towards him)”.

Maybe this approach might help you: You are such an awesome guy, that an awesome girl like your girlfriend is in a relationship with you. There is no reason to worry about a random guy. If she loses interest in you, because of another one, it is better you break about now, than later when you are married and/or have children.

This is another point, a girlfriend which makes you happy is nice, but should always be the icing on the cake. If she breaks up, you will be sad, but you should still have a life which satisfies you. Being dependent on someone is not only dangerous if that person leaves you, it is also not attractive. Because it puts pressure on that person to stay with you, and no one wants to be pressured to be with someone.

My advice for actions is: Do not pressure her, spend quality time with her and do not make this issue about the other guy bigger. If she oversteps your red line, leave her. If you cannot stick to your red lines, why do you have one? On the other hand, remember that it is your girlfriend’s decision what she agrees to (with you and with the other guy). So it is just about her and you being a desirable boyfriend. Keep a life. Do not leave your social circle for your girlfriend. Do not give up your hobbies.

  • Thanks, wise advice. The thing why I am mad at the guy is, is that he does not give a damn about my relationship with her, that I know him and he even has been in my house once. So that makes it a little more personal for me. – Mr. Johnson Jul 3 '18 at 6:46
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Imagine being married for 20 years. Do you not think both you and your wife would meet interesting, charming people that you might develop a small crush on? I guarantee it would happen, but you are still married. Most importantly, you DO NOT let something like that ruin your relationship. You should recognize the value in the relationship you already have, and let your little crush come and go, like all small crushes do.

If your significant other is keeping their crush in the picture, talking, flirting, sending pictures, etc, I feel she is encouraging this other guy to do this stuff. If she is keeping this other guy in the picture, then she does not highly value your current relationship.

Sorry bud, but if someone doesn't value you enough, you deserve someone better. You don't deserve for someone to treat you like this. In addition, she will eventually break up with you, save yourself the trouble, and end the relationship now.

  • Some people just have a hard time clearly saying "no" - and others have a hard time understanding the same word. We don't have enough information to assert that she is actively "encouraging" the other guy. – Annatar Jul 3 '18 at 7:51
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You told her I appreciated that she was honest to me, but it does not sound that way.
She told me that there is no reason to fight for her because she wants to be with me. It's time you start trusting her.

Everything you write here shows that you don't. I think an apology is needed, not a force her to stop having contact with this dude or hoping that it will 'blow over' because she will not see him for some time.

Apart from that (and this is an assumption), he may have a crush on her. That you could mention, but no more. It's up to her to decide how to deal with it.

  • I do trust her, but the fact that she allowed another man to flirt with her and she keeps communicating with him (I believe also on non-study base) is making me having a hard time. – Mr. Johnson Jul 3 '18 at 6:48
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Don't break up with her.

I know the situation you are in, I have been there myself and its really not nice. I assume that you don't know the guy and therefore lets focus on what you can do with your girlfriend:

  • Set boundries but don't forbid
  • Have a serious talk with her and tell her how you feel about the fact, tell her that it hurts you very much and that you don't want to lose her because of this

If your girlfriend really loves you that much, then she should realize that having contact with him hurts you and that you can't handle it. Once she realized these points she should stop/reduce the communication with him. If she refuses to stop/reduce the communcation, suggest her that she has a brief talk with that guy about boundries he shouldn't overstep (like the topless picture). If he keeps overstepping the boundries, she should really stop communicate with him.

Don't expect it to work instantly, give it a bit time. If you are really uncomfortable with the situation, you can either have a talk with that guy as well to "force" the boundries, or you befriend him. Befriending him can actually work wonders as (most) men don't lay hands on their friends' girlfriends.

As also mentioned by "Lot", excuse yourself for your behaviour in the past and promise to (try) to handle it better in the future.

  • Thanks for your answer, together with the answer Lot gave. – Mr. Johnson Jul 3 '18 at 6:48

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