Jealous Woman Wants Me to End Friendship

Dear Robin:

I have had a very close friend (Meg) for years. We flirted with the idea of dating but never did because we were usually both in other relationships and because over time we realized our friendship was not worth risking if a romance didn’t work out.

We have seen each other through some really tough times, especially the death of my brother last year and my divorce right before that. She is very important to me.

I started dating someone I really like a few months ago (Karen) but she is very jealous of Meg and doesn’t think it’s OK for us to spend time together if she isn’t there. They met and it was a disaster so it’s not like the three of us will be hanging out. Last weekend was the kicker after I had lunch with Meg, didn’t tell Karen about it but she found out and blew up.

She has told me she wants me to choose, but how do I do that? A little help here? By the way, love your new website!

Ted

Dear Gutless Wonder:

Thank you for praising the new website. Unfortunately, it has been plagued with technical difficulties since the launch, so:

1) you may be unable to read this, which means I’m talking to myself; or

2) the site has been inadvertently translated into French et vous êtes très confuse.

Since people tell me I am long-winded, you are the fortunate recipient of AskDesCamp Expedited Advice℠ today, and it goes something like this:

Ted, you have to dump that bitch, STAT.

She is controlling, insecure, selfish, needy, and suspicious. That right there is the Perfect Storm yet you sail blithely on into the churning waters of a Dreadful Future. Here’s a list of why she sucks and should be unhooked and thrown back into the Sea of Despair:

WHY KAREN SUCKS AND MUST BE DUMPED

1. You told me she looked at your phone when you were out of the room and saw your text confirming lunch with Meg. When she freaked out you quite correctly pointed out you had merely not told her about the lunch, as opposed to lying about it, but she claims the two are the same thing;

2. You have only been dating for 5 months and she is already overly-clingy and demanding of your time.

3. She is attempting to sever a relationship you’ve had for years – one that has gotten you through some treacherous times and which has also allowed you to be a supportive rock when Meg needed you.

Does she want to get rid of your dog too?  Has she asked you to stop speaking to your parents? You have kids with your ex-wife and lo and behold – Karen hates her too! Do you see a pattern here?

Make no mistake about it, once you give in and dump Meg for this meddlesome twatbucket, your other relationships will be next, including your kids.

You’ve got more red flags waving in your face than you’d see at a Mao convention, so RUN, FORREST, RUN!

Isolating people from important relationships and extreme and irrational jealousy and suspicion are key indicators of abusive behavior. It’s only going to get worse, my friend.

While I have a few men in my life I count as very close friends, I hereby dedicate this column to Philip H. and Mr. Patience and Understanding: Philip because he is the most dependable, insightful, honest and loving friend a person could ever have, and Mr. Patience and Understanding, because he would never dream of being jealous of our friendship.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. 

Corinthians 13:4-8 (New International Version)  

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This Post Has 9 Comments

  1. Robin

    Please leave a comment and let us know if this has happened to you, and how you handled it.

  2. Jennifer

    Hi Robin! Glad to see that the kinks with the site seem to have been smoothed over, at least on my end.

    This one actually speaks to me all too well. For a long time, I was Karen, but I was painfully aware of it. I forced myself to see several psychiatrists and psychologists, and I spent a while mired in severe depression because of how much I hated myself for constantly being jealous of my boyfriend’s female friends and acquaintances.

    Obviously I don’t know how old Karen is, but for me the jealousy was at its worst through my teens and early twenties. Now that I’m 26 I don’t get nearly as upset as I used to, and I imagine it’ll keep getting better with age (at least now I have something to look forward to with getting older!). For the record, my boyfriend stuck with me and is now my husband, and our relationship is a lot more stable than it used to be.

    I hope that Karen is at least aware of the problem and might be willing to take steps to fix it. It doesn’t sound like she thinks there’s a problem with herself, though, which is a bummer. I wonder if part of the reason she and Meg didn’t hit it off is because she couldn’t see past the jealousy; one of the things I hated most about it was how I instinctively pushed other women away, losing potential friendships and making my already low self-esteem even worse, which certainly did not help the jealousy!

    I guess my advice to any Karens (or Jennifers, as the case may be) out there is to remember that your significant other is not the be-all-end-all. You probably did fine without a partner before, and if you lose your partner, you’ll eventually be fine again. So stop worrying and enjoy your own life – after all, people tend to be attracted to people who are confident and content with themselves.

    Also, is it just me, or has “Karen” become the industry-standard stock name for a bitch?

    1. Lulu

      “TED”, please note: DO NOT (NOT. NOT. NO-O-O-T.) EXPECT “KAREN” TO COME AROUND LIKE JENNIFER ABOVE.

      Jennifer was in her early 20s, Karen obviously (hopefully..?) is not. Jennifer was aware and very committed to making changes – $10 says Karen’s not, even if she says she is.

      Don’t believe it, for even a minute.

      She wants you to choose..?!?!? How wretched! Choice made, I hope!

      1. Jennifer

        Definitely this! I did mention that it didn’t seem like Karen cared about changing as much as I did, but it’s worth mentioning again. If this behavior continues, and she clearly isn’t making any effort to get better, I also agree that it’s best to just dump her ass. And hey, being dumped might actually help her take a long hard look at herself.

  3. Debbie

    Robin,
    I usually always agree with you- except on this one. You are making way too many negative assumptions about Karen, unless there are other things you know that you are not mentioning in this post. Ted and Meg have considered couplehood. Having a close friend of the opposite sex is dangerous. Karen knows the history and isn’t comfortable with it. Just because one isn’t comfortable with a boyfriend/girlfriend/partner/spouse having an “intimate” even if just emotional relationship with a member of the opposite sex doesn’t mean they will be over controlling with other relationships. Regarding an ex wife, who likes an ex? Of course Karen doesn’t like the ex. Do you like Mr. PU’s ex wife? It’s an uncomfortable relationship that a new spouse has with an ex wife, at best. Sorry, but you’re off on this one!

    1. Admin

      Who likes an ex? Mr. PU! He is great friends with my ex. Mr. PU and I are also very close with an ex-boyfriend of mine and his new (much smarter, younger and prettier) wife.

      Your comment prompts me to remind everyone that there is a ton of stuff that I do not include in each advice post but which guide my revelations nevertheless. I am constantly advised that my posts are too long so I have to leave a lot of stuff out. Let me ask you if the following information changes your mind (if not, that’s OK too!):

      1. Ted and Meg briefly considered dating over 16 years ago and never since. Ted thought being honest with Karen about that would assuage her fears but obviously it didn’t.
      2. It isn’t just that she isn’t “comfortable” with it – she is demanding he end a 20 year friendship. Sorry, that’s controlling behavior. She is also distrustful of him (hence the snooping) and after only 5 months already wanting to dominate almost all of his time. I see flags popping up all over this battlefield.
      3. Ted has no problems with his ex-wife and in fact they are friends and very good co-parents. Ted’s ex-wife has never met Karen and Ted is not financially shacked to his ex. Therefore, Karen’s dislike of her is bizarre and another red flag for Ted, especially since he values his relationship with the mother of his children.

      1. Tamsen

        I completely agree with you Robin. Ted needs to dump her ass. Needy, controlling, bitch. I understand that a younger person (teenager, early 20’s) can be insecure and jealous and might change with time (I did) but Ted has kids and an ex-wife and a 20 year friendship so I’m assuming he’s not in his early 20’s. If Karen is, then maybe she has an excuse for her behavior, but Ted needs to move on to someone with more maturity. If Karen isn’t in her early 20’s, then there’s really no hope, but either way, she’s not for Ted. Move on to someone with the maturity and confidence to deal with this stuff.

        1. Robin

          Thanks Tamsen! And I should also add a thank you to Philip’s wonderful wife who also encourages and takes part in our friendship. He was lucky to find her!

  4. Dani

    I agree Robin – although I do understand how Debbie could find a different “spin”. However, a 5 month relationship- when partners are on their best behavior, still enjoying the Magic & Mystics of a new lover & relationship- I shudder to see this insecure & downright controlling action. I guess Ted needs to thank his lucky stars & Robin (and the controlling GF) for being able to end things before it becomes even more difficult. However, Ted should brace for some stalkerish behavior to follow this break-up, no matter how easy he lets Karen the Kuoo Koo down. I know that type, I was stalked by a Karen, my car was Keyed & my phone was ringing off its hook & drive-by’s of my house – and I was only a friend of Meg’s. (my Karen was dumped by Ted & I was actually friends w them all). Run!!!

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