I got caught lying to my girlfriend about female friend

My girlfriend of a year recently relocated to my city two months ago to build upon our relationship having herself been through a divorce and making a leap of faith for our relationship. She had given up everything that she had accomplished in her city: a career, house, and friends to make a commitment with me that I am so excited about. We have experienced a healthy and very positive nurturing relationship. I am committed to seeing this work and really want to solve a problem that had arisen since her moving here.

I was involved in an emotional affair and very close non-physical friendship for about five years with a married friend as it was an easy outlet for my 60 hour workaholic pace of owning my own upstart business. This was until I met my girlfriend a year ago; changing my life for the positive in every way and my realizing the value of a life partner was everything I was missing.

I have expressed my commitment and feelings to my girlfriend and shown her at every opportunity that I care for her very much and am committed to the prospect of our relationship together.

My contact with my friend is still on going with e-mails, text messages, or a phone call in what I believe is a normal friendship. I have expressed to my girlfriend many times about my friend, the ending of the emotional affair with her when we had met a year ago and have privately disclosed to my girlfriend of my friend’s ongoing battle with clinical depression and bouts of loneliness towards me and her family which she is seeking professional help with. This only fuels my desire to maintain a healthy friendship with her; from a sense of loyalty to this person for all of the years that she has given me friendship away from my 60 hour work week pace.

The amount of contact with my friend has led to a dark cloud over my relationship with my girlfriend, so much so it had brought me to the point of lying or not disclosing my contact with my friend with my girlfriend. It recently has exploded as I’ve been caught lying to her with evidence by my cell phone. I have come clean and want desperately to put the relationship back on track, but I have hurt my girlfriend so much I’m afraid and ashamed of my actions that as I ask her for forgiveness or what are the positive reasons for her being here in my city and with me she has no positives on the list just negative reasons for being here and stated that she had given up everything up for me and that I do not respect her or the relationship by lying.

I know there is a glimmer of hope in this relationship because even at the worst moment of fighting or walking out on each other I want to go back to her or she will call me later to talk. Honesty is black and white and I do not know what really to do, I have told my friend of the impact it was having on my relationship and have cut down the contact with her to show my girlfriend that I am committed, but now three people are miserable and a desperately want to get this wonderful relationship back but do not know where to start.

Response:

These situations such as this are always difficult to deal with because of the emotions involved: Your girlfriend’s jealousy and your sense of loyalty to someone who has been there for you.

For starters, lying to your girlfriend about communicating with your friend will only cause more problems than good. Lying to your girlfriend about this issue only reinforces her fear that you’re hiding something from her. Jealousy can be one of the most difficult emotions to cope with in an intimate relationship, without making things worse by lying (see coping with jealousy and dealing with a jealous spouse).

At the same time, turning your back on a friend because it upsets your girlfriend is probably not the answer. If you forego a friendship in order to appease your girlfriend, the loss of the relationship will most likely lead to feelings of anger and resentment, especially as other problems arise. Giving up too much autonomy or independence to make a partner happy often leads to misery.

Unfortunately, this does not leave you with a clear path to take.

But of all your options, the following is the best advice we have to offer: In a situation like this, it is helps to describe how you are feeling and encourage your girlfriend to do the same. Focus on trying to understand your girlfriend’s point of view without jumping to a quick solution (see talk about problems).

Most couples when faced with a similar problem often settle on the first solution that comes to mind. But, while quick solutions are designed to make negative feelings go away, such solutions rarely work long term. As such, the problem keeps reemerging.

And if the same problem keeps cropping up, it only leads to more hurt feelings over the course of time. So, as hard as it is to do, try to focus on creating understanding about the problem with your girlfriend—sharing the question you sent to us with her might be a great place to start.

Ultimately, there may not be a good solution to the problem at hand, but if there is a solution to be found, creating mutual understanding is the best way to get there.

We wish we had better advice, but situations like these are always difficult to resolve.

 friend causing problems | troubled relationship

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