Forcing Someone to Give Up a Friend

Visitor's Question from a 13-15 year old Female
Do you have the right (when you are in a long term relationship) to tell your partner that you don't want them to continue a friendship with someone else?

Personally, I don't think we have the right to do that. I would never want someone to tell me that I had to drop a friendship. The problem is, I am in that exact situation right now where my boyfriend has a friendship with an ex that I am extremely uncomfortable with and I desperately want to see it end. He has many exes that I am perfectly comfortable with, but this one person has caused me much grief and was one of the reasons that we split up for some time a while back. We reconciled and have been back together for over two years.

I had been hoping that with time my ill feelings about her would subside, as I'm sure she is a very nice person. The problem is that I can't seem to detach her from the memories of the past. She is the personification of a time when our relationship went sour and the thought of her dreadges up those painful memories. As it is becoming clearer that I can't let go of this hangup, my boyfriend is at the end of his rope and has offered to cut the chord with this person. It's what I want, but I am very upset that it has come to this. Not only am I disappointed in my inability to let the past rest, I also know he will be very upset to lose a friend and I fear that this will cause resentment in our relationship furthur down the road.

Is it wrong for him to axe this old friendship for me, and if so, what can I do to fix my feelings towards her to make things more manageable? I try to put up a good face, but inside I am sick to my stomach over it. Advice
The fact that you are trying to deny a painful past and are now having to erase all aspects of it from your life is a really gigantic warning sign. Sure right now you're trying to eliminate her but what else is next? A relationship is about two people who FULLY accept each other - past present and future - for what they are. You cannot hide from the past. The more you try to squash it, the worse it will get.

I would really go to a therapist and talk about this. You have to come to terms with it and accept it, and accept the friend, and go on with things. If you can't, it is going to eat away at you in any way it can, through whatever current reminder. Burying the past or something painful is NEVER the answer. Just ask victims of child abuse about that. You have to confront it, deal with it, and then let it go. It's time for you to face that past and let it go.

-- from Jenn
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