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Trying to be there for your partner
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StacyVaughn posted:
Ok, I'll try to make a long story short. My fiancé has had the same group of friends since he was in high school. No one liked his ex before me, and that caused a bit of a falling out. He has tried so hard ever since to try and get everyone close again. He is in a completely different position in life right now than they are. He has kids and all that. They don't, and some don't even like kids. Anyway. I've never understood why he was so kind and willing to help them all out, be "family" again, cause they honestly treat him like s---. They're nice to his face, but constantly ignore him, make plans to then blow him off, don't include him a lot of the times they hang out, etc. so to me it has been obvious they have a problem with him, but of course can't be adults and just tell him/talk about it. This last week he has been pretty much gnored by every single one of them. Finally this evening while he was at work he gets a call from one of them. He said something like this, "hey um, I know you've been trying to get a hold of me, so I figured I'd call you. I've been avoiding you cause I feel like you've been fake, like you have a mask on. I don't really want to be around that right now, so ya." My fiancé didnt really respond cause he was completely shocked and dumb founded. There is one thing I know for certain, he has been far from fake! Like I said, he has put an extreme amount of effort to help them out in any way, be nice, etc etc.

Needless to say he is really hurt. He doesnt manage stress, drama, rejection, etc very well at all. I really need some advice on how to be there for him the best ways I can. I feel so terrible. Please I really want to help this smooth over.
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fcl responded:
It seems clear to me that he has outgrouwn his friends. It's extremely common, when you have children, to lose some, and occasionally all, of your friends. Your lifestyle changes, your interests change, your priorities change. Your bf just hasn't come to terms with that yet.

Other than simply being there for him there isn't a lot you can do. Maybe help him avoid wallowing in this (and it's easy to wallow, trust me, I know)? Maybe help him make new friends among his working colleagues (for instance)? Channel his attention to something more productive? Maybe something that concerns his childen? Help him leave his waste-of-time-and-space friends behind and bring him closer to his kids? Help him be the family man that is there inside him just waiting to get out?
There's nothing inherently dirty about sex, but if you try real hard and use your imagination you can overcome that.
 
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Leslie Becker-Phelps, PhD responded:
When someone you love struggles, the best thing you can do is support them in facing the problem. If he has more to work out with his friends, you might want to support him in talking it through with his friends. If the relationships are beyond repair (e.g. he's outgrown them, as FCL said), then the best you can do is support him in grieving this loss and in moving on to find new friends.

I wish you and your boyfriend the best.
 
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StacyVaughn replied to fcl's response:
Thank you, FCL. I was definitely anticipating it being MUCH worse than it has turned out to be.. He had finally heard back from two of them, and they said they didn't feel the same way, and were no part of the one friend that had called him. I feel like I got him to see that if this "friend" was a good friend worth keeping around, he would have expressed any concern from the beginning, rather than ignoring him, letting it fester and become an issue. After a night of processing, he has a "don't care" attitude towards his friends, and is placing focus on his career and family. WHEW! He usually doesn't come around so easy. Yayyy
 
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annony01 responded:
It sounds to me like he has simply drifted away from his friends, and really you can't force a relationship with people who aren't keen to be friends.
I've found this myself, that I try to make the effort to see friends from school but during our meet ups I feel awkward, and different to them. It upset me that much how they left me out of things, that I saw a counsellor and she made a great point - maybe you (your fiance) has simply ungrown your (your fiances) friends and instead of trying to struggle to maintain a friendship that isnt working, why not make new friends or maintain the good relations you now have.


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