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My Boyfriend Acts Differently Around His Friends

"My Boyfriend Is a Different Person With His Friends"

This question is from a Group Therapy post in our TrèsSugar Community. Add your advice in the comments!

Sometimes I really feel like I'm dating two different people, which is bad. I've been with my boyfriend for more than four years, and he's one way with me and another with his friends. My boyfriend is 34 (I'm 27, so we're not teenagers), and I just feel like a lot of behavior is extremely immature and occasionally downright irresponsible and ridiculous. Sometimes I even feel disrespected.

My boyfriend's friends are what I can only call "man boys": they are all older, many of them are divorced, and they all seem to be making an attempt at reliving their early 20s with an assortment of drinking/drugging/smoking and disrespecting women. When my boyfriend is with me, he's caring, loving, cuddly, and mostly sweet — though we have had some very ugly fights over the way his friends are and how he is when he's with them. When he's with some of his friends, he becomes disrespectful, immediately starts binge drinking, and seems to crave social acceptance amongst them, which I just don't get. I hate the person he is when he's with some of these people, and I feel like I don't know him at all.

I've started wondering which person he really is. I know I can't make him dump these friends, but I don't know what to do. Any advice?

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GTCB GTCB 4 years
As I guy, I can say that I hate guys that act like this.  There comes a time when you have to grow up.  There is absolutely nothing positive to be taken away from the experience of going out, getting hammered/stoned and acting like a d!ck.  It's hard on one's health, relationship(s), and bank account and for what?  Oh right, NOTHING.   You're not going to change him, he's going to have to change himself.  You should have a serious talk about this and then judge for yourself if he is sincere in his desire to change.  You're 27, so there is still time to find someone else if you determine that he's not the one.  Good luck.
henna-red henna-red 4 years
It's not ok for your boyfriend to disrespect you. Nothing makes that ok. And you can't blame his friends for his behavior, because he chooses his behavior. Just like he chooses his friends. I have a lot of friends from very different kinds of social groups. All of my friends can interact, but that is so long as certain opinions and subjects are not delved into deeply....I have friends who are very conservative christian, friends who are pagan, friends who are agnostic, atheist, or freethinkers.....one thing the have in common are generous hearts and spirits, great friends skills, and another thing they have in common is...me :) Your boyfriend fills different needs in his life with different people. Most of us do that. But the disrespect is a different matter. I think danizzle has found a great answer....she stays away from the people she is uncomfortable with, but doesn't try to restrict her boyfriend's friends group. I think that is a smart, reasonable answer. You must address this disrespect. It must stop. You need to set a boundary, and to let him know what that boundary is. You need to let him know exactly what behavior is unacceptable and what the consequences of that behavior are. Let him know what your deal breaker is. And stick to that. I'm not saying walk out so soon as there is a crossing of the boundary, but we can teach our partners how to treat us.....and how not to treat us...by being very specific about what we will and won't accept. And when that boundary gets crossed, by saying so IMMEDIATELY! If you haven't been doing that, if you've been letting him slide by with this disrespect, then your job of reteaching him is going to be a bit tougher. And you are going to need to decide what consequences you can live with, and what that ultimate boundry is. What is too much? Make sure, when he crosses that boundary, he hears about it. If you don't want to live with disrespect, be clear about that. about what disrespect is, and what the consequences of disrespect will be. Otherwise...live and let live. be well, good luck
danizzle danizzle 4 years
I totally empathize with you because my boyfriend and i are in our late 20's and he has friends that are man boys and i want to strangle them!!! When my bf is with them, he acts like a child. They go to strip clubs, drink, and do stupid shit. BUT my bf never disrespects me. I am wondering if he is disrespecting you to your face, or women in general, or what you mean by disrespecting? Its something I will never understand, and neither will anyone else. they turn into baboons when they are with each other and fight for the alpha male position. its completely stupid and ridiculous and i wonder WHY any of us put up with them. Ill tell you why I put up with mine - because 99% of the time he is with me, and is the perfect gentleman. If hes letting loose once every month or so and goes out with his buddies and is obnoxious, then so be it. i never let me bf know that i outright dont care for some of his friends (most im cool with, i have a problem with a particular few tho) i will make some side comments here and there, and when he chooses to hang out with them i am NO WHERE TO BE FOUND. i do not answer calls and text msgs when he is with them because frankly, i dont want to hear what he has to say. he used to hang out with those guys more, and because i wont hang out with them and i go MIA when he does..guess what? the last time he hung out with any of them was MONTHS ago!
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