Tail from the crypt
I’ve been with my boyfriend for two years. I do have trust issues, having been cheated on in past relationships. My boyfriend’s best friend of six years, a beautiful and intelligent woman, passed away three months ago. Since then, he has visited her grave weekly and kept a photo of them together posted online. When she was alive, the two of them spoke daily about everything – including intimate details and problems in our relationship. I made clear that their constant communication and boundary-crossing details were not okay with me, yet they continued. They claimed they were strictly platonic. However, since I’m a woman who has been fooled before, I can’t help but suspect otherwise. I love my boyfriend and want to support him in his time of grief, but I don’t feel that he sees how hard it is for me to see the man I love mourn this woman he loved and lost. –Struggling
It can be unsettling when your man comes home with tear stains on his collar, smelling like a trip to the cemetery. But the guy’s best friend died only three months ago, and he’s visiting her grave once a week; it’s not like he’s up all night with the Ouija board, asking her for advice on your sex life.
It must’ve been a bummer to find that your man’s best friend of six years wasn’t just a placeholder in his life until he could find a girlfriend. And yes, friends confide in each other, share their lives, and give each other feedback. If there was certain information that you wanted to remain private – if, say, he was revealing details that you felt should be between you two and the headboard – you needed to come to some agreement about that together. But, you don’t get to mandate that your boyfriend’s friendship revolve around topics of conversation you don’t find invasive, such as the weather, who’s about to nuke whom, and celebrity parole violations.
As for why the dearly departed is still clinging to life in your boyfriend’s online photos, it’s probably for the same reason that I (like a surprising number of people) still have the phone numbers of several dead friends programmed into my phone. It feels good keeping them in my life, even in such a mundane way, and I refuse to have a hand in making them any more gone than they already are.
You have “trust issues” because you’re “a woman who has been fooled before,” not because you have videotape of your boyfriend and his friend making out in the coffee shop. Unless he’s given you reason to believe he’s unethical, your jealousy and suspicions arose out of your failure to take responsibility for what was done to you in the past. There are a few crafty sociopaths out there who can hide their true character, but chances are, you got cheated on because you didn’t really want to look at who you were with, and that came back to bite you. Accepting that should help you be there for your boyfriend – tempting as it is to take the jealous girlfriend thing to a whole new level by asking whether that tapping on the wall is his dead friend trying to arrange a time for some out-of-this-world sex.
Got a problem? Write Amy Alkon, 171 Pier Ave., #280, Santa Monica, CA 90405, or email AdviceAmy@aol.com (advicegoddess.com). Weekly radio show: blogtalkradio.com/amyalkon. 2013, Amy Alkon, all rights reserved.