‘I love my boyfriend but he doesn’t want me to have male friends, I need my space’

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Dear Aunty Lisa,

I’m in a relationship with my boyfriend, but he has become increasingly possessive and controlling. He doesn’t want me to interact with any other men, even if they’re just my friends. I feel like I’m constantly walking on eggshells, and I’m starting to lose my sense of independence and freedom.

I love my boyfriend, but this constant need for control is taking a toll on our relationship. I need my own space and the freedom to socialize with whomever I choose, without feeling guilty or afraid of his reactions. I’m worried that if this continues, it will damage our relationship beyond repair.

Please, Aunty Lisa, I need your advice. How can I address this issue with my boyfriend and set healthy boundaries without jeopardizing our relationship? I want to find a balance where I can maintain my own identity and individuality while still being in a committed relationship.

Thank you in advance for your guidance.

Sincerely,

Needing Space
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Aunty Lisa Responds:

Dear Needing Space,

I understand your concern about your boyfriend’s possessive behaviour, and it’s important that you address this issue. Healthy relationships are built on trust, respect, and mutual understanding, not control and isolation.

Your desire for space and independence is completely valid. No one should feel trapped or restricted in their own relationships. It’s crucial that you have the freedom to maintain friendships and pursue your own interests without fear of your partner’s disapproval or retaliation.

I would suggest having an open and honest conversation with your boyfriend. Express your feelings and concerns using “I” statements, and listen to his perspective as well. Explain that you value the relationship, but that you need more autonomy and trust in order for it to thrive.

Suggest setting clear boundaries and compromises, such as agreeing to introduce your male friends to your boyfriend or inviting him to join you on group outings. Emphasize that this is not about him, but about your need for personal growth and fulfilment.

If your boyfriend is unwilling to work on this issue and continues to exhibit controlling behaviour, you may need to reconsider the long-term viability of the relationship. Your well-being and sense of self should not be sacrificed for the sake of keeping your partner happy.

Remember, you deserve to be in a relationship where you feel respected, supported, and free to be your authentic self. I hope you’re able to find a resolution that allows you both to thrive.

Best of luck,

Aunty Lisa


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