Friend request: My only friend does not trust my partner and says he will cheat, but I love him and her negativity annoys me. What should I do?

Q: I have a girlfriend who won’t stop interfering in my relationship, and I’m about to lose her with her. She has never liked my partner for about a year, and she keeps picking up the little things and turning them into big things. We’ve been friends for years and used to share every detail about our dating experiences, but she hasn’t had a boyfriend since her last relationship ended two years ago. She keeps bringing things up since the beginning of our relationship and makes it clear that she doesn’t trust him. I love my partner, but it’s hard to deal with her which suggests he might be cheating on me or that she doesn’t think he’s good enough for me. We don’t have any issues in our relationship, and I like how it goes, but her constant negativity annoys me. My partner doesn’t want to be around her now because he feels like he can’t do anything right, which affects me when we want to go out with a group of friends. I feel like I have to choose between them, and I don’t know what to do.

Dr. West replies: Pause for a moment and think about why she was able to act like this. Do you have a common history of talking about partners, and sharing your relationship’s ups and downs? Maybe she’s trying to protect you and doesn’t want you to go through some issues that you may have shared in the past. Our friends and family can often spot the red flags that we can’t see because they have more distance from the relationship. If she has shared stories of negative behavior since the beginning of the relationship, she may have legitimate concerns that the relationship may be a concern. She may be coming from a beloved place, but she’s doing it the wrong way. Conversely, you may not want to hear what she has to say if you feel deeply that she is right. It’s hard to hear that our partners might not be who we make romantic, so it can be common for red flags to be ignored or minimized. If you have a history of abusive relationships, you may be on high alert for any sense of negative behavior in order to try to protect you.