If your boyfriend’s friends are sexist pigs who still like to “party” despite the fact that they’re in their 40’s now, can you ever really trust him around them or entirely respect him for choosing to associate with such nasty people?
Hi Ulrika, Thanks so much for your question!
So your question boils down to: Can you trust and respect him?
And my answer for you is: It comes down to your values and your definition of trust and respect.
In other words: you know you can trust him if he meets your definition of trustworthy and respectful.
Anytime we experience issues in a relationship, it’s because a need or requirement of ours isn’t being met.
And our needs and requirements are based on our personal values — how we want to live our life.
His friends might find him trustworthy, but you’re finding him difficult to trust because his behavior is clashing with your values and with your definition of respect and trust in a relationship.
So what I would do is ask yourself: What is your definition of trustworthiness and respect in a relationship?
What does it look like and feel like to you when someone is trustworthy and respectful in relationship?
How would you know someone is trustworthy and respectful in a relationship?
And then the second thing I would do is observe his behavior or look back on your experience with him: Is he meeting that definition of trust and respect?
His friends might behave immaturely, but is your boyfriend behaving the same way?
Does he party and engage in their sexism?
And to what degree does he socialize with them?
It’s one thing to be friends with them and another to behave like them.
We’ve all been friends with or acquainted with people who aren’t entirely aligned with our values.
But just because we are friends with them or spend time with them, doesn’t necessarily mean we share their values.
So just to recap:
- Get clear on your own definition of trust and respect in a relationship (what does trust and respect look like in a relationship to you? How would you know trust and respect when you see it?)
- Observe whether he is meeting that definition (Does he share his friend’s values? Does he behave like them?)
Getting clear on our needs and requirements helps us make highly conscious decisions in our relationship so that we can determine how we really feel about someone.
I hope this was helpful guidance for you. Thank you again for your question!
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