Red Responds: A Cheater in Turkey?

C.C. in Miami writes:

I have been in a relationship with a man from Turkey for several months now. He has told me that he loves me and that I am the only woman he wants to be with, but there is a situation that is worrying me – he has a friend who is a woman, and she is going to be visiting for the weekend. He says that she’s coming to see him and that they’re really good friends, but I think the whole situation is odd. He tried to tell me that she was going to stay in his house for the first night, and I opposed it because I didn’t think it was appropriate. He has said that they never had anything beyond a platonic relationship – but I have my doubts. Do they have something more than a friendship or am I just freaking out?

Dear C.C.,

I honestly can’t blame you for freaking out – I have to say, it’s a pretty natural reaction! However, in this case, I am not seeing any love or intimate connections. These two really are just friends.
Your boyfriend was being honest and honorable by telling you of this woman’s visit, and that she is planning on staying at his house for a night or two. She’s done it before, and it hasn’t led to any intimacy or romantic situations. This time would be no different. While she is looking forward to her visit with him, her time with him is actually a bit limited, because she has other people to see and places to be.

Your boyfriend, regardless of his honorable intentions, didn’t handle this delicate issue in the best manner. He understands now that he should have discussed this with you prior to giving her his consent to stay at his place. He back-peddled a bit, because he had told her that she could stay with him as long as she needed to (it wasn’t a single-night invitation). He really didn’t factor in his relationship with you, or the fact that you may not be comfortable with another woman staying with him, until after he had extended the invitation. To him, it is just a visit from a friend – completely innocent, and nothing that should upset you.

The reality of relationships – whether distant or under the same roof – is that if someone is going to cheat, they are going to cheat. If your boyfriend’s intentions with this woman were of a romantic nature, it really wouldn’t matter if she was staying with him or at a hotel – he’d have plenty of time and opportunity to make his moves. However, he isn’t interested in her that way, and he certainly wouldn’t have told you that she was coming around if he were.

Your relationship with this man is fairly new, and the two of you are still learning and discovering each other. While this situation has brought to light new stresses and concerns, it is also an opportunity to learn how to navigate this new-found love. While it is natural for each of you to have your own quirks and insecurities, neither of you knows the other well enough at this point to be certain how the other is going to handle or react to every situation. You have done the right thing by expressing to him that because of your growing relationship and future plans, his allowing a female friend to stay with him is not exactly what you see as appropriate behavior or an acceptable show of respect to you or the relationship. Unfortunately, he doesn’t quite see things the same way. From his perspective, you are being a bit insecure and over-reactive. Both of you are struggling with this issue, from different points of view.

If you push, or make a big deal out of this situation, you will be victorious – as he will not permit his friend to stay with him – but he will resent your lack of trust, and what he will interpret as a need for control. While this may be a comforting option at this moment, it is likely to lead to future difficulties.

However, if you take a softer approach, and explain to him that his having female friends over – especially overnight – makes you very insecure and brings to surface some of your personal trust issues, he will try to give you every assurance that you have nothing to worry about. Tell him that you will do your best to handle this with grace since his plans have already been made, but that you hope he will put your needs and this relationship above his friendships in the future. As a show of love to you, he will honor your wishes, and even though it is rather last-minute, he will talk to his friend about making other arrangements.

Good luck!
Ext. 9226

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