Paper and Ink, Series

Paper and Ink: Femme Aimee (15)

By Emmeline Bisiikwa, Uganda:

We value friends but sometimes we let the influence they have over our lives go overboard. If someone has known you for a while and been there for you, does that mean they get to pick what you do, where you work and who you see? It's up to you to draw the lines 'cause in the end you decide what's important to you. Your friends aren't in your shoes to pick the right fit.

Sometimes I wonder why men bother being in a relationship when they would rather hang with their friends and do stupid things just because their friends are doing the same things. It is so annoying watching someone you have built a life with throw it away for a cheap thrill just to entertain their friends.

It so happens that I tried to give my man space with his friends because I do not know the dynamics of their friendship and also didn't want him to feel like I was coming between him and them or forcing him to choose between us. So I let him go out with them, do things am not usually comfortable letting my partner do with other women 'cause I didn't want to be the clingy controlling nag of a girlfriend men paint us out to be.

But I realized I was letting him treat me like a temporary commodity – on call when he needs me and then kept on the back shelf while he has a good time with his friends. Aren't you supposed to come first? Now I know this may sound selfish but if you want to do all that stuff with other people – the parties and movie nights and 'fun' then why would you date someone who isn't those people? As if being a space filler wasn't enough he began to do things he knew would hurt me but because his friends didn't mind he thought he could get away with it. Wild nights out anyone? Your man and other girls? Heck no.

The final blow was him letting his friends disrespect me because they had watched him do the same and knew I was a doormat since I let him do all that and stayed. It was like an open invite to insult and humiliate the temp. If he could do all that, he obviously wasn't serious about me and I probably wouldn't last till the next month.

He says he talked to them and told them they shouldn't disrespect me as it was affecting our relationship. But I wonder if it's not my fault for defining the boundaries earlier. Just how much is enough for friends to interfere in your relationship? Do we unknowingly give them too much power in things they should have no business meddling in?

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