Originally Posted by suziesue
By this point Alan was very apologetic, and I was feeling guilty that he was feeling bad about it (although still glad I bought it up), so we just changed the subject and moved on.
So, feeling pretty confused I called Bridget to ask her about it, and she said that it was because she cared about me she was 'watching out for me'. She said it was 'unfair' of Alan not to give me a time in advance, or to talk to me so late (I'm sure I've chatted to her just as late on occasion!), and that the agreement thing was 'in my interest', even if I didn't explicitly know about it.
I then asked her if the three-way situation was making her unhappy or jealous, and she said there were some things that she felt she 'didn't have the right to ask for'. I asked her if she would be happier if Alan and I weren't perusing a relationship with each other, but she refused to answer the question.
So right now I'm feeling in a bit of a mess. I feel guilty that I may have been hurting Bridget by seeing Alan, but I don't want to stop seeing Alan (writing that makes me feel like a horribly selfish person). I also feel that Bridget has been being, er, manipulative, I guess? Its a bit of a stronger word than I mean really, just that she had been subtly (and probably not consciously) trying to control interactions between Alan and I, so I feel I can't trust her.
Yes that is a mess.
Don't feel guilty that Alan felt badly, of course you were right to bring it up. Operating from guilt is going to keep you from looking out for yourself and your needs and wants. YOU are not hurting Bridget by seeing Alan. If she is unhappy, she needs to be addressing it, with Alan, with her friends, and with you if she wants to discuss it with you. Leaving the door open for her to talk to you is one thing, but I think you have done that, and shouldn't bring it up again.
I want to say I see a possible parallel here- she misled Alan & manipulated the situation in an effort to "look out for you" You asking her if she would be happier if you and Alan weren't dating could easily lead to the same thing as you feel so guilty, you might start altering your behavior in order to give her "more" to try to be less of a "threat" to their relationship. Your motivations wouldn't be as selfish, but they could still be just as destructive to all of the relationships involved.
Be caring, but don't overly invest in trying to help her be honest with the issues she is having, that's work she has to be doing on her own volition.
I would be very clear that I appreciate that she cares about you, but you can and will look out for your needs directly with Alan. I'd probably say that I more or less insist she not communicate with him about what she thinks you'd want unless you've actually stated such, and said you are OK with her sharing your conversation (truthfully, her telling Alan what she thinks you want from your private talks with her could be just as much of a privacy violation as you seeing what their text messages were).
I would remind her that her ideas about what is fair/unfair, right/wrong for HER and her relationships is not what is necessarily how you feel about your relationships, and that you will make your own decisions. I think all that can be said lovingly and kindly while still drawing firm boundaries.
Hmm, not sure that was very succinct, but I do hope you see that if something bothers you (enough to bring it up on a forum looking for advice even!) That you should bring it up, and not worry that you're making a fuss out of nothing. Pay attention to your instincts!