I’m excluded from his group

We chat at 1 p.m.

Hello Meredith,

I've been dating this guy for a little over six months now. We have a solid base of respect and equality. All in all, there's nothing wrong with our relationship and both of us are happy with each other. However, there has been one issue: he won't let me tag along when he goes to hang out with friends. Even when he knows the other guys are going to have their partners with them. He either never tells me he going out and is embarrassed and feels guilty later, or he'll admit he's going out, not invite me, and regret not even asking if I wanted to come.

I've let him know I'm not OK with this, and he'll instantly get angry and ignores me before heading out, calling back a couple hours later to apologize for lashing out. I have met his friends and family before – we even went to high school together. He says it is because of a previous guy friend in the group who got a girlfriend. Apparently these two got together and the girl got close to the group.  Eventually they messed with the group dynamics because the girl wouldn't let them hang anymore.

Now their group is like a closed membership and I'm not "allowed" to join. I'm super frustrated; he brags all night about how much fun he's having, and I'm sitting home alone and excluded. Am I in the wrong for putting pressure on him about this issue? I know it's important for him to hang out with others and I give him plenty of space. It's really embarrassing and hurtful to hear that others attending his group meet-ups ask where I am and assume we've broken up. I've asked seriously what other friend events I'm going to be excluded from, and he just says, "Honestly, probably all of them." I just don't know what to do about this anymore.

– Excluded

The first thing to consider is your own social scene. You mention that the alternative to going out with him is "sitting home alone." Maybe that's an exaggeration, but if not, you should spend some time investing in your own platonic relationships. Maintaining your friendships will make you a better partner.

You talk about group dynamics, but do your boyfriend's friends only hang out in one massive pack? An alternative might be hanging out with one other couple or a few friends. Maybe your boyfriend would be more comfortable with that. If not, well ... that's something to know.

Commenters have wisely noted that as people get older, closed-membership groups often evolve into something else – something less intense and impenetrable. That's true, but in your case, it's about more than his friends. He seems to get mean about this stuff; he "lashes out" and has to apologize later. You say you're happy with the rest of your relationship – that there's respect – but please think about whether that's really true.

– Meredith

Readers? Is this OK?