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Hi all, need some advice, this one is tricky for me...

My boyfriend and I have been together for 3 years. We are moving in together in a month and things are great. We spend a healthy amount of time together, laugh often, share the same zest for life and enjoy many of the same activities which we can enjoy together (films, video games, travel, food, reading etc.). This is by far the most stable and happy relationship I've been in, its all gone so smoothly.

We have only ever argue about one thing. If we have a fight, which is rare but always looming over us, it's because of this. His friend, we will call R. My bf likes R, and I thoroughly dislike him. This becomes more complicated because R is not just my bf's friend (which I'd just have to get used to), and has been since before we were a couple, but [i]I[/i] have also had my own history with R. Which eventually as you may guess, turned sour about 2 years ago, and we no longer see eye to eye on anything.

R is a womanizer, cheater, has engaged in sex with prostitutes some in third world countries, some underage, he has dabbled in lots of drugs, he has a huge ego and he is extremely selfish. He is self-obsessed and can be malicious and back-stabbing. He has a girl who has followed him about for 5 years that he leads on and occasionally chooses to call his 'gf' although he cheats on her and lies to her constantly, and I despise seeing/hearing about it and wish she'd get some self-respect (but thats another story). If pressed, I'd say his good qualities are his charisma, he is very humorous and socially entertaining, he is open-minded, and quick witted, he can be emotional too. I strive to think of these reasons, for these must be the reasons my bf still gets along with him. I am trying to understand.

But I have trouble. How can my bf be friends with someone so low, so scummy? Yes, I used to be close friends with R too, but eventually could not stand his ways (which got worse) and chose not to have him in my life. I should mention at one point years ago we did sleep together a few times but never more than that and I feel ill to think of it now.

Now he is forced to be in my life, all because of my bf. it has caused a lot of arguments for us. I don't even see the value of R as a friend to my bf and even asked for my bf to get rid of him altogether. That's probably selfish - they have been friends longer than we've been together. But this is not just "my bf's friend" - I have my own history with R and for that sake I feel entitled to dislike him and reject him from my social circle.

However with us moving in together it's become harder and harder to coordinate. So many social events, R is there. He calls my bf often, and when they talk on the phone I feel like snatching the phone away and throwing it down the toilet. When they catch up I feel pissed off. Sometimes R even turns up at my bf's house to say hi and I have to leave, I can't stand him. Is it wrong of me to want to have this idiot out of my life, or do I really have to deal with him for my bf's sake? They aren't nearly as close as they once were, but I doubt my bf would ever actually take steps to reject R from his life and I'm not sure if that's even the answer, as easy as that would make life for me.

Please give me any advice. Its at the point we can't bring up his name together without arguing about him, so we try to avoid the dreaded topic and we are so open about everything else, I really feel like this distances us sometimes.
Hi Pendulum and LarryLousMum, thank you so much for your replies, they were really excellent and did not trivialize the problem but at the same time cleared it up a bit for me.

Firstly I will say that no, my bf does not lend money to R (yes R has a job, albeit an unstable one), and R has plenty of money through his family. Also, my bf is also of strong character and has never been influenced by R's ways (Thank God, otherwise I'd have run a mile a long time ago!). They are like chalk and cheese - my bf is like the polar opposite of R and as you can guess that's probably why I am in love with him. He has never agreed with what R does, nor does he condone any of it, but what always pisses me off is that he still 'accepts' R as a friend despite all this "scummy-ness", and never really makes a point of telling R off about any of it. Funny, cos my bf can be so opinionated and righteous to some people's faces, even his boss! That man takes one step out of line that my bf sees as unjust or wrong, and he'll speak up. Odd.

I suppose some people (especially men?) are more able to overlook (or not care about) certain aspects of a friend's character, if they still enjoy their company and get along well. I can't do this. If someone is of low moral character such as R, I don't trust nor respect them one bit, and I can't have a friendship with someone I don't trust or respect. As far as their friendship goes - well their main similarity is they both compete in soccar tournaments so they often talk about tactics etc, and they both like the same kind of music, and social events, that kind of thing... they banter with each-other really well, everyone always notices... I don't know, they just sort of hit it off I guess.

[quote]I'm afraid there's only one way for you to solve the impasse: accept R in your life and try not to attach too much importance to him. You will have to develop your own ways of neutralizing his "power", but you will probably not achieve this by fighting against him or asking your boyfriend to choose: it's you or him. [/quote]

100% so true Pendulum. I really need to work on tactics to be able to withhold my passionate dislike of him and just get on with my own thing. I'm so emotionally affected by everything R does, and that in itself annoys me. Any advice appreciated on how to deal with people you dislike, short of avoiding them like the plague (which hasn't worked in the past).

[Quote] Maybe it would help if you two, as a couple, found other couples to make friends with or to socialize with, neighbours or anyone else, so that the interaction between R and him would slip into the background.[/quote]

This is exactly what I've tried to encourage but it doesn't work either unfortunately... a lot of my bf's other friends are engaged/living together/married, some even with newborns now, but R just comes along to the social events (he knows them all too - he's like a plague, he really is everywhere), sometimes even uninvited he'll turn up, and ends up monopolizing the social gathering and being the centre of attention, talking about himself and making crude remarks about everything. If anybody cares, they don't say anything about it, and encourage him by laughing. I know - he sounds so annoying, doesn't he? Well... he is. Ha. I'm really praying that eventually he just slips out of my bf's life, but I think it's almost wishful thinking and I can't hold my breath for that.

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