Boundaries/ Manuals/ Ultimatums/ Happy in Any Situation


Hello!

I am in a long-term relationship in which despite not having the official paper, my partner and I have functioned as a married couple for over a decade. Over the last year, my partner has developed a close opposite-sex friendship with a work colleague that I was not aware of until about 4-5 months ago. This friendship progressed and my partner had been frequently texting this individual (and continues to do so) at times when we are hanging out together (say out for drinks or dinner), including nights and weekends.

As a core value for my romantic relationships, I have decided that I am not OK with my partner fostering new close opposite-sex friendships outside of our relationship. I have no problem with existing friends or new friends of the opposite sex that have a context within our relationship. In other words, if we want to have friends that we introduce each other to and discuss boundaries we can agree on, I have no problem. I am not OK with a close opposite-sex friend that I have never met and that my partner has no intention of me being involved in any way in that relationship.

So, my questions are:
1. If I create this boundary for myself and know that I am willing to walk away from the relationship despite loving my partner, do I discuss this with my partner? After several failed attempts at trying to explain why I am uncomfortable with this situation, does any additional discussion just end up being me trying to apply a manual or ultimatum? What is the difference between stating a boundary and giving an ultimatum here?

2. Can you please discuss further the whole concept of “if you could be happy either way, which [situation] would you choose”? To use an extreme example and a little legalese, I feel safe in assuming a “reasonable person” would say it is not advisable for an individual to stay in a physically abusive relationship. Yes, there may be someone out there who thinks it is fine, but the majority would not. So, how do you apply the “happy either way” here? Would you truly suggest that one partner could simply use thoughts to be happy in a physically abusive relationship? I am trying to see how I might apply this to my situation in which I would have to deny/ ignore a core value in order to be happy in my present situation.

Thanks for your time.