You’ve all heard of the term “frenemy”, right? If you haven’t, then let me define it for you. If you look up the term “frenemy”, you will find the following definition:
A person with whom one is friendly, despite a fundamental dislike or rivalry.
I translate this as, “A frenemy is basically a friend who is really kind of an enemy. It's someone in your life that you’re friendly with, but deep down, they are competitive and don’t always wish the best for you.”
The term got me thinking about some of the men I have met who display the same characteristics. I call this type of man a “freneman”. Now, I’m not saying that I’ve coined the term “freneman”, as someone has probably already thought of this, but I think it fits well with this breed of this man.
A freneman is a man who pretends to be a great partner (or someone you are getting to know), but deep down, he isn’t so great. Deep down in the darkest part of his mind, he wants to do better than you in every way, and he (consciously or subconsciously) sees you as a rival. He hates it when you are more popular than him, when you seem to have it all, when you're just breezing through life and he especially hates it when you are more successful than he is. Now, I’m not sure where these feelings towards you come from, but they could have something to do with his upbringing, his own need to feel superior, or the way he views women in general? Now that's a question for a physiologist to answer.
A freneman can’t stand your success; he probably isn’t very loyal either and talks you down to others whilst acting as if he is “Partner of the Year” to your face. His family and friends probably don’t have a good opinion of you because of this. I'm sure he secretly blames all of your relationship’s shortcomings on you too. The freeman may be passive aggressive and will, either directly or in a round about way "put you back in your box" regularly so that he can shine with glory.
If you’ve been with a freneman, then you will recognise all of the above. A freneman might even be bearable to be with...until you do better than him at something.
The better you do, the worse your relationship gets.
You went from being the attractive, popular career woman he wanted to be with so much to being the woman who works too late and too often, who isnt dressed up enough or over dressed, who doesn't look after herself and has let herself go or who spends way too much time on herself - and for who he says?
You might be told you don't care enough about the relationship, because you are apparently too busy with friends, family, work, or whatever else is going well in your life. He’s almost annoyed that you got that promotion or made a new friend, or any other achievement you may have had. How dare you? How dare you do better!
The freneman acts as if he’s cool with it, but can’t help making sly comments about your job, your work hours, the way you dress, the way you speak, and "why do you have to talk to so many people all of a sudden"? Why do you even have any friends, why are you a workaholic trying to overachieve and not put him first (even though you know you do).
It’s a complex world, and I could not point out all the reasons why a man is like this, but do not be fooled. This type of man is no friend or partner for you. This guy is one big jealous and insecure mess, so before it’s too late, it may be time to consider whether or not you need to “unfriend” the freneman!