Friends of the Opposite Sex
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Friends of the Opposite Sex
My husband and I are currently separated due to work. He is undergoing
extensive training for a new position lasting several more months. I am
home full-time with our two young children. He has formed a close
friendship with a female colleague undergoing the same training who is
also separated from her family. They share a lot of interests and have
been socializing regularly, often with a group, but also one on one.
Having lost a former long term relationship due to infidelity
developing out of a similar friendship, I am very uncomfortable with
this relationship and have been very vocal about wanting my husband to
curtail the degree to which he is involved with this woman and to keep
it strictly professional. He thinks I am overreacting, that I am being
insecure and that it is unfair of me to make such demands. During his
last two visits home they communicated by text messaging and also phone
calls. I blew up and we had a huge fight over it and we have been
unable to resolve the issue. Advice, please!
My first reaction to this - having been there, and now
divorced - is that you can't change your husband. You can tell
him how you feel, and let him know it is inappropriate to be in
constant contact with a female friend. Their relationship will
either be the demise of yours, or it will fade into one that is
just friendly/professional. If he starts putting password
protections on his laptop and cell phone, and sneaking away
from the house to call her, tell him to make a choice because
that is NOT how you want to live your life. If he is openly
contacting her (because you stop nagging him about it) then he
probably isn't doing anything wrong. Invite her over for dinner
and see how they act together. Womens' intuitions rock! Trust
My husband travels a lot with and without his sales partner, who
is a woman. He spends week-long training and face-to-face
meetings with his colleagues, some of whom are women. They often
text, IM, and call each other for support and news. What you are
describing doesn't seem too out of the ordinary to me.
My husband recently returned from a two-week trip out of the
country and it was HARD. I think you're dealing with a lot of
stress right now, staying home with two young children on your
own. Imaginations can run wild when you're separated from each
other for so long. Obviously, since you've had the awful
experience of infidelity before, you're more sensitive to any
potential transgressions. But his behavior sounds pretty normal
to me. Hang in there.
I think your intuition is right on. Call me old-fashioned, but I
think this ''relationship'' needs to be nipped in the bud. It
might be innocent now, but it really sounds like this is on the
road to an innocent ''we didn't mean for it to happen'', ''we
didn't mean for anyone to get hurt'' type of outcome. The whole
text-messaging is a big one, can they stand to not communicate
for more than 24h? Especially when, as you say, they are
currently away from their family for training?
Trust your instincts
Trust your instincts. You're not overreacting or being insecure as he
more like he's on the defense to me. But regardless, you can't control
what he does.
All you can do is be honest with him about how this is making you feel.
your heart--tell him that your scared, you love him, don't want to lose
whatever it is you feel at your core. This will strengthen your own
communication/intimacy with him, whereas speaking from your head, making
demands, rules, getting angry will only push him further away. I feel
situation. I use to be in his shoes and I can tell you that even if he
won't admit it to
himself or you, they're connecting with each other. Maybe that's ok for
him but you
need to connect with him too. Express your deep feelings to him and
it'll get better.
And if it doesn't, keep doing it. Every day/night, check in with each
other. Solve it
together. Give it all you've got.
You're not going to like what I have to say but here goes:
If your husband is going to have an affair or is in one now (I
did say IF), there isn't much you can do to prevent it. At least
not directly. The best affair prevention you can get is a good
marriage. You can start by putting your insecurities (justified
or not) aside and make yourself and your marriage a wonderful
place for him to come home to. That means loosen your grip a
little - possessive and needy = not attractive. Take care of
yourself and find something you two can enjoy together when he
can spend time away from work.
Personally, I think in a loving, supportive relationship,
people are empathetic with each other and try at all cost to help
their partner. Feeling insecure sucks...it feels bad...feeling
jealous is an even worse feeling. I think your husband should
empathize with you particularly because you two are separated at
the moment. I don't think you are over-reacting by expressing
your feelings and asking him to be present with you when he's
present instead of texting/etc. his friend. Personally I think
he's being a little cruel and not too understanding. I don't
think it's ever a good idea to forbid friendships, but I do think
it's a good idea for him to spare your feelings at this time and
respond to your needs.
an idealist about love
I say no to your husband being close buddies with another female.
My father always used to say that it's hard for a straight man
and straight woman to be ''just friends''. He cheated on my mother
and left her for a work buddy. You have a right to your
feelings. Your husband might feel insulted because he might not
have any intentions to betray you. BUT, men can often not read
another woman's intentions. I insisted that my husband end a
close female friendship because I knew she ''wanted'' my husband
even if he didn't want her and basically the entire situation
made me feel so crazy that I couldn't deal with it. Even though
my husband couldn't see what I suspected he respected my wishes
and ended the friendship. He knew he wouldn't like it if the
tables were turned and I had a close male friend. Women can read
other women. I would never text message a married man after work
hours. It's too much. Jealousy, within reason, is natural and
healthy. Women should always tread carefully when socializing
with married men. Your husband's friend sounds like an
insensitive, clueless or conniving you know what.
Jealous and NOT insecure
Stop their relationship now. I have been the ''other woman'' and
although it started as innocent, the relationship developed and
sharing a closeness with someone in this case ultimately leads
the other woman
Please know that my opinion is coming from a good place, I too am
a jealous person. No trust issues, just jealousy brought on by
insecurities within myself,because I'm a people pleaser. (I've
been in a similar situation so I felt I had to provide my 2 cents.)
Since you cannot think for your husband, you can only alter your
frame of mind and control your actions, so do what you can to not
be a negative person. After your last argument, I'm sure your
husband has duly noted that you don't like his ''friendship'' with
this other woman, but it doesn't benefit you and your
relationship if being at home or with you is associated with
''fighting, hostility, bitterness, sadness.'' Accept that your
husband is an adult and give him credit for falling in love with
you and marrying you. Having said that, find things to do
(either on your own or with your kid(s) that make you happy and
that positivity will permeate out into your interactions at
home...you doubt me, but it will!
It sounds like you may be in a rut or need some friendships that
will build up your ''person'' and identity outside of mom and wife.
I needed to do that for myself as well and believe that when I
did, I and my family are much better off for it.
Kudos for being brave enough to face this possible relationship
killer and wanting to fix ''it''.
green eyed monster
It sounds like a tough situation to be in. But one great thing
you could do, you already did: turn to a wider audience.
I sometimes think my wife over-reacts to my friendliness, but
because she had told me, I curtail it to very formal interaction,
to keep her happy. I have to change how I naturally am with
people (not just women), because her parents had fidelity issues,
and I understand why she is super extra cautious.
Watch how you react to these events though. For your own benefit
and sanity try to remain calm (despite how hard it must sound).
Maybe, show him the responses you get from this posting, and see
if he still thinks you are over-reacting?
As a working married man, I know most work/office flirts are
merely that, and don't go further. Also, in today's business
world being in constant constant contact with colleagues is
almost expected, so there might be pressure for him to be in
touch with work mates.
The fact that he is away for a long time, and will continue to be
is not helping. He probably feels disconnected from where reality
really is: his family. Maybe this is not easy for him either, and
maybe he is acting out his frustration in this way. Of maybe his
work is intruding into his family life so much, and he is not
able to control it.
But, he has kids, he is back home for a short visit with his
family, and he is texting and chatting with his female colleague?
You ought to tell him that there is at least another married man
out there who thinks he is playing with fire. Even if his
closeness with his work mate isn't more than work, the damage he
is causing is potentially huge. Blaming you for not understanding
his closeness with a female colleague, is not a good strategy. As
a man, I am sceptical. And it is very easy for him right now to
play this game of only having to convince you that there is
If he really thinks you are just imagining things, ask him to
open it up to a wider forum and see what other people think. How
does he feel about seeing a marriage councilor to resolve this?
(I have also heard of couples bringing up and working through
their differing views with a couple they are close friends with,
or with the inlaws, but you need to know if they are interested
in hearing about the issue, or if they are too closely invested
to one side).
There could very well be other issues that you both need to work
on, and you may need to examine those. But together. He needs to
be step up and be involved in this, no matter the distance, work
It sounds like you have good reason to be worried. I have been on work
training away from home and believe me everyone was horny not by choice
the circumstances. It was difficult for me and I was single at the time
unattached but did not want to compromise myself. This was NOT months of
training! Can you get an extended stay motel nearby him and live there
with him &
your children? I would apologize to him for your behavior and the way
handled yourself. And ask him if the two of you can come up with some
for how this ''sensitivity'' you have can be addressed (i.e. see if he
can come up with
and idea where he offers up limiting his contact with this woman on his
think prayer would be helpful!
I'm so sorry.
My prayers are with you.
Oh, no. Absolutely not. This is not about insecurity - don't
allow him to play an irrelevant card. Whether you've been cheated
on before or not, put your foot down. It's simply not
appropriate, and he is a Crazy Man if he doesn't see it! If he
were the SAHD caring for the kids 24/7 and you were hours away
gallivanting with another man, would he go for it? Yeah, right!
It's fine for him to have female friends, especially while he's
living at home with his wife. The boundary for these friendships
is group interactions. In other words, when there is a group of
workmates, sure, that's fine. If she comes over to visit both of
you, that's fine too. Otherwise, he married YOU. Maybe he should
focus on a close friendship with his wife. If nothing else, he is
engaging in an emotional affair, which of course will put more
space between you and him. Ergo, it's not appropriate.
I had a male friend online whose wife said ''it's me or her''. We
had done nothing wrong - it was just a friendship. I was sad to
lose him, but I completely understood where his wife was coming
from. In retrospect, I realize I was his emotional affair, and if
they had issues, they needed to work it out together.
If he won't agree, start planning to be a single mom, because if
it doesn't happen right away, it's easy to see where this
friendship could head over the next several months. You deserve
better than this.
This is a dealbreaker
this page was last updated: Nov 13, 2008
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