Agony Aunt for Mums

Problem Corner: 15 Signs a friendship could be inappropriate

This question was logged by one of my male readers (I know I’m the ‘mummy whisperer’, but as I’ve been talking about Sex a lot, I’ve gained quite a lot of male readers too), and I have to admit that at first I kind of thought ‘well isn’t it obvious?’.

Then I realised that firstly we aren’t all socially savvy and secondly even when we are, we can be naive as well, including us women who are meant to be much more capable of understanding these sorts of things.

Plus, women have rules of engagement that we understand, like lionesses marking our territories, however men probably don’t notice these subtleties at all.

The question I got was:

‘I keep having friendships with women that seem to cross some kind of invisible line that my wife can see, but I don’t see.  I really don’t want to be upsetting her, but I’m not as capable of seeing what is obvious to her.  Do you have any tips for recognising when a friendship is just that and when in female terms it goes too far?’

So reading between the lines a bit, I suspect that hubby is a flirt, and wifey knows that he is too naive about the intentions of the women he is encountering, as one of the key attractors to a women is not being single but being with someone else.  Athol Kay describes it as ‘pre-selection’; i.e. that the fact that someone else has already vetted them and thinks them Ok relationship material.

Now don’t shout at me ‘but what about sisterhood’ or ‘but they shouldn’t’; I deal in realities and the reality is that pre-selection exists and women can be very determined to get what they want.  Other people will shout at me ‘but you should be able to trust your man’; again I point you to reality and the fact that trust can very easily turn into taking for granted;

So here is my answer, feel free to add any more tips you might have from your own experiences.  On their own, none of them are obvious signs, but they are all potential markers of a friendship that could change in nature and if many of the points are true, then it’s much more worrisome …

 

1) If it was the other way around:  

The first big rule is what would you think if your partner was having the same friendship with someone else?  So if the shoe was on the other foot.  This is one of the best measuring methods of whether the friendship is inappropriate.

2) Opposite sex:  

I’m not saying don’t have friends with the opposite sex, but this is a good clue to their being a potential problem ;o)

3) Many years age difference:  

Having a close relationship with a girl many years younger, or a guy who is much older (and of course it can go vice versa in this new world of the Couga!) is definitely a bit of a red flag, as it goes against normal social

4) Time of the messages:

Text/facebook (or whatever social media you use) messages first or last thing at night are a big red flag, because they show that you/they are the first or last thing on each others minds.

5) Frequency of the messages:

If you/they are in touch a great deal more than with other people, then it shows that the friendship has greater significance.  For example, if you are in touch with them more than your own partner, then that’s definitely not a good sign.

6) Degree of innuendo:

It’s often considered quite normal for their to be innuendo within the office or social situations, and peer pressure can mean that people ignore what may be crossing the line, so I refer you back to the ‘shoe on the other foot’ rule!

7) Discussing partners:

You might think that this means that the friendship is safe, because you are clearly pointing out the fact that you are taken.  But in fact it is a sign of pre-selection.  If they don’t know your partner and you haven’t or wouldn’t introduce them, then you need to think twice about the friendship.  Plus, if you are discussing things about your relationship with this friend and not your partner, then it is definitely going in the wrong direction.

8) Slagging off partners:

This is a big no no.  If you are talking to someone of the opposite sex, they might be sympathetic to you because you are friends, but they should also be giving you an insight into the mind of your partner.  If they are slagging off your partner, then this friendship is definitely detrimental to your relationship.

9) You/They are not happy in your relationship:

If there are already problems in yours/their relationships already, then be really careful.  This friendship could be really helpful and give you insight into the other side of the story, or it could be with someone who will eventually take advantage of the problems.

10) Excitement about talking to them:

Now we get to the more obvious signs, which are when you miss talking to someone or look forward to talking to them.  This should be highlighting the question as to why you are’t sharing this with your own partner.

11) Arranging to meet in a different scenario:

A friendship normally starts in a particular social setting, e.g. with friends or at work.  So it’s a sign that there is a change in the air if you arrange to meet elsewhere for example coffee outside of work or lunch without your partners.

12) Fancying them:

If you ‘would do them’ as a male mate of mine used to say, then I can pretty much be sure that your partner won’t approve of the friendship.

13) They have a history of affairs:

If this person has a history of having affairs with other people, then a big red flag is waving at you!

14) You already have a history with them:

If they are an ex, then they could easily become a ‘present’!

15) You are tempted to keep it secret:

If you are tending to keep the conversations and meetings secret for some reason, then you know that internally you think your partner wouldn’t be happy, at which point I direct you back to point 1!

 

I’m all for having friendships of both sexes, because it helps to give us insights into the opposite sex, and because they will give us such a different viewpoint and approach to life.  The key is to make sure that the boundaries are kept in place and that you aren’t naive; you know the saying ‘never say never’.

Of course, it is only inappropriate if you or they are in a relationship, if not, then heh ho!

If you are worried a friendship that you have could be crossing the line, or you are worried about your partner’s friendships, feel free to get in touch or pop a comment below (it can always be anonymous).

If you liked this Problem Corner, then you would definitely be interested in one two years later, where a wife was concerned about the friendship between her husband and a co-worker.

 

 

88 comments

  1. emotional affair???? My husband stays with me but is involved emotionally with another woman. Loves her, desires her. we moved to be close to her. He talks to her everyday, sees her as often as he can and he has told me he is closer to her than any one else including me. She is his best friend. We have been married for 23 years do we have a chance? any comments? yes I am jealous of their relationship but I have not left. Am I the crazy one??? She is also married but has outgrown her husband and will not leave him because she has no children, no parents and he is her touch stone? should I realize it is over? I am so confused

  2. Oh blimey Valorie. This relationship of your husband’s does feel inappropriate due to the upset it’s causing you. I’m a little confused by it all, I’d love to help you more if you’d like to pop me an email, I’ll do an anonymous problem corner post for you – one little comment, just doesn’t seem to do your issue justice.

    In answer to your most important questions – yes of course you have a chance, miraculous things can happen in a relationship and men tend to me very loathe to leave long term partners. I’m not sure that you’ll be able to deal with it all however without the help of a relationship coach or counsellor at some point – you will need to deal with the hurt you see.

    I’ve got a couple of questions though …
    – Has he actually said he fancies her? In which case you have every right to say he can’t see her anymore, because that is outrageous – however, wait until you’ve done what I suggest below.
    – You moved closer to her, are you mad? How long has this been going on? From this I’m assuming that your confidence levels and self-esteem are barely existent. I’ve been that pathetic in my life too, so I do understand how it can happen.
    – The question is – if you were feeling strong, confident and gorgeous would you put up with it?

    The action plan I would give you is …

    Step 1 – Make yourself stronger. If you need tips on doing it, then I really recommend my book – it will get you feeling emotionally stronger, physically better, (there’s currently a free chapter on weight loss too if you need it). Start doing things you enjoy more, and think about your ‘bucket list’. Become more interesting and have an interesting life that doesn’t rely on him.

    Step 2 – Then decide if you really want to stay with someone who is being quite cruel to be honest. Yes, when immersed in a massive infatuation we can all behave bizarrely, but his value is really not what it was.

    Stop worrying about him, lets focus on you for about 3-6 months, then have another look at your relationship.
    Hug hugs to you honey xxxx

  3. I’d like some input on my boyfriends friendship with a female. He does do #4 – VERY inappropriate timing. She often texts him in the middle of the night and I don’t check his messages because I feel it’s an invasion of privacy, but I checked his phone just to see what time it was in the morning and I noticed a text from her at 7am! I didn’t read the text because I do know their conversations remain at a friendship level but I do feel the timing is off. She is a very emotional person, and sometimes he comforts her in a way I find inappropriate, like giving her long hugs. However, he is a very caring person and that’s his nature. I simply find it inappropriate because I know he wouldn’t do that with a guy (guys definitely don’t hug each other without it being considered gay lol).
    Sometimes I have also felt like the frequency of texts are a bit much. He texted her the other day when we were out to eat.
    When I confront him about it, he acts as though I’m overly jealous and untrusting of him.
    This is almost a deal-breaker for me because it’s really hurtful, and I want loyalty from the very beginning.

    1. @Iowagal apologies for not getting back to you sooner. Yes I think that your nose is onto something here. What you need to explain to your boyfriend is that whereas from his perspective he is just being helpful and a bit ‘white nightish’, she is a woman who knows she is overstepping the mark.
      When he feels you are being jealous, you can agree – but it’s also positive because you are showing that you value him, whereas trusting everything without questionning him can turn into devaluing.

      Just explain to him that for women there is a lot more to texting than meets the eye. The quantity of texting, the timing of it, and the speed of returning a text will be giving messages he might not be expecting. He just needs to tone it down a bit and be respectful of time with you.

      Oh and a new rule – NO PHONES WHEN OUT FOR A MEAL ;o)

      Keep in touch lovely

  4. I would love to know what you think of my situation!
    I have been married to a fantastic man for 9 years. We have a very close strong relationship, which was very long distance at the beginning, and can talk about everything. I have absolutely zero doubts that he loves me and I know he is very happy in our relationship. As a big milestone birthday approached I think he started to freak out a bit. He is trying to improve where he feels his life is lacking. ie, eating better, taking up new hobbies and making new friends. We moved to be closer to my family about 6 years ago and he still doesn’t have any real close friends that weren’t mine first or through his work. He recently joined twitter and connected with a bunch of sports nuts friends (like himself) but has become very pally with one girl in particular. This big group all met up and him and her exchanged numbers and they have been texting ever since. Now, he has never attempted to hide anything and even includes me in the conversation. I have read through some of the texts (with his permission) and he does nothing but friendly chat. She however – and here is my issue (i think) – shares everything with him. From arguments with her long term boyfriend, to her time of the month. I have told him that that sort of talk is inappropriate and his response is that he can’t control how much she shares and he always tries to shut down inappropriate talk with closed responses and changing the topic. But she doesn’t get it. It is beginning to wear on me, I have told him it makes me uncomfortable but he takes it as I am jealous (which I am probably one of the least jealous and most secure people he knows) and that I don’t want him to have any friends. Which is completely untrue. But I am seriously worried that this sort of over sharing – even if it is only from her side – will lead to an emotional attachment. One that is going to really screw us up! He has asked me if I want him to stop speaking to her (he also said he would NOT be best pleased) to which I said no, because I am not a controlling person at all. ARGh! I am just at my wits end. How do I get him to understand how dangerous this situation is without cutting him off – and before it’s too late?? Please help!

  5. I should also say that he really does enjoy speaking with her, and does miss her. And this was totally fine with me at first, because I miss my friends – guys and girls. But the amount this girl relies on him is insane. I also want to say that we are meeting up soon and I don’t think he is trying to hide anything. Actually I believe he is trying to totally include me – but I still can shake this anxiety over the situtation! They text throughout the day, and he feels the need to share everything we are doing with her.. God, I don’t know… Part of me knows it is all innocent, but this niggle won’t go away. Please tell me what you thing!

    1. So difficult – the world of women is so different and men don’t often understand our rules about boundaries. I had to explain this to my husband recently – he spoke to someone who is not speaking to me (oh god the drama seriously how ridiculous grown ups can be!). He took this to mean that she was now OK with me. I explained that she will have taken it that he agreed with her!
      Women!
      Over-sharing is not good – she is crossing a line. So what to do ….

      1) MARK YOUR TERRITORY – this can be done really subtly without your other half knowing, but she will know. So if she phones, make sure you pick up the phone. Say hi on twitter, and butt into their conversations in a nice friendly way. Start talking to her separately on twitter – ostensibly putting out an olive branch – but really it’s the ‘keep your friends close and enemies closer’ thing. Make sure that if they meet up you go along, and are full of enthusiasm for meeting his ‘very good friend’.

      2) Watch the time of day of the sharing and that it doesn’t interrupt what you are doing – don’t mention her in particular, but make sure that her messages and tweets are not allowed to interrupt your meals, dates, or be late at night. Just say that it makes you feel unappreciated if social media/phone interrupts your special time together.

      3) Keep in touch with me – you are welcome to message me if it continues. But we might need to come up with a way of explaining to him that I agree with you – in the world of women she is out of order. In the meantime, see if you can see examples of it around you that he might understand like on the TV or with other friends. Or maybe he has a friend that he respects that he might listen to if you do a subtle whisper in their ear. Be gentle on this one – ‘softly softly’.

      1. Me and my boyfriend been together for a year now! Everything been fine! Last year he whent to world championship in ice-hokey, there he met some women just friends but not close, this year he whent again (10day) and the woman also was going with her boyfriend but before the holiday there relationship ended.so my boyfriend and his friends took care of her there so she doesn’t be alone!know they have become very close friends in such a short time! She is texting him”how are you hows work life maby something else but I don’t know! I think she is interested but not sure! He said there friends and nothing more! She also knows were are together but still texting kiss to him! I have talked to him and he understands but he said there friends that it! Even since he is back he is texting different”he noticed also “, but he said he needs time to adjust from all the drinking to come back to realityand then everything should be fine .il say also she lives in Norway and we live in Ireland!and an other thing is I don’t trust noone 100% because of my past relationship were I have been cheated on. I just don’t know if she respect that were together or she is interested in him,he said he’s not that she is pretty but there friends! I don’t know what exactly there texting each other!il also say that we have a big age difference iam 21 and he is 34 but it hasn’t been a problem we understand each other and everything is fine except this situation now. I never met the woman my self so maby that’s an other reason for my feelings! I don’t want to be the jealous girlfriend and tear our relationship apart because of it if there is no reason!

        1. suspicions came true, at least some of it! The woman is interested more or less I think! She asked him to come to Norway in august for a holiday gave him all the details etc, knowing that he has a girlfriend she didn’t even offer to take me with him if he wanted to! so the way I see it is, she doesn’t want me there! Is this true?? Because just a friend would have at least offered him then accepted or not that would be our choice! So I don’t know what to do tell him to stop all contacts or let it be…. I know he is trying to keep it simple texts etc so noone would get hurt! Because he doesn’t want to hurt her also! His is being opened about it when I ask and showing me texts etc! But I am not sure if she consider him just as a friend!

          1. Hello Diamond, sorry I didn’t reply before.
            One of the problems is that men don’t understand the hidden rules that women abide by – it is NOT right that she would invite him and not you on holiday.
            What he needs to understand is that your feelings are more important than hers.
            In the meantime I would like you do work on your confidence and make sure that you are feeling wonderful. If you need help to get rid of old hurts from previous cheaters, then I really recommend you consider a counsellor/therapist/alternative approach – because otherwise we can weirdly attract what we don’t want to happen.
            With him being a bit older than you, please make sure that you don’t rely on him too much or give him too much power in the relationship.

            I hope that these tips help – good luck!

    1. @WorriedToo – let me know wether my tips to @Worried help – if not, come back and I’ll give you some more ideas. Big hugs xxx

  6. My wife has been seeing a male hairdresser for quite a few years now. The short version is this….
    He thinks she is the perfect woman and wishes he could find another ‘her’. He / they flirt. He’s shown her home videos of himself receiving sexual favors from other women. He’s even tried to have her perform sexual favors in exchange for free haircuts on multiple occasions!!!!!

    Please tell me this should stop immediately!!! I tried to discuss this with my wife. It got ugly and she made me feel like the bad guy. Tells me “she’s just like one of the boys” and none of it means anything. She even shares our maratal issueswith him. The problem for me… She won’t stop going there. Says ‘she like how he does her hair’ and that I just need to get over it. I want to confront this pig of a man but she won’t let me himiliate him or her. Out of respect for her, I havent. But, I feel like a useless pathetic weak man for doing so. The part that cuts me to the bone is that I (or our marriage at minimum) isn’t getting priority here. He and her hair are more important. WHAT DO I DO???????

    1. I’m so sorry that it took me a few days to see your comment Michael.

      1) It’s inappropriate for her to have those conversations with him. Yes hairdressers flirt. Yes, we do tend to confide in our hairdressers though. However, once it got to the video stage, and him trying to swap ‘services’, then it was totally out of order and your relationship should come first.

      2) Does she have difficult hair or had really bad problems with her hair in the past? I have, and I have cried many times. I know many women who go to truly awful people to get their haircut out of fear that someone will do something awful. I wish you lived near me – don’t suppose you do? I’d give you a free haircut to get her away from him and show her what a good hairdresser is like.

      3) She also needs a reality check – I know hairdressers, and although many are lovely and truly caring, I can also tell you that many are pretty much like estate agents. If he is talking to her like that, then he is also talking to others like it. Tell her to test it – send someone gorgeous in to flirt with him and see how he reacts. Bet he uses the same line on her.

      In my experience as a hair salon owner and therapist and wife, she is putting her marriage in jeopardy for someone who is probably stringing her a line and just stroking her ego in order to get a regular haircut and tip.

      Please let me know how it goes – if there is no progress, then I will advise you on the next steps 🙁

      1. Thanks so much for your reply. I really mean that. I must add that our marriage is not great. Very busy lives, 2 kids with a million needs etc. We argue like a lot of couples (unfortunately). My biggest prob is that I didn’t come first. This has been the biggest eye opener for me. Rather than looking to blame her Ive been investing a lot of time trying to understand all my shortfalls as a husband so I can be the best husband I can possibly be. I love my wife more than anything so I’m now put my heart and soul into our marriage more than ever before. If the effort is returned, then happy days ahead. If not, I can’t cope living in these conditions. I need my partner to have my back, not push me to the back. I’m turning 40 tomorrow (24 Oct) and I’m not sure if this is contributing to my mood but I’m not in a a good place. I just need to get through tomorrow for my children. After that I need to pour my heart out before I explode. I love her with all my heart and always will but I can’t live like this any longer. Stay tuned! And thank you for hearing me.

        1. Michael my heart goes out to you – I think that your strategy is a great one, as she is clearly feeling as though she is lacking in attention – which is what her hairdresser is taking advantage of.

          There is a lovely quote going around on Facebook at the moment attributed to Brad Pitt about his wife Angelina (but is fake), that is very lovely: http://www.buzzfeed.com/katienotopoulos/how-a-fake-brad-pitt-love-letter-went-viral

          I’m not a big fan of counselling, but it’s sometimes good to talk things out with a third party. The other thing I really recommend is to get a baby sitter during the day and go out for coffee – never chat at home, always go out – it’s much easier.

          Good luck xx

  7. I really thought this was a very good post. My wife of 10 years has always been more inclined to having male friends over female friends. I’ve known this since day one of course…and yes I’ve had some issues with it but it has never bothered me to the point of thinking the friendship was inappropriate. That was until recently. She has been in contact with a friend from grade school that she knew all the way through college…but I’ve never heard his name before. They’ve been texting and talking over the phone, seeing how he doesn’t live in our city, but the frequency and the time of the texting and phone calls is really bothering me. I’ve voiced my concerns and been met with a stone wall defensive wife. I might add that have made some stupid mistakes in the past that makes my point seem invalid. But i feel that I heard my wife and learned from my mistakes. I feel like my wife is not taking into consideration that what she is doing is very disrespectful to me and our relationship. I’ve always believed in the saying that “you never let another man call her baby” and well that’s whats happening. Is it inappropriate for friends to be exchanging “I love you”‘s? Am I over reacting or do my geeling have some justification here.

    1. @Frederick, apologies for not getting back to you straight away. Hmm, there are a couple of worries here …
      1) Old friends from school do seem to be more of a challenge than others – it’s the whole ‘reliving our youth’ thing that we go through sometimes. So yes, I do think this is more worrying than her usual pattern
      2) When you said you’ve made some ‘stupid mistakes’ – if she hasn’t gotten her head around what you did, then it is human behaviour for her to repeat your mistakes in order for her to understand how these things can happen, even to ‘nice’ people. Did you get help after your ‘mistakes’? You might need to think about how understanding you will be if your wife makes the same mistakes that you did 🙁

  8. My boyfriend had become emotionally detached from me. In fact he said aloud at a party, after a boorish woman said “he doesn’t love you” and when I then, probably foolishly asked “do you love me?” “No. Not as a girlfriend.” So, fine. I’m a grownup. We had invested 4 years together, but I moved on. Met others. Began to date. I had one date with a man whom I knew on that first date that I would be physically and fiscally incompatible with, but with whom I shared a pleasurable friendship. We talk about books, movies, what we are doing (He has a curiosity about my job which he sees as noble, and I about his job which I see as lucrative). Then I got scary news. Needed immediate surgery. My ex-boyfriend said he was wrong, he did love me, he wanted to help me through this trying time. He wouldn’t agree to meet my new friend until I said I would give the prior relationship another chance.

    Now we are in a committed monogamous relationship but my new friend texts me every day with kind messages of encouragement or inquiry, asking how I am recovering, how the first week back to work was, etc. My boyfriend is now furiously jealous and says with great sarcasm “How’s (Let’s say Joe)?” I am not married to the boyfriend. He once said he would like to marry me, but never managed to propose and after four years together, told me quite frankly that he had no intention of marrying anyone after his last wife’s death.

    I offered a compromise to him by saying that I would never lock my phone nor text anything to “Joe” that I would not text right in front of him. He responded that the fact that I have daily contact with this person (however briefly) makes him feel he does not have my complete attention. I said I would never text anyone while on dates with him, would leave my phone unlocked, and that he could see my texts at any time. (Something I cannot do with his phone nor his computer as they are locked due to his job.) I don’t know how to handle this. I am at a loss. The man who broke my heart but whom I am giving a second chance is telling me this friendship makes him uncomfortable because the fellow in question is a kind friend to me. Admittedly, the friend makes more money and is 6 years younger than I am but dates other people. I have even set him up on double dates as I went with my BF in order to help them develop a relationship. They have had cordial texts, but there is no friendship there.

    My stepmother (only surviving parent) said I have to choose the friendship or the boyfriend and could not have both. Further, that I should not have friendships with people of the opposite gender. Am I missing something? I think if I am respectful, attentive, focus on my partner and hide nothing that a friendship with “Joe” should be okay and that the partner (who was emotionally uncommitted at best and cold at worst) is being controlling. Any advice? I am struggling with my best course of action.

  9. Hi Debbie
    How ironic that this post is about the fact that sometimes a relationship with the opposite sex can be dodgy – but it certainly doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t have any friendships with men!
    Marriage isn’t everything and it’s not a ‘forever promise’ either – but as Beyonce says ‘Put a ring on it’ – i.e. if he’s not willing to consider forever, then he can’t actually expect you to be 100% committed to him. He sounds like he has some serious issues, and maybe for good reason – but remember that’s not your baggage and it’s his choice to not deal with it.
    ‘Complete attention’ is worrying. It’s not what I would call a healthy relationship – sounds like he would like you a bit co-dependent. Watch out for the fact that he may have been attracted to you getting ill, and would like you (in a weird subconscious way) to stay more vulnerable. No one should deserve or need complete attention.
    You are being honest, open and have clear boundaries on when you keep in touch with this guy – there is nothing wrong in that. I can see why he would feel nervous of your closeness – things could change, and they often do – but it’s his job to remain attractive to you so that they don’t change!
    Another red flag is that he became distant to you and is now jealous and suspicious – I suspect that he either cheated on you or considered it just before your last break – you might want to subtly investigate that.

    So, in answer to your question – a relationship might be more important than a friendship – but would someone who really loved you, want you to stop having a friend during a time of stress, when the friendship wouldn’t damage a healthy relationship?
    And which is most likely to last – the friendship or the relationship?

    I’d chat with one of your friends who knows you both well, and isn’t too biased in either direction and see what comes out of your cups of tea or a glass of wine.
    Good luck hun and let me know what you decide and how it goes. x

  10. Thank you for your thoughtful and well written response. I feel some of my own concerns validated. Definitely you have given me a lot of food for thought.

  11. I have been in a relationship with a guy for 18 months. He formerly was in an 18 month relationship with the Aunt (let’s call her A) of his daughter in law. They lived together but never saw each other to be more than “stepping stones” during transitions in each of their lives. No proclamations of love or future together. He became ‘friends” with her sister (T) and husband and his would be MIL. He and her family visited face to face 8 – 10 times during this time frame. Anyway, these people took to him like shit to a wool blanket. All through my time with him I have had to tolerate his x gf (A) texting her undying love and flattery and gee we should make a go of it etc. Working very, very hard to get him back. He went behind my back at one point with the messages. He says he felt so guilty for passing on her in favor of me that he “responded to her text be kind and not rude” I said it’s not kind, as you are stringing her along like as if there’s hope for her and you. And you are enjoying her attention. The mother wanted them back together and she text him on occasion relating that message. The sister (T) claimed she wanted him as a friend no matter who he was with. Although she treated me like crap and snubbed me in front of my BF and family. My BF continues to befriend T and claims it’s the husband he’s friends with but they rarely talk it’s all about T. She has sent remarks that are questionable. “I’m feeling down today, I need you to cheer me up” He said watch a funny movie she responds “it’s not the same without you.” OMG
    The would be MIL says don’t ever quit texting T as she needs your humor. Really? like it’s his responsibility to buoy her spirits. He has finally quit with the X after countless blow-ups with me about it and even several upsets with her. So as of this last month it’s been quiet from her. But now it’s the sister that continues to push into his life. I am fed up to the hilt with this and am tired of hearing they’re just friends and they are family (not in my books, they are his DIL’s family) He knows I don’t want him to be buddy buddy with this woman, or the x MIL or definitely not the x Yet he values their friendship and indicates he will always rub shoulders with them because of the DIL. I find it disrespectful and totally inappropriate and honestly can’t believe these people don’t know to back the heck up and let him have a life with his new woman and her family and friends. I am sick to death of explaining myself and the reasons why this isn’t “right” and tired of being made out to be mean, a control freak, a green eyed monster, judgmental, critical etc, etc. He has bragged me to them until he’s blue in the face and that means nothing to me or them. They are against me because I’m not the sister which would obviously have strengthened their foothold with him. Please tell me I’m seeing this correctly! What’s with another man’s wife texting with a guy and joking and teasing and being rude to the point of pretending I don’t exist. She sent a Christmas card to just him from her family while everyone else we know put both our names on the card. In her books I don’t exist. She never mentions me unless it’s to probe for my whereabouts. He plays it off as she’s the social rep for her household and that’s why she text him not the hubby. She has a pet name for him and likes to tease him. Tries to engage him in the same behavior. I have managed to put a stop to him teasing and joking with her and he doesn’t initiate contact she does but he always responds quickly and with great friendliness. Totally disrespectful in my mind and I’ve had enough. Your thoughts?

    1. It sounds like your BF has issues with prioritising the people in your life. You will probably find that this will happen in other places as well – where he makes a decision, knowing he can push his relationship with you more, and therefore putting other people first.

      Now I don’t think that we should always come first in our relationships – personally I would find that suffocating and co-dependant. But there are times when we need to rebalance our partner’s priorities.

      You feel really angry about this – I wonder wether they are coming across as much more reasonable and are therefore getting a better result with him. I recommend reading my blog post called ‘Teaching people how to treat you’ and take a different tack with him e.g. ‘I feel hurt, and that my feelings are not as important as other peoples when you refuse to be clear on how you feel about me with these people. If you don’t start to stand up for me, I will assume that I’m not as important, which will affect our relationship’. No use of ‘you’ in the explanation of how you feel, no attacks or accusations and no ‘if you don’t sort this out I’ll leave you’ kind of comment.

      Let me know how you do.

      1. I would say you nailed it! Thank-you for your input. I’ve been handling it poorly. My response to these “intrusions” as I see them, hasn’t done me any favors.I will head your advice and strive to take the higher ground.

  12. I loved your post!

    I wish my boyfriend actually read it. We have been together for over 10 years when he had to move to another state for required work related reasons. It is a two to four year move. We are having issues before the move with trust as far as me, control and respect with him. It began after we had our child together and slowly things creeped up on us.

    I believe he was looking for some self worth and was having self-esteem issues. He was yearning for the attention of other women to know that he was still attractive. I had a boundary that was okay to flirt as long as he never called, was not open about it and didn’t protrayed that it was more than validating he was still attractive to others. I came to his place of business, knew many of his co-workers. I didn’t want it to be where people thought he was cheating on me more that it was innocent flirting. Boy, did I set myself up.

    There were little things that I caught that made me very uncomfortable. I called him out on it which didn’t go well. As far as I could tell. He never did call anyone but he made it seem as though he was to a co-worker. He talked about being jealous when a co-worker sent a innocent picture of a girl he was messing with. I found these things very disrespectful. He claims it was “man talk”.

    This was the breaking point for me and him. When his move approach he basically thought it was best that I stayed behind since we have a house, our child was going to begin school, our mothers had moved to the states where we currently live and would need to live with us again before getting settled down. He also thought it was a great opportunity for us to work on ourselves and build on a relationship. The plan was to see how progressed before making any other moves.

    Three months into it, and I found him talking to another female coworker for five hours in the middle of the night. It was the first time the the number really appeared on the phone records. I confronted him. He claims it was innocent and I did not give him an opportunity to even tell him about it. He told me to call her. I did. She initially told me I need to speak to him but after telling her he gave me permission she did speak to me. It was very brief. I asked some simple basic questions. She claimed nothing occurred, but she was unaware that he had a girlfriend. This was a trigger because that has happened in the past when he crossed the “do not call boundary”. Because of the constant checking up in questioning him, he broke things off.

    I question whether it was said in anger or not and he stated he wasn’t sure. I explained to him that I found it inappropriate and was uncomfortable with the situation. He explained how needed it for him. It was just a friendly conversation and that he hasn’t been able to connect with others out there. In the past, he has not had a lot of female friendship, but through this job has been able to acquire some. It is true that even with the ones he has aquired I have question those as well and became comfortable with them. He claims that the same way. The difference is I’m not there and so there are more text messages and conversations that were taking place that normally wouldn’t.

    Because he assured me that they did not talk often and “it wasn’t like that” I set up a new boundaries asking they’re not be late conversations whether its text or by phone. The joke was on me. The conversations quickly became more frequent and he did not make me aware of it. When I would ask him if they talk he would downplay it or simply lie because of my reactions.

    For four months I pushed the value of our relationship where he pushed he needed this friendship to build himself back up. He continuously stated it was nothing more and that they never hung out. There are several other factors which made me uncomfortable with the situation. He lied and told me he didn’t tell her we broke up but after three or four weeks he informed me that he did. He claims I was the one that brought her into our business. Also, because of the constant arguing over the phone conversations with her, he gave her his house phone number. It is something that I did not even know he had until two weeks before her. It was set up just for emergency reasons and he did give me the account information to check. He never verbally gave me the number and I have his child.

    He claims I am only focusing on her and not on the bigger picture of our issues. I have no idea how else to get it through to him that the situation with her is my issue. It has now been almost 11 months and we’ve occasionally speak on our relationship but at the same conversation and we make no progress. He has continued his friendship with her. He claims it is the same and the conversation have died down (with occasional peaks).

    About 3 weeks ago I sent him a letter saying I was done. The conversations again started to become more obvious since they were in a position where the conversation needed to take place on his cell phone. It did carry on afterwards too but I question how often on his house phone. He changed his password a few weeks after the situation began. It wasn’t intentional. I am sure of it, but he hasn’t been willing to give it to me since then because he’s claimed it would not be helpful to our situation.

    She is a young college kid while he is in mid to late thirties. I don’t understand the relationship. I ask what they have in common. He says it is just a good conversation. They laugh and joke. I tell him it pains me when they are laughing and joking when he tells me he’s going to bed.

    I don’t think I can recover this relationship. I feel he has chosen this friendship over our relationship and that he values it more. Regardless of what he needs he should think of the bigger picture of our family and us.

    1. @Anonymous – I’m sorry it took me a while to reply, I wasn’t well. I’m also really sorry but I don’t have anything positive to say about this guy. I’m afraid that some guys are good sperm donors, some good dads, and some good partners. I’m hoping that yours is a good Dad and will continue to support you and have a relationship with his child. But this isn’t going to work.

      With the distance, his behaviour had to be beyond perfect to keep him from straying – there is no way that his behaviour is right. Yes, you might have relationship and personal issues – and don’t ignore them because he is a prat. But that doesn’t give someone the right to be immature, unfaithful and disloyal.

      As a father it should be clear to anyone who meets him that he has a child – and therefore a girlfriend. It shouldn’t be something that people don’t know within the first hour of meeting him.

      Good luck to you hun, and I hope that you can focus on enjoying being a mum, and clearing any baggage that he has left in your psyche. xx

  13. I have similar issues.
    My wife and I were at a live music show a couple years back and a guy we know was grinding all over her….when she saw that I was looking, she got away from him, but before she saw me looking she didn’t seem to mind it happenening at all.
    She denied it even happening at first, but eventually later acknowledged what was going on.
    This nearly ended our marriage.
    She apologized and admitted it was innappropriate and that she shouldn’t have allowed it to happen.
    When we see this guy at clubs he still comes in for a bear hug and she doesn’t understand why this bothers me?
    She asked, am I supposed to act like a Bitch to him?
    Please tell me if I’m being over the top here or not? How should I take her reactions and thinking? This behavior makes it difficult to trust her!

    1. It’s not that you shouldn’t trust her, it’s that her priorities & boundaries are wrong. Yes she should be a polite bitch to him – explain that having been inappropriate with him previously they now need to keep their distance. Better to hurt his feelings than yours.
      To be fair, the grinding probably meant nothing. But it was disrespectful & avoiding flirting stops us getting into potential problematic situations.

  14. My husband and I have been married nearly 18 years – mostly quite happy, we’ve had a rough patch here and there (communication issues, no known infidelity). I found a note about another woman named Monica that talked about an argument they had, her not wanting to forgive him or see him anymore, and him apologizing.

    This blindsided me! I don’t know if this is an emotional affair and/or sexual one. Who is this woman? Where did he meet her? There is a Monica at his work and our families are friends though he is closer to Monica than I am because he sees her more often. He’s always shared what is going on in her life and with her husband, kids, etc. Monica is older than him though by 10-12 years and appears to be happily married. Could this be the same Monica in the note I found? At first I couldn’t imagine them together – age difference, she’s not his physical type, married. The more and more I think about it I can though.

    I haven’t confronted him, I want to be certain. I’ve started looking for signs, and have found them. He keeps his phone with him all the time now, he’s started losing weight (he said for health reasons), he’s not as affectionate with me outside the home, he doesn’t say he loves me as much, yet he’s been VERY generous with gifts (guilt?). I can’t say this is conclusive evidence as we’ve had communication issues in the past – he doesn’t share much about work, friends, etc. so I don’t want to jump to conclusions.

    I do plan to confront him and to leave because the content of that note was inappropriate for a married man. If he’s emotionally invested with another woman to the point that they are arguing and he’s asking for forgiveness, and apologizing there is something inappropriate going on! I want to know conclusively who Monica is.

    This will devastate our families, but I can’t be with someone I do not trust.

    1. Hello Hurt,
      I’m sorry it took me a while to reply to you. I’m afraid it’s very likely that it is that Monika and that it is a full blown affair. It’s often surprising about things like age, and how happy they appear. I’m very sorry for your pain.
      Although yes, this is likely the end of your marriage, I recommend that you suggest counselling when you confront him – if he asks to try and make it work. It might not resolve the marriage, but it will enable you to gain some understanding and to get out your hurt and pain before the divorce proceedings – don’t let the lawyers gain from the problem! Whatever he says, an affair is never a suitable response to a problem in a relationship – but atleast you will understand this thought processes, why it happened and if there is a reason to stay.
      Sending you big hugs in the time ahead, please feel free to comment again if you need help, I’ll try to be faster in my reply.

  15. Thank you for your response. I did confront him. This Monika is the woman he works with. He is adamant that it never became a physical affair and that he is not enamored with her. According to him, it was a friendship, someone he could talk to because he needed a friend, a person to get advice from. Let’s say I believe that this was not a physical affair and he does not have feelings for her. He still had an emotional affair – he made a connection with someone else which took away from our relationship. He should have come to me, spent the time and effort talking to me about his worries, looking to me for input/advice. When I asked him why he couldn’t come to me all he says is he doesn’t know. No matter how many times we’ve talked about it he won’t move beyond the “I don’t know” response. I also found that this relationship has been going on since late 2012! Their relationship also is one where they argue, she gets upset, he apologizes, and they resume their friendship. This “I’m-mad-chase-me” relationship is all highly inappropriate for a married man to engage in with another woman. I do not trust him and don’t believe anything he says anymore.

    What is also equally hurtful is that he isn’t trying to fix our marriage. He says sorry, but his actions say otherwise. He actually became even more secretive by changing passwords, is unwilling to clarify or explain himself, etc. I’ve talked to him about his actions showing me the opposite of his words and he’ll say tell me I’m right, but won’t make any changes or amends! I feel he doesn’t want to fight for our marriage. I tell him I’m not sure if and when one of us will have to leave, and he is unresponsive. I’m so broken hearted especially for our children. I feel (and fear) that if I stand my ground and tell him he needs to leave unless he’s willing to change that we’ll never work on/fix our relationship because his actions show me that he’s unmotivated. If he was proactive and showed remorse I would be willing to work on reconciliation. His actions post confrontation are as hurtful as the emotional affair (or possible physical affair).

    He has pursued her for years (their little I’m mad, I’m sorry, let’s make up cycle), but won’t do the same for me?

    1. Hi Hurt
      Ok, so having a friend I totally understand – and yes, he should definitely be allowed one of them. What he needs to understand is that there are ‘rules’ that women work to, that are maybe different for men – and this woman is breaking that rule and she will know it. If it was just a simple friendship that would be fine, but it’s not – there is a weird element to it.

      So you have a couple of options I’m afraid …
      – Keep vaguely threatening about it, but really not sticking to your guns, and hope that it will sort itself out. Now a generation ago it probably would have done. But now, this is eventually going to be a dangerous option. The middle road option would be to have a long hard look at yourself and get yourself emotionally and physically stronger. Make your life a happy one and then see how you feel.

      – Demand that he goes to counselling – I’m not a big fan of it, but it would be a safe place to get all the hurt and pain out, and they would be unlikely to let him continue to say he is sorry, but do nothing.

      – Put your foot down. Ask for a separation – very risky, but the reality of what he would then lose might help sort his priorities out. Or it won’t. And that would be your risk. In my experience, this option would often work relatively early on, but if it’s been years of him being like this I’m not so sure.

      Whatever you choose to do, I hope that you’ll look to your health and happiness and focus on that first. Maybe he’ll come round when he sees you so happy.

      Feel free to keep in touch x

  16. Almost a year ago to the day I was away on business. I couldn’t get my text messages to work, called Verizon and they said I could access on my laptop. The first thing I see is my fiancé texting another woman while he is texting me that he misses me and wants me home! I was stunned. I kept watching the screen as they made plans for her to bring her car over to OUR home so he could look at it. I immediately texted him, I miss you too, I think I might be able to come home early. The first thing he did was text her saying “She’s coming back early, will have to figure something else out”. Then he texts me “yay”.

    The texts went back quite some time. He told her intimate details of our life, he said horrid things about me. He told her problems in his life that he had not shared with me. I felt so violated and betrayed.
    I confronted him when I got home. First thing he did was call me names and said he didn’t want anything to do with me and wouldn’t tolerate my spying. I left immediately. Over the next few days, he contacted me and I came back home. He said he’d never talk to her again, and he did it because he was feeling down and just needed to talk to someone. There was no physical relationship and I do believe that.

    Well, guess what? It stopped for maybe 2 days and then I suspect it just got worse. He passcoded and password protected everything and keeps his phone in hand 24/7. I suspect he FB messages her nearly every morning from like 7:20 to 7:45. I can see them both on the same time, same duration. She is his top FB contact and that is a FB generated list based on frequency, he can’t disguise or hide that. Sometimes she will “like” everything on his page going back months, so I know she is still there, in his life. But I don’t know more than that. He constantly hides his screen from my view and that alone is probable cause.

    We have fought about this several times over the past year, and he just gets angry at me for “spying”. If his iPad or laptop acts up, it’s because I installed spyware…Well, I don’t spy. I cannot. My anger / hurt would get the better of me if I had proof and not speculation. I would just leave and maybe unjustifiably so. But the speculation and his behavior are eating away at me. Funny thing, after we fight, I can see them both on at the same time and same duration. He says he is allowed friends and I agree, but not this type. I think it is a control issue on some level. He doesn’t want to give her up because then I win. He doesn’t get it that it is not about me winning, it is about us and our life together, about us winning. I have to do something because I cannot live like this.

    I am scared to confront him because it will be ugly under any circumstances. I am afraid this is the end. The only thing that will allow me to move past this is he must see and understand 100% that this is disrespectful to me and to us. He has to see that she seriously is pursuing him, even if he doesn’t want a “real” relationship with her as he claims. Those texts from her were not simply friendship, she was making advances. Comments like come run away with me and lets start a new business together, when he texted he was dissatisfied with his job. She sent him a photo of her crotch with the caption ‘I don’t understand why a guy would stare, do you?” She sent several photos of herself and her breasts, thankfully clothed but with proactive captions like “I need a man’s opinion, do you think I am too small?”

    I cannot accept half measures, she needs blocked, from his phone, his Facebook, his life. If he feels he owes her an explanation it needs to be along the lines “I realize our relationship has become inappropriate and I may have led you to believe I wanted more from you than I did. I just needed to vent from time to time but this is not the way. It is hurtful and disrespectful to Gina. I want nothing more to do with you and I ask that you respect my wishes.” I know that last line is rather mean spirited but I need that.

    I have tried to talk to him but as soon as he recognizes the topic he jumps in with I am spying on him, I am trying to control him, and I am jealous and then the kicker, I am just like his Ex. He would rather be mean to me than appear to be mean to someone else.

    Do I try to talk again, do I write a letter, and how do I get someone to understand how this makes me feel? We have some issues and he has yet to understand they are all related to this. I know something needs to be done, because it cannot continue like this, but what? I will have one chance to do it, I think.

  17. Hi Gina,

    Wow, this has been a hard time for you.

    So yes, we often bitch about our partners behind their backs. The thing is, imho it should be to someone of the same sex, and the way he was keeping it secret and pretending to you is VERY dodgy. I suspect that he is exaggerating the problems in your relationship so that she will give him lots of sympathy and stroke his ego – but he doesn’t actually want to leave. He wants his cake and eat it.

    The difference is that she has made it very clear what she wants. Under no circumstances is it OK to stay in touch with a woman who sends a picture of her crotch. End of. I’m sorry hun, but you need to work on your self respect and self love, because this is definitely not right.

    I appreciate that controlling etc is unpleasant, however he needs to understand why you feel like that and work towards you trusting him again and eventually stopping worrying.

    My advice is similar to that to ‘Hurt’ …

    – Put up with it and hope it goes away, but I think that is a miserable option. If you want to do it for a while and work on improving your emotional, mental and physical health, then that’s an idea

    – Ask to go to a counsellor, who will be able to make him feel ‘heard’ about the controlling stuff, but explain to him how wrong and hurtful he has been.

    – Put your foot down – her or you – and if he demands to stay in touch with her ask for a separation. Then when he wants to come back, the rules are yours. Don’t let him back in unless he has sorted himself out.

    I really feel for you lovely, but I think that you deserve better, even if that is to be alone.

    Feel free to update us here, I’m sorry I can’t always reply quickly, but I will try.

  18. Am I going crazy?

    My husband and I have been together 14 years. He started working away 18 months ago and I have never felt insecure until recently. One of his good friends got moved onto another job and I understand my husband has probably been feeling like he has no good friends where hes working. Our marriage is not great were not really close and always so busy and tired to have time for each other. Im at uni with 3 children to look after.

    A few months ago I started noticing little changes which have built up in my mind over time. He’s not phoning me so much, not letting me know if hes eating out or at the hotel, growing a beard (which he knows im not keen on but haven’t said too much), asking me how he looks.

    He keeps talking more and more about a girl colleague who’s 10 years younger than him. At first I was happy he was being honest and open and I knew he was having a hard time with his good friend leaving. Last week I found out they have been dining together away from the rest of the group. The explanation was she didn’t want to eat at Nandos so he went with her to another restaurant. I told him I was uncomfortable with this and he got defensive. This sparked something in me and I confronted him to say I am not happy they text occasional messages on a weekend during his family time and I don’t like him eating alone with her. I said I don’t mind them being friends but there should be boundaries between a young single woman and a married man.

    Iv been told im living in the dark ages and that his behavior is quite acceptable? Is it me who has a problem?

    He told me he wouldn’t text her on weekends and on the weekend he got real funny with his phone when I asked him to send me a picture he had taken of our dogs. He hid the screen from my view. That night I checked his phone because for the first time I felt I had a real reason to doubt. There was an innocent message with a picture of an e-cig shed just got. So I confronted him Sunday morning and he got all defensive again. I decided to look through his computer when he took the kids swimming. Not much on it apart from in the recycling bin was a bunch of deleted selfies, a few pictures of her from work meals and a deleted Johnny cash album (hes into more dance music). These had all been deleted after I had confronted him. I quizzed him and told him id seen everything but I wanted him to tell me what I had seen. He reluctantly admitted to photographs after initially denying it then admitted to deleting text messages (which he didnt realise I knew nothing about)

    Am I being paranoid or do I have cause for concern. I want to trust my husband and I did up to the point where he kept the message and deleted items from me.

    Where do I go from here?

  19. Hi confused. No you are not going crazy hun, however, I don’t think it’s too late. I know you say you aren’t that close. The question is has this made you realise you want to fight to keep him, or go through the trauma & pain of divorce for a fresh start? Either answer is OK. But if you want to fight for him, then start making time for him, go out for meals at the weekend, talk to him more to replace the friend that left, and compliment him. Basically mark and protect your territory if you want to keep it.

  20. If I try to work harder on my marriage is it acceptable to ask him to stop going for meals alone with her and texting her on weekends. Will I be seen as a controlling wife and push him more towards her. He feels his behavior is totally acceptable.

    1. I feel like he probably has not done anything with her only I worry the more time he spends with her could it lead to something. Thats why I feel uncomfortable him dining alone with her and the weekend texts.

      1. Yes I feel that you are right too – but that you are very sensible to have picked up the warning signs early.

        Explain to him that whilst he might not be meaning anything by it, according to the way/rules that women work by, she should know better.

        It’s not appropriate and he is going to put himself into a compromising position. All he needs is to be feeling a little under appreciated by you after an argument, or a little drunk and he could ruin everything and cost himself a hell of a lot of money.
        Tell him that if he really feels you are being over controlling you are happy to go for couples counselling WITH him to assess it and get an outside perspective.

  21. This may seem like a petty issue, but long story short, my husband works for a money delivery service. He visits the same stops every week and has come to know these people. Today being st Patrick’s day, a group of ladies at the bank asked him where his green was. He replied that he was wearing green underwear. He said one girl said really? And he went on to say no, not really, I’m not wearing any. I realize this is probably not a big deal to him and maybe not to them. But the fact that he can say that sort of thing and be fine with it to me is wrong. This means his relationships are not professional and going back to how would you feel…I’m sure he would not approve if he knew I told a group of men I wasn’t wearing any underwear. Although I know it’s silly, I can’t help being bothered by this.

    1. Hi Sandy, I’m sorry I just realised that my reply to you didn’t post. Hmm, men are slightly different about not wearing underwear – it’s more of a comfort thing, than the sexual connotations when women do it. Men also need to continue to feel attractive to other women. Maybe be a little more playful with him sometimes and send him funny/naughty texts – just make sure that you are more interesting than a bunch of silly women. Let me know if there have been any other incidences, but I think you will be alright.

  22. my husband is closer to his office manager than me. it makes sense. he’s with her all day & its just them in the office. he is her boss so she does what he says without argument or questions. he takes her to lunch for “office meetings”.
    recently, her & her husband were having some infidelity issues. she cried on my husband’s shoulder. i guess her & her spouse made up cuz they put in an offer on the house for sale right next to ours a couple weeks ago. i was nervous until i found out yesterday that the offer was rejected & they were looking elsewhere. whew! he didn’t understand why i thought it would be awkward! i think he thinks i make too much of things so he doesn’t bring her up anymore like he used to.
    thing is, his relationship with me is strained at best. he doesn’t want to spend time with me or talk to me about anything but kids & house stuff. when i cried on his shoulder 2 nights ago about feeling like a failure as a wife, he said nothing. it was as if he was nodding in agreement.
    this whole relationship is inappropriate & dysfunctional, isn’t it??

    1. 1) working lunches are ok
      2) my girls would come to me for advice, but crying on you bosses shoulder is a little odd. He needs to remember to keep his distance as he is the boss, otherwise the lines will be blurred.
      3) living next door would be plain wrong. It crosses the work-friend boundary which would make it very difficult. I remember a friend getting upset when a friend wanted to move next to here – it shows a lack of boundaries.

      I recommend that you chat to him about things you can do together you both enjoy. Get a baby sitter once a month and do something fun. Try to separate your relationship from his work relationship with him. Just focus on yourself. Why would you feel a failure? You probably aren’t, as normally that just means we have unrealistic expectations of ourselves. But maybe you do need to focus more on yourself and becoming a ‘person’ again, not just a wife and mum.

  23. My boyfriend of five years has been having an emotional affair for who knows how long now. When I first found her (much older supervisor) texts I dumped him. He of course came groveling back, we attempted counseling, I confronted them both (she promised to stop texting and calling, he promised to distance himself). Here we are a year later, I have come to find out he’s just been deleting all the calls and texts. He even calls her when on vacation! They speak once or twice a week.i have not confronted him about what I have found. But recently he went out and got drunk with her and her husband (so he says), afterwards he begged and pleaded, bought flowers , promised he understood this time and wouldn’t hang out with her again. I am giving him a month ( I can now access his phone logs), if I see one call I am leaving. What bothers me is he doesn’t seem to think it’s wrong, he truly seems to believe they are just friends and nothing has happened. I beg to differ, I even sent him this article. Who knows what will come of it. And maybe I’m a fool for giving him one last shot! Any suggestions?

    1. Sorry to hear you are going through this and I too have been in this position, I have given my guy too many chances but I am at the end of my rope any other nonsense he decides I am cutting ties, my advice to you, you have to do whats best for you at the end of the day the only person you have to answer too, is you.

      My guy didnt get it at first either, my opinion you shouldnt be sharing wife or girlfriend stuff with another women because then you are opening yourself emotionally to another women that sends a signal to that women that I am emotional available to you, other guy friends are the ones you should be discussing it with even a female family member is fine but not a friend thats a girl, too many romantic feeling can develop from that.

      As well bottom line for me is, if your spouse has a secret friendship or has made friends with someone your not comfortable about and you confront your spouse with your feelings, your spouses security in the relatonship rises above that friendship, if my spouse says listen that guy just crosses me the wrong way with you and I dont like how he interacts with you I think he is after something more, I would no longer intiate a friendship with this person nor would I any longer intitate a conversation, bottom line if your spouse is uncomfortable with it, you pushed that a side and say my partner is more important, my friendship with my spouse is more important.

      Being emotional with the oppsoite sex is cause for an affair giving to the oppsite sex those emotions and friendship takes away from your own relationship.

      My final words are my own experience, my guy had a secret friendship with another women 2 actually I found about the one who sent dirty pictures to him what I didnt realize was there was 2 women he was having secret friendship with, dealt with the first one and then realized the second one, I believed it was a friendship with the 2nd one but I didnt understand the secret so that told me he wanted something more as she was willing to have a conversation with me about it to tell me she was happily married with 2 kids just wanted to reconnect with an old high school friend, her husband was aware of the texting …still I didnt understand the need for a secret on his part, then he said to me one day that he lacks friendship with me, wow that hurt and it hurt cause I didnt feel the same way about him, I was blind sided with that one, however my response was, do you think maybe the reason you lack friendship with me is because you are giving to another women.

      Needless to say we are still working on our relationship its not solved because I said simple words to him, we are learning to be a couple again, learning to be a couple again after 12 years, I havent forgotten what he has done and I havent forgived him yet because I did understand why he needed a friend we where in a bad place, since I have become insecure and jealous and I really hate that about myself but I asked him to help me with that and he is and he has so much patience with me when I have bad moments, he is trying and I feel that.

      Your answer needs to come with in, so many people judged me about the 2nd girl and still staying but the reality is he is still here, he comes home every night to me and I feel this is where he wants to be.
      You have to be at peace at the end of the night, you are the only one that can make you happy.
      If it isnt meant to be, it will hurt a little yes however down the line youll know you made the right choice one wayor another and its usually all for the better

      I wish you happiness and peace

      1. Aww Lala, so kind of you to share your experience.
        Yes, you highlight something really important – it’s not the mistakes they make that matter, it’s how they then treat you afterwards. I hope that things continue to improve for you and your partner, as it sounds as though he is trying to understand and be supportive.
        Don’t take notice of people judging you – I know women who stayed after much, much, much worse and have carved out a good relationship with their partner.
        x

    2. Hi Cookie,
      What I actually dislike about this situation is that the woman was his supervisor – that is inappropriate. If a male boss was texting a female member of staff like this, I would have thought it was an HR issue.
      Also, the other problem is the secretiveness of it.
      He may not understand it is wrong, as there are slightly different code of ethics between women and men – it is definitely crossing the line from a female perspective.
      He needs to focus on spending that time and energy in doing things that build the relationship with her and focus on you – at the end of the day if there is a gap in your relationship and he is putting all the energy into them, then that is detrimental to the relationship.
      good luck hun, let us know what happens.

      1. Thank you for your reply. My boyfriend decided he would cut her off, because “I am more important than she.” We have had several talks about it, and he claims to have thought I was trying to control him the whole time. I find this baffling, but fine. He also claims he stopped hanging out with her because it hurt me, not because he feels he did anything wrong! I am tired of explaining how hurt I was/am and the fact that the relationship was inappropriate, at this point I feel like a pathetic nag. Recently I broke down and checked his phone, where I can tell that he has deleted a text from or to her this month. I don’t know any details or what the text said, all I know is that something was deleted. I don’t know what to do, I broke a promise not to look at the phone anymore, so can I hold his against him? Does he deserve the benefit of the doubt, maybe she texted him and he deleted it just to be done with it?, or something worse? We talk about marriage and children, but I am now truly afraid to take any steps forward. And on your point about this being an HR issue, is it crazy to report her? I feel like I would be a ‘crazy chick’ for doing such a thing, I don’t plan on it, but it is tempting. I know in the end I cannot force him to stop, but I need this to stop before I can move forward with him. Any suggestions or advice is welcome.

        1. Yes it is quite possible for him to find you controlling, when in fact that’s not your intention. My recommendation to you is to spend a little more time on yourself. I would love you to do a little more to boost your confidence and self-esteem – make sure that you are comfortable in your own skin. Marriage etc is best when you know you would be OK without them. Ironically, men can value us more when we are less clingy or reliant as well. Take some time focussing on this before you take the step of marriage – maybe a year?
          What do you not do because of him, or because you are in a relationship that you used to love doing? Are you fit and healthy? Do you see friends (I’m not talking about going out and getting pissed, I’m talking about seeing a mate for a chat or having some silly girly time)? Do you have a hobby that brings joy and fun into your life? How is your career, are you enjoying it? Do you put yourself down – maybe a book on self-talk would help? How is your relationship with your family? Do you have any emotional baggage that you could do with shifting? I recommend the Dalai Lama’s book about Happiness.
          Yes, it would be crazy to report her I’m afraid.

  24. Great advice here, thanks to all who have shared.
    We have been married for 12 years, before that we were high school sweethearts, together for 18 years total. Neither of us had any real relationships prior to each other. Our marriage has not been bad but it hasn’t been great. We have 2 kids and we are a good team, run a successful home, but apparently we have lost our connection. Years of avoiding issues and not communicating have taken their toll.

    Along comes a female coworker, who my husband befriends, as they share a lot of common ground including dealing with anxiety disorders, similar interests, work. He texts and talks with her a lot. Mostly during the day but occasionally at night, mostly when I’ve been out of town. He swears they are just friends, and I believe him. Hopefully I’m not being foolish. He is the type to password protect, delete and encrypt everything, not just surrounding her, but everything. I have always trusted him, never had any reason not to. But of course I worry because of their “common ground” and a vulnerability due to her marital problems and going through a divorce, and our less than perfect marriage. I also worry because he now wonders what it would be like to be with another sexually.

    We are working hard to re establish our emotional and physical connection, and to improve our communication. He says he wants to work on it and wants it to succeed, but he won’t give her up. Because she is just a friend, and because she helps him feel better when he is feeling anxious, depressed, etc, in a way that I can’t, because she can identify with his anxiety.

    One second I think I can live with that, the next second I feel it’s not fair to me. I just don’t know what to think or do. I’d appreciate your thoughts, thank you in advance.

    1. This has emotional affair written all over it. He’s bonding with another woman over very personal discussions related to their shared issues of anxiety or whatever. Relying on one another emotionally is already too close of a relationship for a married person to engage in. This is a precursor to a sexual encounter. Secrecy with phone messages, email, face book etc IMO has no place in a marriage. Transparency is the ticket, if not, then it’s because what’s being said is inappropriate, period.
      I would sit him down and say this friendship with her is concerning you and explain your fears. Be careful not to be accusatory rather just share using I Feel messages. See what he has to say regarding you feeling threatened by his involvement with her.
      Personally I would be very insecure about my man befiending a woman as a close friend-woman really bond with men that ‘talk’ with them.
      All the best with working through this.

      1. I have voiced my concerns. I try to keep it focused on my feelings instead of accusatory. He says he understands how I must feel and how he kinda sees that it’s not fair to me but that he can’t/won’t give it up because it’s harmless and it helps him. He has a lot of mental health issues and I can understand his train of thought since she makes him feel better.

        I am insecure about this, I realize and fear what could develop so easily from this. But what am I to do? He won’t budge and how can I insist on it when it’s something that helps him?

        Can I attempt to embrace it? Supposedly she’d be happy to meet me. Can I insist on looking at the texts and that he talk to her in front of me? What else? He works with her indirectly, sees her about once a week at work. She lives an hour and a half away and he’s always home. I really think I’d have some kind of tip off if he were seeing her, They mostly talk on the phone and text.

        1. I agree with A that this is worrisome, but he probably doesn’t realise that it would just take something little to tip them into make a mistake.
          I would ask him to think about what he shares with her and how they interact – then ask if it would be OK if you had that relationship with a man. Even better, think of someone you know who could be a likely candidate.
          He is being selfish (all humans are though) and worried about messing with his own mental health. So start coming up with ideas that are more interesting and more supportive than her to his mental health – be a little sneaky – say that you totally appreciate his worries about his mental health and you want to come up with more ideas to support him. That you will do it together. Be better than her – make yourself indespensible – then say that you think he should reduce his interaction with her – you will have more bargaining power at that point.
          Keep in touch x

  25. Thanks so much, this was very helpful. I am going through a similar situation right now. My boyfriend and I have been together for nearly 3 years and in this last year a female “friend” from his university that I have never heard of popped up out of the blue. I have tried very hard to be the cool girlfriend about it and I do feel that they are just friends. At least he says they are just that, he has admitted to finding her attractive. Anyways, I recently felt that he was texting very often. I read through his conversation with her and saw that they were talking nearly everyday and almost all weekend long when I was away from him. He complained to her about my mother being useless, didn’t respond to her comments about he and I getting serious, and he was even telling her good morning and good night. I let it sit for a while but think I’m not ready to address the situation.

      1. I think it’s the ‘good morning’ and ‘good night’ that are the most concerning. Definitely keep your eye on this Maggie!
        Look ‘window shopping’ is OK – there will be people that we find attractive other than our partners. But when we do, we need to be a little bit careful in our interactions with them.
        Sorry it’s taken me a while to reply – I hope that it all went OK when you addressed the situation.

  26. My husband has been friends with his work wife for 15 years. In the past 5 years we are now going on family vacations together. My husband hangs out with her husband which all seems ok. BUT he talks to her about everything morning and night and she is now in the habit of bringing my husband suppers because she feels i am not a good enough cook for him. My husband and I have been completely faithful (as far as I know) for 24 years. She has been know to have affairs and is extremely flirty and when her and my husband are around one another they are very huggy touchy with one another and are not this way with their spouses. I have had several people telling me they see them out to lunch and when I address it, its no big deal to him they are simply eating lunch. I am tired of constantly hearing about this stuff from coworkers and I do not like her bringing meals over to him. Please help me see what I need to do to save my relationship because i feel like I’m going crazy! My guts telling me one thing and my mind tells me another.

  27. I’m pretty much going through all that is said here. We moved to another country recently for my husband’s transfer. Now my husband has been friends with a female coworker for more than 10 years. Initially she helped us with moving around the city and picking my husband from office till he got a car. Her husband is really ill and has moved back to his country to stay with his parents. She would confide all her troubles with my husband and I didnt feel uncomfortable initially. But she would call every other day after office on the pretext of talking about work and these calls would go on for considerable time. My husband wanted me to feel comfortable with her and so we invited her over for dinner and did visit her couple of times. But whenever we met, I would be very uncomfortable with the way she’d look at my husband . Cant really place it exactly but my instinct told me somthing wasnt quite right. Well my husband and I fought many times over this issue and now, he claims he has cut down his interaction with her. But recently I found out that he has been deleting her texts. I did see one of them by accident and it was all work related and the next time I checked the text had been deleted. Now is it wrong if I confront my husband over this. He claims he deleted it so that I dont get further upset. I’s so confused

    1. In his defence men don’t tend to understand our emotions – I see it with my husband and my very emotional daughter all the time. So yes, I think that it would be normal behaviour for him to delete it in order to avoid himself trouble. Maybe take him out for a meal and after a little while gently say ‘I know you are trying to save me pain by deleting her text messages, but can you do me a favour please, and not delete them’. Make sure that you are focussing on your relationship with him and keep it strong between you – that is your best protection against her (I totally trust your instincts). Think about what he needs and loves most from a relationship – is it his ego being stroked, is it looking after you, or doing things together, or even sex? You will have less to worry about if you feel strong in the relationship. Don’t lose sight of yourself though – keep yourself fit and strong, and make sure that you are not too dependant on him.

  28. My boyfriend and I have been together for 8 years and we are usually very open with each other. However, ever since he made a new girl friend, I haven’t been able to feel secure about our relationship. The first time he mentioned her name, he told me he would’ve asked her on a date by now if he wasn’t already in a relationship with me. Then in a group of his usual guy friends, he said he wanted to go on a mountain trip and bring this girl because as a city girl, she had never seen the stars before, commenting “isn’t that adorable?” He has reassured me that they are just friends and I want to believe him but I also feel he still likes her. He got her through a rough time with her ex-bf whom he didn’t think she should have dated. They go jogging, have meals together, and bake his homemade apple pie together. He went with her to a haunted house for Halloween after I said I didn’t want to go. Most recently, my bf and I went on a trip together and he revealed that he had originally asked her on this trip when he thought I was busy. Then when he found out that I was free, he still invited her to come along with us. He said she turned down the offer and was angry at him for suggesting a trip with me and her at the same time. I have met this girl before and she seems lovely but I just feel uncomfortable. What should I do? I don’t want to keep asking my bf if there’s anything happening between them because I feel I might be pushing him into her arms or something. Please help!

    1. Hi Feeling Insecure – hmm yes this is a problem. For one thing, never let your man go out on a trip with another woman without you – wether you want to go to it or not! So from now on, if she is there, you are there! It’s definitely an issue that she was angry about you being invited too – I would suggest you guys go out together with her boyfriend if she still has one and if the opportunity arises ask her with the sweetest smile on your face ‘I heard you weren’t happy about my BF inviting to xyz – I hope there isn’t an issue and I haven’t upset you, have I?’ – she’ll know what you mean! Keep in touch xx

  29. My husband is friends with an older woman at work. They have now exchanged numbers and she has even taken a pic of him and sent to his phone. She texts him scriptures as well. He says she’s married and much older but the friendship is making me a bit uncomfortable. He has cheated on me before with someone on the job. He told me she asked him to help her bring drinks to lunch area and then back to her vehicle after work. I just don’t know if I should say something or not.

    -K

    1. Hmm, it doesn’t sound awful @KimHarmon, but maybe ask to meet her? What about getting together with her and her husband for a drink or take away one day? When you meet her, you’ll know if there is a problem on her side. Let us know xx

  30. My boyfriend and i are starting a family. I’m 3 weeks from my due date and discovered messages back and forth from him and a woman he knows. Mostly just friendly and harmless, until she discovered he was having a child. She started by congrats but then made the comment that they could have done that to gether. Then, he responded with how he would have loved to do do that with her and how amazing it would be. To which she responded with saying that’s she would have loved to do that with him, again and sI on. He said he was joking and so was she, but i feel disrespected and hurt. Especially because he was hiding it from me. However am I supposed to get him to realise that it was hurtful when he just says I’m being crazy because I’m pregnant.

    1. Ok so a couple of things ….
      1) Men do often misbehave when their women are pregnant. They are unaware of it, and it doesn’t happen on purpose – that’s the problem. But when you are pregnant you lose a lot of social, physical and financial power, and that causes an upset within the relationship, leaving them open to horrible women. So definitely keep your eye on him as he has shown himself prone to this effect.
      2) He needs to understand that women have different rules to men, and that is out of order in the female rule book. She wasn’t messing around and she knows full well that she is stepping on your territory.
      3) WE ARE NOT CRAZY WHEN WE ARE PREGNANT, tell him not to be a patronising bastard – sorry! Yes, we are a bit more hormonal – with THEIR CHILDREN! But that doesn’t mean that there isn’t any validity in what we are saying, just that it is accentuated.
      4) Maybe you were over reacting. But ask him how he would feel if you had that conversation with a guy (pick one who is good looking, that you get on well with)? Plus if you are feeling upset and are more vulnerable being pregnant, then it’s distressing that he doesn’t seem sorry how you feel.

      Have a read of my blog post called ‘How to teach people how to treat you’ – so that when you word things, it is described in a way he might hear more easily.
      Wishing you all the best with the birth of your baby – in the end, I promise despite the fact I’m knackered this morning, it is better than any boyfriend <3

  31. I am a young 23 year old female who has been married for 3 years with my military husband. We just had our son 2 months ago. Our relationship was never the best from the beginning, being long distance and trying to get to know each other was not easy. We never see eye to eye on anything. We both love each other very much but have a hard time getting along. He has never gave me any reason to not trust him, however, there is a new female in our lives. She is a military friend of his and they’ve even been on deployment together. She finally moved closer and he asked if I wanted to meet her. I agreed and I actually like her a lot. She is 22 years old, single so i decided to introduce her to my cousin. We spent the whole christmas week together because I brought her over to my parents house with us so she can also spend time with my cousin (her new boo). I noticed her and my husband have a good connection and my husband talks to her about our relationship. I finally asked them both to stop, i dont feel comfortable having a female in our lives that also gets “along” with him too well and confines to her about our problems. number 8, 9 & 12 i can relate to. I dont know if i am just being too jealous/crazy or should i continue to let this happen?

    1. Hi Angelica, hmm, this is a really difficult one, as with him being in the military, it might do him good to have a female perspective. I would keep your eye on her relationship with your cousin, and I would woo her a bit as a friend for yourself. Drop hints about how sometimes when guys ask for advice they don’t always tell the full story, make sure you focus on how much you love him, but also drop a few nasty habits of his in there.

      It’s very tricky with a 2 month old baby – see if you can get an hour together each week and go out for coffee or a quick pub trip or something like that. Just a quick reconnection each week. Try to make sure you have had a rest each time before he comes home from time away – so that instead of a frazzled wife he is met with a fantasy happy life. However, also ask that he helps when he is home, so that he can get an appreciation of what it’s like – tell him you don’t want him to feel like a stranger or unneeded in his own home, so it’s important he knows what to do.
      Send him a message each day, and try to make sure he feels appreciated despite the fact that obviously your main focus is on your daughter. The good news is that men can be very possessive of their families, and less likely to want to lose them – especially the male hero types.
      Do they have relationship coaching in the military – it must be a problem for everyone – I think it would be a wise investment at some point. But I think you’ll be ok. Keep in touch.

  32. I have been with my girlfriend for 8 years now. The relationship has been pretty rocky on and off for the last maybe 6 years. We both really love each other and she has told me before that I am the person that she wants to be with. We are currently going to counseling to work on our issues as well, which was her idea. It’s been rough lately but I am trying. She has recently started hanging out with several coworkers a lot (she is a store manager and they are her subordinates). The other day we were shopping at a big box grocery store and she mentioned that she wanted to get a gift, a box of a certain type of drink, for one of her friend/co workers that she has been hanging out with, because he likes this specific drink and drinks it all the time. This guy is recently single. It kind of washed over me at the time but the more I think about it the more I feel that it is inappropriate to get a single guy a gift, when you are in a relationship. At least that is how I feel. I don’t THINK anything is going on, however, when I voiced the fact that I don’t think it is appropriate from my perspective as her boyfriend (mind you I’m not saying she can’t hang out with him and the others as friends), she brushed it off and said they are just friends. She didn’t seem to take into account my feelings at all. Am I being overbearing or reading too much into this? I don’t want to be controlling and I want her to have friends, I just feel it’s inappropriate. Is it just me?

    1. Hi ‘not sure how I feel’ – I’ve had a little think about this ..
      1) Just keep an eye on it and if anything else happens then knock it on the head
      2) She’s not being wise as a supervisor – a hard lesson, but she is their manager and therefore shouldn’t be buying them presents. It’s crossing a line and she will struggle later on if they misbehave – and I promise you that when staff recognise a weakness in a manager, they will use it!
      3) Really glad to hear you are both going to counselling – keep it up and keep going even if the relationship isn’t resolved. Maybe at some point consider joint counselling though. If you find after 6-12 months that you haven’t progressed with the counselling, switch to something more proactive like coaching or hypnotherapy – let me know if you want some tips.
      Keep in touch

      1. Hello! So we have been doing joint counseling since last year and after a recent session I asked her if her work friends knew we were having issues. She said yes, but a few of them only knew a little. However, she did say the guy in question with the previous incident knew everything. It came out that she had been communicating all this to him through text, which I was not aware of. After a few days of thinking about how I felt I communicated that it was inappropriate and that I would classify it as borderline emotional cheating, which we both said when we started dating 8 years ago was a dealbreaker. After a long conversation or two, I tried to end the relationship. I had told her before trying to end it, that she needed to step back from him and not tell him about our issues and that I didn’t want her hanging out with him one on one (I’m not sure if she has).

        She came back an hour later as she needed to think, and said she might not be able to be the girlfriend I need right now. We have communication issues as well. I then tried to end the relationship and she asked if we could not and after some talking we decided to keep working on the relationship.

        Last weekend while out with a long time friend (a guy), dhe went to a lst minute concert that he invited her to with him and another coworker friend. The ended up going back to the guy in question’s house to drink. She stayed out til 3am. Then yesterday she said she might go to another concert soon with him and a few others and that the others might flake, which would mean it might be the two of them. I’ve also noticed that she texts him a lot when I am around.

        I really am beginning to feel like we can’t work things out, but after 8 years I also don’t want to give up on something that was so great and that I still think could be again. It’s been a real roller coaster lately and I’m not sure what I should do.

  33. Hi,

    My long distance Autistic boyfriend is friends with a married former affair partner. They’re very close (although live in different countries). They also share a common interest. He thinks this makes things ok. The woman’s husband does not know they’re still in touch.

    I found all this out by accident. I knew he was friends with this woman but not about the affair and how often they texted, until I started noticing that they would text all afternoon. It’s mostly general chit chat but he’s complained about me a few times to her, which is very hurtful. He also told her he didn’t forget her when we were on holiday together! It’s the emotional closeness which hurts the most, I get the impression that he trusts her more than me (despite being strung along for years by her, being told she was getting divorced, until the s**t hit the fan and she chose her husband over him. She also broke up his previous relationship before me). Our relationship is suffering because of all this, it can’t grow while he’s still attached to this woman.

    We’ve had so many discussions/arguments about it. Last time he told me that if I’m unhappy maybe we should break up. I told him I don’t want to break up. I’m so frustrated – I don’t know anyone who would put up with this s**t. Some people I spoke to about it said they think she has NPD or some kind of personality disorder. Any other person would back the hell off if they were coming between a couple.

    I texted the woman when I discovered the truth about their history and she told me all this hurtful stuff about them saying I love you at the airport the day he was flying out to visit me for the first time – wtf. She also PMd me on FB changing her story and wanting to know why my boyfriend wasn’t speaking to her – he disappeared on her for over a week after she sent those texts. I didn’t reply to her but I’m so sad and angry. I love my boyfriend and do so much for him but he just doesn’t see that this is wrong and she’s so selfish trying to come between us. She seems intent on causing trouble.

    My boyfriend seems puzzled as to why I’m so upset. His autism means he has great difficulty seeing things from someone else’s point of view and empathising. He says he knows it’s a weird situation but they’re just friends, and he has no intentions of getting involved with her again. He says he’s not texting her as much but it still seems like a lot – I wish he would have no contact or even minimal contact. He should be speaking to me about things, I’m his girlfriend. And he’s friends with another ex and other women but I have no problem with that – it’s just this one hanging on with her claws. I’m on anxiety medication and we’re in counselling. I’m not sure how much more I can take. I just can’t get through to him.

    1. Hi Jane
      Yes this is a little more tricky as he has feelings of his own, but won’t always understand how his behaviour affects yours.
      Due to the history – when he was with her she was cheating on her husband, so has dubious morals, and it broke up his previous relationship, this relationship is not OK. Full stop.
      She is not going to let go of him – it probably doesn’t ACTUALLY mean anything to her, but she likes the constant boost of his interest.
      I’m afraid my advice is to explain that this is not negotiable – this is a deal breaker. It’s messing with your head too much. If the counsellor can’t explain to him that this is not correct behaviour then, I’m sorry I think you need to give him an ultimatum – after all, he needs to prioritise you above her, and if he is willing to lose you in order to keep in touch with her, then he feels more for her than for you (only because of the history – that does make it a deal breaker).
      (But don’t worry about him moaning about you to other people – we all do that).
      Sending you hugs and the wish that you can find someone who nurtures and loves you as much as you do them.
      x

      1. Hi,

        Thanks for your reply. It all came to a head after our last counselling session. The counsellor had asked if he would consider not texting her at all and he said maybe. He seemed quite open to the idea and we’d discussed boundaries and me needing to feel secure in the relationship etc. I brought it up again when we were at home and he asked if I meant never speak to her again? I said yes, and he started freaking out, calling me controlling etc. We had a stand off. He shut down on me and took himself off to another room. I left him to it. I’d decided that I’d had enough of the stress and we should break up if he wouldn’t do the right thing as my health was suffering. I was surprised when he joined me in bed later but he didn’t speak to me at all. I cried myself to sleep again. The next morning he got up before me and eventually I went through to the living room. He told me that he would stop speaking to her. He said he’d considered breaking up with me but realised what he would lose. He said he was concerned about me being controlling (I’m not at all, this situation is different) but he would stop speaking to her. That he wanted us to enjoy our last week together and start making plans for the future. For the first time in months I felt relief and like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders. I went to work feeling hopeful.

        He told me later that he’d told her he can’t speak to her anymore and she wasn’t happy. She told him that she’d been “nothing but supportive about his new relationship” blah blah. He asked me if he could maybe say hi once a month! I wasn’t wanting him to do that, I mean what’s hi exactly? You don’t just say hi, you chat and next thing you know you’re back to having proper conversations with the person. He got a bit grumpy again but I stood my ground. Neither of us have mentioned her name again.

        He’s back home now and I’m hoping he’s keeping to his word. She’s been attention-whoring on social media, saying she’s had a miserable week etc and I think it’s because he’s not speaking to her. I know he gets bored so I’m making extra effort to pay him more attention and show I love him. We both miss each other and hopefully will make plans to meet again soon. Long distance is hard enough without all that extra crap going on. x

        1. Well done for sticking to your guns, I’m really glad he realised what he’d be missing. I didn’t realise that yours was a long distance relationship as well (sorry I must have missed that bit) – that does complicate things. Men can view things a little differently when they are ‘away’ sadly – so keep things fun and sparky with some ‘interesting’ facetimes with him!
          Make sure there are no other signs of you being ‘controlling’ elsewhere in your relationship, so you don’t give him any ammunition 😉
          Good luck <3

  34. My husband is a delivery driver and he has made friends with a woman who works in a shop.

    He says he get on better with females as friends.
    She has a husband too,and he has stated nothing is going to stop his friendship with this woman.
    He has just let slip how he knows her so well and how he spends his time having a brew and chatting everyday about anything and everything. I was always wondering why he was later home with so little deliveries!! apparently her husband has no problem with it.

    He wants to invite them around for a meal but I’m not too sure.
    He has had female friends before and my gut has always told me something wasn’t right about them and I was always right….. They tried it with him!

    He loves me very much and I am the only woman for him,so why do I get these gut feelings?

  35. Hi, I have been married for 15 years now, and I have had a couple of instances in the past where he let his friends ( girls) step too much into the boundary line by excessively texting/talking . I have found that they text everyday about what is happening in each others lives ( just the general stuff) . I know my husband has not talked anything bad about our relationship, and he loves me..But it is the constant following of these girls that has bothered me. When confronted , he said that they were just friends and that he realized that they were talking frequently. But since I did not like the kind of friendship that the girls were perusing, he actually stopped talking to the them !

    Now recently we had a visit from his long time friend who he refers to as “SIS”..and after the visit he has started talking to her more often. It went to a point where she would be depressed and desperate for him to call/text if he hadn’t. I became totally uncomfortable with this behavior . When she was alone at home, she would text my husband that she is feeling lonely and try to get him to talk to her. She should be calling her husband!
    I told my husband that though she might be a “SIS ” to him, she is going overboard with this and that I dont want her to continue..and he does something about it..
    He has very respectfully stopped texting her .. I have seen her texts begging him to talk again..but he has refused.

    Now this is my issue – My husband respects my feelings, but he says that he does not understand when things go overboard. When I point it out, he stops talking ! Great! But How am I supposed to be there for him all the time and all these women take advantage of my husband being nice to them.. I am sure that they know in their minds that they are wrong..How will I trust my husband’s friendships? I need help.. I dont want to throw our marriage under the bus by constantly nagging him..

    How can I handle this?How should I let others know to respect boundaries of marriage.

    1. I think that you are extremely lucky – he is behaving exactly as he should. If your guy is worth having, someone else is going to want him hun. So keep your eye on things, warn him if things go over the boundary and make sure that you keep remembering to show him how much you appreciate him.
      If you actually need help with handling it, then maybe investigate why this bothers you so much a with a coach or counsellor – is it pressing a button that is nothing to do with him?

  36. My wife is friends with an older guy that she used to work with , she tells me he is like a father figure to her that I have nothing to worry about. Well some of the texts he sends her are a little out of line. He makes sexual jokes to her and she tells me he is just joking around, to me it isn’t jokes and I find it very disrespectful Considering he is a married man also. I told my wife, if she respected me and this marriage she should tell him to knock it off but she doesn’t she turns it around that I am just being insecure and I have nothing to worry about. I said if it’s just jokes let’s see what his wife says about them, my wife yells and says don’t you dare he is just joking around. She said nothing is going on he is just a friend, I believe her but I still think it’s disrespectful. Little does my wife know I have all his text messages saved and if it doesn’t stop I will send them to his wife. Part of me wants to call him and tell him to knock it off. I’m not sure what to do but i’m very hurt by this considering my wofe got mad at me years ago for talking to a girl I graduated with on Facebook and I said the same thing that she is just a friend , which she was but out of respect for my wif I stopped talking to the girl, so why is it alright for my wofe to be doing this to me now. Again if the texts don’t stop a big can of woop ass will be opened. I hope the old basted coes across this marriage , consider it a warning asshole

    1. Hi Greg, yes I know a guy like this – some men can be really off colour in their behaviour towards women. Women can be really naive about it – personally I think that it is partially fishing to see if there are options and it is definitely disrespectful.
      I wouldn’t send the text’s to the wife – that’s not your job – women often don’t want to know, if she did, she would have been in touch. But keep taking copies of them.
      I would talk to her less about her behaviour and more about how it makes you feel – confused because it doesn’t appear to be the same rules and hurt, as it would be simple to tell him to stop making the jokes.
      xx

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