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.

** UPDATE **
There have been so many hits on this post this year and so many comments, that I don’t feel I can give the required attention to.  If you are reading this and need more help, please do feel free to get in touch via my Facebook page – I can always do a session with you via Skype (a lot of my clients are international).

 

153 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.

          1. Thank you for your replies. It’s been almost a year since my last post. Things have had their ups and downs, there was once he finally admitted he had “gotten too close” to her and he respects me and will not speak to her. I recently found out they are working together again, not directly or on the same shift, but I still feel triggered. She was at a recent party and he refused to go because of her which was a nice feeling… that’s what I always wanted, for him to stop hanging out. But my mind won’t let it all go yet. What’s worse is he will not talk about it, in anger he says I’m so upset simply because he “talked to someone” …. making me feel he isn’t truly sorry, or has accepted responsibility for what he did. It’s all still painful. This past months been rough and thoughts of them invade my brain, not sure how to shut it off. I know I can’t talk to him because he gets to angry and defensive. I don’t know what to do anymore? I thought I had moved past this, but I’m starting to think he wasn’t truly sorry to begin with, just wanted me off his back. And I’m starting to feel bitterness I never knew before.

          2. Hi Cookie – I can’t reply to your update of Sept10th for some reason.
            How are you doing with the ideas I suggested for building your self-esteem and self-confidence – I strongly recommend you do those, to see wether you are staying with him because you love him or wether there is a lack of self-worth there.
            It’s likely he isn’t being honest with you and deleting texts etc in order to avoid trouble. They are probably innocent, but it’s a bad habit to fall into and not one I would be happy with.
            Does he want to be with you? If so you are going to need some help to clear this out of your psyche – I would recommend talking to him in a safe space with a counsellor, so that you can express your feelings and be supported rather than ridiculed.
            Big hugs x

  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?

      1. There are books about emotional affairs that lay out boundaries that should exist between a married person and friends of the opposite sex. Daily personal contact is definitely a no go! Find this information and have your husband read, then sit down and agree to what boundaries you are both comfortable with. A couple litmus test I read “if your friend knows more about your marriage than your spouse knows about your friendship it’s a problem”, “is your friend a friend to your marriage?”.

        1. So social media – I have a friend who would notice things like that, personally I wouldn’t notice. I wouldn’t take too much heed of what she does and doesn’t like. ‘Liking’ a post takes very little thought in my humble opinion – it’s a quick click and fly by. She may not even see your posts very often as you don’t interact much.

          I know what you mean about the message’s about their past – it’s annoying, and overly intimate, but innocuous. However, I would watch their relationship more closely when your relationship with him is rocky.

          Have you read my post ‘Teach people how to treat you?’ – my sense is that one of the reasons why he got defensive over the conversation is because there is a way to discuss issues focussing on your feelings, rather than their behaviour – this might get you better results.

          No one is ever going to be 100% committed to you hun – it’s human behaviour. Everyone has the odd day dream as well – that’s OK – ‘window shopping’ as they say. Generally this is fleeting, it’s only a problem if the thought lasts longer or is more frequent.

          I wouldn’t overly worry about this relationship, but keep it in mind if it escalates.
          And stop checking who has liked his photo’s etc – that way is the route of madness – there will be other deeper signs if it escalates.
          xx

  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

  37. I don’t know if you are still active on this posting or not, but I would like to ask you your thoughts as well.

    My husband is a compassionate and friendly person who has never shown to be afraid to make small talk with people.

    Recently a woman started working with him who in her short months with the company has already slept with another married man knowing he was married. My husband describes her as an attention whore and as some one who is always putting herself out there and making inappropriate sexual jokes about herself and others. He has previously said she flirts with everyone but has never over stepped any boundaries with him specifically. Last night he finally admitted she has also done this to him, but he couldn’t recall more than one statement about a facial joke she made. I could tell he was holding something in, but he wouldn’t budge. On the otherhand, he has also (overtime) mentioned jokes he plays on her(odd he can recall everything he says, but nothing she says right?) and tries to assure me their relationship on his end is “work professional.” Personally, if a male coworker made any sexual innuendo jokes towards me I would be in HR immediately. He continues to initiate conversation with her despite how poorly he talks about her at home, and I cannot help but read into his hypocritical behavior as suspicious. His reasoning at one point for her attention starved behavior was that she always stops working to gus up other male coworkers and that she changes her hair everyday and asks everyone how it looks, how she looks, etc. He recently started going to the company gym and working out, improving his hygiene and appearance (after 10 years of slowing down), and I found out she goes as well. Should I be worried about that? My instincts poont to yes and that he is slowly but steadily moving into taken for granted mode.

    What I’m wondering, is if he is really working as hard as he puts on at home, how does he have the time to always see what she is doing and how she acts if he is not also watching her and giving her excessive attention as well? And why does he talk so poorly of her, yet still associate with her.

    (To clarify, in our relationship my husband cheated in the beginning year only once, but has struggled with porn use consistently until 9 months ago, and three months ago he sought out friendship with a strange woman he admitted attraction to and confide very private and personal details to her that weren’t actually true. He confided in her that I told him they couldn’t be friends because he once set the no strangers on social media boundary for me, and she instantly threw into attack mode and trashed me while he just passively agreed and kept talking to her. In their messages they accused me of hiding things from him WHILE TALKING ABOUT CONTINUING TO TALK BEHIND MY BACK AND HIDE IT FROM ME. He let that woman trash me so he could find comfort. She screen shot my facebook and mocked me and he never pnce stood up for me. They talked for over 3 hours on messenger and her comments were things like, “you need ro be free, I’m just here to set you free” and “your wife is just jealous because I’m so gorgeous, thus happens to me with guys like twice a week.” I caught him immediately with all things, because instinctually I have always been guarded and empathetic. I feel like I cam always sense it, and so far I have never been wrong.)

    I guess the biggest thing is, I can read what I just wrote and see the literal writing on the fucking wall. I asked him to stop watching porn and all of a sudden he escalated his need for other female stimulation to giving attention to real life women now. And somehow, everytime it happens he winds up with these women who don’t care about marriage or meddling in relationships and he NEVER STANDS UP FOR ME.

    Is it because he really wants out to see what color the grass is on the other side? I’ve always believed the grass is greener wherever the fuck you water it, so I’m wondering why he’s even entertaining these other less moral women. Does he wind up with those kinds of female friends because he chooses them, or is it because there are really that many sabotuers in the world?

    1. I’m so sorry it took a while to reply to you Stacey. You have made a lot of sense I’m afraid.
      My instinct is that his issue with her being attention seeking is that he is attention seeking and also has a few sexual issues (hence the porn). We always dislike a mirror of ourselves – it’s a funny human trait.
      So you can decide to give more attention OR you can give him an ultimatum. I knew someone similar once, and weirdly once the wife decided ‘that’s it, I find one more suspect message or disloyal message, then I’m done with him’ – she didn’t even tell him, but he stopped immediately. He must have felt the shift in her.
      You need to look at your life, your confidence, and what this is doing to you. Your instinct is too good, so you won’t be able to ignore it – you will always know it’s going on – the question is, will you keep investigating it or give up and let him get his attention elsewhere.
      It’s not your fault that he is so low in his self esteem – remember that.
      Sending you big hugs x

    2. Thank you for your reply!

      As things progressed, I did discover that he was making sexual jokes himself. He admitted to making one and claims there were no more, and told me more about some she has made. He recently reported her for sexual harassment because he says he stopped and openly told her to stop, but she hadn’t. He understands that he caused it now, but hardly how much it has affected me. That is an entirely new battle that apparently only I have the tools to establish.

      Not long after I started noticing him checking out other women with me standing next to him, and it finally came to my attention that his alcoholism was taking over his ability to reason as a husband. He was almost always some level of intoxicated most of our relationship, but I never saw it as a serious issue because I had convinced myself that he has never been an abusive drunk. As it turns out, his abuse was more subliminal and reared it’s head as self destructive behavior that inevitably lead to consequences for my self-esteem. He stopped drinking altogether and has not picked it back up and I have noticed a stark change in his behavior towards myself and our relationship. He was so numbed out all the time that he didn’t know how much his actions spoke volumes about his feelings towards our family.

      We’ve been patching things together and he has taken up a healthy hobby that I can’t complain about. He still doesn’t understand the concept of moderation, but I’m grateful he’s spending time on a productive hobby and not coping via the attention/ stimulation of other women and alcohol. I’ve always given him trust and freedom to be who he wants to be and to do what he wants to do, I just always thought marriage meant you learn how to save your lust for your wife and no others.

      I guess in a nutshell what I am saying is that the struggle I’ve experienced to get to this point with him was definitely worth my time and effort, I just hope he will continue to see the value of our relationship over fleeting temptations that cross his path. I understand that his self-esteem has been behind a lot of his self-destructive behavior, but I also know that any woman in my position truly deserves better treatment than that.

      So the writing was on the wall, but I wasn’t the culprit behind what caused it. I blamed myself incessantly but still came back to the realization that only he is accountable for his own actions. The subsequent consequences and my reaction to them are my responsibility to deal with. He needed my support and approval, but because he felt so bad for what he has done in the past, he never thought he would be able to get it again.

      Empathy might be what saves our marriage. Who knows, I’ll find out in the future I guess. I just wanted to drop this update here in case someone with similar issues comes to this site feeling like I did. It’s easy to feel hopeless and like you are defeated, but it is so much more rewarding to be able to say that you tried in the face of adversity to do what feels right in your heart. When he was only able to provide 25% it became my responsibility to provide for the other 75%. As hard as it was to put away the insecurity inside, it helped him see that I was willing to work towards trusting him.

      And that’s why marriage is a team effort, sometimes where one person fails, the other has to be there to guide them through it. If you have the chance, be the light.

      Thank you for your reply. When I came back to this post today it reminded me that I needed to stick to my guns. My instinct was dead on and may have been the one thing that helped my husband see the dangerous road his friendship with that woman could have taken. The attention I brought to the pending disaster helped him catch her methods in the future for what they were and not just her pretending to be “one of the guys.”

      1. Thank yo so much for replying Stacey with such a comprehensive update – it shows how thoughtful you are of other people and I’m sure will really help.
        Yes, he is probably very addictive by nature (I think that we all are to a certain degree, but maybe we spread it out, so it’s not noticeable), so moderation is probably not something he will ever be able to do. But it’s brilliant that he has replaced the addiction with something else – that’s what is very important, as you can’t ‘remove’ something without filling the gap.
        Sending you lots of hugs and positive thoughts for your life together going forwards.
        <3

  38. My husband is texing one of his female karate freinds and looking out of his phone so I can’t see hi conversations is this helthy

    1. There is no need for messages to be kept private. Yes, there are women who are a pain in the neck and constantly checking – that’s not OK. But if there is something you are worried about, you are allowed to look – he should be worried that you are nervous about it.

  39. I have no idea what to do, maybe I’m crazy. My husband of 3 months and I dated for 5 1/2 years on and off.
    Long story short, he was fine until a couple months ago. Has slowly been showing agitation, anger, being impatient. And practically wants nothing to do with me. I confronted him, very gently, about how he was acting. He blew up, it was a disaster. I ended up checking his phone, and he had been texting his coworker, Hannah. She had mentioned that he was “perfect” in a text, he agreed with her. Next thing I know, the convo is gone. Just hers though. His safari history also stays cleared. ( he used to have a porn problem that almost cost us our relationship). So, I’m not really sure. Thoughts?

    1. Hi Stacy – things can change when you get married and he could be struggling with that. Potentially another woman is taking advantage of it, but that doesn’t mean that something has happened. He might also be struggling with having sex with his wife – he wouldn’t be the first.
      I would say that you would like a chat, and ask when he would like to chat and where he would like to go – leave the house, he is less likely to go ballistic then.
      Have a read of my blog post ‘how to teach people how to treat you’ – it will help you with how to describe how you are feeling without putting him on the defensive.

  40. My husband has a friend (A) that he met at work, she is single, but he has not worked with her for almost three years now. I had heard her name several times and I knew they talked about their jobs. She planned a group bike ride with him but in the end it was just the two of them. He did not volunteer that the group ride turned into a ride for two he said something that made me question him and he said “oh it ended up just the two of us because we didn’t get there early enough to join the group”. This was the first instance where I felt I had issue with the friendship. I later found out he told her that I had a problem with the bike ride. Years pass, we see her at an event and at a shopping mall. I recently found out my husband did have a year long emotional affair with another woman (B) that I didn’t even know existed. There was mutual sexual attraction, they discussed personal problems, he fantasized about having sex with her and discussed having sex with her but swears there was zero physical relationship. He has stopped all contact, is being very forth coming and working on rebuilding my trust. So in the scouring of phone records after discovering (B) I find that he has MUCH more contact with (A) then I ever knew about. Of course the year long emotional affair and hiding of it caused him to deflect a lot on to me, telling me I didn’t want him to have female friends. So he now says that hiding his contact with (A) was because he knew I didn’t like her and that essentially it was easier not to tell me. He contacted her weekly at a minimum, sometimes calling several times a day, he deleted these calls and any text from his phone, there is an obvious pattern of calling (B), not getting her and then immediately calling (A) as if when unable to talk to the one he is sexually attracted to he calls the other. He also failed to tell me that she got a job in the same city and moved to the same city where we live over a year ago. He says 100% there is no attraction for (A) he cannot give me a reason as to why he called her as much as he did except to vent about his job, check on her job (they work in the same field). So he has not cut off contact with (A) completely but he does not call or text her, as in they are still friends and connected through social media and there is still a possibility for communication. IMO this is also an emotional affair, even if there is not sexual attraction on his part. He has a strong desire to contact her frequently and he hid that from me. He agrees that the frequency and hiding of the contact was wrong he also admits he would not like it if I had the same relationship with a man.

    This entire experience has been hugely eyeopening for both my husband and myself. I’m in complete shock and feel utterly betrayed and a fool. It took time for him to open his eyes to the fact that he had truly been unfaithful to me with (B) that what he had with her was in fact an emotional affair and equaled to him being unfaithful to me and to our marriage. He was stuck in the “I never had a physical relationship so I was faithful” mindset.

    So would you consider his relationship with (A) to be an emotional affair even though he swears there is zero sexual attraction?

    1. I’m so sorry it took so long to reply. You aren’t a fool – it’s a very usual experience.
      I’m really glad that he sounds like he is learning to see it differently. Rather than worry about wether it was or was not an emotional affair, here are my suggestions:
      – because he has had a tendency towards emotional affairs, he needs to understand that all relationships with women will be scrutinised from now on.
      – It’s not about an emotional affair, it’s about how that intimacy takes away from your relationship with him – it damages the relationship.

      It sounds to me like what you have is rebuildable – but I might suggest some external help from a counsellor to get everything out in the open – that will make it yuckier for a while, but give you a good fresh start, so stick with it. xx

      1. Thank you! We are working through it all, slowly. My husband is very much trying to do everything he can to repair our relationship. At my request he unfriended (A) on FB and LinkedIn and blocked her number. I told him I just felt there was too much lying and hiding related to her and I would never be comfortable with them as friends. For whatever reason he felt the need to hide the relationship from me which is damaging to our marriage. We have moved towards the “why” part of all this and are making progress. He admits to being a flirt and that he needs to change the way he relates to women in the work place. That they should be professional, cordial relationships but not move towards personal or sharing of problems. Everything is 100% transparent and he knows it has to stay that way. I believe he truly is remorseful and, as I’ve read many times, fell down that slippery slope, one that now must be eliminated from opposite sex relationships. It’s a pattern, him becoming personally involved with women at work, helping with their problems and becoming “friends”! (B) was just the first one to flirt back heavily and be very forward sexually and he went for it head first, us not relating well, emotionally, during that period made it that much easier to justify! We are getting there, it will all take time, getting past the betrayal and lies has been the hardest part!

  41. I just wondered if you could help me out here I just met a girl from Brazil and she has a male friend that she is very closed to which makes me feel a little worried to what sort of a connection thay have because thay are with each other all the time thay go to eat together go out together but she just tells me that he is like a brother to her so when she told me that I was ok with it but I still have my suspicions that something may have happend between these two before because thay are not related to each other I know this so should I be worried to me I think is a little strange that thay are so close but thay know each other before I met so thay may just generally be friends I don’t know needs some help

    1. It’s ok to be friends with someone of the opposite sex hun, as long as you don’t see any of the other signs. I’ve had a few really close relationships with guys where there was nothing sexual – it’s a lovely way to connect with men (sometimes better lol!).

  42. Hey every one, I have a husband in law enforcement and his supervisor at his first station was an woman 10 years older than him, and his instructor at his academy. After about 6 months at his new post I noticed that whenever they hung out at the office he would come home talking about her constantly and her relationship, the boyfriend and now husband is one of her previous students by the way. I told him this bothered me that she was discussing her personal life with him and I felt it was inappropriate and he said she was just venting and asking for a male perspective . I asked him did he vent to her about us and he said no. Two months later I went out of town for a week to help a friend move. He came and picked me and our son up and had to work that am and went to bed. That morning my neighbor told me she came to pick him up after he got off of work wich I knew she had to take him to pick up his vehicle and drop hers off but the neighbor said he answered the door in his bathrobe. When I asked him about it after he got home he said she showed up 45 minutes early so he let her in and and talked to her after he got dressed and they just bull sh*ttes for a while then left. When I had come home and was cleaning the house I found a used condom in the trashcan wich he said he used to master bate so he wouldn’t make a mess and he would never cheat on me. When he would get home from work all I would hear about was the woman and their conversations where he said he was just giving her relationship advice and they were just friends. A year later we bought a house and he transfered and every thing was going great and year after that she became his first sgt. So they were in the same area. She was always nice to me but would ask me questions at functions about our personal life tha apparently my husband had talked about and was trying to give me “friendly” advice and be a good friend wich we never were friends but she said she was his friend. This went on for 10 years and I noticed my husband during this time was withdrawn off and on from me but thought it was the job, however when I would tell him I thought they were more than friends even if it wasn’t physical and they were being unprofessional let me add there were rumors in the dept they were having an affair,he would ask are you accusing me of cheating and get very defensive that he couldn’t correct her when she vented because she was his 1st sgt. He said he loved me but I needed to trust him. Two years ago he came home and told me I was right about her but he did nothing wrong just that she showed her true colors but waouldnt tell me what she said. and it would now be purely professional and he couldn’t get a transfer. Two weeks ago he was drunk and said when he saw it she had said she was in love with him and he needed to divorce me and her divorce her husband and he told her he loved his wife and that would never happen and that he was so sorry he refused to see it that he just thought they were friends and he never cheated on me with her because there was no sex and he thought flirting and then talking about their relationships was harmless. That when they would say I love you it was just joking. I explained that that was an emotional affair and that he really hurt me and he cried and said he was very sorry. We’ve been working on spending more time and get closer together since he had come home and said that 2 years ago. Now I don’t know what to do I’ve talked to him of my feelings but he still refuses he did anything wrong on his part because he never really lover her and there has always been me. I don’t want to ruin our marriage but feel like I’m drowning in hurt and anger and he still has to work with her and quitting or getting transfer is not an option so what now.

    1. Ps… He’s been called into her office 3 times to resolve their “relationship ” and get back to where they were as she said it’s really affecting her job at the office and it’s all she thinks about at home and work, he told her that he wanted professional and nothing else as what they had was considered an emotional affair and that he loved his wife and was going to do whatever he needed to make me and himself happy and she tried to turn it around on me that I was paranoid and that he was distancing himself from her and needed to open up to her again to wich he said that was inappropriate and that it wasn’t happening again, he wants my advice and I don’t know what to tell him to do since she doesn’t seem to get it or want to take no for an answer

      1. Hi Kelly, I’m really sorry I’ve taken so long to reply, what a awful experience, especially as it has been going on so long. I would have been very suspicious, apart from the fact that the more recent events suggest that he was just naive and basking in the attention, without thinking of the ramifications.
        I think that rather than keep trying to make him understand what he did was wrong, what you really want him to do is understand that his actions hurt you and hurt your relationship. Have a read of my blog post ‘How to teach people to treat you’.
        As far is she is concerned, she is TOTALLY out of order – she was a supervisor and I would have thought it’s a Human Resources situation. He should tell her that if she doesn’t leave him alone, he will go above her with a complaint. Frankly she sounds obsessive, and if I was him I’d get it down officially as soon as possible.
        Wishing you both the best x

  43. Right from the beginning of our relationship the women in my husband’s circle have been not only cold towards me but a couple had gone as far to tell him I was no good for him and that we were moving too quickly. One gal went from having zero pictures on her Facebook with him to three very cozy pics together in the first mint and a half of our relationship. There were constant digs in social gatherings regarding my occupation and I was made to feel like an outsider in this group of females; always excluded from events, photo opportunities, you name it. It was made very clear where I stood. At Christmas, my husband gave me a ring and we discussed marriage in the future however it was not an engagement ring. The same woman confronted me asking what the ring meant and if I thought we would elope while on our holiday in Mexico to which I did not feel the need to explain. I simply stated that eloping in Mexico sounded nice however it was not the plan. She proceeded to go right up to my husband telling him that I considered the ring to be an engagement ring and that I thought we were eloping while in Mexico. She was a very close friend of his and we had been together shy of a year at that time so this made me look like a clingy psychopath. Straight up sabotage. My husband is the most kindhearted person and is naive to this sort of behavior which I believe is simply because his brain does not operate like that. As a result, he hasn’t always been very quick to defend me or squash the behavior of others also claiming he doesn’t do well with confrontation once I bring something to his attention. I always shrugged it off believing that with time, I could prove myself to the women and all would be forgotten. It’s been five years of arguments between he and I and me feeling like the cause of my husband losing touch with his friends because I can’t handle the drama that comes with their girlfriends and wives. While visiting with this circle of friends at the lake one of the girls said to me in front of everyone that she would never be okay with me and that my husband and I would not be invited to their wedding. Her fiancé chimed in insisting that my husband would not only be there but would be a groomsmen. Just a few short months later, my husband received the request to be in the wedding and the saboteur would also be a bridesmaid. While I am still making efforts as a Christian woman to forgive and put my husband’s needs above my own, I feel uneasy subjecting our marriage to more potential toxicity. I feel that I’ve given this all I have in me. I invited all the girls to all my bridal and baby festivities without so much as an RSVP from a single one. I don’t want my husband to lose his guy friends that he has had since childhood but I also want a healthy marriage. It doesn’t help that he still doesn’t believe that the one gal in particular has feelings for him when in a drunken stupor she ripped apart our our wedding details like it was going to be trash and flat out told me that she didn’t think he was ready and that I forced him. Advice?

    1. Wow, they are NASTY, NASTY!
      Ok, so stop being so nice to them. Don’t be impolite, don’t be rude, don’t be aggressive – but it’s not OK to be nice to someone who is being abusive to you.
      Your husband probably doesn’t understand the way that women work – is there another woman that he trusts, who could talk to him with you to explain that their behaviour is not on?
      Also I would be sneaky – start finding some new friends – your husband doesn’t like conflict and if you find some lovely new friends, he will naturally navigate towards them.
      It is not OK that they said those things and he didn’t stand up for you – he should tell them that if they don’t like you fine, but they are rude or nasty to you (basically bullying you), then they won’t see him. End of.
      Girls – they can be so horrid, I’m really sorry that they have taken it upon themselves to mess with your relationship.
      You say that you are a Christian – I would definitely recommend asking God for advice and the angels for some help with this situation. It’s more about strengthening yourself, so that they back off. Again though, I’m not suggesting you send anger or hate in their direction – love can be very transformational, so send them love, but that doesn’t mean you have to have anything to do with them.

  44. My husband of 5 years has been working for a company for 3 years and a young woman started working in the office. He use to invite me to his job when they had holiday get togethers but not anymore and he acts weird when I show up. I have saw text messages where she was asking him if he was bringing her breakfast. He deleted messages to and from her all of the time but I guess he forgot that one. I tried to become friends with her but she always talked about my husband or needed him to come to the office on his days off and he would go. He gets angry if I say something about her and defends her and says she is his friend. We get into arguments and he goes straight to her and tells her our problems. This girl is single and has a different guy every month. (Seriously) she asked him why I didn’t talk to her anymore and he told her I was jealous. Really? Is this right? I feel in my gut something has been going on but he says no. They both act weird when I’m around. I am to the point to where I know I deserve better and thinking about divorce. Also he went to California a year ago with his friends and shut his phone off for 3 days. He said his battery died and he just didn’t charge it. I have lost trust and now I don’t believe anything he says. Am I wrong to feel this way.

    1. Ok the phone thing is seriously out of order – there are always hotel phones or he could have got a message to you.
      The problem with this is he is manipulating you to feel guilty about his behaviour – that is a bit stinky. It doesn’t mean that there is anything going on – yet. But does mean he is being disloyal.
      But before divorce I would try everything – so I would suggest getting a relationship coach or counsellor and giving it a last go.
      Good luck x

  45. I have been struggling to figure this out and have not yet seen quite this same situation mentioned yet…but I would love to hear your input.

    I am in my 40’s and my (now fiancé) and have been together almost 8 years. He has maintained a “friendship” with an ex he dated probably 11-12 years ago. They were together maybe a year?

    Her social media behaviour bothers me in that she will only “like” pictures or posts that he makes of him alone. She has never, in all of these years acknowledged anything he has posted that has us together or references us. In fact, if he has posted a number of pictures from a particular event….she does not “like” the album….but will “like” or sometimes comment on that one picture in there of him alone.

    She will comment on how grown up his nephew is now…those “I still remember him when he was a baby”…(again, keep in mind she has not been with him and does not see or speak to any of his family – whereas I am obviously part of his family).

    I generally have ignored it…but one day I had mentioned it to him and said that I didn’t think she had moved on and that it bothered me. He kind of downplayed it as nothing and not something he really noticed. Basically it turned into a bit of argument with him saying he felt like he was getting an ultimatum of me or her. I have never been a jealous person by nature…and Yes I did want him to cut her out (I’m not going to lie)…but I said, I wasn’t forcing a choice to be made, but that he should realize that her behaviour does not say she is happy for him…she may “say” it to him (at least that is what he says), but her actions to me show something different. He then said…maybe I was right, he said they still talked occasionally, but they were just good friends and he loved me so nothing to worry about., but it was clear to me, that he did not want to have to choose.

    What I have trouble with is that this “good friend” doesn’t publically acknowledge us in anyway shape or form. He NEVER talks about her with me in any direct or casual way….he has never communicated with her in any way (ie. phone, text) in my presence…(that I am aware of anyway). Yet I know that they talk, because I noticed a few times text messages on his phone…and then they seem to be gone. Now that doesn’t mean anything necessarily…and one could summize that he doesn’t talk to me about her because he knows it bugs me. But this is not new behaviour….he has never done that.

    This whole thing is really bothering me….and I feel as though it is causing me to question his real commitment to me. I feel that even if there is nothing going on…it’s wrong. And wonder…why he would want to keep a woman in his life that is not “genuinely” (I feel) supportive of his relationship (which he always says is the most important thing to him). They work at the same company, but not together…they do not have the same social circle, obviously she’s not someone that he’s going to have involved in our life at any time…so really, how good of “friendship” can it be. I feel as though there is no real reason for him to keep this “friendship” other than for his own ego or as a “back up”? I feel as well that her behaviour shows without question that she does not support or clearly want me to be with him.

    Am I wrong for feeling this way? Am I reading too much into this?

    1. Hi Ann, Apologies, I thought I had replied to you, but it must have been in my head.
      I wouldn’t take any notice of people’s social media behaviour in terms of liking or not liking – there often is very little conscious thought in it. I never check who liked mine or my husband’s posts tbh.
      No one is ever totally committed I’m afraid. You are looking for ‘committed the majority of the time, and behaves loyally and faithfully’ in reality.
      Facebook is a political thing and he may just not be the kind of guy to unfriend someone he doesn’t dislike and who he still works in the vicinity of – so I wouldn’t worry about that either. I’m still friends with an ex on Facebook – pure noisiness, and also joy that he seems settled at last.
      I would explain to him that you are feeling a little unconfident at the moment and if he could please keep the text messages on his phone, rather than deleting them. There is probably no reason for it – other than not wanting to bother you. But the deletion of the messages is the only thing that gives a slightly dodgy impression.
      Now go out and post lots of amazing photos of the two of you very loved up and tag him on Facebook!!
      I think you will be ok hun xx

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  47. Hi
    I’ve been with my husband 21 years. He’s always got on with females more than males. I’ve never seen much of an issue with any of the friendships. His best friend from school is a woman and she is very respectful and reserved. My husband was an excellent caring father/partner. Extremely loving.but he drinks an awful lot. .. Functioning..
    The past year my husband started showing signs of being detached and constantly on his phone. He did mention a particular friend (female), I wouldn’t have thought anything strange if his behaviour didn’t change ..
    He started mentioning her less but only to hide things I guess. I have never in all these years mistrusted him. I don’t know why but I looked at his phone. there were flirting texts lots of them going back 2 months! Send me a naked pic? I’m going to buy you a present .. What would you like? Texting first thing in the morning last thing at night. They would say I love you. They worked in a school and seperate departments. He never goes out so I now they haven’t met up as such in secret.
    I confronted him about this and told him how I was so upset. He apologised for doing it saying he hadn’t realised that would upset me .. And that they just joke around. He said he loves her as a friend.
    I know I’m an idiot… So i told him that as the relationship makes me so uncomfortable I would not be happy for them to keep messaging or have contact outside work. He agreed but then just carried on. No more dirty texts but still saying I love you and confiding. Found out a couple of months later that he lied. Since then I have had countless arguements with him. He sticks up for his friend absolutely and I wonder why I haven’t confronted the bitch. I’ve been told she only befriends married men which makes me sick and I feel sorry for my kids. Then I found out he’s given her money towards a holiday spending money, money for a tattoo!!!! Money for an expensive Christmas present for her kids!!! Nothing towards his own!! It all came to a head at Xmas I gave him an ultimatum. Her or me and the kids. He just shrugs it off. I’ll not stop being friends just because you give the order! Oh how people change.! Heartbreaking! My daughter is already in counselling as she can’t bear the changes in the house. He has bought the manipulative bitch Xmas presents birthday presents whilst forgetting it’s even our anniversary.
    He swore on his kids lives that he wasn’t in love with her, and that she isn’t with him.,only wants her as a friend and we come first and always will. Are you f***ing kidding?? He’s told his mum that she is in love with him, but he’s a friend and not doing anything wrong.His own mum thinks I should grow a back bone. I’ve confronted him so many times that I’m going mad… He says get over it.,I’m the one with the problem. She’s even really unattractive. I’ve told her he’s totally leading her on, whilst totally disrespecting our marriage ..I feel like banging their heads together it’s so pathetic. they are ruining my family’s life..
    So I don’t see that counselling is a possibility. I could learn to trust but he won’t change. He has no remorse. Sees nothing wrong. I’m a prize Pratt for putting up with it. I’ve done it for the kids but why? How can anyone be so cruel. My eldest is in bits. She just read his birthday card from her.,saying he’s amazing. It’s emotional abuse ?

    1. Oh honey, I’m really sorry. It sounds as though that mid life crisis age + alcohol has blurred his brain. There are women who prefer married men – they are an easy target, because life at home can be a little comfortable and they can feel unappreciated (rubbish I know). All the women need to do is stroke their ego a bit, send a few sexy messages and the presents come rolling in.
      Men go through a phase I call the ‘red mist’ phase sometimes – no remorse, selfish and shocking behaviour. They can come to their senses, but I don’t think he will if you keep letting him treat you like shit.
      You need to go and get some proper legal advice and work out what to do. It’s not ok for him to treat you like this and it’s not ok for your daughter to see that example.
      There is still hope, and it’s worth having counselling, because at least you can get all the anger out and try to end up with an amicable divorce if the shock doesn’t work. I’d go for some advice, then ask for a separation – that’s not totally shutting the door of opportunity for him to return to the man he used to be.
      I’m sending you and your daughter lots of love and healing xx

  48. Husband here!

    I actually went through this same situation this past week. I was on vacation with my wife, of 8 years, and everything was fine till we got a text, we actually share a phone, I don’t need my own, at 4:40 am from a friend, now I find out was a Female name hiding her ex husbands phone. The text read “thanks for the pics BABY GIRL. Sorry I couldn’t respond was asleep. Love you have a great day. I first read it and was WTF OK whatever but then the next early morning another text thanking for pics. But both text messages only had received texts the sent ones where deleted.
    Finally I went to log into Facebook and she didn’t log out of hers and there were the messages from her Ex husband.

    I have this feeling that this relationship is over, we where having fights and arguing over small things the past 3 months, since our anniversary in Feb and come to find out, once she spilled the beans after being caught, thats how long they have been secretly talking and doing god knows what. This vacation was for us to get back on track but I feel she didn’t see it that way.

    I felt feeling I had never felt before, embarrassed, ashamed, depressed, anger and guilt (All rolled into one) as if I did this. i made her do this. That it was my fault.

    It sucked especially when I asked her, “Were you ever gonna tell me?” reply “Eventually”, I asked “were you surprised I found out?” reply “No, I knew you would”…..man those reply’s were a punch in the gut. My trust was destroyed

    We right now I went to my parents house to get away, think, and get advice. I don’t have many friends, one of the reasons I also don’t have a phone, I always got accused of secretly texting. So I chose to to cut out friends and a phone. I always kept my phone, facebook and twitter open

    Thank you for this article. I got alot of insight. It just sucks that there are people out and hurt people and don’t seem to REALIZE IT.

    Thank you

    1. Oh I’m so sorry Richard, she sounds totally heartless. Yes, when they start focussing on someone else, a good way of making themselves feeling better is to argue with the existing partner.
      I hope that you will take some time out and heal, so that this doesn’t taint your future, and then find a lovely woman who will properly appreciate you.
      x

  49. My wife and I have been Married for 30 years and dated 5 years since High School. When I graduated I moved 7 hours away but came back to see her every weekend until she graduated College and we got married. We lived there for 10 years and had two sons and no family we had to rely on ourselves. She work as a RN at local hospital before we moved back close to home where she worked at same hospital for 20 years before she changed job. She felt that she was going through the motions and not being challenged. I suggested and encourage her to take this new jobs kids are grown and have just moved out. So she took it and it has been a blessing and a curse. She is making a lot of money but working some nights and weekends which is not a problem for me. I even help put presentations together, stuff holders and envelope’s. She does travel to the other parts of state which requires over nite stay which is not a problem. I started feeling left out when she goes to these National Sales meetings for over a week and If I get a 30 sec phone call I am lucky . She says her day is work and planned out from 7am breakfast to dinner 10pm but I saw her itinerary she was freee from 4-6p then 6-8 drinks and dinner 8-10. 1 of our sons got really ill and he lives about 2 hours away and had to go to the hospital. I tried to get in touch with her I called she did not answer left msg in her room, txted, called left msg with her sales partner (female)and her boss . no one answer my call until 11:30pm when her sales partner answered my text and she know where she is and would get her. I waited 30 mins still no wife or call . I texted her partner again to ask what number for me to call. She still has yet to talk to me since that day 1 ½ yr. My wife called 20 mins after that. She said that she did not bring her phone or purse. Well fast forward 6 months last mins sales training meeting in Dallas she had to attend same inter action like if I was bother her had to get off phone. Another 6 months after she come back from sales meeting I find many pictures of her and other males co worker who were drinking and eyes looked a little drunk and posing for pictures. She said that it was for company social media. I check NOT no where to be found . she blamed me for looking at her phone and that I did not trust her. I pickup her phone and ask if there was anything she was hiding from and she said NO. I searched for another co workers name up came more pictures with their arms around each other smiling there is on with her partner kissing their boss on the cheek which I think is inappropriate. She said that she always give people hugs. I do not and I choose that. My problem is I do not think that she should be doing this with Male co workers especially when they are drinking. So I ask to set some boundries which just made her made that I do not trust her. I said I do not trust her co workers. I suggest we go to counselling but she said that I could go by myself. Am I off base or just over reacting

    1. I forgot to add that she is not really a drinker, she tells me about these new drinks she tries, she changed her hair color from auburn to blonde, she bought high heels a to wear to banquet but does not own any. Spend a lot of time deleting emails,

    2. Hmm this is tricky. She is getting a new lease of life that’s for sure. It’s likely to calm down – it’s a little like getting a new toy and being over excited. I would assume that all is ok, but that there are definite warning signs of potential trouble here. You need to have lots of chats with her (go out for these) about how to make your home life more exciting – does she want to go out more, or socialise more, or go on holiday more? Potentially she feels that you are cramping her style – this may not be true – but try to be aware of any behaviour that could suggest that. Try to bring more fun and love and romance into your relationship.
      Keep in touch x

  50. I have been with my boyfriend for 8 years and have a 6 year old daughter together. We aren’t currently living together as we cannot afford it. Around 6 months ago there was a girl on Facebook who liked and commented on every single thing he uploaded and they would exchange flirty comments. Every time I asked about her he just said he’s never met her and used to know her from school. About 3 months ago i searched her and she had blocked me so I caved in and read his Facebook messages and they had been talking for about 3 months, he had been slagging me off and telling her that he is “in love” with her and that she is “the one”, and they had met up 3 times at a park with her young child. I forgave him purely because nothing physical had happened and we weren’t in a good place. So I tried hard to make it work, around 6 weeks after that he was being distant again and would go hours without texting me or picking up his phone, so I messaged her husband to ask if he knew him, his reply was “yeah they talk all the time and he comes round our house once a week and stays with her and the kids while I go football”. I managed to forgive again. Yet now he seems to have all these female friends who he has never mentioned in 8 years and who I have never met. I have no male friends purely because he would go mad and accuse me of stuff, so why does he seem to think it’s okay for him to message secretly these female friends? I have asked him this but he just shouts and says “I’ll delete them then” even though he doesn’t. Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks

    1. Ahh you see so often people accuse us of stuff that they would/are doing. I don’t think that you should cut yourself off from friends because of him. It doesn’t matter that there wasn’t anything physical – it was still a betrayal. It’s also not ok that he shouts at you – he should be apologetic, not making you feel bad for what he did.
      As you have a little one, it would be worth having some form of counselling/mediation, so that you can talk properly without him trying to manipulate you. An outside perspective might help too – so potentially a relationship coach instead of a counsellor, as they will be more interactive.
      If he doesn’t sort himself out soon though hun, you need to decide how long you are going to let this continue. Some men are just there to give us lovely children I’m afraid – and then it’s time to move on and find someone nicer.
      I wish you lots of luck and strength in your journey ahead x

  51. i do not buy that “only friends” bullshit any more, you get delegated to fucktoy status and you lose acces to my sincerity about our “relationship”.

    1. That’s direct @Konaro – and probably very wise. Strong boundaries don’t tend to get messed with.

  52. I have been with my Husband for 11 years. Married for 2. I am not sure if I am just being overly insecure or if I am in the right of how I feel. My husband has a female friend, who he has been friends with since before we got together. She didn’t really like me to begin with, but over time, I was able to get to know her a bit and hang out with her here and there. Doesn’t replace the friendship that her and my husband has. Anyway, it was not a friendship that they contact eachother every day, that I know of. At first, I questioned my husband if they ever had more than just a friendship in the past before him and i, he says no. So I have always trusted that, that is all it was. Over the last 1.5-2yrs, I have felt differently about their friendship.

    About a yr and half ago, my husband decided to have some drinks at home. Which he does at times. But I did not want to drink as I was too tired. When I woke up the next morning, he was sleeping on the couch, which was fine until, I noticed cans/bottles that were chick drinks. So when he woke up, I asked him, who was over and why he slept on the couch. He told me it was his lady friend, so I asked him, what time she left, he said he didn’t know. So I asked him, why he didn’t let me know he was going to invite his single lady friend over to drink with him, without letting me know. Cause to me, if you are friends with the opposite sex and they are single, your significant other should know, when they are spending time together. I got very up set with him, becuase I am not ok with him spending an unknown amount of time with a single female and not telling me. I asked him what time she came over, and he said at around 1am. Which is not ok. I asked him to give me his phone, as I want to see what sparked her to come over so late at night and think it would be ok. He got mad and offended at me for being pissed off at him for having a single woman come over, and told me I was just being insecure and jealous. With time, I got over the situation, cause I had no evidence that they had done more than just drink together, he told her that I was mad that she came over, and she said it was lame that I felt that way. Sorry, but its not lame.

    They are still friends, and she doesn’t really talk to me, only when its convenient for her. Which is a red flag to me still. My husband was out of work recently for 8 months, we had a relationship breakdown for a few months, due to his families interference. but we made it back to one another. Anyway, recently I had suspected him to being unfaithful, in one of the ways was through facebook, messaging. He doesn’t let me near his phone, or see his facebook. So I called him out on it, and told him, that I want to see his phone. So I went onto his facebook messages, and seen messages from this same girl who is still single, messaging back and forth to him, talking about meeting up, my husband smokes weed, and so does this girl. but over the last two months they have been meeting up, at our own home and where ever else. He never told me, he was meeting up with her, he kept it a secret. I don’t believe in Single people spending secret time with Married people, or Single people giving married people advice or being there for a shoulder. I am not sure if I am wrong about how I feel, or if I am just being insecure. But I don’t know how to deal with this. Since I found out they have been meeting up, I have felt very insecure. If you have some advice, please.

    1. Hi Hurting,
      I’m really sorry to hear all this, so let’s be clear on a couple of things …
      – It’s not OK to call your single girl friend over at 1am to drink – that smacks too much of a booty call.
      – It’s not OK to then make out that your wife is being unreasonable when she is unhappy about it – that is manipulation, he is trying to make you feel insecure so that he doesn’t have to apologise. A real man would apologise for making such a naive mistake.
      – It’s not OK to have secrets from your wife, so meeting up with this woman in secret and smoking intoxicating stuff is wrong.

      The question is – if he is having an affair with her, then what’s keeping him with you? That could be the one glimmer of light – maybe he is very naive and doesn’t realise how wrong this is?
      I would suggest asking to go to counselling – hopefully they can help you both discuss how you are feeling and help him understand how hurtful and manipulative his behaviour is.
      The alternative is to go looking – ask a couple of friends what they think, put it out there – if anyone knows anything, they are likely to tell you. Or ask her directly – if she wants him, she will tell you.
      Sending you hugs x

  53. Im just a bit confused as to if Im being reasonable or overreacting.
    Me and my husband have been together for 4 yrs and married for over 1 yr. He has always been closer and comfortable to his female friends. In particular he is close to one, who was in a long distance relationship for a while and now married. Before we started our relationship he was pretty much her boyfriend in terms of doing everything for her, calling her several times a day, drove together to work, he was basically a slave for her. She yelled at him he ever forgot to tell her or include her in something that he did with his guy friends. She even control all the people he talked to or hung out with. But they always claimed they dint like each other and are brother-sister. Once we started our relation he spend a lot more time with me and caused a lot of fights with the two. He stopped doing everything for her and she was extremely mad. I also set my boundaries on what im an comfortable with. Now they barely talk to each other. He also said he realizes not how she was very controlling over him. But he still has to soft spot for her. He always calls her from his work and never in front of me. She also only messages him during his work hours. even when we are hanging out in a group he always go on the side a talk about all their problems and how things are going. Never when I am beside them.
    Is it appropriate for me to expect them to be able to talk to each other and open up in front of me? I have never been mean to her or have talked rudely to her. I believe i have always shown her respect.

    Also my husband is something overly nice to people, especially girls. I get that he is nice. but he does anything and everything for any girl he meets. some girls take advantage of it. Some even think he is interested in them. I makes me very uncomfortable as he is someone who will avoid a confrontation even if his life depended on it. I feel like one of these girls will cross the line one day and his excuse will be “o I was just being nice”. and it is something that has happened before.

    Our relationship is amazing and Im happy. but we always fight about why he has to be too nice to girls. Could you please be straight up with me and tell me if I am being a jealous over protective wife ?

    1. My boyfriend and I have only been dating for four months, we talked for five months prior to making it official. I don’t want to be the crazy or controlling girlfriend, but his relationship with a female coworker of ours really makes me uncomfortable. She is married but has a broken marriage, she has told me and many other coworkers about their marital issues. Well, her and my boyfriend have been friends since before he and I met, but the friendship has become a lot closer than it was before we got together. She’s started taking selfies with him when they go out together, one where she’s standing behind him with her chin on his shoulder, and another side by side with her head on his shoulder. Before this I’ve tried to arrange dates that we can all go out together and she always blows them off but consistently invites him to go out without me. I’ve confronted him about this and he seems oblivious to what she is doing.I honestly feel that she is afraid of losing his friendship now that he’s in a relationship and so she’s trying to get closer to him. He said he’ll put up boundaries in their friendship but I feel that I need to confront her. Should I let him handle it or also talk to her about how I feel? Because I am feeling very threatened by her actions. Please help! Thank you!

      1. Hi michelle, I would play it more subtly, like she is. Lots of selfies with him, don’t let them go out without you there, and be so sickly sweet to her, that she knows you are on to him! I did this once and turned up at a works party (something I didn’t normally due to childcare) – it scares the bejeezus out of them, as without being mean you can be clear that you are marking your territory and know their game.
        Also remember that she is probably feeling very vulnerable – she may not be thinking straight herself at the moment.
        Good luck hun.

    2. Wow sounds like she was deeply manipulative and really not a very nice person to be honest. I would play her at her own game to be honest – kill her with kindness, do lots of nice things for her – which she will probably reject and will make her look bad.
      It’s about reminding him that it’s ok to do nice things for other people – but it must never be to the detriment of his main relationship – so it shouldnt affect the amount of time and money he has for your relationship. Also play him at his own game and offer to help them – suggest that as a girl you can help them more – then smile sweetly through your teeth at them and say that you are going to help them.
      Don’t fight with him, be really clear that you come first – that if he helps them first, then it upsets you. Check out my blog post ‘teaching people how to treat you’.
      He obviously likes these high maintenance girls – be like them! <3

  54. Number 4 was the key to how I found out, another was the Cell phone became a constant in hand item, never put down, I wasn’t even allowed to pick it up to check the time. So I started to investigate, I also had to use a tactic that I really didn’t want to use, went into the website and used a backdoor program to read the text. Busted her big time.

  55. Hello!! So…. I have been with my husband for 13 yrs. Only married for 6. After 4 years, I found out he cheated with a friend…. And got her pregnant. We split up for a few months but he wanted to work things out. He opened up to me to let me know when we first got together, he was still sleeping with his ex and that he had messed around with a co-worker after a Christmas party before…. Its been a long road but we have made it through so much!! We now have 3 children together and I feel happier than ever & I feel he’s happier than ever…..
    He got a new job back in December and has been working his way up the ladder. He has talked about women at work and explained them alittle. (Cause I asked, theres no one I need to be worried about right?!?!) He has been putting in extra hours but I know I need to understand he has more duties now and is more stressed out so I try to be understanding. Everything was fine until I was on facebook one night and his coworkers popped up under people you may know…. there were two females right there….. our age…. so of course I clicked on it. Well, one girl stood out to me. Looked outgoing, pictures of her going out and dancing… revealing clothes….. She reminded me of my old friend he slept with…. Well….. I made myself SICK….. Cause he hasnt mentioned her name before..She works in the office of the shop…. The next morning I checked his work phone.. Which he currently only uses for email since everyone already had his cell # at work…. I couldnt help it… I havent felt the need to check on him for over 8 years now, but I had to… Scrolling through I saw emails from this girl…. Most work related with multiple people added. But a few weeks ago, she started adding extra comments and emails…. I’m upset cause I would never talk with male coworkers outside of work… not email or messaging… He would be upset if I emailed or messaged coworkers these things but please let me know what you think…. A few were fine… but now more emails include them saying little things like “your the best”…. A few weeks ago she wrote, “Just wanted to write you to say hi”…. He replied ” Awe thanks. You just made me smile”…… One email he told her, just in case you need to get ahold of me and you cant get me in my office or by work phone my cell is ####…. Another to her ” Hey, stopped by your desk before I left and you werent there. Hope you have a great weekend. ” She wrote right back saying ” Sorry, yah I was running around doing errands!!”
    The other day she wrote “Hey, are you trying to ignore me? Cause your doing a good job if you are!!. He wrote back” Nope, just been busy. Hope you had a great weekend”…….
    Im trying not to get upset but I know he would be upset if I was communicating with men outside of normal work conversations. I feel this is over our boundaries… but that right now its more coming from her….and that I definately need to keep tabs on this… Any suggestions?!?! I feel bad that I looked at his email. But Im glad I did…. I want to see if a new phone # has been texting him since he gave his cell # to her and keep an eye on it…. His regular cell has a password…. and my daughter said he changed it recently…. ( she plays on his phone so she knew it…. and i never really had a reason to know it). I dont want to say anything yet… I want to be able to trust him to say hey, “Im married and feel this is inappropriate” … I mean, weve been there and this might be the first situation he’s come by this again. I want to see that he steps up….instead of me jumping in right now. Thats the only way i will be able to continue trusting him…. Please let me know what you think. Am i crazy?! Or not?! What should I do??

    Sincerely,

    The forgiver

    1. Wow. You are definitely a forgiver.. and props to you for that and working it out. I am going through the same thing so I don’t have much advice… but it sounds like if you worked out the cheating years ago this sounds like nothing.

    2. Hi ‘The Forgiver’ – so I have a friend who gets on really well with the guys in her office and definitely considers them friends. I would say she would have said all of those things, but the one that would worry me is the one about ignoring her. However, your husband’s reply was good.
      I’m sorry I haven’t replied more quickly – the number of comments on this post have been quite overwhelming with my other work I’m afraid.
      I wonder how it is going now – I would just calmly ask him about her and keep an eye out – she does seem to have a lack of boundary.
      Hope all is ok and this has blown over.
      xx

  56. I love this post! So I’m in a longterm relationship I think my boyfriend of 2years. He has a female friend that irks me. They have a lot of history together( intimate relations, and tried to get into a relationship etc.) we’ve gotten into big arguments concerning her a many times. And recently I had a feeling that he’s been talking to her after we agreed to leave people like that in the past. My hunch was correct of course. I found out he sent her money after she supposedly got robbed, and he deletes messages and calls from her as well. He told me he deletes them because he knows I don’t like her and it would make me upset. He apologized for lying and not telling me that they keep in contact. But now I’m having a hard time trusting him, and I don’t want to be naive in this situation. I’m beginning to feel like he’s cheating or he has feelings for her. I’m not sure how to talk to him or how to even feel.

    1. Yes, I know someone who has deleted messages and there wasn’t anything ‘dodgy’ going on, but she didn’t want to upset them as she knew they wouldn’t like it. You just need to be clear with him that pissing you off by talking to her is better than looking guilty 😉
      Always have these conversations out of the house – go out for coffee or a meal, then say ‘there is something that is worrying me, do you mind if we have a chat about it’.
      Good luck x

  57. My husband and I have been married for 5 years. Recently I have become very protective/curious/jealous of his text messages with others… it all started with a couple of months ago when his ex girlfriend and him were constantly texting. I confronted him about it and asked him to show me the messages. He hesitated. But he let me read them and of course, lots of flirty messages were exchanged. To top it off, she made it seem like she was single and available the entire time… and found out later that she is actually in a relationship. Anyway, after that incident I have been snooping on his phone, sometimes with his knowledge, sometimes not. I know it’s not right. But I was really hurt from that incident with his ex.
    Fast forward to present time, he met a girl through work and is CONSTANTLY messaging her. He came home one evening and was on the phone typing away, throughout dinner, not caring for my existence or our kids until 9pm. I had to find out who he was messaging and what they were saying. The messages were innocent but I feel like messaging for that long and so frequently was just not right. They have been messaging almost everyday since (he always tells me it’s networking and work related) but I just don’t buy it. He purposely deletes conversations with her ever since he found out that I read some of the messages and confronted him. Red flag??? And he texts his guy friends about this girl too… and also deletes them. He is a flirt at heart and he doesn’t think it’s a problem. I told him that I’m not comfortable with it and he’s not respecting my feelings. But he keeps saying I’m jealous and it’s all networking. Today he caught me snooping on his phone and became very angry. I feel like he has the right to be but also I also have a reason to snoop.. right??

    1. ok so that is just plain rude – your boundaries need some sorting lovely. It’s not ok for you, or him or the kids to be texting during a family meal. Deleting conversations looks guilty – even if it isn’t, he is putting himself in a bad light.
      The reality is that if he is a flirt, then he is going to eventually get himself into a situation that will be difficult – a girl will take it too far. So what I’d recommend is that you go out with him for a meal and have a chat about this – explain what is likely to happen and talk about the fact that it makes you nervous. Ask him what he would recommend so that you don’t worry about it.
      In the meantime I think that you need to be making yourself seem more attractive – are you taking good care of yourself?

  58. I am hoping to get someone else’s thoughts on my situation. I have never thought of myself as the jealous type, but I wonder what other people think of my current situation. My wife and I have been married for 13 years and have 3 kids. I believe we have had a happy marriage, but this past year has been tough for a few reasons. I had a bad accident which was hard on me emotionally and physically (I am fine now), I was promoted at work which added alot of work related stress, my wife who is a fitness fanatic trained for an iron man, which resulted in her being gone much more on weekends, I picked up hunting again (which I did as a kid before I met my wife) and she is not happy about this (even saying while crying that she says she thinks I am a different person) and the kids are just much busier now with activities outside of school. All of this has made it hard for me and my wife to spend much time together and to make it worse, I often go to bed earlier than her and wake up early so we have not time after the kids are asleep to talk. I think my wife would agree that we have had an emotional disconnect recently.

    Well, my wife recently completed the half ironman. She traveled out of town with a local married couple we know and met up with one of their friends, a married man living 500+ miles away. I knew this was the arrangement and they stayed in separate hotel rooms. Fast forward 2 weeks after the race and I had a few red flags come up. One, all the above was becoming obvious to me. Two, she had not once mentioned the other man to me since the race, but had mentioned many other people she knew who did the race. Three, she discussed going to do a trail race with the same local couple in a place fairly close to where the other guy lives. None of these by these things by them selves struck me as odd, but they did make me go huh. Additionally, there is a history of her having an emotional connection with a guy when we were dating that she concealed from me. Not to get completely into this history, but this guy tried to break up our engagement and also reappeared into our lives after we had been married about 10 years (to me not in a good way, but I believe my wife holds some resentment towards me for asking her not to let this guy get back in our lives in any way). So one night when she was upstairs, I checked her text messages (which I have never done) and sure enough she has been texting the other guy. But the part that bothered me the most was that she had deleted the message chain. I chose not to say anything that night. The next night I looked again, and she had deleted the text chain again.

    I could not take this and did not handle it well at all. I am not the emotional type, but this bothered me a tremendous amount. Ultimately, I confronted her and she said I had nothing to worry about, that it was innocent. I do not believe at all that anything physical happened while she was away, but I do believe she developed a connection with him. In my snooping that I could not control after I saw the deleted chain, I saw in an text chain with the female of the married couple she went with that (she is a good friend) she felt she had a better connection with a stranger (this guy) on the weekend than she has had with me lately. She did say she did not think it was anything to big, but it hurt me emotionally like nothing ever has. Now, my wife knows I saw the deleted text chain, but not the one with her friend. She thinks the texting was innocent, but also admitted to deleting it as she thought I would not like it. She said she feels insulted that I did not trust her and felt the need to snoop.

    Since our conversation, we have both made an effort to find time for us and not just married couple things. We have been going on nightly walks while the kids get ready for bed.

    Meanwhile, I have noticed she has continued to text him some, although now the text chain is not deleted. And he is commenting on her garmin profile (place to share training info,I know this because I also have an account and his posts are public). By the way, she is the only person is garmin “friends” with.

    So this leaves me with what do I do? Is it all innocent? Am I over reacting? Do I have a trust issue with my wife? Or does she fail to recognize the relationship is more than just a friend?

    1. Hi Anon, I think that you have probably handled this very well and reacted before there was a problem and just need to keep at it. Show her how you appreciate her, keep spending time with her, share more. Over a long marriage, there are times when we become more distant from each other and there are likely to be times when we have a connection with someone else. That’s not being unfaithful. But it is a warning sign to readjust our priorities. You may need to look at the balance in the relationship and all of you reduce some of the things that are putting pressure on (something we are doing at the moment).
      Good luck and keep in touch.

  59. My significant other is emotionally/mentally abusive to me…I’m physically/emotionally unable to stand up for myself. This only encourages him more- at work he’s Mr. Charmer. I found on texts on his phone from one particular lady, who’s in a relationship also. Anyway, they have a pet name for each other and she talked so “ego boosting”. He texted her first thing in the morning and at length. You can feel the love for each other as you read the words throughly. Then this man has the nerve to come back to my home and treat me like a dog. What’s wrong with people?

    1. I’m sorry Diana, I know exactly how that happens. Right, your job is to start empowering yourself more. Join my Facebook group ‘Create the dream life with the mummywhisperer’ – there is a free course in there called ‘Time for Change’. I’m sorry I’ve been too busy to reply before, because I’m literally starting a 4 week online course today which would have really helped ‘Law of Attraction for Mums’.
      He is a narcissist – search for ‘gas lighting’ on the web and you’ll find out loads about them. They lack self-confidence, so they either have to behave in a charming/rescuer way to attract people, or break their loved ones confidence. He’s just terribly damaged hun.
      Now it can take a while to boost yourself after being with someone like this. But it IS totally possible.
      Sending lots of hugs and I hope to see you in my Facebook group.

  60. My wife admited to hanging with a male navy coworker at his hotel. But said nothing happened and that they we’re just friends and she wasn’t attracted to him like that. But she sings and he plays the guitar and she was singing. This happened her 1st week she was deployed overseas. But she told me 1st when she called me. Should i or can i trust that. Bc i never was suspicious b4.

    1. I have a friend who is a singer, who has been singing with another guy for years and it’s fine. But yes, I can understand why you are nervous. I’d just have a candid (but non-accusatory) chat about how it could be a little dangerous and she needs to be careful to not lead him on. Make sure you keep in touch with her and think of little ways to make her feel fabulous from afar. xx

  61. My now fiancées emotional affair partner has come to work in his building and I am triggered all over again! It’s been more than one year since the end of their situation which started at work of course. Although he was upfront about it now and their overlapping schedules I am not comfortable with the situation at all. He even went as far to say that she was a “work friend” as in nothing more but that isn’t acceptable to me. Is asking him to find another shift or job unreasonable? I don’t think he would consciously hurt me again, but old habits die hard and with close temptation I don’t want to take anymore risks. Any advice?

    1. It’s tricky with an emotional affair, as technically nothing happened – to a guy they wouldn’t understand our concern. Are there any other signs that there is anything to be worried about? If not, then my recommendation is to concentrate on you two and your relationship – concentrate on how you want it to be. If you can’t feel secure say to yourself ‘I wish I was more trusting, I wish I felt more secure, I wish I felt more grateful for what happened in the past’ – it will actually help nearly as much as using the positive affirmation of ‘I am trust, feel secure and confident in my relationship’.

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