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Should I be concerned?

PostPosted: Wed Aug 24, 2016 4:13 pm
by Overactivethinker
My husband of many years went on holiday with his mates earlier this year. Whilst he was there, he sent me a picture of the view from his hotel balcony which was lovely, but, just recently, I also found out he sent the same picture to a woman at work at the same time he'd sent it to me. He seems to be overly close and flirty with this woman, meeting her for brews during the day, going offsite for lunch together, instant messaging her all the time at work and up until recently (or so it seems) from his personal mobile at home. He tells her about personal family things and other conversations that I wouldn't dream of having with a person of the opposite sex at work. I challenged him one day when his phone buzzed at home and I thought it was our daughter texting him... I inadvertently opened a text from this other woman and was not happy with the conversation. There was nothing sexual about it, but in my opinion, for someone who is just a 'work friend', it was over the top. I challenged him and he said that it was entirely innocent. I told him, that I thought it was too intimate and mentioned about the photo he had sent her whilst on holiday with his mates... he said that there was nothing going on and in the grand scheme of things, he hasn't had the opportunity to have a full blown sexual affair with her... but, there is something in my gut that is telling me something isn't right. I believe that nothing sexual has gone on, and that he isn't interested in her in that way, but I get a vibe that this other woman may think her confiding in him about her relationship with her partner will lead to something more. I have met her, we work at the same company albeit in different departments, and she seems nice enough, but I am uncomfortable around her. Since I confronted him, he has deleted all texts from her and WhatsApp messages, and never leaves his phone laying around the home as he used to. He is upset that I would think he would do something like that and says I'm not supportive of him. I know he talks to her at work on the Instant message thing because he tells me... it just gripes me every time he mentions anything about her. If this were your partner, would you be concerned?

Re: Should I be concerned?

PostPosted: Wed Aug 24, 2016 6:07 pm
by johnay
Hi I think many men have good and close friendships with other women especially those we have worked with. That he has a close friend like this does not mean he is cheating on you. But we all need someone to offload to. Men don't generally offload a lot with their mates etc but will with women friends. I'm sure you have certain friends that you like to talk a lot too as well. I mostly worked with women in my profession and had a number of very close friends at work. I can honestly say some were very great friends but I never ever had an affair , wanted an affair or got anywhere near an affair. From what you've said it seems that your husband hasn't done anything but if it's making you worry or feel uncomfortable then maybe you should tell him that.

Re: Should I be concerned?

PostPosted: Thu Aug 25, 2016 7:13 am
by Overactivethinker
Hi, I don't believe he has had an actual affair, but he does have an emotional attachment which in my opinion is too attached. She is splitting up with her partner and I get the feeling she wants him to be her Knight in Shining Armour and whilst he may not have those thoughts, I get the feeling she does. I do have friends I can talk to, but I would never dream of offloading my personal matters to another man other than my husband, especially a married one. She has over stepped the boundaries of friendship in my eyes and I am not happy. I have told him I'm not happy, but he continues to meet with her and confide in her. He is more distant around me and seems to be tuned more into her feelings and problems than with me.

Re: Should I be concerned?

PostPosted: Thu Aug 25, 2016 12:00 pm
by Tarantula
Yes, I would be concerned. I have male friends, but there are boundaries in place.. and if at any point my boyfriend were to feel uncomfortable, I'd distance myself without a second thought because he comes first. On the one hand, this has left me susceptible to controlling types of men who take full advantage without legitimate cause; on the other, I just think to myself, why run the risk of making my partner feel uncomfortable? I'm the jealous type. I respond to reason, though, and I know how awful it feels to be insecure in that way, and although that's not the other person's responsibility, I still wouldn't want to put him in that position. It's something I can empathise with a lot.

I think you have to ask some difficult questions as to why your husband insists on keeping up such a close tie with this other woman, even past the point where he knows how you feel about it. He may not be having an affair; but at the same time, your feelings should come first, when it comes to other women. It shouldn't be worth you feeling upset about, in his mind.

Doesn't he have other friends?

I think, if she is splitting up with her partner then yes, she's probably looking for, at best, a stable kind of ego feed of male attention generally, and at worst, would go with your husband if he gave it the green light, which hopefully he won't.

I think it's worth again talking about this to your husband; be honest about your feelings without making him responsible for them. He should try to be understanding. Maybe if he sees it from your point of view, he'll be able to reassure you in a way that doesn't mean you still want him to distance himself.

You could just show him this thread, you know. Because it's a true, unbiased version of how you're really feeling. Maybe if he sees it in writing, he'll see that it's really affecting you. You don't need to be afraid of being vulnerable or looking silly or needy; he is your husband, after all. He should want to make you feel better, which in turn would make you want him to be happy too, and maybe let him get on with his friendship.

You could also suggest that you all go out for drinks together - tell her you're happy to offer a lady's point of view on her relationship troubles. :P

Is she attractive?

Re: Should I be concerned?

PostPosted: Thu Aug 25, 2016 1:04 pm
by Overactivethinker
Hi, I have been to lunch with them both and felt like a third party - threes a crowd scenario. I am just not comfortable with her, I can sense a hidden agenda... call it gut instinct or women's intuition. My husband has lots of friends and he does talk to them, but with her, he seems to share so much more. I've tried to tell him that whilst I don't suspect a sexual relationship with her (being reasonable and he doesn't have the opportunity at work really) I feel that they have over stepped the boundaries and their 'friendship' is a bit too friendly for just a work colleague. I've put it to him about how he would feel if the shoe were on the other foot, and he says he understands, but deep down, I don't think he does. I am not the jealous type at all, I know how he is with other women because I've seen how he is and it doesn't bother me in the slightest, but the fact that he is secretive with her and only tells me snippets of conversations they've had makes me seethe inside. I can't sleep, my stomach churns at the very thought of them meeting, it's driving me mad.

If I were to show him this thread he would just make out I am being paranoid and stupid, more than likely get angry because I've gone online and spoken about my feelings, it really isn't worth trying. I feel as though I am second choice in his life because of her and after over 30 years of marriage, it's not easy to accept. She is quite pretty, but he says he loves me and why would he choose a 'hamburger' over 'filet steak', but it doesn't make me feel any better. He is not really an affectionate type ... he's a 'mans man' type of person, but we've been together for so long, love is just accepted.

Re: Should I be concerned?

PostPosted: Thu Aug 25, 2016 3:47 pm
by Mrconfused74
First of all, just because he has loads of friends doesn't mean he can talk to them. I have people I talk too, but only one that I can really confide in, and she is female. I just find it so much easier to talk to women than men, especially about relationship stuff.

The fact you work together and have had dinner with her would tell me he's not having an affair, no man is that ballsy or stupid, because if they were you would notice. I'd agree his behaviour is unacceptable, and perhaps when he's with you should withhold the urge to message, and I'm sure if he told her this she'd understand.

It's only natural to worry when your OH pays attention to the opposite sex, doesn't mean they are cheating. I talked to a woman that was always having trouble with her partner, so I was the one she moaned too about it, so she could get it off her chest, then would be happy for a while, and not talk to me, seems she only would whenever there was an issue at home. So I was like her way of venting. And maybe that's what he's doing so he doesn't have to with you?

Is this consuming your time together? Have you stopped doing things as a couple? Or did you ever? Maybe he like you say has no intention of doing anything, and regardless of whether this woman will or not, it makes him feel like he's doing something for someone. Perhaps things have changed at home, maybe you both talk less? And he's found someone he can talk too again.

Re: Should I be concerned?

PostPosted: Thu Aug 25, 2016 4:19 pm
by johnay
I think that there will be times when our partner has certain friends that maybe aren't our cup of tea. Sometimes we have to grin and bear it when that happens as our partners are different to us. My wife prefers older company whereas I like younger company. We are all different and in the end we have to compromise as couples. We don't own our partner and if we get too possessive or jealous with regard to a friendship then it can put a strain on a marriage. As MrConfused says it's easier for us men to confide in women than men in some instances and it doesn't mean we fancy them it's just that we do build bonds with folks that we can talk to in a close way to. Obviously if a relationship is threatened in any way by a friendship then sometimes that does need to be sorted.

I'm getting the feeling too that your marriage has drifted to the point where you expect love...After 25 or 30 years it's very easy to get complacent.. Marriages need to be worked on and folks in their 50s sometimes feel neglected or taken for granted. I've been through that stage in my marriage of 41years and know how things can get boring. Personally I wouldn't be being negative with your husband and telling him to stop messaging or ending his friendship. I would be trying to be positive and making a big effort to improve what you have got. Make your husband realise how good it is to be with you. Many men at that age feel life is passing a bit but are still very good physically if they have looked after themselves. Men enjoy attention as much as women although they don't always admit their need for a close physical and emotional connection. But it's easy to let things drift and for both partners to let things just run along. Believe me when I say that complacency like that can get destructive and resentment can build. I hope I don't sound critical as I'm not trying to be but it's easy for folks to bottle things up and to misinterpret things like this friendship.

Re: Should I be concerned?

PostPosted: Thu Aug 25, 2016 5:27 pm
by Tarantula
Hmmmm I'm concerned about the way your husband is responding. He should not jump at the chance to make you out to be paranoid.

Instead, he should be genuinely understanding where you're coming from, and including you in their friendship. If you feel like the third wheel when you're out with both of them, then that's worrying - she should be the one feeling like that, if anything!

If he was making an effort to include you, and if she was also keeping up a friendship with you, then my view would be different. You're a couple; you should come as a package for new friends to an extent.

Yeah, to conclude, I think his behaviour is inappropriate, cheating or not. If my boyfriend was behaving like that, although it's unfathomable, and he refused to take my feelings into account and continued to spend cosy 1-to-1 time with another woman... I'd seriously consider leaving. Well, I think I would leave.

I feel bad for you that it's really driving you mad. I would feel the same. This friendship should not be SO important to him that he's still keeping it up despite how it makes you feel.

I wouldn't be happy if I was in your situation.