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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have been married over 15 years, have children, and have never had any marriage issues. My wife works in a fairly stressful and demanding job. For most of our marriage, she has worked exclusively with other females due to the nature of what she does, until a few years ago when we had to relocate and her work partner happened to be male for the first time. The nature of her job requires a close working relationship with her colleague and a friendship has blossomed between them. He is roughly the same age, married, and has children as well. She has always become good friends with the previous female colleagues due to the nature of what they do, so it would only make sense a friendship would evolve based on prior experience as well as them having a number of common interests based on their occupation. I have met this man and his family and we have all been out together periodically without issue. He seems very nice. Although I do not believe that anything has happened between them on a physical level, I believe there is a fair amount of emotional involvement based on their circumstances. They text each other periodically outside of work, but not excessively. Nearly all of the time it is work related, but can have an air of playful banter between them on occasion. They will sometimes refer to each other as an ass, dude, ****, etc… while discussing their work. There has never been anything sexual whatsoever, other than this mild name calling and teasing back and forth. They do not call each other much outside of work and when they do, it is always work related. She has even suggested to me on occasion that I become friends with him as I would probably like him. There are no typical signs of an emotional/physical affair that I can see other than them being close friends due to their close work environment. They really appear to be colleagues who have simply become good friends because of how much they have in common. The problem I have is that she seems much more playful around him than with me. I see how they interact on occasion and the playful nature of their communication just seems too familiar and too comfortable for my liking (she laughs hysterically at his jokes). Is it normal to feel this way simply because I am a man seeing his wife have fun with another man and provide friendly attention between each other? I did confront her on one occasion and advised that I needed to understand the mechanics behind their friendship as I was feeling a bit jealous of how smitten she seems to be when she is around him. She simply said that I had nothing to worry about, he was like a brother to her, and that she is glad to have him as a friend. He makes the stressful work environment easier to cope with because of his crazy nature and understands the work related issues she has with the job. So… there is no evidence of anything that I have been able to find relative to a true physical or emotional affair, but my gut can’t seem to let go of this nagging feeling that there is more to the picture based solely on their playful interactions with each other. It really bothers me that they get along so well. And for the record, I have not found anything via text, e-mail, phone, facebook, etc… that would indicate there is a physical or emotional affair between them. Am I selfish and wrong to feel this way and is it merely me being insecure and over protective of my marriage? It’s just getting old with the kindergarten recess mentality with him and the back to reality home life with me… Any help would be greatly appreciated as this is eating me up inside.
 

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Am I selfish and wrong to feel this way
In a nutshell, YES!

You admit that NOTHING IS WRONG.
You admit that there is not the SLIGHTEST HINT of impropriety.
You are JEALOUS that she laughs and has more fun with him than with you! Why don't YOU do something about THAT?

  • Take her out on a date.
  • Joke and FLIRT with her (we LOVE that from hubby).
  • Get out of 'Mom & Dad' mode REGULARLY and be BEST FRIENDS and LOVERS...the kids WILL MOVE OUT someday.
  • Send her flower for NO REASON.
  • YOU plan something fun for the two of you (don't forget to make sure the kids have a sitter, if necessary).

How much fun would it be for YOU if YOU couldn't have fun with co-workers?
-Do you have that report, Melvin?
-Yes, I do John. Here it is.
-Sheila, where are the numbers for Webco?
-Marketing will have them ready after lunch.

NO-ONE wants to work in an atmosphere THAT cut-and-dried. Add to that the admittedly STRESSFUL environment of your wife's workplace, and it would REALLY be hellish.

Celebrate that your wife STILL likes to laugh and have fun! Now, GO GET SOME WITH HER!
 

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Was her relationship with her former FEMALE colleagues the same:

"After work texts some unrelated to work, an air of friendly banter, laughing hysterically at their jokes, emotional involvement, more playful involvement, kindegarten recess mentality, etc."

Research EA's on these boards. Many happily married people who think they will never cheat find themselves involved in one. Many people do not even know what an EA is.

She may be in an EA with this man but will not admit it to you because she doesn't want to hurt you or she may not have any romantic feelings for him. Only she knows.
 

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I agree that this is not ideal for your marriage. One on one togetherness with a person of the opposite sex breeds sexual feelings. You know enought to know the male in this equation certainly has sexual desire for your wife.

How important is her job to your family finances? How important is her job to her?

You have to decide that you have a rule in your world... That close friendships of the opposite sex do not fit in your marriage. No jealousy, just your policy... And start enforcing it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Was her relationship with her former FEMALE colleagues the same:

"After work texts some unrelated to work, an air of friendly banter, laughing hysterically at their jokes, emotional involvement, more playful involvement, kindegarten recess mentality, etc."

Research EA's on these boards. Many happily married people who think they will never cheat find themselves involved in one. Many people do not even know what an EA is.

She may be in an EA with this man but will not admit it to you because she doesn't want to hurt you or she may not have any romantic feelings for him. Only she knows.

Thanks for the reply. They were the same with her female colleagues. I guess that is the issue I have. The only difference is that this is a dude and it makes me nervous. I have spent countless hours researching EA's and the one thing that has always been the case with her is that I have never known her to tell a lie ever... Even about really really small things.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
In a nutshell, YES!

You admit that NOTHING IS WRONG.
You admit that there is not the SLIGHTEST HINT of impropriety.
You are JEALOUS that she laughs and has more fun with him than with you! Why don't YOU do something about THAT?

  • Take her out on a date.
  • Joke and FLIRT with her (we LOVE that from hubby).
  • Get out of 'Mom & Dad' mode REGULARLY and be BEST FRIENDS and LOVERS...the kids WILL MOVE OUT someday.
  • Send her flower for NO REASON.
  • YOU plan something fun for the two of you (don't forget to make sure the kids have a sitter, if necessary).

How much fun would it be for YOU if YOU couldn't have fun with co-workers?
-Do you have that report, Melvin?
-Yes, I do John. Here it is.
-Sheila, where are the numbers for Webco?
-Marketing will have them ready after lunch.

NO-ONE wants to work in an atmosphere THAT cut-and-dried. Add to that the admittedly STRESSFUL environment of your wife's workplace, and it would REALLY be hellish.

Celebrate that your wife STILL likes to laugh and have fun! Now, GO GET SOME WITH HER!
Thanks a bunch. That is the odd part as we still do things like that and I buy her flowers regularly. It's just that she is exhausted during the week after each work day and I feel that he is seeing her at her best m-f and I am getting the leftover for 3 hours a day before we go to bed.
 

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I would not call their working relationship close. For the 100th time on this board...........I have worked in female dominated industries all my life until recently. I have numerous professional relationships with women. We have joked and laughed ( Sorry I am a clever guy). In some cases I even went to lunch with them.......................wait for it......................alone!

On occasion we talk on the phone. I still call them for advice at times because I trust their judgement. They sometimes still call me. I have never flirted with any of them nor they with me because we are friends and we respect each others marriages. My wife also knows if I ever tried anything she would be getting a phone call from them because they respect and love her as well.

OP lighten up. Get to know this guy and like it was stated before work on your game a bit. I think your wife will take note.
 

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Think about it from HER perspective:

She probably really appreciates that you STILL LOVE HER even though you don't regularly get to see her at her best! You love her EVEN WHEN she's tired, stressed, frazzled, etc. She's lucky to have you, and I'll bet she knows it!

Think up something romantic/fun for the two of you in the next night or two. Maybe a bubble bath to relieve her stress before some awesome sex! Or a full-body massage before some awesome sex. See, right there, that wasn't hard.

Go kick yourself in the butt, knock off the pity-party and suspicion, and GET BUSY, Captain! You've got some FUN TIMES to start making with a certain First Mate (who'd probably look adorable in nothing but a sailor hat!)

Hey, what about going to bed a little early and WAKING UP a little early for some early morning sex, shower together, breakfast ALONE w/o the kids...anything before her day is ramped up, stressful, and crazy busy. Maybe not EVERY day, but maybe one weekday per week do ONE of these things with her! I bet you'll BOTH LOVE IT! (and you'd get 'first dibs' on her good humor)

*
 

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Thanks a bunch. That is the odd part as we still do things like that and I buy her flowers regularly. It's just that she is exhausted during the week after each work day and I feel that he is seeing her at her best m-f and I am getting the leftover for 3 hours a day before we go to bed.
Well...did you feel this way when the colleagues were women? It doesnt sound like the dynamics of her job have changed, you are just viewing it differently since she now works with a man. I think as long as she remains wide open with you as she has been with their communication, that you dont need to be worried about this. It doesnt sound from your post like she ever tries to be secretive when they talk/text.
 

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There are a lot of ways things pan out... in the end either you trust your spouse or you don't. Folks cheat with coworkers like they do anyone else. You cant control other people. Only thing you can do trust the person who has committed to you. No way around it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks for all of the replies. It is greatly appreciated. Yes, there has never been any secrecy and she has always been open about everything. The dynamics of her job has not changed, merely the form of her colleague and that is what might be the ultimate reason for my caution. Right or not, I guess that I'm just not used to seeing her that chummy with another guy and it takes a bit of getting used to. SlowlyGettingWiser I appreciate your candor and you are right. She knows that I love her more than ever and has even told me as well as friends that no one could ever love her as much as I do. I guess that there is a level of comfort with me like you said in that she knows she does not have to be at her best around me during the week and can take comfort in the fact I understand when she takes cat naps after work. I was hoping to get smacked around on here and get put back into reality, so I do apprecaite everyone's input. It seems as though I am making an unfair assumption that something might happen because they are of the opposite sex and letting my imagination get the better of me. It's tough sometimes as there are polar opposite opinions regarding whether opposite sex friendships/colleagues can work.
 

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I have been married over 15 years, have children, and have never had any marriage issues. My wife works in a fairly stressful and demanding job. For most of our marriage, she has worked exclusively with other females due to the nature of what she does, until a few years ago when we had to relocate and her work partner happened to be male for the first time. The nature of her job requires a close working relationship with her colleague and a friendship has blossomed between them. He is roughly the same age, married, and has children as well. She has always become good friends with the previous female colleagues due to the nature of what they do, so it would only make sense a friendship would evolve based on prior experience as well as them having a number of common interests based on their occupation. I have met this man and his family and we have all been out together periodically without issue. He seems very nice. Although I do not believe that anything has happened between them on a physical level, I believe there is a fair amount of emotional involvement based on their circumstances. They text each other periodically outside of work, but not excessively. Nearly all of the time it is work related, but can have an air of playful banter between them on occasion. They will sometimes refer to each other as an ass, dude, ****, etc… while discussing their work. There has never been anything sexual whatsoever, other than this mild name calling and teasing back and forth. They do not call each other much outside of work and when they do, it is always work related. She has even suggested to me on occasion that I become friends with him as I would probably like him. There are no typical signs of an emotional/physical affair that I can see other than them being close friends due to their close work environment. They really appear to be colleagues who have simply become good friends because of how much they have in common. The problem I have is that she seems much more playful around him than with me. I see how they interact on occasion and the playful nature of their communication just seems too familiar and too comfortable for my liking (she laughs hysterically at his jokes). Is it normal to feel this way simply because I am a man seeing his wife have fun with another man and provide friendly attention between each other? I did confront her on one occasion and advised that I needed to understand the mechanics behind their friendship as I was feeling a bit jealous of how smitten she seems to be when she is around him. She simply said that I had nothing to worry about, he was like a brother to her, and that she is glad to have him as a friend. He makes the stressful work environment easier to cope with because of his crazy nature and understands the work related issues she has with the job. So… there is no evidence of anything that I have been able to find relative to a true physical or emotional affair, but my gut can’t seem to let go of this nagging feeling that there is more to the picture based solely on their playful interactions with each other. It really bothers me that they get along so well. And for the record, I have not found anything via text, e-mail, phone, facebook, etc… that would indicate there is a physical or emotional affair between them. Am I selfish and wrong to feel this way and is it merely me being insecure and over protective of my marriage? It’s just getting old with the kindergarten recess mentality with him and the back to reality home life with me… Any help would be greatly appreciated as this is eating me up inside.
I know there are posters here who would say to not get over-reactive. I can tell you, 100% this is exactly how my husbands EA began with a co-worker. It simmered and increased for over two years (beginning Fall of 2009 despite having worked together 5 years prior). Then in 12/11, 1/12, 2/12 they crossed over the line into sexual innuendo in text form. They were on the verge of a PA, but thankfully exposure happened before that happened.

Trust your gut.

My husband posted a couple days ago and if you asked him a year ago if he was in an affair he would have said "no" while he suppressed feelings of guilt for his (albeit limited) sexting with her as well as time spent with (secret) that he didn't tell me about. (A couple of lunches, a few runs, and so on.)

Why not ask your wife if she has lunch with him by herself? If you're not comfortable with that, ask her not to. Pay attention to what she doesn't say as much as what she does say. That will give you a read.

T/c
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I know there are posters here who would say to not get over-reactive. I can tell you, 100% this is exactly how my husbands EA began with a co-worker. It simmered and increased for over two years (beginning Fall of 2009 despite having worked together 5 years prior). Then in 12/11, 1/12, 2/12 they crossed over the line into sexual innuendo in text form. They were on the verge of a PA, but thankfully exposure happened before that happened.

Trust your gut.

My husband posted a couple days ago and if you asked him a year ago if he was in an affair he would have said "no" while he suppressed feelings of guilt for his (albeit limited) sexting with her as well as time spent with (secret) that he didn't tell me about. (A couple of lunches, a few runs, and so on.)

Why not ask your wife if she has lunch with him by herself? If you're not comfortable with that, ask her not to. Pay attention to what she doesn't say as much as what she does say. That will give you a read.

T/c
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I do agree that a male coworker cannot be treated the same as a female coworker by your w. The fact is, they arent the same. Right? Youre wife is unlikely to feel physical, sexual and emotional attraction to her female coworkers, correct? And vice versa. Now, this is not to say its anything to worry about YET. But he cannot have the same amount of contact outside the office that a female coworker would. She has already spent her day with him and now she's filling her nights with him???? Thats likely more time than youre getting because of the nature of work. Its 10hrs a day- 5 days a week at his disposal.that is likely enough one on one time IMO. My h's affair started by talking about work too. then it morphed to family and sports and so on. Next thing you know, he's comparing me to her unfavorably in his head. It takes no time to slide down that slope.

Just tell her to be aware adn maybe cut back on her interactions outside of work and no alone lunches. Its all about boundaires really. I do believe men and women can be friends but it must be with proper boundaries and involving each others spouse's. Any man I speak to my H has access to. He has access to all communication. He talks to them as well. I speak with their wives. It keeps everyone above board. Just the way it should be.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I know there are posters here who would say to not get over-reactive. I can tell you, 100% this is exactly how my husbands EA began with a co-worker. It simmered and increased for over two years (beginning Fall of 2009 despite having worked together 5 years prior). Then in 12/11, 1/12, 2/12 they crossed over the line into sexual innuendo in text form. They were on the verge of a PA, but thankfully exposure happened before that happened.

Trust your gut.

My husband posted a couple days ago and if you asked him a year ago if he was in an affair he would have said "no" while he suppressed feelings of guilt for his (albeit limited) sexting with her as well as time spent with (secret) that he didn't tell me about. (A couple of lunches, a few runs, and so on.)

Why not ask your wife if she has lunch with him by herself? If you're not comfortable with that, ask her not to. Pay attention to what she doesn't say as much as what she does say. That will give you a read.

T/c
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Thanks for the help. That's the really odd part as everything seems to be in order. They have never had lunch/dinner alone based on what she has told me. When I first asked her about it she said they had agreed a while back that the lunch thing would not be acceptable unless they were in a group setting with other colleagues as well.
 

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Thanks for the help. That's the really odd part as everything seems to be in order. They have never had lunch/dinner alone based on what she has told me. When I first asked her about it she said they had agreed a while back that the lunch thing would not be acceptable unless they were in a group setting with other colleagues as well.
That's interesting. That means they've discussed boundaries. That means they are aware of the need for boundaries. That's good, especially if its adhered to.

I will say I don't like your noticing the live interaction part. That's what initially tipped me off to my husband's EA.
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Also, take her up on her offer to befriend him!
Yes! His interaction with you will tell you a lot. My husband's AP was a friend. As she shifted into top dog with him she started to become very subtlety dismissive of me. The way he interacts with you will tell you a lot if you look for cues.
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
That's interesting. That means they've discussed boundaries. That means they are aware of the need for boundaries. That's good, especially if its adhered to.

I will say I don't like your noticing the live interaction part. That's what initially tipped me off to my husband's EA.
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Thanks, and you are right, that is the only thing that has me troubled a bit is the fact they seem too playful together. Mind you, no physical interaction (touching), rather it's merely teasing and joking. Then again, judging from other opinions, it appears I might just need to loosen up a bit. I don't want it to sound like I do not want her to have fun. It's just weird for me to see her like that with another guy on a regular basis...
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Yes! His interaction with you will tell you a lot. My husband's AP was a friend. As she shifted into top dog with him she started to become very subtlety submissive of me. The way he interacts with you will tell you a lot if you look for cues.
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Thanks, I have made strides towards that and it has worked out pretty well. It's also one of the things that made me think deeper into the two of them. For example, he and I went to a concert a while back on her suggestion. On my way to pick him up she texted him "Hey Turd, be safe and have fun", while she texted me "Be safe and have fun". I think way too much into these little things since she omitted the name calling in my text. By the same token, after a holiday get together, they gave each other a one armed hug in front of me to wish each other a Merry Christmas. He made sure to come shake my hand and wish me one as well though.
 

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Thanks, and you are right, that is the only thing that has me troubled a bit is the fact they seem too playful together. Mind you, no physical interaction (touching), rather it's merely teasing and joking. Then again, judging from other opinions, it appears I might just need to loosen up a bit. I don't want it to sound like I do not want her to have fun. It's just weird for me to see her like that with another guy on a regular basis...
That's the part that you should continue to watch "...the regular basis". Again, that's exactly how it was with my husband and AP. BUT he had an attraction. After going back through all the emails I can see how it developed with her. He dropped talking about me first, then she did with her husband. They started off as friends. Then the frogs in the cold water went to warm then to boiling. One of them needed to get out of the water.

Your wife may just have a fond attachment as a co-worker to him now but as can happen with women, it can change. Your wife's co-worker on the other hand may already be in lust.
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