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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
His relationships with his opposite sex workmates are confusing me, and worrying me a bit. I believe in equality and in allowing each other space and own friends, even of opposite sex. However, my boundaries for these things have now turned out to be quite different from his.

- Originally it was just one female workmate that I knew of, “Y”, discussed below in more detail. However, lately it has been as many as 5 different female workmates that he meets one-on-one.
o From what I know he has one-on –one lunches and coffees, and drinks at night (in a group) with few of them, and one-on-one lunches, coffees and drinks at nights with at least 2 of them.

- We have full access to each other’s phones and computers and most of the time trust is not an issue. The text messages I have seen (some of them below) are just the tip of the iceberg as he communicates over emails and work phones etc with his work mates. Apart from what I see in the below messages and between the lines in the whole story, is what he has told me. Therefore I rely on his story, which I think is true for most part. We have not really lied to each other, and that is not the problem, rather his viewpoint on these relationships.

- With Y, they commenced a year-long traineeship in the same firm. 6 months in, he started being extra nice to her because her mother died. I think that a certain amount of compassion is good. However what has happened after they got close is not ok in my opinion.

We were living in separate countries August 2009- February 2011:

o 20/10/2009 8pm
• him: “Hey Y, I hope that you doing/feeling okay. It will be great to see you around the office when you return. Just so u know, we are getting nowhere with the revue, [some work stuff] and x is leaving. All the best, K. “
• 10pm She replies suggesting lunch the following day.
• 10:34pm him: “Lunch tomorrow sounds great, good to hear you’ll be back. You’re a truly venerable person (and yes I did look up venerable in a thesaurus). Cheers “
o 22/02/2010 2:36pm her: “Haha I like your thinking – if I cared I would do that too, I still want you to beat z.z’s budget though..”

One summer Thursday seemed to be quite raunchy:
o 04/03/2010 (probably after lunch)
• her: “U have pen ink all over your neck”
• her “it’s in a shape of a doodle”
• 2:45pm her: “whats the male equivalent of drinking from the furry cup?”
• He: “************”

o 10/03/2010 10:03 am
• him: “Sri Lankan?“
• Her: “should we invite Q?”

o 28/10/2010 11:15pm
• her: oh god already regretting spilling so much relationship crap – sorry! Great to catch up x
• him: “No wuckers, good to catch up. I’ve got relationship anxieties too so it’s always good to hear about other peoples”
• her: Haha well that’s a relief – quarter life crisis is doing my head in! Night night

[I had in feb 2011 moved to his country. By this stage, he had introduced Y to his mother and organised a dinner with 3 of them. The mother, according to him, gave Y advice on her master thesis. Him and Y were dating over glasses of wine etc but also attending social work events together in a group]

o 03/03/2011 7:02pm:
• him: “another great fb update by z.z.”
• her: “she’s classic! God help her unwilling victim! Where were u last night?”
• Him: at home. Hanging out with z [=me], she arrived 2 weeks ago and still settling in. We’ll have to catch up at some stage. How was [overseas]?
o 21/4/2010 6.40pm
• him: your friend z.z. just failed (see fb)
• her: oh god thanks for the warning – my sister is going to cop it. Like your comment too!

o 08/07/2011 5:42pm
• her: head down in 5?
• Him: okay shall we just meet at [a bar]?
• Her: I don’t know where it is
• Her: let me know when u are going down and I will join
• Him: “now. Cheers”
• Her: “me too”
o 14/08/2011 3.17pm
• her: in bed with migraine
• him: what a beautiful day for a migraine
• her: ☹ I’m stealing that

[over a year without any text messages between them on his phone – I don’t know why]

o 10/11/2012 10:17pm
• her: thanks for organising last night, was good tucker & company (for the most part). Enjoy the [a band] & see you in a couple of weeks.
• 12/11/2012 8:24pm
• him: hey Y, thanks for sms. It was good to catch up. [the band] were good. Hopefully see u this sat at my b-day drinks. Cheers
• 13/11/2012 12:14pm
• her: yep I will be there! who was your mate in the [band]? Cheerio

He invites her to our home on late hours (against my will):
o 16/01/2013, he tells me that he is going for a drink with another woman colleague “Q” (Y’s friend) to a sports event on a weekday night.
o He asks if I want to join, it’s $30 to get in + drinks and he knows I don’t have the money and I’m not interested in that sport. He also knows that I have an important job interview the next morning.
• I predictably say no thanks. He says he will be home by 11pm. Later he says he would have paid my entrance. But the drinks still would have been expensive. He is ready to spend a lot of money on this type of activities, drinking, but we do not actually have that much money at the moment.
o This woman friend “Q” texts him that night:
• 6:35pm: “Hiii are you here?”
• Him: “no just finished work, who are you there with & for how long?”
• *Q sends him the picture of Y posing in a tight, revealing sleeveless top.
• This is accompanied with a txt msg: “And having first drink…..”
• His reply: on my way, cheers
• Woman: Yayyyy!
o I go to bed at 10:40pm as I have a job interview next morning. He knows I have that interview. I almost fall asleep.
o He calls me around 11pm and tells that he is now jumping to a taxi with Y (with whom I did not know he was spending the night with, I thought it was Q) and her friend from Poland, and heading to our home for a ‘smoke’.
• I feel like getting a punch in the stomach. I tell him that I was asleep, and indicate that I do not wish to have guests at this time of night keeping me awake. He comes nevertheless home with her and her friend, and they discuss in the next room for over an hour and smoke joints.
• Once in our living room, Y’s friend during the night comments ironically on a postcard I have received from a dear friend. Y ironically comments on my shoes in the hallway on her way out.
• I hear most of the conversations because I cannot get to sleep. After they leave, he stays on the sofa watching television. He falls asleep with tv on, and after having kept me awake for almost 2h I go and switch the tv off. As he snores heavily after smoking, I ask him to sleep on the sofa.

- They have been on one-to-one lunches, coffees and drinks countless times since 2009.
- By 2010 while him and I lived in separate countries, they obviously had quite close relationship (something that he still denies).
o In 2010 he introduced Y to his mother, and he organised them 3 to have dinner together. According to him, his mother advised her in her career path because she was wondering where to head with her master thesis. How caring of him!
- In 2011 Feb I had moved into his country. He was planning on doing a master thesis.
- First time he told me about her in this manner:
o Him and I were having a dinner out, shortly after I had moved.
• He mentioned, bit apologetically, that during that week he’s going to have a glass of wine with Y, and that it was her misunderstanding, he did not mean it to be a glass of wine.
o I have met her only once, in 2011. Yet since that she has invited him to her hometown 2h away for an overnight stay, already twice. It is implied that I am invited too. However, am I paranoid or weird if I don’t feel like going?
• He today explained that he back in 2011 feb felt apologetic about that glass of wine because I had just moved into this country and had no networks of my own.
• Why does that make a difference? As he shortly after went out with her again anyway.
• Before that day, and after that day, these dates and glasses of wine with Y and other female colleagues have been ok for him.

- Recently he has failed to tell me when he is meeting her. He says it is because otherwise I get angry. I do not get angry, but would appreciate to be with him when he meets her.

- In the evenings, I always feel like telling him about my day and who I’ve met and how they were. He does not. He says that it would feel weird to tell about all the people he has met during the day, as it is ‘uneventful’. And that he only tells if it is something important.

- He calls me paranoid, unfair and weird etc. regarding this issue when I ask more than once what their relationship is and has been.
o He doesn’t believe nor appreciate, when I tell that every couple has to talk about these things and set clear rules.
o He doesn’t’ believe that I ask about it again because it does not make sense to me, as we haven’t so far had a good talk about it. He always escapes or does not answer my questions. Today he gave somewhat understandable answers.
• In my culture and on this area of work, it would raise questions if opposite sex work mates would repeatedly go out for lunch/coffee together exclusively.
• In this country it seems it is bit more relaxed, and I can live with that.
• However, it does not make sense to invite opposite sex workmate to our private house for a smoke at 11pm when I am asleep, even if she comes with her latest fling. For him it is perfectly normal. That is causing the problem.

- Y has now moved to her hometown 2h away. Whenever she is in our town, they catch up, without my knowledge.
- He is now seeing the other woman colleague Q a lot, and he is keeping contact at least another 5 female colleagues. He has gone for several private night drinks with Q - coffees, lunches etc… even more than with Y, according to him.
- He says that one-on-one drinks in the evening are ok with opposite sex workmates. I do not have any work mates, as I do not work yet in this country. It is very difficult for me to get a good job here.
- I would see that sort of drinks as a romantic date, and I’ve told him that. He will not change his habits.
- I just keep trying to come to the drinks that he invites me to. Sometimes I say no thanks as I am tired or have work. This week when I asked him about his relations, he used that against me. It takes energy do discuss with these smart people and not to make mistakes grammatically (I speak his language as well as I can, as we live in his country - he has said he’ll never learn mine).
- I actually like the company of his female colleagues, however his actions confuse me and it makes me feel sad when he tells me I shouldn’t ask these questions. With Y, when I met her, there was a weird feeling I got at some stage of the night.
o That night, he told me that Y had commented that he becomes very soft when he is with me.

It can be that they both are/have been aware of the possible attraction, and that they have been close, and certainly flirting heavily. I have no issue with that. My issue is with him keeping these things secret, not telling who he meets during the day for coffees etc, and denying that he ever has had a close relationship with her.

I told him about emotional attachment (EA) but he denied it and said he only has emotions to me. Which is a good thing as such. However, he has not been coherent with what he has told about his relationship with Y, and that makes me worry a bit. The txt messages paint me a different picture of him than what I have experienced before. He does not want to discuss this thing for another week now and I promised not to.

I know he loves me and I love him, and we are on solid ground on pretty much everything else. Close opposite sex work mate friendship problem is a part of the power structure that is bit of a problem at the moment. It may remain a problem as I may never get a similar high pay job with as much social life, although that would be what I am educated for.
 

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I would be uncomfortable with that too. One thing that he should never do is discuss "relationship anxiety" with another female. When you have two people of opposite sex talking bad about their spouse to the other person there is nothing good that can come out of it. That is total betrayal. Also I would be very suspicious of a total year of no texts whatsoever. It would lead me to believe that someone is deleting the texts.
 

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Red flags all over the place here. Way too many boundaries crossed and too much one-on-one time spent with his female co-workers. He isn't putting a priority on your relationship and is really disrespecting you by continuing with his behavior when he knows that it bothers you. Now, he has taken to not telling you when he is spending time with these women, doesn't want to discuss the issues, and has continued to do what he wants, again despite your obvious discomfort.

You are going to have to decide what is more important: that you have a partner who is on the same page as you regarding the importance of appropriate boundaries and respects you and the relationship or continuing along with someone who doesn't care about you at all. Unless you come down hard about what you will not accept, then he will feel free to dance all over your feelings. He's doing whatever he wants with these women and you are letting him give you the crappy end of the stick. Don't accept it. You are worth more than that.

Look up the "180" here on TAM. Start looking out more for yourself than him. Make sure that there are consequences for disrespecting you. Better yet, start looking for someone else will respect you and the relationship.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I asked him last night which one is more important to him, his career or our relationship. He replied his career.
I asked whether he would be willing to discuss some boundaries on workplace relations, and he said he's not going to answer that now.
I said well he better think carefully, because I need to be able to know that in order to plan our life together in this country.
The fact is that due to our relationship my career is not as good as it would be in my home country, which puts my preferences in different order than his. If he cares about our relationship, I think he should negotiate some boundaries on the workplace relationships with me. What do you people think - is this too much to ask? Thanks!
 

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I asked him last night which one is more important to him, his career or our relationship. He replied his career.
I am so sorry he said that to you. You should always come first in his life. That is how it is supposed to be. I knew my first marriage was over when my exhusband told me "I love my friends more than you." Now I am remarried and I am the center of my husband's universe. That is how it should be. You should never be second to anything.

I would suggest you go to counseling together. To me it sounds like your marriage is already in serious trouble.
 
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