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I need some feedback on something that has been bothering for some time.

My husband has had a female friend for the past four years. They became friends a year before him and I met. This friend of his had feeling for him shortly after they met and she expressed those to him. He told her that he didn't feel the same way towards her. She said she respected that and they are still friends today, close friends. She lives states away from us. But they are in contact all of the time as far as I know. It is still obvious that she has feelings for him.

He doesn't talk to her at the house. If he does talk to her at home (it's rare) he goes to another room and talks low. They usually talk for hours. They text all the time. And they will email.

My husband will tell this friend that he loves her. He told me at the beginning that he says it because she started to say it.

Now, I've done something I shouldn't have done. I looked at his email a couple times to see if there is anything that I am overreacting about. I did find a couple emails from her that are (to me) inappropriate. They buy each other birthday presents. And when we want to do a vacation-type weekend and involve friends (like her), he will pay for things for her - i.e. - dropped $400 for a round trip plane ticket; $200 in gas money.

Shortly after him and I were dating his Mom had gotten really sick. His friend offered to fly here and help him with his Mom, cleaning, taking care of her, her pets and anything else because he didn't have to be alone in this.

She also said in an email (after a group of friends', including her went on a trip together) that things didn't feel right when they left each other ... because she didn't say that she loved him to him (i was not on this trip). The email also said that 'absence makes the heart grow fonder' even in friendships; it's stronger.

Now, as for my husband, every chance he gets when we're out with family or friends, he is talking about this friend and how great she is. He always brings her up.

I know this is a lot of stuff to just spew out on a forum. There is a lot on my mind and I tried to sum things up without typing forever.

My question is, should I have a sit down with my husband about his relationship with this girl or should I just find a way to deal my feelings on my own and get over it.

I know that my husband chose me. He knew her and how she felt before he ever knew me. But I can't help but think that he is unintentionally being sneaky with this friend.

When they are around each other and we are ready to head home. He gives her a hug that lasts way too long and is way too huggy. We don't normally see this person but once or twice a year.

He is a great guy and he loves all his friends dearly. He would give anyone the shirt off of his back if they needed it. I just feel that mostly he is someone inadvertently having an emotional affair with this girl. I don't want her to think that there is actually something more there than there is.
 

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I My question is, should I have a sit down with my husband about his relationship with this girl or should I just find a way to deal my feelings on my own and get over it.

I know that my husband chose me. He knew her and how she felt before he ever knew me. But I can't help but think that he is unintentionally being sneaky with this friend.
I would say that you need to do both. Your need to appropriately share your feelings with your husband. He may not even know how you feel about this. You don't need to let him know about your snooping in the email, just let him know about your concerns. After that, ask him if he has any solutions (Men love to fix things). Let him come up with solutions to this issue.

You do have a right to have these feelings. Just make sure they don't take over (emotions can often do that). Some may view your husband's behaviors as an emotional affair, some may not. Regardless, your husband is walking to close too the line of what is appropriate and what is not in having friendships with members of the opposite sex.
 

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Does your husband confide in you as deeply as you suspect he confides in this female friend? She goes along on vacations ... do you and your husband ever vacation alone? How much time do the two of you spend in quality time; by that, I mean, preparing dinner together, watching a favorite movie on t.v., taking walks, just enjoying one another's presence.

It's okay to have opposite-sex friends. I have a guy friend who is married. There are no hushed conversations behind closed doors, no intimate emails, nothing to make his wife think we're anything other than buddies .... because we aren't.

The fact that the other woman has feelings for your husband, even if they aren't reciprocated by your spouse, makes it sound like an emotional affair. If nothing else, it's probably an ego boost for him to have this woman pursuing him. Whether it's a crush or she wants more than that ... he is being a bit secretive, it's bothering the heck out of you, and it's not making for a particularly cozy situation.

Time to sit down and have the talk. Try to keep it as unemotional as possible. If this gal wants to tag along on vacations it's one thing (although I find it weird), but your husband paid for her airfare. He is sending mixed signals. He says he doesn't want a serious involvement with her, but he gives her just enough to keep her hooked.

And, NO, long phone conversations in another room aren't appropriate. You're his wife. Let him converse with you. Frankly, it sounds like you are the third wheel here. Time to set your boundaries as to what you find acceptable in your marriage. I'll be interested to hear what he has to say after your talk.
 

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I do think you are well within your rights to explain your feelings about this woman to your husband.

You husband is very open about her which leads me to believe he has no idea this is bothering you. He probably assumes you have accepted his relationship with her at this point, and will likely be surprised when you call him on it. But that doesn't mean you shouldn't be honest with him about your feelings.

It's a little weird to me that they are professing love for each other in a situation like this, and that you didn't speak up a little in the beginning. This is definitely something not to sweep under the rug.
 

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Boundaries! I now that part of my problems stemmed from not setting appropriate boundaries and enforcing them. You need to have a discussion and he needs to change his behavior. If he can't have the conversation with you hearing both sides of it, then he knows it is improper.

IMHO
 

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First, thank you all for your feedback. Each and every one of your responses have been so helpful.

I know that there are such things as opposite-sex friends, I have a few myself.

In the beginning of this friendship between my husband and this girl ... he had expressed through email to another female friend of his how he thought she had feelings for him but he didn't feel the same. The female friend thought that he should be with her which didn't help the situation. She thought the two of them would make a great couple.

It's definitely time for me to have a sit down with him. I do not like how this entire situation has made me feel.

My husband and I have lots of quality time together. And he does confide in me deeply. I just don't know for sure how much confiding he does with her.

I personally think deep down she knows he will never be with her but she wants to 'always be there' 'just in case'.

And I want to thank the person who made the "third wheel" statement. She went on a trip that a handful of friends of ours planned a couple months ago. She stayed at our house (she lives out of state) and the three of us drove to our destination. The entire time she was around, I did feel like the third wheel.

Thank you all! And I will let you know how our talk goes.
 

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In my opinion, on some level, opposite sex friends are OK. It seems to me that there are times when it's almost unavoidable. I am a man and 90% of the people I work with are women - friendships are bound to happen especially after working with the same people for several years. Not my choice, it is what it is.

Acceptable boundaries include:

  1. No complaining about your spouse or your marriage
  2. No talking about anything that purposely evokes emotion
  3. If the other person's spouse becomes uncomfortable with the relationship, anything unnecessary ceases
  4. No talking about anything you wouldn't tell your spouse

Follow those rules and I think the framework is there for decent, acceptable, fruitful relationships. Break them and you jump onto a VERY slippery slope in a serious hurry.

Talk to your husband - I doubt either of them is abiding by those boundaries.
 
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