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My wife and I have been married 15 years. Trust and Jealously have never been a problem at all until recently. I guess I'm here to find out how others would interpret the actions of my wife's friend. He used to be her boss and they would joke about being work spouses. He is 15 years her senior. They both enjoy running and would often run together on weekends. He is married and the four of us would have dinners and do other activities together, but the primary friendship was between this guy and my wife. We moved out of state and away from him about five years ago and that was the last I thought I would hear of him. Recently they reconnected when she took our kids back to our home state for a visit. This resulted in her planning a weekend trip to go see her friend and his wife at their home in another state. I always kept an eye on this friendship, but never had felt threatened enough to say anything about it. I called her the evening she arrived and she informed me that the wife was not going to be there because of an out of town work project. She claimed not knowing for sure if the wife was going to absent until she arrived.
I was not ok with it and instantly felt as though a game was being played. I did the standard insecure thing and looked at her phone bill. I saw that they spent about 4 ½ on the phone with him during the 30 days preceding the trip. Some of those called exceeded an hour. I also noticed that my wife was not posting anything about her trip on social media, which isn't normal. Also, no photos from her trip were popping up on the cloud, again not normal. I let her know while she is still there that I am not ok with her staying at his home without his wife in town. I'm told they are just old friends and I don't have anything to worry about.
When she arrived home we argue about it. I ask her about the long phone calls. She says it's because she was talking to him about a job that he was going to help her get that would involve traveling back to our home state. She is a homemaker currently, and her re-entering the workforce is something I support, but would have expected her to discuss it with me. I ask to see any texts messages between the two of them, she says she deleted all the text messages to save storage. I find out later by accident that she was texting him on an app. I find this out because the images she sends backup to the photo album. Over a two month period she sends him 40 pictures. Most of them are innocent enough, but 3 are selfies, and three are of her feet. When I ask to see the texts she again has deleted them all. She refuses letting me attempt to recover them.
We are in turmoil for the next coupled weeks. Then I find out by looking at the phone bill that they had another hour long conversation. I ask my wife about it and ask if she was talking to him about our fighting. She says no and is upset that I spied on her. I end up texting the guy to stay away from my wife. He does not respond to me at all. He does inform my wife about the text, and she got really mad at me for trying to control her and ruin her friendship. She promises that she will not discuss out marriage or me with this guy. A couple days later I set up a recorder in the kitchen. I record the guy calling her. The call does not appear on the phone bill. During the call she discusses out marriage, me, I can deduce that he doesn't like me, talks about my dark side, jokes about "if anything happens to her at least he knows what happened". I confront my wife about this call and she initially denies it until I say it was recorded. I didn’t hear anything romantic occurring on the phone call which is a plus.
Through our marriage counseling she has agreed to temporarily stop communicating with the guy. The marriage counselor has maintained that it was not an emotional affair. While I feel better that she isn’t talking to him, I know she wants to resume talking to him. She has also maintained that he has done nothing wrong since she asked him to call her and she was the one who broke her promise. She is upset with me because I told the guy that we are not friends and will never see him again. She also knows I likely won’t ever be comfortable with them spending time together. I feel like his actions warrant me cutting off all ties with him. Regardless of how you want to label their relationship, I feel like his actions were focused on their relationship and disregarded me and the marriage. Any thoughts?
 

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Lots of red flags.

Not paranoia, it's real.

The fact there was no romance talk on the recorded phone call is good, but this is still not right.

I would lay low and find out more. Keep recording and snooping. Btw, snooping is not a violation if your wife
Is giving you good reasons to snoop, and she is.

Stop confronting her. Keep digging.

Even in the remote possibility that there is no hanky panky, this is not good and damaging to your marriage.
 

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Lots of warning signs. What is not clear is whether anything wrong has happened yet. Its possible that it hasn't and she honestly believes it is innocent - but its going in a bad direction.

How is your marriage otherwise? (Not as an excuse, but to get an idea of the best approach).
 

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You already know this is at least an emotional affair (EA), and with her spending the weekend at his home without his W, then it is very likely it is a physical affair (PA), which was likely a continuation of what they had going on before you moved.

TOTAL NO CONTACT between this guy and your W is a MUST ... NO EXCEPTIONS. Also, she can forget the travel job back to your home town. If she can't live with that, well then you know it is as bad as you've feared. Many will advise a polygraph and STD testing, but the main thing is demanding NO CONTACT for life as a first step. See how she reacts to that and get back with us.
 

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She lied about not knowing the wife was going to be away. Does his wife know she stayed with him all weekend?
I think the counsellor is wrong, this is way over stepping the line and deliberately going to spend that weekend with him when she knew his wife was not going to be there is a massive red flag, as is telling you they were both going to be there.

If you want the marriage to carry on she has to go no contact for good. They are both being so disrespectful towards you and your marriage. You have done the right thing by setting boundaries and you may want to tell his wife what has been going on.
 

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Talking on the phone for an hour or more multiple times, and this man is not her husband... is not good.

Deleting her texts...

Sending lots of photos to a man who is not her husband...

Sending selfies and photos of her feet...

Staying at his house all weekend when his wife is gone....

Your wife is having an EA at best, a PA at worst.

From here on out: no more male "jogging buddies," friends, phone friends, texting friends, whatever!!

No more deleting texts. She and you must leave all texts on the phone in case either of you wants to verify. (However she already deletes any incriminating texts, showing she is hiding something and willing to lie to you.)

Have you spoken with the OM's wife and told him everything you know?
 

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Talk to the guy's wife. Don't warn your wife before you do it or she will warn him and he will tell his wife you are crazy. I have a feeling she will be surprised to find out your wife stayed at her house while she was away at work.

You may want to think about firing the marriage counselor. They are just going to do more harm by making your wife feel like she's done nothing wrong. The truth is it doesn't matter what your wife or the MC says, this makes you uncomfortable and it needs to stop.

Keep posting.
 

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You need to contact his wife as soon as possible. He will then contact your wife
and tell her about it. If you can have a recorder so you will know when he does.
I agree that she had to know his wife was not going to be there. If she has agreed
to no contact then telling the OM wife will be a good way of knowing if they are still
in contact. You have every right to snoop on your wife if this is going on. Your wife
will become defensive and try and blame you for something. Sounds like she is all
ready trying to do this. If you have family in your home state consider contacting them
when you get more proof. She should not be traveling any place soon. She may try and tell
you that you are being controlling and they are just friends. If he is 15 years older
then he may be trying to just set her up for something with fake promises of helping
her get back in to the work force. She may be impressed by this but what ever is
going on is not your fault/ do not let her try and blame you. When you contact his wife be sure
and tell her everything (texts, selfies etc)
 

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As other has said, this can only get worse for you if it continues in any sort of way.

Are you prepared to give up your wife/marriage for this??? This is the only real way to break whatever hold this "friend" has over your wife.

From what you posted, you have a chance to turn things around before it is way beyond your control.

You don't really need to gather evidence because what you have is already enough to see where things are going.

I would draw a line in the sand over this issue but you have to be very sure this is the hill to die on for you.

There is no compromise in this situation with your wife - there can be no "phone/text" friends. She has to give up 100% and be totally open with you with her phone/calls/text/apps, etc.

Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I want to fill in a couple things I left out of the original posting. She went for the weekend under the pretense of running a race with the man and his wife. I confirmed through his wife's Facebook page that she had registered for the race. So, initially she was going to be there. Also, this was a long weekend as my wife stayed 4 nights. She claims that 3 of those nights there were joined by another woman who I do not know. I confirmed that that woman did run the race, but have been unable to confirm how many nights she stayed.

Our Marriage prior to this was good, busy life with three young children. We started marriage counseling about a year prior to resolve some re-occurring arguments. We had completed counseling and were just going in for monthly check up appointments. In many ways we have become closer through this, but he has not been cut off permanently.

I also have been working with an individual counselor during this time. My counselor feels there has been an emotional affair. Her take is that my wife is looking to this guy as more of a father figure and for validation and not romance. We both believe that this guy has other motives. Just a friend would not behave the way he has. My wife states that she should not have to give up a friend because there was nothing romantic going on. She can't understand why I am mad at him for the part he played. She says I'm trying to control her. She has flat out said that she will not stop being friends with him when I have asked that of her.

I've been reluctant to contact his wife. My thinking is that if I contact her and create havoc in his household, it won't solve any of the problems in my marriage. He may back off for a period of time, maybe forever, but that doesn't fix things for me. I've been trying to put my energy into identifying what needs aren't being met in the marriage. I understand I can't meet every need, but I want to fill the ones I can so they aren't outsourced. I do like the idea of baiting him into contacting her by talking to his wife. Also, I'm pretty sure he has already shored things up with his wife so she won't take anything I say seriously.

Some of this stuff can be dismissed, but I have a hard time overlooking the deleted tests, secret hour long phone calls that discuss me and the marriage, and the way he responded (or didn't) to me when I texted him to leave my wife alone (made 5 attempts to call him before texting). I think most guys with good intentions would have backed off at that point.
 

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Your wife maybe looking for validation from him as a father figure.
What was or is her relationship with her father. The question is what is
he looking for. From your earlier post it sounds like he is trying to make
himself look like the better option for her. He is married with four kids
and he would have to pay if a divorce happened. Are you more concerned
with creating havoc in his relationship or keeping yours. Your wife is not
being truthful to you, If everything was innocent what is she hiding things for.
How did you find out about the other woman running a race. On your own or
did your wife tell you. Your wife should have told you about everything if
she is not trying to hide something. I still think you should tell his wife and if
it destroys their so called friendship better than your marriage. It sounds like
your wife is way to close to this man. I still think he is trying to set your wife
up for some type of relationship. (PA) He talked about your dark side and everything
else. Your marriage and counseling or what ever is not his business. If everything is
innocent then have your wife call him on speaker phone and tell him to stay out
of your marriage. You posted that you and her have been going to counseling
all ready. That is between you and your wife not him!!
 

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You REALLY need to tell his wife, esp. indicate what he was talking to her about on that phone call. Play her the tape so that it isn't a he said/she said type of thing (especially if he has already warned her). He is grooming your wife for sure -- trying to get knock her feelings down about you. YOUR IC was correct and the MC was wrong -- it IS an EA. No contact at all, tell his wife. You wife has ALREADY lied to you, so don't accept what she says unless you can corroborate it.
 

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I want to fill in a couple things I left out of the original posting. She went for the weekend under the pretense of running a race with the man and his wife. I confirmed through his wife's Facebook page that she had registered for the race. So, initially she was going to be there. Also, this was a long weekend as my wife stayed 4 nights. She claims that 3 of those nights there were joined by another woman who I do not know. I confirmed that that woman did run the race, but have been unable to confirm how many nights she stayed.

Our Marriage prior to this was good, busy life with three young children. We started marriage counseling about a year prior to resolve some re-occurring arguments. We had completed counseling and were just going in for monthly check up appointments. In many ways we have become closer through this, but he has not been cut off permanently.

I also have been working with an individual counselor during this time. My counselor feels there has been an emotional affair. Her take is that my wife is looking to this guy as more of a father figure and for validation and not romance. We both believe that this guy has other motives. Just a friend would not behave the way he has. My wife states that she should not have to give up a friend because there was nothing romantic going on. She can't understand why I am mad at him for the part he played. She says I'm trying to control her. She has flat out said that she will not stop being friends with him when I have asked that of her.

I've been reluctant to contact his wife. My thinking is that if I contact her and create havoc in his household, it won't solve any of the problems in my marriage. He may back off for a period of time, maybe forever, but that doesn't fix things for me. I've been trying to put my energy into identifying what needs aren't being met in the marriage. I understand I can't meet every need, but I want to fill the ones I can so they aren't outsourced. I do like the idea of baiting him into contacting her by talking to his wife. Also, I'm pretty sure he has already shored things up with his wife so she won't take anything I say seriously.

Some of this stuff can be dismissed, but I have a hard time overlooking the deleted tests, secret hour long phone calls that discuss me and the marriage, and the way he responded (or didn't) to me when I texted him to leave my wife alone (made 5 attempts to call him before texting). I think most guys with good intentions would have backed off at that point.
I don't know if your wife is having an affair or not. However, after reading 100's of threads you see familiar patterns emerge and your marriage has a lot of red flags. I did a lot of things wrong when I was dealing with my wife's close friendship with a co-worker. If I could go back in time I would take much stronger action and save myself years of doubt and pain.

You will see it posted here that you have to be willing to end your relationship to save it. If you back down from her ending all contact with this guy you are going to be in for a bad time. Think of it this way, why would you want to be married to someone that has so little regard for you she won't end a supposed platonic friendship because it makes you really uncomfortable? That's pretty f'd up right? She says she only cares about him as a friend, but his friendship is more important than your marriage? That's f'd up!

And just to be clear, she is right that you can't control her. However, you can control what you are willing to put up with. If your boundary is no contact with this guy, then tell her any further contact will result in you speaking with a divorce attorney. (You can't bluff on this). She can decide what she wants to do, but you won't put up with it any more.

(You should really fire the MC because I don't think they know anything about infidelity).
 

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I think you are being completely reasonable. It’s not as though you don’t have reason to be uncomfortable. The fact that she deleted texts, and lied are huge red flags. I have good female friends from work that I talk to sometimes outside of work, texting etc. and if my wife says, “no more”, it’s OVER. Those opposite sex friendships exist because she allows them to. Same with men she may talk to. If I tell her I’m uncomfortable with them, she would shut them down immediately. We respect each other and our marriage far more than any of those other relationships. It’s not even a contest. The fact that your wife is putting up such a fight says this is likely an EA. Them talking about your marriage and her denying that conversation is a huge indicator of that as well. Also, This guy is toxic. You have made it clear that he needs to leave your wife alone and he is still sniffing around. That is your WIFE. That word has immense weight. He needs to respect that. The fact that he hasn’t done that says he is valuing her friendship far more than he should be. That’s a huge red flag. Don’t let up. Tell her you love her and you feel the relationship with this guy threatens your relationship with her and that is NOT ok. She needs to understand how it makes you feel.
 

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TELL HIS WIFE! Your wife is disrespecting you! If for no other reason than that you have valid grounds to walk away and leave those two lovebirds to have their way. He is 15 years older so he won't be worth a damn in a short while and she will be on her own. Let me tell you, brother, that unless you have total communication, respect, love, and trust between the two of you........you don't have anything worth saving. Cut her loose unless she gets her **** together and is committed to the relationship.......Not some old fogie..........
 

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There are zero red flags. To me, red flags are curious things which can be taken either way. None of these exist in your post.

Everything you wrote is terrible and doesn't get better. She texts him on hidden apps, calls him for hours, deletes text for storage, deletes them again, sends 40 pics, won't let you read texts, talks to him after you have set multiple boundaries, fights with you and then calls him about the fights. Then she played the "OMG, you are controlling" trump card to make you back off.

I'd promptly ask the wife if she knew your spouse came over when she was out of town.
 
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