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My wife has a close male Facebook friend. Are my feelings of "jealousy" justified?

My wife has a close male Facebook friend. Are my feelings of "jealousy, pain and shame" justified?

Background:

My wife and I are both about thirty-two and have been married for 8 years. We met 12 years ago and have been together pretty much ever since. We have 2 children. They are boys 3 and 5. I work a lot. I always have. Sometimes 60 hours a week, sometimes 40. It all depends. My job is very demanding and stressful at times. I make a good living and I am proud to be able to support my family. My wife is very intelligent. She has a master’s degree. She is a deep thinker and loves to debate. She gets bored and/or frustrated by the average thinker thus has a hard time making friends. This is especially true in the South as most people don’t share our same views. She has worked at her profession in the past, but now stays at home to raise our children until they go to school. This is what she wanted and I agree. Our marriage has been stressful at times. This is another topic in itself. I will just say that we have not seen eye to eye on many issues in the last 4 years. This caused much tension and heartache for both my wife and I, but we managed to turn a blind eye to our problems, either by going numb to them or relieving our stresses in our own ways. I am faithful and I completely trust that my wife has always been faithful to me. Even with our problems, I am certain that we love and trust each other very much.

The Issue:

About 2 months ago my wife reconnected with an old friend that she knew 10 years ago. I have never met this person. We now live 1000 miles apart. He called one day at the beginning stages of their reconnection while we were driving in the car. He asked, through my wife, if it was ok that they were speaking with one another. “Sure, no problem.” I didn’t even have a second thought about it. They kept communication for the next 2 weeks via facebook, some emails, maybe phone calls, I don’t know. I had no idea how much contact there was. I wasn’t worried about it. During this time I was working 60+ hours a week. My cousin was also scheduled to fly in and visit for 6 days. Very stressful, but it was booked 2 months earlier. As a good host, did not want to ignore my cousin. I get to see him once a year, if that. I worked and played very hard that week. I tried to include my wife and kids during the day and host my cousin at night. That Saturday night, my wife woke me up at about 11 PM. She said that she couldn’t sleep and that she had something to tell me. She told me that she had a sexual dream about this person the night before while I was out with my cousin. Again, “No problem.” I told her that this is completely natural. There is no way to control your dreams, fantasies or your feelings. Don’t worry about a thing. She was relieved and she said “That is what HE told me when I told HIM about it.” I was immediately taken aback. I was crushed. I asked her why she shared this with him, another man. She said that it was because I simply wasn’t there. I was out with my cousin. We talked about it for an hour or so. Because of my hurt feelings I had to dig deeper to find out what kind of relationship they really had. During this conversation I learned that she also revealed to him that she had had a sudden increase in sex drive and that this was partially triggered by their reconnection. This was something that I noticed a couple weeks earlier, but I thought that it was great. She explained to me that they were just friends and that is all that they ever been. In fact they made a pact years ago that they would never sleep with each other. She said that she does not find him attractive at all. They just have a lot in common. They love to debate about off the wall topics. They connect on an intellectual level. He is currently unemployed so she was helping him with his resume. He is bored and has a lot of time on his hands. He also has some emotional problems. My wife, being a therapist, misses doing that kind of work and wanted to help him through his issues. My wife has been working hard on a book that she is writing. She has little experience doing this so he was reading it and giving her notes. I can relate very little to the subject of her book. Although I am very supportive, I am still an a$$hole for not finding the time to read all of it and help her in any way that I can. I realize that now. She asked about meeting up with him the next time she went back that way. She travels without me from time to time. I did not like this idea at all. I told her how all of these situations made me feel the best that I could at the time. I was shaken up and confused. I told her that I would be able to think more clearly in the morning. We slept on all of this.

I felt no better in the morning. I was so saddened and hurt that she would share intimate details with another man. Especially the man that was the trigger of the sexual feelings. Thoughts are in my mind. “How should I deal with this?” “Am I being ridiculous?” “Am I blowing this out of proportion?” “Will this feeling last only 1 day and be gone tomorrow?” “What if the roles were reversed? How would she feel?” I know that I have ZERO female friends that I would speak to about sexual matters, especially if they were the subject of the matter. Single or married, it would change the entire relationship. All of my female friends are linked to me through my male friends (girlfriends, wives, etc.). I care about them, but I would have no reason keep in contact with any of them on a near daily basis. I told her all of this. I knew that telling her that she could not speak to this person any longer would be a terrible move. It would be controlling. It would make me look like some sort of macho man, brute, jealous type of guy and that is far from who I am. I have never felt one ounce of jealousy in the first 12 years in our relationship that didn’t subside in 10 seconds. My decision... I told her that she knew how this situation made me feel and that she needed to think about it and do what she thought was right.

Unfriend. She immediately cut all ties with a short explanation and a goodbye on facebook. I was somewhat relieved but I knew that there would be a period of anger. In a way, I forced her into making a decision, which is still controlling. It took one day for the anger to come out. She cried and wanted to know why I was able to choose her friends. During all of our past hardships she simply looked the other way at all of the things that I have done to hurt her. Good point. We discussed our past problems in length and I realized that the problems were far worse than I was aware of. I was oblivious for 4 YEARS! I keep things bottled up for long periods of time. I made a decision that day to change many things in my life. I need to give my wife and children the attention that they deserve. To be the husband that my wife needs. To communicate perfectly and share our feelings. I know that I cannot correct the past issues, but I am through with ignoring them. I have kept this up since that day. It is simple to do and I love it. I thought that my effort and time might heal her feeling of being controlled. Ups and downs for a little over a week and a lot of talking. She amended her story and told me that she never really told him about the dream. I don’t know what to think. That didn’t help me. I was still a mess. I couldn’t eat, or sleep properly. I couldn’t think at work and I was in the middle of leading the hottest job of my life. I spoke with two of my trusted friends about the issue and she spoke to one of hers. This got us nowhere. My friends agreed with me and hers agreed with her. I explained the situation in a very unbiased way, taking her feelings into consideration. I really just wanted someone to tell me that I was being ridiculous, but that didn’t happen. So, finally a possible resolution. I know that my wife was desperate to speak with this person. She wanted to do one thing for closure. She asked if she was “allowed” call him to say sorry and thank you. I told her “Absolutely. You are allowed to do whatever you want.” If that is what will make you feel better go right ahead. I am trying to convey that this was her decision. I am not the controlling guy. Then I said “Talking to this person does not bother me at all. It is having a close relationship given the information that has been already shared.” Bad mistake on my part. What I meant was, talking to any person doesn’t bother me. This one still bothered me. She took this to mean that it was ok to talk to him as long as she didn’t share anymore intimate details and I would be fine with it.

Facebook messages started up again immediately. I don’t know how much contact is happening, but I know what is running through my mind. I am feeling worse than ever, but she seems happy. Sex is great and I am trying to smile through the pain of being replaced every morning as soon as I leave for work to support my family. I can’t keep up that facade long. We were talking about it daily and it seemed like beating a dead horse. My pain is turning to anger at this point because I can’t understand why this person is so important to her. I am wondering why she doesn’t care about my pain. I conclude that it is payback from all of the times in the past that I have ignored her feelings. The fact that I realize that we have hurt each other in the past and that I have made every effort to completely change my ways and I am trying my best to be the perfect husband, seems to be moot. I finally asked her how much contact she is having with this person. Her: Not much. Me: Everyday? Her: No. Not conversations everyday. She told me that I can read her messages if I’d like. I said that I did not want to pry in her business. She went to bed and emotions and curiosity got the best of me. I picked up her iPad and there was facebook. I did not read the messages. I didn’t want to. I just wanted to know the frequency. I just scrolled through the last 4 days since they were speaking again. I scrolled and scrolled and scrolled. A couple days weren’t bad, although I could see that the messages were time stamped at 8AM as soon as she wakes up. On that current day there were nearly 700 messages! I rough counted in multiples of 10. From the time that she woke until I got home from work. I was again crushed and this time, a bit mad.

The next day I am useless at work and wondering how long I can keep this up without being fired. I called her that morning and immediately told her what I had done. I felt guilty but she did give me permission to read her conversation and I didn’t even do that. We spoke on the phone for well over an hour and again I pleaded with her to tell me why this person was so important to her. Why so much conversation? It is only innocent conversation over facebook, but what if the same innocent conversation was happening on a nearly day to day basis in my living room. I know that it is different, but I am trying to find a way to make her see my point. I told her that the level of contact is just too much. Again we resolve very little and I try to get my head together. When I got home that night I had a solution. My wife and I having the same conversation over and over was getting us nowhere. After all there was a third party involved. I wonder what he has to say about the matter. So I asked for his phone number. I explained to my wife that I was just going to tell him how I felt about the situation and that was it. No anger. I called and we spoke for 30 minutes. I explained to him how the closeness and frequency of their relationship made me feel. How I felt that he was picking up where I leave off every morning when I leave for work. I told him that there was certainly a sexual attraction when they knew each other long ago. My wife is a beautiful person and if there wasn’t then he was a fool. He did not deny this. I was completely calm and unbiased in this conversation. My wife was very uneasy because I went outside to have this conversation although I knew that she was standing around the corner. I could see her shadow. In closing I told him to call my wife and talk it through with her. I never once even implied that I was ousting him from her life. He did not call my wife. He sent her a message 1 minute later stopping any further contact. My wife blamed me and asked me if I was happy that I got what I wanted. I told her what the conversation consisted of and told her that I absolutely did not make that decision for him. I asked her to call him. She did and they had short conversation. I don’t know what was confirmed or denied.

Now, three weeks later, emotions have worked a full circle and she is back to anger over being controlled. We had another conversation last night and talked through why she is so angry. Many things came out about her control issues in the past. I am thinking that it is deeper than just this issue. My presence is now making her anxious. She said that she needs time and space. She is misinterpreting my new closeness to her as control and clinginess. I swear that it is love. She is still mad about my screw ups in the past and I try to remind her that we had both done things to complicate our marriage. I do not want to blame her for anything though. She is convinced that I “got my way” on this issue. She is also convinced that I don’t trust her. I have told her and tried to explain how much I do trust her 50 times since this started. She feels that I get to pick her friends and that our relationship is leading to a controlling one which she wants no part of. She has been there. This is our first “control” issue in 12 years. I think that this was not a win/lose situation. Just 2 people with hurt feelings that need to find a way to get over this. All I know is that when she feels bad, I feel bad. I don’t want either of us to feel bad anymore.

I need to know...

Was I wrong from the start? Should I have ignored my feelings and done nothing?

Am I a ridiculously jealous person?

Could I have handled this in a way to make it less of a control issue for her?
 

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Re: My wife has a close male Facebook friend. Are my feelings of "jealousy" justified

What a wall of text. Here is a short answer. NO you are not ridiculous, and you should be jealous.

Do you know what emotional needs are? Your wife is getting an emotional need filled by her 'Friend" instead of you. Does she have that much communication with you, her husband?

This is an emotional affair. Do you know what and EA is?
Google it. Or better go to this site Dr. Shirley Glass - NOT "Just Friends", read the book and have her take the quiz.

Read this book too, learn what emotional need are.

His Needs, Her Needs: Building an Affair-Proof Marriage: Willard F. Jr. Harley: 9780800719388: Amazon.com: Books

Act quickly, the longer you wait the harder it will be to handle. Your marriage is at risk.
 

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Re: My wife has a close male Facebook friend. Are my feelings of "jealousy" justified

What a wall of text. Here is a short answer. NO you are not ridiculous, and you should be jealous.

Do you know what emotional needs are? Your wife is getting an emotional need filled by her 'Friend" instead of you. Does she have that much communication with you, her husband?

This is an emotional affair. Do you know what and EA is?
Google it. Or better go to this site Dr. Shirley Glass - NOT "Just Friends", read the book and have her take the quiz.

Read this book too, learn what emotional need are.

His Needs, Her Needs: Building an Affair-Proof Marriage: Willard F. Jr. Harley: 9780800719388: Amazon.com: Books

Act quickly, the longer you wait the harder it will be to handle. Your marriage is at risk.
:iagree: :iagree: :iagree: :iagree:

Sorry, I just skimmed, but the fact of the matter is that when people are married, opposite sex friends should be OFF THE TABLE. Period.

Not Just Friends is a book you and you wife NEED to read. Very very soon.
 

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Re: My wife has a close male Facebook friend. Are my feelings of "jealousy" justified

Tell her you love her and you want her, but you can't share her with another man. Then it's her choice. That's really all there is to it.

She may have to seek out her fantasy and then realize he wasn't really all that; in the meantime, she'll have lost you.

DO go out TODAY and get Not Just Friends and read it; start reading passages to her. She may pretend she's not listening, but she'll hear it and recognize herself in it.

As soon as you're through with that, get His Needs Her Needs so you can pull the damn marriage back together.
 

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Re: My wife has a close male Facebook friend. Are my feelings of "jealousy" justified

Time for me to dust off one of my old posts. It was originally written to a man whose W had reconnected with an old flame on F**kbook:

Right now, the texts/conversations may very well be innocent, but soon they will morph into:

Their lives since they parted
Their relationships since they parted
Their families
Their spouses
You
How you're an excellent father
How you're a great husband
How you're a wonderful guy
Your job
How your job keeps you busy
How your job keeps you away
How she sometimes feels lonely when you're away
How she sometimes feels a little taken for granted
How she sometimes feels a little overburdened at home
How she feels that you don't ALWAYS listen to her
How she feels that you don't always understand her
How she sometimes feels like you're "not there" for her
How...okay, you're not ALWAYS such a great guy
How she love hearing from him
How she loves talking to him again
How she looks forward to his texts/calls/e-mails now
How she feels young again
How she feels attractive again
How she feels appreciated again
How it's been so, so long since you made her feel that way
How her eyes have now been opened
How she now realizes what she truly wants and needs
How she realizes that you could never give her that
How she now realizes that she "settled" for you
How insensitive you can be sometimes
How you can be a real jerk sometimes
How she wonders if they would have stayed together
How she now realizes that she never really loved you
How she now realizes that she really loved him all along
How she could ever have fallen for a jerk like you
How you're the biggest ******* she's ever known
How you're standing in the way of her true happiness
How you ruined her life
How she made a big mistake marrying you
How she made an even bigger mistake letting him get away
How they were really meant to be together
How she desperately has to get away from you
How she's definitely leaving you
How she's already talking to divorce lawyers
How they're going to live happily ever after...

...get the picture?
 

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Re: My wife has a close male Facebook friend. Are my feelings of "jealousy" justified

Time to get your ass in gear and get your head out of it. Your W is in an emotional affair (EA) with him, and she is already rewriting history and blaming you for her perceived sorry state your marriage has got to. And worst of all, you are falling into her trap.

You have to put you foot down and tell her that she is risking her marriage, family and happy home because of this man. She is already playing the "controlling" card on you (classic response from a cheater who refuses to accept responsibility for their actions).
 

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Re: My wife has a close male Facebook friend. Are my feelings of "jealousy" justified

Tell her you love her and you want her, but you can't share her with another man. Then it's her choice. That's really all there is to it.

She may have to seek out her fantasy and then realize he wasn't really all that; in the meantime, she'll have lost you.

DO go out TODAY and get Not Just Friends and read it; start reading passages to her. She may pretend she's not listening, but she'll hear it and recognize herself in it.

As soon as you're through with that, get His Needs Her Needs so you can pull the damn marriage back together.
This...do this...I did with my H and believe me, I'm so glad I did. I believe I'd have at least an EA on my hands if I hadn't put the kibosh on this as soon as I found out about the contact. And follow up; don't assume that contact will end right away, as my H's 'friend' tried reaching him 18 months after their last contact...his weak protests got followed up by a letter from me. Take the bull by the horns if you have to.
 

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Re: My wife has a close male Facebook friend. Are my feelings of "jealousy" justified

Seems to me your reaction was natural. Maybe she mentioned the dream to you to make you jealous, and even more so by saying she'd talked about it to him. Might have been because you were spending so much time with your cousin and working, and she was jealous of that.

It's a good sign that she wasn't trying to hide anything from you really--although she may've bended the truth some. It sounds like she was bored or lonely and just wanted some entertaining conversation, and she probably knew he was attracted to her and that made her feel good.

You weren't wrong at all to tell her it bothered you. She probably wanted to hear that and for you to step in at least that much... I don't know about talking to him on the phone though--not that you meant it to be controlling, but that may have stepped on her toes and taken the power to decide away from her. If she'd chosen to break off talking with him on her own--which I have a hunch she would have, guilt getting the better of her--that wouldn't have left you both feeling so bad.

It sounds like you love her very much and this kind of thing would make anyone jealous and a bit suspicious. Course I don't know both sides and can only go by what you've written, but my advice would be that from now on, stay out of it. Don't go through her messages. Trust she'll do the right thing. Be especially sweet to her for a while, and above all respect her space, but don't leave her bored or lonely if she wants to talk with you or go out. That and wait for her to come around is really all you can do. I wouldn't try and take back anything you've said to her about being jealous though because it was honest and she's gotta know she was doing the wrong thing. Hope that helps in some way.
 

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Re: My wife has a close male Facebook friend. Are my feelings of "jealousy" justified

my advice would be that from now on, stay out of it. Don't go through her messages. Trust she'll do the right thing. Be especially sweet to her for a while, and above all respect her space, but don't leave her bored or lonely if she wants to talk with you or go out. That and wait for her to come around is really all you can do.
Worst advice ever.
 

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Re: My wife has a close male Facebook friend. Are my feelings of "jealousy" justified

It is good advice if you want to improve the relationship. No one here can say she wasn't justified in wanting (or needing) some interesting conversation, and this was an old friend. It seems to me she was kind of using this person. From the way the post sounded, her and her husband are still very much in love and I think that my advice was the loving way to handle it. Putting his foot down and giving ultimatums (aka putting her "in her place") discounts her side of it completely, and her side may have been just as valid.
 

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Re: My wife has a close male Facebook friend. Are my feelings of "jealousy" justified

It is good advice if you want to improve the relationship. No one here can say she wasn't justified in wanting (or needing) some interesting conversation, and this was an old friend. It seems to me she was kind of using this person. From the way the post sounded, her and her husband are still very much in love and I think that my advice was the loving way to handle it. Putting his foot down and giving ultimatums (aka putting her "in her place") discounts her side of it completely, and her side may have been just as valid.
No offense, but you need to do more reading about emotional affairs and how prevalent they are. Or spend more time here and you will see that what you propose works - in about 1 out of every 500 affairs.
 

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Re: My wife has a close male Facebook friend. Are my feelings of "jealousy" justified

It is good advice if you want to improve the relationship. No one here can say she wasn't justified in wanting (or needing) some interesting conversation, and this was an old friend. It seems to me she was kind of using this person. From the way the post sounded, her and her husband are still very much in love and I think that my advice was the loving way to handle it. Putting his foot down and giving ultimatums (aka putting her "in her place") discounts her side of it completely, and her side may have been just as valid.
Yeah, sorry, but this is a very prevalent attitude for those who don't have any experience with cheaters, and it's always the totally wrong approach.
 

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Re: My wife has a close male Facebook friend. Are my feelings of "jealousy" justified

Sometimes I wish that I was a rookie! I hate having this info and I hate having to pass it along to innocent people who STILL FEEL BAD because they think they're being controlling and jealous.

Sometimes, you NEED to be controlling...but control yourself and erect your OWN boundaries because as we all know (well, some of us) you can't change someone else.
 

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Re: My wife has a close male Facebook friend. Are my feelings of "jealousy" justified

Your wife is having an emotional affair, pure and simple.

You did good raising your concerns and having her stop,

You totally undermined your marriage when you let her start back up the EA.

As has been said, you both need to read Not Just Frends ASAP.

Buy two copies so you can read at the same time.

She must stop all contact with him. Forever. She is getting deeper and deeper into the EA. her wanting space is her wanting you to back off because you are crowding her relationship with him.

If she gets to visit him, it will become a PA. She's already told both of you that he is getting her horny and sexual. Your just the warm body she uses to take care of herself, he is the one she wants at the moment.

Be very careful that it doesn't go underground using a burner phone , secret email, secret texting apps.
 

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Re: My wife has a close male Facebook friend. Are my feelings of "jealousy" justified

Sometimes I wish that I was a rookie! I hate having this info and I hate having to pass it along to innocent people who STILL FEEL BAD because they think they're being controlling and jealous.
Me too. It sucks so bad, and seeing the same thing happen over and over and over can be so disheartening.
 

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Re: My wife has a close male Facebook friend. Are my feelings of "jealousy" justified

Confused,

We all make mistakes. When I look back at years 2-6 of my marriage I wonder how my wife stayed with me, I mean what an a$$hole I was. I really think I let her and the two kids down.

Your wife is obviously a bright educated women and evidently has a counseling background so she should be honest about this situation which is completely separate from any past sins she believes you have committed. Just because a spouse exhibits bad behavior that does not give the offended party license for irresponsible behavior just an excuse.

She is obviously frustrated and had an escape from the mundane. Understandable but not likely wise. Time to drill down, reaffirm your committment for one another and discuss boundaries.

May I suggest that you help her find an outlet for a bit more social stimulation. I have not doubt that she could be a great resource for some volunteer opportunities. Maybe she could start getting prepared to do online therapy and phone therapy. My counselor lives about 1200 miles away and she is fantastic. Just some food for thought.
 

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Re: My wife has a close male Facebook friend. Are my feelings of "jealousy" justified

Oh and give up the idea that either you or her should have private secrets from the other, especially in the form of relationships with members of the opposite sex.

And "controlling?" Really? When is refusing to let the person who has made a lifetime commitment to you, develop a romantic emotional affair with anther man controlling or wrong?

It's called defending you marriage and you need to get busy doing it, with out any second thoughts or appologies.
 

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Re: My wife has a close male Facebook friend. Are my feelings of "jealousy" justified

Seems to me your reaction was natural. Maybe she mentioned the dream to you to make you jealous, and even more so by saying she'd talked about it to him. Might have been because you were spending so much time with your cousin and working, and she was jealous of that.

It's a good sign that she wasn't trying to hide anything from you really--although she may've bended the truth some. It sounds like she was bored or lonely and just wanted some entertaining conversation, and she probably knew he was attracted to her and that made her feel good.

You weren't wrong at all to tell her it bothered you. She probably wanted to hear that and for you to step in at least that much... I don't know about talking to him on the phone though--not that you meant it to be controlling, but that may have stepped on her toes and taken the power to decide away from her. If she'd chosen to break off talking with him on her own--which I have a hunch she would have, guilt getting the better of her--that wouldn't have left you both feeling so bad.

It sounds like you love her very much and this kind of thing would make anyone jealous and a bit suspicious. Course I don't know both sides and can only go by what you've written, but my advice would be that from now on, stay out of it. Don't go through her messages. Trust she'll do the right thing. Be especially sweet to her for a while, and above all respect her space, but don't leave her bored or lonely if she wants to talk with you or go out. That and wait for her to come around is really all you can do. I wouldn't try and take back anything you've said to her about being jealous though because it was honest and she's gotta know she was doing the wrong thing. Hope that helps in some way.
If she had boundaries and respected his fears he wouldn't have to "Put his foot down"

Mule, before you advise someone who's marriage has been breached by a third party read the books suggested to the OP. Study the subject. Read, listen and watch the number of post that give your advice.
 
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