Competing with husband's female best friend
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Old 03-08-2010, 06:36 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Competing with husband's female best friend

My husband has a female best friend -- who is single -- and I feel like I am in constant competition with her for his affection and attention. We've had this fight over and over and over and over again. He always insists that he is in no way attracted to her; that they are just really good friends and I believe him. My problem is that he is always doing little things for her that he either has never done for me, doesn't do for me or hasn't done for me in a very long time. For example, she was at our house one night with a bunch of our other friends and when it came time for her to leave my husband not only got her coat out of the closet for her but he helped her put it on. I can't remember the last time he even took my coat out of the closet for me when we go somewhere let alone the last time he helped me into my coat.

Then another time we went to Best Buy with her so my husband - who is a whiz with computers - could help her pick out a new laptop. I wandered off to look at movies or CDs or something and met them at the front of the store only to see him carrying her brand new laptop for her. He didn't do that for me when I bought my laptop a few years ago. Seeing him do that for her instantly made me upset so, without thinking, I made a little passive comment about whether or not the computer was too heavy for her to carry...my husband ended up getting angry at me for that, saying I embarassed him and made it uncomfortable for his friend.

Then just last night we went out to dinner and then got ice cream with her and my husband's cousin. As we were walking to the ice cream parlor, my husband made a comment about how he would treat everyone to ice cream -- his friend and cousin had come over earlier in the day to help us work on our house a little bit -- to show appreciation and for a job well done. As he was giving his friend accolades for helping me sand and spackle the basement, he put his arm around her and kind of squeezed her close to him. He very rarely shows any affection toward me when we're in public, especially when his friend is around. He grumbles when I want to hold his hand and he rarely even opens the car door for me anymore.

I hate feeling jealous like this all the time because I know it's creating a rift between my husband and I, and it's just a really crappy feeling. I like this girl that he's friends with, I really do. She's a very nice, sweet person and I know she would never make any moves toward my husband. She's not that type of person. I just really want us all to be able to hang out together without me feeling jealous and upset after she leaves.

I don't know how to get my husband to redirect his affection and attention toward me without demanding it. I'm tired of fighting with him over this.

Has anyone else gone through the same thing and what did you do about it?
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Old 03-08-2010, 09:04 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Competing with husband's female best friend

I haven't been in exactly your situation, but maybe this will help.

There have been times when I've seen my husband treat other female friends differently than he does me. When I've questioned him about it, he's told me that he knows that I am capable, or smarter, etc...

Then one day, his 8 year old niece was over. I noticed that he was treating her just like I'd seen him treat the women I had mentioned. I realized, he wasn't being all gallant for these women, he was seeing them like he did his niece. Maybe he didn't think they were very smart, or he saw them as helpless. These are traits he doesn't like in a spouse, but can handle in a friendship.
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Old 03-08-2010, 10:53 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Competing with husband's female best friend

I've been so concerned with how he treats her compared to me that I've been failing to see why he does what he's doing. In some ways it makes sense. For example, after they graduated college, they got jobs at the same place (they were in the same major) and we all had to relocate. Naturally, my husband had me and we moved to a small town just outside the city where we all work (I landed a job in the same city as they did a few months after we moved), not to mention my best friend lives near us. But his friend lives by herself in the city with no other friends around and her family over five hours away. He's told me before that he feels bad that she's all by herself and we're pretty much the only people around for her to hang out with but I still can't help but get upset at his logic sometimes because it's my first instinct to think that it's not his job to make sure she's not lonely. He's not her boyfriend.

I'm starting to see now this mindset is really kind of petty, jealous and selfish on my part. If I start to view it as you pointed out, he sees her as fragile, lonely and unhappy so the friend in him wants to make sure she's doing alright whereas he might see me as being more independent and capable of thriving in this new location because I have him and my best friend to keep my mind off the fact that my family is also over five hours away.

This doesn't, however, make me stop wishing that he would stop doing special little things for her. I am just able to see it a little bit differently.
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Old 03-08-2010, 11:09 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Competing with husband's female best friend

I understand completely what you're saying. I will add, that after I figured out why he was acting the way he was, I talked to him about it. I started the conversation something like "Well I figured out why you acted the way you did with _____, now I get it" When he didn't see me as complaining, it was much easier to talk about it. I also asked him if he could treat me like I'm stupid once in a while too, lol.
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Old 03-08-2010, 02:24 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Competing with husband's female best friend

Talking about it is the hard part because we're both so sick of fighting about it that I think we both raise our defenses. Plus, what if I'm completely off base and he doesn't view me as more independent and/or capable of dealing with new, unfamiliar surroundings? What if there is another reason that he doesn't want to do little things for me like carrying shopping bags or helping me put my coat on when we go out?
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Old 03-10-2010, 08:13 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Competing with husband's female best friend

Was he friends with her before he met you? Have you always been worried about their relationship or have the dynamics changed recently?

I have no issues with male/ female friendships but his "best" friend being female is something I would find tough to deal with, if she was single and needy it would be even worse. I want to be my husband's "best" female friend!

If she's so sweet and nice - why she can't go out and make some new friends and quit tagging along as a third wheel. She must have an inkling that you guys have a lot of fights about her? Any normal person would back off for a while and let you sort out whatever insecurities are causing this.
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Old 03-10-2010, 09:04 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Competing with husband's female best friend

I didn't believe that these opposite-sex best friendships could work, but I have seen it with my nephew, his friend and his wife.

He grew up with his friend from preschool. When it was suggested by one of their mothers, in high school, that perhaps they had a future together, they both kind of shuddered. They are still very close and my nephew and his wife have a very good marriage.

You can try to muscle it out alone, but I would suggest apologizing to him for the embarrassing remark and to refrain from any further snide remarks drawing attention to your feeling neglected. I would explain to him that all women, especially wives, really look forward to feeling "cherished" by their husbands. You are no different. Small courtesies build up a marriage and help to deflect envy.

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Old 03-10-2010, 12:16 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Competing with husband's female best friend

Irish, to answer your question... My husband and I have been together for over seven years, married for a year and a half. He's only been friends with this woman for maybe three years; I think since his sophomore year in college. I never really worried about his relationship with other women (two of his best friends from childhood are women and he never had anything romantic with either) until he formed a close friendship with this particular woman. He just seems to treat her differently than any other woman we know. And I might not even mind that if I weren't convinced that he treats her better than he treats me. He texts and e-mails her all the time, she's always the first person he thinks of inviting anytime we go someplace and he doesn't hesitate to do little things for her like what I mentioned in my original entry.

Things between us haven't been horrible but they also haven't been great for at least two years now; maybe longer. I know that some of it stems from my attitude about certain things. I can be kind of lazy and careless about things, and I am not a neat-freak. All of this has been weighing on him. He's told me that it's not that I don't deserve for him to do nice things for me, he just doesn't feel the desire to do nice things for me.

I also have a theory that he's depressed about other things, which isn't helping our situation. He is an Army veteran who served in Iraq from 2004 to 2005, which from what I understand was the period when most of the worst fighting took place. The VA diagnosed him as having PTSD and TBI but he refuses to seek treatment. He doesn't think he has a problem. He's definitely not as happy-go-lucky as he was before he went to war. He's always had a somewhat negative attitude but it's gotten a lot worse since he came back.

Sometimes I wonder if his friend provides an escape from stress that I can't provide because she doesn't share in the other stresses of daily life that he and I share... ie. owning a home, paying bills, maintaining and renovating the house, and my insecurities. I wonder if I shouldn't just try my best to let it all go, start with a clean slate of my own.

Maybe if I'm carefree and supportive of his friendship with this woman then he will show me his appreciation by doing sweet, affectionate things for me again.

Lyn, I have apologized to him for any snide comments I made in his friend's presence and I'm trying hard to keep any further comments to myself because I'm starting to realize that this woman is not worth me losing my husband over. It's just that sometimes it's really hard to remember, and be happy and satisfied with the fact that, at the end of the day, he goes home with me. I'm the one who gets to kiss him good night and wake up with him in the morning. I'm the one he wants to make love to and build a future with, regardless of how rocky the foundation may be right now.

He's assured me over and over that he is in no way attracted to his friend so why can't I just let it go?

Insecurity is a *****.
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Old 03-10-2010, 02:12 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Competing with husband's female best friend

You can't let go because you feel threatened. Feeling threatened is fear and fear is irrational; not tot say that being fearful is necessarily for no reason, but when we let fear control us, we get irrational. I know this for a fact, since I am dealing with recovering from my husband's affair. There are good days, okay days and bad days. This is a bad day. I'm sad. I'll never forget it. It has altered us, forever.

Sometimes I feel tremendous fear, something I'm not used to. When I feel that fear...logic and reason are a waste of time because I am having an emotional reaction and I've learned that trying to reason with anyone who is being emotional is a waste of time. I sometimes just have to ride it out.

I still feel threatened by the other woman becasue she specifically set out to take my husband even though she is married, also. She was ready to leave her husband. Her Facebook page is wide open for anyone to read as she continues to look for friendship and she changed her picture to one of her showing cleavage.

There are women out there who want to take other womens' husbands, for sure. It never occurred to me, before, but, there it is.

(

You have a good heart. I hope your husband appreciates you. He seems ot have a good heart, too.

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Old 03-11-2010, 05:10 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Competing with husband's female best friend

IC, I can understand how your man's friendship with this woman could be corrosive. But as scarletblue suggested in her very acute 'niece' observation there are other possible dimensions in close man-woman friendships.

I have a few treasured women friends - I love their company, we talk like mad, they make me laugh - and yes, they're sexy too - but I could never have an affair with any of them. Somehow it's more like a brother-sister thing: instinctively very close but within clear-cut boundaries.

At the risk of asking a daft question, does the separateness of your man's friendship somehow converge with the vet part of him which is shut away in PTSD? Is she as much a sort of symbol to you as she is a rounded person?
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Old 03-11-2010, 08:39 AM   #11 (permalink)
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IC,

As Steve points out...any friendship can work, I think the key is the intentions of those involved and the decision that they will not cross the line under any circumstances.

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Old 03-10-2011, 03:08 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I believe that if your husband is far more affectionate and considerate to his best woman friend than he is to you that you have a real problem--and it's with him--not you.

Your husband should treat YOU like the most important person in the world--in front of everyone. He should hold YOUR hand and squeeze YOU in front of friends---not the other way around. Quit trying to justify his behavior and make yourself the bad guy. You need to find out why he doesn't value you and make some changes. I suggest you talk to a counselor--either with him or alone and get to the bottom of this. Either he is wildly inconsiderate or he loves her in a way that he doesn't love you. Wouldn't you rather find out and live in a world where YOU are treated with the respect you deserve. Hang in there and QUIT blaming yourself.

In reading all these posts including the one where you expect bad behavior from him because you don't keep a clean enough house I have to wonder---why are all the other posters joining you in what I think is your inappropriate blame of yourself? I think it's amazing what women will blame themselves for from this sort of thing through abuse at the hands of their spouse.

Last edited by GraceunderPressure; 03-10-2011 at 03:12 PM. Reason: wanted to add more
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Old 03-11-2011, 01:10 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by GraceunderPressure View Post
I believe that if your husband is far more affectionate and considerate to his best woman friend than he is to you that you have a real problem--and it's with him--not you.

Your husband should treat YOU like the most important person in the world--in front of everyone. He should hold YOUR hand and squeeze YOU in front of friends---not the other way around. Quit trying to justify his behavior and make yourself the bad guy. You need to find out why he doesn't value you and make some changes. I suggest you talk to a counselor--either with him or alone and get to the bottom of this. Either he is wildly inconsiderate or he loves her in a way that he doesn't love you. Wouldn't you rather find out and live in a world where YOU are treated with the respect you deserve. Hang in there and QUIT blaming yourself.

In reading all these posts including the one where you expect bad behavior from him because you don't keep a clean enough house I have to wonder---why are all the other posters joining you in what I think is your inappropriate blame of yourself? I think it's amazing what women will blame themselves for from this sort of thing through abuse at the hands of their spouse.
I agree completely. If my fiance did those things with another woman, I would be devastated.

I mean I know for sure I can put my own coat on, but when he does it, it's a sweet intimate thing, if he was helping every single woman out with her coat or hugging them in public or private, I would think it was out of place. I don't let other men a part from family members even touch me, and they don't put my coat on for me.
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Old 03-11-2011, 04:26 AM   #14 (permalink)
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I read this and your previous thread. I know you're worried about coming accross as insecure and jealous, but your husband is behaving like a jackass. Let him know it bothers you, dropping snide comments will just make you the enemy. Sit him down and say plainly, that this friendship is affecting your marriage, which, like it or not, it is. He can cut down on the time he spends with this woman (texting etc) and if she is a true friend of his she will understand this and back off. Not saying they can't be friends but weekly visits to her apartment alone? Sure, nothing's going on now, but why have that temptation there? All it takes is one fight with you, and he has a warm body to go to on cue, then sure enough, a shoulder to cry on becomes a woman to cheat with... Why risk it? He tells you his intentions are pure, but what of hers? What self-respecting woman wants to be third-wheeling with a married couple all the time? You snooped and read disrespectful text messages.. How do you know that there aren't flirtatious and inapproproate ones he has deleted?

I really don't get either of their motivations for this, particularly undermining and mocking you in their text messages. Every time he does that he is undermining and mocking your marriage, period. Who is she that she gets to mock his wife so brazenly? Who is she to him that he allows her to? This woman needs to back off, but your husband needs to be a man and start being there for his wife. Excuses about 'but she's helpless and she needs affection more than you', don't wash with me. Marriage is what he signed up for, he is meant to honour and respect YOU. Let her go and find someone of her own to molly coddle her. Graceunderpressure and Syrum are right. He is the one with the problem. You need to lay down some boundaries with him as right now he is stepping all over your feelings. He knows that too, which is why he can laugh about it with this woman. He's on dangerous ground, and if you felt that this was all above board, you wouldn't be here seeking advice from strangers. Stop internalising this issue. Sit your man down and lay down some boundaries.
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Last edited by loren; 03-11-2011 at 06:52 AM.
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Old 03-11-2011, 06:49 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by ICBlueEyes View Post
sometimes it's really hard to remember, and be happy and satisfied with the fact that, at the end of the day, he goes home with me. I'm the one who gets to kiss him good night and wake up with him in the morning. I'm the one he wants to make love to and build a future with, regardless of how rocky the foundation may be right now. .
This quote sounds as if it's from the 1950's. It's for these sorts of reasons that so many women, young girls, and indeed men, stay in not just unsatisfying but even abusive relationships. Since when is it just about accepting your lot, and saying 'ah well, he's disrespectful and mean but at least he occupies MY bed space at night..' Whatever happened to common decency and respect? These things are (in your own words) the "foundation" of any good relationship. You're supposed to give up on these because he completes the difficult task of making it home at night? And for that very basic act of coming home to you (which serves his needs as well as yours, might I add) he gets a free pass to disregard your feelings? These are your options? Wake up people - it takes more than 'attendance' to be a good partner. You have to decide what you think you're worth.
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Last edited by loren; 03-11-2011 at 09:24 AM.
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