Husband-Female Coworker/Friend Help
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Old 03-31-2013, 12:28 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Husband-Female Coworker/Friend Help

My husband works with an attractive female who I have met a number of times. We've gone out together before as part of a group and I know her quite well. To be honest, I'm not her biggest fan - she's married but likes to flirt excessively with other, often younger, guys (she's in her 30s, they're usually in their early 20s). She'll even go so far as to lie about the fact that she's married when talking to these guys. Nothing ever happens (I know, I usually end up driving her home), but it bothers me that she behaves this way, even if it's not with my husband (then again, I'm always around at these group outings). However, a couple of weeks ago, we all went out and my husband ended up VERY drunk and texted her to make sure she got home. During this text conversation, he told her she looked good that night, then that she looked hot. Her response - "that's why your my work husband!" I found this text the next day as I was on his phone for another purpose - wasn't looking for it. We had an argument about it - well, I yelled, and he apologized profusely, telling me that he didn't even remember it he had been so drunk.

After coming across that message, though, I decided to look a little bit further at his texts and our phone records and I found that they had been texting on a daily basis for quite some time. Now, these messages are not inappropriate - in fact, the "you looked hot" was the worst thing said by far. Most of them focus on the gym, if they worked out that day, or some other small detail and are usually only one or two back and forth. However, knowing that she's the type of person she is (flirtatious), it's very difficult for me to accept even these texts. I've talked to him about it for the past few weeks and he admits the one text was inappropriate and knows why it hurts me. However, he won't stop texting her because he believes the rest aren't inappropriate and she's his closest friend and doesn't want to ruin that friendship (he has his own issues with insecurity and, to be honest, he does not have many close friends). While I don't want to cause him pain and cost him a friend, I also can't accept that that's more important than our marriage. Am I wrong for this? Am I reading too much into their friendship? To his credit, he has been very honest about the whole thing and shows me all the messages that are sent. I'm just not sure that I can accept his best friend being this person who obviously does not respect her own marriage and who he feels so strongly about (obviously, since he won't stop the texting).

I apologize for the somewhat rambling format of my post, but any advice or comments are appreciated!
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Old 03-31-2013, 01:36 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Husband-Female Coworker/Friend Help

You are his wife. No other woman should be spending time with him in a way that makes you feel uncomfortable. He may have feelings for her and she for him, or perhaps she just strings him along because she's the type who likes attention. Sounds to me like he's having an emotional affair with this other woman.

You need to sit him down, explain to him fully you are not okay with this and want the texts to end. Men and Women Can't Be "Just Friends": Scientific American Articles like this stick out to me in situations like this. I really don't think men and women can just be friends and it's harder still when they are free to spend lots of unaccounted for time and conversation together.

I'd tell him it's her or me. But that's me.
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Old 03-31-2013, 02:49 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Husband-Female Coworker/Friend Help

You should really take a look at the thread where we have been talking about OSFs (opposite sex friends) and you'll see your situation clearly, which is bad.

You need to end this "friendship" of theirs now. He's already refusing to let go of her and if their friendship was as innocent as he claims it shouldn't be that big of a deal to let it go. These seemingly innocent texts are what is called "bonding" over shared experiences (experiences, btw, that are non work related). Being drunk is absolutely no excuse because people will often say truthful things when alcohol is involved. I shudder to think what would have happened if you weren't there. If he doesn't want to lose a friendship I would suggest that you encourage him to have more guy friends. Invite people to your house. Don't even go on group dates with this woman. The fact that she is married makes no difference whatsoever as to their feelings for each other. Obviously something is lacking in her marriage for her to behave on this manner.

Now I am saying you need to end this now because it's dangerously close to an EA (emotional affair). Once it progresses that far it is but a hop skip and a jump to a (PA). Once you are into EA and PA territory your going to find yourself acting completely out of character, being paranoid, losing self confidence etc etc The things that you will find yourself having to do to keep your marriage in tact will be difficult.

Take a good look at your marriage. Are you having any other problems? Work on fixing those so he won't be so attached to this other woman. Assert your rights in this marriage in as loving a way as possible. Do you have any OSFs? If so end them now.

But, you'll say, shouldn't he be the one to give up the friendship? If he sees it's hurting me why doesn't he do it? In a fair world and a solid marriage yes. I don't think you are in this space yet.
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Old 03-31-2013, 03:05 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Husband-Female Coworker/Friend Help

Wow, that is a handful. Why can't it just be easy, right? No B.S. in the relationship...don't we all wish. This is walking that very fine line between not telling him what to do as in letting him be his own person versus appropriately (yet preemptively) reacting to a situation that is staring you right in the face. He's going to keep using the "I haven't done anything wrong" phrase right up to the moment he does...especially if she is attractive...and there are after work activities going on. The only way this situation works is if he is very strong in your marriage and a very confident "good guy." Your insecure comment obliterates both of those. If he is as you describe, your clock is ticking. Be honest...work OK, texting...maybe, after work...no way. As a guy and an airline pilot that sees this all the time at work, I'm telling you this is going to end very badly.
Good luck. Start chipping away at this now.
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Old 04-01-2013, 09:38 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Husband-Female Coworker/Friend Help

I'm kinda doubting you "stumbled" upon this text by mistake, but to me, how you came across their texts is irrelevant. You know how he is, you know how she is, and they attend the same gym, so he knows how her body is. To me, he's already crossed the line, drunk or not, and his refusal to distance himself from her is a HUGE Red Flag.

If you don't end this, it will only intensify.
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Old 04-01-2013, 09:50 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Husband-Female Coworker/Friend Help

Allowing your spouse to have a close friend of the opposite sex is asking for trouble. Perhaps your husband is morally infallible and nothing could ever come of his "work wife". But I wouldn't bet on that. I bet your husband is fallible. I bet he makes mistakes. And this is just letting him play Russian roulette with your marriage.

I would tell your husband that he can have exactly one wife. Either it's his actual wife, or it's his work wife. He can be intimate with one of you.

Read this book for some good information about setting boundaries.
Dr. Shirley Glass - NOT "Just Friends"

Good luck.
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Old 04-01-2013, 04:29 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Husband-Female Coworker/Friend Help

Thank you for the responses - especially the recommendation to read Not Just Friends - I've already started to read it and hopefully can convince him to, too. We had another discussion this weekend about the whole thing, with him agreeing to not text her this week (it's our anniversary and we're going on a vacation) and he agreed to see a counselor with me to work on this so fingers are crossed that will help.
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Old 04-01-2013, 05:02 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Husband-Female Coworker/Friend Help

He needs to decide whats more important to him.... This "friendship" or your marriage. If a friendship with her is more important to him than you are, then I'd say you're better off with someone else anyway. If it were me, I'd give my husband an ultimatum.

I understand he doesn't have a lot of close friends, if this is truly JUST a friendship between them, but when it gets to the point where its causing problems in the marriage, I don't blame you at all for wanting him to do something about it.
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Old 04-01-2013, 05:19 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Husband-Female Coworker/Friend Help

Quote:
Originally Posted by ATX28 View Post
she looked hot. Her response - "that's why your my work husband!"
oops.

Along with her mercenary recruitment of other guys, and lying to do it - if this isn't a giant red flag then I don't know what is.
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Old 04-01-2013, 05:29 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by ATX28 View Post
My husband works with an attractive female who I have met a number of times. We've gone out together before as part of a group and I know her quite well. To be honest, I'm not her biggest fan - she's married but likes to flirt excessively with other, often younger, guys (she's in her 30s, they're usually in their early 20s). She'll even go so far as to lie about the fact that she's married when talking to these guys. Nothing ever happens (I know, I usually end up driving her home), but it bothers me that she behaves this way, even if it's not with my husband (then again, I'm always around at these group outings). However, a couple of weeks ago, we all went out and my husband ended up VERY drunk and texted her to make sure she got home. During this text conversation, he told her she looked good that night, then that she looked hot. Her response - "that's why your my work husband!" I found this text the next day as I was on his phone for another purpose - wasn't looking for it. We had an argument about it - well, I yelled, and he apologized profusely, telling me that he didn't even remember it he had been so drunk.

After coming across that message, though, I decided to look a little bit further at his texts and our phone records and I found that they had been texting on a daily basis for quite some time. Now, these messages are not inappropriate - in fact, the "you looked hot" was the worst thing said by far. Most of them focus on the gym, if they worked out that day, or some other small detail and are usually only one or two back and forth. However, knowing that she's the type of person she is (flirtatious), it's very difficult for me to accept even these texts. I've talked to him about it for the past few weeks and he admits the one text was inappropriate and knows why it hurts me. However, he won't stop texting her because he believes the rest aren't inappropriate and she's his closest friend and doesn't want to ruin that friendship (he has his own issues with insecurity and, to be honest, he does not have many close friends). While I don't want to cause him pain and cost him a friend, I also can't accept that that's more important than our marriage. Am I wrong for this? Am I reading too much into their friendship? To his credit, he has been very honest about the whole thing and shows me all the messages that are sent. I'm just not sure that I can accept his best friend being this person who obviously does not respect her own marriage and who he feels so strongly about (obviously, since he won't stop the texting).

I apologize for the somewhat rambling format of my post, but any advice or comments are appreciated!
That would not fly here either direction. We believe when you are married, while it is fine to have cordial professional relationships with members of the opposite sex, being friends with the opposite sex is just asking for trouble and creating tension in your marriage that does not need to be there. The fact that he is putting his 'friendship' with this work skank above his marriage means it has already gone too far. Sorry you are going through this and hopefully you can work it out.
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Old 04-01-2013, 05:35 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Mark your territory. I am sure your husband wouldn't like a coworker telling you your hot.
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Old 04-01-2013, 05:36 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Default Re: Husband-Female Coworker/Friend Help

Id also like to add that just as another poster has said, I had my doubts too when you said you came across this text by accident... I mean lets face it, women are nosey. I am one, so I definitely would know. It doesn't matter though. Even if you didn't come across this text by accident, nobody is going to place the blame on you. Hes the one who is being inappropriate here.

The way I look at it, if you don't want your spouse looking through your texts/emails/ etc... then you don't need to give them a reason to. Spouses should be able to openly look through each others phones without worrying that theyre going to get caught doing something that they dont need to be doing. If your spouse doesn't like for you to look through his phone or other personal belongings and then blames YOU for looking at them in the first place when you confront him with doing something wrong, all hes doing is just trying to place the blame on someone other than himself. If he ever does that to you, or ever HAS done that to you, just now that you are not the one that did anything wrong.
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Old 04-01-2013, 05:40 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Kittykatz you kind of contridicted yourself. You said woman are nosey. Then they are going to look anyway?
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Old 04-01-2013, 05:54 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Default Re: Husband-Female Coworker/Friend Help

I think you may be over reacting just a tad. Certainly it's something to keep an eye on. I am not one who tows the party line here, about friends. Ive heard the term before, work husband work wife. It just means they have a friendship and, in the context or work, they look out for each other. If she wasn't attractive you wouldn't think twice about it. Besides, you said she likes to collect younger boys so your H is probably too old for her.
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Old 04-01-2013, 06:00 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Kittykatz you kind of contridicted yourself. You said woman are nosey. Then they are going to look anyway?
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Sorry, sometimes Im not good at wording things.. but yes most of us are probably going to look anyway... or at least I know I would... but Im just saying if the guy gives us a reason to be suspicious, then of course we are going to want to be nosey... even more than usual, in my opinion.

In other words, men should already know that women are going to be somewhat nosey.. its just nature, for most of us... but if you've given your wife suspicion to make her WANT to look through your things, then you definitely should not be surprised when she does it.

Last edited by kittykatz; 04-01-2013 at 06:04 PM.
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