I am seeking a female perspective. My wife said I need to appreciate while we are married I am not her best friend. It seems that role is filled by a male colleague (who has young children and is in an unhappy marriage). Thanks to social networking they are in constant communications 24x7 and feels like a constant 3rd wheel in our relationship and has done for a few years but I never said anything because due to work issues I thought having a support network at work was a good thing. She also said to me she was speaking to another guy today who she knows over the phone and on Facebook but has never met but shares a common interest. He said he would love to do some night photography with her one evening (at what can only be described as a romantic spot). She said to me she hates the fact she would feel guilty at doing it due to what I would think and a lack of trust.
I can see her point, she is quite flirty (and is really good looking), has very few female friends, I am more of a quiet introvert. However she has also recently told me she was (and possibly still having) an emotional affair with another person as our relationship felt lonely. We can't talk about this, or at least I can't ask as she is so closed off to me at the moment so I am in limbo not knowing what is going on while she wants space to get her thoughts together.
My reason for posting this here is to try and understand a female perspective on this, and also ask if there are any books or sites I can read to better understand this situation. I am genuine in my desire to fix our relationship starting by looking at myself.
I have tried to understand the perspective that your wife has, so I will try: (I'm female.)
1. A fair few women think it's cool to have male friends. They're a better grade of friends, ITO.
2. some people think that "friend" trumps spouse. It is true that everyone has a few lifelong friends whose friendships last longer than any marriage. But that's disrespecting the institution of marriage and, practically speaking, ignores the huge sacrifice that a spouse makes to the partner. Friends come in and out of your life. You don't expect them to give up that Christmas ski trip to hang out with your family, including your surly brother. So why deprioritise the needs of your spouse in favor of a "friend."
I had to untangle the friend issue, fortunately, while we still dating. I would say that a woman who has few female friends is a red flag. And a woman who is proud of that; who also disparages other women --"oh, they're so catty" is just off the charts......... Run, Forest, run!
I would also be concerned about anyone who believes /acts as if opposite sex friends are completely interchangeable with same sex friendships. That is, while you don't mind your wife taking a trip with a female friend, I would imagine you would with a male friend. IF she refuses to understand that distinction, you're in for a long bumpy run.
Why don't you go on this photo mission with your wife. It is with a guy she claims she has never met, so there is a layer of danger there.
But I think you need to consider long and hard about remaining married to someone who makes friends with men under these random circumstances.