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Husband and “friend”


Chiz
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59 minutes ago, Chiz said:

Hi all, 

My husband and I are going to work on our marriage. I will officially be starting counseling on my own tomorrow because I have been so angry and depressed for so long that I think that I finally need to talk to someone. This is the first time that I have ever done this, so I have a lot of anxiety. 
 

Since my post, my husband has deleted the person’s number and has not mentioned her since. He maintains that nothing physically happened between them but has finally apologized for the emotional pain that he has put me through. For right now, I’m going to take things one day at a time and see if our relationship is still worth it. 

Best wishes to you, and I hope you will be happy. Feel free to vent here if it helps.

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10 hours ago, Chiz said:

I will officially be starting counseling on my own tomorrow because I have been so angry and depressed for so long that I think that I finally need to talk to someone. This is the first time that I have ever done this, so I have a lot of anxiety. 
 

Since my post, my husband has deleted the person’s number and has not mentioned her since. He maintains that nothing physically happened between them but has finally apologized for the emotional pain that he has put me through.

This is a great idea. It's better to unpack and sort this out privately and confidentially. Especially given the gaslighting and crazy-making your husband engages in.

This is his coworker? Deleting her number is pointless and he is keeping a low profile. 

Focus solely on your own wellbeing and what is right for you. 

 

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It may be too late to repair the damage or loss of trust/lack of judgment. I agree with Wiseman’s comment. Focus on what you need and your own well-being. I think you’ve spent a long time extending yourself and accommodating your husband’s gaslighting and mistakes. My thoughts are that if a person can manipulate to this extent or disregard your feelings, it would be no surprise if it happens again. 

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13 hours ago, Chiz said:

Hi all, 

My husband and I are going to work on our marriage. I will officially be starting counseling on my own tomorrow because I have been so angry and depressed for so long that I think that I finally need to talk to someone. This is the first time that I have ever done this, so I have a lot of anxiety. 
 

Since my post, my husband has deleted the person’s number and has not mentioned her since. He maintains that nothing physically happened between them but has finally apologized for the emotional pain that he has put me through. For right now, I’m going to take things one day at a time and see if our relationship is still worth it. 

I'm glad you are getting counseling, which will be good for you no matter what. 

You mentioned that he never had friends before you and you were his first GF.  That is incredibly strange.  He's put a lot into you and never had time to learn what he wanted or even how to be a person in a relationship.  I'm not excusing his behavior, but just explaining his co-dependency and why he may now be "rebelling" so to speak. 

The real problem here is because it lies with him, even if he never speaks to this particular woman again-the issue is he wants to be free of you and have experiences apart from you.  For whatever reason, he wants more than you.  He wants to rebel, he wants to see what else is out there since he never "explored" and he wants to push boundaries and limits.  This seems a deep seeded issue in HIM.  So unless he can really work on this, he'll just keep moving on to the next woman and just lie about it the next time.  IMHO, I don't know if you can "overcome" this because you can't rewrite history of being his first everything.  I think the innate problem is that.  He's wants to grow apart from you.  Not sure that can be "fixed".  And maybe, perhaps, you are also hanging onto what you were or what you want to be, and not what you actually ARE together. 

Personally, I just divorce him.  He doesn't seem to love or respect you.  I wouldn't believe his "apology".   Maybe the relationship has run its course and it's time to move forward separately. 

 

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First things first.  Don't set out to punish your husband but don't just believe him either.  Going on the down low is common when the cheater thinks so little of their partner that they think they can simply buy some flowers, get a little teary eyed and apologize and everything will blow over and eventually they can resume the cheating either with their current paramour or a new one.  I don't know if you remember back in the day when Reagan struck a deal with Russia on nuclear arms.  "Trust but Verify" is what he said and I think you should do the same.  Just keep your eyes and ears wide open and you will be able to tell since you know him so well.

 Secondly good on you for going to see a therapist.  Best advice I can give you is this: Not all therapists are created equal so if it doesn't feel right and helpful don't give up on therapy, just get a new therapist. Next you are in charge in therapy so ask for homework. Get recommendations on books you can read, exercises you can do and please speak up and don't be ashamed or embarrassed over how you feel.  You are there in a safe place to get it all out and look it over.

 I am curious what your husbands plans are other than changing her number to some guys name in his phone are.  What has he volunteered to do to rebuild the trust in the marriage?

  Lost

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On 9/10/2022 at 2:36 AM, Chiz said:

He never had friends before and I was his first girlfriend. Our marriage was very close and great until he met this girl. Now he is talking about branching out and making friends where he never desired to before. 

 

^THIS is the root of your issue.  

This girl is smoke.  The catalyst for this change was HIM wanting to seek validation/relationships/experiences outside of his relationship with you. He apologized yet he still VERY clearly has a desire to do things independent from you.  

He's going to want to keep "branching out"- how are you going to handle that?  Especially if his instinct is to treat you like a parent he's trying to sneak away from? 

Sometimes people grow apart.  There's a real danger in marrying your first relationship partner for these reasons.  

Some general advice I like to give- Put more credence people's actions/repeated words- more than their apologies, especially if the timing of the apology is LONG after you expressed concern.    Apologies LONG after the complaint says more about the other person's guilt or self preservation than caring about YOU.  Apologies in care of YOU should happen at your first conversation/complaint and without any prodding.

 

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I think the main thing is that even if your husband wasn't into this female "friend", he needs to be on YOUR team. You are his wife and you should be his number one. If this woman's mother showed up at your work and confronted you, that means this "friend" said really bad things about you to her mother and that she was probably fine with her mother stalking you and going off at you. This behaviour is completely not normal from her or her mother!

This is an adult woman and she befriended a married man. Even if hypothetically she wasn't romantically interested in him but she needs to understand that you are his wife and have a big place in his life. Therefore she has to be friendly and respectful towards you. Especially as you actually tried to befriend her yourself. The fact that she "told on you" to her mother and allowed her mother to show up to your work and harass you is completely not normal and inappropriate. This isn't first grade where a child gets their parent to stick up for them. The whole thing is disturbing and I think only unstable people would behave like this.

What's concerning is your husband's choice of friend, even if he did mean it to just be a friendship. Next time your husband needs to be very mindful of who he's actually befriending and there should be no way he's friends with someone who is blatantly rude, immature and disrespects his wife.

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On 9/10/2022 at 5:36 PM, Chiz said:

Thank you all for the replies.

When I told my husband what had happened, he acted shocked that the co-worker's mother showed up and asked me what I wanted him to do about it. He mentioned that the girl seemed okay with them just being work friends but mentioned that her mother was just trying to be protective because the girl has emotional issues or some crap. That I should "understand" where the mother was coming from. Again, he continues to maintain that nothing has happened between them. He says that he has always tried to include me in everything they do and that he has been nothing but honest with me. That he always comes home to me, etc, etc, etc.

He never had friends before and I was his first girlfriend. Our marriage was very close and great until he met this girl. Now he is talking about branching out and making friends where he never desired to before. This incident with the mother makes everything more complicated because my husband also works where I work as a second job.

Yeah. I think that's the hardest part. I thought that maybe if I made myself more present this time around, I could see that they were just friends and that maybe I was just tripping. It just made things worse.

Sorry but just an offhand comment on this. You were supposed to understand where the mother was coming from? She didn't know you, she stalked and harassed you at your work to "defend" her adult daughter. What normal person would actually do this! I would just be very concerned about your husband's judgement if he thought all this was somehow OK.

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On 9/11/2022 at 12:18 AM, Chiz said:

Thank you all. 
 

I think that he has started growing outside of the relationship and I have threatened to leave him a couple of days ago. I’m still at that point right now to leave him for at least a few days, because it’s clear to me that he doesn’t respect our marriage. He’s begged me to stay and apologized for his lack of judgement. But since yesterday, he’s been filling his days up with work at the second job and has grown distant.

My husband is going on 33 years old. I know he had a lot of image issues growing up being overweight but he’s lost a tremendous amount of weight since the pandemic started. I am so proud for that and he truly has been growing. I’ve always supported him with what he wanted to do and I want him to be happy, that’s why I tried to make friends with this girl. However, the first time we all hung out together for her birthday at a restaurant, they left together for three hours afterwards since she doesn’t have a car.

I am worried for my husband because he is playing with fire. He refuses to see it. He says that if I don’t have physical proof that he has slept with her or has been inappropriate with her, that he has done nothing wrong.  I can’t blame the girl, she is ten years younger than us and it’s not her fault that my husband is terrible. I mean, I’m not married to her after all. 

I guess I’m just so angry right now and I want to leave this whole marriage because this has been going on for a while now. Though, I’m so conflicted because I know that if I leave out of anger, I might be acting too rashly.


 

 

Well the girl is 23 so she's old enough to know what she's actually doing. But you're right she sounds really immature.

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11 hours ago, Tinydance said:

Well the girl is 23 so she's old enough to know what she's actually doing. But you're right she sounds really immature.

Well, she can be immature as all get out. She is not actually the problem.  HE is 33 years old and married. HE needs to set the parameters.   The problem is, he doesn't want parameters. And as you wisely added, he should always be taking his WIFE's side.  It's very telling that he is not. But that's exactly why this is about a much deeper problem than this one specific girl.   He got together with his wife very young and she was first friend/lover rolled into one.   Now that some time has gone by, he wants more experiences with more people.  Not necessarily a bad thing in and of itself, except for the fact that he seems to want more romantic experiences, not just friendship- and also appears to be deriving joy from deceiving her and by doing things that he knows he shouldn't be doing.   Then following up all that charming behavior by gaslighting her and treating her with contempt. 

It appears there is a deep desire in him to have a life separate from his wife, which she did not sign up for.  But this happens all the time in marriages- people grow and change, but not always for the better and not always in the same direction.  If what he really wants is an independent life, they will both just be miserable staying in this marriage.  

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1 hour ago, redswim30 said:

If what he really wants is an independent life, they will both just be miserable staying in this marriage.  

One hundred percent.

A big part of why I'm no longer married is because I wanted to do my own thing without answering to anyone but my kids. I was miserable, my husband was miserable and we likely made our child miserable (which is the worst, he was innocent).

I hope counseling will shed light on what the two of you truly want.

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On 9/20/2022 at 11:01 AM, redswim30 said:

I'm glad you are getting counseling, which will be good for you no matter what. 

You mentioned that he never had friends before you and you were his first GF.  That is incredibly strange.  He's put a lot into you and never had time to learn what he wanted or even how to be a person in a relationship.  I'm not excusing his behavior, but just explaining his co-dependency and why he may now be "rebelling" so to speak. 

The real problem here is because it lies with him, even if he never speaks to this particular woman again-the issue is he wants to be free of you and have experiences apart from you.  For whatever reason, he wants more than you.  He wants to rebel, he wants to see what else is out there since he never "explored" and he wants to push boundaries and limits.  This seems a deep seeded issue in HIM.  So unless he can really work on this, he'll just keep moving on to the next woman and just lie about it the next time.  IMHO, I don't know if you can "overcome" this because you can't rewrite history of being his first everything.  I think the innate problem is that.  He's wants to grow apart from you.  Not sure that can be "fixed".  And maybe, perhaps, you are also hanging onto what you were or what you want to be, and not what you actually ARE together. 

 

 

This. 
 

Deep down, I had some reservations about our relationship because his lack of intimacy with other people but I figured, hey, we could grow together because I also had things to work on. Wishful thinking.

I think it’s bothering me that I keep coming back to the idea that he was or still is getting way too much enjoyment from the drama. 
 

Though I’m so close to wanting to walk away from everything, he is still talking about a future. He wants a house. He is still working a second job and putting money in the account for it. He is waiting for me to give the go ahead for marriage counseling. He’s been more attentive than before. It’s mixing me up. 


 

 

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47 minutes ago, Chiz said:

Though I’m so close to wanting to walk away from everything, he is still talking about a future. He wants a house. He is still working a second job and putting money in the account for it. He is waiting for me to give the go ahead for marriage counseling. He’s been more attentive than before. It’s mixing me up.

Stick to private therapy and joint therapy. He got caught with pants down so is playing good boy, that's fine but do not make major decisions in this turmoil.

Rather privately consult an attorney to see what your options are in divorce.

It's supposed to mix you up. Once you're in deeper, he can play around again.

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19 hours ago, Chiz said:

 

This. 
 

Deep down, I had some reservations about our relationship because his lack of intimacy with other people but I figured, hey, we could grow together because I also had things to work on. Wishful thinking.

I think it’s bothering me that I keep coming back to the idea that he was or still is getting way too much enjoyment from the drama. 
 

Though I’m so close to wanting to walk away from everything, he is still talking about a future. He wants a house. He is still working a second job and putting money in the account for it. He is waiting for me to give the go ahead for marriage counseling. He’s been more attentive than before. It’s mixing me up. 


 

 

If there's anything I've learned in relationships, it's to trust your own judgments and intuition.  They are often correct.  We should trust our spidey senses. 

You hit the nail on the head OP.  He IS enjoying it WAY too much.  I find it particularly concerning that he was gaslighting you so much and taking other people's side over yours.  It would be an easier scenario if he just had a simple crush that he could get over and re-devote himself to you. 

However, I think this is much more to do with HIM and his desire to "expand", "take risks", "try new things"- whatever you want to call it.  And he's viewing you as the "authority figure" that he has to "fool" and the only reason to do this to your spouse is because you KNOW what you are doing is wrong or they would not approve. 

Let me save you years of trouble and heartache by telling you something I WISH someone had told me about his "promises" - DONT.  BUY.  THEM.  I feel for you, cause I went thru a very similar situation with my first husband- where he kept wanting to do things without me, go out without me, make new "friends"- which were always women- without me.  Then gaslight me and call me jealous. I'd get mad, then he'd  do just enough to "win me back" but then it just got worse.  It turned into pretending he wasn't married, taking off his ring, going online to meet women, telling everyone how horrible I was, then when I would ask for a divorce since I found out about these things- he'd cry and try to "win me back" with promises. I foolishly bought it because I wanted to believe I could make it work if I "tried hard enough".   This went on for FAR too long before I finally pulled the plug. 

Always remember someone's initial reaction, as it is usually the most honest one- before someone has time to think, to lie, to manipulate, to protect themselves or cover their tracks.  His initial reaction was to gaslight you, minimize your pain, do what he wanted anyway, take the OW's mother's side ? (that one is SUPER weird), and generally treat you awfully. 

What he has you in right now is a narcissistic abuse cycle- manipulate, blame, then when he's done JUST enough to possibly lose you- love bomb you and make large emotionally manipulative promises (A House, extra attention, saving more for the "future") 

He's not really giving you promises of changed behavior, but rather trying to put band aids on a breaking dam. 

Counseling is a great tool.  But it's important to remember- it's just a TOOL, not a magic wand to fix everything.   First of all, he'll have to be HONEST in counseling for it to make ANY sort of impact and I'm not sure he will be.  But mostly, counseling can't change what someone deeply wants.  And if what YOU deeply want (to continue your marriage and your husband to stop seeking attention elsewhere) and what HE deeply wants (to explore his options and continue to seek validation from others) is so incompatible, counseling won't change that.   I'm not saying don't try, but do go in with realistic expectations.  Counseling only works if people can first ADMIT the real problem and if the person WANTS to change.   I'm just not sure your husband wants to do EITHER.  

Remember- when push comes to shove, people do what they WANT to do.   I highly advise you to go to individual counseling first to determine what is best for YOU before couple counseling with a husband who's been behaving as yours has. 

My heart is with you and I truly wish you all the best. 

 

RED

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You've been gaslit.  Your husband played the old gaslighting trick on you by deflecting, told you that it's all in your head, she's just a "friend," changed the subject and accused you of being the insecure one.  Oh how I've been on the receiving end of gaslighting all my life courtesy of my relatives.  It's the oldest form of ugly psychological warfare. 

It's good that you confronted your husband about his "friend" at work and how it's truly disrespectful to you and the marriage.  He's most likely flattered by the attention and she's no shrinking violet by not exercising boundaries with colleagues and a married man no less.  It takes two to tango and your husband isn't exercising his limits and common sense discretion.  They both lack integrity.

The woman is touchy feely and went off alone while leaving you.  ☹️

He agreed to cool things off with her.  That's good news.  

Another ping is that he confides to his mother?  That's another problem in itself!  Are there two women in this marriage or three?  It's getting a bit crowded, don't you think?  Your MIL (mother-in-law) has no right to know what's none of her business, your husband has no right to confide in his mother and your MIL has no right to meddle in her son and DIL (daughter-in-law)'s marriage.  She needs to butt out. 

Tell your husband that if he is to be trusted, he needs to act like an honorable, very moral man even when his wife is not looking over his shoulder.  He needs to treat his colleague professionally, no more, no less.  He needs to cease confiding to his mother and cut the umbilical cord. 

Then both of you need to do a reset in your marriage.  It's great that both of you will seek counseling. 

He needs to change the way he thinks and acts.  Then healing and treating you with dignity and utmost respect will  exist. 

 

 

 

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