Post # 1
My husband has always had mostly female friends, and he and I grew up with different boundaries for opposite sex friends. I was always taught that when you are in a relationship, you make sure that you don’t hang out one-on-one with a member of the opposite sex in a way that could look like a date. FH often goes to lunch or dinner with female friends, sometimes at nicer restaurants, and sometimes women I have never met. He does always tell me about it though. He’s generally a bit of a flirt. We went to a party tonight, and he was such a flirt! It really annoyed me. One of the things that really upset me was that he sometimes rubs the head of one of my best friends. I have always thought it was a little weird, but she’s a very affectionate person with everyone, and she is in a wheelchair, so height-wise, it makes a little bit of sense. Both of them joke that she is like a pet. I do 100% trust her and I don’t want to complain about tons of stuff so I am trying to pick my battles. I like a LOT of affection, and we were sitting next to each other and due to food and whatnot, sometimes people only had one free hand, and he was rubbing her head. I reached for his hand and we held it for a while, but he seemed more interested in rubbing her head than holding my hand. (Due to past stuff, we often have fights where I am insecure and he accuses me of being jealous. He has never cheated on me and doesn’t hide anything from me.) Then somehow (I was in another conversation) the discussion of eating cherries came up (they had them there) and there was mention of one of them feeding each other cherries like a pet. I said that was weird, and FH said he knew lots of people who would disagree. My friend piped in that if I thought it was weird, then it wouldn’t happen.
I just started reading a book about how our childhoods impact our adult relationships, and he lost his mom in the formative years, and I think he somewhat craves female attention related to this.
I am sorry this post is a bit jarbled, but it’s late and I’m hurt and frustrated, and really need some outside wisdom. Am I overreacting? How would you bring this up to him?
Post # 3
Every relationship is different, I would be a little bit uncomfortable personally. I would tell him in a calm manner when you are alone that these things make you uncomfortable, and that as his wife you would appreciate defining some boundaries so that you are BOTH comfortable and happy.
Post # 4
Okay the specific friend situation is weird IMO. I honestly wouldn’t get jealous though if my guy spent one on one time with another girl because I know nothing is happening and well others can just gossip if they want. I would try and work out a compromise.
Post # 5
Oh my husband, when he was my bf went to the movies with my best friends, who are ladies, without me a couple of times because I didn’t want to see it and they did.
Post # 6
well, yeah, i agree… if he is trust worthy, yeah, i agree that he can have females friends…. but um, him going to places with chicks i have never met would make me uncomfortable. question is, ask him, if u were doing the exact same thing…how would he feel…simple as that.
Post # 7
I am very careful to not give him any reason to question, and shoe on the other foot, he says it would be fine, that he trusts me. After a little more thought, the things about the head pat that bothered me were mostly that he was doing it instead of holding hands with me. The other thing is that I like when he runs his hands through my hair and that makes it feel less special. I don’t have any reason to believe he does this with anyone else, and it is never hidden from me. This is also complicated by the fact he doesn’t wear a wedding ring. He tried and even says he likes that it’s a message to women to not hit on him, but tried two, both hurt, possibly the wrong size. I offered to get them sized, now they are lost. (I believe this but frustrated it’s such a low priority to him.)
I am thinking of asking for him to only meet with people I have met, that he finds the ring asap, and he doesn’t pat her head for long periods of time or in place of holding my hand. Does this sound reasonable?
I am nervous to bring it up because his point is that he doesn’t cheat, it doesn’t mean anything and I am just jealous and controlling. Any suggestions on how to discuss this?
Post # 8
Use lots of “I” language: I feel hurt when this happens, I feel blahblahblah… which is always good advice.
Also, while I think you’re totally entitled to ask the things you’re asking, however I also think your husband is allowed to say “No” to all your requests. If he says No, and you don’t accept his decision, I think that’s when the jealous and controlling stuff comes into play. We can’t tell people how to act, we can only explain how their actiosn impact us and ask them to consider our feelings. If they don’t want to, that’s their perogative.
Post # 9
It sounds like you’re thinking very honestly about your own feelings, analyzing what may be bothering you and why, and giving him credit for what he’s doing “right.” And you’re also trying to understand his point of view and why he may flirt, spend time with female friends, etc…..
So I think you are perfectly entitled to share with him your thoughts, in a loving/non-jealous/nurturing way. And by the same token, I don’t think it is too much to ask for him to re-think some of his behaviors if it makes you feel uncomfortable or less loved (at a given point in time, not overall).
I also would think the flirtation stuff is made worse by the fact that he doesn’t wear a wedding ring, *especially* since you’ve offered to get his ring re-sized, and now it’s lost. I hate to sound cynical, but the wedding ring “hurts,” and is now lost? I also would be hurt that he hasn’t made sure to get the ring right, so he can wear it out loud for all the world to see. Combined with the fact that he hangs out with women you don’t know, while not wearing his wedding ring, I also would be concerned and would bring all this up to him in a way that you are not accusing, but that as a married man, there are some things you would like for him to do (or not do) out of respect and love for his wife, and not the least of which is wear his wedding ring, especially in the public company of women when you aren’t around—but really, at all times.
I’m sorry if my comments seem harsh. I’m just responding based on all the facts you included. I hope you’re able to get some peace of mind with your husband over this issue. Keep us posted!
Post # 10
i agree with @nature girl….. there are some situations that its not about if he would or has cheated, it about how his actions make you feel. he is disrepecting you and what you think a marriage should be. i personally think its a team of two people that work with each other to compromise, meet in the middle, and certainly not get close to others of the opposite sex that might make the other feel uncomfortable. trust is not the issue. i am the most trust worthy human to ever walk the face of this earth(i mean not literally) and my FI trusts me so much he would bet a million bucks on my word, still never ever would i think he would wanna see me patting a guys head and going to dinner with a strange guy to a classy restuaraunt. or not wearing my engagement ring…. or flirting with some dude. the reason im with him is to do all those things with him, share all my thoughts and feelings with him, and how my day went. not some other dude he dont know. that will only cause the other guy to feel some kind of bond with me or grow closer to me and the only person i want getting closer to me is my FI. and ya know, a friendly dinner with one of his old friends is ok, every now and then. but it sounds like he makes this a regular habit with old friends and new ones…i would think he would wanna chat about whatever he is sharing with these others, with u. you should be his rock…. i mean it would bother me that there is a possiblity another girl who knows more about my fella than me. because he tells her. again, girlfriends here and there are ok, but sounds like its not just one or two, and not rare. even those little touches you say he gives away….. it would hurt me too. to me those delicate, “im here for you” touches are made for me… to me they say things each time,”ill catch you if you fall”, “you have the most beautiful hair i have ever seen”,”im glad i have you”,”man you butt is firm”….whatever i percieve from each touch, i would pray that he wouldnt wanna give those to another…. even if its not him sending the message, if the other person percived it. because he never ever knows what the reciever of those touches are thinking…. and its not jealousy. my FI is like…negative jealous, and he agrees and as do i, that those touches, and moments, and sweet times and sharing life’s stories are made for each other. that why im marrying him. not to give 30% of him away…and he says the same.
Post # 11
naturegirl hit the nail on the head. His behavior is inappropriate. (Especially with the girl in her wheelchair… patting her head sounds rather demeaning in addition to being disrespectful towards you!) The ring situation needs to change, for one. But more importantly, him going on “platonic” dates with women you’ve never met is inexcusable, IMO. It is one thing if he’s hanging out with long-standing female friends whom you know and are comfortable with. It’s quiet another for him to be creating and nurturing new “friendships” with other women. I’m sorry, but if he has time to be taking women out to lunch, etc., why isn’t he taking his loving wife? That is wrong, to me.
Post # 12
I wouldn’t really like my DH being physically affectionate with someone who wasn’t me. Quick hugs and kisses on the cheek are *totally* fine but to be constantly touching a woman who isn’t his SO sounds odd to me…if I was an outsider I’d probably assume they were a couple and be quite surprised if it turned out his SO wasn’t the woman he was touching.
I know we can’t control people’s actions and if your SO says he doesn’t want to change his behaviour then there’s not much you can do except try to change your own reactions and mind set to cope better. But really, why can’t he change? It’s not like this is some strongly held belief and he’d be denying the very fibre of his morals to stop touching a woman’s head, if that’s what will make you, his wife, more comfortable. So I don’t really get it.
Post # 13
I am weirded out by the whole “pet” thing; She’s a person, not an animal – I agree with the pp who mentioned that the head rubbing is demeaning.
In terms of his going out to lunch with women you never met, and without his wedding band, to me it would be a problem; I would be insulted if my fi didn’t wear his wedding band after we were married.
To this statement: “Due to past stuff, we often have fights where I am insecure and he accuses me of being jealous. He has never cheated on me and doesn’t hide anything from me.”
–I must say, he needs to stop the behavior which would cause someone to feel jealous!! Your ‘jealousy’ is completely normal given his behavior! His affection and attention should only be focused on one person at this point, and that is you.
Post # 14
I can say your very brave. If you dont mind him hanging out with other girls to going out for dinners or whatever then your brave. I remember when my HB cougar friend from work invited him to the hockey game he didnt even blink twice before he said yes. Then dinner for a fancy meal. I lose it, ok thats a date. I just wont allow it, doesnt mean he will.