Post # 120
wifeconflicted : Girl, I’m a firm believer in listening to your intuition. If you feel like something is off with this woman, there probably is. Just reading your story raised a ton of red flags for me. That being said, if Jen totally disappeared tomorrow from your life would everything go back to being perfect or would there be another Jen in 6 months or a year?
Post # 121
sunnierdaysahead2 : I have met Jen at various work-related events. Most recently, she hosted their institution’s group for March for Science, which I participated in with our daughter and my husband. 95% of the time, my husband is great with splitting time with our daughter, but he spent a lot of the pre-March gathering talking with Jen while I was with my daughter at the park. When it was time to March, Jen came over to let me know then ran ahead to grab the banner, which she and Darling Husband were holding. I had to gather my daughter and a couple of things, but they left without us. I was running to catch up. The weekend of my birthday was also spent with Jen…both Saturday and Sunday. Darling Husband didn’t realize that when he was making those plans, it was my birthday. I was deeply hurt, but I never said anything because one of them was his office holiday party about 40 minutes away (so guess who carpooled with us…and he spent some time talking with Jen 1:1 but at least spent time with others that night) and the other time (on my actual birthday) was when Jen, Michelle, Darling Husband, our daughter, and I went holiday shopping for our sponsor-a-family. How can you really get upset about that?? I felt badly that I even let myself get a little annoyed about these plans when I reflect about how good my life really is when there are families out there really struggling to make ends meet. But I was annoyed. Spending that time with Jen was not how I wanted to spend my bday weekend. I have been so tempted to reach out to her husband and point blank ask him if he’s cool with their relationship. Maybe he has a female friend that’s equally as close, and that’s why Jen sees no problem being besties with my Darling Husband. I don’t know, but it’s just hard to not feel like I’m obsessing about this.
Post # 122
wifeconflicted : I wonder what Jen’s husband thinks of all this, or if he’s oblivious to it.
Post # 123
wifeconflicted : I would definitly keep her husband out of it
Honestly I think your husband is putting his relationship on the line. You seem somewhat passive in this whole situation.
If I was you I would be demanding more from my husband to resolve this. Even if it meant finding a new job. Does he want to save his relationship? Do you want to sit back and watch your husband comit a full-fleged affair. I think it’s time to be a bit more confrontational here.
Post # 124
franklymydearidont : I have seen her a bit, but we don’t really chat a lot. It’s really awkward to be in a room with her because we’re both introverts. The only thing we really have in common is my Darling Husband. We do have other things in common (the tomboy thing, we like canoeing, hiking, nature/outdoors, and games, which she got from my Darling Husband (and Darling Husband got into gaming because of me)) but she and I don’t really talk with one another without it feeling forced. She has come over (in group settings) for dinner at our place since we enjoy BBQing, and we have gone to her place a couple times for games (again, group settings.) We have also met at other work people gatherings, but I have honestly not spent a lot of time getting to know her on a personal level. We are both always cordial with one another. Her husband and I have talked a little bit during these gatherings since he is a hobby musician as well, and he is really nice. He is “nerdy” like my husband, and I think she prides herself on associating with “geeky/nerdy” people. I don’t pride myself on that….it just happens. (e.g. my Friday nights during my college years were spent hanging out with the math club playing games until 4 or 5 in the morning.)
She once wrote (in a group message to Alec and Michelle) “Michelle, do you know I have a friend who works at <geeky gaming company> and sometimes runs the MTG tournaments? I just wanted to brag that I know some serious nerds.” If she was writing that to Michelle, then why was my Darling Husband in that message? I am not incredibly fond of her professionally because so many of her messages (outside of work hours) are talking about these other coworkers behind their backs–coworkers for which Darling Husband, Michelle, Jen, and a few others are not particularly fond. She has her nose in everyone’s business and is a bit gossipy.
However, since I know she means a lot to my husband, I don’t want her out of his life completely for his sake. I have told flat out asked him, “Why not invite her over for dinner?” I have apparently made this suggestion too many times because he asked me to stop suggesting it.
After he asked her about the vaguebook post, I was glad that he didn’t dig into it deeper. She told him she was having marital problems, and he said he was sorry and that if there was anything he could do to let him know. But then he changed the subject, so I was at least glad to see that (vs. bashing her husband or spending time consoling her.)
Maybe spending more time with her would be better, I guess, but I’d have to get my husband on board to doing this.
Post # 125
Post # 126
I feel for you. This sounds like an awful position to be in and I do not think you are overreacting. You said you have talked to your husband about Jen, but have you talked to him about feeling like he’s checked out of your marriage and just phoning it in?
Post # 127
waiting2bee : Unfortunately, I can’t ask him to find another job. He is a tenured professor, so asking him to find another job would be pretty risky and asking a LOT of him. He has a lot of flexibility in his job, summers free, and the ability to work remotely at times if needed.
Yeah, I will never bring this up to Jen’s husband, just because I don’t want to plant a seed or make things awkward about the situation that is happening between my husband and me. I am assuming that my husband has not mentioned my discomfort with Jen.
Post # 128
You need to drop the hammer on this.
Post # 129
lifeisbeeutiful : I’ve asked him to let her know something along the lines of him spending more time outside of work focused on family. I have no doubt that Jen would understand and not take it personally. I don’t know why he won’t just tell her this. I have suggested that I speak with Jen directly about this situation, too, without giving too much away. He seemed to imply that was out of question. It would make things a lot easier for both of us if he would just tell her that he’s going to be more family-focused.
About a year ago, I asked him to cut back, and he wrote to Jen AND Michelle (although Michelle is often more unplugged outside of work) to let them know he was going to be chatting less. This lasted a few days before it was back to the old routine. At that time, I just felt like throwing in the towel, convinced that I just needed to get used to it. But ever since last month when I saw those messages on the iPad coming in and also reading through the history of messages in the 1:1 chat windows with Jen, I have never felt the same. I have so badly wanted to give him an ultimatum, but that seemed unfair, too, to both my husband and to Jen. I especially feel this is the case (of it being unfair) after reading a lot of people are seeing nothing wrong with their behavior.
Post # 130
wifeconflicted : well, I’m gonna call this after all of your updates. You would be a fool to not put your foot down.
Everything you’re writing here is how affairs happen.
dont let people gaslight you. You know there’s a problem. Stand up for yourself and your marriage. He needs to man up and fast.
Post # 131
wifeconflicted : That’s so unfair that he throws a litany of Great Guy stuff in your face as if you should be grateful enough for this to ignore something that is troubling you. Because lots of guys do great stuff like this- my Darling Husband does the same kind of stuff your Darling Husband does and he’s a great dad and step-dad, but absolutely no way would this make what you describe he’s doing with Jen okay with me. If anything I would be more vocal and pissed off than you, you seem downright reasonable IMO.
Your Darling Husband isn’t even being logical in his argument, because him being a great dad and cooking and doing laundry is the equivalent to you being a great mom and doing the dishes and laundry etc, it’s great that you both do these things of course and you should appreciate these things in each other, but it doesn’t give either of you a free pass or immunity against words or actions that is hurting the other partner.
And while he may have seen Jen cry over a work altercation, this still in no way equals actually living with someone and dealing with the day in and day out stuff. And, as another PP already pointed out, her upset tears weren’t directed AT him.
Plus, I’m sorry to be so blunt because you seem so nice, but it’s total bullshit that he’s so attentive to her while treating you second rate. If he’s truly a wonderful caring guy, his wife should be receiving this wonderful attentiveness too, even more so than his co-workers, not less so. And yes, going to school activities and shopping for a sponsored family are good things to do, so you’re feeling awkward about complaining- but saying he forgot your birthday in the process is just one more sad example of him not making you a priority.
I would tell him you want to have a serious heart to heart, no cell phones or other distractions, and a promise to each other upfront that you’ll both hear the other person out without interruption. And ask him to please actually listen to how you’re feeling instead of just going on the defensive. Surely if he loves you and you tell him everything you told us, he’ll see that his actions are hurting you and want to help fix things.
Post # 132
wifeconflicted : I have read all of your updates, and I think you’re being incredibly kind and understanding, particularly given the stack of items you’ve told us about since your OP.
At this point in your situation, I would definitely go to counseling (independently), and I would also (after speaking to a therapist) let your Darling Husband know that you are committed to working things out so that everyone feels heard, however you’re not willing to be so blatantly disregarded and are not willing to be a 3rd wheel in your own marriage. Let him know he can either get on board with you and work toward a real resolution with the help of a trained therapist, or, you’ll be leaving the relationship. I would be, at least.
You really have two outcomes if he’s not willing to work on it: he either somehow gets offered a great new job that he’d take, and therefore would likely see much less of Jen due to the new logistics, or he’ll end up retreating further from you and spending more time with her (or anyone he feels he can buddy up to) and then potentially cheating, emotionally and/or physically. I don’t know about you but neither of those sounds like something I’d be super into. I would rather be a single parent and happy than to live with this for the next however many years.
Post # 133
Wow this is crazy. You’re still conflicted after all the evidence is smacking you in the face. Keep doing what you’re doing, I guess. Just don’t be too shocked when you see their relationship escalate further. Especially with summer coming again. Will she be coming over all the time again when you’re at work? Does he wear his Cologne for these at home visits? Come on now. Open your eyes. You don’t want to be “unfair” to him and Jen? How is this fair to you?
Post # 134
wifeconflicted : I’ve spent a lot of time reading this thread front to back. And as an outsider a lot of what is happening with your Darling Husband and Jen is a problem.
And an even bigger problem to me is that you have such intuition that something is off and yet you are stifiling perfectly rational thoughts because you feel sorry for him or you feel like you’re controlling him. Well what about YOU?! What about YOUR FEELINGS????
You have EVERY right to be worried and upset about their relationship and how your marriage has changed since she’s been around (which to me is NOT a coincidence). I think she’s inappropriate with how much she messages your Darling Husband outside of work and your Darling Husband is even worse for writing you off and giving you a guilt trip for you even suggesting that he give you more attention.
And then I read your most recent update, and that just solidified it, HE FORGOT YOUR BIRTHDAY AND INSTEAD PLANNED AN ENTIRE WEEKEND HANGING OUT WITH HER. I hate to be harsh OP but No fucking way. That is a big big problem, your husband has completely checked out of your marriage and you’re absolutely in denial.
I don’t care if I get flack for this…Jen is a man eater. Never in a million years would I act the way she is acting. I would never message another man at all hours of the night, I would never come between a marriage or allow another man to give attention to me in that way. She has to know what they are doing is having consequences and I have no doubt in my mind that her relationship is imploding for the same reason yours is…..
This needs to be nipped in the bud now. I don’t often suggest counseling but this is so bad I think you both really really need it.