(Closed) Marriage in trouble due to competition (career-wise) and his female friend

posted 4 months ago in Married Life
Post # 46
Member
400 posts
Helper bee

He leaves it open for you to see his messages. That’s a good sign, but could also be ‘showing’ you what he likes about communicating with her? Non threatening, easy and evertyting you’re not doing right. Sorry don’t mean to be hurtful just something that occurred to me.

Contempt and disdain, even mild, should never deliberately be part of any couples talks. If you have unknowingly done this, you’ve got to own it. It can put any spouse off male or female. His reaction shows your style of dealing with him has got his hackles raised. I feel like neither of you can turn your ‘lawyer’ switches off. 

Post # 47
Member
400 posts
Helper bee

Also I wouldn’t want to meet her until things are first sorted between him and you. You guys are worked up and tense and then you go drinking with his supposed allly… could be weird. I’d concentrate on getting to a good place with him first, that’s what she should see, a good solid marriage. The best and healthy way and he can keep his friend, but he may not need to…

Post # 48
Member
1149 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2019

MrsMellyBean :  You dont find it odd he doesn’t tell his wife about these meetups and she isn’t welcome? If it is a platonic innocent friendship why isn’t she invited and welcomed into the friendship. Also this isn’t a once a month thing this weekly and multiple times a week and its odd for a married man to be going out for drinks solo with another women this often instead of inviting his wife along or being with her. I always say you know a friendship is innocent if the wife (in this case) is welcome to join and she isn’t. Cant believe how many people are hell bent on defending this man going drinking multiple times weekly with this women instead of encouraging her to tell him to spend more time with her working on these communication issues.

Post # 49
Member
1149 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2019

RayofLight :  It’s definitely off how he seems hell bent on defending his friendship with this other girl over his wife instead of reassuring her or even saying look babe come and join us but he didn’t offer any of that and often times a sign of a cheater or one who is about to cheat is getting extremely defensive about his “friendship” i don’t care how OP approaches him it don’t matter there is no excuse for him to be this defensive over a work friendship. Sorry she isnt exactly calm when it comes to her husband meeting other women for drinks weekly so of course sge has contempt and disdain who wouldn’t in this situation. He hadnt offered shit with compromise or anything or even offering for his wife to meet her

Post # 50
Member
437 posts
Helper bee

alezv87 :  I tend to be a bit blunt more often than not and it rubs him the wrong way. I’m not too good at just praising someone or offering compliments when I don’t see any reason to, and it’s true that I tend to criticize his approach to work sometimes. 

I think it’s important to mention here that he seeks validation/approval of some sort from her. In some of her comments and tweets to him, she is very generous with praise for him. She has far less understanding of his work, so I find it rather odd that he talks about his work life in great detail with her.  

Also, when we fought over the weekend (we were arguing for hours), he told me that he didn’t like talking to me about work because I don’t understand him and that he thinks that I act superior to him (i.e. he thinks that I consider myself to be better at the job than him, etc). 

It’s pretty obvious from just these last couple of posts that he’s been telling you exactly why he has been becoming distant and not confiding in you. He wants the support and validation that he should be able to count on from his spouse, but instead gets criticized. And if this has been building over the past couple of years as you say, of course his desire to talk to you about anything at all is going to decrease.

You say that you know you need to work on not criticizing him, but honestly, it doesn’t come across that you are taking his feelings about this very seriously at all. How would you feel if you repeatedly told your spouse that something they did upset you and they just ignored you and continued to do it anyway because they didn’t think it was a big deal? That’s exactly what you’ve been doing to him, yet you seem content to just ignore that until he starts to turn to his female friend for the support and validation that he needs.

Post # 51
Member
1671 posts
Bumble bee

soexcited123 :  I wasn’t addressing that issue, I was responding directly to yours as quoted below

“Wanted to add you really think its ok for a married man to meet up with his female friend for drinks none the less and not invite his wife. If my husband was doibg that and told me i wasn’t invited obviously I would think he is hiding something.”

 I also stated in my message that if either of us had an issue with one particular person (as is the case with OP) that we would not continue to see this person. 

With that being said, I do not believe that the friend is the issue. It’s their communication with one another and in my opinion, they are both wrong. I do believe that he should stop hanging out with this one friend while him and OP deal with their ACTUAL issues. OP has admitted that Darling Husband is getting upset with her comments about his work, while his reaction is not appropriate, neither is hers. It would drive me up the wall and make me feel highly disrespected if my husband continually did something that I’ve asked him not to.

 

Post # 52
Member
400 posts
Helper bee

not defending this friendship he has, at all. I’m referring to their communication and their style of dealing with each other way way before this friend came on the scene. That breakdown has led to this. At least the way I see it. Him getting defensive isn’t right. But you’re worrying about closing the door when the horse has already bolted. That girl isn’t the problem, they are the problem.

soexcited123 :  

Post # 54
Member
246 posts
Helper bee

soexcited123 :  To respond to all your questions concerning my relationship and my philosophy on relationships in general: yeah.

All relationships have different boundaries, and it sounds like OPs are muddy right now.

Per my SO: having group hang-outs minus significant others is fine and semi-regular. I have the exact same dynamic with my co-ed group of friends. Sometimes it’s a big group thing with everyone and their partners, sometimes it’s just the group of friends (either his or mine). Think of it as the same concept as a girls or a guys night… just with both? Idk what else to tell you. Also, per your second question… yeah. I think meeting up with a friend for drinks is fine. Also, sorry, relationship boundaries don’t change from serious relationship into marriage. Asking me if I’m “okay with a married man doing this” is the exact same thing as asking if I’m cool with a boyfriend doing this.

OP: I’m very glad you plan on bringing up counseling with him. There really sounds like there’s a lot to unpack here and I believe finding the right therapist for the two of you will be able to do that, which will help both of you make informed decisions about how you want to handle the relationship going forward. It sounds like you really have some misunderstandings in effective communication (you believe you’re helping him and giving him constructive advice on things vs. him seeing it as you acting superior to him), and I think this might be the nucelus that’s holding the core of the issues. 

I don’t understand your aversion to meeting her, but again, you’re entitled to your reasoning. I don’t think she’s just going to poof out of his life, and I don’t think you have the right to ask for that at this stage of the game (which I’m not sure you want, but just putting it out there).

Do you know if the health problems are serious? I’m sorry to hear she’s dealing with that. 

Post # 55
Member
1631 posts
Bumble bee

These updates are red flags all around. I change my previous assessment. Something is going on with this friend. 

Some male egos are weak and need reassurance. She isn’t a lawyer so it’s easier for her to lavish on uneducated praise in a way that is harder for you. (Great brief writing skills? Nice turn of that purchase agreement? Good closing checklist? Where does one even start?) But this is a common starting point for affairs! Take a look at Ryan Phillipe and Reese Witherspoon!

And my guess is he is starting to justify his feelings by being extra crabby with you. 

You might irritate him to some level, but he is probably using it to justify some shady behavior. 

I would start first with a good faith attempt to fix things with the assumption that he is innocent. But if he seems oddly resistant, you’ll know why. 

Post # 56
Member
1149 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2019

californiasun :  I disagree though that she doesnt have the “right” to ask him to stop talking to her. Clearly she is upset that they hang out so much and being he isn’t taking her concerns seriously nor welcoming her into this friendship and while you may be ok with this dynamic in your relationship which is fine clearly she isnt and being that they are married and made vows to forsake all other and put the marriage first i think she is well within her rights to ask that he dials back for the time being until they get some counseling and for her to ask him to take a break from her to focus on the marroage because right now he is feeding off of the attention he is getting from this woman. And while they may not be literally making out it doesn’t mean their dynamic is appropriate.  You don’t stand by a fire and say it’s ok im not actually touching the fire therefore I’m not gonna get burned or let a kid play in the street because right now there are no cars on the road. My point being is that he is playing in dangerous territory. To me your spouse comes first no question. I do agree that there are other issues at play here that need to be resolved in marriage counseling and this other women isnt the whole problem but she is definitely a part of it. Her husband knows it bothers her and he is continuing to donit

Post # 57
Member
1225 posts
Bumble bee

OP would you rather be “right” or would you rather save your marriage? Because increasingly, it’s sounding a lot like the former. You focus on his inability to take your advice, his need for (undeserved?) praise about his work, his need to confide in someone less knowledgeable than you…. None of this sounds like wanting to find the root cause of your relationship issues but rather figuring out how to prove your way is the better way. It certainly doesn’t sound like you are considering that you could be equally to blame for any of the issues in your relationship – you paint it as refusing to give undeserved praise and compliments, which minimizes your husband’s reaction, reduces it to an ego-driven tantrum.

But Bee, I think you have missed the biggest red flag of all. Your husband won’t even talk to you about health crises in the family. Do you realize how much of a communication breakdown you have reached when he won’t even tell you about illness in the family? I am assuming none of you (your husband, his friend, you) are in the medical field, so it’s not like he is seeking expert advice over your layman’s opinion. I can understand avoiding work talk in your situation, but he can’t even confide in you about this? Your situation is dire. Dire Bee. I can’t understand how you are not knee-deep in researching marriage therapists right now. Unless, coming back to my original question, the point is not really about saving your marriage.

Post # 58
Member
70 posts
Worker bee

The friend situation would not fly with my knowledge for even a hot second in my opinion. I do think counseling can help. 

Post # 59
Member
1225 posts
Bumble bee

Sorry for the double post but the more I think about it: he shut you out of his sister’s health issues and you are here worrying about him paying the bill when you go out? Couples counseling “seems” necessary??

Girl.

Post # 60
Member
6751 posts
Busy Beekeeper

livster :  Agreed. It’s worse with each update. 

OP–nobody wants to go home every night to someone who criticizes almost everything they do or say. Even if you think you’re being helpful it’s obvious he does not and that he’s removed himself from this relationship in a significant way. If he won’t go to counseling go on your own. This woman is not your biggest issue. 

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