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

posted 4 months ago in Married Life
Post # 61
439 posts
Helper bee

livster :  Agree 100%

It feels like putting all the focus on the friend and downplaying his feelings about the way she speaks to him are ways to try to place all the blame on him for their relationship problems and to deflect any responsibility from her own actions that have contributed.

Post # 62
1184 posts
Bumble bee

OP He’s getting something from her that (1) he values and (2) that he’s not getting from you. I think she’s just the symptom of the problem rather than the actual problem.

In my experience men don’t care so much whether you can directly relate to their career, so don’t overvalue that, what they value more is support and understanding. I’m a physician and my legal knowledge is limited to high school legal studies subjects lol, but my hubby says he feels the most supported that he ever has in his life. Whilst I don’t understand all the content itself, I make an effort to support him and help him to problem solve dilemmas on his own. Obvs my own marriage isn’t perfect and I’m not suggesting it is, but this is something I feel works well for us and is important for any relationship. 

This is your marriage and worth fighting for. I think ignore her for the moment, and focus on your relationship. Start by making little changes and see how he responds. If you’re not good at giving compliments that’s start trying! I know it’s hard, especially when you’re upset about this woman, but it takes only one person to change the dynamic in a marriage and you can start by making changes yourself. Counselling might be a good idea, but I would try working on yourself first and assessing his response. Start small and move bigger. 

Good luck, fingers crossed for you xoxoxo


Post # 63
1216 posts
Bumble bee

You definitely need couples counseling. 

I see one of two things going on here: 

1) You’re a lot more critical than you think you are, and he’s reacting to that by putting up walls in all regards. You need to try, for a week, to watch everything you say around him. It will suck, but keep it light, encouraging, and positive. Ask him questions about himself. Not probing ones into his work or personal life, but genuine curiosities. If he still reacts in a hostile way…

2) Maybe he’s checked out of this marriage. Female friend may or may not have anything to do with that. At this point, he’s straight up annoyed to be around you. It doesn’t matter what you say; he just doesn’t want to interact with you. I know that I was guilty of that when I was in high school. Didn’t really like my hs boyfriend anymore? Couldn’t get my feelings together enough to realize it? Just be mean, it will drive him away. Seriously. It’s not mature, but it happens.

Post # 64
248 posts
Helper bee

soexcited123 :  Clearly OP’s relationship has problems and, as I said, all of this should be addressed in counseling. At this stage, as I said, I don’t think she’s within her rights to ask him to cut a high school friend out of his life. They’re in the early stages of dealing with “this branch of the problem,” so I was saying that, though that may be a knee-jerk reaction to rid herself of the problem, that’s probably only going to cause more shit as opposed to actually dealing with the issue at hand.

Likening OP’s SO (or anyone’s SO) to a kid whom you (their romantic partner) allow to play in the street doesn’t help things. 

needmorewine :  ‘s post definitely resonates here. I’m not saying this is necessarily the right way to go about things, but clearly, words of affirmation are important to OP’s husband and this dissonance isn’t helping the overall situation.

Post # 65
1155 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2019

californiasun :  it was an analogy meaning just because he isn’t officially cheating now doesn’t mean this “friendship” with this woman isn’t on the brink of it and it should be cut back and he shouldn’t be playing with fire. Again while this other woman isn’t the whole issue she is a contributing factor and that’s why I am sticking by my statement of the other issues can’t be effectively worked on if instead of spending 24/7 after work with this women he spends time with the women he made his vows to so they can talk about issues. Quite frankly if a married man was spending a shit ton of time solo drinking with me I would be kinda confused as to why he is spending all his time with me instead of his wife and kinda thinking there might be something there. 

Post # 67
1225 posts
Bumble bee

alezv87 :  Yes Bee, I know what you meant. And I meant it is extremely problematic that he chose not to share his concerns about his sister with you. It means he has chosen to cut you off even on subjects that are not contentious and would just require you being supportive in his time of need. That suggests he may no longer view you as part of his support system.

I think that is a huge deal.

Post # 70
10854 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: City, State

needmorewine :  

Totally agree.

Partner criticizes my work?

Partner tells me what to do?

Oh, HELL, no.

Your partner should be your cheerleader and president of your fan club. Partners defend each other from the slings and arrows from the outside world.

Maybe he doesn’t do things OP’s way.  Maybe she’s right and he’s wrong and it will all go sideways.  Then it’s OP’s job to give him love and support.

A specific request for honest criticism is one thing.  But, unsolicited?  Nobody wants that.  Nobody.  And the last person on earth to whom to aim it is the person you supposedly love most.

Post # 71
235 posts
Helper bee

OmG, OP — STOP!!!!!!  Do not use the word “but” one more time … you’re so busy forming your next argument that you’re not LISTENING.

I know that I am to blame too.  But I don’t find his close friendship with her acceptable.” 

You really don’t get it.  He has a close frienship with her BECAUSE of what’s going on in your house….you’re pushing him to it.  Stop doing what you’re doing and you will solve the problem.  Don’t use the problem as an excuse to keep repeating bad behavior because the bad behavior is why you even have a problem.   Every time you use the word “but”, you are NOT recognizing your part, just justifying it.  I don’t know how many other ways to say this. 

Geeeeeeez, girl, we are really trying to be on your side here!!!!!!!!!!!!!



Post # 72
5720 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: July 2018

OP it really does sound like you could be pushing your husband away, even in this thread you aren’t really listening to what anyone is telling you. 

They have been friends for years and it has only recently become a problem, therefore it isn’t the problem.  The problem is your relationship with your husband is going through a massive low patch due to both of your communication problems, the solution isn’t to cut him off from his childhood friend who he feels like he can open up to.  He is telling you he doesn’t like going to you with problems he is having due to the way you frequently respond, doesn’t that make it sink in that you need to change how you talk to him? 

The money thing also sounds like a complete drag. I understand you don’t want to feel reliant on someone but that doesn’t mean you have to sit at the table and proportionally split the dinner bill, why not just pay for the next one if you are concerned about it being equal?  It sounds like the way you want to do it is adding unnecessary stress to the situation and making it feel like a roommate situation. 

Post # 73
2908 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: November 2017

alezv87 :  it sounds like he is actually now dating this “friend” while married to you.  Ask him to put his friendship on temporary hold while attending counseling. If he refuses to do that,  at the first counseling session you should bring it up. I can’t imagine a counselor would not advocate suspending interaction with this friend  at least temporarily while working through issues.  If he is unwilling to do counseling, it obviously doesn’t bode well.  At that point I would start making alternative plans for myself/my life… Good luck,  keep us posted. 

Post # 74
6771 posts
Busy Beekeeper

alezv87 :  I’ve also looked up marriage counsellors and want to book an appointment with one soon. I’m hoping he will agree to go, because if he’s reluctant to do so, then I don’t know what to do.

What to do? You find your own counselor and go by yourself. This definitely sounds like a situation where changes you make on your own could greatly improve your relationship with your husband. Yet you continue to sound resistant. Why? 

Post # 75
9197 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2013

he thinks you talk condescendingly and act superior to him. i’m guessing that’s why he doesn’t want to confide in you.  you admit you are harsh.

i thnk you need to have a look at yourself and work on yourself first. then work on your marriage.  and stop talking about work.

i don’t know what field or how competitive.  but if you are working at differnent firms, there has to be a middle ground that you can find so you can balance your career advancement with saving your marriage.


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