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

posted 3 months ago in Married Life
Post # 871
Member
153 posts
Blushing bee

alezv87 :  I do actually think you are over analysing her motives and reasons behind the messages that she sends your husband. Annoying or not, asking for photos or a text asking what a friend is up to on holiday is not uncommon these days. I don’t think she’s planning her texts out in the way you think she is for maximum impact. 

Irrespective of what her feelings are, nothing can happen between them unless your husband wants to take the friendship to another level.

You should focus and build on the positives that are clearly there as you have said. Your husband seems to have softened his attitude towards you even if gradually and you should make the most of it. I know it’s tough to not think about her but you have to stop dwelling on negative thoughts too much. 

Post # 872
Member
1537 posts
Bumble bee

alezv87 :  seems like you are in a bit of denial about his emotional affair with this woman. No friend would disturb a friend while on a vacation with their spouse. No. Way. You know what’s up.

Post # 873
Member
163 posts
Blushing bee

tobeeeornottobeee :  You think someone who has romantic feelings for another person might not try to persuade him that she is the one who cares about everything he does and remembers little details about their conversations, like with the photos? You are underestimating the lengths people go to in order to get to be with someone they want.

Post # 874
Member
10675 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: City, State

alezv87 :  

I’m sorry, Bee, but the physical part is the end stage of a developing affair.

An emotional affair does far greater damage to a marriage than a strictly physical one.  Men can compartmentalize when they feel the need to.  That’s why a guy in a committed relationship can have sex with another woman, just for the thrill of it.

The concern here is the level of emotional intimacy that has developed.  The reasons don’t even matter anymore.  This thing has taken on a life of its own.

My concern is that your husband may just be going through the motions.

I’m not privy to your therapy sessions, but, some of what you have posted does sound odd. 

As I have said before, it’s not healthy or productive to aim your anger at the other woman.  She owes you nothing.  The responsibility is 100% with your husband.

I agree with the PPs.  Rip the Band Aid off.  Stop dragging this out and get some clarity, one way or another.  Just tell him you will be joining them on their next outing.  Watch his immediate nonverbal reaction; his body language, his facial expression. He will give you everything in that moment.

*Then* listen to his words.  If you get any response other than, “Sure, babe.  We’re having lunch on Tuesday”, you have your answer and it’s bad.

Post # 878
Member
10675 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: City, State

alezv87 :  

It’s more the therapist’s willingness to let him back burner the “friend” issue when it’s causing you so much pain and stress.  It seems as if your feelings are not being heard or validated on this issue.

*Let him have his little playmate so he doesn’t get lonesome and blame you for it* sounds like really stupid advice to me.  Maybe I’ve been reading it wrong.

I don’t understand why at least a temporary moratorium on their tetes a tetes is such a frickin unreasonable request to make of a married man.

Post # 881
Member
153 posts
Blushing bee

chiara :  I doubt she’s thinking in her head, “Oh he loves photography and to show that I am taking an interest in what he tells me, let me ask him for photos of his trip.” I imagine that, as friends do, she just asked him to share some photos of what was a scenic location since they were in the countryside. It is really not that uncommon these days to ask your friends to send photos from their vacations. People do it all the time. Blame social media or the digital age but people ask for pictures and vacation info even on WhatsApp groups with friends they are not very close to.

OP is insecure, but some people have a tendency to analyse even the smallest things in their heads over and over again, which she is seemingly doing. It must be a great quality to have professionally for her, but not so great for her personal life. 

Once again, she has positives from her trip that she can build on or dwell on the negatives and undo those positives by focusing only on  negatives.

Post # 881
Member
179 posts
Blushing bee

I think it makes sense to cut back on communication with friend without demanding she be cut. Hopefully as OP and her husband strengthen their bond and relationship, his friendship will fade.

This is the only way it might work out. Ultimatums and demands to stop the friendship will probably backfire.

minnewanka :  

Post # 882
Member
179 posts
Blushing bee

 

alezv87 :   When we first started the sessions, he said that he had been friends with her for several years going back to school and she had always been a good friend to him when he needed support, and therefore he will not cut her out of his life like she was some inconvenience.

 

And you don’t believe him I suppose? I would not drop a close friend either if I was not up to something shady but my spouse insisted I was. He might be thinking it would be like admitting he was doing something wrong.

Post # 883
Member
134 posts
Blushing bee

alezv87 :  Are you going to ask him to stop seeing her in therapy today or ask him to spend even less time than once a week with her? 

Post # 884
Member
255 posts
Helper bee

alezv87 :  Friends from high school and you guys are in your early 30s? So he’s been friends with her for nearly two decades? You will end up shooting yourself in the foot if you handle this poorly in therapy today, especially following a holiday that has brought you closer and you both agree that you made progress.

Post # 885
Member
12117 posts
Sugar Beekeeper

lavender9 :  He is doing something wrong.

He went to a female friend, a person with no relationship with his wife, to no doubt complain behind her back instead of continuing to address his issues with OP. Even if that’s the sole basis of these meetings, which I doubt at this point, he knows it hurts OP and continues regardless. A true friend would understand, support, and encourage a time out to focus on his marriage.

He doesn’t have to admit to an affair, emotional or any other kind, to understand that much. I’d ask the therapist privately whether she has ever approached it from this perspective with H and if not, whether she thinks it’s a request that becomes more and more difficult to make with the precedent for regular, solo meetings already established. And whether she can see the inherent risk in this approach that feelings will or have developed. If I had to guess, she tried and he made it clear it was not happening. We already know he had one foot at the door at the first meeting.

The real question is whether an ongoing, one one one relationship with the friend that excludes OP is a dealbreaker for her. It would be for me. 

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