Post # 16
I agree with PPs that the most problematic part of this thread is your husband’s reaction. The minute you tell your significant other that something is hurtful, makes you uncomfortable, or is otherwise overstepping your boundaries, their first response should be one of care and concern. Not righteous indignation that you dared question their behavior, and then calling you insecure (what?!). This guy knows he’s doing something inappropriate and doesn’t appreciate being called out on it. The fact that he urged you to discuss this with your counselor as your own “personal problem” tells me that he has no interest in addressing it himself. This is a crappy situation, OP, and I’m sorry you’re in it.
Post # 17
Can you tell us any details of his previous emotional affair? When was that and how far did it go?
It’s difficult to be sure when only reading a snapshot over the internet, but my instincts say no – it’s not ok, and it’s made so much worse by him getting angry at you. I can’t imagine a decent husband doing anything other than trying, very sincerely, to address your worries about this with care and attention.
Post # 18
One thousand percent agree with this.
Post # 19
Oh boy, Bee.
No, you are not overreacting or being too sensitive. His behavior is not appropriate and his response was dismissive and disrespectful.
That said, this is a line in the sand situation, and you may not like what side he falls on. His continued communication with her is undermining your marriage. You can tell him you don’t want him to talk to her anymore, but you run the risk of him either ignoring you, or worse, trying to hide what he’s doing (at least if he brazenly does it in front of you, you know where he stands). HE has to understand that what he is doing is harmful to your marriage, and HE has to want to pull back. Given the way he’s responded to you lately, I don’t think that is going to happen.
You need to really stand up for yourself. You are not being too insecure. You are not being jealous or controlling. And if he’s going to continue to deflect and try and make you feel like this is a you problem, then that is worse news for your marriage than this woman is.
Post # 20
This isn’t normal, Bee.
Talk to your counselor about it, most certainly, because he or she will tell you the same thing. Then get your husband back in for a session, because he’s evidently going to need to hear it from a third party. You’re too easy of a target for gaslighting.
It’s not appropriate for him to talk on the phone with a female coworker outside work hours. They’ve obviously got some sort of interest in each other or a bond beyond a coworker relationship. This needs to stop. He can talk to her during work hours if he chooses, but he needs to tell her he spends time with his wife in the evenings, so calls then are off the table.
Post # 22
Op if you don’t have kids with this guy I suggest you make a clean break and get a divorce.
I feel strongly about that because he is not only doing something inappropriate that he has already gotten caught doing before, but he is actively trying to convince you that his behavior is somehow your fault. How on earth do you ever feel safe and a partner with someone who is actively trying to make you think you are the crazy one? That’s just straight up abusive behavior. And you can’t ever be safe or loved with someone who is abusive. He is mentally and emotionally abusive op.
You have tried counseling before you mentioned, how did that turn from you two going together to you going alone?
When it comes to having a conversation with someone who does this kind of gaslighting the key is being firm and not accepting that bullshit. He says, “you are so insecure maybe you need more therapy” you say, “absolutely not. I am not going to sit here and have you get mad at me when this is entirely of your own doing. You behaving inappropriately has nothing to do with me and how dare you attempt to turn this around. You will take full responsibility for this behavior and you won’t ever try to gaslight me like that again. Are we clear?”
Someone tries to gaslight you, you get angry and you tell them no, in the moment. You say no this isn’t ok, you getting mad about something you did wrong and being called on it is not ok. Your response needs to be, I’m sorry what can I do, not getting angry at me. I won’t tolerate your behavior. Period.
Post # 23
Does he talk to any other friends for this long? As in, is this abnormal behavior for him in regards to his other relationships? Regardless, I feel you are justified based on his most recent reaction. No one should be made to feel that their feelings are wrong or that they are the one that needs to be “fixed” and not his behaior. Usually when someone is so defensive and accuses the other of being “crazy” they know they are in the wrong and know their behaior is inappropriate.
I am pretty chill on the whole oppostie sex friends thing as my husband and I have many opposite sex friends. He maybe more-so than me because he is a male nurse and most coworkers are female… and for us, work is how we have met the majority of our friends. However, my husband doesn’t talk on the phone to anyone besides me for more than 20 minutes. So, a 20 minute phone call to a female coworker or friend wouldn’t bother me. However, an hour long phone call more than a one time thing would definitely bug me. Then the issue of him being so defensive would be a red flag. People only behave like that when they know they are in the wrong.
Post # 24
My stance on this is this: You are his wife. If you have voiced that something is making you uncomfortable, he should step back, review the situation, take your words into account, and try to fix that situation. If my husband came to me and said a frequent interaction I had with someone made him uncomfortable, I would be horrified and upset. I would immediately suspend contact with the person and evaluate how our interactions were inappropriate. I would expect the same of my husband.
Plus, you already worked in a compromise. You didn’t say “You can’t speak to her ever again”, you said “Please keep it during business hours.” I don’t know his personality, but holy shit, when 5pm rolls around and I log out of work, I’m done. The place doesn’t exist. I don’t even think about work again until 8:59 AM the following morning. I can’t imagine anything is so pressing they need to discuss it for an hour after a full 8 hour work day.
The fact that your husband indicated it was “inappropriate” but then reverted back to old habits is telling. The fact that he attempted to gaslight you when you voiced your concern again is telling. You aren’t being crazy. You aren’t being jealous or insecure. Your husband is being an asshole. He doesn’t like the side of you concerned with him having an inappropriate relationship in front of your face? I’d tell him I didn’t like the side of him being a gaslighting, toxic douche.
Post # 25
- Wedding: April 2019 - California
This affair happened in 2017, before we were even married. We were planning marriage and had already bought a home though. It was a texting /sexting thing with his ex (who had also been his co worker at one point). It went on for several nights before I found out. He even told her how he wished they would have gotten back together.
When I called him out on that affair, he did a similar thing. He tried to get really angry and knock me down (verbally) and gaslight. But when he realized I was on my way out of the door he changed his tune. I ended up giving him another chance. He blocked her and stopped talking to her and hasn’t since that I know of. But he does have the tendency to gaslight and he is controlling, which is what is often discussed in therapy.
He already knows that I am one foot in, one foot out and I am very unhappy and do not feel emotionally safe anymore. He knows all this. It certainly makes it more upsetting that his reaction is so negative to this request.
Im thinking about leaving, honestly. But it’s scary because I have nowhere to go. I’m not currently working and my family all left me when I was a child.
Post # 26
you need to leave. Make a plan privately and start job hunting. Get all your ducks in a row and speak to a divorce attorney without your husband knowing. Likely they will sell the house and split all the savings so you will have money to find your own apartment and start again. Don’t tell him anything and make a plan to leave. Once you are ready, then leave and file for divorce.
Post # 27
If he knows that you are one foot in, one foot out, it’s likely he’s checking out, Bee. The reason he doesn’t seem to care about your concerns is because he actually doesn’t– the marriage has become too much work for him and he’s already started moving on.
I would start making whatever plans you can to move on. There are services available for women who need assistance getting out of bad marriages.
Post # 28
Knowing he had a previous affair, and is doing a similar thing now, I’d be done. I agree with PPs that you need to start getting your ducks in a row. You need a job – any job. Like apply for jobs today kind of thing.
Post # 29
Hes defensive because he knows what hes doing is inapproprioate but he doesnt want to stop doing it which makes it even worse..
This is not someone he sees everyday and goes to lunch with and has a group of friends with at work..
He physically sees her once a year but somehow talks to her daily on phone? How does that even happen… how do they know each other enough for that to happen.. does that mean they spend work days talking about personal things and not work?
Like I’m sorry this doesn’t add up at all to me..
I cant imagine having a coworker in a different office from by a decent distance that I see once a year and somehow beocming this close.. unless I wanted it to become more..
Who spends that much time on a phone otherwise.. :S
Post # 30
Not overreacting. I would not even feel comfortable if my own colleagues phoned me outside of work hours! Work is work, and calling me at my home out of hours is crossing boundaries. Is. your partner currently working from home during COVID as I can see how that may blur the lines a bit and people are generally working longer hours from home. However, if it’s her doing the phoning then he needs to tell her that you guys have boundaries about work calls during your leisure time. Man or woman, nobody should be calling people after they clock out.
It does not help that he disagreed with you and essentially blamed your insecurity on the issue. It is not insecure to want to spend your time away from work with eachother. If anything it is quite normal lol! Perhaps he just loves the attention from this woman, but if your husband had set some firm boundaries with co-workers then this would not have happened in the first place. She is fine with calling him at home because she has not been told otherwise by him. Does she know he is married? I would not be calling anyone like that, let alone a married man!