He unfriended her and I didn’t hear any more about it until I decided to snoop (I know, I know — it’s wrong but I did it anyway). I checked his business email and that’s where I discovered conversations between them about her sending another friend request and talking about her kid’s birthday party, and I even found emails just to wish her a happy Valentine’s Day, etc. (not business-related). The time on the Valentine’s Day email was before he even wished me a happy Valentine’s Day.
Flash forward: His company sent us to a flooring convention and, as we were checking in, the sales rep was there, and my husband never introduced me while she said hello and asked if he was having a good time. We argued about this and he said it’s nothing, and then he brought up past issues to use as his justification. Now I believe he was having an emotional crush/affair. What do you think? — Crushed
I think that this isn’t about the sales rep; this is about your relationship with your husband. The sales rep is just a distraction — for both of you — from the fracture(s) in your marriage that existed likely well before the sales rep ever entered the picture. I mean, yeah, maybe your husband does have a little crush on her, but friending a colleague on Facebook, and exchanging a few pleasantries within business calls and emails, hardly constitutes an affair! It was rude of your husband not to introduce you to the sales rep at the convention, and I can appreciate how hearing him say her name while he was sleeping would be unnerving. But, again, none of this suggests an affair — a crush, yeah maybe, but not an affair (not even an emotional affair, which demands, by definition, far deeper and more intimate conversations than plans for a kid’s birthday party).
What all of this — your husband’s seeming interest in this woman and your disproportionate jealousy — DOES suggest is that there are cracks and fractures in your marriage that need immediate addressing. Why is there such a lack of trust? Is there a history of cheating between you? Have you felt him pulling away for a while? Can you remember the last time you spent quality, loving time together? I don’t know what your specific issues are — maybe you don’t either — but I do know that the sales rep isn’t in the top five; she is simply a distraction for you both, keeping you from putting in the effort and work and time and emotional investment to deal with the real issues. Quit sweeping them under the rug! Get yourselves into some marriage counseling and work this shit out because, while it doesn’t sound at all like this current distraction is anything more than that, if you continue pushing each other away like you have been, the distractions you’re seeking WILL lead to much more serious issues and potentially destroy your marriage.
I believe that what I’m dealing with is mostly my own insecurities. If your significant other had an album from his or her first marriage and the former spouse looked like a model, how would you handle it? Would it bother you? If he or she described the ex to a friend and spoke about how horrible the relationship was but happened to mention in front of you that the ex was beautiful, what would you say or do? Even though my wife and I are an awesome couple, when she said that, I felt nothing but fire pumping through my veins. Smh.
Just an FYI, my wife has no idea it bothers me because I haven’t said anything to her. I figured it would be a phase that would eventually go away. I was married for 10 years prior and I have a daughter. As soon as I got into a serious relationship, I erased a lot of pictures. Almost all of them. It hurt me, but it was out of respect for my new relationship. — Not a Model
Well, since you read the advice I gave the woman in a similar situation and mention the analogy I used — how a wedding album from a marriage that ended up very toxic and unhappy might serve as a physical reminder to someone for how far he or she has come — I assume it resonated with you in some way. In that column, I also suggest moving an album like that somewhere out of sight – a parent’s home, the basement, a storage unit. You could ask your wife to do that, you know. And you could ask her why she’s even holding on to the album in the first place – maybe it’s not something she’s aware is even in her possession or maybe she has some reasons that would help you understand her position. But instead of talking to her about it, you’re keeping quiet and stewing over it.
It sounds like you’re stewing not because you’re worried your wife still has feelings for her ex or fantasizes about getting back together with him; no, you believe fully that she’s done with him. You just don’t like that he’s more built than you are. This is entirely YOUR issue and not your wife’s. Even her mentioning to a friend that he was attractive – if that happened? — doesn’t mean anything. Or, if it means anything at all, it might be an explanation for what attracted her to someone she now sees is a really toxic person. It doesn’t mean she prefers his looks or wishes you looked like him! That’s all in YOUR head, not hers, and it’s something you have to work through (maybe therapy would help or maybe prioritizing your fitness if you feel insecure about the way you look?).
Talk to your wife about how it makes you feel that the wedding album is in your house, but frame it around your feelings and not hers, because this isn’t about her feelings at all. Her feelings are with YOU. Her feelings for her ex are DONE. If she does actually discuss his looks in front of you in a way that feels disrespectful to you, then do mention that to her, but don’t attach it to the photo album. If his being a hunk is the only/main reason you’re uncomfortable with the photos, that says so much more about you and your insecurities than about her behavior. When the issue is yours, like this is, YOU are the one who has to make some changes. So get to work!