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How to have opposite gender friends when married

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  • #875450 Reply

    Hi all, I would love a little advice about my situation:
    My husband just started working with a new woman and they have become fast friends. I know my husband loves me very much and I trust him fully, however they are in contact very often. They text each other pretty much every day, and a couple of the texts that I’ve read seem a bit flirty on her end. For example she’ll say “good morning sunshine, can I give you a call?” Or tell him “if you leave your job I would have more of an excuse to see you outside of work.” He has never said anything flirty to her and yes mostly they do text about work. The problem is that I just don’t know her. Their friendship just does not involve me and he has asked if he can go out and get a drink with her after work a couple times.
    I’ve told him some of my concerns and he thinks I am being too sensitive, that they are just friends.
    I have more the anger towards her of thinking she can take control of and attention from my husband… I think she might be insecure and is thriving off of the attention he is giving her and maybe he is enjoying the attention back as well. What would be your advice because I want to be able to let my husband be friends with other women but this situation makes me feel a little uneasy.

    #875486 Reply

    As someone who has been married for sixteen years and has had to deal with this kind of thing more than once, my advice is that if he goes out for drinks with her you go too. Work at becoming her friend when you hang out, and when you see your husband texting her say, “Oh, tell [whatever her name is] that I said, ‘Hi!'”. The key is to be completely friendly and act like you are not threatened at all because your relationship with your husband is SO stable. This will likely do one of three things: 1) if she is lonely, she will like having you as a friend, and if your husband likes her then you probably are compatible on some level, so yay, new friend! 2) if she is flirty and just likes getting his attention, having you get brought up and showing up with him over and over will be a downer for her and she will move on; 3) she will feel threatened and make things awkward, in which case your husband will bail because no one likes drama. The key is to act secure. Best case scenario: new friend!

    #875500 Reply

    Betty nailed it. Insert yourself whenever you can. If either of them protest that would be telling

    #875501 Reply

    That second text would give me pause. Was there any other context to it? I’ve had a lot of married, male work friends over the years, and it can be great! But I never would have sent something that forward out of the blue. And if we wanted to hang out after work, I absolutely made it clear I’d love to see their wife as well.

    But also – do they legitimately have a lot to discuss with work drama/situations? Grabbing a drink after work with a colleague to process together is totally normal, and you want your husband to have that outlet. When you find that person at work who “gets it,” it can be an awesome thing. Be open to that being the situation and, like Betty said, tag along to some of these hangouts and get to know her.

    #875502 Reply

    I agree with the above advice. Be secure, stable and super friendly. If he starts going out for drinks and trying to meet with her frequently without you or anyone else being invited along, then I’d be suspicious.

    I disagree with “no one likes drama.” I think there are a lot of people who really enjoy creating drama. Hopefully not your husband, but possibly this woman.

    #875517 Reply

    Thank you everyone for your feedback. And yes I have let him know that it would be nice to be invited or for her to take an interest to get to know me… but he says “if you were getting together with one of your friends (I only have girlfriends) I would never crash it.” He says I would be a third wheel since they are talking about work stuff that’s hard for me to know what they are talking about and I would just sit there and it would be awkward. (I agree to all of these things, if it was a guy he was hanging out with! Not a pretty girl!)
    I also think because I have talked about so many of my concerns, that at this point if he asked to get a drink with her and I ask to go along he sees it as me “monitoring them“ he says. And feels I am being controlling.
    Also, they do talk about a lot more things than just work. They’re starting this year more and more common interest such as books, movies. Simply a progression of a work relationship into a friendship. It’s just so weird that my husband has this new friend that I don’t know at all and he isn’t really allowing me to get to know her…

    #875521 Reply

    Yeah, that’s weird. How often does he go out with her? When did this start? I think it sounds like your concerns are warranted because I don’t think most husbands would go to the effort of trying to keep you so separate if there was nothing at all to worry about. Most couples introduce their friends to each other. That would be my concern. Do you trust him? You say you trust him fully but this post makes it seem like you don’t.

    Has he met your friends?

    Host a party. Suggest a double date with a single male friend. Listen to your gut but remain rational. Talk to your husband and ask why he won’t introduce you, just to ease your mind. My husband has female friends and he’s never been more concerned about a friendship over our relationship. I come first, and so should you.

    #875523 Reply

    When I read your first post I thought you might be overreacting a little. But I have to be honest, the fact that he’s resisting including you in the friendship is not a good thing. Lots of married people have their own friends, but they *know* each other’s friends. They get together occasionally.

    You’ve never met her, right? How would he react if you invited her over for dinner? Either on her own, or as part of a group? If he’s uncomfortable even having you meet her, I’d be concerned.

    #875524 Reply

    I agree with Essie. I went in prepared to think you were overreacting but some of this does raise red flags. I have many male coworkers I’ve been friendly with over the years (basically my only option as a woman in STEM). But I’d never tell one of them I want an excuse to see them more outside of work, or use pet names in a text. Or text every day for that matter. Also, if I go for a drink with one of them my husband is ALWAYS invited. We do “talk shop” a lot, and sometimes he chooses not to come, but I always ask if he wants to and tell him where we’ll be. I would never discourage him from coming, and my male work friends have met him many times. The fact that you have never met this person and your husband is discouraging you from meeting her is…weird.

    Maybe a few sessions with a couples counselor are in order? You seem concerned he’s going to get defensive and double down, but he’s also being frankly sort of shady insisting you not meet this person whom he is constantly texting and getting together with. I think it’s ok to tell him you’re officially uncomfortable and ask what he is prepared to do to alleviate your concerns.

    #875527 Reply

    For those of you who said you went into this thinking I was overreacting a bit, I would love to hear your perspective. Because if he does change a bit and tries to get us all together, I would like to truly be ok with this and would just like to hear a response more in my husbands defense. I think this always helps see both sides. Thank you!

    #875528 Reply
    avatarSachiko Roxanne

    I’m coming more from the side of ‘you’re overreacting’ than not but you seem absolutely lovely and I can tell you’re trying to be the best wife as possible while still maintaining boundaries!

    Some context: my husband and I are both bisexual and monogamous so in theory we wouldn’t be allowed to have ANY friends if we had to swear off friendships with people with genders that we could be attracted to lol.

    I feel like your husband might be apprehensive about including you in hangouts with her since you’ve expressed much discomfort with her without knowing her at all – he might be afraid you’d be rude to her or act in a possessive way that’ll make her uncomfortable. You say his messages towards her aren’t flirty and that he loves you and I believe you when you say that. So I can understand why from his point of view, he might find your behavior a bit controlling when in his mind he’s just being a good pal.

    Why not have a dinner party or slightly larger scale get together and invite her? Way less pressure – plus she’d probably feel like she’s third-wheeling y’all if she hung out with you two. Be kind and friendly like you would to a male friend. If she’s nice and respectful, you have confirmation that all is well.

    #875529 Reply

    Because you trust him and they’re just friends.

    But with the added information that he’s keeping you separate from her is kind of suspicious. You know your husband best. I know my husband would prioritize my feelings (even if they’re irrational) over a coworker. That’s where it’s shady.

    No one is saying married people can’t have friends of either sex, but he’s not being very considerate of you.

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