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Dear Wendy

How to have opposite gender friends when married

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  • #876259 Reply

    And he doesn’t give a fuck about hurting you because he’s a bastard and because anyone will only ever treat you as well as they can get away with.

    #876261 Reply

    Sorry, there’s a lag on the posting for me. Honestly, my heart is breaking for you. Your husband’s behaviour, like his complete disregard of social niceties and refusal to be in a situation inconvenient to him in any way paints a portrait of a rigid and entitled man.

    He’s clearly just incapable of treating you well when it doesn’t suit him. We’ve all dated people like this, who, no matter how hard we try, they don’t choose us. It fucking hurts, but ultimately it just is what it is.

    You don’t want to be that woman who wastes her life on the false comfort that she’s the woman her husband always goes back to, no matter how many times he plays away.

    #876262 Reply

    You can spend the next 30 years trying to figure out the why – it doesn’t matter. All that matters is how you decide to deal with the miserable situation you’re in now.

    Maybe he’s a narcissist and needs more of an ego boost.
    Maybe he’s got stupid perspectives that all men should have a wife and a mistress.
    Maybe he’s just a total and complete asshole who doesn’t care enough about you to minimize the actions that reinforce, over and over, that you will never come first in his life.

    You need to start separating yourself from this nonsense because moving a date with his girlfriend to not intrude on the established date night with his wife is not really the behavior of a guy who wants to stay married.

    #876266 Reply

    As others have said: don’t text the woman. She’s an interested party in this; it’s unlikely that she’s completely unaware that her ‘friend’s’ wife isn’t cool with their late night drinking alone, the SOs never invited along. At best, she enjoys his attention, and having him drop everything whenever she asks to hang out, no matter. At worst, she wants him, or doesn’t mind if she has a dalliance with a married man. It’s not her marriage, after all, and some people have no problems with sleeping with other people’s partners or upsetting. She could make something up to hurt you, or lie that she didn’t, so that she can have her arrangement for longer – quite simply you have no reason to assume she’d be telling you the truth given that you suspect she might be sleeping with your husband. Would you really believe her if she said no?

    At the end of the day, it’s not her relationship, it’s your partner’s.
    You’ve been together for a long time, but you’re still so young! The average person is only just getting married in their late 20s or early 30s! Please don’t fall victim to the ‘sunk cost’ fallacy. You’ve spent a lot of time togeter, but right now he’s not doing well at making you happy, or respecting you, or making you feel loved. You’ve given so much of your life and love to him, but he’s not repaying it right now, and it sounds like he hasn’t for some time. If he cared, he wouldn’t go out late drinking with a new ‘friend’ knowing how much it upset you. He wouldn’t prioritise seeing her over seeing you. He wouldn’t stay over at hers when he knows you’re concerned he’s having an affair. The fact that he knows that’s what you fear, and he’s going along deliberateely spending as much time with her as possible is pretty cruel. He wouldn’t prioritise a few hours of fun with someone he sees daily at work over his wife’s happiness if he cared for you like he should.

    What everyone else has said: we can’t tell you why he doesn’t care. And I’m sure there are many partners of all genders who feel similarly, when they’ve drifted apart or been betrayed by their partners. Unfortunately, even people in long relationships sometimes cheat, or start to treat their partners with contempt. The problem here is regardless of whether he’s cheated, he’s still treating you with a lack of respect.

    It’s not your fault. People don’t cheat or treat their partners like crap because they ‘fought’ or didn’t keep themselves ‘fit and attractive for him’ or weren’t ‘fulfilling his needs’ – plenty of relationships break down without cheating or such a blatant disrespect towards the other party. Unfortunately, some people don’t treat their partner with respect or consideration – and it’s not your fault that this has happened to you. You may not have ever been able to prevent it, because he chose to act disrespectfully and he would likely have done it no matter what you did.

    #876296 Reply

    My issue with your texting her is the reason you’re doing it. You’re hoping that she’ll tell you they’re not having sex, so you can justify staying with this cruel, coldhearted, selfish man who feels nothing but contempt for you.

    You’ve said a number of times that you can only be happy if you have a partner, and you’re worried about finding another man if you get divorced. I think that’s the root of your problems. You’re so desperate to have a man in your life that you’ll put up with anything. I say what’s the point of having a man if he’s going to treat you like week-old garbage? Even the term “partner” doesn’t apply to what you have now. Your husband has made it plain that he doesn’t even like you. He goes out of his way to hurt you. How is that better than being single?

    It isn’t. You know it isn’t. This thing you have about not being happy without a partner is just a story you tell yourself to justify clinging to your marriage.

    It wasn’t until I was single for a good few years that I realized that even if I wasn’t in a relationship, I had a *good* life. I had a good job, family, friends, lots of interests I enjoyed pursuing. And so when I’d meet someone I wanted to date, my standards were a LOT higher. Because I didn’t want to screw up my good life with someone who made me unhappy. And that’s when I started to finally have healthy, successful relationships.

    When everything is about finding a boyfriend or a husband, you settle. I suspect that’s how you got into this mess of a marriage.

    When you leave this jerk, I hope you’ll hold off on dating for at least a year, and spend that time in therapy. Learn how to live independently. How to manage your money instead of leaving it to someone else. And most importantly, learn how to change that ridiculous narrative that you’ve planted in your head that your happiness depends on finding a man to take care of you.

    #876299 Reply

    Yes, I agree when you can make a happy and satisfying life for yourself, you will attract a better class of men. Men who will actually add positive things to your life because you won’t put up with that crap.

    A lot of girls grow up being taught an antiquated idea that success for women means being married but it’s not true. Look at you. You’re about twenty pages into your third post about your unhappy marriage with your shitty husband. Life can be better, but you have to have the strength to leave this relationship and strike out on your own. With your dependency issues, I think it would be really good for you to be single, in therapy, working through what you really want and need. Because as someone said earlier, you’ve been suppressing your needs down in order to keep this man. This crappy guy who doesn’t give a shit about how you feel. Even now you’re hoping to justify staying with him. Like if this woman says they aren’t having sex, that somehow makes this better? It’s not a normal friendship. Married dudes do not take their buddies on dates on Friday and Saturday nights that go until the next day and involve multiple meals and locations. That’s not a platonic friendship. And his relationship with her isn’t even the big problem in your marriage, it’s his complete and total lack of respect and equality for you as his partner.

    #876528 Reply

    The dolly is not the problem. Your husband is the problem.

    #876664 Reply
    avatarOh no not again


    I’m not one who normally comments, but I spent the weekend thinking about all your posts (in this thread and the other two). It took me a bit to figure out why.

    I come from a line of women who have ended up in abusive relationships. Some of us were survivors, some of us weren’t. My grandmother’s cycle of abuse—kindness followed up by gaslighting and violent rages; leaving him only to return to empty promises—only ended with her death, left alone in the road in the rain.

    My mother’s biological father (a Marine) assaulted her repeatedly growing up, and she only escaped through college. Even to this day, years after his death, she won’t tell me all of what she suffered.

    As I’m writing this, my 16-yr-old cat is sleeping on my lap. Ten years ago, my alcoholic, emotionally and mentally abusive boyfriend tried to slam her into a wall because she had been sleeping on his side of the bed. Of course the next morning he was *so sorry.* Of course that didn’t stop the cycle.

    I hear our voices in your words, and that scares me. Even if he hasn’t physically hurt you, he has found so many other ways to destroy your sanity, your sense of self-worth, and distance you from the people who love and would support you. You know this situation is wrong. You know he has disempowered you every step of the way. You know what you should be doing—you’ve said it yourself repeatedly in your responses in this thread. But you’re not taking those steps.

    I’m not here to chastise you. From my own experience I know how difficult it can be to untangle a home and a life with someone who has betrayed your trust and love. You can know what needs to be done but feel incapable of getting started. The thought of getting any task completed can feel monumentally overwhelming when someone has stripped everything away from you except your skin and bones.

    If you’re willing and would like help, I’d be happy to break down the tasks you need to do to protect yourself into small, manageable steps and we can turn this thread from an echo chamber to a cheering squad to help you along the way. After all, it’s one thing to think, it’s another to act.

    If this sounds like something you’re up to, the first step would simply be to sit down with your phone/computer/tablet and change all of your passwords—both for logging on the devices and for your online accounts (re social media, bank, email, etc.). If your husband has thumbprint access to your phone, make sure to remove it. Pick things you love that he hates for the new passwords to remind yourself that you have value and that you are both strong enough and worthy enough to save yourself.

    I truly wish you strength and hope as you go down this difficult road.


    #876666 Reply

    Wow, Sarah, that was beatifully written, sincere, and helpful. You should probably comment more often!

    #876741 Reply
    avatarOh no not again

    Thanks, bloodymediocrity. I guess I never post because I’m not sure if my words will matter.

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