24 answers

Should Married Men Have Secret Female Friends?

A couple of weeks ago we were on a family outing and my husband began text messaging someone. When I asked him what he was doing he said he was text messaging his brother. Fast forward to this week and upon reviewing the cell phone bill I noticed a phone number that I didn't recognize that showed up a lot. When I asked him who it was he told me it was someone (a male) that he works with. Long story short he has finally admitted to me that he was text messaging a female friend from work that he recently became close friends with on a business trip and that was her phone number on the bill. I know that he hasn't done anything wrong to cross the line with his new friend, but I can't get over the fact that he lied to me for weeks. It turns out that he has been spending all of his spare time (breaks) with her at work and on Friday nights when I am at home with our child he has invited her to to out with him and his friends (which he says was no big deal because it was a group setting. its not like we was with just her)
Through the years we have set up rules within our relationship. Two rules that are very important to me are for him to wear his wedding ring and do not have close female friends that goes beyond the work place. (ie: no calling, texting, or hanging out with females after work) He doesn't agree with either of these rules and has chosen to ignore them. I told him I could get over this a little easier if he could just apologize for lying to me over and over. He says he can't apologize because he doesn't feel as though he has done anything wrong.

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

Me and my husband have friends of the opposite sex but we are all friends together. If he meets a female and they become friends then he introduces her to me. Same with me. I have male friends from childhood and my husband knows all of them. He should not have lied to you. That is the biggest rule of my marriage is to never lie or hold back information. You should have a serious talk to him about this and I dont want to worry you but it sounds to me that something is wrong if he had to lie to you about it.

Not at all. If my husband would have secret female friends, I would feel that he was cheating on me. And if a female does call him he always tells me what it was about, and usually it was one of my friends trying to get in touch with me. But we have a lot of trust. And we never keep secrets and that is what a great relationship is about.

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Me and my husband have friends of the opposite sex but we are all friends together. If he meets a female and they become friends then he introduces her to me. Same with me. I have male friends from childhood and my husband knows all of them. He should not have lied to you. That is the biggest rule of my marriage is to never lie or hold back information. You should have a serious talk to him about this and I dont want to worry you but it sounds to me that something is wrong if he had to lie to you about it.

He has done something wrong. He has lied to you. He is spending his spare time with someone besides you, that is a female. You should call him on this, and do not attempt to spare his feelings, because he hasn't spared yours. If you think, well, I should really kind of tone down what I say to him, because if he knew how I really felt, it might make him feel bad, or hurt his feelings, or feel like I don't love him anymore (trust me, I have done that many many times), he is going to think you are a pushover and he can vioate the rules if he wants and you won't do anything about it. He is overstepping boundaries, but not only that, he is disrespecting you, your marriage and yoru children. I can speak from experience when I say that workplace friendships can turn into more if not careful. I was good friends with my boss, and he eventually developed a crush on me which led to huge problems at work, as well as at home, when my husband found out, even though he knew we were good friends, and he knew I did not return my boss's feelings, it created a trust issue anyway. I did nothing to encourage romantic feelings, but when you spend a lot of time with someone that you like and connect with, if they are of the opposite sex, chances are, a true attraction will develop. Be careful, and know that you don't have to be a doormat. He owes you so much more than an apology. If this relationship were totally innocent, meaning that if he didn't have some guilty feelings for it, then there would be no need for it to be secret. Suggest that he invite her to the house for dinner with the two of you and your children. Ask her nice, but pointed questions about their friendship. Then, hire a babysitter one Friday night and go out with your friends. Do you think he would like or tolerate that? Be wary of people with major double-standards.

I went throught the same thing with my Hubby. except she was an ex of his from another state. His mom made me aware of it on a phone bil. Then a few months later I was pregnant and somehow someone forwarded emails that my hubby and her were writing back and forth. LOng story short they weren't doing anything, but he was still wrong.
Your hubby should realize that this breaks the trust in the relationship. If he has kept her hidden....why?
He may not have done anything with her, however he kept a secret and that is just as bad.
well good luck hon.

I am sorry girl, he broke your trust. If there was nothing going on then why did he keep her a secrete? There is not a problem with him having female friends, but you have to be open. He should not being hanging out with them while you are at home with the kids either. Good luck.

I've been through something VERY similar with my husband. I noticed phone calls on his phone to a number I didn't recognize from another city where he use to live. He told me it was an old male friend his from before he met me. Well, I then noticed on the cell phone bill that these calls only occurred between 8am and 5pm (when he was at work-- away from me). I asked why "Daniel" never called after 5pm and why did he start calling at 8am and all day throughout the day. I then noticed that these calls lasted between 10 and 20 minutes at a time and would also be at times when I called him or he was talking to me and "he had to go, he was working". I finally decided that this was just too fishy. I called the number private and a female answered. I immediately hung up and called my husband from work and confronted him and told him I wanted the truth. He says she was just an old friend that he had helped get a job at the place he use to work. I pointed out that it had to be more than that because of all the secrets, lying, and hiding. He said he just didn't want me to get upset about it so he hid it. Well, that didn't help. He immediately stopped the phone calls to and from the woman. Fast forward about 6-7 months. I figured out the password to his email account (yes, i was spying-- glad I did). He was emailing an ex-girlfriend and flirting with her and had even said that if she ever got a divorce from her husband, to let him know because he regretted ever letting her go and that he would divorce me for her if she wanted. Well, that woman avoided his flirts and tried to keep the conversations to general things (i.e. how are you, hows the family, how is your pregnant wife doing, etc). I made up a fake email and sent him something about noticing something on his profile and asked what kind of Native American he was (didnt flirt or anything) he wrote back and said "i'm choctaw, I'm married but need friends with benefits write me back" (take note-- i was about 3-4 weeks postpartum at that time) well i confronted him about all of that and we ended up doing some major relationship soul searching and he finally realized that i had already moved my stuff out (I did it the same afternoon I found the email and he was over at my brother's house) so he knew I was serious. THings have gotten better since then. So, I'm sorry this has turned out to be so long, but... I know how it feels-- feel betrayed? I did. You have to tell him EXACTLY how you feel and that even if she is "just a friend", his need to be so secretive about it has made you not be able to fully trust him now and make you question his word to you. Thats just my personal opinion. I'm glad I confronted my husband both of those times and didn't hold back how it all made me truly feel. It has been about 4 months since that last incident and I'm glad to say that he hasn't contacted any old female friends for any reason since then, BUT (always a but) I still do not completely trust him and I still "spy" on his phone and email... but he brought it on himself.

OMG!!! I so know how you feel ! My husband and I used to work in the same office. I quit to stay home with our 3 children. For the last few months her has had a friendship with a female in the office, Lunch, calling, texting and talks after work. Mind you I am pregnent with baby 4 . I found out yesterday upon looking to change his phone plan (per his request) to unlimited minutes. You see he keeps exceeding his minutes each month calling and texting her. I saw a number I did not recognize and called it. When I asked him he said " what I am not allowed to have female friends ? Are you telling me who I can and can not be friends with? " Upon speaking with the "other" female she knew nothing of my being pregnant and had no clue and was unaware he had not told me about the "friendship" and kept it from his CRAZY wife. Not to mention he deleted all the texts they sent to one another ....all to protect me?

He thinks he has done nothing wrong also and that he should be allowed to have female friends. I agree he can have female friends. Why did you keep it from me? why did you delete all your texts?

Men do not get it !! They do not want to be controlled but want to controll ! I have point blank talked to the other female and thought the friendship was inappropriate and that i am telling her woman to woman wether my husband gets mad or not, I will not let you get between my husband and I. I have three girls to look after and that she needs to do the right thing and not befriend a married man the way she has!! I

Not at all. If my husband would have secret female friends, I would feel that he was cheating on me. And if a female does call him he always tells me what it was about, and usually it was one of my friends trying to get in touch with me. But we have a lot of trust. And we never keep secrets and that is what a great relationship is about.

It is wrong for him to be this close with another female other than you, especialy since you and he have allready discussed this. Simply tell him, when you have his attention, and when you can give him all of yours. Look at him seriously and tell him this is not acceptable in your marriage. Tell him you will give him all the extra attention he needs, just tell you what his needs are, and do visit his workplace a few times with baby in arms, and look your best to remind him and the female friend that he has a FAMILY!
Some men are starved for reassurance and attention, and when a baby is involved they actually can become jealous, even if they would never admit it. Do make an effort to be his special friend and his date again. Tell him you want him to take care of the baby while you shower and get pretty for him, ect...continue to do some of the things you did when you and he were dating. Compliment him on things, as I am sure his new friend does often. Make him important, as I am sure she does also. It is probably the attention she gives him that makes him want to spend time with her , instead of you. Be calm, be sure of yourself and pursue this! But tell him this is not acceptable.

Even if he hasn't done anything yet - which is VERY questionable, He still lied. You obviously don't trust that he's telling you the truth since you've done a little investigating on the cell phone. Trust your intuitions!

Cut him loose...he's not worth having.

This is absolutely unacceptable behavior. Whether or not he has had a sexual relationship with this lady, he has had too close of a tie in his heart. Sexual relations is the final act of something that has happened in the heart over time, and it won't be long until he gives you the line, "I'm not sure how it happened, it just happened." You both need counseling if this marriage is going to work. He is behaving very immaturely, and it is time he hear that from a professional.

I think you have every right to be upset, I would feel the same way. As far as him apologizing to you, whether he thinks he has done anything wrong or not, if his actions upset you then he SHOULD apologize if he cares about your feelings. What would he do if you did the same thing to him. I'm sure it would have been much more than accept it and ask for your apology.

Just my opinion, but, um..isn't lying wrong? That's what he did wrong, he lied to you. I know that if my husband had a female friend (and he does) that he occasionally hangs out with, it's no big deal as long as he doesn't lie and say they didn't hang out. To me, the lying implies that there is something to hide.

Personally, I have lots of male friends that I hang out with minus the hubby sometimes, and vice versa...but I really can't think of many times when it was just me and one other person...unless it was my best friend (a guy, by the way) who is also my husband's very close friend. I have had guy friends that are friends with both my husband and I that have come over to visit and my husband happened to be at work or something and we just hung out at the house. But, to each his own and if you are uncomfortable with that, your husband should respect it. At the very least, he should show you respect by not lying about it.

Secret female friends NO! Female friends in a whole that you know about, have met possibly! I really shouldn't be answering this because I had a bad experience with a best friend and a previous husband. But you have to remember NOT all men are alike. If I am not mistaking you were the one that asked a question a while back about sitting at home while your husband went out? If so then there's some questions you need to start asking him & yourself. You's need to have a serious talk about everything! No matter how much you love someone & believe they love you the same there's alway's a chance his love for you may have changed in some way or perhaps he is feeling boxed in by all his responsibilities & this lady friend takes his mind off of them for a short time. Nothing more then that. But I seriously would have a talk with him! Take hold of your life & your marriage. If you feel you have to fight for your marriage but you don't seem to feel you have to worry about that. Surprise him have him bring her to your house to meet! God Bless & good luck!!

S., So sorry to hear you are going through this, My opion about this is when he is lying, or sneaking behind your back about this girl,he is hiding something, because if they were only friends,why don't you know more about her, or have met her. or do things as a family with this woman? Why is it a secret? I agree about your rules in your realtionship. trust and communcation are very important and when you don't have those,you have nothing!
I pray that God gives you strenght to make the right decisions. I pray that your husband would see what he has and relize that he made a vow to YOU!

No married men should not have secret female friends. Where I come from that is no acceptable. The fact that he lied about it instead of telling you the truth is not good. If she is just a good friend he should have been open with you the first time. Does he text any other workers like that or just her? My first husband had a real good female friend he went to far and now he is my ex-husband. You should really talk to him and let him know how much this bothers you.

I personally don't like the fact that he's not wearing his wedding ring! It sounds like he's flirting with this girl, and he could be cheating on you, or getting ready to. I have an ex-boyfriend who I recently started talking to again, I saw him on myspace, and we started im'ing and chatting online, and then we started talking on the phone. I told my husband all about him. I even told my husband I was going to have lucnch with my ex. He wasn't happy but he said okay. Later, he got really upset and jealous. We talked it out, and he understands I am not leaving him, for my ex. I am just friends with this guy and that's it. I still talk to my ex on the phone, and I don't always tell my husband because it's a sore subject with him. I tell him things we've talked about, just to let my husband know I'm being honest with him, and that I'm still talking to my ex. I haven't met up with him, except for that one lunch, and I would definitley tell my husband beforehand if I was planning to meet him. I don't keep secrets like that from my husband. My point is, I don't think your husband is very trustworthy. I would worry about him spending all this time with her, at work and Friday nights. If I were you, I would find out where he was going on Friday nights, get a babysitter, and show up where he is. I would watch from the sidelines for a while and then go up and surprise him. I couldn't stand the not knowing. I would have to confront him if it were me.

Red lights are flashing and alarms are going off for me, but you are the only one that truly knows your husband. Some women and men can be friends and it never goes further, but some just cant have the friendship without going to the next level. But that being said, it sounds like there is a large chunk of his life that he is not allowing you to be a part of, and what is up with the not wearing the wedding ring? Does he work with his hands where it would be dangerous? If not, then that would be the biggest sign of all for me.

He may not have physically cheated on you...but a lie like that is still a lie and who knows if that lie couldn't develop into something more. What ever he chooses to call it is still a lie. And it still hurts the same because you thought about him having an affair by asking him and catching him in a lie.
Nip it in the bud NOW....

Female friends are not a problem unless he makes you feel like there is a problem. You obviously think it is a problem or you wouldn't have your rules....

Wow, neither of you is allowed to have friends of the opposite sex? When my husband and I started dating, he knew that I had many male friends, some of whom I had had sex with in the past, and I knew that he had many female friends, some of whom he had had sex with in the past. Neither of us expected the other to give up our friendships with these people. I've met and genuinely like his female friends and I don't feel threatened by the fact that they had sex in the past, because that happened before we met. Same goes for him regarding my male friends. He's even still friends with his ex-wife and calls or sends her a card on her birthday every year.
I would have no problem with my husband having female friends at work - in fact, I know he does because he talks about them, and I have met some of them. I would have no issue with him going out after work with a group that included women, as long as it wasn't all the time, and as long as I was invited along at least some of the time, and not always stuck at home. I would most definitely have a problem with lying and secrecy.
I don't understand couples who make rules about who the other person can and cannot have as friends, but maybe that's just me. It sounds like he's feeling constricted by the "no female friends" rule, but if he agreed to it, he either needs to stick to it, or the two of you need to discuss changing it.

Hi S.,
First off...I am very sorry that you are having to go through this. I know that it has to be very stressful for you. If you have talked with your husband and told him how you feel about this, and he still does it anyway....then something is wrong. If you really want him to stop having this relationship with another woman, then I would put my foot down and say, "It's either me or her...and if you can't understand that, then your not the man I thought I married." I know that this is hard for you and that you love him (you wouldn't have married him if you didn't), but you have to draw the line somewhere. If you let him get away with it now, he may try something worse later. If he really loves you, he would respect your wishes and understand that it bothers you. I REALLY hope things work out for the best for you and your husband.

PS: My mom always said, "If you can't come home and tell the truth about what you've done, then you shouldn't have been doing it."

they lying was wrong but the "no female friends" rule was/is ridiculous and kind of pushed him into it. it forced him to be secretive. so yes, he should apologize for the lying, but you need to come to terms with your jealousy issues if you are going to move past this and ever have a healthy relationship with him or anyone else.

I have a very similar situation that my husband been calling his lady coworker for more than 6 months at least 4 times a day without mentioning her name to me. He claimed that he was not obligated to tell me coz it was he had no intention to have a relationship with her. I have not confide this to anyone and i really want to know if he is hiding anything from me. We have been married for 18 years now and I don't know him anymore.

I have been in your situation, and sadly it did not end very well...
My EX husband always had "female" friends throughout our marriage...it was understood. When I got pregnant he begin to go to lunch and biking...with a co-worker we worked with (My Ex and I worked in the same office)
The texting started randomly then all the time. since I knew he had many female friends I never put it together. Then the time they spent together became more important then "our" time. She would come over and hang out with us and so on. With-in 6 months of this close bonding (Her father passed and he consoled her) Slowly his attitude changed and I finally pulled my phone bill which had all the numbers he was texting. This one individual was the only text he was responding/receiving. I noted the evening our daughter was born within one min of her birth he text this girl.
At just that I confronted him and asked him if he was having an affair.
Surprisingly he admitted he was. I filed for divorce the following day...my daughter was 11 weeks old. Now 4 years later, he is still with that same girl the "co-worker" and I remarried truly the love of my life.
So Please don't be naive and if your gut tells you....follow....
There is no way a man and woman can have a relationship with the other sex if they are already in a relationship. I don't care what anyone says about trust. Its just a proven fact it it opens the door for a slip-up.
Please...Don't put yourself in that situation...nip it in the butt!
Good luck...

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