What Are Appropriate Boundaries for My Husband's Friendship with Another Female?

Updated on May 24, 2014
L.H. asks from Osseo, MN
36 answers

So I'm going a little crazy and need some other opinions. There is a woman who previously worked in our small office for about 6 years. (She was employed by another company but worked on his project so worked out of our office along with another employee from the same company). They did some travel together driving out of town, and never had any issues. We attended her wedding together two years ago and it was fine. She was cordial to me in the office, but never was close with any of the women. Fast forward to last summer, she started having problems in her marriage and stared leaning on my husband for advice. One particular evening, he met her for dinner but when I asked who he was meeting he refused to tell me. (He claims she didn't want me to know as she didn't want my opinion of her to change. My opinion of her means nothing.) This started off a few months of fighting with my husband over boundaries as she continued to lean on him, etc. It turns out she and her husband divorced over another "friendship" she developed with a friend of her husband's who lived out of town, and that marriage ended as well. He supposedly moved here from out of state to be with her, though I don't believe my husband has ever met him. I personally think she has a thing for my husband, though he claims he only sees her as a good friend, more like a sister. I know it takes two, but I don't trust her one bit to respect my marriage as she didn't respect her wedding vows or the vows of the other man she was with. I've tried to let it go, put it in the past and move forward, requesting they don't meet out for drinks just the two of them (I'm ok with lunch). I've also suggested that the four of us go out but it never happens, and when I ask how things are going with her and this other guy he snaps and me and tells me he has no idea what's going on with them. I have read texts on his phone in the past only when i feel he's distant or not being open with me, and they often talk about what a good pair they are and how great they work together. Her current contract is up next year, and he's alluded to to hiring her as an employee for our company, which would make me crazy. The other day he arrived home but continued to sit in his car for about 15 minutes before coming in, and I later looked at his phone log to see who he was talking to that he didn't want overheard. Of course it was her. In their texts she mentions him coming over to see her new place (she had to move out of the home she and her ex shared), and asked about them getting together for drinks on her birthday. He also made comments to her about issues he hasn't discussed with me, which is very hurtful. Anytime the issue comes up, he tells me I'm controlling and he has no friends because of me (he has his best friend from childhood who works with us, lives two blocks away and works with him. He refuses to get together with other friends he's had as many of them have lost touch and he's exceptionally busy. The other two females I've had issues with him talking to are very valid and won't go into detail here.).

Bottom line- I do not have an issue with them being friends- but his texts refer to the kids, not me. She never asks about me, references me or addresses/acknowledges us as a couple. He and I have talked about the 4 of us going out, but it never happens. I tell him they can talk, do lunch, but am not comfortable with alcohol and them meeting for happy hour or him going over to her house (previously, as a thank you for buying her tv for her house, she wanted to cook dinner for him at her place. Not us, him). I'm trying to let it go as I don't think he'd ever cheat on me but have an issue with the nature of their friendship. I have male friends and have done lunch, (pretty much always colleague situation and I'm friends with their wives and it was more of a lunch meeting) but have never gone to their home alone (or at all for that matter) or met them for happy hour. I'll be out of town next week with one of our children and they appear to be planning a happy hour the day I leave. I know many say I shouldn't read his texts but he nows I do at times, and he's welcome to read mine- I have nothing to hide. When the subject comes up he tells me I'm making my own problems, but I think he's naive. They're supposedly such good friends but when I genuinely ask about how she's doing he tells me I have ulterior motives and doesn't answer, or says he doesn't know. I can't win. Thoughts?

What can I do next?

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So What Happened?

Maybe I should elaborate. We have been to a counselor- briefly together to meet her and then him to deal with issues from a past relationship. I saw the same counselor last fall on a couple of occasions... and having spoken with him one on one she knows him, and we've concluded that he basically likes the attention, likes to be the "night in shining armor" and help fix things. He was the guy all the gals used to go to in HS and college, and it flatters him. As for the other two I alluded to, nothing physical happened and he didn't cheat, but lines were crossed emotionally that weren't ok with me (and he never would have been if it were reversed). They've had emotional issues and "setting them straight" or being more up front about what's appropriate to say to him isn't an option, as he says he doesn't want to hurt their feelings. This upset me as he seemed more concerned about their feelings than his own wife's. I don't care that they're friends- I just feel like there are inconsistencies in the friendship and continually discussing something as intimate as her marriage/divorce is of a different nature. It's one thing to discuss it as most friends would, but she leans on him for constant advice, opinions, etc. My questions is where are her girlfriends? I don't ever discuss my marriage with other men and never would. I just think it's not appropriate, and feel it's an easy way to blur lines and cross them. (She's also had her family visit, from out of town, Mom in particular) and want him to go over and say "hi".) Yes, I know I should make him so happy it would never cross my mind, but feeling disrespected has the opposite effect and makes me more distant. As for what ulterior motives he has, if I genuinely try to let it go and move forward, ask how's she's doing, he thinks I'm not genuine and looking to start a fight (because it's so fun). She knows of me. I'd feel better if he made more mention of me, as when I talk to my guy friends (if ever) I'm always saying "say hello to "wife")- let me know if she can join us when we meet- love to see her", etc. I don't act as though he's single and she doesn't exist. As for her ex, she and my husband have been friends almost as long as she knew her husband, and issues about the divorce still come up. "Am I wrong to feel so lonely? I didn't think it would feel like this"... etc. I do believe she's very manipulative of him, as I've seen one side when at the office and she plays the innocent, helpless "i have no friends" card as her ex was "so controlling", blah, blah blah. I wasn't reading anything for months- but was curious why he wouldn't come inside until he finished his conversation and then looked at his log to see who it was, then the texts.

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answers from Denver on

If my husband ever refused to tell me who he was going to dinner with and then I found out it was another woman- I'd be very angry. He would have a lot of explaining to do that probably wouldn't even help him much. If the shoe was on the other foot, how would he feel? As his wife, you don't deserve to be treated like this!

My husband works with another woman, they're like a dual team at work. They'll text back and forth but it's always work related stuff. I can read every text if I want. I can read every email if I choose. I can pop into his work any time if I want. He could care less, there's nothing to hide. I know her and like her, I even go on business trips with them at times. It's okay because I can trust my husband, there are NO secrets being kept. If he ever lied to me or told me it was none of my business- a huge red flag would go up and it would change everything.

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answers from Washington DC on

no. no. no.
the very fact that he is snapping at you, and keeping their conversations so secretive, would never, never fly for me.
i cannot tell you how many times i've seen marriages crumble under this exact scenario- the 'other' person in crisis and *needing* support and counsel. and the next thing you know, a supposedly happy spouse is telling his or her partner 'but she NEEDS me and you don't!'
do not accept this.
both my husband and i have friends of the opposite sex, but this is a door that does not get opened, ever. and we both put out the vibe that makes this clear.
this is not friendship. this is a mating ritual. do not allow yourself to be cast as a jealous spouse here. and she's not the problem- it's your husband who is blurring the lines and inviting flirtation and 'need' and 'help' and 'support' and before long it will be 'protection' and then......you get the picture.
since he doesn't want to have boundaries, you must.
tell him to shape up or ship out.
i'm so sorry.

19 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

I can share a somewhat similar situation and what I did about it. My husband was targeted by a newly divorced mother of three that he worked with. I remember clearly him coming home and telling me about this woman and how "badly" he felt for her situation. Then I remember going to the company Christmas party and she was openly flirtatious with him and at one point she was actually talking with him off in a corner at the party with teary eyes and really upset. What I know about my husband is that he's very concerned genuine loving person, its part of the reason I fell so hard for him and I wouldnt change that about him…what I know about this woman, she was in a very emotional vulnerable space and probably needed help…but not from MY MAN!!!

I explained to my husband that while I trust him, I feel he may want to analyze exactly what it is that this woman needs from him and how he intends to help her. After he continued to have this nurturing type relationship with her, (having work lunches with her to listen to her problems) I could see that he could easily fall into her web.

I told him to cut ties. I told him that I was no longer comfortable with the time and energy that he was putting into her because I felt her intention toward him was NOT wholesome. He respected that and stopped engaging her! And you want to know what was revealed later, this woman told a friend of ours (who she may or may not have known was a very close friend of ours) that she was falling in LOVE with my husband! So youre not crazy! You know the difference between the woman who's a friendly co worker and the one who is something else.

Everyone has different comfort levels of their significant others "level of intimacy" with people outside of the marriage. I dont consider myself to be a jealous type at all, my husband has women that he works with that enjoy his company cos hes a cool guy and I encourage him to have fun when he can! If you get a weird vibe from a woman who's flying around your man…SQUASH IT! If my husband wasnt open to describing to me how he was feeling about a woman who he was spending time with, I would have a problem with that.

Anyway, to address your question, what are the appropriate boundaries? Perhaps you and your man need to visit this subject again and negotiate some new rules. He after all married you, your feelings should be his utmost concern and his should be yours! Youre his wife, his best friend, mother to his children and maybe you would like to have some of this time that hes spending with her for yourself…with his very busy work schedule, I dont see why that should be a problem for him! Doesnt he WANT to spend time with you and if hes flattered by being the emotional hero, Knight in shining armor etc…I think YOU could use some saving? Im sending you some strength to remind your husband how you need and want to be loved!!!! Best wishes!

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answers from Washington DC on

You write:

"The other two females I've had issues with him talking to are very valid and won't go into detail here."

So this is the THIRD time you have had issue with his "talking to" women.

You are already two women past the point where you and he should have had counseling together.

Please involve a professional immediately. If he refuses to go with you, go on your own. He is sending up major red flags. Have you ever heard the term "emotional affair" or "emotional cheating"? Even if he has never touched her, that sounds like where this is all going, and it sounds like you have suspected him of this before.

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answers from Abilene on

You are not crazy. You are trying to protect your marriage and you are absolutely right. She doesn't respect her own vows she's certainly not going to respect yours.

My husband's x cheated repeatedly on him. He had long lasting issues because of it. I didn't realize until we had been married a few years and he told me he trusted me completely. We talked a long time and I realized that although he never voiced it he didn't trust me because of his past experience. Because of this I protect my marriage. I don't allow men in my house period unless he is home. I never want him to ever have even a fleeting moment to think I would compromise our marriage. It's not because he's insecure (happily married 22 years). It's because I love him with all my heart and I know the hurt he experienced.

Your husband is playing with fire. He's going to get burned. Please protect yourself. He's being disrespectful of you on so many levels.

I am so sorry. You're not crazy. Don't buy into that.


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answers from Boca Raton on

I would never, ever tolerate that behavior from my husband under ANY circumstances.

I'm sorry.

I would get to counseling ASAP to see if my marriage could be saved. I would not let my husband "gaslight" me either ("no there's not a problem - you're just being paranoid" etc.).

If I were you I'd have alot of thinking to do about what works for me in a marriage.


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answers from Seattle on

Your husband is not going to stray because of another woman. If he strays it's because he's a coward and a punk. SHE doesn't need to respect your marriage, HE does.
The other woman is NOT the problem.
Your husband is.

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answers from Iowa City on

This woman isn't the problem. She owes you nothing. Afterall, she doesnt have wedding vows with you and your husband is certainly fueling her fire, not dampening it in anyway. She is a crappy person for not respecting you, your marriage, herself...but again, she owes you no allegiance. Your husband is the problem. You don't trust him and he is not willing to discuss your thoughts/feelings about his *cough* friendship. I'm going to guess she doesn't mention you, nor does he, because your husband doesn't want to be reminded of you...he doesn't want to be made to feel guilty for doing something that he clearly knows is wrong.

You might want to strongly consider counseling. If this goes on unchanged you will become resentful. Add that to his disrespect and your entire family will become miserable.

Good luck. I hope things work out for the best.

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answers from Philadelphia on

I just know that neither me or my husband would do anything to make each other uncomfortable. Your husband doesn't seem to care how this is effecting you. Huge problem!

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answers from Chicago on

She's totally after him. You don't invite a married man to your place to cook dinner for him as a thank you for a TV. You don't invite a married man to take you for drinks on your birthday. Your husband's defensive and sneaky behavior tells me that he knows this is wrong, but he's not going to stop.

Sorry to say, but this is headed toward an a full on affair if it hasn't happened already. If this were my husband, this is what I would say: "John, if you want to stay married to me, you will not have contact with this woman outside of work. Period. You will let her know that you are not available to discuss anything personal with her. You will not text her or talk to her on the phone unless it is work related. And you will ABSOLUTELY NOT hire her to work for our company."

And yes, by all means, tell him that since he's not behaving in a trustworthy way, you will be checking his phone regularly and invite him to check yours as well. If it's really all innocent, he should have no problem with this.

ETA: I love the idea of responding to her texts yourself. Text her back: Hi Jane, this is John's WIFE. Sorry, no, he's not available to meet you for happy hour. He's going to be spending time with his family tonight. Or: No, it's not necessary for you to cook dinner for my husband at your place to thank him for the TV. A simple thank you note will suffice. Have a nice day.

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answers from Santa Fe on

The problem is not that you don't allow him to have friends. The problem is he is hiding things from you. He is planning things to do with her without you. Or he doesn't want you to know he is meeting up with her. He doesn't want you to know he is texting her or calling her. He doesn't want you to hear the conversation. She wants to invite only him over to her house for dinner. He is not planning a dinner or happy hour for the TWO of you to go to. The fact that he wants to do things with her alone and not invite you is wrong. My husband has lots of female friends and we all hang out together. If he thought of her as only a friend then you would be included in all these things. His secrecy is wrong. I'm so sorry, but you have a real problem.

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answers from Portland on

I worked in a predominately male field and had male friends. There were several married officers who had affairs. What you describe sounds like an affair to me.

Even if he isn't having an affair he is not respecting you and your feelings. To me that is more serious. Is he in counseling with you? If not I'd calmly without anger tell him you are hurt by his unwillingness to consider your feelings and ask him to go with you. Stop talking about what he does and focus on how you feel. Don't blame him. Don't try to get him to change his way of having a relationship with her. Encourage his empathy for you. Tell him you want to trust him and you need him to understand and accept how you feel.

As to boundaries, you decide what boundaries you need for yourself. What will you accept to meet your needs. You can tell him what behaviour you will accept and what you will do if he isn't able to respect you and your boundaries.

You cannot set boundaries for him. You cannot change him. You can decide what you are willing to accept. It will take time for the two of you to find a place comfortable for both of you. This takes work and he may not
be able or willing to do that work. You decide how long you're willing to try and what you will do if the two of you can't agree.

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answers from Los Angeles on

You sound like you have a good head on your shoulders. Continue to trust your gut on this one.

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answers from Salinas on

There are red flags all over the place but the most hurtful is that this bothers you but he doesn't care.

Why would he continue to be "friends" with a person who cheats and lies? Why would he want to continue this relationship when it hurts your feelings? There are some people who thrive on drama and deceit, she sounds like one of them. Why would he want to put himself in that type of situation? It doesn't sound like an open, balanced friendship, it sounds like a disaster waiting to happen.

I wouldn't have to set boundaries for my husband, he would never get into a relationship like this in the first place.

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answers from Williamsport on

Hell. No. His behavior is NOT OK. And neither is hers. BY ANY STRETCH.

You're too controlling and don't have enough friends? Guess what? The remedy to that is not for him to have a different girl "friend" who refuses to be nice to you, the remedy is for you and he to start going out more with other people together and make new friends. Which he should support you in doing and even help make the plans if you're not a natural social butterfly.

You are COMPLETELY justified in all of your feelings. THEY ARE SO WAY OUT OF LINE I CAN'T EVEN BELIEVE A COUNSELOR HAS NOT SLAPPED SOME SENSE INTO HIM. My ex and I tried for a while to rectify our situation before I knew he was cheating like crazy, my only beef at the time was that he had so many female friends who wouldn't acknowledge my existence, and the first thing SEVERAL COUNSELORS TOLD HIM was that he had to stop being every other woman's best friend but mine. Any time spent with these other "friends" was basically time spent eroding our relationship.

He does not need to sit over drinks and talk about life with any other woman. He just doesn't. Unless there is a completely undeniably platonic dynamic and she is RESPECTFUL OF YOU. This is not some anonymous married platonic lady he sees on a business trip who obviously doesn't know you where only a rabid intentional cheater would "let something happen", it's someone he works with. She's friends with you-or at least not intentionally NOT fiends with you- or there's a problem with her. That is a standard boundary.

But you know all of this.

The problem is that now you are in scared mode, checking his texts, trying to lay down boundaries and it all just makes you the bad guy unfairly. He has put you in this position in collusion with this nasty woman. Good women do not act this way. I have tons of male friends and NO relationships like this with men who are attached. I am friends with the female first, the man second-even if I've known the man longer. Even if I'm closer to the male, I've at least TRIED numerous times to include the female and I always ask about her, and I behave in an appropriate manner. If I even suspect she may be uncomfortable with me, I steer clear form her man-aren't we all a little to busy for all this socializing outside of work as adults??! I would not be out to drinks with someone's husband all by himself on my birthday. WTH???!!!

What can you do about this travesty? Honestly, I think anything you do will make it worse at this point. The neediness. The snooping. The therapy. It all fuels his need for "an escape" and makes her seem like the better friend. They are such jerks for doing this and they probably feel like there is nothing wrong with it.

This may be impossible, but if it was at all doable, knowing what I know now about things like this (and I never would have said this 15 ears ago): I'd set him free with all the love in my heart. I'd say it was my problem not his, but I am very saddened by this outside friendship of his with a woman who refuses to acknowledge me. I don't want to hold him back in life or make him unhappy and I'm feeling bad about myself for not being social enough for him. I don't want to drag him down with therapy and stuff if what makes him happy is his role supporting this woman in her needs so I'd like a separation and could he please move out. Maybe we can work on things going forward if it's meant to be with the two of us. If he wants to consider therapy again or changing things I'm open, but I won't force him. Then it would be in his court to change or lose his family for this woman.

Why wait for a painful full-blown affair to go through the exact same damn thing?

I'm sure that's way too extreme for you, but honest, one very common alternative to that is that they continue to carry on like this, you continue to allow it, and things can only go downhill from there on every level.

All he really has to do is quit acting like this. Which is too difficult for him because of HER FEELINGS. And maybe his. That is NOT putting your marriage first. Any counselor would tell him that.

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answers from Phoenix on

Would he be comfortable with you having the same type of relationship with another man? I'm guessing not. The conversations that the two of them are having are too private and too intimate for a married man to be having with a woman who is not his wife. This woman is not respecting boundaries, and it sounds like your husband isn't either.

I have a friend who just went through the same exact situation. They almost got divorced over it and are still not completely out of the woods. Be very careful. Your marriage is something that should be protected and fought for at all costs. However, if he is not willing to protect and fight for it, you should reflect on that.

The bottom line is this... We all want to pretend that our marriages and relationships somehow are invulnerable to the same pitfalls and challenges that have plagued marriages from the beginning, but they aren't. When a man and woman get married, their relationships with other people of the opposite sex have to change. I'm sorry, but they do. Friendships are fine, but this does not sound like a friendship to me.

The other thing is this.. as his spouse you are entitled to certain things, just like he is with you. My husband and I call it our veto power. If my husband had a relationship with someone like this and it were driving me crazy, I have a right to ask him to stop regardless of whether it's rational or not. It's affecting me and our marriage. He would have to stop. It's about respecting me and loving me. If he knows that there is something that he is doing that is causing me pain, doubt or humiliation, he has to stop, just as I would if the tables were turned.

Communicate to him how awful this is making you feel, and if he still continues, understand that he is putting his relationship with another woman above his wife's happiness.

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answers from Houston on

I'm curious, have you ever answered any of her texts to him? Like, "hey Sally, honey bunny can't answer right now, what's up"? Or if she is asking about having drinks, you should text back and say "hey that is a great idea, what time should we all meet up"? Lets her know that you are reading the texts and are very aware of the situation.

I would then have a very serious conversation with my husband. You say this has happened before and you are the one with the problem? No this is HIS problem.

I don't know if counseling would help but it might help you figure out what you need to do for yourself. Good luck.

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answers from Austin on

If you cannot talk to him about his, the both of you need to go to a marriage counselor so that they can help guide this conversation.

I know my husband so well, I really try not to get jealous. It is a wasted emotion in my life. He has not given me any reasons to be jealous, but there have been a few women that I had to make sure they understood, he was not available. Ha!

I have a wonderful husband who adores me. He shows me this with his words and actions.

Yes, he does have women friends. He does go to lunch with them and will help them when they need help, just like his men friends.

If I have ever asked him about these women, he has been very open. I do not read or look at his emails, cell phone or pager. I have no need to.

If I did feel a need to, I first would have a straight talk with him, he would probably sit me down in front of his computer an tell me to look though it and he would be happy to answer any questions, same with his cell phone and pager.

You are a point in this relationship that you need to just say what your needs are and if he cannot fulfill it, then either accept that or get professional help together.

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answers from Norfolk on

It's almost like she needs to be 'good friends' with married men as long as it's not the one she's married to.
If your husband were single I bet she'd want nothing to do with him.
If I were your husband, I'd consider that my hanging out with her is keeping her from hanging out with single eligible men - your Hubby is wasting her time.
Seeing less of her frees her up to meet future prospects.
It looks like she's on her way to ruining yet another marriage - yours.
If he can be lured away, he's not worth keeping.
He needs to figure out if he wants to stay married to you.
Just be prepared in case this whole situation goes south.

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answers from Roanoke on

This is pretty cut and dry. There's no gray area in this scenario. Your husband is in the wrong here, and he's totally disrespecting your marriage. If it were my marriage, he would have to choose between me or her, now.

"He was the guy all the gals used to go to in HS and college, and it flatters him" .....Sounds like he needs to grow up and get over his HS/college image. He must have some self-confidence issues if he's still looking for that kind of affirmation. He's a married, grown man and he needs to start acting like one. The "night in shining armor" put's his wife's feelings and needs first, not those of some manipulative woman.

Even if he decides to sever his relationship with her, your marriage needs some work at this point for it to be healthy. He shouldn't be hiding conversations/outings with other women from you. He needs to work on regaining your trust by demonstrating that your marriage is one of his top priorities.

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answers from Raleigh on

I don't want to add to your concern, but it sounds a lot like an emotional affair is going on here. Google it if you want to know more. He may not even know that is classifies as such, and it's surely nothing physical (usually it's not). But it's not appropriate. And he should be made aware of it.
Now, I have male friends and colleagues at work. We'll go to lunch together alone, but we generally talk about work or kids. And I am friends with their wives. Things stay very open and friendly. I always tell my husband what I did for lunch and who with (he could really care less). But I don't want there to be any suspicion.
I would never meet my male friends alone for just drinks (just the two of us). And would never, ever, ever go to a man's home for dinner alone. I would never spend time texting those people and certainly never about anything personal.

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answers from New London on

I think your first mistake is pinpointing all these little clues which IS making you look crazy instead of focusing on the big picture. And the big picture is your husbands major loss of respect. Along with putting all the blame on you instead of reflecting and trying to see where your coming from. THAT is 100 percent his fault and not the other womans. With no respect or understanding there is no happy marriage. You need to talk to him...and that is what needs to be brought up. Not the woman. Stop focusing on her life and what she has done wrong. Stop expecting her to respect your marriage. She is divorced, sad, and seems lonely..she is only caring for herself and not you. And to be honest you shouldn't expect her too.

Your husband on the other hand is who you should focus on.

EDIT: To add to the subject question...yea 100 percent inappropriate and I wouldn't put up with it either

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answers from New London on

If she is a friend, then, he would go out with you... and BRING her !
He is not to go to her new place without you...Period.
Meet her for happy hour? NO

Read his texts....I would. Then, I would throw his phone away !

Huge red flags. Tell him to stop engaging w/ her.

My friend was always at the nursing home w/ her husband because her MIL was there. The nurse flirted w/ her husband...supposedly innocently.
One day, she confided in him that she was not happy and she needed to move out of her apt because her boyfriend was not the one. My friend found it strange that they would talk in the hallway about his Mom. This nurse was trying to win him over. My friend let it go. A month later, she found out that this nurse brought lunch to his work. His boss told my friend. A friend called me the other day and asked why so and so was taking the nurse to look at a car for sale. My friend is in a tizzy and could kick herself. Her husband says he is kinda involved in helping her now...

What? My friend's car is falling apart. It is 12 yrs old and just broke down. He is helping the nurse though.....THIS IS NOT NORMAL.

Don't let him run with it....NO WAY !

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answers from Dallas on

It sounds like you have had some trust issues from the past with women and your radar is set up to not trust him now and believe she has other motives. This also effects your self esteem.

I do think "telling" a spouse that they are not "allowed" to do something is not right. You are supposedly a team.... not in a parent child relationship.

Snooping through emails, texts, phone calls is also wrong in my book. Everyone deserves some privacy. I don't go through my hubby's phone and he doesn't go through mine.

My hubby and myself both have friends of the opposite sex. Just because we got married 25 yrs ago does not mean we forgo any friendship of the opposite sex. We also own our company and have lunch, dinner meetings with clients and vendors sometimes on our own.

Please clarify... are they still involved with business projects together?

As open minded as I am... and I am probably way more open minded than most..... I believe he is playing with fire if he continues dinners together when it is not technically business. As for happy hour... I am ok with happy hour but there again... add alcohol to this mix and you are asking for some trouble as well. I don't think your hubby is obligated to tell you about her marital issues. I don't discuss issues that I have talked about with my friends to my husband, especially is they are speaking to me in confidence.

What are the ulterior motives he says you have? I see nothing wrong with them being one on one at times but if both of you have been friends in the past (as in wedding attendee, etc), then I might have some red flags myself about HER motives.

The main thing I would suggest is communication and talking WITH him not AT him and not confronting him. Get out for a walk, drive, dinner, etc and just communicate. He's could be feeling protective of her, he could be feeling like he is obligated to help her, he might like this feeling of being needed and she has picked up on that and is using him. Where is her husband if she is planning a dinner for 2 at her place?

Let your husband know how important he is to you and your family.

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answers from St. Cloud on

You are not crazy! You are not being paranoid! You are not wrong for wondering! You are concerned about your marriage and this snake of a woman who is depending on your husband way too much. It shouldn't be happening at all! I think you should talk to her about it. Let her know that what she is doing is inappropriate and that you want it to stop. Tell her to stop texting your husband and calling him andeeting with him outside of the office! I have worked with these types of women and men before. I've seen them hoping in family vehicles for lunch infront of the whe lunchroom full of people. I always felt sorry for the wives/husbands not knowing this was going on. It's ok for them to talk but nothing more! I am willing to bet something more is going on. This is not right. This also happened with a woman my step father was giving rides to work. My mom wasn't worried and trusted him. His sister wind make jokes about it and couldn't believe my mom trusted them. Guess what!!!! They had an affair! My mom was devistated. I once found an email from a premiscous girl at my husbands work. We used to work together so I knew what she was like. She said it was nice seeing him and she could have talked to him for hours wth? When I said I was going to talk to the guy she was seeing (at work) he got furious and told me to not cause probes for him at work! I couldn't believe it! My feelings were totally disregarded! Since then she's come back to the company and I found out by seeing it on FB. I waited for it to come up and finally when it somehow did he just brushed it off. I would like to think he'd never cheat but to me the email was cheating. I will never forget how betrayed I felt ( and still do). He has since quit that job due to other reasons. These guys at work ( in an office) would always talk about the girls and their boobs. They even asked a lady if she flashed people at a motorcycle ride. This stuff gets them off! My husband is helpful and kind to others especially women. I hate it! That's what I loved about him when we met but now he's like that with others and women love the attention. I hate that we are trying to protect our marriages and we get labeled insecure. Do not let this woman do this to you or your marriage anymore and absolutely do not hire her!!!! Good luck. My heart goes out to you. Do not let him tell you that you are crazy!!!!

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answers from Chicago on

She is manipulating him.

You and your husband already let her in your marriage when he agreed to the secret lunch. She now knows she can separate your husbands loyalty from you. He has kept the game going and he is now denying your feelings.

I see this as a problem.

You guys need to work on your marriage.

If you feel he will listen to you then talk to him about the distance in the marriage. If he validates then start there and work together on building your relationship. I would start by you handling all their communication. You text her back on his phone identifying who you are and answering the texts she sends him. If not, I would contact a marital counselor. Even if he won't go, start individually. This is common and most therapists are trained on how to deal with resistant family members.

He really needs to be made aware of how this is affecting your marriage.

Good luck.

Edit after your update:
So you are basically saying that your husband has such low self esteem he rescues people to try to raise his self esteem? You realize that there is an endless supply of victims and that about 99% of these victims have skewed boundaries, right? This will never end!

So why are you paying with your own self esteem? He is setting you up for humiliation over and over again. You need to put yourself first and stop allowing your self worth, your needs, and your values to be completely invalidated.

Stop rationalizing his behavior.

I think once YOU have appropriate boundaries you won't need to worry about your husbands.

Please contact a therapist and work on your self esteem.

Sorry to be so harsh, but it just seems like you are willing to accept that he doesn't have to meet your needs.

You need to grab the reins and steer in the direction you want your family to go, stop handing them over to him!

Good luck!

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answers from Kansas City on

My husband has a female friend who leans on him. She's had a lot of issues in her life, abusive husbands/boyfriends, whatnot, and she leans on my husband as a nice guy who won't hurt her. Sometimes I think she has feelings for him, but I absolutely trust him and he would never meet with her and not tell me about it. We tell each other everything (indeed, sometimes things that I think we tell each other too much) so I don't worry that he will cheat, even if she made moves on him.

But we also socialize together. I've never met her kids, since we usually get together on weekends when her ex husband has the kids so she has more free time, but I do think it would be weird if she refused to hang with me as well.

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answers from Houston on

He bought her a tv? You were ok with that? Why?

As for your getting a male friend to pay him back? No, it's not in your character and he knows it.

Counseling? Too late. You say it's the third time!

Divorce? Yes, after you copy the texts and hire a PI to follow him at the birthday get together and happy hour.

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answers from New York on

In a healthy relationship, you and your feelings would be the number one priority for your husband. You have tons of trust issues - some very valid. In my opinion, trust is number one. Without trust, you have nothing.

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answers from New York on

I wouldn't be happy with this situation. The fact that she's requesting him not to tell you sets of huge red flags. Your hubby sees her as a friend and wants to help. She sees him as potentially something more which he doesn't see. I'd be more up front in letting her know it appears she's trying to be more than a friend with your husband. Maybe she doesn't realize how she's coming across and if she does then you are showing her that you know what she's trying to pull.

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answers from Chicago on

He's planning on going to happy hour the day you and the kids leave town!!! Holy Balls on her and him. Can you hire someone to follow him? I'm so sorry but nothing good is going to happen here. She has big plans with your husband and he's taking the bait.

Just today I was at the Christian book store. I was looking thru a book called something like the 7 minute marriage book. As I was flipping I remember reading a story about a couple getting counseling about the husband having lunch with a female and the wife was upset or maybe he was going to have to travel with a female. I think there was something about them getting counseling w a pastor. It all worked out in the end for them. It seemed like a great book for couples with many different problems to work on. I would really check this out and before you leave.

Keep us updated, best wishes.

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answers from New York on


Appropriate boundaries are not going anywhere or doing anything that would make me feel uncomfortable. I'm not the jealous type but if my radar goes off I don't ignore it.

Now is the time for you to be wise and flip the script on him. Right now he doesn't see that has anything to loose. Your job is to remind him. Not by what you say but by what you do. Since he seems to like the damsel in distress, perhaps you need to create some project around your home you couldn't possibly do without him and see if he takes the bait. You may also consider, glamming up some and stroking his ego. No other woman can stroke my husband's ego better than I can. The next thing to do is get him wondering about you. Too much of his mind and time are devoted and dedicated to his friendship with this woman and that needs to change. Perhaps you may want to consider and execute a few extra days away attached to your trip. No huge announcement needs to be made or dramatics either. Just stay away with your child for at least 3 extra days.

Let him know this, "Since the terms of our marriage have changed and I don't get to know where you are going or who you are with, I just figured you wouldn't care where I go and what I do." See where it goes from there. In any event you will discover quickly just how deep his feelings run with you verses this other woman but it is time for you to turn some heads.

You also should reach out to this woman. Why because the fantasy of your husband needs to be burst in her sight. You simply need to let her know you are aware of her marital problems and are hoping her and her husband work things out. You don't discuss your husband with her but just let her know you are aware because your husband and you have a trusting relationship and you just wanted her to know you are also there for her. You should not be catty or confrontational but sweet as pie and genuine. It's sometimes difficult to hurt someone who is sweet for some but not all.

If your husband doesn't turn your way then brush the dust off and keep it moving but the main thing in all this is to turn him back to you and the family. If that's what you want. Trust me you can win afterall he is your husband and he married you for a reason. He may need a reminder and a refresher.

If he asks you to not reach out or contact this woman, you let him know that as long as he is why shouldn't you. Some light needs to thrown on what they are doing. Sometimes adults can be naive but it doesn't have to be forever and it doesn't necessarily have to cost you your marriage. So go and be wise.

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answers from Baton Rouge on

I didn't have a problem with my ex being friends with other women, going out with his female friends without me, talking to them when I couldn't overhear, having conversations where I never got mentioned. As long as he wasn't knocking boots with them, it didn't bother me.
t would never occur to me to read his texts or his email unless he specifically asked me to find a particular bit of correspondence for him, and if I found out that he had been rummaging through my inbox, I would be furious.
Either my partner and I trust each other or we don't. If we do, then we don't need to check up on each other, or question each other's every move. If we don't, then it's time to end the relationship.

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answers from Las Vegas on

Well her problems with her x husband have subsided at this point and they have moved on to a friendship.

Here is my take on the situation but keep in mind this is my take which comes from our home.

If it upsets one in the household, then we back off.

I'm not saying it doesn't happen in this house, but we have enough respect to keep each other happy and reasonably comfortable. We have both learned over the years, although not always perfect, it is better to keep happiness in the marriage than outside the marriage.

At this point, I would stop reading the messages and discussing the friendship so that this can stop making you crazy. That doesn't mean you have to like it. Just take a break from it.

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answers from Dallas on

He is having an affair. Leave him or make him stop seeing her.

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answers from Tampa on

This sounds like it is heading in a bad direction. She is after him and he is either going along with it or just clueless and flattered by the attention.

I would suggest you go to counseling to discuss what's going on. Maybe he'll open up about what's happening with this woman.

I would show him positive attention. He's obviously feeling dissatisfied or unwanted by you. I would also start getting very chummy with this female employee. Let her know you exist and maybe she'll back off.

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