Discussion in 'Human Science' started by thecollage, May 23, 2011.

  1. Bells Staff Member

    I find it strange that you are so offended, insulted and angry that she is possibly telling a friend from work some of her problems (you have stated yourself that she is gossiping about people at work with this friend), while you are online in an internet forum telling and all sundry personal and private issues you have with her..

    My husband and I have gone through horrors in our lives in the last couple of years, the worst being for the past year where we have lived in absolute terror of things not going as we hoped they would. My husband has become an arse and is acting out due to the sheer volume of stress we have been under (natural disasters and cancer can do that to you) this past year especially, but at no time, even when our marriage was crumbling under the pressure of what was affecting us, did he ever not trust me or order me to not speak to any of my male friends. Quite the contrary.. My friends, male friends.. my best friend is male.. he has driven me to my treatments, brought me home, cleaned me up when I threw up or passed out after throwing up (unpleasant), helped me in the shower when I was too weak to stand and then put me to bed and sat with me while my husband was with the children and getting their meals ready, etc - as we did not want the children to have to see any of that first hand... That is what true friends do and yes, we are emotionally attached. Because he is my best friend. Friendship is an emotional attachment to another. I would have to say that my best friend probably saved my husband and I even more grief. If my husband ever told me that I could not speak to him or see him anymore because he did not trust me or because he felt threatened, that would be the end of our marriage. And if the situation were reversed, my husband and I would do the same for him, without fail.

    You need to ask yourself why a random man your wife works with, and whom she is friends with, is such a threat to you and your marriage.

    Most importantly, you have to ask yourself why you don't trust your wife and why you feel you have to demand she not be friends with certain people.

    Have you ever considered that she is angry at you because you are demanding something like this from her, because you are basically telling her that you do not trust her? She is probably offended. I know I would be and if my husband ever made such a demand, he'd be shown the door because it would be clear that he did not trust me and a marriage without trust is not really a marriage.

    Here you are, by your own admittance, having told your wife she has to stop being a stay at home parent and go back to work. You then order her to not speak to a male colleague at work and that you don't want her to be friends with him because his presence in her life is an insult to you. You made her go to work and then you are angry when she makes friends at work... or that she is talking to a man at work.. You also seem to be having a bit of a whine that she put the needs of your children before anything else.. Control issues much? From where I am sitting, it seems to be about control. You seem angry that you cannot control the fac tthat your wife put the children first, or spent money on the children without your say so, that she has made friends contrary to what you want and you cannot control the fact thtat she has a friend who is male and so you view it as a threat.. You cannot be so controlling that you deny your partner/spouse the right to have friends.

    Marriage is not just about you. It is also about her. If you cannot trust her and if you feel so insecure that her having friends or putting her children's needs above your own bothers you or is a threat to you, then yes, you do need help.
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  3. Cifo Day destroys the night, Registered Senior Member

    Meaning if you had to choose between hubby and him.
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  5. Bells Staff Member

    When a spouse feels threatened by a friend and does not trust you with said friend, then care to tell me how a marriage can continue with lack of trust is such a problem?

    Relationships work around and are based on trust. If you can't trust the other, then really?

    If my husband came and told me that he felt threatened and that I was disrespecting him by having a friend, then it would clearly mean he did not trust me and I would not remain with someone who had so little trust me in. How can you feel threatened by your spouse's friend if you trusted your spouse? Such a feeling of threat would not exist, because you'd know that no matter what, your spouse would do the right thing. Telling said spouse that she is not to speak to or have any contact with a friend because you felt threatened by that friend reeks of distrust in the spouse in my opinion.

    So how can a marriage survive if one does not trust the other to such an extent that mere friendships are a threat?
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  7. Cifo Day destroys the night, Registered Senior Member

    What if the man asked you to decide between hubby and him? What if he said,

    What would you do?
  8. phlogistician Banned Banned

    Somehow, if she is getting angry, you are either nag, or you are clumsy, or accusatory.

    Let it go for a month or so. Try and be nice.
  9. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    Most of us spend more time at work than at home, so it's hardly remarkable that we might have very close and important friendships with our co-workers. I'm sure she communicates with you when she's at work so why can't she also communicate with her coworkers from home?

    Frankly the most rational way for all three of you to deal with this is for you to meet this guy. If she has not suggested it then I can see why you might be suspicious. But if you have not suggested it I can't for the life of me imagine why not. Afraid to measure yourself up next to him?

    I have a life that would drive you insane. My wife is at home in California, taking care of her 94 year-old mother, managing our rental units, and remodeling our retirement love nest. But when the bottom dropped out of the traveling-consultant market after 9/11 (it's impossible to "go home for the weekend" when it takes four hours to get through a frelling airport) I had to move to the other coast just to get work. We fly back and forth to see each other but we spend 95% of our time apart, growing in different directions and making our own friends. My best friend here happens to be female, which is no surprise since throughout my life I've always found it easier to get along with women than men. The first time Mrs. Fraggle came out here after we started hanging out together, I made sure that we all spent an evening together. On the way home she couldn't stop giggling. She said, "You know, I couldn't help having an unreasonable feeling of suspicion. But now that I've met that little twit I know she's no threat to our marriage!"

    You need to meet your wife's little twit. None of us usually values the same qualities in a friend that we do in a lover, so it shouldn't be difficult to tell the two apart.
    Repeat after me:


    Now that you've jumped on her for having a male friend, are you really surprised that she's hiding him from you? If she asked you to dump your best friend, would you do it? And don't tell me, "But my own best friend is not of the opposite sex." Big frelling deal! There are only two sexes so you've got a 50/50 chance!

    I understand that out in the "real world" men tend to socialize primarily with men and women with women, but that's because out in the "real world" we have gender roles that have been well defined for more than ten thousand years. You don't meet many women at a bar with seven TV screens showing football games, and you don't meet many men at daffodil shows. But the modern office is completely different. Men and women are doing the same jobs, taking the same training sessions, going to the same meetings, working on the same projects. This results in a completely gender-less type of camaraderie that is more difficult to achieve on the outside. Then you discover that men and women do have somewhat different ways of looking at things--whether it is indeed genetic or just the result of ten thousand years of conditioning. It's very interesting to bounce ideas off of each other. You get a perspective that's not so easy to find in someone of your own sex.
    Well okay, you've finally come up with something that is a problem. But I'm sure we're all wondering if the reason your wife treats you this way is that for all the years you've been married you have been subtly or not-so-subtly trying to manage her life, for example by not wanting her to have close male friends. I don't know where you live but here in America men are taught by their fathers to be aggressive whereas women are taught by their mothers to be passive-aggressive. Unfortunately that's a bad combination to have under the same roof. Have you met her parents? Does she resemble her mother in many ways?
    Uh dude, that's what friends are for! They're not just for the good times; those are "buddies." Friends are there for us when we need them. And I'll bet that many of the people reading this will tell you that a friend of the opposite sex can be very helpful when you have a problem at home.

    And BTW, aren't you sitting here discussing your marriage problems with your friends? Geeze dude, we're hardly even intimate friends! Why can't she do the same thing? To me, this is potential evidence that deep down inside you have a double standard. You don't trust her to ask a male friend for the kind of help you're getting from Bells. Which, interestingly enough, you don't value very highly. A little too much machismo in your family, perhaps?
    That's very common, just ask any therapist. Making the decision to get help is the first step in solving a problem. It makes you feel so good that for a little while you feel like the problem is gone. So you don't need the help and you cancel the appointment. Shrinks have patients who have done this twelve times before they finally realize what's happening and actually show up for their first appointment.
    Yeah this makes it tough. I suggest that you tell her what I just told you: that making the appointment made you both feel better so you both thought you didn't need the help. I would also suggest going to a female counselor. If you're already gritting your teeth and making a fist at the mere thought of that, then imagine how your wife might feel about going to a male counselor. You're both going to have to make some big compromises if you want to save this marriage. It would be a powerful statement for you to make the first compromise and agree to a female counselor.
    Wanting to stay home and put the kids first is normal. Isolating you is not. Apparently she's been giving you red flags for quite some time and you've just gone off to work and ignored them. That is a really, really big red flag. Children normally increase the bond between parents, because they both understand that they now need each other more than ever.

    Did you do your share of the childrearing, including the diapers and everything? Or did she take charge and do it all herself? That would be another gigantic red flag.
    Does she have a rational understanding of finance and economics? A lot of Americans (of both sexes) do not. I offer as incontrovertible evidence the sub-prime mortgage fiasco: No one with a single functioning brain cell would have bought or sold one of those things.
    I don't know how old your kids are now, but work is a wonderful new adventure for her. She's been cooped up in the cave for years while you've been out hunting mastodons.
    He's new, got no baggage. And she picked him. Some other young foolish lady many years ago picked you, and now she's stuck with you. No wait a minute, that other lady picked a young foolish man who turned into you.

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    No, it would be selfish if you demanded to come first. Demanding not to be last is quite reasonable, at least when you're talking to your spouse.
    Well obviously that is true. For starters, do you do your share of the housework and childrearing, now that she's not a stay-at-home mom? You have so many old-fashioned macho ideas, I wonder if you're unconsciously leaving the majority of the domestic chores to her even though she shares in the breadwinning?

    Nonetheless all parents are overworked and don't have enough time for everything they'd like to do. Do you feel that way too? If not, then it's a dead giveaway that you're not quite doing your share of the family chores. You should both be worn to a frazzle.
    Another little hint that you may be hanging onto a caveman-standard division of labor. I do all the laundry in our house, or at least I do when I'm home. I know how to iron a silk blouse! I happen to find laundry simple and easy, and as a tight-assed left-brained person I even enjoy the sense of organization when it's all folded up and stacked neatly in its proper place. I wash the dishes too; I can't stand to let 'em pile up. And I scrub the sink with Comet, even the drain strainer. Don't want no stinking germs waiting to jump on our food!

    If you don't know how to make the right folds, did you ask her? I know some of those things are inscrutable, even for me the laundry king. Men and women have different perceptual skills--again, maybe genetic or maybe cultural training.

    What's your favorite household chore? If that question is meaningless to you, then we're drilling down to the problem.
    He probably never criticizes her. He probably has some interesting things going on in his life that fascinate her. It's a whole lot easier for him to be objective about whatever family problems she tells him about than it is for you, because he has no personal stake in them! It's like a free marriage counselor--right down to the detail that it's free and you only get what you pay for.

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    I don't know how old you kids are but I do know that many of you feel more comfortable typing with your thumbs than actually talking. I'll take it as a good sign that she thanked you later. My wife and I don't text, don't even have the feature. Neither of us can say anything in 140 characters.

    BTW, if your finances are not in good shape why aren't you brewing your own coffee at home? There's no greater waste of money than buying coffee! Perhaps this is one of those nice little things you could start doing to show that you care and to show that you're willing to do things around the house that fall within your range of abilities.
    I shouldn't speak for Bells but I'll bet she's sitting on her hands right now trying very hard not to type, "No, it's because you sound like a real jerk!"

    Besides, Bells has a right to any negative feelings that pop into her head. If you didn't pick up her not-so-subtle reference to the reason for that, it says volumes about your poor communication skills with women. I wonder what your wife has told you that went in one ear and out the other?
    But that's a completely unreasonable speculation! It may be rude for a husband to demand that his wife choose between him and her best male buddy, but as we've seen right here it does happen. No man would ask a friend to choose between him and her husband, if they're just friends, no matter how much he likes her. There are only two reasons it might happen:
    • 1. They've been having an illicit affair. I think with the heavy workload in their life, Collage would know if that were happening, even though his powers of observation leave much to be desired.
    • 2. The guy is a real loser. He fantasizes that this lady has got the hots for him, even though they've never actually hooked up. After only knowing her for six months, at the office??? Yeah, he might be that big a loser. But no woman in her right mind would jump at that. She'd run screaming away from a loser.
    Remember: Men fall in love with women who have slept with them. Women sleep with men they have fallen in love with. So it would be ridiculous for this guy to think that Collage's wife is madly in love with him, to the point that she would break up her marriage. She would have already been intimate with him.
  10. Cifo Day destroys the night, Registered Senior Member

    I think that neither Mr Collage or Ms Collage are operating within the range of normal, and that both of them are setting a bad example for their children. At least Mr Collage is introspective and has owned up to most of his shortcomings. Ms Collage has not.

    Also, out of fair play, I ask this — What if Mr Collage was spending a lot of time in a relationship with a woman from work? Would Ms Collage have a reason to be jealous? I think most women would say she would.

    And I don't accept that it's supposedly "different" for a guy. Equal rights is equal rights.
  11. thecollage Registered Senior Member

    Many years ago I was planning on hiring a female sales and marketing person. My wife did not like this idea one bit. The mere thought of me hanging out with an attractive lady who possessed glibness seemed to be perceived as a threat. I did not hire a person in such a capacity. Why? Two reasons. Respect for my spouse and handling the sales and marketing in a different manner. Interesting that is suggested via Cifo.

    As for everyone's advice I find Bells' to be one sided and absolutely worthless. Her anger has been manifested in her husband's unwillingness to care for her during a trying time. It seems that every comment revolves around me being incorrect or wrong. Similar to how my wife perceives it.

    A marriage is between two people. That's the bottom line.

    Friends are just that. I have absolutely no problem with her having friends. It is healthy for her to do so. It's the manner in which the communication is exchanged that concerns me. Privacy and secrecy are two different things. Respect and Trust are the two most very important values in a marriage. Right now, I lack the trust and she lacks the respect. To say that I am wrong only amplifies ignorance.

    As for demands. I resent that word. I am protecting my family from potential destruction and looking out for our well being since one side does not seem to feel that is important right now.

    I am a nag. Yes. I have been called a nag. Phlogistician is correct in assessing my character in that manner. I have an aggressive personality and want to resolve things. I want to find a solution. Often times I have found that the solution in this matter is merely time. However, I need to remain proactive as to not let it slip through the cracks and then have more work to do in the end.

    I like the Rules for Fair Arguing. That is great. We are both stubborn independent people. The good thing about that is neither of us is a quitter. Communication and Compromise are the two keys I am beginning to see outside of Trust and Respect.

    I sincerely appreciate everyone's comments.
  12. Bells Staff Member

    Say no.

    Yes, it really is that simple.

    I don't understand the whole jealousy thing. If you trust your spouse or partner, then really, you trust them to do the right thing by you and by themselves and the relationship.

    My advice to you has been to go and get some professional help.

    You don't like what I have to say because I notice that you obviously do not trust your wife and she apparently does not trust you. My problems with my husband arose out of a year of sheer pain and fear, as I did not know if I would live or not at some points and his views was that my showing my bald head was embracing something he didn't want to be reminded of again. Obviously, this is too complex for you.

    Your wife possibly feels that you don't trust her to have friends.

    I mean you became jealous that she was concentrating too much on your own children. I can't even begin to tell you how fucked up that is.

    Correction... A marriage is between two people who trust each other. In your case, you have two people but no trust.

    Would you prefer if she used smoke signals?

    Or do you demand or wish to peruse her communication with her friend, go over it just in case?

    She's talking to him on the phone and sms'ing. How else is she to communicate with her friends so that you do not feel threatened?

    Your lack of trust in her is your problem and she obviously resents you for it. Her lack of respect for you as an individual is probably because you don't trust her to even have friends.

    How can you respect someone who demands you not communicate or be friends with people because he views them as a threat? How can you possibly respect anyone who resents the time you spend with your children because he feels that you are putting their needs before his own? How can you demand respect when you so obviously do not respect her as an individual or as your spouse?

    You have demanded that she not speak to or be friends with her friend. You have stated that you weren't happy because she devoted so much time and effort into her children (seriously, what the hell?). You have demanded that she abide by your rules. You have made it all about you and you alone. She won't lie in bed with you after you again demanded she not speak to or communicate with her friends... She won't listen to you. It's all about you you you.

    You're not protecting your family. Protecting your family from what? Your wife's independence away from you and her decision to choose her own friends without your permission?

    Abusive and aggressive people tend to create their own problems by being so aggressive and demanding and then blaming the spouse because they don't listen to or abide by your demands. You're not proactive. You are saying that it's either your way or the highway.

    What is slipping through the cracks is your absolute control over your spouse and that pisses you off.

    Get some help. As soon as possible. Get it as well as having couple's therapy.
  13. Bells Staff Member

    Of course, because having friends of different sex and speaking to them is only about sex, isn't it? You are taking the stance that men and women cannot be friends without sex becoming involved. Which is ridiculous and very childish.
  14. Skeptical Registered Senior Member

    Getting professional help is good advice.
    It is the only advice that anyone here should give.
    From our state of abyssmal ignorance about the genuine state of what is going on, anything else is likely to do only harm.
  15. phlogistician Banned Banned

    Dude, you only have Mr Collage's perspective of Mrs Collage, so cannot in all fairness make that judgement.

    He sounds insecure and a bit of a drama queen from what I've read. I wouldn't therefore judge her by what he has said.
  16. phlogistician Banned Banned

    Why a female in particular? You should hire the best person for the job, irrespective of gender.
  17. Enmos Valued Senior Member


    If you do divorce her (or she walks out on you) be sure to act respectable towards her and the kids at all times and don't badmouth her in front of the kids. No matter who is at fault.
    In other words, think of the kids. They are the most important.
    That said, she probably will be doing those things judging from how you describe her.
  18. Cifo Day destroys the night, Registered Senior Member



    I'm saying I believe most women would agree that Ms Collage would have grounds for being jealous/suspicious. They would be ridiculous/childish, or maybe not.

    Myself, I am not a womanizer, nor would I want to be. However, over the years, I have had very close friendships with both single and married women, both in person and/or by phone/email. As far as I can tell, these friendships have been purely platonic, and their husbands/boyfriends were okay with them.

    However, I also knew their husbands, and I was friends or close friends with them or at least acquaintances. But at least I knew them and, as importantly, they knew me.

    I used to go horseback riding every week with one married woman. Another married woman and I have traveled cross-country, and we even stayed in a hotel together (separate rooms, of course). I have platonically shared sleeping arrangements with single women. I have dined alone with both single and married women. I have driven places with both single and married women.

    The two times I felt that the idea of Ms So-and-so riding somewhere with a relatively unknown man (me) would seem reasonably questionable/inappropriate, I asked them to ride in back, and they have always agreed to be "chauffeured". Actually, on only one occasion did a woman (a single attractive/available woman but not my type) obviously want to be more than just friends with me, and my chauffeur request defused the situation, and I believe, with the least amount of hurt felt by her. The other time, it was with a respectable, foreign married woman who I sensed felt uncomfortable riding up front with me. I felt what I perceived as her sense of propriety, and I abided by it.

    It's partly about propriety, and if anyone doesn't know what that means, I quote Barbra Streisand from What's Up, Doc! (1972):

    When two people marry, there's an understanding between them to somehow deal with (ie, work with each other on) the other's sense of propriety (ie, right and wrong). It seems, at minimum, that both Mr and Ms Collage need to come to terms with each other's sense of propriety.

    Has Mr Collage even met Mr Coworker and gotten to know for himself "what he is about"? If I was Ms Collage, I would have invited Mr Coworker (and other coworkers) over the house for a BBQ or something. That's one way I would respect my spouse's sense of propriety, whether I agreed with it or not.

    Bells, it's obvious in your situation that Mr Bells has met Mr Friend.
  19. thecollage Registered Senior Member

    I have met him on two occasions. He came up and introduced himself very politely and professionally. I deem him to be a very nice guy. I have also met his wife. Very nice police people. I have also known people who have known the other person and the spouse has still strayed.

    The more I think about this dilemma it is really me who has the problem or is the problem.

    I am going to let it be for a while. Sit back and see what happens. In the meantime I am going to continue to work on being a positive and happy person who enjoys life and hopefully grow my relationship with my wife. To waste worrying about something that is probably nothing other than my feelings balled up into one big cluster of nonsense is pretty ridiculous.

    I wanted to hire a female because I wanted to have a balanced company consisting of both sexes.
  20. Bells Staff Member

    So why do you think your wife is being unfaithful and why don't you trust her?

    Ugh.. Honestly..

    Go and speak to someone.. a professional. And get some marriage counselling as well. Because it seems there are trust issues and control issues from the both of you and it can be detrimental to your marriage and frankly, your kids don't need to see that kind of stuff. Even if you don't argue in front of them or discuss any of this in front of them, they know.

    Well yes. I was friends with him before I even met my husband. The same with my other friends and my husband's friends as well. Most of them he's been close to since primary school. My husband's ex girlfriend from his late teens early twenties is one of our closest friends, along with her husband. At no time did I feel that their close friendship was inappropriate. She is one of the few people I know he can open up to if he is concerned about something and she and her husband helped him a lot in the last couple of months. That is what friends do. She also relieved my husband in helping me during my not so great times in the last year and came out with wonderful ways to freak out my children with my bald head (googly eyes taped to the back of my bald head for instance) and weird manicures with her trying to scrape out the shape of a skull after painting my fingernails black - she waited until I was too weak to resist.

    I think the only time I was not overly impressed with my husband was during the end of my illness. He wasn't coping and it manifested himself through the hair thing. It was so strange to all of us at the time. Around that time, someone he knew in university called him out of the blue. And this woman was strange. It was around that time that the prognosis was looking good for me and this woman waltzed into our lives and next thing I knew, she was everywhere. She enrolled her children into our local school where our eldest went, even though she lived well over 30 minutes away. She always seemed to show up on our doorstep each time we entertained. While I trusted my husband to not do the wrong thing by me or our marriage, I found this woman irritating and I was not alone. Our friends and family also found that she was trying to wedge herself into my marriage. The crux of it was during a BBQ and yes, she was there like she was there for everything else and the BBQ had been to celebrate my getting better and also to thank our friends and family who had done so much for us.

    My husband and I were having issues about the hair thing, but it was a stressful time. During this get together, my husband's ex asked me where the hell my husband was and where was this irritating friend. We went and looked for them inside and there she was, rearranging the furniture in my living room according to her taste and my husband was going to me 'she may be right about the couch going there, blah blah blah' and my head literally exploded. I saw red and could barely speak for a few minutes. I then pointed out that my furniture was to be put back and that the way she had moved it was blocking the french door to the front veranda. I mean of all the inappropriate and rude things to do.... A few weeks later I was still stewing and finally I exploded and asked my husband if there was something I should be concerned about her. And there was not. This woman is a fruitcake and we talked about it and her. And I still trust him, even if she does come over again (which I doubt as he has told her to stop annoying him all the time)... That deep trust hasn't wavered. No matter how bad it got between us, I trusted him to not cheat, just as he trusted me to not cheat.

    At no time did I demand to read any sms's she may have sent him, nor have I been concerned about his talking to her on the phone (she rang our house 4 times a day - to the point where we didn't pick up and let the machine pick up so we could screen our calls)... Even when she first contacted him and I'd never even heard of her before, I never once demanded he not speak to her, nor did I want to read any emails she sent him or his responses either.

    When you get to the point where your spouse is having to show you texts from friends to allay your jealous fears, then yeah, that's a huge problem.
  21. Cifo Day destroys the night, Registered Senior Member


    :thumbsup: Be the best you can be ... and probably, eventually, some sort of apology to her, not necessarily something huge or demonstrative, but something sincere.
  22. CLAYTONR Registered Member

    What are the texting? What are the detail of Texting?

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