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Husband chats with female colleague on facebook

Gigi1981
Community Member

Hi All,

I am not sure whether I am just creating a storm in a teacup or whether I am allowed to have concerns. My husband started talking to a female colleague a few months ago. She has just left the company (yesterday) but still lives in our city. She has a young toddler and I am not sure she has the best relationship. A few weeks ago, she added my husband on facebook and then he told me how she told him she had a funny conversation at work. When he asked her what it was about, she said it was about being fingered at work. He thought it was pretty odd but nothing else. When he told me, I got angry (at her) because I found that sort of conversation very inappropriate to have with a male colleague, especially if he is married. He did not understand why I would get so offended. This has been an ongoing thing since because he still talks to her on facebook and obviously, before she left, also at work. How much, I do not know and I am hating myself for being so suspicious because I never had reasons to distrust my husband. However, since he is currently in another depressive phase, he has told me things, e.g. that he dislikes how society puts rules on you, for example that when you are married, you cannot have other partners. We talked about that a few times and he always professed his love for me and I trusted him enough, however, it has been more difficult for me because it makes me feel second rate. He does tell me that he finds me very attractive, both physically and mentally but the damage has been done. This morning, I saw that he was online and I could see how he had little smirks on his face when he was typing. I asked him whether he was talking to her and then added that it is perfectly fine, I just want him to be open with me. He told me several times that he was not talking to her and that he was just looking for books. I then got insight into his facebook conversation as it accidentally opened up on my laptop under his profile. In the conversation, he told her that he was thinking of her when she woke up. She answered with that she wouldn't have minded waking up next to him. He did not react to that. When I confronted him about that, he said that he finds it a bit weird and she would sometimes say such things but that he would just overlook it. He said, the reason why he thought of her was because he is currently struggling with whether he wants kids or not and he knew that last weekend, she took her son to a show. He doesn't get that I'm upset.

7 Replies 7

Croix
Community Champion
Community Champion

Dear Gigi1981~

Welcome to the Forum, it must have been hard to come here and set all that out but I'm glad you did. When one is by oneself and a situation like this comes up it can be very hard to know what is reasonable, and what is beyond normal boundaries.

OK, this is just my take on matters. I'm old, have been married long-term twice (first wife passed away) and probably have rather narrow views.

I consider a partnership, in or out of marriage, consists of people that love each other, are happy in each other's company and want to cherish and support each other. Their partner's well-being really matters to them - a lot.

It would be silly to pretend that relationships are always smooth, without arguments, misunderstandings and mistakes, of course there are. It is a mark of a successful relationship that the partners work together to overcome these, each motivated by concern for the other and an overwhelming desire to remain together.

It goes further than that. Obstacles need to be avoided before they become major issues. It is a fact of life that people are attracted to each other, and not always to one's partner. The only real answer to such a situation is to not go down that path, no matter what the temptation. If one does one ends up with divided loyalties and concerns and most likely falsehoods start to creep in.

Your husband is letting you down. In fairness it may not have been something he intended at the start, but it seems to have now reached the stage where this association with his ex-work female colleague is causing harm. For all you know it may be causing harm in a partnership she has too.

As someone who has suffered bouts of depression I'm not sure how this come into views of more than one partner and society's rules. In fact it was the opposite, I tended to isolate myself and withdraw.

All I can say is what I would do, which is to explain to my partner how much the whole matter was distressing me and ask that he terminate that association completely at once. I would expect him to do so.

There may be other with different takes to mine. I'd be very happy if you came back and talked more

Croix

geoff
Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni
hello Gigi, not an easy post to reply to, however Croix has handled it well.
Can I give you another example and I'm presuming that depression is not a problem, because if I do, then the situation is different.
If the two of you go out for dinner then both of you will look around the restaurant to view who else is there, of course you will think to yourself that that chap sitting near the window is pretty good looking, so you're going to keep looking at him, the same happens with your husband about a female, all of this is normal because it happens all the time.
What his work mate has said is highly inappropriate unless you want to become 'more than friends' but it is only going to suggest an invitation to join her.
If I had ever told my wife (ex)about a female mentioning this to me, I know what she would have done, told me to go, either when I was in depression or not, so let's now bring depression into the equation.
It always seems to happen that when someone is suffering they tend to want to go to someone else of the opposite sex, it was my intention to do this, but I didn't have anyone, but the repercussions could turn out to be what you wished had never happened, so in hindsight I'm pleased it didn't happen with me.
I would be asking him to stop communication with her, that it's not appropriate for your marriage, and it has upset you and instead talk with a psychologist who will address the situation in a professional way. Geoff.

BlueGrass
Community Member

Hi Gi Gi

It's always that fine line, isn't it?

Personally, I have no issues with people being friends, even supportive, of others, regardless of gender.

If the relationship is stable and secure, and the outside friendships are just that, I cannot see issues. Where it changes, is if the outside friendship begins to develop towards an involvement of the type that will challenge the original partnership. That is the no-go zone.

Facebook is very public, and I don't think the chat in there is very secure, either. I would be very wary of it.

I don't know if this post is of any help at all. Have you thought of a counsellor for the two of you, like, marriage counselling, if it is troubling the marriage that much?

You make reference to children. From that, I presume (please correct me) that you don't have children yet. Maybe that is also an issue, so have you talked about it? Maybe a counsellor could help, as sometimes a mediator is all that is needed for two people to have a sensible discussion.

My background, I'm separated pending divorce. Split, simply...we just can't live together, okay as friends, but at a distance. No, there was no one else involved for either of us, purely, the relationship just crumbled beyond repair. Just thought you might like to know I'm not coming from a split where outside relationships were involved (hardly had friends much anyway).

Hugs

BlueGrass
Community Member

Hi GiGi

Just had a totally random thought here, is she being harassed at work, and is your hub someone she feels she can trust to confide in? Just crossed my mind, that's all.

This too, could be problematic.

Croix said it best. In less words - shut that sh*t down. He's crossed the line and you know it. By the way, he does get that you're upset, however his attention is diverted. Whatever is going on between him and her needs to be interrupted and their communications terminated/unfriended from FB/no mobile contact etc

Gigi1981
Community Member

Hi All,

thank you so much for your help and advice. You have supported my belief that I was not just going crazy. I raised my concerns with my husband because it got so bad in my head that I could not sleep or live without having terribly doubts and trust issues. In the end, I asked him to unfriend her on facebook and whilst he did it, he got extremely angry at me afterwards. He said I am controlling him and he wants to be single because then he would not have such issues and that I am high maintenance and a child. When he is depressed, he can be very nasty to me but this time it is really terrible and he is cold as ice to me. He does not even want to sleep in the same bed anymore. He ignores me as much as he can. It is really painful. Luckily I am flying away for work for a few days tomorrow but I have started contacting agencies to go to rental inspections on the weekend and move out. It is so painful to all of a sudden be in this mess although he was not honest and I tried to be friendly and reasonable, explaining him how uncomfortable this situation made me. He only blames me for everything. I cannot believe that somebody that can be so loving has turned into such a cold-hearted monster. Although I have seen it before on him but never quite a bad. It breaks my heart to think of moving out and separating but I think this will never be resolved. His depression and general issues come up again and again and he believes I crossed the line which is ironic. Anyway, now I am getting scared that he will not come to his senses and if we separate may make my life difficult. We have investments and an apartment together. I just want my share of the money for security but said to him that I want to be friendly with him as there has always been so much love and we should honour that and the beautiful memories we have. But no, just cold, icy hatred from his side. I am sorry I am rambling on but I feel so alone right now, it is the most painful situation I have been in in a long time. And that from someone who has had to go through his depressive outbursts and phases at least every year for the last eight! Do you think he will get a bit softer with a few days of space or has something snapped in him and he will stay this way now? All the beautiful memories just erased and no sympathy for my heart. I do not know that man.

Croix
Community Champion
Community Champion

Dear GiGi1981~

I'm very sorry that things have come to this however you could not go on living the way you were playing second fiddle to dome other lady without care or support. To have him turn around like that shows unfortunately he not a partner, but himself a sort of child, wanting everything and being prepared to give nothing.

There seems to be no empathy and care for you, just selfishness, something the next lady will have to deal with too. It's ironic he calls you high maintenance when by the sound of it he has been the one looked after those last eight years. I think it may indicate he simply does not regard you as an equal.

If I was in your situation I too would be moving out - and not overly accommodating on joint property - on which I'd act quickly.

When this sort of unexpected disaster happens there is a great temptation to wish that things would go back to how they were, however if it was me the trust would be broken, but of course that is just me, not you.

I'm not sure Do you think he will get a bit softer is the right thing to ask, perhaps instead ask what your attitude should be if he does. You said he'd been thinking of kids. I'd be sorry for any children he had in either event.

Having a job is a real plus, giving a measure of independence.

Do you have anyone to support you? Family or friend you can go to, talk with, feel cared for?

Croix