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Husband not dealing with me having friends

Nickyall
Community Member

Where to start.....My husband and I have been together for over 25 years and very early in our relationship my best friend passed away. Since then I literally shut myself off from all outside friendships (this was something I did unconsciously and I've only realised quite recently when I reflected back on my life). So the past year has seen me make many new friends and form a close friendship with my now best friend. We go to the same women's gym & I go to gym 4-6 times a week. I go to gym early in the mornings before my family wake up. In short, my husband is jealous of my new friends. I know this is different for him because he is used to having me all to himself since very early in our relationship. He has made me feel guilty to go to gym in the mornings. Whenever I want to go have a coffee with my friends, I feel like a child who needs to ask permission to go. I probably do something socially with my friends once a month. I literally get a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach to even mention doing anything with my friends, especially my best friend. My husband has accused me of having an emotional affair with her. Yes I love her, but in a platonic way.

My husband can have a social life and come and go as he pleases, but I have to "convince" him to "allow" me to go anywhere; have to specify who I will be with; when I will be home; co-ordinate our kids for while I am out; organise their meals while I am out; then clean up the mess when I return home. Whereas at the drop of a hat, my husband can take off for lunch with his mates and not return until after midnight. I don't want a life like that, but I don't want world war 3 just because I do want to hang out with the girls.

Our relationship is not balanced. I feel like I am lost. I don't know what I want from my life but I know this isn't it. I want to be happy. I want to spend time with my friends. I love my time with my family and husband but I need more. I feel like life shouldn't be this difficult. I have lost myself and my passion while I was busy giving to everyone around me (we have 6 children). I was happy with my life but as the kids grow, they don't need me like they used to and I guess I am only now seeing my life for what it really is and I'm not sure I like it.

Am I making this into something bigger than it is..... I'd love some advice on how to make my husband see I need some down time with my friends......What do you make of the situation I've described?

4 Replies 4

Ken1
Community Member

Hi Nickiyall,

I don't think you're making this bigger than it is and I know for sure that you don't deserve to feel bad about having friends - especially when you're a mother of 6 kids! I'm not a mother, but I'm the eldest of 6 so I understand what a handful it can be and I know my Mum would not get through the week without the support of my step dad, as well as being able to go to her Mothers' group every Thursday which she loves.

Firstly, I think it's incredible that you've gotten back out there and made valuable friendships since your friend's passing. That's amazing. While I can understand your husband potentially feeling threatened and potentially neglected because there's this sudden change wherein you are able to seek enjoyment outside of the house, you need to feel not only that it's okay to have friends, but to be encouraged to do so.

Have you tried explaining to your husband what is going on for you - how wonderful I'm sure having friends is making you feel and how big of a step it is, whilst furthermore reassuring him that it doesn't take away from your relationship?

From my experience, men can be thick at times and need things spelled out for them in plain black and white. He could have a number of reasons for acting the way he has been and if you still both love each other then it seems really likely that once you both lay everything on the table lovingly, that you can sort things out. What I'm saying is, he's not going to know how you feel or how to help make things better unless you tell him, and be willing to do the same yourself if necessary!

Just remember that your freedom and wellbeing is extremely important and no one should rob you of that. You're amazing!

All the best.

Bonnie

Croix
Community Champion
Community Champion

Dear Nickyall~

First off I think it is not only healthy but necessary for partners in a marriage to have other friends. As one of those who can be thick at times and need things spelled out for them in plain black and white (Sorry Bonnie I just could not resist it 🙂 I think what it would be like if my wife had a diet of just me all the time - terrible.

I don't mean that there's anything wrong with me, I mean that to have a balance in life, emotionally and otherwise, one's horizons need to be bigger than depending solely on just one person. I love my wife most dearly, have for 21 years but am more than happy for her to spend time with others. She has two particular close friends, one being a lady she has known since childhood.She has others too - not as close.

I am however secure in the knowledge she loves me - a wonderful thing to feel.

She looks forward to visits, talks about things that would make my hair curl with them, supports them when needed, and receives support too. As a result she is a happier more 'rounded' person. (um- probably dangerous to use the word 'rounded' as my wife is unjustifiably sensitive about weight:(

As a result I think your being able to form friendships again is a blessing. You are in the first flush of a new phase of your life.

All I'm saying is ok as far as it goes, but does not really help your relationship with your husband with one important exception. You now know what to expect in a normal balanced relationship -and should try to achieve it.

Your husband has a big problem. After so many years becoming entrenched as the most important person in your life, with little or no competition for your thoughts, actions and love he now has to face a new style of marriage.

It also sounds as if he is trying to punish you for going out by making you specify times and organize things for when you are not there.

OK, so what to do? I guess the crux of the matter is how much your husband really loves you and how flexible he can be. To get him to accept the new person you have grown into may be hard. If it is a question of his feeling highly threatened, but still loves you then I guess there's hope.

Bonnie has made some good points:) Seriously thought talking, reassuring, even counseling may be the way to go. All worth serious effort.

Please remember though, one cannot shrink down again once having grown.

You have by best wishes and hopes

Croix

Nickyall
Community Member

Thank you for your responses, they have been very helpful. Yesterday I went to my GP and have been referred to a psychologist for anxiety and depression. This has affected me greatly and I'm simply not coping so I sought some professional assistance.

My husband and I also discussed this all yesterday. There was many tears, arguing and finally some compromise and acceptance. We both are on the same page in that we want this work out. So that gives me some peace & reassurance. I'm not totally sure HOW it will all work out, but at least we both are committed to trying.

We decided we need to schedule couple time at least once a week so that we can stay connected and give us time to talk through any concerns. I'm nervous and optimistic moving forward but have to have faith that it will work out.....

Again, thank you for your reply to my post xxx

Ken1
Community Member
Wonderful to hear, Nickyall! You are amazig!