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-   -   Boundaries with your wife's Male friend (https://www.askmehelpdesk.com/marriage/boundaries-your-wifes-male-friend-281880.html)

  • Nov 17, 2008, 08:12 AM
    Muxe
    Boundaries with your wife's Male friend
    My wife has suddenly obtained a best friend who happens to be male. After reading through several threads about said subject it appears that I should be OK with this. I am OK with her having a male friends however I am unsure of boundaries I have seen many people bring up. I feel that some of the stuff she does with him are not appropriate.

    For example I am fine when they go out to a book store, have coffee, catch lunch. However on two instances while I was out of town he has come to our house and they watched a movie together, she made him dinner and they basically spent the entire day together. Once when the kids where there, another when they were not. I am trying to be OK with this sort of activity because I feel it is wrong for me to be bothered by it, but I still feel in my gut that it is not appropriate behavior for someone who is married.

    I do not know this guy and he has only surfaced within the last few months. She does things with him she has never done with any of her other friends and spends way more time then she has ever spent with any of her friends. In fact the only person she has behaved this way with before is me.

    I know for a fact she is not having any type of romantic involvement with him, and I know they are just friends. However I can't help but to fear the relationship might develop into something more. It is likely my history is a major factor because I have had the same thing happen with two past girlfriends I loved dearly who left me for their new best friend.

    So should there be boundaries? If so what? Am I wrong to be bothered by him coming to my house and spending the entire day with her while I am away? If so what is a good way to get past my negative emotions so that she can be with her friend and I can not feel sick to my stomach all day?

    We have talked about it and fought about it. Right now we are compromising and she is only going to go to public places with him. I am fine with that. We plan on all getting together so I can meet him and get to know him. She does tell me when they are doing things and was only secretive about it before I "found out about him". There are relationship issues between also. I can go into those if need be but would prefer not if it is not necessary. I think that should cover any question someone helping might ask. Thanks in advance for everyone's time.
  • Nov 17, 2008, 08:55 AM
    NowWhat

    The key here is communication. You need to let your wife know exactly how you feel and why.

    I would want to know if my husband was spending all this time with a woman. I would not feel right about it at all. There should definitely be boundaries - and those should be set on what you can live with.

    I think it is good that there is a get together coming up so you can meet this man. I am surpirsed you haven't already. If you hear warning bells go off after you spend time with the two of them together -then don't ignore them.

    How did she meet this man?
  • Nov 17, 2008, 09:06 AM
    Muxe

    She met him through Myspace or Facebook, and through a mutual friend. They started talking over mutual interest in books. Funny thing is all the books this guy reads, I read also and have suggested to her before. Only now is she reading him. There are multiple things like this that drive me bonkers. It really creates a feeling of being left behind.
  • Nov 17, 2008, 09:07 AM
    Muxe
    Accidentally hit enter. I haven't met him earlier due to work schedules. I have been working weekends, and she works night where I work days. It has been impossible for us to do much together. This touches into to some of the relationship issues I vaguely mentioned.
  • Nov 17, 2008, 09:19 AM
    NowWhat

    I may be the type to over think things - or look for things that are not there, but...

    In my absoulte honest opinion, I don't think there is much good that can come from the relationship that you are explaining.
    Is this man married or single? Gay or straight?
  • Nov 17, 2008, 09:33 AM
    450donn

    It sounds to me like your wife is missing something in your relationship, otherwise she would not feel the need to go to another man for her needs. You two need to get some professional help. What are you doing to cause this rift? What do you spend excessive time doing?
  • Nov 17, 2008, 09:54 AM
    Muxe
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by NowWhat View Post
    I may be the type to over think things - or look for things that are not there, but...

    In my absoulte honest opinion, I don't think there is much good that can come from the relationship that you are explaining.
    Is this man married or single? Gay or straight?


    He is single, and straight.

    Quote:

    It sounds to me like your wife is missing something in your relationship, otherwise she would not feel the need to go to another man for her needs. You two need to get some professional help. What are you doing to cause this rift?[/qoute]
    She is missing something in our relationship. We have communicated about this most of which is my fault. I am working on our issues. Our conflicting work schedules also have taken a pretty big toll on our relationship I believe.


    [qoute]What do you spend excessive time doing?
    I spend 8 hours a day at work and then come home. When I arrive home she leaves for work and I busy myself taking care of my 5 year old and 10 month old. Homework, cleaning up after dinner, changing diapers typical stay at home dad stuff only in the evening. Pretty much our kids are my life. For the last two months I have been working a second job to help with bills on the weekends. But the problems arose before this. However I would like to keep the topic more focused on what to do about the guy because we are both aware of the other issues and are working on those. If the information on other issues are necessary for this topic then Iwill elaborate on it further but would prefer not to.
  • Nov 17, 2008, 10:59 AM
    smearcase

    I think you are delving too deeply into all the circumstances. This is wrong and needs to end. There is an old saying: If it looks right, it might be wrong but if it looks wrong it's got to be wrong.
    This definitely looks wrong to me and I can see it on the surface, no studies needed.
  • Nov 17, 2008, 11:22 AM
    asking

    I agree that her friendship is excessive. But I want to say that I think the same would apply if it was a husband with a woman "pal." On this list, I see a lot of support for married or involved men having "girl _ friends." I think that's just as inappropriate as this. Jealousy is a normal human emotion and, in my opinion, people should not do things that worry their spouses. Obviously, just talking to someone or having a casual friend of the opposite sex is one thing. But spending many hours alone with them? I don't think so.

    Muxe, I also think you should find a way to spend more time one on one with your wife. She is obviously lonely in her relationship to you. That's not okay either. Do you really have to have that second job? I would recommend simplifying your life if you can. The marriage is more important than a nice house or car. Divorce is expensive and you are in a position to save a lot of money and heartache by become a good husband as well as a good father and provider. Life isn't easy when you have small kids, and you have to make choices.

    Good luck!
  • Nov 17, 2008, 11:51 AM
    NowWhat

    Okay, he is single and straight. I really think a fine line is being walked right now.
    I don't think it is healthy for your wife to be spending so much time with this person. It could easily turn from innocent to ugly quickly.

    And I have to wonder what is his pay off? Why does a single, straight man spend so much time with a person that is not available to them? He has to be getting more out of this than good conversation.

    Again - communication is key. You have to keeps those lines open. You have to tell her exactly how this makes you feel and what you want to see happen in the future.

    You also need to start a date night tradition. If at all possible, make it 2 times a month. If that is not possible - then at least once a month.
    That one on one time is very important.
  • Nov 17, 2008, 11:54 AM
    Muxe

    I have been looking at information on "emotional affairs" Almost every warning sign applies. Anyone know much about them?
  • Nov 17, 2008, 11:57 AM
    NowWhat

    Oh, sadly, I do know too much about an emotional affair.
    What do you want to know?
  • Nov 17, 2008, 12:20 PM
    08_777444
    You asked if there should be boundaries and the answer is yes, of course there should be boundaries, it's a marriage. The term for a marriage without boundaries is referred to as an “open marriage.” Which means that either partner is free to engage is sex with someone other than their spouse.

    Is that what you want, an open marriage? If not, then you need to tell her. Otherwise, it looks like she is headed there with or without you. Emotional cheating is just another form of cheating. It's nothing more than a precursor to the next step.

    My husband works a lot, and his work sometimes keeps him away for 4 or 5 days at a time, but when he is gone, I don't go out seeking the companionship of other men, and I certainly don't invite other men to our home when he is not here.

    I don't think you should stand there and do nothing. But I don't believe in trying to control someone either. If this was my marriage, and my husband were doing to me what your wife is doing to you, I would ask him to stop. I would give no reason other than the fact that it bothers me, upsets me and causes me to be “sick to my stomach all day.” If he agreed to stop seeing her, fine. But if he argued with me, and/or told me he would not stop seeing her, that would be the end of the conversation and him.

    She has a choice, her family or this new man? If what she is doing upsets you, for any reason, she should stop doing it. If she were eating crackers in bed and leaving crumbs all over the place, would you ask her to stop? Of course you would. This is no different.

    Counseling is always an option.
  • Nov 17, 2008, 12:41 PM
    asking
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by NowWhat View Post
    And I have to wonder what is his pay off? Why does a single, straight man spend so much time with a person that is not available to them? He has to be getting more out of this than good conversation.

    I think this is uncalled for. Why fan the flames of jealousy? We can't know what this man is thinking just because we now know he is straight and single. We can't assume there's sex involved or he is getting a "payoff." I would tend to assume not, based on what Muxe has said.

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by NowWhat View Post
    You also need to start a date night tradition. If at all possible, make it 2 times a month. If that is not possible - then at least once a month. That one on one time is very important.

    I totally agree with this, except I'd make it once a week. It doesn't need to be an expensive date, but it should be just the two of you somewhere that you can talk about things if you want to or just have fun.
  • Nov 23, 2008, 01:49 PM
    cadillac59
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by asking View Post
    I agree that her friendship is excessive. But I want to say that I think the same would apply if it was a husband with a woman "pal." On this list, I see a lot of support for married or involved men having "girl _ friends." I think that's just as inappropriate as this. Jealousy is a normal human emotion and, in my opinion, people should not do things that worry their spouses. Obviously, just talking to someone or having a casual friend of the opposite sex is one thing. But spending many hours alone with them? I don't think so.

    Muxe, I also think you should find a way to spend more time one on one with your wife. She is obviously lonely in her relationship to you. That's not okay either. Do you really have to have that second job? I would recommend simplifying your life if you can. The marriage is more important than a nice house or car. Divorce is expensive and you are in a position to save a lot of money and heartache by become a good husband as well as a good father and provider. Life isn't easy when you have small kids, and you have to make choices.

    Good luck!


    Very well-stated and an excellent recommendation.
  • Dec 15, 2008, 02:25 AM
    LLM2

    There are three things that stand out about your situation: 1) You have never met him; 2) he comes to the house when you're not at home; and 3) she kept things secretive until you "found out about him." You are being very generous in allowing them to catch lunch together, etc. and I don't think you're being the least bit out of line by asking about boundaries. Your marriage and respect for each other as a couple are vital and take first priority for your marriage to survive. Perhaps you can all share a meal together and judge the relationship for yourself. What about his coming to the house only when you are at home? I also know it's difficult for a true friendship, whether male or female, to develop in threes. A friendship does need SOME one-on-one time, which you are allowing. I'm a married woman, and I'd have trouble with ALL their encounters being one on one. Ask to meet this important person in her life. It's your right.
  • Nov 1, 2009, 07:33 AM
    tamme
    Bravo for you allowing your wife to be a fulfilled human being with contact with the real world and freedom as it should be.
    It is healthy and logical that she have friends. The fact that it is bothering you ( you wrote about it and thought about it) means
    Your jelious and worried. If that is the case YOU need to spice up YOUR friendship with her. You will feel better if you get to
    Spend time with her equally. You just miss her and think she is having fun without you. WHICH it sounds like she is.
    THIS CAN HAPPEN WITH FEMALE OR MALE FRIENDS. Good for you for missing her and it sounds like you can balance things out.
    You are married to her so relax and continue to be independently loving. Invite her to do stuff with you, YOU CAN BE THE BIGGER FRIEND!
    Make it happen. One thing I must remind you. Don't cut her off from the world or tell her she can be friends with people its not fair.
    It you want more of her, plan it and make it happen. In the long run your relationship will relish in it!
    Ive been with my husband 27 years, had many friends and thus never stray or feel smoothered or want out.
    My husband is MY BEST FRIEND! TrusT IS EVErything!
  • Nov 1, 2009, 10:19 AM
    Catsmine
    Tamme,

    Do you think they may have progressed somewhat IN THE LAST YEAR since this discussion dropped off? Do you think he still reads it?

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