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Rafael M.T.Therapist
Rafael M.T.Therapist, Psychotherapist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 3189
Experience:  MHT-MHRS-MS-MA Integral Psychotherapist & Life Coach
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So I have been happily married to my husband for almost 25

Resolved Question:

So I have been happily married to my husband for almost 25 yrs (in 2 weeks!) We have been as close as ever but recently I have found that he has been talking on his cell phone to a co-worker (he is a mail carrier) who is female and 30 yrs old. We are 53. He says they are just friends and are talking about work and her family problems.... this has been going on for the last 6 weeks.(and they only talk while they are on their routes) in the last 2 weeks the phone calls have been increased to the point of they are talking 2-3 hrs daily sometimes nonstop. I've told him it has to stop because it is inappropriate and i dont like it... He agreed to stop talking to her (even broke his phone to prove he would) but he says I'm over reacting and acts like I have offended him because I dont "trust" him. I love him and I know he loves me but I just feel like even if he doesnt have feelings for this woman (in that way..."we are just friends") that if he keeps up this kind of connection..the chance of feelings developing into something else is highly increased...Am I overreacting or am I right on...need unbiased opinion. Our personal relationship has been stronger than ever with no indication of infidelity on his part but the last few days have been quite strained because I am hurt and he seems "miffed"..he says he's not mad at me..he's mad at himself for being so inconsiderate of my feelings...Please advise!!!
Submitted: 12 months ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  Rafael M.T.Therapist replied 12 months ago.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Hello, I am Rafael. Thanks for asking your question - I'm here to support you. (Information posted here is not private or confidential but public).

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

I am sorry to know about this frustrating situation affecting your marriage.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

What you describe here is very concerning since it shows a pattern of harmony, fidelity and no serious marital issue in your marriage for almost 25 years

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Then you found out that your husband has been sharing this much with this female coworker, what would alarm most women in your shoes for sure.

Customer:

I just dont want to overreact but I feel like I definitely have cause to react

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

I think you dd the right thing when confronting his behavior right away, but it's concerning that he has been showing this unclear reaction, on one hand apologizing and feeling remorse, while on the other hand he justified his behavior stating they are only friends sharing about their personal lives.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Sure you do, it would be naive and self-sabotaging to deny or avoid facing this situation.

Customer:

he says he dont talk about our personal lives that she has lots of problems in her life with an ex-husband and her parents and she also has a boyfriend...he did say he told her I didnt like him talking to her

Customer:

He is a very good man very generous and would give anyone the shirt off his back..I just dont think he is that naive..you know what I mean?

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Both are adults, and he does not need her understanding nor permission for him to set healthy boundaries and limits even more when aware of hwo it could damage your marriage. Yous story shows he was aware it was not right before you confronted him, and he continued with it for this long. If he happened to be in your shoes, would he feel respected and loved by you?

Customer:

At this point he is more defensive saying he would NEVER even think about cheating on me and cant believe that I would even react this way but my God 2-3 hrs on the phone is excessive and I sure as heck dont like it and am NOT going to condone it

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Absolutely, I agree with you %100

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Words could be nice but when consistent actions do not follow it would be nonsense and self-sabotaging to trust them. It's obvious he needs to set healthy and clear boundaries, respecting your commitment as long as he feel truly into your marriage and does not want to undermine its integrity.

Customer:

He says he told her Saturday that he couldnt talk to her on the phone any more and told her about me reviewing the cell phone bill and confronting him he says she kept saying oh my God.. and some more bullcrap..I told him I didnt give a "shit" what she thought or felt about it..she has to know that talking to another womans husband on the phone like this is not appropriate and down right wrong!!

Customer:

So what do I say to him now

Customer:

I am sick!! you know the pit of your stomach aching sick!!

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

You already set your boundaries, now it is about keeping them consistently and hoping he does the same, being truly fully honest and open towards you

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Remind him about your core needs and expectation sin your marriage, for him to be also clear he is willing and feels fine respecting and supporting them

Customer:

So I want to ask him to break all connections at work but I feel like that will probably be unrealistic since they work together regularly

Customer:

Is if feasible to ask him to limit his contact with her at work and tell him I'm trusting him to do that......

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Then everything would be about him taking consistent actions, showing you he deserves your trust, not because of what he talks about it, but because of the way he takes care of you and your marriage when with you and when with other people.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

I think so, it'd be reasonable and necessary. You are not expecting nor pushing him to stop doing his job, nor to stop having friendly interactions with coworkers at all, but to be consistent, respectful and loyal not spending excessive time with one female co-worker like he has been doing for almost two months.

Customer:

You know..I think that he thinks because it was just phone conversation and "casual" that it really was no big deal...I dont think he is comprehending the big picture and the disaster he was flirting with. How do I make him understand that ?

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

This situation could become a real chance for you to improve mutual understanding and the intimacy level in your communication and relationship. Yes, it seems he dismisses the seriousness of his behavior because of how things happened, now he knows from you, from what you told him you feel, how hurtful it has been for you, that it is not fine for him to engage in such behaviors at all. Be totally honest and open towards him, telling him how you feel because of his behavior, owning your feelings but making it clear it is your reaction to what he did and to his initial disregard about the issue he created.

Customer:

Thanks for that statement because at one point in the conversation he ask me what I wanted to do about it and I told him I wasnt doing anything about it ...the question is what are you going to do about it....I didnt do anything wrong (maybe checking cell phone bill was sneaky) I told him he made this mess so he can clean it up!! I just dont want to be a controlling bitch (I hate that) but I also want to monitor this closely...gosh..I just want to trust him again!!

Customer:

but I'm not going to be stupid and think "pouff" its fixed!!

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Right. I totally agree with you

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

I use to say that words are worthless and manipulative if they do not match consistent actions, thus trust must be gained and deserved by consistent and hard work. Now it is his job to deserve your trust back. Yous task is to give him a chance, be understanding and supportive, but not to be manipulated nor codependent about it, sine that would damage not only you, but your marriage and whole family now an din the future.

Customer:

Well you have made me feel like at least my feelings are justified and maybe in time he will realize that I am not the bad guy for wanting to end his "friendship" and I am just going to tell him that I am not going to feel like the bad guy anymore that he is the one who caused the strain...period!!

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

I support you and hope you could heal , learn and grow stronger and closer from this painful situation.

Customer:

Thanks for your time ...do you think I should show him our chat?

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Sure, I think it would be helpful.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Just copy the chat text or if you prefer, the link and it will take you to the chat record: http://www.justanswer.com/relationship/7z258-so-happily-married-husband-almost-25.html?src=dn

Customer:

Okay...maybe it will help if he sees an expert agrees with me :-) lol

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

I do agree with what I see as healthy, assertive and acceptable, in consistency with your own value, belief system and standards. If there is something dysfunctional, destructive or contradictory in your behavior, I would point at it, that's my role.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Thank you for your trust. Please feel free to contact me back as necessary. Also be aware that we have this new online counseling program through this new interface https://pearl.etherapi.com/connectme/164


 

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Remember, on justanswer.com, your information is NOT confidential, but is public. On pearl.etherapi.com, we can speak confidentially, over a secure network about individual or marital issues.

Customer:

Thanks again..I really appreciate your time..Wish me luck!!! and you have a very nice day!!

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

You're very welcome. I wish you the best. Have a nice one too.

Rafael M.T.Therapist, Psychotherapist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 3189
Experience: MHT-MHRS-MS-MA Integral Psychotherapist & Life Coach
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