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TherapistMarryAnn, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5810
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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Should I be concerned that my wife fawns over her divorced

Customer Question

Should I be concerned that my wife fawns over her divorced male friend who happens to be good looking, generous and financially quite well off?
My wife and I have socialized occasionally with her friend over the years and he and my wife go to dinner or a show once or twice a year when I cannot or do not want to go.
Anyway, some things happened recently which have me concerned.
First, my wife works late one night a week and then needs to be in early the next day. So she suggested staying at her divorced friends' house as a matter of convenience. I told her I wasn't comfortable with her staying there and suggested she stay at her best friends house since the best friend lives 5 minutes away from the divorced friend. My wife ended up coming home.
Second, she came home a couple of weeks after that and told me she was going to be her divorced friends "date" to his office Christmas party. Since friend is wealthy he also has an apartment in NYC so they would have stayed together there after a night of partying and drinking. I expressed strong reservations about this situation too. Other reasons I objected were that my wife offered herself up as his date (her words!) without discussing it with me, her friend never called to ask me if I was cool with it (later found out it wasn't ever his idea - my wife was the one who suggested it), and frankly, yes, the thought of my wife getting all dressed up to go out with another man as his date makes me jealous. Another reason is that this party was scheduled on a Friday and my wife has a routine on Friday nights -dinner, a short chat, and then she is asleep by 9PM, so I was really bothered that instead of choosing to go out with me on a Friday, she would totally step out for a very late night.
Third, we were at divorced friends' birthday brunch in NYC just a few days after the party issue had come up. I found it odd that my wife decided to sit next to her friend, in a single seat next to wall so I couldn't sit with her. She proceded to flirt with divorced friend, rubbing his arm, running her fingers through his hair as if she was his girlfriend and I wasn't even there. It further angered me that the other couples with us sat together, when divorced friend's new girl showed up my wife didn't move her seat, and my wife NEVER runs her fingers through my hair and hardly touches me in public.
My wife thinks I'm being overly jealous while I think she is trying to, or is engaging in behavior that just don't seem right for a married woman to do, plus her behavior crosses my boundaries.
My wife says she loves me, wouldn't think of being with anyone else, has no desire to be with anyone else.
Wondering if women here think if I am being an overly reactive, controlling and jealous husband, or if I have some legitimate reasons for concern
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  TherapistMarryAnn replied 5 years ago.

Hi, I'd like to help you with your question.

You are not being overly concerned or jealous, and you do have reason to be concerned.

Your wife's actions are making you uncomfortable. She is crossing a boundary and not listening to your concerns about it. It sounds like she sees her divorced friend as available and may feel it means she can flirt with him. But she is taking even flirting a bit far when she suggests spending the night with him, not just once but twice.

A spouse should never spend the night with someone of the opposite sex, especially against their partners objections. She is aware of how you feel about her actions, yet she continues to seek out her friend and try to be with him.

She is also showing her feelings out in public. Touching her friend, running her fingers through his hair and staying with him even though you and her friend's date were there shows that she is not thinking of how her actions are affecting those around her. And she also does not seem to care what others think.

Tell your wife that she needs to stop this behavior immediately. Let her know that her behavior is causing you to mistrust her and you are hurt by it. You are her husband and should come first in her life. If you are uncomfortable with her behavior, she has an obligation to stop doing it. If she will not, you may want to consider a separation. Sometimes it takes some time apart for the straying spouse to see the damage they are doing.

Also, tell your wife you would like to go to counseling together. If she refuses, go on your own. You need to decide how you want to handle the situation if your wife refuses to stop her behavior. To find a therapist, ask your doctor for a referral. Or you can search on line at Most of all, realize that your feelings in this situation are exactly what they should be. Your wife needs to stop what she is doing and start working on repairing your marriage.

I hope this has helped you,

TherapistMarryAnn and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 years ago.


My wife has agreed to stop this behavior though she sees nothing wrong with it, but did add that she misses going to bars and socializing and flirting with men and that I'm forcing her to give up 50% of her social life - all this after 15 years of marriage

Expert:  TherapistMarryAnn replied 5 years ago.

You are not forcing her to give up anything if you ask her to stop flirting with other men. Her insistence that she is doing nothing wrong and continuing to flirt is hurting you and your marriage. Marriage is based on trust, and without trust, a marriage cannot work. She is affecting your ability to trust her when she flirts with other men. Flirting is a form of cheating. Flirting hurts you and it takes her attention from you and puts it on other men. As your wife, her focus should be on you totally, as your attention is on her. By flirting and acting as she does with her friend, she is saying that you are not important to her. And that can damage and even end a marriage.

It may be that your wife is insecure and feels flirting makes her more attractive and wanted. But her insecurity is not an excuse to hurt you and your marriage. Your wife needs to admit that she has a problem and be willing to work on fixing it. Blaming you instead does not solve the problem and only makes the situation worse.


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