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Suzanne, Therapist, LCSW
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 919
Experience:  Experienced in treating trauma, relationship issues, co-dependency
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My wife has a very large group of male friends and many of

Customer Question

My wife has a very large group of male friends and many of these friends are single guys. She has them on her FB as well as on her BBM messenger, her skype and other communication sofware she uses on computer and cell phone. This make me feel very insecure as i have no idea what these relationships look like. I have spoken to her about this a few times and she says she cant understand why i feel insecure about it, at times she actually gets angry with me for bringing it up and then i just back off and leave it, but it builds up within me and then i will confront her again only to get the same response again. The other thing about these single guys she befriends is i know nothing about them which adds to my insecurity. I dont believe it is wrong for her to have male friends it is just that this part of her world seems so distant from me and so i feel as though i have no control over fighting for my marriage should one of these guys befriend her in a more emotional and intimate way. I have also grown up ith morals (if i can out it that way) that when i see her involved with this large community of male friends just goes against how i feel about this, in that i feel a relationship(marriage) should be totally transparent in that i as her husband have the right to be included in this life of hers so i can safe gaurd my marriage and family should one of these guys try their luck with her. What also adds to my frustrtaion is that she is a counsellor and so many of these guys who she befriends are guys she has counselled on their relationships, which leaves me to wonder if they cling to her cause she is fulling a void within them which their relationships cant fill, which then to me can be dangerous cause they have a need for her, or a want for her. Also the fact that me and my wife cant reach understanding in this worries me as like i said she is a surely of all people she should be able to work through this with me in a positive way and not a destructive way as has been happening 9Destructive in that we cant have a vocab about this issue withiut her getting really upset.)
Please help me understand this or help me find tools to deal with it in the right way, and please tell me if you feel i am been silly by feeling threatened by these male friends.
Much appreociated
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  Elliott, LPCC, NCC replied 5 years ago.
Seeking expert testimony is a sign of strength. A personal relationship with a caring professional is proven clinically effective

Dear friend,

Your wife is being inappropriate in her actions and lifestyle. Your relationship with her is not enough to fulfill her needs, whether they are just social or are more than that. You have every right to feel insecure and threatened.

If she is a counsellor then she should not have dual relationships with her clients. They must stay within the realm of professional contacts. What she is doing is professionally inappropriate according to the ethics rules of our profession.

It is also unethical in terms of her marriage relationship, and she is destroying your marriage and doesn't seem to know or, if she does, then she does nort care.

There are several reasons that she might be doing this, but this is mere speculation on my part:

  • she has a Narcissistic Personaltiy Disorder; she has a need for excessive amiration; she has a sense of entitlement to do as she pleases; she is preoccupied with fantasies of beauty, brilliance, ideal love, power, or limitless success; she has a grandiose sense of self-imporance; she exploits others for her personal goals; she lacks empathy for others (for YOU in particular).
  • she is suffering from other disorders or chemical imbalance that has made her hypersexual by affecting her frontal-temporarl lobe on her brain that regulates libido
  • she has bipolar disorder and is engaging in reckless sexual behaviour.
  • she has obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and her obsession is men/sex.

If you find that you are not fitting into her life, and she sees nothing wrong with it and will not change or seek help (narcissisists never seek help), then you have to either put up with it or consider leaving the marriage. Whether she knows it or not, she is pushing you out, and doesn't care about how you feel.

This is not normal behaviour and you should not have to put up with it, or even feel responsible for it. I'm sure that this is not what you want from this relationship, and if you don't see an end to this patterns, I urge you to leave, even though this is a difficult option to take. Consider the alternative.

I believe that in an ideal relationship, each partner should be precious to the other. You would do better with a relationship like that. This one just doesn't make it.

Warm regards,

Elliott Sewell, LPCC, NCC, CCMHC

I wish you strength, courage, and the wisdom to do what is best for you,
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Relist: Inaccurate answer.
I know my wife has not been unfaithful. It is just that she does not see anythong wrong with having male friends, in the sense that i dont know them on a personal basis so i feel as though i am in the dark to how their relationships look and work. I feel she should be making an effort to include me with these relationships. i also feel that it is not needed that she have so many different communication access points, i keep asking myself why this is so, i keep asking is there something that these guys offer her on a security basis or emotional basis which i am failing at. She says i need to just trust her and believe in her that should any of these guys try their luck so to say that her judgement will and who she is will put them in their place. If i am wrong to be feeling insecure and threatened by these male friends, how do i deal with that in a constructive way without destroying my marriage?
Expert:  Suzanne replied 5 years ago.

She may not have been unfaithful, but she is putting her professional license at risk, as well as her marriage. To communicate with ex-patients on social networks puts her at risk for accusations of dual-relationships, an ethical violation.

Because she is a counselor and can easily turn this back on you as if it is your problem,not hers, I strongly suggest that you find a very experienced, older therapist and get into couples counseling. You need to find someone who will not accept your wife's pseudo-explanations at face value.

Her behavior is inappropriate on a professional level, and dishonest at the personal level. You are right to be concerned, but you'll need professional help to sort through this. Counselors are often quite good at identifying other's weaknesses and excuses, and more often quite poor at recognizing their own shortcomings.