Marriage and taking "time off"


Hi every one. I have a concern that has been bothering me for quite sometime. I can’t really say if there is anything wrong with what my wife is doing or not. The problem is that my wife use to be a stay at home mother and take care of the kids while I worked. She started to become friends with a lady neighbor of ours, I didn’t think anything bad of it. Finally as time started to pass, they started to get together on fridays or saturdays and talk. She would get home at about 9 or 10 pm. Ok no big deal, I thought, she needs to be away from the kids a while since she has a stressful day. Then they started to hang out together and have a few drinks at the neighbors house and as time passed by she would get home later. Now, I do trust my wife that she is not doing anything that should betray my trust in her. But it just started to bother me that she would get home at around 3 am or so. She has started to work monday thru saturday for about 2 months, and the last time that she visited our neighbor for a “get together” was about 3 weeks ago. Am I right in being bothered by this? I talked to my wife about how I felt, but she thinks that i just want her to be at home with out going out. I told my wife that I didn’t have a problem with her visiting her neighbor, but I just don’t like that she is out that late.


I assume you’re not doing anything like that yourself, right? I really think your concerns are legitimate. This doesn’t sound like normal, healthy behavior for any spouse to be engaging in, husband or wife.

I am no expert… but perhaps you might suggest having this lady friend over to your house? If your wife resists this suggestion, I’d be inclined to think something less innocent is going on. It is entirely possible that she just likes “girl time” and the late night out is a great way for her to unwind. If your marriage isn’t suffering in any other ways, I’d even buy that excuse. But I’ve seen some really ugly and sinful activities disguised by “visiting a friend” before. IMHO, you’d be wise to get to the bottom of this if you’re uneasy with it.


Get a sitter and take her out, yourself. Telling her to invite the friend over to your house is also a good idea.


Thanks for your reply. I don’t do anything like that, the last time I went out with anyone else except with my wife was in October. My co-workers always invote me to go out bar hopping with them, but I decline.
We recently moved to another house a block away, and my wife told me that the neighbor said that she was going to hang out at our house. To this date, I have yet to see that happening. There is something else also. My wife tells me that her friend does not feel comfortable when I’m around. I can’t understand why, I have never done anything to her, I’ve always have been courteous and respectful. Last week after I come home from work the neighbor was visiting. I walked in said hi to everyone, then after about 10 minutes she left. I asked my wife if the neighbor told her that I was home and she got the chills when she heard my car. My wife replied yes. I told my wife that I have never done anything for her to do that and I said sarcastically that it’s probably cause Im the devil. I know I probably shouldn’t have said that, the neighbor acts that way.
As far as taking my wife out. I would love to do that more often, but sometimes I have financial restraints that doesn’t allow me to do that.


A fancy cup of coffee is $3.00.

My husband and I are strapped for cash too but one of our favorite “dates” is to go to a coffee shop, get some coffee and do crosswords.
You can go for walks.
Get a bottle of wine and give her a massage.

It doesn’t cost a lot of money to let her know you are thinking of her. :slight_smile:


Yes, that’s true, But I like to take my wife out of the same routine and to do that I need to pay a baby sitter. for us to go out, we really need to go to the next biggest city because we live in a small town where everyone closes shop at 9 pm. There are hardly any places to go, except for the local grocerie store and little shops. We have to drive 12 miles away to go and find something to do. I have no problems with traveling or anything, but I want our time to feel like a date and not a family outing, since we have many of those already and hardly any dates.


You know your wife better than anyone. If your gut is telling you that something is wrong or amiss - it probably is.

It sounds like there isn’t very good communication between you and your wife. Maybe that is something you can suggest to her that you’d like the two of you to work on? The best way to do that is to spend TIME together. The suggestions for going out for coffee etc. are good ones!
Or just scheduling time together after the kids are in bed.
It’s amazing how well that works (to schedule time together)!

I think this friend of hers sounds like bad news. She sounds to me like she is a little jealous of you and that’s why she doesn’t like to be around you and your wife together.
Just my 2 cents though…


Could it be that your wife is finding friendship elsewhere because you are not putting her and your marriage relationship as a high priority? Your response seems to be full of rationalizations. Maybe this is a good topic to discuss with your priest in confession. Or consider Marriage Encounter. Or really make an effort to be a thoughtful considerate husband so that your wife would rather spend time with you.


I am going to come at this a bit differently. First if you don’t like this person no matter how nice and courteous you are she can tell!!! Women can always feel those kind of things… SO she could be feeling defensive and trust me i wouldn’t want to hang out someones house where i felt their spouse didn’t like me.
"the last time that she visited our neighbor for a “get together” was about 3 weeks ago"

**So she only sees her every 3 weeks or so? THats not very often…I agree yes perhaps you should take her out on a date. But men often forget that we women need other females to hang out with and socialize with. I try to go out with one of my female friends at least every other week. MY husband does the same with his guy friends. I believe that its important to have friends to have a healthy relationship.

I don’t think this woman is jealous of you and your wife…again she just might be defensive, maybe she’s uncomfortable around men, you should at least give her the benefit of the doubt. As to the whole staying out late, only you know whether your wife would cheat on you, but I suggest you trust your wife and realize that it must feel good to hang out with women.**


When was the last time she went out prior to meeting this woman? Maybe she found another person in a similar circumstance that she likes to hang out with. I am a wife and I like to go out to three am talking with friends, but my husband gets jealous too! I see no malice here!


i guess i am just traditional but i dont think hanging out with your girlfriends till 3 am in the morning is a healthy habit… :frowning:

i do think you should communicate that nicely to your wife. also take her out on dates… do you volunteer to do stuff at home? so that she gets some time off from the kids while she is at home? she needs to have some “me time” at home too. try that as that might be the reason why she stays out late. also, i know that i personally didnt like to be around my friends in the evening when their husbands returned as i felt guilty about intruding on their family time. she might be feeling the same.
it is also unsafe for your wife to be out so late. so let her know that you are concerned about that as well.



I think you might have hit the nail in the head. We were, or are, going thru a hard time with our marriage. I have recognized where my faults have affected my marriage and trying to repair them with the help of our Lord. I didn’t place my marriage as a top priority before, now I am. We have lived thru a marriage retreat already and since then I have tried to be a better husband and father. I am more considerate toward her and the Lord has help me change many of my ill attitudes and behaviors. I’m on a continuous struggle to better my person, not only spiritually, but also as a husband and father. It’s been more difficult for my wife because she has been affected by our problems. We have started to communicate with each other more than before we lived our retreat, which is a good thing. She has told me that she needs to heal because there are still some open wounds. I asked her to start attending church and live more of a spiritual life because I know God will help. But she tells me that she does not feel comfortable or ready to take that step because she tells me that she does not feel anything toward me. I understand her situation, and the only thing I can do is pray for her.


Just a thought, but I may be wrong. When you write “drinks”, I assume you refer to alcohol. A wife who stays out that late drinking alcohol with a friend might have a problem with drinking too much. If they’re both drinking too much that might be why they don’t want you around noticing their drinking problems. In any case alcohol or not, there seems to be a problem of some sort.


I hate to be the one dissident here but I guess I don’t see anything wrong with a wife OCCASIONALLY going out with a girlfriend, even if she drinks alcohol there and stays out until 3 am. I’m wondering if the original poster could clarify if the 3 am situation is just a one-time thing or if that’s the usual time her visits conclude.

In our case, my DH does not drink at all, and I have been invited to events with old female or female and male friends in the past that he did not wish to attend. Provided we discussed it beforehand, and agreed it was ok for me to go, I don’t see any problem with it. If it were happening more frequently than either partner thought it should, I could see a definite problem.

I know plenty of husbands who engage in a regular card game or watch sports with their friends, and who may be out quite late as a result. If that is acceptable in some households I’m not sure what the difference is when a woman wants outside friendships and activities (esp. with other females). When my girlfriends and I get together we mostly joke about old times, talk about their kids, our jobs, and families. I leave those visits feeling envigorated and more positive towards my husband!


But don’t you think it a little strange that her friend doesn’t want to be around her husband? I am not taking either side here but that would send up some major red flags for me.

I’m all for having friendships but when a spouse is completely left out I would be concerned.


yes thats my concern too… if a spouse is completely left out, then there is reason for concern. but then the marriage has been having problems to begin with… so maybe the friend is uncomfortable around the husband as she knows the details…


If something bothers you, it bothers you. You don’t need to make it “right.”

I think perhaps you should spend a little time thinking about why this bothers you, and then tell your wife that it bothers you and why you think it may do that. Clearly state that you don’t think that something that bothers you necessarily has anything else wrong with it. It may just be that you don’t like waking up at 2 am and not knowing where she is. You never know; she may be pleasantly surprised to know that you miss her. Be open to the idea that she may have another take on what you’re experiencing. Even if it is something that you don’t like to admit–you’re jealous or you want to control her–admit your feelings. Ask her help in coping with them.* If you want a woman to be your best friend, you have to treat her like your best friend and tell her what you’re feeling!* It’s like being a man’s friend…you have to be willing to give him some room when he’s having an off day and be available to let him tell you his feelings in his own good time and in his own way…like doing essentially letting him do all the talking without analysis, which isn’t going to be much.

Actually, these are just two different styles of handling feelings, and can belong to either men or women. I’m suggesting, I guess, that because she feels she’s particularly the wounded one in your marriage right now, you would gain some points by handling emotions in her way as much as you can honestly manage. I’m not suggesting that she doesn’t ever need to do things your way.

It may just be as simple as the fact that your wife has chosen to keep someone as a close friend that openly doesn’t like you. It may be, though, that your wife uses her to download her marital frustrations. Girlfriends do that. Cindi may not like you because she only hears one side of your marriage; that is, the side that your wife has a hard time coping with.

This is what I mean by “be open” to your dear wife’s ideas:
You: "I’m not totally sure why, but it bothers me that you’re making a habit of chatting with Cindi until 3 am."
She: "I think you don’t like that you can’t control Cindi. You want to keep a curfew on me, like you’re my daddy or something."
It is a personal foul for her to project that kind of motive on to you, but let’s “be open”…
You: "Well, I hope I’m not doing that. I don’t want to try to control you. I know things have been hard on you in our marriage, and I really do want things to be different.

“I just miss having you there at night, especially since you’ve been working extra hard. Do you think maybe next Saturday night, you can come back over once the kids are in bed? You can pick one of those chick flicks if you like…I don’t even mind if Cindi comes over. If she’s your friend and she’s helping you manage all you manage, after all, I’m willing to try to get along with her.”

“And hey, we really need to find a sitter. I miss taking you on dates, (Insert-Pet-Name).”


**I agree totally and i still say that even if you think you are showing indifference based on these postings it seems like you don’t like her very much and that is coming across to her!

I disagree that going out for drinks or staying in for drinks means that she has an alchohol problem. One or two drinks over a 4- 5 hour period proably isn’t overkill (i would even say 3 depending on her size and weight).**


Your wife is hanging out at someone’s house drinking until 3AM. :eek:

Are you driving over there and picking her up?

Is someone dropping her off? Who? Have they been drinking?

Did she consume alcohol? Was your wife intoxicated?

Does she know that she can lose her license, go to jail and be fined for DUI?

The friend doesn’t want to hang out at your home? Because he/she is uncomfortable?:eek:

Why is friend’s feelings more important than hubby’s feelings? Why is the hubby not allowed to come along? Why is it only one friend? Most girls want to hang out and drink/party with all their friends. What in the world are two grown women doing drinking all alone until 3am? :eek:

There are bigger issues to figure out before hubby even gets to the issue of how to spend time alone or whether he is communicating.

I’d sit down and have a really open and honest chat with the wife over this one.

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