Serious question for men and women


#1

Ok, iam going to ask both genders a question, and i do not want to be laughed at or ridiculed because this is not a laughing matter, it caused an argument, and my husband asked me to post this, please note, he does not see anything wrong with it.

my husband wrote to a single former female colleague that was a friend of his that he knew in Germany. He did not tell me about it, he considers keeping this information from me perfectly alright,

how did i find out about it? she wrote him a letter today and i can understand some of it. i was really surprised to see a letter from a woman i don’t even know. i spoke to my husband during his lunch break and read the letter to him in German, and he translated it.

i was mad that he did not tell me about writing her, and was even madder that he says it is alright for him to have single female friends that he used to know. i told him it is not okay, and that what would father tell him if i told father about it? i told him likely father would tell Frank that it is not okay to not tell me about it.

i wrote the woman a polite letter and told her i did not know her, and that Frank is married, and she never bothered writing back.Frank tells me she linked his website to hers so he could keep in touch with all the friends he knew in Germany, including single ones.

Iam not comfortable with him having single female friends, not because i feel threatened, but to me it seems improper for a married man to write to a single woman. this single woman tells Frank in the email that she had been to our city… it all sounds suspicious to me… why would Frank not tell me about this woman? why would he go behind my back and converse with her and then try to make light of it?

i don’t believe he would have an affair, as that does not sound like him, but why defend his actions as okay? why would he put me through that? after 9 years together, he writes a woman and never tells me about it until i read the letter? yes, iam angry, and feel like he was lying to me, if not that, then feel like he was deliberately dishonest.

would you as a man or a woman put up with this from your spouse? what would you do if your wife or husband had done that to you?


#2

I see no issue with this and both my dh and I have friends that are single of the opposite sex that are not friendly with the other spouse.
While it works in our marriage I do understand that some couples are not comfortable with this for whatever reason(s).


#3

Perhaps your husband did not tell you for fear that you would react the way you are right now. I am not saying that makes it right, that just may be a reason. Regardless, it sounds like it was just an error in judement on his part, I am sure it is nothing to worry about.


#4

MyPhilomena,

Perhaps you could help us better evaluate the situation if you give us a “timeline” of events.

You are right to be concerned … but I’m not sure ho much ?

For instance :

How long ago was their original association ?

How long was that before you two met ?

When did their regular association end ?

How often has he contacted her without your knowledge ?

How often does he still contact her ?

In general, I don’t see anything wrong with a man writing a friendly letter to an old friend from college or the service.
— If they were lovers then it might be a little wierd that he didn’t tell you.

Do you actually have a list of every “old friend” and former buddy that your DH had over the years -male and female ?

I’m surprised that you took matters into your own hand and wrote her to tell her to leave him alone.

I would feel that you crossed the line here. I would want my wife to let me change or end the realtionship in my own way in my own time. This certainly did not endear you to the situation - and if your husband is lying and going behind your back I don’t think you helped the situation.

In short – we don’t have enough of the facts to help you determine what we’d consider “reasonable”.

God Bless


#5

IMO there is nothing wrong with maintaining single relationships. Especially when they involve long distances! That seems much better than, say, a close relationship with a fellow parishioner or neighbor.

The real issue appears to be that he was not open and honest. And I think it is right of you to question him because of his dishonesty. The simple fact that he hid this from you makes it suspicious. Whereas if he had shared his friendship with you, it could have been a beneficial aspect of your marriage.

When you discuss it with him, try to emphasize that you are not angry about the friendship, but about his dishonesty.

I bet that is what really stings? If he has not told you about this, what else does he hide? And why? Have you two agreed to disagree on levels of honesty in the relationship? Is this unusual behavior for him?


#6

You ask a very good question, and one I agree needs to be addressed.

Now, let me answer by saying first that I am a woman, and I am in my 30’s.

The fact that your husband kept this information from you…well, that seems to be a strike against him, but then again, could it be possible that he didn’t even consider bringing it up? I would not automatically assume he was concealing anything from you. If he were deliberatly concealing info, then yes, that’s an issue. But it has less to do with the woman and more to do with some kind of trust issue the two of you may have.

I personally have no problem with men having single female friends, or women having single (or married) male friends. I am a single woman, and quite honestly, I look at many married men I know as examples and I respect them and call them friends. I also have worked extensively and almost exclusively in male-dominated fields, and thus I am comfortable with men. I also know how to keep them at arm’s length, and so do many of these men know how to keep women at arm’s length. That does not actually diminish the friendship, but rather, reinforces it because the boundaries are clear.

I do think it’s important to have friends of the opposite gender, because we all need a reality check sometimes, we need people to go to that we can trust who can give us the opposite gender perspective. I love my female friends to death, but sometimes I am pretty sure they don’t understand men, and I’ve been priviledged at times to be able to give male friends the female perspective, while yet having somewhat of an understanding of the male side.

Men and women are not the samel, but I do not believe in the whole “When Harry met Sally” idea of male-female relationships. Men and women CAN be frieinds, but I do think that if the people in question are married and maintaining friendships with the opposite gender, then their spouses should be aware of it and have the opportunity to meet that person, and be invited into that friendship…not excluded.

So…you’re right to be concerned if there was a deliberate effort to exclude you from the friendship. But if it was just an unthinking omission, then you are overreacting. Give your husband a little trust and write the woman a letter of apology and ask to get to know her before you make any further assumptions.

I once lost a friend because of an assumptive wife, and I will forever regret not the loss of just his friendship, but her potential friendship as well. We could have been alllies, and ironically, she jumped down my throat when I had actually called to congratulate her on the birth of her baby.

After she screamed at me I didn’t even bother to send her a card for fear she would call the police. Don’t be that lady…please.


#7

frank knew this person when she was with her then boyfriend in germany in 1999, they were all friends at the time, and had been for a few years. she is apparently single now, and he does not know for how long, and neither do i, and she did not specify that in her email to him, only stating that her ex was living in Bonn.

you might be correct in your statement that i had “crossed the line” however, i can be territorial when it comes to my husband, as there was an episode that provoked me to be territorial in Berlin in 1998, where an old collegue of his liked him, and she made eyes at him once during a company party, and was lighting his smoke for him, and he and her were talking in my presence like i was not even there, so i got up and left.

the second episode was when frank and i were sitting outside at an outdoor cafe, and she had seen us, and she came up and rubbed frank’s hair and sweetly said hello fenny, and that made me mad, and he seen it, and he moved away from her. i had stewed all the way home.

he never gave her the time of day, but for frank, he seems to think talking to single women without my knowledge is perfectly a okay, and for me it is not a okay unless i know them, and know what their relationship is with him.

fenny is the type of man who people really get along with, both men and women get along well with him, as he is very nice, not prone to crankiness and he is just a lovely man.

what bugs me is he did not tell me about this person because he figured it was no big deal, and chances are, it is no big deal. it was no big deal in the past, and i know i should not be ticked, but iam.

i would not be ticked about it if he had told me. fenny knows i have very strong moral values, and he knew this about me when we got together in 1997. i guess i just figure that everything should be divulged, absolutely everything, no secrets at all.

and blunt honesty in all things, because that is what he gets from me, all the time. i do not write men, single or not without his knowledge. i associate with couples, and not single men. it is not appropriate in my mind to do so.

frank is german, and he has a different view point then i do germans have different views on life than i do. they really value their friends, and their friends are usually very close as i have seen first hand.

so perhaps i was over reacting? i guess, so i will make an apology right away. by the way, when i left the party that his company had when that woman lit his smoke, he came right after me and we sat on the train going home and he seen how hurt i was, and he said sorry, and he meant it.


#8

I think your hubby will appreciate the apology. He sounds like a good guy.

Being recently married, my husband and I each have friends that we made before we married (and even before we met each other) who happen to still be single. What are we supposed to do? Call them and tell them we can’t speak to them until they are married too? That wouldn’t make much sense. :slight_smile:

Since your husband does not encourage flirtation (even when women throw themselves at him as you describe in your last post) he probably won’t mind if you respectfully ask him to communicate with you about his contact with friends (whether you know them or not). After all, it’s ok to want to know how his day went, and since his old friends are a part of his life and you love him, it’s natural to want to know how his life is going. :slight_smile: Just without any territorial nonsense.


#9

actually, we just finished speaking about this. no, he does not encourage flirtation. not at all. i did apologize for sure. he did tell me that if he has female friends, that he will tell me about it. that iam fine with. it was the not telling that made me growly.

we spoke for almost an hour, no back biting, no name calling exct. that is not our style. frank is a very calm man, and he is a lovely man. we discussed it, and he said sorry for not telling me. so it is okay, i hope he does not forget to tell me in the future.because that would not make me happy after have come to an agreement.

but knowing fenny the way i do, he will keep his word. this is a man who never makes eyes at women and never comments about them, so it even makes me feel stupider that i already do.

i did apologize, and that is the end of it. one should never get uptight about it i suppose in the first place.


#10

:thumbsup: :thumbsup:


#11

Certainly your reaction is within the normal range for a woman in your situation Philomena - hardly veering to the irrational. I’m glad you guys sorted it out constructively :thumbsup:


#12

Is he a letter writer normally? I mean, does he send letters to other people or do you do this together?

Maybe I’m just a cave-man, but I have NEVER written a letter to a woman I wasn’t trying to woo. Perhaps he is just very different than me, but I can say for sure that if I ever did that, it would be a very bad sign. If, however, writing letters is within his normal personality, then you probably have this thing put to bed.


#13

never apologize for thinking what you think or saying what you feel.
if it bothers you, let him know.

if something i did bothered my wife and it was a honest mistake on my part, i’ll rectify it. otherwise, i’ll explain myself.

myself, i wouldn’t write without letting my wife know as a courtesy to her. married men shouldn’t be secretly writing to single OR married women if there is a chance their wife could misconstrue the situation. i care more about my wifes feelings than the feelings of every female friend combined.


#14

yes, frank does write alot of letters, and he loves to keep in contact with old friends. heis very social, as well frank has alot customers for his software, about 400. so he does write quite a bit.


#15

My husband and I both have single friends of the opposite sex. It has never bothered either of us. We frequently email or phone our friends without telling each other. It has not been a problem.

However, if one of us is invited out to lunch by a friend of the oppostie sex we do always tell each other about that. One of my husband’s best friends is his ex-fiance (she has since married). And, in fact, I am friends with her too.

When my husband and I first met, we discussed the issue of opposite sex friends and made sure we were in agreement on how to handle communications with them.


#16

I dont see anyhting wrong at all about what he did. as far as him not telling you i suspect he was afraid of the reaction he ultimately got.


#17

This is really the crux of the matter.

I once lost a friend because of an assumptive wife, and I will forever regret not the loss of just his friendship… Don’t be that lady…please.

Just a thought on this, being on the other side so to speak. It may be that you know her, personally, and know the situation, intimately enough to know that she is assumptive.

But I know that in the situation of both these women my husband was so friendly with, I have been portrayed TO THEM, by my husband, as all kinds of awful things. They may not be aware of the full situation. They may, or they may not, know, for instance, that my husband never once mentioned them to me, or that he was communicating with them via e-mail accounts that he also hid from me, or that he threw a fit and insisted on deleting things when I found the account, or that one of these accounts had little in it BESIDES a long inbox full of this particular woman, or that I asked him repeatedly to just have them send e-mail to our joint account if it was on the up and up, or that I have never once had a problem with any of his other female friends or co-workers, or that I asked to be invited into these friendships, and asked to meet the second one and was prevented from even going to his work, especially when she might be there. (She works in the emergency room, btw, and this even included spending 4 hours in the middle of the night, waiting for stitches for our 4 year old, at another hospital, when they would have whisked us right in at the one he works at. :mad: )

I am actually willing to give them (the first especially, due to different circumstances) the benefit of the doubt that they don’t know how badly it all looks to me. Maybe it was a totally innocent friendship on their part, but his little ‘thing’ in his heart? I’ll probably never know. Unfortunately, I’m undoubtedly not getting the same benefit of the doubt from them, because he has led them both to believe that I am some kind of avenging, jealous Valkyrie who flies into furies if he so much as says good morning to another woman, and that I demanded he cut off all contact. That’s not quite how it was.

As they say, there are three sides to the story, his, hers, and the truth.


#18

This argument bothers me. It seems to me a bit of a blame the victim argument. Yes, some spouses ARE that jealous, but most aren’t.

I guess, to me, it’s a little like saying to your parents, “You see… LOOK at your behavior! THIS is why I didn’t just tell you I was dealing drugs!” If the frienship is inappropriate, and apparent secrecy sure makes it look that way, then there’s something to be upset about, and it’s unfair to then blame the other for being legitimately upset and justifying the original secrecy on that. :confused:


#19

I have many single friends that are girls, in fact most of my friends are girls. Im 20 and In a now 4 year relationship with a young woman who I am thinking about proposing to actully. But I dont tell her when I write them emails or letters all the time. I wouldnt be worried about this at all. If hes not worried about you knowing and willing to tell you everything I wouldnt be worried about it. If you dont feel comfortable with not knowing hes writing her, ask him to let you know and tell him that youd like to write her as well and who knows, ,maybe you can all become really good friends!

Good luck

Brad


#20

There is nothing wrong with being friends with a single person so long as the wife knows the single person personally and is included in activities that the husband and single woman engage in. If it’s a single woman at work that he sees everyday then there is little you can do about that, but if he starts getting involved in things with her outside of office hours and not including you I would be upset. Given that she’s in Germany, and this is an internet relationship which you have no supervision over, I would nip it in the bud. It is completely inappropriate and his secretiveness is uncalled for. You have a right to know what is going on.


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