Spouse's workplace relationships, need advice

I have something on my mind, and not sure who to ask. Since I come to these forums daily, and have found wonderful advice, I thought I’d ask my question here:

My husband was very late coming home from work last night. 3 hours late. There was no phone call. We don’t own cell phones, but he has access to a phone at work.

As it turns out, a co-worker approached him late afternoon and asked if he would like a ride home earlier than his carpool ride. He accepted, as he had been at work since 7am. They left the office at 5:30pm and on the way home she asked if he would mind if they stopped off so she could drop something off with a friend. He didn’t mind.

The stop was at a local bar/restaurant. They went inside to find her friend, and sat down, she brought my husband a beer and began talking with her friend and two others at the table. He joined in the conversation. He mentioned to her at one point that he had been up since 6am and was feeling tired, she told him it would just be a few more minutes. He said the next thing he knew it was 10pm.

He got home at 10:30pm and sat in the car talking with her for another 15 minutes.

When he came in the house he crawled into bed and said he was tired. I asked if he was hungry and I told him I was glad he was ok, and I was just starting to worry, because he hadn’t called to let me know what happened. He let out a big sigh and told me what happened. I told him I loved him, gave him a kiss, rolled over to go to sleep. He let out another big annoying sigh, and out of no where said " I guess you don’t trust me".

I rolled back over and said in a kind and loving voice, I’m not angry, just thought you would have called to let me know what happened, either before leaving work, or using your co-workers cell phone. I told him I wasn’t angry, I just started to worry.

The co-worker he was with is single, and I have met her. She is very nice, a little flirty, with all the men in the office. This is the first time she has taken my husband home from work. She has called our home a few times, asking about work related situations, and a few times for advice about various things. They are friends on Facebook, and every once in a while she will go by my husband’s desk and drop off a candy bar, snack or drink. Her name comes up in a lot of work related conversations at home.

I went to sleep feeling a bit off thinking about my husband’s behavior, body language and tone of voice when he was telling me what happened. I woke this morning feeling better, yet something inside is telling me that I need to watch this situation.

I love and trust my husband, and we have talked about this subject before, opposite sex friendships. My husband thinks there is nothing wrong with them, and he has even said it is flattering when another woman pays him a compliment, or is flirtatious. He said at his age (47), it makes him feel good.

I feel so naive about these types of things. Down the road I don’t want to find myself in a situation where I look back and say… “I should have seen this coming.” Am I over reacting? I’ve heard people joke about “work spouses”, that have turned into emotional relationships.

I’ve been saying a rosary this morning asking for guidance and wisdom.

Thanks for any advice.

First of all, over my lifetime I have learned to trust my gut even if it seems crazy. There have been many instances in my life where my gut told me something ridiculous so I ignored it and it turned out to be correct in the end.

And maybe their relationship is innocent but there is something going on that makes you feel uncomfortable. One thing that really jumped out at me is that he was extremely late coming home from work but he did not give you the common courtesy to call you and let you know where he is. If my husband did that, it woudl scare me to death. I would start calling the police and checking local hospitals scared he would have been in a bad car wreck or something. So even if nothing is going on with that woman, he really needs to man up and repect you enough to let you know where he is. It isn’t that you are keeping tabs on him like you would a teenager, it’s respect for you.

But before this thing goes any further, talk to him. Don’t accuse him of anything, just talk to him. Let him know how you feel. Don’t suffer in silence, open up to him. He’s your husband. If you have a hard time with it, make an appt for the two of you with your priest.

Thank you for sharing your story and I am sorry that you are going through this stressful time.

A few things: First, is it typical for your husband to go somewhere and not tell you? If this is typical behavior of him then I would be slightly less worried. My husband and I tell one another and call one another if we are going shopping or are running late so I cannot relate, however I know other couples that don’t do this. I know a couple that they regularly make stops after work to run errands or do things and don’t call their spouse. Does your husband usually let you know where he is going or what he is doing?

Second: I am very sad that your husband admits he enjoys flirtations with other women. This is unfortunate. Your husband needs to find and discover his value and worth in Jesus Christ and feel good in that! Flirtations and compliments are fleeting and shallow.

Coming in three hours late was disrespectful and, well mean. Also, sorry to say his “excuse” of looking up and suddenly it was 10:00 pm holds no water. Especially when she dropped him off at home…did he run to the door and say “I have to get in my wife is probably worried sick it’s 10:15!” no, he sat in the car and chatted with her for fifteen more minutes! This, my dear is very sad. He knew then what time it was and didn’t care.

I will pray for you and pray for your marriage and your husband. Please take care as best as you can I am just heartbroken reading your story. Hopefully your marriage can be repaired before things go too far down the wrong road God bless you.

So no one there had a cell phone he could borrow? Nor did the bar have a phone he could use?

If my husband had been missing from close of business until 10pm, I would have been out looking for him. Heck who knows what could have happened? Car wreck? Health problem? Who knows.

What did you think happened? When he didn’t call and didn’t show up? Does he do this often? Not let you know where he is for 3 hours? Did you make dinner for him?

This is not acceptable.

There is no way that this could be considered acceptable.

Where was the phone call? What in the world made him think it was acceptable for him to hang out at a bar with a single woman and not call and inform his wife? I really don’t care how platonic the friendship is.

If this was me and my husband pulled this…I would have been looking for him…baby in the car and driving around looking for him. I would have also called the police at that point, worried sick that he had been in a terrible wreck somewhere and couldn’t get ahold of me.

My husband doesn’t have a cell phone either. He also has a bad habit of poorly handling time management. However, he is always where he says he is. I can easily call his buddies, mother, father, work…whomever I know he is with and get a “sorry, I’m a little late…I’m heading home now!”

If I was under the impression he was at work and due home at XYZ time…and I couldn’t get ahold of him at said time…I’d be worried sick. After an hour…police would be informed and I’d be in my car looking.
If he came home and told me this story…my trust level with him would be almost gone. All I would say is “what in the world were you thinking…hanging out with a single woman at a bar for 3 hours and not calling me?”

I see no respect there. That is sad and wrong.

I was just reading some of your older posts …

You have a teenager?

What did you tell him? Where did he think his father was?

You and your husband need to have a long talk about this, but honestly? I can’t think of a good reason for him to be 3 - 5 hours late without a phone call. Add to that, that he was with a single woman at a bar??? He has lots of explaining to do.

You misread :slight_smile: The post said “treat him like you would a teenager.” Just so you know :slight_smile:

You know your husband and you know your relationship. All of us here, we don’t have that background or that trust in place to give the best advice. Clearly what he did was wrong. He should have called you. I personally would not fly off the handle or jump to any conclusions, but I would very openly explain to my husband what I was feeling and why I was feeling it. Be open and honest with him. And, quite frankly, if it were to happen to me a second time… well, my husband would certainly get an unpleasant ear-full. I am not saying to excuse him–I can’t give you that advice. Only you know your husband well enough to know exactly how to move forward.

My heart and prayers are with you. Your heart must be genuinely knotted up over this. For what it is worth, I am always striving to be a more loving, gentle and patient wife. In reading your post, something about how you speak and carry yourself tells me that you are the kind of woman I want to be. I pray for many blessings over your marriage!

Any chance you could get him a cell phone? Hubbys is $45 per month for unlimited everything. $45 a month is worth it because we avoid a lot of drama and repeat trips to stores, lol. If you don’t have a cell because you aren’t very tech savvy you can always get a base model and not a super high end smart phone.

I’d be a bit ticked if my husband was 3-5 hours late and didn’t call. I’d be hurt and angry if he did it with a single co-worker at a bar and then sat with her for 15 minutes in the car chatting. Not because I don’t trust my husband or because I don’t want him to have friends and some decompression time after work, but because he made me worry, treated me disrespectfully, and because he didn’t bring his friend in the house to chat so that I could be included in what sounds like an interesting conversation.

That said, I have been there and so has my husband. Riding with friends who don’t have a schedule or who don’t have anyone at home waiting often results in stops here and there and a massive delay getting wherever you’re going. And, since my husband works long hours and I am at home with the kids alone for long hours, if we get into a social situation where there are actual adults to to talk with…well, let’s just say we get to gabbing and lose track of time.

I wouldn’t make a big deal of the female work buddy and I wouldn’t make a big deal about him having a beer and chatting with people. I’d focus on the fact that he didn’t call you to let you know he was ok and that he’d be home. I’ve done this a few times. I’ve had to tell my husband that I don’t mind he was with friends relaxing and letting off some steam, but that I was worried and that I need him to make a quick call to let me know he’s ok and about when he will be home so I know if I’m feeding him or not.

Um, no. She said she has a 10th grader.

I can understand why you’re upset, but if this is the first time this kind of thing has happened, I would not freak out. He made a mistake in not calling, happens to the best of us. Just make sure you’re clear with him that next time you expect a call.

Well, I guess I’m in the minority here … but my H and I do not have friends of the opposite sex that we see and spend time alone with … period. And you do know your H and you’re writing to see if your feelings of discomfort seem reasonable considering the facts.

You are not acting inappropriately. This woman is trouble and she is casting her line in any direction she can trying to catch some poor fool. What are they talking about? I’ll bet you dollars to donuts she’s confiding her various troubles to your kind, tenderhearted husband.

This happens constantly in today’s world…where women are in large numbers are partnered with men. Many times there is an increasingly intimate sharing of troubles and concerns from work to home life … and that intimacy can and does lead to infidelity.

Your H also admitted that he was flattered by the attention. BIG RED FLAG. He as much as told you that he feels he’s lacking something in his life … the admiration and attention this woman is giving him.

I would try to find a nice, quiet time to speak to your H, uninterrupted. Maybe over dinner out … without worry about your kids or other things going on.

Good luck and God Bless.

Where there is smoke, there is fire.

I noticed that most of the responses have been from women. I will attempt to give a guys perspective.

Sometimes when you have other people take you home it can lead to other things like them needing to stop places or meet other people. It makes it difficult to tell the person who is taking you home that you don’t want to stop because they were nice enough to take you home. So I can sort of understand that he just had to go along with what the driver was doing because you sort of are at their mercy.

From my past experience, mothers/wives/girlfriends tend to like to know where there husband/son/boyfriend are at all times. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing but guys tend to be more carefree and just sort of go with the flow without having to always “check in.” Sometimes it can also get embarrassing when you are with other people as you get comments like oh what do you have to check in with your wife every 5 minutes. Also maybe he thought that the earlier ride would get him home earlier before he typically got home so there would be no need to call?

In sum, from a guys point of view the ride/stop and failure to call is understandable. However, I do believe that the 15 minute conversation while outside the house was uncalled for and a cause for concern. There is no reason he couldn’t have left at that point.

I agree with this. One thing that stood out in your OP was that she is flirty and she brings him little gifts occasionally. I would definitely keep an eye on this situation. Another red flag was the fact that your husband accused you of not trusting him when you had said nothing of the sort. Definitely talk to your husband about it. You should be able to get a better feel for the whole situation after doing so.

I hope it is nothing and stays nothing. :thumbsup:

I am betting you aren’t married. It should not be embarrassing for a husband to call his wife and let him know where he is, especially if he’s going to be three hours late. Calling her to let her know he is safe is called “respect”. I don’t keep tabs on my husband but if I was expecting him home from work at 7pm and 9pm rolled around and I hadn’t heard from him I would be scared something bad had happened to him.

Sadly, these are true insights. Some women have no hope of marrying unless they break up another marriage first.

Ask your husband this: what would he think if you had a meeting with a group in a bar-restuarant, and at the end a single guy, who in the past has sent you flowers, kept the conversation going for three hours, and then you spent extra time alone with him in his car? Certainly he would see red flags too. Last night happened because your husband has inadvertantly been sending this co-worker mixed signals. He needs to put the “gifts” back on her desk and seek rides elsewhere to set her straight, and you need to show him that his actions are possibly contributing to her attitude. And as a side note, I would stay as upbeat as possible, and do not criticize your husband. Be loving and pray.

Ok, while I do think you two might need a third party (counselor) now to discuss this and some other things that might improve your communication. It could be a symptom, but the advice given about women trying to steal your man, is tiresome…just because she is a flirt and gives occasional gifts. I give some gifts and know some men more than a passing “hello!”. You get to know small things about what people like and it is just friendly.

We are supposed to love God with all our hearts mind and strength, and our neighbor as ourselves…that doesn’t just mean…everyone but the opposite sex.

If there is a problem with your husband…like being 47 and feeling mortality creeping in…maybe he needs a change where he can ease that. It is awfully short-sighted of him if another person who could possibly tear apart the beauty he has in you and your family with him.

Don’t look at the other woman who gave him a ride home, HE was inappropriate by not calling home, and had a 15 minute conversation…I can sometimes talk to people for hours if they let me. It doesn’t mean that the destruction and worse evil of that destruction being what I am using to be happy. It would be stupid too.

He may just be having trouble communicating his grief and frustration of getting older. He may be afraid to tell you. But counseling could be good, regardless.

I’ll give a guy’s perspective too: This behavior is disrespectful to one’s spouse and not appropriate. There certainly may be situations where one may go out after work, or drive people home, of the opposite sex; I’ve been involved in such situations. Communication is essential to trust in such situations.

Driving someone home? Sure…call the wife, tell her what you are doing, how long it will be, and when you will be home. Going out after work? Maybe…not a good idea with a single person of the opposite sex. With a group that may be fine with spousal permission. Then invite the wife to come. If she doesn’t want to come and says its okay to go, tell her where you are and that if she wants to show up feel free to do so. Also keep in contact and state when you’re going home.

Definitely address this incident with your husband. Regardless of who he was with, it’s inconsiderate to show up 3 hours late from work without letting your spouse know where you are. There was no way for you to know if your husband was okay, or if something had happened to him.

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