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POLL RESULTS: Good for the Goose?: (19 comments)

POLL: Good for the Goose?

Friday, March 12, 2010 - 12:00 AM

A reader writes... Q: My wife has a male friend whom she met a few years before me.

While we were dating, she would often say that her friend, Gary, had been trying to sleep with her since the day they met. She would occasionally share with me the sexually charged comments and conversation that they would have. The few times I’ve met him, he gave me a clear vibe of jealousy. One day I mentioned to my wife that a co-worker and I had gone out to lunch. It happened to be Valentine’s Day, but neither of us gave that a second thought. (I had sent a dozen roses each to my wife and her mother as a token of my love for them.)

My co-worker talked a lot about her boyfriend, and I was just sharing information about my day. My wife immediately went into a rage, and dogged me about this relationship until I was forced basically to give it up.

Her reasons for wanting me to end the relationship were her “intuition” and the fact that she didn’t trust my co-worker. Right now, I am at the peak of my resentment. I resent my wife for forcing me to end an innocent relationship, while she gets to carry on a friendship that for the most part doesn’t seem to be in our best interest. I feel disrespected and hurt deeply. Every time I see the hours that they spend on the phone together and the multiple text messages, I feel like I have been slapped in the face.

I feel like she can force me to abide by her rules, but she considers herself above them. I want her to end the relationship with her friend. What should I do? I feel like my marriage is hinging on this outcome.

POLL: What should he do
 
1% (28) Continue to see his friend in secret
 
56% (1406) Insist his wife end her relationship with *her* friend
 
33% (834) See a divorce lawyer. This is the tip of the iceberg
 
5% (126) Take a "wait and see" attitude
 
4% (101) Make a new friend. And learn to text.
2495 people have voted in this poll. (This poll is not active.)
CaptainSmokeblower
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Re: Good for the Goose? (Score: 1)
posted Friday, March 12, 2010 - 01:19 AM (#55333)

We often assume others are guilty of the same feelings/behavior we dislike in ourselves. I once knew a guy who assumed everyone was trying to steal from him. Turned out he was a thief. That sounds like how the wife is behaving. We only have one side here, but if the writer is accurate about the sexual tension between his wife and her friend, even if they aren't having an affair (The other guy wouldn't be jealous if they're having an affair, but could you have misjudged smugness for jealousy?), it's an inappropriate relationship for her to have with someone other than her husband. I voted for asking her to end the relationship, but I'd be ready to talk to a lawyer and have copies of those calls and text messages.


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reynoldsrap
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Re: Good for the Goose? (Score: 1)
posted Friday, March 12, 2010 - 01:54 AM (#55334)
In Response to CaptainSmokeblower (#55333):

Insist that she end this friendship. Tell her exactly what you told us, and make her listen to you without interruption. If she's unwilling to listen and unwilling to address your concerns in a satisfactory manner, then inform her that she's free to talk to her friend all she wants for all you care, because you're calling a divorce lawyer the next morning.

Harsh, but I'm 100% serious. You should not have to put up with this sort of nonsense. And I'd ask your cell phone provider for copies of the texts if divorce becomes a necessity.


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Murgatroyd
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Re: Good for the Goose? (Score: 1)
posted Friday, March 12, 2010 - 02:30 AM (#55335)

I have four questions for you about your marriage:

* Do you love your wife?

* Do you trust your wife?

* Do you think your wife respects you?

* If the answer to any of those was "Yes" ... WHY?


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dohmnall
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Re: Good for the Goose? (Score: 1)
posted Friday, March 12, 2010 - 04:52 AM (#55337)

It's over, mate.

When people react like that it's either because (a) they have no respect for you whatsoever; or (b) they know exactly what they would do/are doing in the same circumstances.

I went out with a girl who would freak out any time a girl would say hello to me. It was a real problem being that a lot of my friends (including my then best friend) were female. Destroyed a lot of friendships. Later, I found out that she was two-timing her boyfriend (I was the other guy). We went out for 3 years before I (and he) found out!


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Uriko
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Re: Good for the Goose? (Score: 1)
posted Friday, March 12, 2010 - 06:19 AM (#55338)

It all sounds very fishy to me - she tells about how he has tried to get in bed with her, but she freaks out when you have lunch with a co-worker? You must be one heck of a guy to live with that...

If you want to try and do something about the situation, my suggestion would be:
Make her read what you have written here on the website (and perhaps what people have replied. You can print out what you need). That way, she can't interrupt you and you have already thought about what words to use, instead of you being half done, get angry and then change your statement.
She may be upset that you didn't just say it (God knows how people can think you never told them something you've been telling for years), but it is a good way to get it out without disrupting the explanation due to a fit of rage.


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artemis3
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Re: Good for the Goose? (Score: 1)
posted Friday, March 12, 2010 - 08:26 AM (#55341)

Where is the option for "Get a backbone?" Seriously, I'm not understanding how you can let her "force you" to give up your casual friendship with this woman. What will she do if you stand up for yourself, insisting that it is purely friendship and that you love your wife. Will she throw a fit? Withhold sex?

Are you capable of actually having a conversation with her about how you feel about her male friend, and asking how it is different for you to have a female friend?

Without all the facts about this relationship, it sounds to me like you may be too willing to trust your wife but she is not trusting of you. Bad mix - a one directional relationship. Get some help or be prepared to find and end to the relationship.


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ElBueno
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Re: Good for the Goose? (Score: 1)
posted Friday, March 12, 2010 - 09:47 AM (#55342)

When I comment on these questions, I tend to take the time to explore both sides of the issue, dissecting them in detail before passing judgment.

I am going to make an exception today: Your wife has no respect for you, and your marriage must end immediately.


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Kyle_Voltti
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Re: Good for the Goose? (Score: 1)
posted Friday, March 12, 2010 - 10:42 AM (#55343)

since it's the only option I could go with I say barring intervention with couples therapy look at ending wht is an unhealthy relationship. hand her off to her "friend" and don't forget to tell him

"After a time, you may find that having is not so pleasing a thing, after all, as wanting. It is not logical, but it is often true. "

if we're trying to understand your wife's behavior it seems to me that it's probably some kind of power issue. she enjoys being the alpha in her relationships but doesn't feel secure there. She probably needs constant reassurance that she's the "fairest" of them all. I don't know if you have children but I shudder to think how your wife might raise them. Girls would be treated as dolls untill they matured to the point that they could be seen as "rivals" for attention and then bam they'd become whores and sluts and shown the door. Sons would be mommies darling little princes all their lives and no mear girl would ever be good enough for their darling perfect son. ofcourse that's a worst case scinario

 Was she an only daughter? I know that when my sister, who was the only girl, was younger she was often threatened by me and my brother's female friends.


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JohnSmallBerries
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Re: Good for the Goose? (Score: 1)
posted Friday, March 12, 2010 - 11:57 AM (#55345)
In Response to Kyle_Voltti (#55343):

"See a marriage counselor" is the poll option I would have picked if it were present (jumping straight to the divorce lawyer seems a little hasty...)

It might not necessarily be a case of projecting her own thoughts or deeds of infidelity onto you; if she has self-esteem issues, she might be afraid that you'll dump her as soon as something better comes along.
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TheOriginalJes
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Re: Good for the Goose? (Score: 1)
posted Friday, March 12, 2010 - 12:29 PM (#55346)
In Response to JohnSmallBerries (#55345):

I'm almost in agreement with John.

If his wife were the habitual controlling, double-standards type, then I'm sure that this couldn't have been a first-time occurrence of this type.

Assuming that this is a new thing in the relationship; perhaps she's detecting a little too much excitement in regards to your friend for your wife's comfort.

Even if it's innocent, if your wife feels that you're more excited about talking to your friend than you are to talk to her, then it could very well be a natural reaction for her to want to make it stop.

There's also the possibility that her reaction isn't toward your friendship, but about your talking to her about your wife. Several years ago, my wife went through a depressive state where she was feeling really bad about herself. And, she reacted the exact same way about me talking to anyone about her. This also included her own family. I felt like I had to hide my friendships from her, and it drove a wedge between us. But, it had nothing to do with my friendships.

Spending more time with her, and showing her that I care went a long way towards fixing that situation. So, in retrospect, it was probably all about loneliness.

As for the situation with her friend; you'll have a very hard time changing that since you've been tolerating that situation for so long; even though she's admitted that her friend is passive-agressive about having her to himself. This tells me that she knows that this relationship is unfair to you, but it won't change because she enjoys the ego-boost too much.

My advice to you in that respect is to not bring it up. It would just seem like pettiness on your part. And, it would put a vindictive light on your friendships with other women.

Although, you could try hooking him up with someone else. Innocently, of course.


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vorlonagent
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Re: Good for the Goose? (Score: 1)
posted Friday, March 12, 2010 - 01:15 PM (#55347)
In Response to TheOriginalJes (#55346):

The options here are: Let it simmer, get further away

Or get closer.

Her behaviour is intolerant and intolerable. The worst thing to do is let it simmer or sneak around behind her back.

Check that. The worst thing is to make a baby. Especially for the baby.

Our Guy and his wife need to hash things out. NOW. They need to know each other far better than they do. If she won't get down 'n dirty and really open up it IS over.

The assumption that it's over and it's divorce lawyer time is premature. Demanding a tit-for-tat ending of her sexually ambiguous friendship with her male freind is only going to lead to a divorce, either directly or indirectly.

She is keeping something inside that Our Guy needs to know, needs to hear. It could be a longstanding affiar with her male friend. It could be something else. They need to dig down to it and set it free. If she won't do it or if Our Guy can't go there (this often requires recipricol vulnerability), then yeah it's over.

This is scary, dark, uncertain choppy water. But when one takes marriage vows, it's what one signs up for.

Good luck.


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Azerik
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Re: Good for the Goose? (Score: 1)
posted Friday, March 12, 2010 - 03:44 PM (#55349)

She doesn't trust you at all. That is coming from somewhere. Maybe it is deep seated issues, maybe it is guilt because she is sleeping with this guy, the source really doesn't matter in the end.

Seek counseling, both of you. *IF* you want the marriage to work, then this is mandatory. Otherwise it's a long slow spiral into the ground from here. If she resists, then start tieing things off, it's time to see the lawyer.

A marriage isn't a friendship, it isn't a sex buddy, it isn't even a partnership, it is a blending of two people into one. If she doesn't trust you enough to go to lunch with a co-worker then there are some serious gaps in the foundation of your marriage. If you can't trust your spouse completely then your marriage is doomed to failure sooner or later.

Personally I'd just move on to the lawyer. If she's getting that upset I'd bet it's because she believes that you are capable (and likely) to follow in her footsteps into cheating. She's already banged the guy more than once even if she isn't doing it at the present moment.

Sorry.


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zmortis
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Re: Good for the Goose? (Score: 1)
posted Friday, March 12, 2010 - 05:08 PM (#55350)

I have to agree with several sentiments here. This is not in truth about with whom you are allowed to socialize, or her long time friend. This is essentially about a marriage with doesn't have the requisite mutual trust and respect to work. If you give in to her emotionally controling blackmail at this stage, your marriage is already eventually doomed.

Your best option is to have a calm and frank talk about your mutual expectations for your relationship, and the treatment each of you expects to receive in this relationship. You don't have to have a one to one equivelent set of rules for each other, but you do have to be allowed to receive trust and respect unless something has happened to cause it's loss.

In your case I would advise not acting like a jealous bitch about her male friend, and not acting like you get to have a flirtatious relationship of you own because you have permitted her to have one. Relationships just don't work that way in the long run.

In exchange you have to determine whether your wife gives you the respect you require and trusts you to not stray into forbidden territory for your return trust. In the end analysis you have to figure out if you can both establish this mutual trust. If it can't happen, then the relationship is over already.

You might briefly feel like a fool for trusting someone who eventually is shown to abuse that trust. However, that is much better than living with someone through a lifetime of resentment.


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The1Paladin
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Re: Good for the Goose? (Score: 1)
posted Friday, March 12, 2010 - 05:42 PM (#55351)

Um...I may be a bit harsh here, but it sure sounds to me like you Cuckhold. But not in a good way, as in, you're not in on it. I suggest counseling, and right soon.


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whutaguy
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Re: Good for the Goose? (Score: 1)
posted Friday, March 12, 2010 - 10:43 PM (#55354)
In Response to The1Paladin (#55351):

My response was seek couples counselling and expect that after a few sessions it would be recommended that your wife get personal counselling for her "trust issues".

After discussing this with my wife, she says that you are not jealous enough of her relationship. She is attempting to show you the response she wants from you.

To be safe, keep lunches alone or in groups of 3 or more.


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Murgatroyd
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Re: Good for the Goose? (Score: 1)
posted Sunday, March 14, 2010 - 04:38 AM (#55355)

After discussing this with my wife, she says that you are not jealous enough of her relationship. She is attempting to show you the response she wants from you.

If that's really true, then Original Poster is married to one sick puppy.

If she's that far gone, maybe what she really wants is for you to slap her around when she gets out of line so she'll respect you.

(Yes, I'm kidding ... inasmuch as I am not giving you that advice. But there are women who think that way -- I've met a couple of them. Fortunately I've never been intimately involved with one. If this is how your wife thinks, run, don't walk, to a divorce lawyer.)


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Atavism
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Re: Good for the Goose? (Score: 1)
posted Sunday, March 14, 2010 - 06:04 AM (#55356)

I'd have to throw in a vote for marriage counseling too. It sounds to me as if she really needs to hear some harsh truths, and I doubt it would be well received coming directly from you.


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3countylaugh
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Re: Good for the Goose? (Score: 1)
posted Monday, March 15, 2010 - 07:19 PM (#55361)

You aren't really clear on how you felt about this friend before she put down her edict.
If this is just 'revenge' because she pushed you around, wrong reason. If you were distrubed before but in denial, explain that you hadn't realized how much it upset you until she helped you see it in the same light she saw your friend in.
If she relents on your friend or gives up her txting boy-toy - win! Some people are just oblivious until the shoe is on the other foot.
Either way seems like there are unspoken assumptions about opposite gender relationships that should be cleared up for the future.
There is another option too, invite teh coworker & her boyfriend over for dinner, help her see that it's normal and that your friend is no threat to her at all and is already involved with her own love & not looking to poach you.


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TheOriginalJes
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Re: Good for the Goose? (Score: 1)
posted Tuesday, March 16, 2010 - 09:11 AM (#55363)
In Response to 3countylaugh (#55361):

-"There is another option too, invite teh coworker & her boyfriend over for dinner"-

I agree with the sentiment, but don't bring that problem into the home.

She says she doesn't trust the co-worker. That comes with an automatic suspicion of his own intentions. If he invites her into their home, with or without the boyfriend, it will only feel to the wife as a united front against her.

She'll never forgive him, and she'll never think of home (or him) as safe again. And, I believe, it would fast-track this relationship to Divorce City.

I'm not convinced that this relationship is at the point to where counseling is required (even though he's already seeking outside advice from us), much less warranting a call to the divorce lawyer.


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