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POLL RESULTS: Blast from the past: (11 comments)

POLL: Blast from the past

Friday, October 01, 2010 - 12:00 AM

A reader writes... Q: A childhood friend re-entered my life within the past year. I thoroughly enjoyed the conversation with her and the memories it brought back, and we have been visiting by phone weekly. I do not want to hurt my wife, but I don't want to give up this special relationship. As long as it’s nonphysical, what’s wrong with continuing our relationship in private? My closest friend feels I am betraying my wife, but I don’t see it that way. He insists I’m having an affair of some sort that will end in disaster for everyone.
POLL: Is this man cheating on his wife?
 
32% (496) I'm a man, and I say no! No sex; no cheating!
 
55% (841) I'm a man, and I say yes! This is an emotional affair.
 
3% (49) I'm a woman, and I say no! No sex; no cheating!
 
9% (138) I'm a woman, and I say yes! This is an emotional affair.
1524 people have voted in this poll. (This poll is not active.)
boojum
Lover

Posts: 1

Registered:
Oct 2010
Re: Blast from the past (Score: 0)
posted Friday, October 01, 2010 - 12:47 AM (#57211)

If it's perfectly innocent, why haven't you told your wife about it?

Having a friendship is fine - having a friendship that you're keeping secret from your wife because you don't want to hurt her means you know it's a betrayal and just don't want her to find out. *You* know what the rules of your marriage are better than any of us do, and you're the one who knows if you're breaking them or not.

If I've misunderstood you, and your wife knows about your phone calls and doesn't mind, then you're fine.


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Henchman21
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Posts: 9

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Oct 2010
Re: Blast from the past (Score: 0)
posted Friday, October 01, 2010 - 01:43 AM (#57212)

The trickiness here is that it is a man with a female friend from the past. Yes, its somewhat stereotypical to think that a woman can have man friends and not cheating, but a man can't have woman friends without it being cheating, but there it is. Were it me, I likely would have told my wife, and now be on the recieving end of the good old 'Awkward staredown'. You know the one. Where she starts examining every little thing you do for signs of cheating just because that little bit of suspicion is there. Of course, hiding it doesn't do any good because once you hide it there IS some form of cheating there. Sort of like a lie of omission.

And to be perfectly fair, yes, there are ladies out there who would be perfectly understanding about a friendly relationship between their husband and an old non-male friend. Then again there are men who would go back to that formerly innocent friendship and try to make it into something a lot less innocent. On the whole, which do you really think is the more common?

Summation: If its innocent, keep it that way. If its innocent and the wife doesn't understand... Talk it out, work up some sort of compromise, or decide which relationship is more important to you (Personally I'm hoping the marriage, otherwise why did you get married in the first place???)


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Schizzy
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Posts: 1

Registered:
Oct 2010
Re: Blast from the past (Score: 0)
posted Friday, October 01, 2010 - 01:55 AM (#57213)

Is this relationship more special than the relationship with your wife?

Marrying someone means you choose to have a special relationship with that person. You share your life with her and she share hers with you. Dividing your life for another woman, even emotionally, is simply not an option. Did you exchange wedding vows? Think back on it.

Remember: Love is a choice, not an emotion. If you choose to have an emotional fling with this supposedly special other woman, then you really need to think about whether you really love your wife.


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Uriko
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Posts: 19

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Mar 2008
Re: Blast from the past (Score: 0)
posted Friday, October 01, 2010 - 04:12 AM (#57216)

I don't even want to spend letters on when and how things are wrong - to me it sounds like this person already KNOWS it's wrong!

A "special" relationship, that he doesn't want to tell his wife about? He's mind-cheating, and he knows it.
And yes, I believe you can cheat without sex. How many people wouldn't get offended if their particular other wanted to hide someone, because he/she meant more to the person?


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DBDolan
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Posts: 1

Registered:
Oct 2010
Re: Blast from the past (Score: 0)
posted Friday, October 01, 2010 - 05:23 AM (#57217)

My wife and I have had to deal with similar stuff. Back when we were dating, she pointed out that I had a number of non-romantic relationships with friends of the female persuasion. Conversely, she has friendships with a number of her male co-workers. As we got serious, she wanted to know that these friendships wouldn't ever be a problem or competition. She wanted me to have the same reassurance. But at the same time, she didn't want to make me choose between her and every other friendship.

So, here's how we worked out out: Everything is on the up-and-up. Neither of us has "veto" power over the other's friendships, but neither do we keep any friendship a secret. When one of my friends calls, I generally keep it on speaker phone. Women don't come to our house unless invited by her, and men don't come unless invited by me. Neither of us goes out "solo" with someone of the opposite sex, we always keep it in a group. And if a friend of mine invites me over, my wife has to know about it at least a day ahead of time.

Now, here's the thing: I have the right to hang out with who I choose, when I choose. But as her husband, I have willingly surrendered that right in order to demonstrate my love to her. It is a gift I give to her. She gives me the same gift in return.

It's also a preventative measure. My childhood friendships are nonphysical now. It may not be cheating now. Why risk temptation to keep them secret? I'm human. I have nothing to gain, and everything to lose.


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Archwright
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Posts: 19

Registered:
Oct 2010
Re: Blast from the past (Score: 0)
posted Friday, October 01, 2010 - 10:23 AM (#57220)
In Response to Schizzy (#57213):

I completely disagree with this post. If your marriage vow stated that each of you are only to associate with your own gender, then you are breaking your vows by befriending this woman. Otherwise, you are ok to talk about the good-old-days with this woman.

That said, there is no reason to keep your wife in the dark about this old friend. This person is just an old friend, remember that. Whether this person has breasts or not should be immaterial.

Gender equality and freedom of association.


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artemis3
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Posts: 10

Registered:
Oct 2009
Re: Blast from the past (Score: 0)
posted Friday, October 01, 2010 - 11:14 AM (#57223)

"I do not want to hurt my wife..."

That is the key line in your post. If you telling her about this "special relationship" will hurt her, how do you think she'll feel when she gets suspicious and finds out you have been secretly having a relationship with another woman? If you feel she won't trust you with the truth now, then she certainly won't believe you when you claim it is an "innocent" relationship.

Beware any offers for free roses - one of the radio stations near me does a bit every week where a guy gets an offer for free roses with his wife/girlfriend secretly listening in to see if he'll send them to some other woman. Blows me away how many guys get caught sending roses to other women with whom they have an "innocent" relationship.


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vorlonagent
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Posts: 55

Registered:
Oct 2009
Re: Blast from the past (Score: 0)
posted Friday, October 01, 2010 - 01:04 PM (#57225)

Our Man should break off the relationship.

He should NOT assume this secret will stay secret because he wants it to.

Then wait 5 years minimum before telling his wife.


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zmortis
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Posts: 76

Registered:
Jun 2009
Re: Blast from the past (Score: 0)
posted Friday, October 01, 2010 - 04:56 PM (#57226)

This is a pretty simple fomula. If you can have this childhood friend over for dinner with your family without any discomfort between you, her, or your wife then I don't see any problem with having a non-secret friendship with her. If the friendship has to be a secret from your wife, and never shall the two socialize together, then you have already answered your question.

Your wife is your family now for good or bad, and family comes before friends in any rational estimation. This situation has to be cool with your wife, or its just not cool.


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DanialArin
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Posts: 92

Registered:
Apr 2009
Re: Blast from the past (Score: 0)
posted Friday, October 01, 2010 - 09:16 PM (#57228)

This is reminiscent of another discussion a few months back on an "emotional affair" [courting-disaster.com]...

If you value your marriage, you need to be careful. If you keep your wife in the dark, things tend to get very bad very quickly when she stumbles onto it. On the other hand, if she's aware of this friend, and there really is nothing more than friendship here, you may want to consider introducing your wife to this person, and try to encourage them to conned as well. Assuming this woman has some form of significant other of her own, perhaps you could go out and do things as a group from time to time.


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betaiotamu
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Posts: 5

Registered:
Mar 2009
Re: Blast from the past (Score: 0)
posted Saturday, October 02, 2010 - 12:32 PM (#57229)

Like others have mentioned, if you can't tell her, it's not OK. No secrets, no lies. 30 years of married experience here including dealing with similar temptations.


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