I’m married to a wonderful stay at home Mom. My wife and I are the same age, 33, and things have always seemed to work out perfectly within our marriage. A few months ago she met a stay at home Dad, through a mutual play date, and they’ve developed a very strong friendship, even calling and texting during the evening hours. She doesn’t hide anything, but, she talks about him all the time and I found myself feeling nervous about their relationship, so, I told her my feelings. We talked calmly and she eased my ill feelings, but within days I was more upset than before and we both said hurtful things to one another. There’s been a damage done that I’m not sure can be reversed.
You use words such as, “nervous and ill feelings,” when describing how the friendship your wife has with another man, but let’s be honest here, you’re jealous. I found myself wanting to say, if you’re feeling insecure about this friendship, that tells me you know there are areas that have caused voids for her and maybe she’s found someone else to fill them. To look at this logically, they have much in common, both being stay at home parents, they can compare notes, complain, boast, brag, and literally go crazy over the hectic side of their days, and they know it’s completely understood. While you’re out in the work force, talking to adults and having a change of scenery, she’s been at home watching Sesame Street and carrying on conversations about how potty training works…now she has adult attention.
You didn’t mention if anything was failing in the bedroom part of your marriage, which leads me to believe you feel the connection is more of an emotional one, and if that’s the case, it could get tricky. She’s felt on her own in many ways I’m sure for quite some time, and now there’s finally a sympathetic ear and a non judgmental sounding board that has become her salvation. In some ways, that’s more satisfying than a sexual orgasm.
Since you stepped outside of the comfort zone and hurtful words were spoken, it’s going to take some time on your end to make amends, if that’s the route you’re wanting to go. It will be hard however to do your best to smooth things over if you still have that gnawing feeling in the pit of your stomach, and, if she refuses to end the friendship, one marital blow up is going to lead to another.
My recommendation would be….be honest. Sit her down, explain that you’re sorry for what you said, and even though you both were hurt, you want to discuss things as adults and at least get to a place where you don’t feel the constant flow of anger between you, and then, seek the assistance of a professional. Yes, couple’s counseling sounds like it may be called for. If you love her as I believe you do, but you feel this threatened over her closeness to another male, then you need a mediator to oversee your healing. Also, there could be the possibility that she has emotional feelings for this male friend and she doesn’t know how to deal with them, maybe that’s the cause for her to become defensive, there are many ways things could go, so, being constructive is the best route to take.
Don’t just toss away the idea of counseling, you may need to be on a therapist’s couch before you get back into the marital bed.