My Husband has Close Female Friends

Visitor's Question from a 31-40 year old Female
Is it normal for my husband to have close friendships with other women? Close as in they talk on the phone a few times a week? I have always had trust/ jealousy issues, and this seems to add to them.

One woman he talks to is his cousins ex-wife. The other is my friend, whom we have both known since high school. The other is a woman he just met that he went to school with. Is too much for me to ask him to tell me when he talks to these women? And is it normal? I usually find out by seeing a phone # on the the long distance bill or one leaving a message and saying sorry I missed your call.

If one calls him, or he calls, should he tell me? Just mention, "Oh yeah, I talked to ---- today." Or is that him having to answer to me? Is that me playing the "mommy role"? I don't have a problem with him talking to any of them, unless he lies about it or hides it. I admit I have gotten angry when I find out he didn't tell me. Is that right?

I do have a problem with the last woman, the one he just met that was in his class. She calls almost everyday, and everytime she leaves a message, she only addresses him, like I don't even live there. She doesn't give me the time of day. I feel as if thats rude. Am I being over sensitive? Advice
It sounds like you're trying to look at this in a very fair and balanced way. Which is great! Like everything in life, there are lots of shades of grey on this issue and sometimes it's hard to know if you're being overly sensitive or rightly upset.

First off, yes it's very normal for guys to have girl friends and for girls to have guy friends. It helps make you a well rounded individual that can see various sides of life. It's the same as having white friends and black friends and Jewish friends and Christian friends. You have to trust in your relationship, that it is strong and healthy and isn't going to dissolve just because "another option" is out there. If you start worrying about every other "possible mate" your partner runs into, you get into the realm of locking your partner up in an ivory tower and eating food passed in through a narrow slit. Which is of course incredibly unhealthy :)

But on the other hand, a relationship is about two people voluntarily saying "I CHOOSE YOU!!!" loudly to the entire world and to each other. Those two people have to, EVERY day, put their relationship with each other up as the most important thing in their life. They must support each other, care for each other, treasure each other. They must focus their primary energies on each other. Otherwise they are cheating their partner, if they start to focus their time and energy and affection elsewhere.

I'm not saying that your husband should be home 24 hours a day and should look only at you. He should have other friends and interests. But I'm saying you should always be the most important person in his life. That the others are part of him but not the most important part and should never interfere in his relationship with you.

So part of all of that is that you two should be best friends and he should be VOLUNTARILY sharing these other parts of his life with you. When he gets a call, he should say, "Oh, Jenn called me today, she's going on a trip!" or whatever and share it with you. His friends should also be people you care about. They should be part of YOUR joint world, he shouldn't maintain them as a "separate world". Because as soon as he starts having a "separate life" it gets into his energies being divided and him hiding things from you and the potential for him growing one of those other relationships into the primary relationship.

DEFINITELY anyone who is friends with your husband should treat you as a friend and with respect. If they call your house, they should say hi, ask how you're doing and so on!! It sounds like this class woman at least is looking at him as her "private friend" that she is seeing without you knowing. For her to be rude to you or dismiss you as the "message taker for her man" is unacceptable.

I would very much have him start having his "friends" over to your house for dinner and joining him when he goes out with them. They CAN be primarily his friends but you should always be a part of the picture. He should NOT make it seem like he is a "free guy" that is available for other women to just have fun with. YOU are his wife and the primary person he is with. If YOU aren't available, sure he can have fun with other friends. But if you ARE available, then you and he can have fun with the friends. Either they accept that, or their motives are not friendship. And if their motives are not friendship, they can just go find another guy who IS free.

-- from Jenn
One of Your Friendly Advisors at

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