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To wonder if DH is having an EA

(204 Posts)
youvegotmail Tue 30-Jul-13 21:27:30

I've never heard of an EA before being on Mumsnet, but now I'm wondering if DH is having one.......

He's had a friendship with a woman he works with for over a year now, and I've never been totally comfortable with it, but I thought I was a jealous hag (she's young and bloody gorgeous of course)

She and my DH get on really well - they work in different offices for the same company, and he is senior to her. They met when he was doing her induction and he came home and told me they'd hired this great person for the role and how pleased he was, how lovely she was etc (so not hiding anything). Then their contact from then on is mostly through email although about six times a year they have to do presentatons together in the same place. I know they email a ton and it's not all work related - lots of jokes (like ones between just them - stupid stuff) and chatting as they like all the same things - I thought DH and I had shitloads in common but now I think they have more. I know this because his work emails come through to our iPad so are open for me to see - he's never hidden them. It pisses me off though to see a string of 10+ emails over the course of the day just chatting and making stupid fucking jokes. Theres an accasional Facebook message too.

I have said something about her a couple of times to him, when the friendship/EA/whatever really seemed to be taking off and the contact was high. I said that he was being unprofessional and inappropriate and that they were getting too friendly and I was uncomfortable and he didn't agree but both times he then totally toned it down for a few months and went all brusqueu with her, but then it builds again.

I've met her three times at work functions and I'm quite ashamed to say that I was not friendly - in fact DH afterwards said he was embarrassed and that I made it very awkward for no reason. She does seem really nice - but I can't get over the feeling she's getting too close to my husband and shouldn't be emailing him in a friendly way - he is her senior at work and they are both married (we have 3 DCs age 17, 15 and 11 and she has a very young DC not sure of exact age).

There is never anything at all flirty, sexual, suggestive or even much personal in their messages its more just the sheer volume of them and the fact that he clearly thinks shes really funny and clever - their banter really gets under my skin.

AIBU?

Viviennemary Tue 30-Jul-13 22:39:52

YANBU to not be happy about the level of closeness your DH has with this person. It doesn't matter that lots of people would be happy with this. You're not. And I don't agree with trying to get closer to this person. Why should you.

Ouchmyhead Tue 30-Jul-13 22:39:58

This isn't an EA, it's just a friendship! And emotional affair is flirting, hidden messages, intimate messages - this just sounds like two people who work together, and get on - which must be nice in the workplace! It'd be rubbish if everyone at work was all business. The pr

Ouchmyhead Tue 30-Jul-13 22:41:12

sorry I hit send too soon! Meant to finish with the problem is your jealousy, your husband is completley honest and open with you - what more do you want? You can't ban him from talking to any female you deem younger and prettier!

ageofgrandillusion Tue 30-Jul-13 22:43:33

So is the issue basically because she is really fit OP?

AnyFucker Tue 30-Jul-13 22:47:42

I hope you don't regret posting, OP. Some of these replies are verging on downright nasty.

You are allowed to feel any way you like. Unless you make a habit of becoming a shrieking harpy every time your H passes the time of day with anyone in possession of ovaries, I think you should trust your instinct

Isn't that the Mumsnet Mantra ? Trust your instinct

It has done many women on here a great service (depending on which way you look at it). And well done to you for refusing to play "cool wife" when you don't feel remotely "cool" at all.

youvegotmail Tue 30-Jul-13 22:48:01

age No it's more the closeness tbh - the effort they both put into the daily contact, the in-jokes, the efforts they go to to make each other smile and to look clever, the level of contact. It doesn't HELP that she looks like a model though........

dementedma Tue 30-Jul-13 22:49:17

"I stalk her on Facebook through dhs' account"
Wow
If you were my dp doing that to me, I'd be packing g my bags.

AnyFucker Tue 30-Jul-13 22:57:48

Let's summarise

1) Op's H is this woman's senior and it will be clear to co-workers that they are getting closer and closer. This, at the very least, will make them (and indirectly, OP) an object of office gossip. I would not forgive that lightly...I am more than capable of making a fool of myself I don't need my H to do it for me

2) Contact with this woman continues outside of work, about non-work related things. I assume this is taking away from family time. The saving of "jokes" and the thought put into the "banter" (what the fuck is this "banter" ?..in my day, that was called flirting ..) for her, makes OP feel second best

3) The buying of intimate little "gifts" for each other, that exclude the OP

4) When OP tries to make her H understand how she feels uncomfortable with the level of contact, he runs down this other woman down (that he was enthusing about, remember), implies that she is doing all the chasing and he is just being "polite" in replying. Really ? Then don't pretend to cool it off for a while, before revving it back up again as soon as OP STFU

4) OP is being made to feel this is her problem, reinforced by some of you on here. Really...all of you would have no issue with this ?

If this is being a "cool wife", count me out, and OP if you want to be counted out too, fair play to you

AnyFucker Tue 30-Jul-13 23:00:15

OP I suggest you buy "Not Just Friends" by Shirley Glass and take it from there. Good luck x

LemonPeculiarJones Tue 30-Jul-13 23:01:04

He is putting way too much effort into this friendship. He sounds really invested in it.

She's young and beautiful and clever and funny and it sounds like he is preening, slightly desperately, in her regard.

Whether it never goes any further or not I too would feel uncomfortable with this level/tone of contact.

It sounds as if he isn't putting much effort into your relationship, or making you feel amazing and alluring. There is an inappropriate imbalance there.

youvegotmail Tue 30-Jul-13 23:08:34

Thanks AnyFucker - you make me feel less insane!!

I do think that the bit outside work bugs me the most - when I see a message that hes sent when weve been together watching tv or hes been watching our youngest at swimming or something it just feels like shes always on his mind and a bit ever present. I also feel like he uses work as an excuse to contact her when its not necessary - like his messages will start witih the most miniscule thing about work that could have been saved for another day or could have been bundled into one email and then move onto chit chat.

I don't know if its flirting. What make flirting flirting? There is never any suggestion of anything sexual or personal in that way - hes never once said anything about her looks even when she seemed to try to elicit it, going on about how awful she looked in front of some clients because they got into a rainstorm on the way there (he said 'you looked absolutely fine' and that was after a few 'fishes' from her). They'll talk about what they were up to at the weekend (sometimes he mentions me totally casually so no hiding me) and so on. So all that is fine. But I still get this weird vibe from their conversations. This vibe like hes the big boss and shes a bit giggly and 'you're so wonderful' and he laps it up, and then at the same time they have lots in common, make joke after joke after joke after flipping joke in a bit of an up themselves kind of way tbh and sometimes I wonder how they get any work done. Every time there's a meeting coming up that they'll both be at I feel uncomfortable. I also think he dresses 'young' for these meetings but could be way overthinking things.

AnyFucker Tue 30-Jul-13 23:11:00

He thinks up and plans these little "jokes" and repartee while he is watching the kids swimming, or on the surface spending time with you ?

His mind is elsewhere that is clear. Not acceptable for him to make you feel like that.

Beastofburden Tue 30-Jul-13 23:17:45

Lets separate the two things if we can.

I expect the OP is happy with her DH having close friends, but perhaps they are not usually this close? Is this the first friendship that you can see he really cares about and you can see him putting effort into? IME all friendships need effort, and many of us wish our DHs would make more effort to keep their old friendships going. I put effort into my own close friendships, it's not necessarily sinister.

I expect you have a very close female friend. Imagine that DH asks you to cool it with her, see less of her, stop having private chats, etc. I think it would feel like a big ask. There is a sense in which our DPs "belong" to us, but also a sense in which we always share them a bit with others. In the longer term, a DP with no really close friend is a liability because he depends utterly on you.

Quite separately, is she a threat to the marriage? That is a perfectly fair concern. Model looks, etc. We all know, though, that men get off with all sorts, being pretty doesn't make her that much more dangerous than all the other people he is surrounded by.

I don't know- cant know- if this might become an affair. It looks very open at the moment. But perhaps this post is more about the importance of close friendship. Is it a betrayal of us, if DH loves a friend? Obv it is easier if that friend is male, but its the same issue really.

I want to feel free to love my own best friend, though obviously differently. It follows I can't refuse the same to my DH.

I can completely understand why she freaks you out. I do think it might be better if you could get to know her, and then she will just become a normal woman in the normal light of day, who happens to be a really good friend of the family. And the friendship is new, it's all still discovery time, it is bound to become more pedestrian with time.

ilovesooty Tue 30-Jul-13 23:18:44

Well, the thing that strikes me is that you've become totally obsessed with the situation. Perhaps he needs to know how you feel, but you can't be completely open about that without revealing the extent to which you've monitored all his interaction with her.

FWIW I don't see any evidence of an EA.

Beastofburden Tue 30-Jul-13 23:24:13

Though there are elements that sound a bit like a mid life crisis which might concern me.... Another reason for getting her round WITH her child and partner, make sure your DH doesn't forget they exist.... Though I understand the distance issue.

AnyFucker Tue 30-Jul-13 23:29:28

Have you decided what you are going to do, OP ? if anything.

youvegotmail Tue 30-Jul-13 23:36:32

I don't know AnyFucker - half the people on here are telling me I'm a nutjob jealous obsessed person whose husband should leave her for checking his facebook (I know that's not ideal but still...... ) and half are saying they understand and that hes crossing lines.

Ive spoken to him a couple of times and I know he will just say that its not a problem and then go all cold on her again - actually the last time he did this it made me cringe as he just became really brisk and professional with her and you could tell she was thinking WTF as it was so different to how he normally is, I felt it almost made more of an issue as he was being borderline rude then. He can't just subtly dial it bloody down!

I keep checking because I want more 'evidence' but then theres never anything solid that I can use.............. just lots and lots of chatting, flirting or banter or whatever it is and a sense of warmth and admiration between them.

What should I do?? sad

Thanks also beast I really appreciated your thoughtful post and will give it some thought.

formicadinosaur Tue 30-Jul-13 23:38:36

Could they just get on really well but have no attraction. People can be friends and they are both unavailable. I think you have to trust your DH. He is with you because he loves you. If he has an affair, that's different of course.

AnyFucker Tue 30-Jul-13 23:39:52

I can't tell you what to do, love, none of us can. This is your marriage, your husband, your feelings. If his behaviour is making you unhappy and insecure and it hasn't previously wrt to his female friendships, then you have to trust yourself.

HomelessAngua Tue 30-Jul-13 23:40:12

Wossa a EA?

formicadinosaur Tue 30-Jul-13 23:40:45

At the same time I would be reading the emails too though!! But maybe you should stop?

formicadinosaur Tue 30-Jul-13 23:42:12

Extramarital affair.

AnyFucker Tue 30-Jul-13 23:42:37

Unfortunately, it would seem that the Pandora's box of email checking has been well and truly opened

I don't blame you though, OP. I would have done it too.

AnyFucker Tue 30-Jul-13 23:43:42

in this context, EA means emotional affair

have you anything useful to add now, HA ?

youvegotmail Tue 30-Jul-13 23:44:46

Emotional affair Homeless

He's had lots of female friends. He's a very warm and lovely guy and women really like him. I've never had an issue with this before at all. This includes being fine when he went on a work trip abroad with another of the senior female colleagues who he is friends with (she lives closer and I do know her a lot better though). This one just doesn't sit right with me. Its the fact he goes back to it daily to fuel it, put so much effort into it........ and yeah, the fact she's shit hot. grin Reading their emails they sound like theyre so so so alike.

I should stop reading the emails but its far too easy and far too tempting and I'm a worrier. sad

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