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How would you feel if you suspected a male friend wasn't telling his DW about the time you spend together?

(54 Posts)
Durab Wed 21-Nov-12 09:35:09

I've know this man about 15 years, we were colleagues initially, but haven't been for a long time. We still work in the same city and meet for a drink after work maybe 5-6 times a year. A very occasional text in between, maybe a joke or something about the football, but nothing else.

That said, I do count him as a good close friend. When we are out together we generally spend the first hour talking about work/children, then move on to football and once the beer is properly flowing will set about putting the world to rights. There's not much I couldn't talk to him about and we always have a good laugh. We are both football fans and TBH I don't know many people I can share this interest with - DH not interested and neither are my female friends. He has two DSs 7 years older than my 2 and he coached his DS1's football team from when they were 5-18, so he has become my go to for advice on raising boys. He's always treated me with complete respect and I have no reason to suspect the friendship is anything but platonic on either side.

However, something he said when we were arranging our next night out made me think he's not intending to tell his wife who he'll be with. I think because he likes a quiet life and it's easier not to than because there's anything to hide, but even so....I always tell DH exactly where I'm going and who with and if he's awake when I get in, will relate much of our drunken conversation - although I suspect he doesn't listen shock There was one other occasion when I suspected this, but when I challenged him, he just said "she doesn't ask" the evening progressed and I didn't think about it any more.

I've never met his DW, not deliberately, I don't think, we live in opposite directions 40 miles out of the city and have never socialised other than after work. He doesn't talk about her much, but when he does, he has occasionally had a gripe about how her (freelance) work took too much time away from DC, especially when she was making no money and he was working all hours to support them, but he was also incredibly proud when she sold her first work.

So, anyway, what would you think and what, if anything, would you do? I am uncomfortable with it, but he is an important friend to me. I don't think issuing an ultimatum would help, he'd react badly to being pushed into a corner over anything. I also wouldn't expect to be able to tell any of my other friends how they should deal with issues in their marriages

CogitoErgoSometimes Wed 21-Nov-12 09:45:08

I have a friend like that. Travels a lot for work, turns up for supper occasionally and I'm sure his DW has no idea where he is. What I say is 'I am uncomfortable that you don't tell your DW you're with me'. Once it's out there, you don't have to press the point. Entirely his decision who he tells about what. His motives are his concern, not yours. You've been honest with him and with your family... your conscience is clear.

LessMissAbs Wed 21-Nov-12 09:59:35

I'd say you were filling the role of occasional platonic girlfriend to him, and he is like a kind of boyfriend to you. If both your partners are happy with this, then fair enough. Its just that you are more open than him. I think to press the issue that he tells his wife about your meetings would risk moving it on a stage further - he would either have to admit to something more than he wants to. At the moment, you are an unacknowledged presence in the main part of his life (which personally would irk me), and he can get attention from you without any risk.

Perhaps he has more than one woman like you as a friend, and his wife has found out before and not reacted well?

needsomeperspective Wed 21-Nov-12 10:12:16

You aren't doing anything wrong. It's entirely platonic and he isn't asking you to be complicit ie lie to his wife yourself. What he tells his wife or how he chooses to comport himself in his marriage is his business not yours. I'd tell you to mind your own if you started commenting on how I chose to manage communication with my spouse.

Durab Wed 21-Nov-12 11:20:45

LittleMissAbs, sorry, I don't understand your post! Yes, I am a platonic (girl)friend who he sees occasionally, he may well have/have had others, but I don't see why that should have upset his wife (although the secrecy would upset me if I was his DW) I also don't feel at all irked that I don't feature in his "main" life - I wouldn't expect to and can't really say that he features in mine. Neither do many of my friends TBH, only a couple who have DHs that are also friends with my DH really feature in my home life.

As for attention, aren't we all usually looking for attention, at least to some extent, when we meet friends?

I Know/feel that what he's doing isn't right, but I don't know what I can do about it. As I said he's an important friend to me and I'm sure he would feel exactly as needsomeperspective if I tried to lay down the law.

LessMissAbs Wed 21-Nov-12 11:29:37

Well I guess though you may feel that way OP, there are women out there who wouldn't like their husbands to have even a platonic girlfriend that provides them with attention, and his wife might be one of them - or he doesn't know how she would react and simply isn't taking any chances.

But if you don't mind not being part of his main life (or social circle) then why would you mind him not telling his wife about your meetings?

Charbon Wed 21-Nov-12 11:35:59

How do you feel when your husband doesn't appear to be listening to you about your nights out with your friend? Is that something he does only in relation to this situation, or is listening generally a problem?

Why do you think your friend keeps this secret for a quiet life, as opposed to just wanting to deceive a woman who wuld have no problem if the friendship was innocent?

What impression do you have of his wife? A couple of things you've said indicate that you aren't warming to the image he portrays of her. Have you added to that impression with any female stereotypes of your own?

What impression do you give to your friend about your husband and your own marriage?

How would you both react if one of your partners suggested meeting this friend that their spouse meets up with at least every 8 weeks for a whole evening?

Be honest with yourself about whether it is just discomfort you feel about his secrecy. Any other emotions going on there?

Durab Wed 21-Nov-12 12:00:31

Thanks Charnon, I'll answer your points in order:

I don't blame DH for not listening, I can't imagine it's of much interest to him and he probably wants his bed. When it matters he does listen

I don't know, but I think a lot of men keep quiet about all sorts of things, rather than face an interrogation. No idea if he would face one in this case and I don't really know why he keeps it secret. It's a case of not telling, rather than actual lying in his opinion. He says he'd tell her if she asked, but she doesn't and maybe he is a bit put out that she doesn't show more interest in what he's doing on a night out.

My impression of his wife is a woman who had 2 children 10 years apart and spent an awful long time doing menial evening/weekend work so she could be at home with them and look after him and his home during the day, with no family support nearby. It must have been very hard on her as she is an intelligent woman who has always had ambitions in respect of the freelance work she does. I think she has done brilliantly to achieve what she has with her freelancing after such a long time out of meaningful work (outside the home). I have told him this and always take her side in these kind of discussions.

My friend is very well aware that I feel very lucky to have my DH and whilst I will occasionally have mentioned something DH has done that wound me up, he's heard far more about how thrilled I am with DH's promotion, what a lovely surprise he planned for my birthday etc.

I'd be happy to go out as a foursome. Not sure my DH would TBH, as he's not very sociable and I do suspect my friends likes to keep our friendship compartmentalised. Not sure why though, he has never in 15 years made any sort of romantic/sexual approach, even when quite drunk.

I am uncomfortable about being part of the deception of a fellow woman, but I am completely sure that I'm not deceiving myself about our friendship.

Durab Wed 21-Nov-12 12:03:05

LittleMissAbs, there may well be women that would not like their DH to have platonic female friends, but the general opinion on here is that they would be unreasonable to feel that way.

I'm not sure what you mean by attention - he doesn't the kind of attention from me that he would from a lover. I laugh as his jokes and show interest in his work, just as his male friends would.

EdithWeston Wed 21-Nov-12 12:09:37

If his DW does not know that he is meeting you, then if she discovers it she may well conclude you are the OW in an emotional affair.

It is totally right that you want to make sure that your friendship with this man has clear boundaries so neither he (nor indeed you) slips over into inappropriate intimacy.

I suggest that you make it really clear to your DH when you meet him (perhaps he already knows?) and perhaps involve him (all meeting up? Having him drop you off or pick you up?).

And make everything as transparent to the DW as you can. Perhaps you could arrange meetings by ringing his house phone, rather than by personal text?

Charbon Wed 21-Nov-12 12:10:53

Thanks.

I was wondering why you put the 'shocked' expression next to your apparent afterthought that your husband didn't listen?

That makes me wonder whether you are projecting some of your own worries about your husband's apparent complacency, on to your friend's wife? Otherwise why would you assume that he would either get an 'interrogation' or feels put out that she shows such little interest? You don't seem to consider other possibilities that show his wife in a better light e.g that he actually lies to her about where he has been, has been untrustworthy in the past or that he likes keeping secrets from her. Or the more obvious one - that she would have absolutely no problem with an openly conducted friendship, but isn't being given the chance to state a view?

I'm wondering why you think a lot of men lie by omission about a lot of things, to avoid an interrogation. That seems to put the blame on women for their reactions, rather than on the liar by omission. Why is that?

CogitoErgoSometimes Wed 21-Nov-12 12:11:05

Is it deception really? You go out after work for a drink. He probably says 'I'll be late home because I'm going out for a drink after work' and that's where the conversation ends. You seem to chat about football, family and other fairly 'matey' subjects.... not the Kama Sutra. It's not a 'date' set up over a candlelit table. If you were a man you wouldn't wonder why he hadn't mentioned you specifically, I suppose. Are you reading more into these meetings than he is?

Charbon Wed 21-Nov-12 12:23:09

If I'd been meeting a girlfriend for a night out every 8 weeks for 15 years, I would think it was very odd that her husband didn't know about my existence or that she was meeting me one-to-one on these nights out.

Durab Wed 21-Nov-12 12:27:35

Charbon, I think you're crediting me with a lot more depth than is actually there. The shock was supposed to be ironic, as in, I'm not really surprised that he's not listening when I get in drunk in the early hours. I am not worried about DH's "complacency". He's not complacent. I will stop using smilies wink

I genuinely do have massive respect for my friend's DW (what I know of her). I don't know why he feels the need for secrecy. I only know I don't like it, but don't know what I can do about it.

He does seem put out that she doesn't ask, maybe not saying anything is his challenge to her to ask? I don't know. That's why I posted. I've seen enough MN, to know that many men would be interrogated in this situation, but I have no idea if that's the case here, I was just throwing our possibilities. I absolutely don't think lying by omission is OK or that it is the "fault" of the woman, I think the exact opposite, which is why I'm uncomfortable here, but again I don't know what to do about it.

Cogito, that's exactly what he says and you're right I wouldn't wonder why he hasn't mentioned me if I were a man.

Edith, that is exactly why I would prefer she knows. I know she has nothing to worry about, but I also know that it would look awful if it came out after 15 years!! DH does sometimes drop me off/collect, everything is completely transparent as far as my DH is concerned.

Charbon Wed 21-Nov-12 12:33:53

Would you not wonder why you weren't mentioned if a girlfriend had kept you a secret from her partner for 15 years?

Have you told your husband that your friend keeps you secret from his wife? How does/do you think he would - feel about that?

alreadytaken Wed 21-Nov-12 12:34:37

I had a male friend like this, he didn't tell his wife when we met because she was the jealous type and didn't like him to meet friends from his past. He is now divorced, we are still friends. I didn't see it was any of my business what he told his wife, although it was sad she didn't understand men and women can simply be friends.

Durab Wed 21-Nov-12 12:40:59

Yes, I would wonder why Charbon and I do in this case, which is why I'm feeling uncomfortable about it all and why I've posted, as, at the risk of repeating myself, I don't know what I can/should do about it.

Yes, I have told DH. He thinks that from their point of view it would be better if he did tell her, but doesn't consider it to be of actual relevance to him(DH)/us. His advice is to stay out of it and enjoy my night out.

Charbon Wed 21-Nov-12 12:58:47

Okay well here's what I would do about it.

I would tell him that I didn't want to be complicit in any secrets from his wife and that it made me feel uncomfortable, especially as my motives for our friendship were transparent. I'd add that I didn't want to lose the friendship but wasn't prepared to have it at the cost of honesty towards another person.

I'm always very wary of making judgements about people I've never met, or of projecting other people's attitudes on to them. I would never believe that someone was 'the jealous type' if I'd never met that person and I don't assume that all jealousy is irrational anyway. I would always wonder what motive someone has for describing their life partner in those terms.

I also come at this from the perspective that women in general are not jealous harridans who submit their partners to interrogation, or who are alternately neglectful or complacent in their intimate relationships. If someone is lying, either by commission or omission, I always scrutinise their motives, ask questions and then make a judgement, rather than excusing their lies by presuming that their partners' behaviour is at fault for the lie.

This isn't specifically directed at you OP, incidentally. I see a lot of posters on this forum whose instant reaction is to blame a deceived woman, rather than the deceiving man.

prh47bridge Wed 21-Nov-12 13:03:16

there may well be women that would not like their DH to have platonic female friends, but the general opinion on here is that they would be unreasonable to feel that way

Agree they are unreasonable but they exist. My first wife was one such. In her mind any contact with a female friend meant I was probably having an affair. Totally unreasonable but that was the way her mind worked - and no, I was not having affairs, emotional or otherwise.

I quickly realised that there was much less grief if I didn't mention any contact I had with female friends (or even female work colleagues). As with your friend I wasn't actively hiding their existence, just not volunteering information. Telling her and taking the grief would have made life unbearable so the only other option would have been to cut off contact with any female friends completely (which is what my wife wanted).

I am not allocating blame here, just laying out the situation. Given her reactions I had two choices:

- cut off contact with any female friends
- don't tell my wife about my female friends

I chose the second option. I take full responsibility for that. If that was the wrong option then I got it wrong.

As I see it you have a simple choice. Either end this friendship or accept the fact that he doesn't tell his wife all about it and stop agonising about it. There really isn't anything else you can do. If you try to force the issue he may well tell you it is none of your business and/or end your friendship himself.

Durab Wed 21-Nov-12 13:06:56

I haven't assumed that his wife is the jealous type, I've only suggested (among other possible reasons) that he hasn't told her for a quiet life. I too don't like to make assumptions about people I've never met. If my friend were to tell me his wife was the jealous type, I'd be asking what in his past makes her feel like that, but he hasn't told me any such thing and as far as I know there is nothing like that.

I do know my friend though and he would not react well to to being told he "must" tell her (or do anything else). The best I could hope for was that he'd agree to tell her and then "forget". What then?

Charbon Wed 21-Nov-12 13:08:12

Didn't you have an affair when married to your first wife bridge, or have I mixed you up with another poster?

SolidGoldYESBROKEMYSPACEBAR Wed 21-Nov-12 13:10:31

I think you've been listening to mundanes and monogamists who can't see the world in any other way than I Must Police My Partner's Interactions So S/he Can't Have Sex With Other People. Plenty of rational people don't get their undies in a bundle about that sort of thing.

You don't want to shag this man, you have no suspicion that he wants to shag you, the two of you socialise very rarely and talk about work and football. The rest of his life is none of your business.

Durab Wed 21-Nov-12 13:10:58

X-post prh. That is exactly how I would expect my friend to react, although I don't know (or suspect) his wife reacts like, that, just that there is a (unknown) reason he prefers not to tell her. Sadly, though, I note you are no longer married, please tell me it had nothing to do with your female friends.

Hopeisthethingwithfeathers Wed 21-Nov-12 13:13:18

prh47bridge Please don't take this the wrong way, but is there any connection between your choice and why you are now divorced? Just wondering if it always ends that badly....

Durab You can't insist or even encourage your friend to tell his DW. That is between him and her. Just be prepared for the phone call accusing you of being an OW if his DW ever finds out. It's not your responsibility though.

Charbon Wed 21-Nov-12 13:17:36

Plenty of rational people don't get their undies in a bundle about that sort of thing.

Including most women of my acquaintance. I've met very few women who are naturally suspicious and possessive about their partners' friendships, but a lot of people who enjoy depicting women like that.

I'd ask him why he didnt tell her. But its really up to him.

I have lots of male and female friends that I see without DP. I wouldnt worry too much about their relationships unless I was being asked for advice!

Dont think you are being at all out of order for 'having a male friend' and I'd leave him to deal with his wife.

Durab Wed 21-Nov-12 13:53:13

Oh dear, prh47bridge hasn't been back....

Thank you all for your time, it has helped me think things through. I'm not going to force the issue, but I will tell him one more time that I think he should be more open with her.

I think I may also start calling/texting him now and again when he's likely to be at home, rather than during the working day. It won't be very often, we only really speak to arrange nights out anyway, but might that make our contact more "normal"/ less secretive, or not my place to take matters into my own hands like that?

MooncupGoddess Wed 21-Nov-12 13:57:11

Obviously you have done absolutely nothing wrong here, but I can see why you feel uncomfortable about the whole thing. I once realised that an ex-boyfriend I had stayed in touch with hadn't told his new girlfriend that we still regularly spoke (platonically!) and it made me feel quite uncomfortable.

Could you suggest a social event for all four of you? It's odd that you've never met the wife; were you not invited to the wedding?

Durab Wed 21-Nov-12 13:58:34

He was married long before we met, Mooncup, I think they're on about year 24

SolidGoldYESBROKEMYSPACEBAR Wed 21-Nov-12 14:00:15

FFS! Don't start stirring, OP! There is nothing wrong here, so why are you looking for trouble? It's absolutely fine to compartmentalize friendships, much healthier than this tendency of couples doing everything together and expecting each other to meet every single one of their needs.

Durab Wed 21-Nov-12 14:01:57

Oh, OK Solid, but if I only phone him at work, aren't I complicit? I've never thought of it like that, but have begun to wonder during this thread

MooncupGoddess Wed 21-Nov-12 14:05:42

Oh sorry, should have thought of that! Totally agree SGB that compartmentalising friendships is fine, the OP meeting her friend every couple of months is fine... but I think most people would feel surprised and hurt if they discovered that their other half had been meeting a friend 5-6 times a year for 15 years without them knowing anything about it?

Durab Wed 21-Nov-12 14:17:58

Actually, Mooncup, I wouldn't expect to be invited to that kind of event. If, for example, his older son (who I have met a handful of times at sports events) was getting married I would be very surprised to get an invite. But now, I'm really over thinking and must go and do something else. Thank you all again.

prh47bridge Wed 21-Nov-12 14:21:11

Given that people are asking, there is no connection between my choice and why my first marriage collapsed.

Once our children were born my first wife increasingly rejected any form of affection. I was not allowed to hold her hand or put my arm around her in public and increasingly not in private either. Eventually, after 18 years of marriage, she informed me that I would never be allowed to touch or kiss her again as it made her feel physically sick. I tried to change her mind but she was adamant. I confess I did have an affair after around 6 months of no physical contact. It was not with one of my female friends. The affair did not last. My wife was willing to carry on our marriage even though she was aware of the affair (which, in all honesty, I hadn't made much attempt to hide) but I was not. The divorce came through a week before what would have been our 20th anniversary.

I should not have had the affair and I am ashamed of my behaviour at that time. What I have said about the state of my marriage should not be seen as any form of justification. For what it is worth, I believe my first marriage would have ended about that time with or without the affair as I simply could not have continued with a marriage that wasn't even a friendship any more, let alone a relationship. I accept that I may be deluding myself.

I am now very happily married (not to the woman with whom I had the affair). I did not meet my current wife until a year or two after my first marriage ended. We have been in a relationship for 10 years and married for 5. My new wife is very comfortable with the fact I have some female friends. She is aware of them and has met most of them. I would not dream of deliberately hiding a friendship (or anything else) from her.

Charbon Wed 21-Nov-12 14:42:38

I think there's some confusion amongst some posters about the difference between compartmentalisation and lying/secrecy. Lying to or keeping secrets from a partner is wrong - having healthy, openly conducted but separate friendships is not.

I think your plan was good OP. I would concentrate on how you feel about this and on what you think is the right thing to do. A good test is to put yourself in this woman's shoes. She might have been just like you and would have been fine about her husband's friendship with you. But she's been denied an opinion, hasn't she? I'm sure you'd hate it if you weren't even allowed a voice if your husband had a similar secret friendship - and others were assuming that he'd lied and kept the secret because you were disinterested, irrationally jealous or would have given him too much grief.

No-one knows what his wife's reaction would have been.

She hasn't been given the chance to have one.

We only know that he has kept this friendship secret.

Hopeisthethingwithfeathers Wed 21-Nov-12 14:45:53

prh47bridge I am so glad that has all worked out for you. I don't think anyone would say you behaved badly. The prospect of living without physical affection for the rest of your life must have been very bleak and not many people would choose that path.

OP I should stay well clear of interfering in your friend's marriage - nobody other than the two of them knows how they bump along together and you are not doing anything wrong.

prh47bridge Wed 21-Nov-12 14:52:45

Only reason I haven't been back earlier is that I have to do some work during the day - I can't spend it all on Mumsnet! smile

SolidGoldYESBROKEMYSPACEBAR Wed 21-Nov-12 18:06:58

Look, women, in particular, are encouraged to obsess about monogamy and act as the monogamy police. The main point of this is to stop them getting any ideas about changing the world or living independent of men. If women believe that the most important thing in the world is to catch a man and stop him having sex with other women, then they will devote their lives to a man rather than themselves, their children, art, politics, sport, travel... Etc.
You are not responsible for how your friend conducts his domestic life. Nor is it your business how his DW might feel about your friendship - you don't know her, and for all you know she might be shagging her entire neighbourhood watch committee while her H is having a friendly gossip with you. Not all women are bothered about policing their H's interactions with other people, and not everyone gives a toss about monogamy anyway.

If you enjoy spending time with this bloke, carry on. If you are getting bored with it, do something else. But don't start blowing it up into some big heteromonogamist drama, because all this will achieve is to make several people cross and unhappy, to no purpose whatsoever.

alreadytaken Wed 21-Nov-12 19:02:49

I referred to my male friend's wife as the jealous type - I met her, she was. That wasn't the main reason the marriage ended in divorce but it certainly didn't help.

I wouldn't feel it necessary to go along with any possible deceit by, for example, only phoning someone at work but I don't ask my female friends if they've told their husbands when we meet so there is no reason to ask a male friend.

Charbon Wed 21-Nov-12 19:59:59

Way to miss the point SGB....and quite hilarious that women's collusion in men lying to other women, is being spun here as a Feminist response.

This isn't about interfering in someone's marriage. If a man wants to lie to and keep secrets from his wife, that's his own look-out. That doesn't mean that the OP has to approve of it or collude with it. This is about how the OP wants to live her life and conduct her friendships - her decisions and not his.

If the OP decides to say she's not comfortable with being party to secrets and lies to another woman, that's her decision and there's nothing 'heteromonogamist' or 'mundane' about it (yawn). It's called being a decent person and treating others how you'd want to be treated, in my view.

SolidGoldYESBROKEMYSPACEBAR Wed 21-Nov-12 22:39:44

The thing is with treating other people how you want to be treated is other people are not necessarily like you and may not have the same worldview as you do.

Charbon Thu 22-Nov-12 00:40:51

Agreed, but the 'world view' we are discussing here is that as a general rule, no-one wants to be lied to or deceived for 15 years about what has always been a partner's innocent friendship. I don't think that 'world view' is especially off-the-wall or peculiar to a minority of people. And it's not a huge leap to imagine that someone who's been married for 24 years might feel that way.

It would be very strange if we assumed in our actions that some people liked their partners telling lies by omission or keeping secrets from them, so it was okay if we sanctioned that behaviour, even if we wouldn't feel that way ourselves.

The 'world view' that lots of people (including you, me, the OP and numerous posters on this thread) have no difficulty whatsoever with their partners having friendships is a different matter entirely. That's not at issue - it's that this woman's views are completely unknown because she isn't being given a chance to express them.

hopespringy Thu 22-Nov-12 00:49:09

What would make me feel very uncomfortable is if I felt I had no choice but to be complicit in my friend's secret. Just trying this for size: would I feel uncomfortable if my friend was another woman who kept our friendship secret from her husband? No I wouldn't. Just a thought.

I have two male friends and they are so dear to me that I would be very jealous to keep our friendship and, yes, up to a point I would vaguely go along with being vaguely complicit to keep our friendship. I hate to admit that. I don't want a woman to get all pointy-eyed at me and put pressure on my friendship. I guess I'm not being entirely straight up but these men are like brothers to me. I have a non-existent relationship with my real brother, who has made it clear he is not interested to know me in any, even vague, depth (which hurts). My male friends are very much at arm's length on one level - I hold our friendship lightly - but underneath I care for them very much: I love them. I want them to be happy and would bow out in a second if our friendship compromised their marriage in any real sense.

I have met my male friends' wives: one I don't like at all but I wouldn't dream of making that known to my friend and I am totally supportive of their relationship eg rejoicing when they rejoice (individually or together). I definitely wouldn't listen to any griping about her - if he tried to do that I would immediately shut it down - I'm simply not interested to go there (potentially dangerous territory and all) and I am naturally prejudiced to see things from a woman's/wife's pov anyway, so he'd be wasting his time. The other wife I do like but neither of us seems to be that interested to be friends. If she showed an interest then I would reciprocate [as long as she doesn't take my friend/her husband away from me...]

I have used the word 'vague' quite a few times and maybe these friendships have to be kept vague to be safe - from without and within.

SolidGoldYESBROKEMYSPACEBAR Thu 22-Nov-12 00:55:16

No, it's about the heteromonogamist worldview that men and women can't possibly be friends without there being a sexual component, that a heteromonogamist relationship is the most important kind of relationship there is and all others have to be sacrificed in its favour, and that heteromonogamous couples have to know and share every aspect of each other's lives.... Versus a worldview of: why get your undies in a bundle when no harm is being done and your drinking buddy's homelife is none of your business?

OP, I have been in your situation, more or less. One of my best friends tells his wife very little of our interactions (which are now mostly over email, as we don't live in the same city anymore -- but we used to hang out regularly in person). I haven't pried too much but it seems she took a dislike to me when we met and therefore expected him to drop me as a friend, which is all kinds of wrong as we were close friends for years before he met her.

I personally don't feel that bad about being complicit in deceiving someone who is only being deceived because she's being unreasonable. Would I do this for a casual friendship? Probably not, but this man is like a brother to me.

I can't imagine being in this kind of marriage myself -- DH and I are totally open with each other -- but well that's his business. I admit I am totally selfish in my approach to all this, but I don't have that many best friends.

If I were you, I would just not worry about it. It's his life.

Charbon Thu 22-Nov-12 01:04:38

You know hope most women don't go all 'pointy-eyed' about their partners having female friends - and neither do most men. I don't think this is about jealousy or possessiveness - or even friendship at all.

A problem only arises when people start keeping secrets and telling lies to a partner. That's when even the most laid-back, level-headed and secure person might baulk at what's happening and even start to feel suspicious. I don't think it's fair to depict women or men who don't like being lied to, as unreasonable or strange.

Charbon Thu 22-Nov-12 01:07:29

No, it's about the heteromonogamist worldview that men and women can't possibly be friends without there being a sexual component

No-one on this thread - and no-one I know has that world view. These prejudices and projections of yours, may exist only in your head SGB.

hopespringy Thu 22-Nov-12 01:13:26

You know hope most women don't go all 'pointy-eyed' about their partners having female friends

that's not my experience, unfortunately.

Charbon Thu 22-Nov-12 01:23:01

Do you really mean 'most women' you know Hope or just a few women of your acquaintance?

Do the majority of your female friends, colleagues and family members disapprove of their male partners having women friends?

I don't doubt your experience if you say that's the case. It's just that I don't recognise this depiction of women being a seething mass of jealousy and suspicion about innocent and non-threatening friendships. I'd have very few women friends if that was the case!

hopespringy Thu 22-Nov-12 01:26:54

erm yes, yes, yes and erm yes. Sadly.

Charbon Thu 22-Nov-12 01:30:13

Wow! Time to meet some different women then, I think?

We're not all like that, I promise you wink

scaevola Thu 22-Nov-12 07:09:03

There's an enormous difference between having a friend, and introducing deceit into a marriage in order to hide the extent of a relationship.

OP, you posted because you are worried about what he is doing. Even if you don't see this as an EA, he may have already begun so to do. Meetings yo know to be secret from his wife are a bad idea. I suggest you tell him that.

It's up to him how he chooses to treat his wife. But no need to let yourself be dragged in. Unless of course you want a secret relationship.

StillSquiffy Thu 22-Nov-12 10:43:45

If you are simply platonic friends then I fail to see why it is any of your business or interest as to why he doesn't tell her about you.

If it was a girlfriend you were meeting and she told you her DH didn't know about her meeting you, you'd think "He must be a bit of an arse" but it certainly wouldn't vex you, surely? It's between the two of them and nothing to do with you.

I really fail to see why it is of relevance. Unless of course you think he sees you as something more than a mate.

alreadytaken Sat 24-Nov-12 09:21:18

"If it was a girlfriend you were meeting and she told you her DH didn't know about her meeting you, you'd think "He must be a bit of an arse" but it certainly wouldn't vex you, surely?"

Well, yes it would vex me a bit because I would be concerned about my friend being with someone who is a bit of an arse.

In my experience my male friends' wives usually tolerate other friendships. We at least try to pretend we like each other and meet with our partners sometimes. One of my male friends married someone I now consider a friend - we're still in touch now my friend is dead, despite living far apart. So it certainly isn't universal. But I wouldn't give up an old friend because their wife (or husband) was an arse. I might see them less often to avoid straining the relationship but when it ends they need their friends.

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