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DH being friends with a girl half his age

136 replies

PleaseBeHonest · 10/10/2022 07:16

DH is 47 and this girl is in her twenties. She used to work for him, he was her manager. At the time, things weren’t great between DH and I. He was coming home every day in a foul mood, not even acknowledging me most nights. He’d then blame the stress of work. However, he then talked about how much fun he had at work and that they “spent the whole day laughing”. He mentioned a few colleagues but this one (the girl) he mentioned more than most. I actually lost my temper with him because he was mentioning her so much.

Then she found another job and left the company about 6 months ago. I thought that would be the end of it.

Then at the weekend DH showed me his phone and I could see that there was a conversation between the two of them. Basically she was asking him if he was going to someone’s leaving do and he said he wasn’t. All innocent enough, but why are they still in contact? Especially as I had raised concerns about her in the past.

DH said they were friends 🙄. AIBU to have an issue with a 47 year old MARRIED man being friends with a girl in her twenties?

Just for background, I have NEVER had an issue with anyone else DH has worked with ever. Just this one girl.

OP posts:

Am I being unreasonable?

530 votes. Final results.

You are being unreasonable
You are NOT being unreasonable
Pollydon · 10/10/2022 07:24

Well, mentionitis is never a good sign.
My DH has female friends from before he retired but the main difference is that I am friendly with them too and he never came home and treated me like shit.

Doingmybest12 · 10/10/2022 07:24

This will be a massive generalisation but .. men seem to want to put little effort into the long term relationships , like to have a partner at home doing all the grunt work and then let their heads be turned by anyone carefree and fun meanwhile having the benefits of someone washing their pants and cleaning their toilets. You are not wrong to be pissed off by this. I am sure if nothing else he is highly flattered by the attention .

QuizzlyBears · 10/10/2022 07:25

You’ll get lots of different answers here - people have very strong feelings about things like this, but I think you need an honest conversation with your husband to understand his motivations. It might be entirely innocent - I am 33 and one of my closest friends at work is a 54 year old married man. Nothing in it, we just get on very well. Being married doesn’t preclude having female friends - well, it shouldn’t do - and I think the reason you’re feeling worried it because you don’t understand the why. I imagine you feel invalidated having seen the chat when you’ve already raised it - it’s likely nothing untoward, but you need to examine your own worries about this girl in particular and have a conversation with your husband about it.

Zingy123 · 10/10/2022 07:26

Do you mean woman? A girl is a child.

Butterfly44 · 10/10/2022 07:30

The workplace has many age ranges. I manage staff half my age and a text from one of them asking if I was going to a leaving do is really nothing, even if they've left. Staff who've left still consider former colleagues as friends.

Only you know if he mentions her too much. That's on him not her.

bakehimawaytoys · 10/10/2022 07:30

Are you kidding @QuizzlyBears ? There's only one reason a 47-year-old man is friends with a girl half his age and it's not because he's interested in her personality.

I think they are both pathetic, she obviously likes the attention and he's probably fantasising about her while telling himself he's just a cool guy that young people want to be friends with. It's disrespectful and would give me the ick. I don't know how you can handle it I'm afraid OP - I would probably tell his friends and family about it to be honest because I think these kinds of dodgy "friendships" flourish in secrecy.

NerrSnerr · 10/10/2022 07:34

She's not a girl. She is a woman.

It seems he doesn't mention her now, and they just have one very innocent text exchange.

Luxurysleuth007 · 10/10/2022 07:34

Has it ever crossed your mind that they could actually be just mates? Being half his age it’s unlikely she’s attracted to him unless of course he’s Brad Pitt, it sounds to me like you may be slightly jealous of her?

ExtraOnions · 10/10/2022 07:43

The only messaging between them was her asking if he was going on a leaving do, and him saying “no”? Could have been asking for several reasons

I refer to lots of people as “friends”, who are probably more like acquaintances… they aren’t proper “friends” just people I know.

Do you think she is seeking an affair with your husband ?

SleeplessInEngland · 10/10/2022 07:44

Well either you trust DH or you don’t. The age shouldn’t matter, unless you’re concerned about other people finding it odd.

Putdownthecake · 10/10/2022 07:45

Do they still work similar industries? Some of my best friends at work have been twice my age and we're still friends now. Will meet for the occasional coffee and network.
He may fancy her. You may also be jealous for no reason but it sounds like hes done nothing wrong.

PleaseBeHonest · 10/10/2022 07:47

@Putdownthecake no, she was the receptionist.

OP posts:
Angelinflipflops · 10/10/2022 07:49

I don't mind being called a girl, as a fully grown woman, I also call men boys, shoot me

TeefAsseblief · 10/10/2022 07:50

Stop calling her a girl, she's a woman, not a child.

People can be friends with those ranging in ages. What was the purpose of him showing you his phone? Aside from mentioning other colleagues but mostly her - what else did he do during that time? Were you having issues before, or do you blame this woman for causing issues?

It may be, that your husband likes her. It also may be, that you are insecure and jealous of a woman half your husbands age (and possibly yours, if you/DH are similar ages).

Fairyliz · 10/10/2022 07:51

I’m in my 60’s with DD’s in their 20’s.
Funnily enough I’ve not met any men in their 40’s who want to be my work ‘friend’; yet my daughters have loads.
Is there something wrong with me, do I need friendship tips? 🙄

StupidSmallFruit · 10/10/2022 07:56

Oh God, here we go, the thread is going to get derailed now because you said ‘girl’ instead of ‘woman’.

The point has been well and truly made now everyone - move on!

I am very pro male/female friendships. I’ve never managed it myself, but everyone one of my exes, and DH, have all had good women friends. In fact, it’s almost a criteria for me - can this man be friends with women? Yes? Tick.

But not one of these women has ever given me cause for concern. Quite the opposite - with DH’s women friends, I’m now also friends with them, and not once has his behaviour given me cause for concern.

There’s obviously something making you feel uneasy, and it’s not OK for other people to tell you to get over that or ignore it.

CantFindTheBeat · 10/10/2022 08:00

Your feelings are your feelings, OP.

There's no excuse for your DH being an arse at home. You have 100% right to pull him on that and expect equality and effort.

On the 'friendship' front - it's not equal, is it, therefore it's not appropriate. He was her boss. He could be a mentor or a coach, but not a friend.

Sounds like he doesn't have good boundaries.

SallyWD · 10/10/2022 08:00

I've always goit on w

HRTQueen · 10/10/2022 08:08

I had a few older men who were jus friends when I was in my 20’s through work. I was foolish and believed they were just friends and thought it so sweet with they showed interest in my life 🙄

now I’m 50 it’s strange but not so many men want to be friends with me 🤔

He has a crush and she boosts his ego he can live in a fantasy world that he may actually have a chance (if he wasn’t married, wasn’t her boss) of her being attracted to him but this is what stops her

i have never had men much younger than me as friends we get on at work but that’s I certainly don’t send them personal messages

SallyWD · 10/10/2022 08:08

I've always got on with colleagues of all ages. When I was in my 20s I was on very friendly terms with men and women in their 40s and 50s. I don't think that text exchange is anything to worry about. OK, he mentioned her a lot and it's possible he fancied her a bit but is it a big deal if nothing's going on? Over the years I've mildly fancied a couple of colleagues but I'd never do anything about it as I'm happily married. People aren't going to stop being attracted to others just because they're married. As long as they behave themselves then all's good. My DH works with uni students, some of whom are stunning. I trust him not to pursue them and at the same time realise he probably finds some of them attractive.

Quveas · 10/10/2022 08:11

There are two issues here.

One is the woman he used to work with. On that, I'd say get over it and stop creating problems. People are allowed friends, and age has little to do with friendship. You don't get to dictate who your husband is friends with any more than he should dictate who yours are. You have no reason to believe that there is anything more than a friendship.

The second is that your relationship with your husband is poor. You are both responsible for that. What are you going to do about it? Because dictating the terms of your husbands friendships, having no trust in him etc., is not dealing with that issue, it is making it worse. And no doubt there are problems and issues here for both of you. Focus on what is important - how you make your relationship work for both of you - and talk to him. If that isn't possible, this woman isn't the problem, it's the marriage.

ittakes2 · 10/10/2022 08:12

I was that girl once where married older men struck up friendships with me at work. I enjoyed their company as mature people are interesting to talk to but always felt if I ever gave them a sign I wanted more they would pounce.

Zippo1946 · 10/10/2022 08:13

Are you kidding @QuizzlyBears ? There's only one reason a 47-year-old man is friends with a girl half his age and it's not because he's interested in her personality.

It’s not always that black and white.

I met my husband at work. At the time he was very friendly with a student there on a summer work placement. She was half his age and they seemed to do everything together. I was a bit jealous at the time because I fancied him. He has since said that he didn’t fancy her at all. Although it turned out she fancied him because she sent him several suggestive texts once she went back to uni.

Castaspell · 10/10/2022 08:13

I am in my 40's and have a good friend who is a young man in his early twenties who I met through work. Entirely innocent on both sides, I am like a bonus mum to him.
We would have had a conversation about going to a mutual colleagues leaving do and it would be just that, checking if we will have chance to catch up as I would with any friend.
I'd certainly keep an eye on the situation if it makes you uncomfortable but just to say age gap friendships aren't always affairs!

Hillary17 · 10/10/2022 08:21

I left my old job around six months ago and regularly still check in & chat with people from my old team. I’m 32 and this includes people in their 50’s - never thought anything of it! Workplaces have all kinds of age ranges and you tend to end up bonding over the weirdest things! If there’s no other reason for concern I wouldn’t think twice about it.

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