Whether it’s a best friend, an old friend, a coworker, acquaintance or maybe even one of your friends, there is (or was) a woman in your husband’s life that made you shift in your seat every time you saw her, or every time your husband mentioned her name.
Some women you don’t want your husband to talk to, because you swear up and down that you know what kind of ‘girl’ she is.
“Men are too oblivious, but I know better, and she’s flirting with you,” you declare with your finger in his face.
“She didn’t have to text you at 2 in the morning. That was completely inappropriate,” you huff out.
He, of course, will have a string of excuses of why you’re overreacting. She’s having a hard time with her boyfriend. She wasn’t flirting; she’s just a nice person. Yeah, right…
And then there are the women that give you a bad feeling, because they haven’t really done anything wrong but-for some reason-the thought of something possibly going on between her and your husband won’t escape your mind. He’s got all this time on his hands, at work, or at home, and they have enough in common that he enjoys her company and could like her. After all, isn’t that how you and your husband built up the initial chemistry to spark a relationship? You spent a lot of time together. He could as easily fall for her as he did for you. Perhaps he sees her more than you if they work together, or he seems to laugh more when she’s around, while you and him are lucky to have a conversation that doesn’t turn into an argument over unpaid bills or dirty dishes.
I admit I’ve been in that spot before, too. I was hungry to see who my husband was texting whenever he looked down at his phone or whenever he took hours to respond to me, even before we had our son. He would tell me he was with his buddies and their friends, or that he was driving a coworker home since her car wouldn’t start. Inevitably, they had ended up at Subway because she wanted to pay him back for the ride. Or the lifeguard he was messaging and her Czech friends (conveniently only in town for the summer) just wanted to keep in touch so he could help them learn English. That’s right, learn English. Please!
It doesn’t take much to drive a woman over the edge when jealousy is involved. Not only do men seem to not notice what’s going on, but they blame you for being upset-insulted that you would doubt them, even in the presence of a beautiful girl. So how do you deal with it?
I’ve got the answer.
Well… AN answer. You let him do what he wants, because he will anyway. If he wants to keep talking to someone that you forbid (really? don’t do this) him from communicating with, he will gradually stop mentioning her name and do it behind your back. To him, the problem is figuring out how to get you off his back. Yet to you, the issue is feeling better about yourself in comparison to someone that might have sexy legs or full lips or is just sweet with a laid-back style makes her seem fresh and irresistible.
Try to find a middle ground. Set boundaries depending on their relationship and yours. If it’s a coworker, lay down rules for things you are and aren’t comfortable with. Being alone in a hotel room on business trips is not okay, but going to client dinners is. If it’s a friend, texting on the weekends is okay, but not late at night or when you’re in the middle of family time. If it’s one of your friends, then you need to be sure that it’s a friend you can trust and then decide to trust him, too. These are a few examples but it all starts and ends with trust.
Thoughts will constantly haunt you if you’re insecure or deadsest on hanging on to a time when he actually did betray your trust.
And when push comes to shove, you make it clear what your expectations are, and if he fails you, what the consequences will be. I caught my husband sending emails to a girl that he had already given a nickname to. He called her at her job so her boyfriend wouldn’t know, after nights of playing video games together online. How does that even happen? I don’t know, but there is the common interest again. It’s still hard for me not to flinch or to wonder if he secretly talks to other women when I’m not around, but as a mother, I can’t afford to be paranoid. My energy is divided into thousands of pieces each day, and this just doesn’t make the top of the list very often. If he disappoints me again, he knows where the door is.
But I’m not innocent either and have searched Craigslist for people to give me attention during times in our relationship when he was emotionally unavailable. I have lied to him about people from my past and more than once just completely shut him out.
It’s a tough game to play when you want to win, because you’re never going to win if you keep considering it a competition. You win when he wins and vice versa, and the same holds true for losing. If you try to eliminate the women in his life that aren’t really causing any harm (other than making you wish you had lost your baby weight faster or that you could find a cream to hide the dark circles under your eyes), he will be more attracted to what has now become forbidden fruit. On the other hand, if you don’t make a big deal of it and demand crazy things from him, he’s more likely to be receptive of your feelings, and to be happier at home with a confident wife that respects herself but also trusts him.
I cannot stress enough the importance of remembering that all people are different and each relationship has its unique stamp. Just because your best friend’s husband seems to be distracted lately when he’s at home or because your parents got divorced due to a wandering eye does not mean it will happen to you.
If you put yourself in your husband’s shoes, it might make you feel slightly less antsy. He can’t help if he has women in his life that are gorgeous just like you can’t help it if you have men in your life that are not (who wouldn’t want a mail man or doctor that looks like Brad Pitt?). Sometimes I catch myself being taken away by someone’s appearance even if it is a girl. It’s human to appreciate beauty so don’t punish your husband for not being able to fight a natural instinct sometimes. But remember that it makes sense for you to react the way you do, too, when you notice him noticing someone. The key: it’s all about both of you learning self control. Though it may be difficult, he can look away from someone that passes by him at the bank, and you can restrain yourself from berating him whenever you feel threatened by the mere presence of someone attractive in the room. Just because he thinks someone is pretty doesn’t mean he wants to date her or marry her or even sleep with her. If you’re getting clear signs that one of those is true, because he spends too much alone time with this woman or can’t stop talking about her then maybe it’s time for a conversation to see what’s really going on. But until then, don’t be so quick to hit him with the nearest object each time you catch him looking at a woman walk by, discover him talking to a team member, or even your kid’s teacher or coach.
Beautiful women are everywhere. The secret to not feeling like a ticking bomb whenever your husband is around one is to recognize that you’re beautiful, too.