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Dear Wendy: “My Husband Calls Another Woman Constantly”

Last month my husband received a friend request on Facebook from a childhood friend he hasn’t seen or spoken to in 10 years. She wrote him a couple of messages and they texted over the holidays. I figured this was a case of old friends catching up and didn’t think much of it. Last week, he unlocked his iPhone to show me a picture and his call log was open. I saw that there were about eight calls to and from his friend in a span of three days. He doesn’t even call me that much! My phone bill came this week and there were over 100 texts to and from this “friend” in a matter of three days. I asked about the messages and he admitted that he deleted them because I would have gotten angry. I have explained to him that I think it’s disrespectful for a random woman to be repeatedly calling my husband (they were friends TEN years ago!) and I think he is disrespecting me by having so much contact with her behind my back. He says that I am crazy, jealous and overreacting. He has been very opposed to my having close male friends, so I think he is being a hypocrite. I had no reason to not trust him until he started hiding things from me. Do you think I’m really being overly jealous or is he just trying to make me feel guilty because he knows he’s wrong? — The “Crazy” Wife

You are not overreacting at all!! Your husband sending over a hundred texts to some random woman from his past whom you’ve never met, whether it’s over the course of three days or three months is inappropriate and disrespectful. It’s especially messed up that he was actively hiding those texts from you. He knows he’s wrong and he knows his behavior is suspect. Definitely view this as a red flag, keep your eye on him and tell him you do not approve of the kind of communication he is having with this woman. You are not being crazy — I promise! — and he is being manipulative if he’s trying to convince you that you are.

That said, it can be exciting to be contacted by an old friend, especially when it’s one we might have been attracted to, and might still consider attractive. It’s possible that your husband just got swept up in that initial excitement without really giving much thought to the consequences. Hopefully, he is now realizing the error of his ways and will immediately back off. If he doesn’t, you are right to be concerned.

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I met my ex-boyfriend the summer before he moved to Spain for grad school. We tried to do the long-distance thing but eventually had a bad breakup. Eventually, we became friends again, although I had never really gotten over him completely. He came to visit me in New York and we rekindled the romance and he made plans to see me again over winter break. However, in the meantime, I met a guy in my graduate program and we hit it off. Over break, I kept in touch with him while I spent most of my time with my ex-boyfriend, who is moving to DC soon. The ex told me he loves me and wants to be back with me. I told him that I loved him too, but I need time to decide whether I want to be in a long-distance relationship again.

I am feeling really terrible because the day I got back to NYC, the guy in my grad school program took me out to dinner and we had a really nice evening. I know that my ex considers me his girlfriend because he has said it before and thus, this means I am cheating on him. If he were here in NYC I would be with him in a heartbeat, but I am really hesitant about long distance because I already tried it with him once before and it didn’t work. I don’t want to lose him, yet I’m interested in this other guy, too. He makes me laugh and I feel like if I let myself, I could fall for him. The catch here is that he is graduating this spring and probably moving back home. Is it even worth it to risk losing what I have with my ex to be with someone who might not even be looking for anything? What does it mean that I have feelings for someone else? I cannot keep juggling these guys — it’s putting a lot of stress on me. — Stressed-Out Juggler

If you aren’t ready to make a decision, you need to be honest with the ex-boyfriend that you aren’t ready to be exclusive yet. This will at least alleviate the guilt you feel about juggling two guys. You don’t have to tell him upfront you’re seeing someone else — saying you aren’t ready to be exclusive is enough — but if he asks outright, you should be honest about it. There’s no reason you need to jump into exclusivity so quickly — especially when we’re talking about a long-distance relationship. In order for LDRs to work, both parties need to be on the same page. Because they require a unique kind of commitment, you can’t rush it. When I met my now-husband, we were long distance and we waited over six months before making it exclusive. If Drew had pressured me before I was ready — or vice versa — I think we really would have screwed stuff up (maybe that’s what happened your first time doing the LDR thing). Because we weren’t seeing each other all the time, I needed awhile to really make sure I was ready to commit to long-distance relationship and take myself off the market in my own city. If your ex doesn’t respect your need for time, then this isn’t the right relationship for you. And that’s too bad for him. He may be losing out on something that could be really special simply because he isn’t willing to wait an extra two or three months while you sort through your feelings.

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