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WH has female friends at work-need advice

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daphne345 posted 12/11/2013 12:53 PM

Hello. I'm new here. I've read posts before but never posted anything. I am struggling with setting boundaries with my WH. Over 2 years ago, I discovered emails from OW. He had been seeing her for 10 months. She was married when the affair started but divorced two months later. Her ex-husband was one of my husband's closest friends. They had sex both in my bed and her bed while she still shared it with her husband. They were co-workers. We moved across the country three months before Dday. I flew with my kids, he drove our car. I found out later she rode with him. They kept in frequent contact online, using video, email, chat. I took my kids to visit my mother for a weekend and she flew to my house and stayed with him for the weekend. It's likely she had flown to see him who knows how often. I found the emails the next day.
It's been 2 years. He claims total NC and total commitment to me and our kids. He was very remorseful. I am now faced with him wanting to do a group activity with 6 co-workers. 2 are female. He actually has been doing this over his lunchtime for a few months now. He did not tell me that there were women in the group. I asked him who was in the group a few days ago and he told me that one of the 6 people was female. Later I asked him again and he told me actually two women are involved. He says he is terribly lonely since the move. He has been trying to socialize with his co-workers all this time and felt rejected. Finally some co-workers invited him to play this game at lunchtime. He says it is too hard to do things with the male friends he has at the office. He says they live too far away. He tells me he did not tell me because he thought it would upset me and also he thought I would tell him he cannot be part of the social lunch game.
At first all I could think of was that he was still operating under the "what she doesn't know won't hurt her and she'll never find out" mode. He says he is sorry but because he told me when I asked it wasn't lying. He wants to keep on socializing with this group. I am saying no after a lot of thought. The OW was part of just such a group at his last job. Not only does it make me uncomfortable but it sets up a situation that is putting him at risk of repeating his old behaviors. I need advice. Am I asking too much?

daphne345 posted 12/11/2013 12:55 PM

Oh boy I didn't know how long my post was! Sorry. :/

steadfast1973 posted 12/11/2013 12:55 PM

I fully agree with you.

struggling3 posted 12/11/2013 13:03 PM

My H and I have had the friends at work conversation many times. I am constantly reminding him that women co-workers are just that..not friends. IMO this is just part of the fallout from their behavior. I would have never thought this way before. What kind of games are they playing and is it at lunch or after work? I would also be uncomfortable just as you are. I also think the WS #1 job at this point is to make sure we are not uncomfortable. Try harder to find some male friends.

Dallas2 posted 12/11/2013 13:14 PM

You don't need advice. You know that this is a boundry you need to set. In the book Not Just Friends it addresses this subject. Do not let your H bully you into giving into something that you can not live with or accept.

This was the first boundry I set no outside female friends of any type or in any form. No online stuff either. It makes my life so much more peaceful. It forced him to make friends with his male co-workers and the only female friend he has is me!

Stick to your guns.

Morhurt posted 12/11/2013 13:23 PM

Ya, no. If it makes you feel at all uncomfortable, no.

Perhaps if he's lonely at lunch he could spend the time writing you a letter about how awesome you are, or posting on SI or talking to some men. But honestly, what he's asking for is too much.

I also believe that omissions count as lies. I would be livid that he had been partaking in this group game (what kind of game??) without disclosing fully what it was and who was involved.


Morhurt posted 12/11/2013 13:23 PM

Ya, no. If it makes you feel at all uncomfortable, no.

Perhaps if he's lonely at lunch he could spend the time writing you a letter about how awesome you are, or posting on SI or talking to some men. But honestly, what he's asking for is too much.

I also believe that omissions count as lies. I would be livid that he had been partaking in this group game (what kind of game??) without disclosing fully what it was and who was involved.


Lucky2HaveMe posted 12/11/2013 13:26 PM

Can you join the activity? I wouldn't like my H spending time with any other woman that he hasn't at least introduced me to.

We are 7 years out. About a year ago I found some emails between H & a female coworker.Then I noticed he had searched her out and friended her on FB. He had 2 A's with coworkers. I found the emails flirty and inappropriate based on this history. He didn't agree, blah blah blah. A few days later he admitted "You're right, I still have shitty boundaries."

Behaviors that might have been acceptable before the A are seen in a new light after the A and may not be tolerated. I would think this is such a behavior.

atsenaotie posted 12/11/2013 13:34 PM

Hi daphne345,

Anything that makes one spouse uncomfortable should be seriously re-evaluated by the other spouse. This makes you uncomfortable, you both discussed it with him having his say, you were not swayed, so he can either hurt you or help you. There is no right or wrong. It is a sign of his continued need to work on himself that:

...he did not tell me because he thought it would upset me and also he thought I would tell him he cannot be part of the social lunch game.

Secrets are never OK, this is the slippery slope of an A. He knew it was wrong and chose what he wanted over what he presumed you would want.

I am not clear what game is being played at lunch, but best option at lunch for a career is to reach out to others in the department, organization, clients and suppliers for lunches. Build links and get new perspectives.

Fact is he wanted to be with other people he suspected you would disapprove of, so he hid it. A lie of omission is still a lie. You are not asking too much. Two years out from an A maybe he needs couples friends more than he needs male friends.

FeelingSoMuch posted 12/11/2013 15:06 PM

As long as this lunchtime game is innocent, there are ways to do this that alleviate your discomfort.

H could introduce you to co-workers, make sure everyone knows everyone ahead of time so that you know who he's spending time with and they get to know you. My two cents.

heartache101 posted 12/11/2013 15:12 PM

WoW what a selfish lying turd! He knew he knew.
Sorry he still has a cheater mindset not a remorseful husband mindset. Just freakin WoW!

Dont fall for this. He needscounseling he needs to quit lying!
Liars lie to hide something. I bet there is no group lunch. Just the two jmo.

rachelc posted 12/11/2013 15:38 PM

Social lunchtime thing + opposite sex = absolutely not. Who cares if you know these women. That doesn't stop affairs.

daphne345 posted 12/12/2013 12:40 PM

Thanks so much Morhurt for your response. I was crazy pissed when I found out. It is such a huge setback. I mean it's been two years. Wondering what else he didn't tell me. Ugh.

Thanks for all the responses. It feels so good to talk with people who really do know where I'm coming from.

Atsenaotie-thank u for everything u said. I feel like just showing your post to my husband. It about sums it up.

All your responses make me feel stronger when I have the talk with him I need to have. No female friends, at work or in any other context. The lying, and it IS lying, has got to stop. Rebuilding trust is almost impossible and now...sigh.

Thanks again, glad I finally posted. :)

Razor posted 12/12/2013 12:52 PM

He says he is sorry but because he told me when I asked it wasn't lying.


Lets be clear. He KNEW you would have an objection to this and that is exactly why he did not tell you. This is called a lie of omission.

He was lying.

If he thought you would have no problem with this he would have been completely up front with who he was seeing at lunch. But he hid it.

Be firm about your boundaries. Hold your ground and dont give a inch. And dont let him sweet talk you into believing this was just a innocent mistake.

cl131716 posted 12/12/2013 13:22 PM

What kind of game?

I'm with you. I also think it is bullshit it's too hard making friends with men at work. It sounds like he is trying to make you pity him and turn a blind eye when he "befriends" a female co-worker. My WH used a similar tactic.

myeverafter posted 12/12/2013 14:51 PM

You are not asking too much. In the past, he had already went past the boundary. I "think" my fwh knows the boundaries now.... But I would not be at all comfortable with him spending his time with his coworkers like that.

OW was one of fWH's friends at his work and then both families became "friends" (Being "friends" is debatable)

I am a female that currently works with 5 males in our office. 3 older and 2 younger. We are all "friends", but not "friends". We don't hang out over our lunches, etc. If I was in our other office, I would probably go out to lunches, etc.

For the longest time in our company of 26, we only had 2 females. I do consider a couple of the guys my personal friends and not just coworkers. (One I went to college with and I have known him and his wife for 15 years.)

I guess the key is that I know what boundaries are. And I tell and have always told fWH's everything. fWH says the EA started when him and MOW went for walks together on their days off. To be honest (and this scares me) that I would have been fine with the walks (for a while) if he would have been upfront with me and told me.

Now, fWH normally goes for walks during his lunch breaks by himself and calls me.

bionicgal posted 12/12/2013 16:02 PM

Do you know what most people do during lunch? They eat. Some people even work through lunch. Then, they go back to work.

Is your husband 12? He shouldn't be playing games at lunch. I find that bizarre! Sorry for the snark. Plus, a lie by omission is still a lie. My husband only told me about 4 outright lies during his affair, but there were a thousand lies of omission, and believe me, those hurt as much or more.

stupidgurl posted 12/12/2013 16:33 PM

No, NO, NOOO!!

Do not allow him to participate in the lunchtime game, ESPECIALLY if it is how he started the last A. Lunch with other chicks was wrong before he cheated on you and it is even more wrong now. He has already crossed the boundaries, and therefore has no right to do any activity with other women.

As for the lying by omission, that is not ok, you should have a conversation with him telling him not to lie by omission anymore. He needs to be honest with you whether you ask him or not. You cannot sit there and explain or even conjure up all possible scenarios. Does he think you are psychic? Stand your ground and don't give him even an inch.

In my experience it works to be just as straight forward as possible, if you don't want him having lunch with any women say "no activities with any women in any circumstance", he will find a loop hole and you may find out he is having coffee, snacks, water, whatever or playing a different game or doing a different activity with them. Make sure you tell him not to violate the spirit of your request, not just the literal interpretation of your request.

And don't bother explaining your feelings, when my H had his porn addiction, for years I told him "it makes me feel..." then one day I shot up in bed and said "I need you to stop looking at porn" he has been porn free ever since. Look him in the eyes when you tell him to show you are serious, no tears, strait and serious looking to show that you mean it. But don't be mean either, or belittle him just say that and be quiet. It is often silence that says more than words.

beenthere2? posted 12/13/2013 01:42 AM

Had your WH come to you at the beginning and asked what you thought of him playing this game at lunch, then my answer MIGHT be different. But he lied to you. He hid stuff from you. He know that wasn't okay.

So it remains not okay. He should know that and you shouldn't have to tell him no.

He remains a wayward in spirit.

daphne345 posted 12/13/2013 17:30 PM

Several of you have asked what kind of games he was playing at lunch. Role playing games, which have caused many arguments between us in the past. When we first started dating, he spent every Saturday from noonish until way after midnight playing these games with a group of friends, male and female. I tried joining them but just wasnt into it. I thought it was rotten of him to never spend a Saturday with me and then to sleep until afternoon every Sunday. I just now remembered that the one time we split up since we got together 14 years ago was when he broke up with me and briefly dated a girl from that gaming group. Sigh. During his affair, he frequently lied and said he was gaming with his friends when he was really going to OW's apartment.
Since he first got a job and we moved away from where his gaming friends lived and had children, he has been frustrated that he has not found another gaming group to join and wouldn't have been able to anyway because the responsibilities of being a father just don't leave time for that. So his argument is that he didn't want to ruin that and managed the problem himself by not chatting with the girls other than during the games. So here is my red flag- he has for years insisted that role playing games absolutely cannot be played without time blocks of many many hours...yet this "group" is only playing for an hour and a half once a week during their lunch break. Second red flag...I called him on a Tuesday to tell him I really needed him to go by our house over lunch for something. He said no because the gaming group had just started gaming and they couldn't play if he left. He said he could go in a few hours. Told me they were playing on a Tuesday instead of a Wednesday because people were going to be gone for the holidays taking PTO starting the next day. Way early for that i thin. I'm suspicious. I can't help it. Anyone got an objective opinion?

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