Husband's 'special friend' isn't his wife
DEAR AMY: I recently found out that my husband has a female friend at work that he calls "special." When I asked, he told me that they have been close (not sexual) for two years. He tells me that they kiss on the cheek, have lunches by themselves about once a month and text each other often. I believe in co-worker friendships, but the fact that I did not know this woman even existed bothers me. My husband feels I'm blowing this out of proportion. I am shocked by his hurtful behavior. We've been together for 20 years, have two amazing kids. I feel I can't trust him anymore. Am I overreacting?
DEAR WORRIED: I also believe in workplace friendships -- and there is no question that these relationships can become very close. What I can't imagine is having a close workplace friendship for two years and not mentioning this person -- or the relationship -- to my spouse.
The most "special" people in your husband's life should be you and your kids. After that, other friendships he has should be shared with you.
It is natural for your husband to accuse you of blowing this out of proportion -- but even if you are, what is he prepared to do to rebalance the proportion? He needs to introduce this special person to you, and then he needs to be sensitive to your anxiety and respectful about your reaction.
DEAR AMY: I related to the letter from "Still in Stitches," who wasn't provided the help she needed after an operation.
I'd cared for my husband during various hospitalizations. So I was surprised when I was virtually ignored after a painful back operation. The next time my husband entered the room I explained that if our situation was reversed I would do "this and this and this" for him and now needed him to do the same for me. And he did! People can learn and will step up when necessary.