A Painful Triangle
May 23, 2012 7:42 AM Subscribe
How to handle my husband's "friendship" with a woman half his age? I am upset about it, and he refuses to give it up. Snowflake details inside:
posted by chaoscutie to human relations (52 answers total) 17 users marked this as a favorite
My husband is 60--she is 30. She was originally a waitress at the bar that sponsors his softball team. He is absolutely not having a sexual affair with her, but I am still threatened by and unhappy with this relationship.
About 6 or 7 years ago he went to Vegas with some of his softball buddies. I found out by accident that this young woman and her friend went along as well. He had not disclosed this to me. My husband ended up taking her to the emergency room when she cut her foot. At that time, I confronted my husband about the secrecy, why he never told me about it--about the inappropriateness of this relationship, and the fact that she was our daughter's age. He had few answers. At the time, I asked him to discontinue the relationship. He has refused, stating that I have no reason to be upset as it is not an affair. Nonetheless, the secrecy and her needs of him have disturbed me.
My husband is a divorce lawyer and has helped this young woman many times with her former husband's divorce. She has since become a paralegal, and calls him for help and legal questions. Recently she called and borrowed money when she ran into difficulty. I only found out about it after the fact.
They have frequently had lunch together. She calls him whenever she is in need. He has told me that he thinks she may be bipolar and that she calls him more frequently when she is feeling manic.
When I expressed how distressed and upset I was by this relationship and asked him what he was getting out of it, he said that of course he was flattered by the attentions of a young and attractive woman, and that he felt like a "white knight" when he rescued her. I told him that I thought this was an indication that our relationship was troubled and that he was getting needs met outside the relationship and that perhaps we should take a look at that.
My husband has recently gone to therapy, and his therapist tells him that so long as he is completely transparent with me, rather than hiding the relationship, there is no problem with it. I, however, feel completely distressed by it. This evening he told me that in the interest of transparency, he wanted me to know that she had called to invite him out to a birthday lunch to give him a present. I let him know how upset I was by it, and he told me I had no reason to be upset. I feel that his stubborn persistence in keeping this "friendship" is really affecting how I feel about him. I have asked him to go to couples therapy to talk about this, and he has declined.
I'm not really interested in hearing that I need to just get over my jealousy or whatever it is. My feelings are my feelings. I would like some advice about how to communicate more effectively to him my hurt and distrust about this situation.