Do I confront my wife?
July 27, 2009 10:37 AM   Subscribe

My wife admitted she had a crush on a co-worker, but nothing happened. However, I now know that during her crush, she drunkenly told the guy she liked him and he said he liked her too. She has never admitted this. Things are really good between us now, like when we were first married. Do I let this new piece of information go, or confront her about it? I still have no doubts nothing else happened between them.
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (34 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
 
What would you be hoping to accomplish by confronting her? Seems like a no-win situation. If things are good now, and you trust her, let it go.
posted by Phire at 10:40 AM on July 27, 2009 [2 favorites]


Crushes are a part of life - married or otherwise. It sounds like your wife handled things pretty well and got the crush out in the open with the crushee and you. I would recommend not confronting her about it - if things are good with you now, and she confided in you, why would you want to change that?

Put yourself in her shoes and act accordingly.
posted by The Light Fantastic at 10:41 AM on July 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


When you say she admitted her crush, did she admit to YOU that she had this crush or did she just admit it to said coworker, and you somehow found out about it? If it's the former, there's no need to "confront" her about any of it. She's already come clean and nothing happened. If it's the latter, then yes. I don't like the word "confront" in this situation, but certainly ask her about it. At least find out if there's more you two need to talk about in regard to your own relationship. You say that "things are really good between us now," which seems to suggest that maybe, for a while, they weren't.
posted by katillathehun at 10:41 AM on July 27, 2009


What's the timing of all this? Is this well after the whole thing happened, you've worked through it and you trust her? If you can forget it, do.

If she had posted asking, 'should I tell my husband this particular detail?' I would say No as well.

You've worked through this, you value the relationship, you trust her and want a future with her -- she was trying to spare your feelings and trying not to make things worse---forget it.

If she'd really wanted to own those words she wouldn't have worked through things with you. Let it go, genuinely.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 10:43 AM on July 27, 2009


She admitted it to who? What was the context? How recent? Was she casual/concerned/remorseful/evasive? What goal did you have in mind when this is brought up? While a minor crush is not something I would hold against my wife, there's a lot of detail missing here.
posted by crapmatic at 10:45 AM on July 27, 2009


More back story. She was borderline flirting with the guy on Facebook, so I confronted her about it. That's when she admitted it and said she was, at least on a subconscious level, hoping to get caught so we could work things out in our marriage. That was about a month ago. The wrinkle is now that she still works with the guy, but only once or twice every few weeks.
posted by boognish at 10:50 AM on July 27, 2009


It's probably the kind of thing which would become the basis for occasional light-hearted teasing in my world, so I'm having trouble wrapping my head around the idea of it justifying some kind of "confrontation".

It sounds like you feel as though your wife with-held information which you consider important. If that's the way you feel, then you should probably discuss the disclosure/privacy expectations in your relationship, but confrontation sounds like over-kill.
posted by Lolie at 10:54 AM on July 27, 2009


I think she handled it pretty well. This new bit of information isn't really a "new level of transgression" or anything. Let it go.
posted by lleachie at 10:55 AM on July 27, 2009


So, she did admit this to you then. What do you need to confront her about? "Honey, remember that thing we already talked about a month ago? It still bothers me. Can we talk about it again?" It doesn't sound like anything has changed since your last conversation. She still works with the guy but not every day. You still know what she did. She was honest with you. Unless you have reason to think she's being inappropriate with this guy, then bringing it all up again is unnecessary and only going to cause problems.
posted by katillathehun at 10:57 AM on July 27, 2009


Things are good between you now, but are they going to stay good if you don't ask her? Is this the sort of thing that's going to eat away at you and spoil the relationship in some way?

If yes, I'd ask. It could be that she was simply so drunk she doesn't remember the conversation she had with her crush, in which case that's the reason she didn't tell you. It could also be that she did remember, and deliberately didn't tell you for whatever reason.

Ultimately, though, you have to decide how big of an issue this is for you. She told the guy she fancied him. That's it. It's not like she slept with him. She got drunk, and told someone else she fancied them. Lots of people do stupid things when they're drunk.
posted by Solomon at 10:57 AM on July 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


This doesn't sound like anything your previous conversations didn't cover.
posted by Miko at 11:01 AM on July 27, 2009


Leave it alone. You can only make it worse by perpetuating the issue.
posted by The World Famous at 11:03 AM on July 27, 2009


What the Light Fantastic & Terrible Llama said.
posted by kestrel251 at 11:15 AM on July 27, 2009


She was borderline flirting with the guy on Facebook, so I confronted her about it. That's when she admitted it and said she was, at least on a subconscious level, hoping to get caught so we could work things out in our marriage. That was about a month ago. The wrinkle is now that she still works with the guy, but only once or twice every few weeks.

It's not about the guy, it's about your marriage. She's even told you this. The only thing you gain by making an issue out of the guy is to send your wife a message that you don't trust her, even though nothing happened, even though she came clean with you after initial confrontation, even though things are good between you now.

That she told the guy drunkenly that she had a crush on him isn't such a staggeringly different piece of the puzzle that it deserves to be a separate line item from the flirtation about which you confronted her. Let it go. For real.
posted by desuetude at 11:16 AM on July 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


I am not your wife, and I would never flirt with a co-worker on facebook. However, I make it a point to have a workplace crush, even if it's the UPS guy or someone in facilities. When I see the crush, it's like when the deli has Italian Wedding soup - it brightens my day for a minute and then I go on about my business.

Now, if I get the sense that the crush is crushing back, it's all ruined. (This has happened. And he was such a great crush up until he made that move!)

My sense is that your wife is looking for a little romance and excitement. Perhaps you should woo her.
posted by Lesser Shrew at 11:20 AM on July 27, 2009 [5 favorites]


Let her know you know and that it's totally cool, that way she won't be upset and guilty about not telling you, give her a hug and a kiss afterward and tell her you're so lucky to be married to her

If she was getting drunk around him, that's more than just facebook flirting and she needs to be clear that it won't happen again. That is bad news.
posted by kathrineg at 11:26 AM on July 27, 2009


How did you find out that she drunkenly admitted her crush to this fellow? If someone else told you, what compelled them to do so? That would influence how I handled it. If you found out through snooping, then things are definitely not alright and the two of you need to talk about how to rebuild trust.

There is a difference, however, between confrontation and discussion. I think a discussion about your feelings about the crush, that you know she told him, and you are struggling with what to do with this information can be incredibly productive. I do think you should tell her you know about this part of the story because it may effect your dynamic without you even realizing it. Don't approach it with the idea that she intentionally withheld that from you, however, because as some have said, she may have forgotten, she may have thought giving you explicit details was not what you wanted, etc. Good luck!
posted by katemcd at 11:28 AM on July 27, 2009


I don't think it's your fault. Being passive aggressive and flirting with someone on Facebook is a bad way to say, "I love you, I want to work on our marriage." I don't believe her. She's indulging herself in escape fantasies and that's a sign of noncommittment or a gravitation towards noncommittment.

So go tell her what you found out. At least it shows you care and are affected by it, which might be what she's looking for -- for you to show that you care about your relationship with her as much as she does.
posted by anniecat at 11:34 AM on July 27, 2009 [2 favorites]


I have to agree with Solomon, if it's bothering you then you should talk about. Don't pretend to be cool about it if you're not. If something is nagging at you how happy can you be and if you don't tell her how can you work it out?

Instead of confronting her, confess the additional details you have learned and that it has reopened the wound for you. Keep in mind what you need to say and hear so that you can let it go. Work toward getting to that point. Put yourself in her shoes, she made a mistake but it sounds like she is trying to set it right.
posted by i_love_squirrels at 11:41 AM on July 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


More back story. She was borderline flirting with the guy on Facebook, so I confronted her about it. That's when she admitted it and said she was, at least on a subconscious level, hoping to get caught so we could work things out in our marriage.

That is probably the worst way to work on your marriage I have ever heard. Either it's bullshit and she just found out a way to trick you into thinking the flirting was nothing, or it's real and her marital-problem-solving skills are way shitty. I am sorry to say this, but you need to have a real, extended discussion about what she feels she is missing or what she is missing, and whether this marriage has any future. Do this with or without a professional therapist, but it needs to be done.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 11:52 AM on July 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


I personally would talk to her about it. The fact is, that she told this to this co-worker means she is dissatisfied at some level in her marriage. Just because nothing happened with that guy, she got drunk with him, and said inappropriate things to him, and imo, violated your marriage vows - probably in many ways, even if they don't involve outright sex with the co-worker. If she is unhappy like that, then there's a very real risk that the next opportunity may not end so benignly as this did. So you need to talk to her about it, and almost certainly, seek couples therapy to understand what is happening. It will inevitably hurt you, and maybe both of you, but this kind of stuff is a cancer and you have to either kill it or be killed by it.
posted by scunning at 12:00 PM on July 27, 2009


I could leave this alone. Your mileage may vary. If it really bothers you, you can talk it out. But, I'm not sure if the pros outweigh the cons here.
posted by Citrus at 12:18 PM on July 27, 2009


Best answer: It sounds to me like what you're really asking is whether it's okay for you to still feel upset and uneasy about this relationship. And I think that is definitely okay. However, whether you have anything to worry about or not is a separate issue. But, going on the line that you don't have anything to worry about then the confrontation needs to be about repairing your trust. This is a forgivable breach but clearly you need some reassurance. I'll echo others and say that you two need to have a discussion about your relationship and trust and what is missing or needs work. Then commit to doing those things. You'll get beyond this if you're both committed.

I once went through a breach of trust in a relationship and it took months for me to suss out just what was still bothering me. I was over the event itself and had forgiven but I still felt fearful. Finally, once I figured out that it was still bothering me and why I did "confront" and say, hey, remember that incident? It's still bothering me and I just want to say that you can never, ever do that again. My partner said, yes, never again. And he's stuck to that. Just by me saying that out loud, I was able to move on and forgive.
posted by amanda at 12:27 PM on July 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


Let the anger go.
posted by parmanparman at 12:29 PM on July 27, 2009


That's when she admitted it and said she was, at least on a subconscious level, hoping to get caught so we could work things out in our marriage.

No, sorry, not buying it. Nobody wants to get caught doing something they know they shouldn't be doing. You guys do have some trust issues you need to talk about.
posted by drjimmy11 at 12:29 PM on July 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


Just because nothing happened with that guy, she got drunk with him, and said inappropriate things to him, and imo, violated your marriage vows - probably in many ways, even if they don't involve outright sex with the co-worker.

Wow. Wow, that is some serious conjecture to make about his wife.

I like amanda's advice -- yes, it's okay to still need more reassurance. A few sessions with a counselor might be very helpful as well to get you two on track with communication and any other subconscious stuff that may be rattling around.
posted by desuetude at 12:53 PM on July 27, 2009


If you're going to bring it up, have some new thoughts to share instead of repeating whatever you might have discussed before. Otherwise it's completely useless, and frustrating for both parties. Is there something you'd like to tell her that you haven't before? Do you have some new advice for both of you to take into consideration in (hopefully a lack of) future situations? Don't come up to her hoping that she'll figure out how to help you deal with this, all on her own. There shouldn't be any "I'm feeling bad, fix it." Come up with something to meet her half way.
posted by Bakuun at 12:58 PM on July 27, 2009


Okay, I'm revising my initial answer and backing out of the let it go camp.

A month? This only happened a month ago? I think a month is within a reasonable time frame where things would kind of still be in flux. A month is a short period of time, relationship-wise, which move in geological time. I was thinking you'd spent longer working through it, and I agree with whoever mentioned that 'hoping to get caught' is not terrifically plausible.

I also don't think she should still be working with the guy.

I think you should question her about it.

I should probably mention that my response to this is based is colored by particular experience with an ex-Mr. Llama, so YMMV.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 1:10 PM on July 27, 2009


*Things are really good between us now, like when we were first married.*

Really?

So when you first got married your wife maintained flirty relationships with other men?

If she's flirtatious with you, like a spouse should be...I'd be more willing to let some of this behavior go.

If she's not flirtatious with you, she's getting what should be within your marriage...from the outside.

If the latter is the case...your marriage needs work.
posted by teg4rvn at 1:14 PM on July 27, 2009


I would say let it go, because there's a good chance that she a) doesn't remember saying that to him when he was drunk; or b) thought including that detail might make it more painful than it already was.

But

I still have no doubts nothing else happened between them.

If you don't trust her, you don't trust her, regardless of whether or not those doubts are true. If you don't confront that feeling, you're just going to get resentful. After only a month, as others have said, it's not too late to re-open the conversation and I suspect it might help you get peace of mind. If she's serious about wanting to fix the relationship, then she'll be receptive to it.
posted by lunit at 1:49 PM on July 27, 2009


I still have no doubts nothing else happened between them.

I read this as "the OP does not doubt his wife when she says that nothing further happened between herself and and co-worker."

boognish, can you clarify?
posted by desuetude at 2:08 PM on July 27, 2009


What this meant was that despite discovering this new piece of information, I still don't believe my wife and her co-worker took it any further than their drunken disclosures to each other.
posted by boognish at 2:21 PM on July 27, 2009


AVAST, people dismissing this because she was honest and crushes happen are missing the point.

Yes they happen in minor ways. No they don't involve "borderline flirtatiousness" or the husband accidentally finding out about this. Her manner of defending it and dismissing your jealousy, the fact that you mysteriously discovered more than she let on. This lull is temporary--I predict a major storm brewing Captain. Get to a therapist asap before you get massively swamped.

Sincerely,
Your friend,

Gilligan
posted by Potomac Avenue at 2:24 PM on July 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


I still don't believe my wife and her co-worker took it any further than their drunken disclosures to each other.

So what? You have every right to be pissed about that, and to bring it up whenever you choose. Sounds like she's manipulating you into thinking this is your fault for finding out about it. Be rational, but face your own emotions. Crushing silently is one thing, it's another thing to stick it in your lover's eye like a harpoon.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 2:28 PM on July 27, 2009 [2 favorites]


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