My wife and I have been married for 10 years and share almost everything. She also likes to stay in touch with my friends but of late, I have realised that one of them had secretly started confiding in her on issues related to his marriage. I do not want to overreact but I want them to stop talking completely. What is the best way to handle the situation? Anonymous
This can be an emotionally draining situation.
You could have represented many people going through similar scenarios and I believe if attended to in time, it will bring healing to you and save your marriage too.
When a man and woman decide to get married, they become one just like the vows emphasise. It is now this union that comes first in all situations of life so much that even spending more time with same-sex friends than you do with your husband or wife will in one way or another affect your relationship since this needs more time for nurturing. It is not unusual for a married woman to have male friends just like it is for a male married man to have female friends as long as they do not cross the boundaries and also get emotionally connected.
If one feels that their friend fulfills all the emotional needs, they may not find the need to connect with their husband or wife anymore.It is a warning sign that the friendship is getting emotionally attached and can easily become physical too. In this scenario, you mention that your male friend is secretly confiding in your wife on issues concerning his marriage. You are right not to overreact because reacting does not solve issues but instead escalates the situation.
The first thing you can do is find the most appropriate time when you are not angry and open up to your wife. Tell her exactly how you feel about her behaviour with your friend and let her know how you would wish her to relate with your male friends. Sometimes, marriage is good enough, but when communication is not straight and clear it can affect even the best of marriages. Having stayed 10 years with your wife shows that you have gone through harder situations than this and managed to overcome.
Do not wait until you are overwhelmed with the scenario and end up in an unplanned scene. The earlier you discuss it, the better it is for your marriage. You do not need to even confront your friend, as long as you discuss this with your wife, she should be able to be open about anything she discusses with your friend and this will help reduce any suspicions you have earlier had. Look back and see how you have been working out your issues and use those methods that worked better.
It is possible that your wife is doing it without realising that she is hurting you. It is a different scenario if the person is doing it even after the discussion. This is the time you can seek professional help or even seek guidance from an elder who is a role model to both of you.
Evelyn Evelyn Kharono Lufafa, Counselling psychologist
Ask to be kept in the loop
Jane Mukisa. It is important to try and look at the situation from your friend’s perspective. He may not be comfortable talking about it with anyone else, and this may be his only form of support in his troubles. Try to be understanding about your friend’s situation and be thankful that he is able to maintain such good relations with your wife. Being communicative with your wife about your feelings can also help you deal with your discomfort. She may help ease your insecurities about their conversations. You can also ask to be kept in the loop regarding their conversations to deal with these insecurities. If you find any objective reasons to not trust your friend, you can handle this differently.
Talk with your wife
Carol Mukisa Cartnel. Your wife has a right of association. You can also not blame her if someone else wants to confide in her. If she was the one confiding in your friend about your issues together then you would have a right to be concerned. Sit down with her and express your feelings as long as you don’t do it authoritatively.
He has ulterior motives
Christian Asiimwe. It is hard to believe that your friend is pouring his heart out to your wife without any ulterior motives. I would advise you to talk to your wife. Suggest to her the option of your friend seeking the services of a professional counsellor instead.
Guard what is yours
Carolyna Okwa. Guard what is yours. What advise can a woman give a man concerning his marriage with another woman?
Stand your ground
Babrah Kengingo. Stand your ground and tell your wife that you are not comfortable with what is going on. However, ensure that you do not offend her in the process since this might just end up making her defiant.
Come up with a solution
Janiffer Nakatagi. I think this is controlling behaviour and it is not good in a marriage. She has the right to associate or talk to your friend as long as she is not cheating on you. It makes me think that you are the one who has something to hide and think your friend might tell it to your wife.
Do not hide your feelings
Bishop Oma. It will not help if you keeping hiding your feelings from your wife. After 10 years of marriage, you should be able to talk about anything and come up with solutions together. Why is this becoming so hard for you?
Talk to your friend
Phoebe Miriam. Sit your friend down and tell him you are insecure about him confiding in your wife and you would love that he stops it completely.
Why in secret?
Aanyu Okorio. The issue here is the word secretly. In marriage, nothing should be a secret. Try talking to her and ask her if she would be comfortable if her friends confided in you and not her.