My friend is uncomfortably close to my husband

Thursday January 21 2021
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My childhood friend recently moved near my home during the lockdown. Since her husband works overseas, she stays alone with her son. I started to invite her over to my place and she bonded well with my husband too. It was all going great until I found a message from her in my husband’s phone which said, “Why don’t you come over today?” I was shocked and I haven’t questioned my husband or her over this. Please help me- how should I handle this situation?

Anonymous

Dear anonymous,

Marriage is delicate and if it is to thrive, both man and woman need to be intentional to guard against its enemies. Your concerns about how your friend is relating with your husband are legitimate.

Choosing to help your lonely friend was not a bad idea since we are not able to predict how people choose to treat us. Certainly, the only person you took vows to be with for life is your husband, not your friend and this means you need to set clear boundaries between your friend and your husband.

If it were possible I would have liked to know how many times they texted. Did your husband reply to any and if so, what was his response? Has there been any change in your husband’s behaviour? Answers to these questions would enable me to get a better understanding of the situation.

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However, if I am to base on the information you have given, this might be a sign that your friend is crossing boundaries and if not handled early, it can affect your marriage. The reality also is that there are questionable details in this but just as the saying goes, there is no smoke without fire. It is not good to take things for granted. The fact is that sometimes men tend to be easily attracted to people who pay much attention to them just as in your case this lonely friend depending on how often she is in your house by bonding with your husband, means they are emotionally getting connected.

However, if it is a one-time text message with no replies, it may also mean that the two are just starting to get close and this is the breaking point for you to be intentional in saving your marriage. Try not to attack your friend at this level since you only discovered their secret conversation by sneaking through your husband’s phone.

At this level, you are not even sure how far or even how long this has been happening behind your back. Deal with any anger feelings within you before you approach this situation. Gradually, reduce interface with your friend and as an adult, she will be able to read between the lines of how you are uncomfortable with her behaviour.

Plan a dinner or coffee date with your husband and find out from him what he thinks about being in an exclusive relationship. You can introduce the topic of having seen a compromising text from your friend to him.

Notice how he goes about the explanation. If he is sorry about it, accept his apology and let him know how he should relate with your friends.

If it turns out that he is actually moving out with your friend, then do what you feel is right for you. Remember to always protect your marriage from your friends. Teach them to respect your marriage by setting boundaries between them and your husband. When you are married, the priority is your spouse. If you must support a friend who is single or in a distant relationship, do it from their home not necessarily at yours unless you cannot avoid it.

At each level of our lives, we keep meeting new friends. Sometimes, not all friends should be carried forward into our marital relationships. If you feel emotionally strong, invite her elsewhere and tell her about the message and let her know that this is unacceptable, completely wrong, and disrespectful.

If she is a true friend, she will be remorseful. In case she denies and refuses to be sorry, you can still find a place to forgive her and completely cut her off from your house and concentrate on your marriage.

Evelyn Kharono Lufafa,      Counselling psychologist

Reader advice

Talk to both of them

Precious Matovu. Friendship is a relationship in which you can trust and be yourself with the person. It is an emotional investment which is defined by two people. In your case, she is your childhood friend and I am sure you can openly speak to her. It could be a casual message as well, nevertheless this message has created doubt in your mind and your relationship with your friend and husband is at stake. You can speak with your husband first and understand the reason for her message and also speak to her openly. She being your old friend I am sure you have a space to speak openly with her.

Calm down first

Joel Woods. Do not jump into this issue filled with hot air and ready to explode. Wade carefully because if there is something, you want to know. If there is nothing, you also want to know.

Draw boundaries

Jane Nakku. Even if it is not what you think, I personally cannot stand that kind of familiarity. He is now married and your friend needs to respect that institution. Even husband’s sisters become careful when their brothers get married. They cannot just go jump on his matrimonial bed. Draw boundaries and talk to her about them.

Talk to your hubby

Joyce Mula. It might be wise to have a word with your hubby and gently let him know your fears. If you can delete her number from his phone and help him to help restrain himself otherwise you might be the one leaving your home for another woman. If he loves you he should take a step back and curtail the closeness.

She is not your friend

Olivia Tricia. She is no longer your friend and there must be reasons behind why she moved closer to your home. She knows how to play her game. A friend went through the same. She had a best friend with whom they would share everything. They even wore the same clothes like twins and were neighbours. One day, her husband said he was going on a safari but instead went to the friend’s house and stayed there for a month. Although he was never seen, the two friends would talk every day and the other did not say a thing!

Tell him what you saw

Freddie Rukundo. Open up to your husband and let him know about it. You need not tell him that you checked his phone. Tell him you do not trust your friend around him. Believe me if he had started misbehaving with her, he will develop cold feet as he will know you are watching out.Don’t check his phone

Teddy Natangaza. Why are you checking your husband’s phone? Although he is your husband, you have no right to check his phone. Respect your husband and pray for him.

It could be innocent

Deo Musoke. It could just be an innocent message and your friend just wants to also be a friend to your husband. Avoid jumping to conclusions and acting out of anger.

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