Jealous of my husband’s work friend

My husband works with a lot of young women. It never bothered me until about a month ago when he started mentioning one woman, "Missy." In the past, I've had a "work husband" – a male friend at work – and I trust that my actual husband can maintain work friendships with women without cheating. However, he has gradually (over the month) stopped communicating with me during the day. I used to receive a text or instant message a few times a day, but now I never hear from him until he gets in the car to come home. (By the way, this woman works several states away, but I know they message each other constantly.)

When I was out of town for work a few weeks ago, he took this woman out to dinner, which he did not expense back to the company. He also made reservations for this dinner. To do this, he set up an account with an online reservation service, which he has neither mentioned to me nor used for us. (I know this because I signed him out of his email on our shared desktop and saw the subject line "reservation for 2.") Recently this woman has started texting him on weekends, which bothers me a lot. (I don't text my "work husband" on weekends because ... I don't text other people's husbands on weekends.)

My husband and Missy (along with other coworkers) are both traveling in a few weeks for work, and my husband has been saying that it will be terrible and boring, etc. But he also tells me about the "secret pact" he has with Missy to "escape" and do something fun.

I do not think that there is anything physical going on yet, but the emotional involvement bothers me. He never kisses me goodnight or goodbye on the way to work anymore, brushes past me in the house, and refused to hold my hand on a long walk last week.

Is this just the ebb and flow of a marriage? Should I try and speak to him about it? He is dealing with depression (for which he has sought help, successfully) and frequently tells me he loves me and that I am his best friend. Something about it is ringing hollow for me, though, and I'm not sure how to handle it.

– Hollow


The hollowness is more about the stuff you mentioned in your penultimate paragraph than it is about Missy. If you were getting romance, some hand-holding, and kisses at home, you wouldn't be thinking about what other people are getting at work.

You should talk to your husband about this. Please focus on the home stuff, and let him know that because of what you're missing, you've been feeling some jealousy when it comes to Missy.

Remind him that you understand what it's like to have a close friend at work – how great it can feel to have a partner who helps you through the day with support and humor. You just need that from him, at home. You don't want to take your connection for granted, or watch him text someone else when he should be engaging with you.

For the record, the dinner reservation thing doesn't bother me. Many restaurants force you to reserve tables through an external website. Also, some people are a lot more organized about plans when they involve someone from the office.

– Meredith