My husband and one of our friends have started to spend hours alone together. It started with group activities but has grown into them being exclusive in their time together, running errands, having lunch, and spending time alone at our house. A group text including the two of them, her husband, and myself has turned into a text thread for just the two of them. She has become his go-to person when he has activities he wants to do while I am at my job. I often find out about these activities after the fact, even though they have plans made days in advance.
His co-workers have taken to calling her his special friend; he works retail and she drops by to see him. Last week I took half a day off of work to spend the day with him. On my way home I sent him a text to surprise him only to find out they had just left on a long car trip to explore a local area. They turned around to include me but I felt like the third wheel the entire day. That night I let him know that the evolution of their friendship has me uncomfortable. He was defensive and can’t understand why I would not be supportive of two people I care about enjoying time together. I am heartbroken and seriously concerned about the future of their friendship. Am I overreacting?
– Special Friends?
I can't tell you whether your husband's relationship with this woman is appropriate or a danger to your marriage. I can say it sounds like you're not getting enough quality time with him. You miss him and want to hang out more. Focus on that.
You shouldn't force bonding time (as in, "We will go hiking every Saturday – and we will grow closer as we do it!"). Mandatory tasks do not feel very fun. But you can plan activities and trips that the two of you would want to enjoy anyway. I know I'm always quick to mention television, but I do believe that bonding over culture can be a great way to have inside jokes, things to look forward to, and stuff to text about during the day. I like it when couples tell me that they "need a new show."
I do want to remind you that close friendships are good for the soul. It's very sweet when people say their spouses are their best friends, and sometimes they are. But it's difficult for one person to be everything to a partner. It helps to have a person (or people) to provide support and companionship outside of the home. It's OK to have that – and to want it for yourself.
Readers? Is this relationship a threat to the marriage?