Re: Co-worker.....

Postby psychkid » Sun Dec 01, 2013 5:01 pm

So as I understand the situation you are extremely uncomfortable with your husband’s relationship with a co-worker named Kate and him knowing your feelings he continues to have a relationship with her. You have tried to become friendly with her and she seems disinterested with you and only has interest in your husband. You've checked his phone out of worry of him cheating if I’m correct. The fact that your husband continuing to have a relationship with her knowing, how you feel, is worrying.
My Psychology Professor says that “Mere exposure has the tendency for novel stimuli to be liked more or rated more positively after the rater has been repeatedly exposed to them. Exposure without awareness leads to liking.” So maybe the excitement is what keeps your husband friends with Kate. Dr. Haltzman says, “It is ok to have friends of the opposite sex as long as they are friends of the marriage.”
You have tried to make it work by trying to become friends with your husband’s co-worker but she seems to be more interested in being close to just your husband which is not the kind of person you want to have around your marriage. Also since you husband is not willing to show you his phone makes it seems that he is engaging in an inappropriate relationship with Kate.
As a solution, tell your husband that you are willing to work on the marriage not just for yourselves but for your child. Being a product of divorce it would have made me feel more at ease if my parents have tried everything they could to save their marriage. If that is not an opinion that divorce may be the answer because a marriage without trust is not a good marriage.
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Re: Co-worker.....

Postby SoudaP » Mon Dec 02, 2013 11:52 pm

Dear Notsure,

If your husband has friends of the opposite sex that is completely fine unless you feel that certain person poses a threat to your relationship. I can see why you felt the need to go through your husbands phone seeing as he had been texting her quite a few times. What was wrong was Kate texting your husband "oh, I dressed cute for you today" which she shouldn't have done because that is clearly a sign of flirting and just shows she has no respect for you and your husbands relationship. As your husband he should have told you he was going out to lunch with Kate especially since you questioned him about their relationship. Although you and your spouse are having issues with a coworker divorce should not be an option just yet.
My psychology teacher says that if a spouse is not okay with the relationship of the other spouse and a man/woman's friendship then it should end right then and there. No marriage should be ruined because of a simple friendship. I recently had watched a YouTube video that Dr. Scott Haltzman posted explaining what to do about ending the relationship with women you were "cheated" on with. Both you and your husband should come to a compromise with each other regarding his seemingly close friendship with Kate. The situation you are having with your husband is a perfect example of what I learned in class about cutting off a friendship. Again no friendship is worth keeping if the one you love feels threatened by it. Your husband should understand that you are uncomfortable with how close he is with his coworker. To make you feel better he should try harder on paying attention to you instead of frequently going out to lunch with a coworker. Dr. Scott Haltzman states that your husband should change shifts or even transfer to another location to avoid connection with the flirtatious co worker.
If I were you I would immediately talk to your husband and tell him to end that friendship and that because of his friendship with Kate you feel in the dark about everything. Also I would have your husband either email Kate or tell her in person that he is not allowed any contact with her anymore because he does not want to jeopardize his marriage. I completely agree with Dr. Haltzman when he states that when cutting off connection you cut it off completely. Since your husband works with Kate he can simply change shifts, transfer to a new depart, or move to a new location all together. After he does that there will no longer be a need to keep the co workers number so it can be deleted. Doing so will be as if the person was never in either persons lives in the first place.
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Re: Co-worker.....

Postby Persistency » Wed Dec 11, 2013 8:34 am

Hello Notsure,

So you and your husband had been married for 9 years, and have a 2 years old daughter. Your relationship with your husband had been effortless, and you felt that life was really good. Although, you discover, on your own, that your husband has a way too intimate relationship with one of his co-worker, which name is Kate. Because you felt suspicious about their friendship you snoop on your husband's phone and found a flirty text message from Kate saying "oh, i dressed cute for you today." Also, you found out that he erases random texts from/to her. You confronted him about it, and he had admitted that they sometimes go out for lunch, but nothing much happen between them. He said that even thou she sometimes flirt with him, they are just good friends. You showed him how distress does this friendship makes you feel, but he still refuse to let his friendship with Kate go away. He feels that it is ridiculous for you to react over this situation. Since then, you and your husband have been arguing about it, and even discussed about divorce. This whole situation have made you ask yourself question like if is it ok for him to behave in such a way? If are you being way too over protective? Should you drop this whole thing? How can you change this situation? Obviously, something is wrong with this whole situation, and some action must be taken.

In my social psychology class, we talked about the mere exposure effect. the mere exposure effect is the tendency for novel to be liked more or rated more positively after the rater has been repeatedly exposed to them. Exposure without awareness leads to liking." I also learned in my social psychology class about self-disclosure, secure attachment, equity, and voice concern. Dr. Haltzman says that, "It is ok to have friends of the opposite sex as long as they are friends of the marriage."

In your case, your husband and Kate have been interacting with each other regularly by working together, txt message, and going out for lunch countless times. The mere exposure effect would predict that they will find each other more likeable if they continue to interact with each other on daily basis. If they continue texting and going out for lunch, they are increasing the likelihood of their affection for each other to keep growing. As a consequence, this situation can lead to an affair. Dr. Haltzman would suggest your husband to cut off contact with Kate unless if she is a friend of your marriage, which means a friend of you and your husband. You said that "to me she isn't interested in a friendship with me..she's content with my husband." Clearly, she is only interested in her relation with your husband and not so worried about the well-being of your marriage; therefore, this friendship shouldn't be allowed to continue.
To change your situation to a better one, you need to take two crucial steps. First step, you should try to be your partner's ally instead of adversary. You mention that you had not been a very sexual person for a few years, and you wanted to change that. That is a huge step to boost up the intimacy between you and your husband. Also you should try to communicate more often with your husband about positive topics which you both can laugh and feel good between one another. Another important thing to increase your intimacy with your husband, is to be more present in his life by frequently ask him to go out to do something that you both enjoy. By taking this first step, you will make the mere exposure effect works for your benefit. The more time that you spend with your husband the less he would be able to spend with Kate. And, the more enjoyable is the time spend between you two, the more he would want to spend his time with you. The second step, is to slowly convince your husband that his friendship is unhealthy for your marriage. Dr. Haltzman says that "When disagreements arise, there are ways of making it work to your advantage. First, let your husband know, in detail, what you need. “I’d like you to pick up the children after lessons,” is a lot more effective than saying, “I feel like I’m running around town like a chicken with my head cut off!” Next, use your great communication skills to helping to solve problems.  You do this by asking questions, reflecting back on what you hear, and seeking to establish an ally, not an adversary.  When women keep criticism to a minimum, men get less defensive, and it’s easier to be heard.  “Dr. Haltzman believe that if you fight fair, the conflict will have a positive impact in your marriage. In case of an intense discussion, showing some love and kind words can help heal the breach. In your case you have enough evidence to show that your husband friendship with Kate is not acceptable for your marriage.
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Re: Co-worker.....

Postby psych058 » Thu Dec 12, 2013 9:07 am

So you found out that your husband has a closer friendship with his co-worker Kate and your angry that he neglected to tell you about their previous lunch dates correct? He has also sent some “too friendly” texts about dressing cute for her. Although you said that you have known Kate and she is the receptionist for your daughters doctor it seems she is more interested in a friendship with your husband rather than you. I agree that it was a very big step for you to give a friendship with her a try but it is clear the relationship with her and your husband may be inappropriate because she failed to give it a try too.

In my psychology class my teacher explain something called the mere exposure effect which she said it “the tendency for something to be liked more after being repeatedly exposed to them.” It can happen without even being aware of it happening. There is also something called the matching phenomenon which is the tendency for men and women to choose partners who are a good match in attractiveness and other traits. Dr.Scott Haltzman also says that” When a married individual becomes attracted to a person outside the marriage, a series of chemical and hormonal changes in the brain is set in motion that get the addiction off and running.”

Would you consider this woman Kate to be of equal attractiveness to your husband? This could just be an effect of the attractiveness phenomenon. It also seems like she is going to continue making contact with him and this can make the mere exposure effect worsen. Dr. Scott Haltzman would suggest you tell him to cut all contact with her that is not work related. Dr. Haltzman says it would be ok for him to be friends with her if she was a friend of the marriage.

I would suggest you tell your husband that although they are joking around when they send each other flirty texts it still makes you feel uncomfortable. Explain to him that if she is not a friend of the marriage then he should not be just his friend, especially when you have reached out to try and create a friendship with her yourself. To maintain a close relationship you should always reveal intimate aspects of yourself to each other and he not telling you about their close friendships seems like he is withholding information from you. If your husband agrees to stop flirting and going to lunch with Kate then you should put your trust in him and stop snooping through his phone.
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Re: Co-worker.....

Postby yini » Mon Dec 16, 2013 10:26 am

Dear NotSure,

It is completely ok to have opposite sex friends and communicate with them daily, unless of course your spouse disapproves. This is completely disrespectful to you. Sending your husband a text message that says, “"oh, i dressed cute for you today" is just inappropriate. It is totally flirty in a ‘cross the line’ sense. It is not ok.

Haltzman believes that all email passwords, texts and facebook conversations should be open to your spouse. While I don’t support that 100%, I do think you are right to check his phone concerning this issue. While you are checking his incoming texts, don’t forget to check his outgoing texts also. It is really important to see what he is saying back to her. Regardless, this behavior is not appropriate at all, especially if it continues after you have voiced your concern.

Here is an exerpt from an article Haltzman wrote on this issue-

“When one individual shares close intimacies with another of the opposite sex, particularly if that person is someone who may be viewed as "attractive," they develop a familiarity that binds them closer together. This connection breeds feelings of a specialness that leaves each with the sense that they have a unique understanding of each other—one that other people can’t appreciate. One big problem with this arrangement is that it excludes the spouse, and directs the energies a partner should be putting into his or her marriage out toward other people.

Your mate may believe that opposite-sex friendships are harmless because of the fact that he or she (or his or her friend) are married. This, it is believed, guarantees that this special connection will never evolve into anything more. But that’s just dead wrong! Many friendships outside of marriage start as being "just friends," and grow closer and more intimate. Because these friendships are so fresh, interesting and compelling, and generate such a positive energy, it’s not long before the two people involved start to think they are more compatible than their own life partners. It’s a small step from that realization to the development of a full-blown affair, and the destruction of the marriage.

Not sure if you need to be concerned? Ask yourself these questions:

1. Is the person your partner spending time with someone whom he or she would consider "attractive"?

2. Is your mate spending time with this other person outside of the office (even for office lunches) when other people are not around?

3. Has your spouse excluded his "friend" from your life, either by not telling you when they are meeting, refusing to introduce you or going into another room to talk on the phone when you are near by.

4. Does your partner tell you that he or she has the kind of relationship with this friend that you just couldn’t understand?

A "yes" to (1) and any of the other three questions means your spouse’s friendship may be a threat to your marriage.

It’s wonderful to have many friends. But if your mate is involved in a special relationship with a person that makes you uncomfortable, don’t ignore that feeling. You’ve got to ask for what you need—for your mate to end further personal and exclusive friendships with people of the opposite sex. Remember, your spouse may not be intending to hurt you, and may honestly feel like there is nothing to worry about. You can assist him or her to understand your concerns; it may help to read this article together.

Finally, your partner may feel it’s rude or unfair to the "friend" to end the exclusivity of the friendship. That may be right, but frankly, not taking action is rude and unfair to you. And, in all cases, the needs of a spouse outweigh the needs of a friend. After all, you should always be number one on your partner’s buddy list.”

Even if he insists that the relationship is perfectly innocent, then that should make it even easier for him to end it! It is just not all right for him to carry on and text someone else 44 times in one month if you are not approving of this relationship. I do not suggest you contact her in any way or invite her into your home. What he needs to do is to stop responding to her texts without explanation. Just stop responding.

Good luck with this one. Sorry that you are in such a painful place.

Social Distortion
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