Expert Advice: Mel Williams
My husband saw me talking to my male best friend in the middle of the night and now thinks that I am cheating on him. I tried to explain to him that my friend called because of a personal emergency but he thinks I am making excuses.
Wife’s perception: A male friend of mine is going through a rough patch in his life. I have been helping him through the difficult period. He just found out that his wife has been cheating on him. He got overwhelmed with the news and called me at midnight because he needed to talk to someone. I went out to take the call as I didn’t want to disturb my husband’s sleep. However, my husband woke up and saw me whispering on the phone in our living room. When I went back to the bedroom after talking for an hour to my friend, my husband asked whose call it was. I told him everything but my husband has some trust issues. He thinks that I am cheating on him and now I am lying because I got caught. How can I make my husband believe me?
Husband’s perception: I, too, have female friends and I, too, help them in a crisis. But none of them call me at midnight because they know I am married and there are some boundaries in friendship. I expect my wife to extend me the same courtesy and if she fails to do so, it either means she doesn’t respect me or is cheating on me with that person and is, therefore, talking to him at this hour.
Expert’s advice for the wife: You do want to be careful in situations like that because it is important to have boundaries with your male friends so that your friendship doesn’t interfere with your relationship with your husband. Apologize to your husband and be more transparent with him in the future after discussing the boundaries. Don’t create a situation of mistrust. Your husband might wonder why you are the only person your friend called late at night, so be transparent with him and let him know that so and so called and you are taking their call.
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Expert’s advice for the husband: Don’t be too fast to judge. Listen to your wife’s part of the story and don’t accuse her of anything without any evidence. If you don’t like her talking to another man late at night, have a boundary talk with her instead of making a fuss.