One of the worst feelings in the world is the feeling of betrayal. When it’s a loved one that betrays you it’s even that much worse. Relationships are built on love, respect and trust, or at least they should be. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case for everyone. Cheating happens. It happens even to the best relationships. I always say that given the right opportunity and circumstances anyone is capable of cheating. If you recall I wrote an article a while back where I was asked to Define Cheating. In it I spoke about three types of cheating – Physical, Emotional and Mental. So cheating, as we all know, isn’t only about having a sexual encounter with someone. There are different components to it. But how do you know when your partner has crossed the line from being “friendly” with someone else and actually “cheating”? Is he cheating? Well, let’s find out!
Dear Single Dating Diva,
My husband has been talking to a female friend for a while now, the same one. They have quite a close friendship and it makes me very uncomfortable. Why I am uncomfortable with it is because he shows her lots of affection, even more than he shows me at times. He also buys her gifts. When I previously confronted him about it he got very defensive and angry and said that there was nothing between them, that he felt bad for her and that’s why he’s extra nice to her. I don’t buy it. This situation is making me extremely sad and I’m afraid to confront him again because he gets so angry when I mention her. I don’t know if they’ve taken their “friendship” to the next level or not, but either way this isn’t fair to me nor is it respectful. I need to know if I’m just being paranoid or is he cheating on me? How do I confront him again or should I just leave well enough alone?
At The Last Straw
Dear At The Last Straw,
Thank you for your question and I’m sorry you’re feeling this way. It’s certainly not an easy situation that you’re in. I can definitely understand your frustration and sadness. You definitely have every right to feel this way. Relationships should be built on trust and respect and it seems that you’re relationship is suffering as are you. While he’s making this other woman feel special and better about herself, he’s doing the complete opposite to you. The question is, are you just imagining things or is his behavior inappropriate? Is he cheating or not?
Is He Cheating?
Well, as I said earlier cheating doesn’t have to be physical. It can also be emotional and even mental. But how emotionally involved is he with her? It could very well be that they are just good friends and there would be nothing wrong with that. What’s more wrong with this situation, in my opinion, is that he is completely discounting your feelings. He seems not to care what you think or feel about the situation and that’s the real problem. He got defensive when you confronted him the last time because he knew what he was doing wasn’t right. Someone who isn’t doing anything wrong won’t get defensive. Now, this doesn’t mean he’s been physically intimate with her, but he knows that his actions aren’t right. You should be first in his life and it seems that you’re competing for his affections. But the fact that he’s not keeping it a secret is a good sign. At least he’s not sneaking around so he feels he has nothing to hide. He doesn’t feel that he needs to be questioned about his actions.
What you need to do is NOT confront your partner, you need to communicate with him if you feel a line has been crossed and that you are uncomfortable with your spouse’s friendship with this woman. Do not be unreasonable and do not attack, just calmly mention how their actions are making you feel and why. Don’t make it about him, make it about your feelings. Essentially, you need to say that “when you do this, it makes me feel like that”. When you calmly communicate with him about your concerns he won’t be defensive and he won’t respond in a negative way. Speak about how you value your relationship and your marriage and don’t want to see anything get in the way of your happiness. When you approach in the right way you get your message across. Remember that you get more bees with honey.
If he still doesn’t respect your wishes and you truly feel like he’s crossed a line then you need to decide what the right next steps are for you. No one can decide that except you. Just make sure not to make an irrational decision based on emotions. You don’t want to come off as the “crazy lady”, you want to remain calm with him at all times. Don’t give him a reason to lash out at you. Is he cheating or not, well, it’s hard to tell, but he is definitely crossing a line he shouldn’t be crossing and upsetting you in the process. That is the real issue.
I hope this helps!
Readers, what do you think? Is he cheating? Or is this just an innocent friendship? What should she do? I would love your input in the comments below!
Your Sister in Dating Bliss,
Single Dating Diva
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