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My husband and I have been together for five years, and have been married since October. Recently he has been very difficult to communicate with in quality settings. He is often on his phone playing a game when we are at home together and will choose to drop anything and everything for friends during any given time of the day while giving me little consideration. This has ranged from lending money to friends from our joint savings without checking in with me (arguing that the money he lent was his since he deposited it) to staying over at friend's houses without giving me a clear timeline of return. His side of the story is that he is a giving person by nature and that this will always be a part of him.

A recent occurrence was troubling to me, and my husband claims that I am overreacting.

The other night my husband went over to our friend's house early in the night, a straight, going-through-a-divorce female (SGTADF), in order to meet with her and another female friend. They were together in order to discuss a serious event that impacted their friendship group. I am trying to be considerate and supportive of this the fact and was happy to let him go over to her house. With this being said, I figured he would be returning home at a reasonable hour (say by 1 am) to our house to sleep, since we are five minutes away from SGTADF's home.

By 1:20 am I had received no contact or updates from my husband as to whether he was coming home. I became insecure, as he was at SGTADF's home with her and another female, late at night, with no other friends around. When I stated to him that I did not feel comfortable about this (bringing up the point that if the script was flipped he would most likely be uncomfortable too, regardless of the situation) he immediately shut down the conversation, refusing to discuss it further. He said I was being ridiculous. He didn't return home until the next morning when I was leaving for work.

I guess I'm writing in today because I am usually a very confident woman. I deeply value and honor my relationship with my husband, and consider him to be my best friend. I do believe within my heart of hearts that he would never cheat on me. Yet, this event left me feeling unheard and unwanted (I am reminded of the line in When Harry Met Sally about how men and women can't be friends). I am not sure if this is from the build-up of previous instances like this, or if I am simply overreacting to the situation.

Am I being that crazy, possessive wife? Are my concerns about lack of communication founded? I feel as though every time I try and bring up my feelings or perspective to my husband he either explodes or shuts down the conversation. At the end of the day, I just want us to have better communication so that trust and honesty are at the forefront of our marriage.

Thanks for your time,

Worried Wife

He’s “giving" alright — and while I can’t say for sure that your husband is cheating on you, WW, I’m pretty sure “best friends” don’t treat each other this way, i.e. best friends (to say nothing of spouses) tend to be more considerate of each other’s feelings. But I can say with absolute certainty that divorce courts, the offices of couples counselors, the waiting rooms of STI clinics, and the inboxes of advice columnists are filled with people who believed within their heart of hearts that their husbands/wives/enbyspouses/genderqueerlifepartners, etc., would never cheat on them. So it's important to weigh what your spouse is telling you ("I would never cheat on you!") and what you hope is true ("He would never cheat on me!") versus your spouses behaviors. Because, as they say, sometimes actions speak louder than words.

He stays out all night. He doesn’t communicate. He “explodes” to shut down conversations about his behavior — that last item is controlling-bordering-on-abusive behavior. It isn't something best friends do to each other and it isn't something a loving husband (or wife) does to their wife (or husband). You can want to have a marriage with trust and honesty, you can want to have a marriage characterized by good communication, but you can’t have that kind of marriage with a dishonest, untrustworthy, emotionally-manipulative-and-possibly-abusive asshole who refuses to communicate with you. Reading between the lines — reading into his behavior — it would seem that he regrets this marriage and wants out. And my hunch informed opinion is that his shitty, inconsiderate, controlling, angry behavior will escalate until he succeeds in getting out. The only outstanding questions are how long you’re going to put up with his shit and how empty your bank account is gonna be by the time you’re ready to pull the plug.


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