Conflict in relationships can be tricky to navigate, especially between partners with different attachment styles, but that is no excuse for dishonesty. Take it from this Redditor, who is now facing the consequences of lying to his wife about getting lunch with his female best friend.
Writing on a throwaway account in the /Relationships Subreddit, the Original Poster gave some context: He (28M) has been married to his wife (28F) for five years, and they have kids together. When he and his wife relocated to a new city three years ago, OP struggled to make friends. However, he did click with one of his coworkers, a 36-year-old woman.
“We don’t share very many common interests, but [we] can talk for hours because we have a very similar way of thinking,” he explained. “We became friends and have been such for the last three years.” He hangs out with this friend “frequently” during work hours and texts her “every day,” although he insists he’s never done anything physical with her besides “hugging when greeting and saying goodbye.”
Recently, OP and his female BFF visited a museum together during their lunch hour at work. During that time, his wife called him about a bank issue. He didn’t pick up because he didn’t hear his phone ring, but his wife checked his location on his phone and noticed he wasn’t at his office.
“When I called her later, she asked me why I was not near my office,” he wrote. “I said I got lunch there, but didn’t mention I was with my friend or that we went to a museum. Later that day she asked me again, and I told her the whole story and apologized for lying about it.”
That lie-by-omission is alarming on its own. Unfortunately, it’s also part of a larger pattern, which OP admitted to later in his post.
“I lied because I was afraid of what my wife would say; we have had many issues throughout our relationship of me leaving it details because I don’t want to justify them (things like what food I eat, what games I play etc),” he explained. “There are a lot of complicated reasons for this, but long story short, I’m a coward and she’s very strong willed, so if she disagrees with something I do, I will very likely cave and not do it again (even if I love it). This is something we are actively working on — our relationship has always been a bit rocky, very anxious-avoidant.”
Tough, right? This challenging relational dynamic is very common, and it’s the sort of thing people can work through together in couples therapy.
So, yes, it’s great that OP and his wife are “actively working” to better themselves and improve their relationship. At the same time, that doesn’t change the fact that OP lied to his wife about spending time with his female BFF. He’s created a culture of mistrust, which further activates his wife’s attachment anxiety.
Surprise, surprise: OP’s wife is now “insisting that I cut off all contact with my friend and find other friends because of ’emotional cheating.’”
“I really, really struggle to make friends (apart from my wife, this is the first real friend I feel I’ve ever had), so having to lose her is devastating,” he added. “I agreed that I probably do talk to her a bit too often and should pull back a little, but [I] don’t want to cut her off completely. Where do we go from here?”
Redditors in the comments didn’t mince their words. Many of them agreed with his wife’s assessment that this is an emotional affair — or at the very least, a form of micro cheating. The tip-off was the way OP felt compelled to lie about when he was with his best friend. Having friends outside of your relationship is normal and healthy, but being sneaky or dishonest about it is cause for concern.
“My husband has a bunch of female coworkers who he goes out with for coffee or texts with, and I don’t care. I WOULD care if he lied to me,” one person wrote. “You messed up, and now you have the consequences to deal with.”
“I was all for him maintaining his friendship until he decided to randomly lie/omit about it,” another commenter agreed. “Like, yeah dude — of course your wife now thinks there’s something suspicious going on. OP has put himself in a situation where he has to pick between his wife and his friend.”
Some commenters were also hung up on how OP doesn’t appear to care about spending quality time with his wife. After all, his female BFF wouldn’t be causing marital strife if he and his partner had better trust and a stronger connection.
“The grass grows where it is watered. You seem to be watering the wrong lawn,” one Redditor advised. “Focus on maybe putting the effort into your wife, like you do with your friend. I’ve found that the main reason partners have a problem with the best friend is because you are putting in more effort in that relationship than actually making your marriage work. If your relationship with your wife was good, she wouldn’t be complaining about your best friend.”
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