My take on something that is more than likely discussed silently between husband/wife
| How ethical is it within a marriage to be loose in social scenarios where one might be out 1-on-1 with a member of the opposite sex that is NOT their spouse? Women, do you feel that your man doesn't trust you with other men in these types of situations? Men, do you believe that your wife doesn't give you enough credit to be sensible in terms of your vows if you happen to find yourself with a female friend? I'm here to share my personal experience and shed some light as to how to treat such a delicate situation.
My wife and I had been working under the same employer for almost 2 years. Most of our friends were common between us, and were nurses and other staff members of the hospital we worked for. As a husband, there are particular things you feel you can control when working under the same roof. I say "feel you can control" because you obviously can't run a relationship by yourself. You lean on each other and learn to trust in one another when you are building the foundation in your relationship. By that example I guess you can say that we are the housekeepers. We've been working to maintain this 3 year marriage to the best of our ability, and have been constantly communicating what was important to us. My main concern was always the subject of 1-on-1, outside of the marriage meetings with someone of the opposite sex.
She's always thought the whole idea wasn't really a big deal. She tends to be social every once in a while and want to hang out with friends. Sometimes she would think that I don't put that much trust into her. The whole issue is about lack of trust, but it's not with her. Husbands usually go motive hunting on the part of the man who is wanting to see her in such a setting to where it's just those 2. The thoughts start flowing;
1. I'm her husband, so why is she entertaining another man?
2. Who are we kidding? This is a date that's being set up with my wife.
3. Again, what are the motives of this guy?
These were always my concerns when it came to this. Little did I know that these questions would go into motion once our hospital went under and we were hitting the unemployment line due to layoffs after the closing. One of the respiratory therapists, who I had known for my 3 year stint there, was always going in the reception area where my wife was and telling her how good she looked. He was flirting with her, making jokes about how I need to watch out and so on. I always cracked jokes with this guy. He's humorous, but you could tell that he still had a bit of a lustful side when you got to know him a little better. I let the flirting pass, since I was in the same building and any move placed on her would be met with some confrontation. But it was while we were closing when things got questionable.
As we entered the final week, he approached her and wanted to know if he could have her E-mail and her number (mine too, according to her account) so he could keep in touch. She agreed and handed him her number with both of our E-mail addresses. The layoffs then hit right before the building shut down, and I thought that was pretty much it for communication. I mean really, who follows up contact that often? I know I never hear from 95% of my co-workers again after leaving. But oh boy was I wrong!! Those 2 started E-mailing each other back and forth, while he stayed away from my end of the communication line. I do admit that this annoyed me a bit since I knew of his reputation of wining and dining women, trying to be a ladies man.
Then the dreadful day comes when my wife approaches me and says that he wants to take her out to lunch. Being the inquisitive person that I am, I asked her "I'm invited too, right?" Turns out that this guy (who we will just call Dick for obvious reasons of anonymity and the description of his behavior) never invited me at all and just inquired about her coming to lunch with him. I reminded her that I didn't approve of situations like this and that the only acceptable way to do lunch with him is if it was a group event. She said that nobody else would want to go. At that point I tried to meet her in the middle. I told her it would be fine if she told me where they were going, what time they were going, and what time she will return around (estimate). I also wanted to keep in contact via phone to make sure everything was fine. It was agreed.
A week passes, and I still get no response as to where she's going. The only thing I knew at the time was that it was a day away and I was looking for information. She said she had forgotten about it and that she would give it to me before she left the next day. She would leave it on a note if I wasn't awake by the time she left and put it on the television set. The next day comes by, and can you guess what happened? I didn't have to work since I was a lay off, so I woke up at around 11:30. My wife is gone, I don't know her plans, and she never left me a note to let me know where I could get to her in case she ran into issues.
Their date is on and my dilemma begins. It really begins when I try calling her and she never answers the phone. I gave her 3 calls in a 10 minute span. That way it's not too hyper and not too spanned out. Either way, no call was answered or returned. I wasn't worried at this point, but rather pretty pissed off. I wanted to sign into her E-mail to find any details about her location and the time of the meet-up with Dick. I thought better of it and gave her the benefit of the doubt. I stuck it out and waited for her call, and I did eventually get a call. In a very twisted, coincidental turn of events, my brother calls me. We live a town apart and all, but he NEVER calls me!! He is in college and apparently had the rest of the semester off. He called me from a little hot spot in town (not really too big of a town, so it was like one of the very few restaurants). He was meeting his wife on her lunch break when he called me.
Thinking that he wanted to play X-Box or something, I picked up the phone. He starts off by saying "what's your wife doing out with another man?" I nearly sprang to my feet. I asked him, "You know where she is, don't you?" It turns out that my brother entered the restaurant and spotted them in a booth having lunch together. Before he had called me with the news, he approached both of them and greeted my wife at the table. He then introduced himself as my brother to Mr. Dick. While on the phone with me outside of the restaurant, he wanted me to know that they both looked a little edgy and nervous. I then told him to keep an eye on them until she reached her car. Well, another problem turns up from that comment. He replied back to me that her car wasn't there. I had enough at that point, and all bets were off.
I knew her E-mail password (at least the one she gave Dick), and I sorted through her E-mails to see if I could find any clues to both of their plans in entirety. I didn't have to look far when I saw an E-mail from Dick that read "Drive to the park and we'll take my car from there." The park is only a few miles from the restaurant, and it was only a few miles from where we live. I didn't read any further. Confrontation mode kicked in and I was out the door within 5 minutes. It only took me an additional 5 to hit the park.
I enter into the park with the mindset that they weren't back yet. During that trip to the park was when I dialed her an additional 5 times, possibly more. I was extremely pissed off and disappointed at the time, so I have no accurate count. So I am winding through the twisting parking lot when I spot her car near the far end of the lot. I drive by the car to find a spot closest to it because a couple of vehicles were parked next to it. As soon as I notice the vehicles is when I see the silhouette of 2 heads in an SUV next to her car. Automatically knew it was them. I knew his vehicle too from all the time I spent on the job. I guess my brother forgot to tell me that she was leaving. Either way, she spots me passing by in the parking lot, and all of the sudden I have a phone call. Of course I look down at my phone and it was her (which really puts me in a stern frame of mind). Her first words are "Hey, what are you doing here?" My first words to her were "Get out of his car now and drive away." She didn't get it the first time that I was angry and wanted me to turn around and come back. If I went back there, I was going to tear him a new one. I thought better of it and told her again "Get out of his car, into yours, and you had better do it now." She complied and wound up following me home.
We get home and I start demanding answers on why I was left completely in the dark about the information on her date with another man. She tells me that she texted the information to my phone. I hand her my phone and said "I don't see a text on there, do you?" Following up with that reply, I ask for her to show me her phone so I can see where she sent it to me. Sometimes these things fail when they send and I was going to make sure that either she did send it or she was caught in a lie. Instead, she doesn't show me her phone and claims that she deleted all of her text messages within that 1-2 hour time frame from when she supposedly sent it to when I called her out on it. I said "that's crap and you know it!" She then tries to come up with a story on how she had to delete her messages because she didn't have enough memory to take pictures of the ducks in front of the restaurant. I eventually check her phone and find no pictures of ducks. Once again, I was lied to. Contradicting stories from every angle.
- If it was on silent and you were taking pictures of ducks, you would have seen my call(s)
- No proof of text to show me the information due to short memory because she wanted to shoot duck pictures
- No duck pictures on her phone, which means she never had to clear room in the first place.
- If she didn't have to clear room in the first place, she never cleared her texts.
- If she didn't clear her texts and the message to me was supposedly on there, then she never texted.
It didn't take long to put the pieces of this puzzle together. As quick as I started figuring it all out, I quickly started to see the trust I developed with her being tarnished. I was a married man who was free and available (off work), and my wife decides to go off to lunch with another man and not tell me a thing about it. I WAS OFF!! Why wasn't I taking her out to lunch?
The conversation ended with me laying down the rules. I remember telling her that I would NEVER in a million years go out with a single woman, period (Dick is a single man). I wasn't going to risk opening the door to an opportunity that could potentially have serious consequences to our marriage. She, like always, tries to persuade me to believe that she never went out with the feelings of anything more than friends with this guy.
O.k, women (and men), this is the time where you have to understand that this is not a lack of trust in you. This is where the significant other lacks trust in the person you are with. We build that trust as we move through our relationships. We don't have relationships with this 1-on-1 candidate that you are seeing, so we don't know what his agenda holds. We don't want to know either. That's the reason why most people don't find it acceptable to have an occasion like this.
I replied back to my wife, telling her that it wasn't my trust in her that was the issue. It was the issue of what his plans were with her. Dick has not spoken a word to me ever since we parted ways, so you know he's not looking for "friends" as he was constantly hitting up my wife via E-mail. I had to hammer that knowledge into her mind that guys mostly look at girls for an opportunity that is more than friendship. They invest... It's what we call building a safety net, to catch you just in case you fall from the high graces of your relationship/marriage.
As for Dick, he E-mailed my wife back after the incident where I told her to come home with me. She finally revealed that E-mail message to me where he brands me as possessive and accuses me of a conspiracy with my brother (he actually believes that I knew all along where they were and I had my brother go over to babysit. Ha!). I haven't gotten a hold of Dick yet to let him in on some little hints. The hints to Dick, you ask?
1. That's my wife you're dealing with, so you better be ready to deal with me
2. Protecting my wife is not being possessive. I don't tell her where she can or cannot go.
3. Marriage is about give and take. She and I have agreed to stay way from these 1-on1's.
4. Dick, you have no room to critique me on my marriage. You're divorced, fool!
5. If you interfere with my marriage, damn right I'm going to take you to task.
6. If I ever want your advice on how to screw up a marriage, I'll ask you to post it here on writing.com
I leave you with this. You don't have to engage in sex in order to cheat on your significant other. If you buy into another person emotionally, you're robbing your husband or wife. What you no longer confide in with them will be used with someone else. Marriage won't work that way. When you say I do after you knowingly share your vow to them in front of God and man, live by it. Mean it. It is a partnership to where you can feel safe expressing your deepest thoughts and secrets. Even if you aren't religious and don't have a wedding, you still know the stakes of being in a relationship that you would consider to be as serious as a marriage itself.