Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Just Ask Joyce: “I’m uncomfortable with how close my husband is becoming to his employee.”

Q: “I have been married for 32 years and have enjoyed a good marriage. Recently, I’ve noticed my husband becoming close to one of his employees. He said he’s helping her through a difficult time. He’s a kind and compassionate man, but he talks to her all the time, even at home after hours. He calls her; she calls him. She tells him everything, and he listens. I hear how he responds to her, and my heart breaks. I rarely get to speak my heart to him because he doesn’t give me the same degree of time or patience. I know she’s going through a tough time and he’s there for her, but he doesn’t see what I’m going through. Am I wallowing in self-pity, or should I be concerned?”

Joyce: There is cause for pause in your scenario. Apparently, after 32 years, this is a situation that has hit your alert button. Whatever the reason for the alarm, it is valid. None of us should ever be caught off guard in our marital relationship. There are women and men always looking for the “softer side of love” and who are thrilled to seize any opportunity for advancing their prospects. Allowing this to proceed without a heartfelt summit with your husband could result in you holding regret in your lap instead of him.

Here’s a 1-2-3 plan for you:
  1. Observe his pattern. When he speaks with this lady, is he openly talking in front of you? Does he leave the room? Does he share the conversation with you afterward? Do you inquire, only to have him dismiss the prospect of discussing it with you? Has he told you her name, or has he passed her off as “just some woman at work”? You should be his confidante. He should be fielding questions to you for advice from a woman’s perspective. He doesn’t have to reveal confidentiality, per se, but both of them must remember: she is speaking to your husband about these private matters.
  2. Share with him how uncomfortable you feel. Tell him your deepest concerns, regardless of how miserable or worrisome they might sound. He needs to understand the threat that has been imposed upon your long-standing marriage. He also needs to respect your apprehensions surrounding it. His first obligation is to his wife, not to his employee.
  3. Go to his workplace. If he owns the company, pop-in visits from you should be expected. If he is a supervisor at someone else’s company, this might be more difficult. But certainly watching from a distance in the parking lot could prove of great value. In other words, check it out. See if there are intimate or even warm exchanges—a glance, a touch, flirtatious gestures. If an intimacy is developing between these two, there are likely outward signs.
Having given you these starting points, I would now encourage you to assess your relationship honestly with your husband. If he’s not tender and patient with you, ask yourself why. Figure out how to overcome this obstacle in your marriage. There is an important ingredient lacking in the relationship between you and your husband, and perhaps the pantry’s been bare for a while.

Marriage will always be a work in progress. None of us married folk should be content with merely getting by. Long after the children are grown and gone, a couple needs to excite and invite love’s call. There are too many desperate people looking for someone to fill a lacking need to expect longevity to keep a spouse content. Commitment and faith should equal contentment, but temptation beckons to even the strongest of hearts.

You have an admirable record for a “good” marriage, but if I were you, I would settle for nothing less than incredible.

Change your life … NOW! Write Joyce Oglesby, Family-Life Fix-It Pro™, at justaskjoyce@gmail.com. I’m here to help! Check out my books and other resources today at JustAskJoyce.com. Like me on Facebook, follow me on Twitter and get connected to great family nourishing ideas! Join me on Just Ask Joyce live on WFIA 94.7fm/900am weekdays at 3pm.

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