My husband, James, is jealous of my friends and thinks we share too much when we get together!
Every week I have a girl’s night out with my friends and after a few drinks the conversations can get quite raunchy. We talk about our love lives and our partners – the good and the bad!
I think it’s harmless fun but recently one of my friends let slip one of the things I said about my husband in the bedroom and he was really upset.
James thinks we should keep our private lives private and says he’d never talk about our sex lives with his friends.
What do you think Will – should my husband lighten up or am I over-stepping?
Rachel, Staten Island
From a man’s point of view, you aren’t just over-stepping; you’re two-stepping, side stepping, and doing the Electric Slide. James doesn’t need to lighten up and he isn’t “jealous of your friends”. He’s pissed off, and rightly so.
You don’t mention how long you’ve been married, but either it hasn’t been very long and you don’t know any better, or it’s been too long and you just aren’t thinking. I’m no Dr. Phil, but this stuff is Marriage 101, so hang up your cell phone and pull up a chair. Here’s how I see it:
What you’re doing wrong: Duh! Any real relationship, especially a marriage, has to have the big four (LOVE, TRUST, RESPECT, and COMMUNICATION) to survive. These are the legs of the stool, the wheels of the car, the tent poles etc, etc. Can it work without? Not very well.
So, how many of these laws are you breaking with your Chatty Kathy routine? James obviously can’t trust you to keep his business private; you’ve proven that. If he’s asked you not to do it before and you’ve continued anyway, that throws respect and communication out of the window. Well, you’ve still got love, and that’s all you really need, right? WRONG! If it’s true that “all you need is love,” then why did the Beatles break up? As my daddy use to say, “A bird and a fish can fall in love, but they’ll play hell living together.” Trust me, you need all four of the big four.
Why James is mad: Quick question, Rachel; these friends that you have… how many things about yourself would you NEVER tell them? Sure you tell them some things, but what about those other things? And James doesn’t know which of his things you’re telling and which one’s you aren’t. Here’s one for the book. MAN RULE: MEN HATE TO LOOK VULNERABLE. It’s a real struggle for us. And we’re never more vulnerable than when we are trying to make love. I’m not talking about sex; you don’t even need to know the other person’s name for that. I’m talking about a man opening himself up and letting someone else in to know him; his faults, his insecurities, things about himself that he doesn’t normally share. But now that James knows that you two might as well be doing the deed on the 11:00 news, why bother opening up to you. I’m not sure how he feels… but I’d feel like you had no respect for me so it doesn’t matter what I do next.
Gains vs Losses: 1st Scenario = James sucks in bed. You tell your friends. They think you’re unhappy and have a pitiful sex life. They laugh at you, but not to your face. When they see James, they give him that sad, knowing look. He knows he’s not good, and he knows that you’ve told them. One of your friends lets a little something slip, accidently. James is mad, hurt, and doesn’t want to have sex with you any more… all because you can’t keep your business to yourself.
This doesn’t end well.
2nd Scenario = James is great in bed. You tell your friends. They think you’re too happy and want your great sex life. They get jealous of you, but not to your face. When they see James, they give him that hungry, lustful look. He knows he’s good, and he knows that you’ve told them. One of your “friends” lets a little something slip “accidently”. James is flattered and now that you no longer appreciate him, just maybe he’s open to her proposition. Now he won’t need to have sex with you anymore… because you can’t keep your business to yourself.
This doesn’t end well either.
What you should do: Apologize. Then… apologize again. Tell James you had no right to put his business out there as entertainment for you friends. Tell him that you appreciate the fact that he knows things about you that he doesn’t tell anyone and that you owe him the same consideration. Tell him it will NEVER happen again, and mean it!
Then, either change your drinking conversation, change your circle of friends, or both. You need to understand, you’ve never put on a white dress and promised to love honor or cherish any of your friends. You don’t owe them anything, but you owe James the big four, or your friendships will outlast your marriage. And if that doesn’t matter to you… than you’ve just failed Marriage 101.
Sorry goes a long way, Rachel. Start there… and good luck.
William Jones is originally from the tiny town of Alton, Illinois, and now lives in the tinier town of Reisterstown, Maryland. He is a happy husband and a proud father of three, and writes as a hobby, in those few moments he finds between husbanding and daddy-ing