It can be tough to decide what to do when your husband is talking to another woman. On the one hand, you want to cut any potential problems off before they could become something, on the other you don’t want to overreact and put a strain on your marriage for no reason. So what’s the right thing to do?
The key to dealing with your husband talking to another woman is first to understand if there’s a problem then to address it openly and honestly without putting unnecessary stress on your marriage. We do this by putting it in context and then addressing it calmly with your husband if it needs addressing.
I’m going with the assumption that you don’t have a reason to think your husband is cheating. If you do have a genuine reason to believe he’s doing something inappropriate then skip ahead to the ‘what do do’ section.
Context: Why Is My Husband Talking to Another Woman?
The first thing we need to do is put your husband talking to another woman in context. This video is a clear example of a problem. Complaining about your relationship with 15 other women is a clear problem and needs to be dealt with.
If you’d like to deal in more specifics about what you’re dealing with in your marriage then take the marriage assessment quiz and we can focus on what you need to do.
I know it’s tempting for a lot of people to assume this is common knowledge and skip this step but it’s really important that you don’t. It’s one thing to read something and think common sense.
It’s quite another (and sometimes very difficult) to honestly question our own assumptions sometimes.
The Obvious: Female Friends Don’t Just Vanish When You Get Married
So let’s start with the obvious. When you get married, his female friends aren’t going to suddenly vanish and it’s not alright for you to expect them to, especially assuming he doesn’t mind you talking to your male friends.
Unless they’re causing a problem it’s perfectly healthy for both of you to continue to see old and new friends of both genders. Just because they’re talking to another woman doesn’t mean there’s a problem. The vast, vast majority of healthy marriages trust each other enough.
Another Obvious: He Has a Work-Life
Unless he works in a masonic temple he’s going to be talking to women in his working life even if it wasn’t normal for him to do it in his personal life.
It’s all about the context.
Is There a Problem?
If you think there’s a genuine problem here I suggest reading some of the specific guides like how to tell if your husband is in love with another woman.
Some basic examples of putting things in context:
Perfectly normal: Talking to friends or even complete strangers if that’s what he does. Some people do this easier than others but an everyday conversation shouldn’t pose a problem.
Questionable: Deep emotional conversations that he isn’t having with you.
Red alert: If your husband is hiding his phone or keeping conversations secret from you.
Some other warning signs which would really exclude giving him the benefit of the doubt:
- Phrases like I can talk to you about anything.
- Complaining about your marriage or relationship to the other woman.
- Messaging a lot of other women. One or two might just be a friendly conversation but if he’s specifically going out looking for women to message, we have a problem.
Everything should be in the context of your marriage. If it’s normal for him to make friends and talk to people, then it shouldn’t be an issue for him to be talking to another woman unless there’s a reason to believe it’s more than just friendship.
Unless you have a genuine reason to believe there’s something inappropriate here you really don’t need to do anything about it. You could still raise the topic with your husband but make it clear that you understand it’s perfectly fine for him to have female friends and you’re perhaps feeling a little insecure about it.
He should try and take your feelings into account and help you work through this, but you do need to allow him to see female friends if you want your marriage to last.
If it looks like there is a problem – then what do you do?
What to do When You Catch Your Husband Talking to Another Woman Inappropriately?
There’s an obvious first step here.
Talk to Him.
Emotionally charged conversations always have a way of getting away from us. I’d suggest sitting down with a notepad and organizing your feelings into one place before bringing the topic up with him.
Again, the context really matters here. If he’s clearly doing something wrong you’re going to need to be more direct with him.
Are you aware what you’re doing is making me uncomfortable? Why are you doing this?
If he’s maybe just talking to people he considers friends – you’re going to have to change tact.
Your goal here shouldn’t be to immediately launch an attack. It might well be that it didn’t even occur to him it was inappropriate and cheating was the furthest thing from his mind. To begin with, you just need him to understand how it makes you feel.
It’s incredibly common for another woman to be flirting with your husband and for him to not even notice it. She might be thinking affair – he might be thinking another member for the bowling team. There’s a good chance he thinks nothing of the conversation at all.
It’s not that men are stupid, they’re just wired a little differently than women. It might be very obvious to you that she’s being inappropriate but could completely be the furthest thing from his mind. Again, context matters here so without knowing exactly the nature of the conversation he’s having – I’m going to encourage restraint to begin with.
None of this I shouldn’t need to tell you. No subtle hints or being passive-aggressive. If you’re lost for words, a simple talking to her like this is making me uncomfortable should suffice. You’re not here to yell at him or ‘catch him out’ – you need him to understand how you feel so the two of you can work through it.
This should be a conversation, not an argument. It might well be that neither of you is right or wrong and there are just some adjustments to be made.
Be patient with him during this conversation. It’s never easy to be told you’re doing something wrong especially if he didn’t think he was, to begin with.
If he does deny talking to her and you know he’s lying that’s a worrying sign. It might just be ego or he wants to avoid an argument – or it might be he has a reason to try and hide the other woman away. I’ve covered how to get him to admit it here.
Talk to Her.
If you feel like your husband understands how you feel and isn’t the one trying to initiate things with the other woman then it might be time you talk to her.
Again, this isn’t an attack. Especially if it’s a professional connection you don’t want to have a screaming match with her. Take your time to put your thoughts in order and talk to her directly yourself.
The context matters here. If she’s just making a lot of contact with your husband you might just need to reach out and introduce yourself as his wife.
Oh Chris told me about the strange waiter at the restuarant last Friday. How strange! Maybe next time we could all go together and I’ll get to see him myself!
Is It Appropriate for My Husband to Tell Another Woman That She is Beautiful?
One or two compliments to another woman can be acceptable, however, if your husband is making it a habit of complimenting or flattering other women, it is something to be wary of. Your partner should know what would make you uncomfortable, and lavishing his attention on other women in what could be called ‘flirtatious talk’ is definitely problematic.
Remember, context matters.
Meeting your friend for a night out and saying something like ‘Hey Maxine! You look beautiful in that dress!’ is maybe just his way of being polite to your friend. If he’s messaging women through dating apps to say the same – that’s obviously a different story.
Sometimes communicating your discomfort with your partner can be a great help. Your partner might genuinely not realize that his ‘harmless’ compliments are hurting you, and your talking to him may help him realize that you’re the woman whose happiness means the most to him. In such cases, giving the benefit of the doubt does wonders. But if your husband always compliments new women that he meets, especially without heeding what you think, it is a thing to worry about. The appropriateness of a compliment depends on the time it is given. If a married man goes out of his way to give a compliment to someone he barely knows, it’s a problem.
This question has truly perplexed men and women for many years. It should be understood that women are allowed to look and feel gorgeous and married men should not feel the need to have to remind them of that. Though a compliment doesn’t have to imply cheating, it’s important he takes your feelings into account.
Though it depends on the circumstances, married men complimenting other women can be a bit “iffy“. If your husband persists in such extravagant praise of the physical attributes of other women, you should definitely be on the watch for other signs that indicate that his heart no longer belongs to the one he made the vow to. Please ensure that your feelings are objective and not stemming from insecurities.
Relationships are a delicate balance of trust and love. If something upsets the equilibrium, work needs to be put from both sides for balance. If your husband displays behavior that constantly raises red flags, it’s crucial to wisely assess and then address the situation.