• Handling Breakups

A wife-chaser made me lose trust in female friends

Published: April 17, 2014 | By | 15 Replies Continue Reading
Having had a problem with trust in the past can make someone even more sensitive to a breech of trust.


Hi Irene,

I am hoping for some suggestions and I don’t even know where to start or how to put this succinctly. Bear with me; I will try.

Basically I am looking for advice on two things:

1) How to forgive the woman that spent a couple of months chasing my husband (no, hubby didn’t cheat, yes I am sure :), and

2) How do I ever trust anyone again?

I had a hard time trusting women most of my life, then after crawling out of a naive cave I didn’t feel as though I could trust men either. My husband is the only one I have ever been able to trust. We have had some disastrous family encounters, and moved just enough times to lose touch with friends, even though I tried reconnecting a few times.

My husband has always encouraged me to be involved with friends, and events and activities for the kids and myself, but this latest disaster has left me completely undone. I don’t feel like I can ever trust anyone again. I mean, I trust hubby, trust our son, his wife, and when my dad was alive, my dad.

The other issue, forgiving this woman, who knew my husband was married, practically threw herself at him, and kept trying even though she met me. I feel like a fool.

If my husband of now 31 years did anything wrong at all, it was to not tell me. We both went to the same chiropractor where this woman worked. Then to top it off, the other lady in the office, that I was just starting to consider a friend, knew what was going on. When I went in once to have an adjustment on my back, this secretary went out to see if hubby was in the car, which he was. My husband shot her down more than once but she wouldn’t take no for an answer, and he finally told her “My wife and I will do what ever it takes to ensure you cease and desist.” That apparently is what got her to back off.

It has been over a year and a half since all of this took place. I occasionally see this woman, before and after I found out. Mostly from a distance since, low and behold, she got fired from the chiropractor’s office. Hmmm, wonder why…anyway I don’t want to confront her. I don’t want to hate her either, or the other lady who helped her.

I work at home, and rarely have time to socialize, if ever at all. I have one friend in the whole world beside my husband, son and a sweet and special, daughter-in-law. She is getting so busy that our email friendship (which started as a result of each of us looing our sons while they were active duty in the army seems to be dwindling and is practically non-existent any more because of her ever increasing work and family obligations.

Whatever insight or suggestion you might have to offer would be very helpful.

Signed, Linnea


Hi Linnea,

If you had a problem with trust in the past, I can see how this disturbing scenario would re-open old wounds.

Neither this woman nor her colleague sound friend-worthy. They both seem unprofessional and lacking in judgment.

At this point, there is no sense in confronting her because I doubt it would alter her behavior towards others, and you have no reason to have anything to do with her in the future. The only way you can practice forgiveness is by attributing it to her lack of moral character: It probably had more to do with her than it did with you or your husband. If you see her or the other woman, don’t acknowledge them and just keep walking. They have much more reason to feel embarrassed or humiliated than you do.

When it comes to relationships, there are always rotten apples. Don’t let this one incident hold you back from reaching out for other true friendships. But allow yourself time to build trust before you let new friendships become intimate. I just read a quote in a book that is germane to your situation:

People are born into families but they grow into relationships (Breaking the Watch: The Meanings of Retirement in America).

Since you do have a problem with trust, it would be worthwhile to speak to your husband and let him know that while you trust him, you hope he will let you if any situation like this ever occurs again. Hopefully, it won’t.

The best thing you can do to get over this incident is to replace this negative experience with positive ones.

Hope this helps.

Best, Irene

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Category: Apologies and forgiveness

Comments (15)

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  1. alexia says:

    I found this site after googling “i have no friends but im not lonely”. Then I was shocked to find most people on here are women. Sounds like women need to learn to be emotionally independent instead of whining over friendships like a middle schooler. Most people are out for themselves, you should be too. And contrary to what you may want to believe, most men are unfaithful. I believe if every married woman hired a private investigator, theyd be shocked at the results. You have everything you need within yourself. Depend on no one.

    • alexia says:

      And all this talk of male breadwinners makes me sick. Go out and win your own damned bread instead of competing for male attention. Otherwise it just looks pathetic.

    • linnea says:

      I can’t believe I missed your post, and since it’s been almost a year since you posted it, I doubt you will even see this now, but I am most compelled to respond.

      First of all, how dare you judge other people for those things which you have no comprehension. You have no friends and are not lonely?! How sad for you and your emotionally impoverished life. You presume to understand the level of my emotional independence? Go judge yourself.

      Secondly, you challenge married women, who by the very nature of the relationship with their spouse, are looking for a lifetime commitment, which mosts of the time means fidelity, that all our husbands are cheating? How very nice of you. Thank you for sharing that ray of sunshine. No wonder you have no friends.

      Thirdly, as far as the “breadwinners” comment that you made in your follow up reply, again, you don’t know what you are talking about. I have nothing to prove to you or any one else. I have won my own bread, and have a list of accomplishments that I am sure goes way back to before your sad life entered this world.

      We sound like a bunch of “whiney babies”? You sound like a lonely, desparate, hostile, btich, with an emotionally empty, sex/man centric life. How very sad and what a sad commentary on society.

      Go look in the mirror and judge yourself.

    • linnea says:

      oh, and one more thing:

      “Most people are out for themselves”? Really? I supposed then that our children are glad that we weren’t. Now you are an expert and a judge on the human condition? You really are clueless, as well as hostile, lonely and desperate. Perhaps you should learn to speak for yourself. Clearly, YOU are out for yourself. How very sad for you and anyone that knows you.

  2. Islandgirl says:

    Hi Linnea,

    I don’t understand why your husband isn’t happy with how you’ve responded to this incident. I can imagine that you have been very distraught, upset and feeling quite humiliated. That’s how I’d feel, and I think that’s a normal human reaction to something like this. I would hope he can have compassion for you and give you the reassurance you need.

    Besides the fact that you were considering friendship for yourself with these two women, you were in a professional medical setting, where one should be able to expect professional conduct by the office personnel. They breached your trust in a most egregious manner. I’m glad to hear that the skanky lady was finally fired.

    I don’t blame you for feeling you can’t trust anyone now. Heck, you can’t even trust leaving your hubby in the car while you go get a chiro adjustment.

    Maybe some of the commenters above are correct in saying that you could benefit from therapy that helps you stay centered, calm and self-confident in situations like this. That would be the ideal way to react, I suppose. Maybe I need therapy like that too, I don’t know, but your story makes me feel more vulnerable as well, and I completely trust my husband too.

    • Linnea says:

      Hi Island Girl,

      Thanks so much for your response.

      His response to me and the way I am reacting is a bit of a mystery too. I keep thinking, this is a sensative, caring, and compassionate man, can’t he see that this caused me pain? He says that all the pain is my doing. He did not commit adultery. He believes he has handled it in a manner so as not to cause harm to any one, or provoke her to damaging behavior since he states numerous times that she seemed to be emotionally unbalanced.

      He didn’t tell me about it when it was going on. He should have removed himself from the situation. I am humiliated. Now I find out that there phone calls back and forth. Sometimes he will make comments about it that indicate he gave her info about me, about my state of mind, “don’t want the wife to know”, (we went to the same chiropractor), “she has insecurities”, etc…. The absolute worst information he could give to a predator.

      I agree with you, it was in a professional medical setting, requiring professional conduct. I agree completely. Thank you for sharing that because, quite frankly I was starting to think I am loosing my mind.I don’t know if I am looking at this the right way or not. I mean, am I being fair?

      I don’t mind working on myself and my insecurities, what ever they may be, there is always room for improvement, but I didn’t think I was that insecure. I think this caught me by surprise at a time when we both agreed we were happier than ever in our relationship.

      Thank you again for taking the time to reply.

  3. Sabrinna says:

    I have experienced the exact opposite problem. I worked with a team of people before moving city. I had a going away picnic. One person couldn’t make it because he was out of town. He asked me where I was moving, via text. I told him, and that was where he was. We met for coffee on the day I arrived and he invited me to socialise with a group of people that night. I thought this was wonderful because I got to meet some people on my very first day in a new city. Well, this man hit on me. He was married with an adopted child and a genetic child. I turned him down. I outright stated, ‘You are married. This is inappropriate. ‘ His business in that city ended and he left for home.

    A month later he texts me. ‘I’m at the airport. I left my wife.’ I didn’t know what to reply. It seemed absolutely unreal. He stayed with one of his friends. I went out with the group again and did not spend any time alone with him. Over the following year, he visited 5 times. It was around a year and half after his separation that I went out on a date with him. Nothing came of it because I saw him as someone who left his wife and kids on a whim. I couldn’t get past that. If he left them, how could I trust him? I must add here, that I’d never met his wife or kids.

    I moved back to my home town to find rumours that I had thrown myself at him and was a home-wrecker. These rumours suited him perfectly. They absolved him of any and all responsibility. The facts didn’t matter. I now have a very hard time trusting married men to treat me as a platonic friend, with decency and respect. I also have a hard time trusting partnered women to not blame single women for their mens inappropriate behaviour.

    • Sabrinna says:

      I guess I should have asked this question;

      What constitutes “throwing herself at him”?

      I ask because, as a single woman I find that just being polite is enough to be on the end of such an accusation. Men I wouldn’t look twice at are highly coveted by their partners. A smile, a conversation, a remembering of a customers name or any other basic interaction can be seen as “throwing herself at him”.

      I’ll give you another two examples I’ve faced. A friend, who called me ‘sister’ threatened violence on me because I talked to her partner at a gathering. We were standing in the hallway, clearly visible from the lounge and kitchen. He asked me if I would help him pick out an engagement ring for her. Obviously, this was a private conversation because he was planning to propose to her. I couldn’t tell her what the conversation was about or I would’ve ruined one of the most romantic moments of her life and betrayed his confidence. I simply lost the friendship and got rumoured about by mutual friends.

      Another friendship ended over a conversation with a friends boyfriend. The conversation was about art. It happened in a lounge room where she was present and two others also. Apparently talking about a mutual interest in front of people was ‘hitting on him’.

      What are single women meant to do? Lock ourselves away, never see or talk to another living soul? Be petrified that if we enjoy a conversation with another human being then we may viewed as sime kind of predator?

      Seriously, I ask the question, was she just being polite and friendly as one human being to another?

      • Linnea says:

        You have certainly made some valid points about how insecure women in possibly insecure relationships, overreact. I think some women are overly cautious and seem to overreact because it seems as though anything goes today. I mean anything, anything that can be gotten away with, and breaking up, getting divorced, is a normal part of life, so there are no more boundaries.

        I am sorry to hear that you have been treated so badly. It is not fair, and I always try to give people the benefit of the doubt. My husband tries very hard to be friendly, he has had a rough time of things most of his life, and we have, as a couple and family faced many hardships that tend to show in how he relates to people. So he tries a little harder than normal to be friendly and nice and pleasant to be around, both at home and around other people. I love that about him. He is a big, tough looking, burley man (but, in my humble opinion VERY good looking and very handsome). He isn’t generally around women, in fact almost all of his life he has worked almost exclusively around men only. I have never felt funny or insecure about him being around women. I have always kind of, encouraged him to be friendly, it has never bothered me. In fact he was in a unit in the army for several years that traveled extensively on training missions, and during their off duty hours almost all of the other guys in the small unit were fooling around on their wives. He was shocked. The worst he ever did was to dance with a women which he was eager to tell me about because he felt so guilty about it. I still smile when I think about that one.

        But this thing with the woman at the chiropractor is completely different. “Throwing herself” at him means multiple attempts to seduce him. She finally told him he is the strongest man she has ever met. That tells me she has done this before. She knew he was married. I asked him if she even bothered to ask or find out if he was happily married, he told me she did not.

        He insists that he did not commit adultery. They did have a few phone calls back and forth, but that appears to be it.That is where we are now. I believe him, but in a society and culture where there are no longer any rules, and there are no boundaries, and very few people have morals, even the strongest can be tempted. This comes after 30 years of marriage, so it is fairly shocking to say the least. At a period in our relationship when I believed, and he said he felt the same way, that it was better than ever for us.

        So, unfortunately, I can understand insecurities, but it sounds as though you were just plain treated unfairly. I am sorry.

        Thank you so much for taking the time to reply!

  4. Lidial says:

    To the poster, I would like to offer the benefit of my 61 years. My husband is a lovely guy, and many they always told me how lucky I found ALL of my friends flirted with him. It was the degrees to which they took this. One short term friend directly offered the possibility of an affair within weeks we were friends and totally behind my back. It seems there is no end to the deviousness of women in this department, especially if they have no male partner of their own and envy yours. I know it wasn’t my husband because I observed this.

    Sadly, with many girl friends to start and fewer in my later years because of these issues, I found women are more competitive than we would like to admit. A husband is a great prize not just because he is a potential partner but a potential bread winner, and some will directly go after that to hurt you and to see if they can be a better woman than you by stealing him. I had the same issue in College with my first boyfriend, and from a girl that frankly was unappealing sexually or otherwise, but if you offer sex, men will take it.

    Amazingly, when my mother in law was alive, the octogenarians suffered from the same problem. My MIL talked to a man in the elevator who was standing next to his wife. When the man walked a way, the 85 year old woman came back into the elevator to tell MIL “That’s my man”. We thought it was funny, but to her it was very serious.

    I think you might be idealistic and believe women are faithful friends. That is not always the case, and you might find 1 in a million, but if you surround yourself with women friends this will be a regular issue.

    I have found that male friends are much more trustworthy, and I know myself, I dont’ cheat, and my husband knows this too so it works well. My husband does not feel like these girlfriends are after him, and it is more comfortable.

    I have basically dropped about 90% of the girlfriends, and now have good girlfriends that are either happily married, or older than me or my husband. At 61, women that have no partner are going to be eager to take someone else’s for economic reasons, etc. So the problem gets worse.

    I hope this helps. Don’t idealize female friendships, and realize people are people and expect it. You will have a few that will behave properly, and treasure those friendships because they are rare.

    • Linnea says:

      Thank you so much for taking the time to reply. It certainly does seem true that women will go after a guy, married or not, for more than just sex. This particular woman is married, didn’t seem to have the best financial situation. Hmmm, really makes me wonder.

      Of course, things never really are what they seem to be, and this is no exception. This situation unfolded a little at a time, and although my husband didn’t cheat on me, things were not exactly as I thought, and now, hubby is completely unhappy with my reaction to it all.

      This has caused, in my opinion, the biggest problem almost ever, between my husband and I.

      Wish me luck, I am going to need it.

      Thank you so much for your reply.

      • Lidial says:

        I think human beings in many ways are still following wild instincts. We can’t separate ourselves from nature. Definitely a male partner is a breadwinner — the hunter — and I’ve seen my cats fight for turf, over partners, food, etc. It is not wrong to view people as what we are, part of the animal kingdom, and not cynical to expect this behavior. When I finally realized this, I got on with my life and didn’t hate these women for their behavior. Just another cat. I am now more careful.

  5. tanja says:

    That is a tough situation. It reminds of when I was in high school and had a long term boyfriend. A girl, I considered my best friend did the same thing. My boyfriend at the time told me about it. I continued to be her friend, but I did not trust her. When she did have a boyfriend, she usually cheated on him. She was not a very sensitive person to other people’s feelings. But, she came across as a sweet little flower. We went to college together. I had another boyfriend at the time and when they met, she flirted. I told myself, maybe she doesn’t know how to interact with men. To some of my guy friends that were or could be a bit arrogant, but very smart and not so good with the ladies would say that she came across as acting “stupid”.

    We did not talk for a while and I went traveling. So years went by with out communication. When we learned we were pregnant at the same time, we got together and had playdates with our sons. But, once the year ended, we parted ways. We got back in touch when we were both pregnant again at the same time with girls. We had play dates and I invited her family over for dinner a few times. She offered to return the favour, she also would suggest things we do but never follow through on them. So, even in adult hood, she still is not trustworthy. I have decided not to contact her anymore and I did not really like her children. They also seem fake and not genuine. They come across as nice but behind your back, they are mean, just like their mom. My son has had a few complaints about her children and do not really get along. She is like a bee in my opinion, nice to look at, but turn your back and she stings you or make the wrong sudden move and again a sting. She is passive aggressive.

    It took me 15 years of off and on communication before realizing that I don’t like them and my husband did not like her husband and she also flirted with my husband. That I can get over, because she did it in front of her husband and he didn’t seem to mind. It was like he chalked it up to “oh well that is just so and so being so and so”.

    So, he may be use to it and she found her match. Her husband is not a warm person, never smiles but seems to go along with whatever.

    I do think it takes time to get over trust issues. But, breaking ties, although I know she couldn’t care less because it was usually me reaching out to her, was the best thing for me. In my mindset, saying I am done. My husband thought of her as almost sociopathic, like she doesn’t care or feel empathy for others, but apparently lots of sociopathic people run companies and are great CEO’s, this may be the reason she is successful in her job in Insurance.

    For me, letting her go, although she doesn’t know, it was a personal thing, letting her go in my mind was a huge relief. Now, I let the healing process begin.

  6. Amy F says:

    Since it sounds like you’ve always had trust issues and the situation with this woman heightened those issues, you might want to seek professional help to address the root of the problem and help you become more secure,
    Trust has more to do with trusting ourselves, rather than other people. Do we trust ourselves to be ok when others let us down (and they will, because nobody is the perfect friend, spouse, or person)? Do we trust that we can take care of ourselves when we’re disappointed in the failings of others? Do we trust ourselves to allow others to be imperfect and to know the difference between a lapse and a deal breaker?
    You deserve to learn how to be more secure.

    • Linnea says:

      Thanks so much for the reply. You are right to some degree. Thank you for your input. Much to consider.

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