Jealous of Hubby's Workmate

Q: My husband has become close friends with a woman at work, whom I'll call Anne. I've met her a few times. I trust him and don't believe there's anything sexual going on. But their close relationship makes me very nervous. They share an office, eat lunch together every day, and often text on evenings and weekends. He's told me enough details about Anne's life that I know they must have pretty deep conversations. I wonder if she doesn't know him better than I do at this point. Am I overreacting or am I right to worry about this? — Teresa, 40

Dr. Susan: Your jealousy and anxiety are understandable. While your husband's relationship with Anne may be entirely innocent, such intimate conversations do sometimes lead to emotional affairs. And those, as you can (and do) imagine, sometimes lead to "real" affairs. The fact that they share an office and eat lunch together is beyond your, and possibly his, control. However, why are they texting when not at work?

You may need to come right out and let him know you are uncomfortable about his closeness to Anne. Ask him how come he feels the need to text her all the time? Let him know that he's playing with emotional fire (his and hers, and then your own). So that, frankly, you'd be much happier if he'd limit his interactions with her to work hours. Something like, "I know you wouldn't hurt me, but sometimes women misunderstand a colleague's interest in their personal lives." Etc. One thing to keep in mind is that so long as he's talking to you about her, he's not making a point of hiding their relationship. I still wouldn't be thrilled if they spent time together outside the office.

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