From the inbox:
I’m hoping you can help me with a problem I haven’t seen addressed in your books or blog. I’ve been with my widower for several years and don’t feel like number one. The reason? He’s constantly texting, emailing, or calling his other friends—most of whom are female. When I tell him how it makes me feel he gives them more attention than he tells me that I’m overreacting, insecure, and we spend practically all our time together anyway. Am I overreacting or should I expect different behavior from my widower?
You’re not overreacting or insecure. His behavior is wrong. As far as I’m concerned, he’s cheating on you. He may not be sleeping with any of them but he is investing more time, energy, and emotions with others instead of with you. That’s not exactly being faithful and committed.
There’s nothing wrong friendships outside of a committed relationship so long as there’s healthy boundaries and clear lines that aren’t crossed. For example, I’m good friends with many of the people I work with, but I generally don’t discuss personal matters with coworkers unless it affects my job or job performance in some way. The same can be said for my neighbors and people I see at church.
If you’re in committed relationship, constantly contacting friends, coworkers, past loves, or others to the point where your partner feels neglected is unacceptable. I’ve seen many marriages and relationships end because one person felt more comfortable confiding in and spending time with someone other than their spouse/boyfriend/girlfriend.
His behavior needs to change immediately. If not, you’re better walking out the door and saving yourself from further emotional and mental turmoil.
You deserve better.