Jealous of Husband’s Female Coworkers

By Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

Me and my husband got married 4 months ago after living together 2 years on his home country. I am from latin america,he is from europe. 6 months ago he started a new job, and in his office, the majority of colleagues are women. For two months already, he began developing a good relationship with some of them, specially with 3 women. Now,they go for drinks sometimes after work, and I am having trouble accepting this.

I don’t have a problem that he has a good relationship with them, or even to have lunch with them, at work hours! I understand is normal and part of the integration process.But not drinks after work, even less when sometimes he is the only man in the group.

I met them briefly in the office already, and I join them one time for drinks, but I still did not like them.
We have had many fights these 2 months because of that, he does not understand why I got jealous, and I also feel terrible to feel so insecure. Also I don’t want to “forbid” him to go for drinks, but I just can’t help it to get extremely angry.

One of them just went through a divorce and the other two are single. It does not make it any easier…
I have many people and friends (even his family) telling me its normal here to hang out with colleagues, it doesn’t matter whether they are male or female… but for me it is a big difference!

Now I resolved to try to accept it and trust him… overcome my jealousy and become more self secure, because I saw its only creating more problems… Is this the right thing to do? Or shall he take in consideration my feelings towards his new group? Shall I keep on reminding him how much I disapprove that or let it go?
Thank you very much!

A: I have a feeling that the problem isn’t just about drinks after work. You are newly married. You left your home country and you are trying to adjust to his. Your own network of friends and family is far away. Maybe you are trying to manage in a language other than your own as well. It’s a lot to handle. It makes sense to me that you may want more time and attention from your husband and that maybe you are a bit clingy.

You are right that forbidding him to see his colleagues is a mistake. Continuing to fight about his after-work activities is only going to make him resentful. I think you are getting more and more upset because you two are not talking about the more important issues that are underneath the main problem.

I suggest you sit down with your husband and tell him how much he means to you. Share with him how hard it is to adjust to a new country with new customs that are so different from your own. Let him know that you are not really a jealous person. But right now you need him more than maybe either of you would like. Ask for his help in finding other couples and friends you can both hang out with so you don’t feel so left out and alone.

I hope you can get on the same team and deal with the importance of having a circle of friends that you can both enjoy – together and on your own. If you do it well, you will both feel better. You won’t feel so threatened. He won’t feel like you are constantly checking up on him.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 7 Jul 2013

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2013). Jealous of Husband’s Female Coworkers. Psych Central. Retrieved on August 28, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2013/07/07/jealous-of-husbands-female-coworkers/

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