I have a friend (a girl), who I met around 8 months ago. Since then, she has become my best friend and we are extremely close. Understandably, my wife is envious of the relationship and even sometimes suspects it is more than a platonic friendship (at least emotionally).

How can I convince her that the relationship is platonic without changing the nature of the friendship?

Here are the critical, key points:

  • Me and 'Katie' (fictional name for my friend, for future reference only) met at a wrestling class. This is an intimate sport with a lot of close, physical contact. We both love the sport and we train together 3 times per week (in a class situation) and then 1 on 1 alone once a week.
  • We meet up once a week for a non wrestling related day. We usually do another activity just for fun and then go out for food or just hang out somewhere for the day.
  • We have a holiday booked for 1 week. It is a training camp and we are sharing a room, but it is a twin room.
  • We speak on the phone (via a txting app) on average 2 - 3 times per day. I would say we exchange an average of 20 - 50 messages per day. We always send one to each other last thing at night.
  • When we have been apart, we have told each other how we miss each-other and have exchanged mutual feelings of loving each others company, loving being friends etc. She has also said if I am down or look sad that it makes her feel the same way.
  • Understandably, the above makes it look like there is something more than friendship potentially. But here is the thing. We are both married. She has said she is happily married and has 4 children with her husband. But she has also said that he is happy with our friendship and that she wants us to be friends forever. She said that since knowing me, she has been much happier in general.
  • I don't know if this has any relevance but I thought I would include it anyway that I was recently diagnosed with Autism. But I don't personally agree with that and also I have a job etc and friends so am pretty 'normal' even if it is correct.

The friendship has dramatically improved my happiness levels. Having such a close friend is amazing, and I want to keep that, whilst keeping my partner happy and comfortable also.

I have spoken to my wife about the friend and she said she won't stop me seeing her but that she is very jealous of it and doesn't like it.

  • 92
    @Teri0 The issue at hand is not whether or not your relationship with Katie makes you both happy. Affairs often make their participants happy as well. The questions at issue seem to me to be (1) is this relationship platonic (physically, emotionally, and in any other way that would matter to your wife), and (2) will this relationship remain that way? Every other consideration is likely to be secondary to your wife, as well as to how people here interpret and answer your question. – Upper_Case Jul 12 at 15:50
  • 4
    @Upper_Case Well number 1 is a yes. We have not been unfaithful in any way to our partners. Number 2 is a very likely yes based on what has (and has not) happened so far, but of course, no one can predict the future with any real accuracy. I know it's a difficult question to answer, I just don't know what to do. – Teri0 Jul 12 at 15:51
  • 14
    Please don’t write answers in comments. It bypasses our quality measures by not having voting (both up and down) available on comments, as well as having other problems detailed on meta. Comments are for clarifying and improving the question; please don’t use them for other purposes. – Arwen Undómiel Jul 12 at 21:46
  • 12
    A lot of varying opinions have been expressed here, but comments are not the place for that. Please be kind enough to keep your opinions to yourself. I'll repeat what Arwen already said: Comments are for clarifying and improving the question. So please keep your opinions on the matter or well-meant advice out of them. Anything that's not relevant to improving the question will be deleted. – Tinkeringbell Jul 13 at 17:06
  • 5
    Do you spend much time with your wife? This question really suggests you spend more with the other woman. No wonder she's insecure about your relationship. – AJFaraday Jul 23 at 11:32

10 Answers 10

up vote 213 down vote accepted

Close friendships are wonderful. Right now, you are putting a lot of time and energy into your friendship with Katie, and you are both enjoying the benefits of that effort. A proportionate investment in your marriage will help it to be more stable and fulfilling, for both you and your wife, which should in turn lessen concerns about cheating. Most spouses expect their marriage to be the most important relationship in their and their spouse's lives—it's even in the traditional western wedding vows: "forsaking all others". So "proportional" means that you should be putting more time and energy into your marriage than your friendship.

You've said you don't want to change your friendship; with that in mind, here are some practical actions you can take to help your wife feel more secure in your marriage, along with links explaining some of the science for how these actions help strengthen whichever relationship they're applied to:

  • Me and 'Katie' (fictional name for my friend, for future reference only) met at a wrestling class. This is an intimate sport with a lot of close, physical contact. We both love the sport and we train together 3 times per week (in a class situation) and then 1 on 1 alone once a week.

For every hour that you spend wrestling with Katie, spend 1.5 hours in a physical activity with your wife. This could be cuddling, dancing, giving one another massages, making love, going for a walk and holding hands, teaching her some wrestling fundamentals—basically, anything you both enjoy that allows for some skin-to-skin contact. Physical touching reduces stress and increases feelings of connection, so sharing more of it with your wife will help both of you to feel more connected and secure in your relationship.

  • We meet up once a week for a non wrestling related day. We usually do another activity just for fun and then go out for food or just hang out somewhere for the day.

For every platonic outing you have with Katie, have one romantic outing or two non-romantic (but fun) outings with your wife. Dinner alone does not count as romantic (according to your own definition). Spending more time together is correlated with increased "marital confidence" (exactly what you want to promote), which in turn correlates with greater relationship satisfaction.

We have a holiday booked for 1 week. It is a training camp and we are sharing a room, but it is a twin room.

Take your wife with you on the trip. Share a bed with your wife, either in the same room as Katie or a separate room. If this is not possible, take another friend with you to share the room, and schedule a romantic getaway with your wife as soon as possible.

We speak on the phone (via a txting app) on average 2 - 3 times per day. I would say we exchange an average of 20 - 50 messages per day. We always send one to each other last thing at night.

This kind of regular checking-in and communication helps build emotional intimacy, an essential element of relationship satisfaction. Right now you've been steadily building intimacy with Katie, which is why you find your friendship so satisfying and important. You need to put at least that much effort into building (or repairing) the intimacy in your marriage, so your wife (and you) can feel equally close and satisfied with your marital relationship. So:

  • Every time you think of something you want to share with Katie (a funny joke, the amazing sunrise, whatever) share it with your wife first. If it's wrestling-related or in some other way something that your wife wouldn't "get" find some other thing of similar "weight" to text to your wife first (then send the text to Katie).

  • Similarly, if you think of something to ask Katie, ask your wife first. If it's something you already know about your wife or that's otherwise irrelevant, ask something about her life now ("Did you have a pet as a child?" can become "How's that account going at work?"; "How does your husband feel about our friendship?" can be "How are you feeling about our marriage?") Don't just assume, though; if you're talking to Katie about things like hopes and dreams for the future, have that conversation with your wife. Chances are both of you have somewhat different answers from the last time you had that kind of discussion.

  • After you send that last text to Katie, kiss your wife and tell her you love her before rolling over and going to sleep.

When we have been apart, we have told each other how we miss each-other and have exchanged mutual feelings of loving each others company, loving being friends etc. She has also said if I am down or look sad that it makes her feel the same way.

Every time you exchange something like this with Katie, think of two nice things to say to or do for your wife (and say/do them!). Whenever possible, compliment your wife in person, and look into her eyes while doing so. Small affirmations like thanking your wife for doing the laundry, spontaneously getting her favorite drink for her, or remarking on how great she is at some endeavor are an important way to strengthen and maintain your marriage.

Understandably, the above makes it look like there is something more than friendship potentially. But here is the thing. We are both married. She has said she is happily married and has 4 children with her husband. But she has also said that he is happy with our friendship and that she wants us to be friends forever. She said that since knowing me, she has been much happier in general.

Don't tell your wife this—it makes it sound like the only thing stopping you from striking up a romance with Katie is Katie's commitment to her husband. Instead, tell your wife that you love her (your wife) and want to be married to her forever. Tell yourself this, too. Say it until you both believe it.

All of this does represent a really significant expenditure of your time and energy. Nurturing your marriage this way should help you and your wife reconnect, so that it becomes clearer to everyone that your marriage is secure and you aren't giving anything to Katie that you should be giving to your wife, instead.

  • 4
    Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. @1006a if you'd like to edit any of the clarifications you already provided in the comments (or keep discussing them for a while) into your answer, that'd be great. Remember, I can only do this once per post, so everyone else: feel free to use the chatroom as well :) – Tinkeringbell Jul 13 at 17:09

I don't think you can.

I'll lay out why I think this is the case:

  1. The relationship you describe with Katie sounds exactly like any new romance except for the fact that you are both currently married to other people.

  2. You, personally, feel that there is romantic potential in the relationship. Except for your current marriage, you expect you would have the same relationship with Katie, but it would be romantic. (This is from now-deleted comments).

  3. You regularly put yourself into situations where you are alone with Katie, many of them "date-like". You even have an upcoming weeklong getaway with Katie where you two will be sharing a hotel room. And you continue to place yourself in these situations even though you know it bothers your wife.

  4. Your main goal seems to be to preserve everything about your relationship with Katie as it currently stands, and not to reassure your wife.

  5. The only thing that you offer as proof that your and Katie's relationship is and will remain platonic is that you are both married to other people. But, since we know that extramarital affairs exist, and are perhaps not exactly rare, this in itself is worth nothing to your argument.

These together really, really sound like an affair waiting to happen. Even if you aren't intending for things to turn out that way, continuously providing opportunities where something more could happen (even if you want to frame them as mistakes, slip-ups, whatever) increases the chances that something might happen. And your entire argument is essentially that you haven't crossed some line, such as kissing or sleeping together. Inherently, that sort of line is never crossed before it is. That's not very comforting as a promise that it never will be.

How valuable your assertion that things are and will continue to be platonic is depends on your own feelings about the value of marriage, your commitment to your own marriage, and your willpower. I can't know those things about you, though your wife probably has some idea.

If I were your wife I don't think that there would be anything at all you could do to persuade me that Katie is and will continue to be "just a friend" while keeping your current relationship with Katie as it is. Your best bet might be to start including your wife in the friendship, by inviting her to activities you and Katie do, all having dinner together as couples, etc. You can also do things to try reaffirming your relationship with your wife, like going out with her more, being more attentive to her, etc.

But none of those things really lessen the implications of your relationship with Katie, which would continue to trouble me. What would be most persuasive to me (again, in your wife's place) would be for you to draw back, at least a bit, from Katie.

  • 9
    Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. Upper_Case, I'd like to encourage you to edit any relevant information from the chatroom into your post, and since I can only move comments to chat once per post, I'd like to encourage everyone else who wants their suggestions for improvement or requests for clarification to be more permanent to use the chatroom. – Tinkeringbell Jul 12 at 19:44
  • 5
    There is a story that might give a perspective on a similar situation. If it feels relevant the link to it can be incorporated into the answer. – Andrew Savinykh Jul 17 at 0:48

From everything you've written here, it seems perfectly reasonable that your wife would be feeling jealous. Your wife is jealous because everything you are doing looks like cheating, regardless of how pure your intentions are.

If you want to convince your wife that you two are just friends, it doesn't come down to saying the right things to your wife. It starts with changing your behavior and setting better boundaries. Think of it this way: If one night your wife announced to you "Hey, I'm going to go over to <some male friend's name> house to stay the night! Love you, bye", that would probably make you uncomfortable, right? Would it make you feel better if she said "Oh, don't worry there's nothing sexual going on. It's perfectly platonic"?

Obviously in this contrived scenario, the correct way for your wife to not make you feel jealous would not be picking the right words to comfort you, but to not go over to the friends house. Your situation is the same idea: Actions speak louder than words.

You can still continue this relationship, but you need to decide for yourself whether it's worth it to hurt your wife and erode her trust in you, or if your marriage is more important than this relationship. You should reconsider how you act with this friend.

Here is what I would do in your shoes

We meet up once a week for a non wrestling related day. We usually do another activity just for fun and then go out for food or just hang out somewhere for the day.

Sounds like a date to me. You don't necessarily need to stop hanging out with her entirely, but getting dinner together once a week? That's way to frequent. Cut back significantly. Or even better, try to form a larger group that can go with you so it's no longer just you and that woman you're seeing all the time. Why not have your SOs come with you if it's really just platonic? (Note: It's probably best to wait until feelings of jealousy have subsided before suggesting this idea)

We speak on the phone (via a txting app) on average 2 - 3 times per day. I would say we exchange an average of 20 - 50 messages per day. We always send one to each other last thing at night.

This is a HUGE red flag. There's really no excuse for this. Stop it now.

We have a holiday booked for 1 week. It is a training camp and we are sharing a room, but it is a twin room.

Somehow, this is an even bigger red flag than the last one. Book another room or cancel. Don't go if you're sharing a room.

When we have been apart, we have told each other how we miss each-other and have exchanged mutual feelings of loving each others company, loving being friends etc.

Again, really big red flag. Stop doing this.

Don't want to/can't stop these particular things? That's fine, it's your choice. But be aware that if you don't, you're choosing Katie above your marriage. You will continue demonstrating to your wife that Katie matters more to you than she does.

  • 6
    Sorry but saying 'stop doing x' is pretty unhelpful advice. And the fact you suggest the day out is a date is laughable. If it were a same-sex friend would you call it a date? – Teri0 Jul 12 at 16:19
  • 252
    @Teri0 If all the red-flags were there too? If you texted that same-sex friend every single night before you went to bed and constantly was talking with him about how much you miss him? If you valued that friend more than your wife to the point of causing jealously? Absolutely I would. – Totally not a throwaway accoun Jul 12 at 16:20

By having a long, hard talk with Katie about what your relationship is. It's going to suck, believe me. But you seem totally oblivious to the fact that you're having a full-blown emotional affair. If Katie is as oblivious as you, then you need to work together to figure out where the social line is and how you can get back to your own sides. If she's not and she knows what she's doing, then you need to make the very difficult decision between Katie and your wife.

Yes, it's that serious. Your wife is an absolute saint to have let it go on as long as it has, and is 100% completely in the right. Your decision right now is whether you grovel for forgiveness or let someone as trusting and pure as your wife go so she can find a man who appreciates her.

EDIT: You've mentioned in another comment that you've been diagnosed with autism, so I'm even more convinced this is the case. These are the exact social cues that people with autism miss all the time.

  • 1
    Hi Carduus! Is there anything OP should keep in mind when having this long, hard talk? Think of tone of voice, body language, show that their listening, etc.? Also, the best answers on this stack are backed up with references or personal experience, to show some expertise, instead of just an opinion. Do you have any personal expertise? – Tinkeringbell Jul 18 at 9:37

I know this is more of an anit-answer, but I think it's an important Interpersonal Skill to identify the difference between knowledge and feeling.

How can you convince her? You can't.

Here's why:

Jealousy is an emotion!

You can't change someone's emotions. Emotions don't adhere to logic and reasoning. Emotions are embedded in human psychology.

Think about it this way. There are a lot of people out there that are terrified of flying on a plane, even if they know that air travel is the safest form of travel. Personally, I have a girlfriend who reacts strongly to her feelings and emotions, even if she knows otherwise. I've tried countless times to "convince" her that her feelings are not justified. It never works. At best, it helps slightly. She is aware of this, and will say things like "I know, but I can't help the feeling".

Your wife seems to understand that your friendship is platonic, in the sense that it is non-physical. Yet she still feels bad. She knows you're just really close friends. Yet as you can see, it doesn't stop her from feeling terrible and jealous.

Your behavior is making your wife feel bad (probably about herself). It doesn't matter if your behavior is morally right, justified, or whatever. It still makes your wife feel bad.

You can't change that.

Unrelated Advice:

You can always try hanging out with your wife more. You can also set up events where you and your wife hang out with your friend and her husband.

It's possible that your wife would feel better if the whole thing was more open to her. It also might help seeing your friend with her husband to put things in perspective (whatever that perspective may be).

Personally, though, to me it sounds like you are too close to your friend for your wife to feel comfortable with it. And I wouldn't disagree with the way your wife feels (but my opinion doesn't reflect everyone's relationship preferences or tolerances).

You need to convince your wife through your actions, not your words.

To answer the question: you can't.

The other answers go into good detail on why you can't and I agree with them, so I won't repeat everything they said here (for more detail see the points made by the other answers), but to summarize, what you're doing is and emotional affair whether intended or not, so there is no way to convince your wife otherwise.

What should you do then? Work to make your wife your best friend

To OP or anyone else who is married while maintaining a close friendship relationship with someone of the opposite sex, see the other answers for details on why what you're doing is a marriage-killer (I know I'm being blunt but I'm trying to help), but the reason it's an emotional affair is that you have and are doing things with your friend that you should instead be doing with your wife. So instead work on making your marriage into the kind of relationship you now have with your friend (it's going to be really hard since there is significant damage to trust now that has to be repaired, but marriage is worth working at), and cut off your friend (tough advice I know, but this has likely gone too far to simply retreat to acquaintances; if you maintain the relationship with the friend, trust with your wife is probably not salvageable).

Reject this advice at the expense of your marriage

Your wife has already expressed displeasure in the situation. This won't subside, it will get worse until your marriage is totally destroyed. If you act now, you can probably save your marriage.

  • 2
    Welcome to Interpersonal Skills. Please take a moment to visit the help center and take the tour. While we do allow questions that challenge the premise of the OP we hold them to a higher standard. Can you edit your question to provide an explanation for why you think the OP can't convince their wife that their best friend is just a friend? – sphennings Jul 12 at 18:10
  • 7
    Good point. I'm trying not to repeat the good points made by the other answers since the main addition of my answer is the advice to make the wife the best friend since the core problem is that the best friend is basically functioning as a replacement for the wife in many respects. I've edited to make this more clear and to point out that the primary reason he can't is that this is an emotional affair. Thanks for the feedback! – bob Jul 12 at 20:03

So, it sounds to me like the biggest problem here is that you and your wife are not on the same page where it comes to boundaries and other expectations.

There are some monogamous relationships where it's just fine to have a best friend that's the sex you're attracted to, and only engage your spouse at mealtimes and before bed. There are some monogamous relationships where it's just fine to text another person that's the sex you're attracted to There are some monogamous relationships where it's just fine to platonically share a bed with a person that's the sex you're attracted to.

The problem is - there are some, more, monogamous relationships in which some of these things are not the case.

So first let's talk about the definition of the word cheating. Cheating does not describe a specific act - cheating is when something you have done violates what your partner believes are the boundaries within your relationship. "Cheating" with someone does not mean "having sex" with them - it can mean "encouraging a feeling of love for them," if that violates the boundaries of that relationship. It can mean "going on a dinner date" with them. It can mean "sleeping in the same bed" with them.

So one thing that you absolutely need to do is talk to your wife about the boundaries that you each expect in your relationship. Talk about what you're willing to give and what you need to take. This doesn't have to be equal, but everyone does have to agree to it, willingly and wholeheartedly.

And I'd like to point out that most people don't know this. Most people think that what is and isn't okay in a relationship is something that everyone is automatically on the same page with, unless you're a dirty cheater, and that even dirty cheaters know that what they're doing is wrong. So you'll see a lot of feedback here where people who think that everyone knows what is and isn't "cheating" think that if you "act like you don't just know," that you're trying to justify dishonesty. Ignore that perspective - those people are not part of your relationship, this is between you and your wife.

Now, that being said, let's also talk about jealousy. Jealousy is usually an indicator of something else being wrong in a relationship. Something else that people tend to assume, because this is what the media has fed us, is that if we feel jealousy, the other person is automatically doing something wrong. Conversely, people tend to assume that if our partner feels jealousy, either we're doing something wrong, or our partner is being crazy. But jealousy is a natural human emotion that needs to be worked through, just like anger, or sadness, or confusion. And when the emotion involves two people, the solution might need to involve two people.

It sounds like she's jealous of the time and the interactions that you're having with Katie. Of course. Part of this is likely to be because you're operating under different perceptions of boundaries. But very often, it also means that her own needs are not being met. So in addition to talking about boundaries, it would be beneficial for you to talk to your wife about needs. What if anything does she need from you that she's not getting? What, for that matter, do you need from her, and is that being met?

And all that being said... it sounds to me like marriage counseling might go a long way for you guys. Having someone to help facilitate these conversations might be excellent, and having someone who can help you to evaluate things much more effectively than the Q&A format we have here on Stack Exchange, who can go into all the details and teach you skills, who can get to know your wife and understand what her feelings are here, as well as your own, might do you a world of good.

And realize - after all of this communication happens, it might be possible that the friendship that you want with Katie and the marriage that your wife wants with you might not be able to co-exist. You might have to alter how you interact with Katie, or your marriage may not survive. I wouldn't give up on either the friendship or the marriage lightly, but realize that these are both possible outcomes, and you may have to prepare yourself for that.

Clearly you get from Katie something that you are unable to get from your wife, it just happens to be not romance. That's why your wife is jealous. The fact that the missing thing is not romance doesn't help much. Think about it: if you believe that your wife would be mad if you were seeing someone who is a better lover that her, why wouldn't she be mad if you were seeing someone who is a better chat partner or travel buddy? For many women, talking and spending time together is just as important as sex, perhaps even more.

So there's no point in trying to convince your wife that you are just friends, as she most probably knows that already, and that's not the point. The core of the problem is that you've met someone who's got a bigger place in your life that your wife has. If you keep the status quo, your marriage probably won't last long, and convincing your wife that you're being faithful will not be enough to save it.

I think you should really ask yourself whether you really enjoy being with your wife. If you do, start spending your free time with her instead of Katie. If not, you have the opportunity to part ways with your wife before one of you cheats on the other and things get ugly and poisonous.

To reiterate:

  • why shouldn't you try to convince your wife?

Because that's not the problem here. Your wife may trust you completely, or otherwise be convinced that you're just friends, and still be jealous.

  • what should you do instead?

Depends on what you want to achieve. If you enjoy being with your wife, act like you do by spending time with her. If not, tell that to her now, because breaking up won't get any easier as time goes by.

  • 7
    "Clearly you get from Katie something that your wife is unable to give you" I don't see anything suggesting the OP's wife is unable to give the OP anything Katie is. The wife probably is able to, but the OP is looking elsewhere. I'd encourage you to edit that sentence because it implies the wife is in part at fault. – curiousdannii Jul 15 at 6:43
  • 7
    Hi there! It looks like you might be trying to Frame Challenge the question. However, frame challenges are required to give an alternate solution, which your answer doesn't seem to do. Please edit your answer so that it won't be removed as Not an Answer. – scohe001 Jul 17 at 18:18

I saw this question and was preparing myself to write up a fairly standard answer to this, given that I also have a close female friend. But I realised that, unfortunately for you, my situation is very different. I don't wrestle with my female friend (even as part of a wrestling class), I don't meet up with her to hang out every week, I don't have long phone conversations every single day with her, and I don't book holidays away with her and share a room.

I really hate to do this, because there is absolutely nothing wrong with a man having a female friend outside of their relationship. But I think the time you devote to this one friend exclusive of all other people sounds like too much, to the extent that it is harming, or is very likely to harm, your marriage.

My advice, set out in multiple points is:

  • Make it absolutely clear to your wife that she is welcome at every wrestling practice if she would like to come, including the one-on-one wresting practices with your friend.

  • Make it explicitly clear to your wife that even though you hang out with your friend without her, you would be keen for the three of you to hang out together, if not every time then at least sometimes.

  • Strongly consider not sharing a room on your holiday with your friend. I don't know about your wife or your culture but many would find it inappropriate. Some would find it inappropriate even with a male friend, though there is definitely a difference based on sex. Willingness to share a bedroom with a member of the opposite sex makes a lot of implications and in things like this, appearance matters.

  • Ensure that the time spent on the phone to your friend or hanging out with your friend is not at the expense of attention given to your wife, as that can breed resentment and shows priorities that are not consistent with a marriage. For example, if your wife wants to do something with you, and your friend calls, don't take a long call and thus blow off what your wife wanted to do. You need to be able to say "hey can I call back? ___ and I are watching TV" for example. In fact you shouldn't even need to say what your wife and you are doing.

Compromise is going to need to be made.

Note however that if you don't really want your wife coming along to the wrestling practice, or occasionally hanging out with you when you meet up with your friend, or you don't find time with your wife as enjoyable as time with your friend, then you need to re-evaluate what both of these relationships mean to you. What would life be like if you weren't with your wife? In a hypothetical world where it wasn't allowable to both have your friend, and your wife which would you keep? The purpose of asking this is not to suggest that you should not be able to have both your wife and your female friend, but to prompt you to evaluate what those relationships mean to you and how much you may be willing to compromise to keep them both.

Edit: after reading some of the other brilliant answers to this question, I feel as if my answer is not strong enough in its recommendations. This answer is spot-in. To re-iterate the point of my previous paragraph, consider that if you do not compromise significantly you may not be able to keep your marriage - in fact you may even find yourself with neither.

First off, if you don't know much about polyamory, you may wish to do some reading. Certain people simply do not feel the need for exclusive emotional and sexual relationships, while others do. In fact some people find a need for one to be exclusive and not the other.

In all likelihood, you and your wife are different in this respect, however, that does not mean your relationship can't work. But some compromise may be needed. That may involve large sacrifices on your part.

You need to be careful with all this, as galloping off on a process of self-discovery can often lead to hurting people you're close to. It may feel good in the short term but you may have regrets later on. So I suggest you get ready to make some sacrifices. Remember your wife is being kind to say she will not stop you seeing Katie.

You use the phrase "just friends" as if it

  1. has some clear-cut definition and
  2. makes everything OK.

There is a big fuzzy grey area between friends and lovers and two different people would understand the terms quite differently. In addition, even when you have an absolutely platonic friend there can be aspects of the friendship that your wife might object to, for instance if your friend is loud and obnoxious or is always borrowing your money and never paying you back.

It feels like you are trying to find an argument you can use to shoehorn your relationship with Katie into an "acceptable" category (namely, "just friends"). Things aren't that simple. It may only be certain aspects of the situation that bother your wife. If you want to keep seeing Katie, get a better understanding of what your wife values, learn what makes her feel unhappy, unloved, abandoned, or jealous, and set up boundaries that she is comfortable with (erring on the side of caution). Do all you can to make her feel secure and special.

Others have said that you can't change feelings. I don't altogether agree. Humans learn to manage and control our feelings as we mature. But this takes time and must be undertaken willingly. Many people have very strong views on monogamy so (once again) be prepared to make big sacrifices.

protected by Community Jul 13 at 6:16

Thank you for your interest in this question. Because it has attracted low-quality or spam answers that had to be removed, posting an answer now requires 10 reputation on this site (the association bonus does not count).

Would you like to answer one of these unanswered questions instead?

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.