Are They Really Just Friends?

A reader wrote in to REDBOOK's advice columnist, Karen Karbo, with this question, and we thought we'd see if Shine readers have any insights. Or have you had a similar experience?

My husband met a woman at work, and they've been friends for nine years now. In the beginning of their friendship, I would sometimes come home from work to find her and other people at my house, or my husband would go out with her and others without inviting me to come along too. For almost 10 years, I have dealt with this woman calling almost daily and have had to block her number from being received at or dialed from my home. I am pretty disgusted with the whole issue, and my demands for my husband to stop calling her are causing a real sore spot in my marriage. He has told me repeatedly that if he wanted to be with her, he would have left me a long time ago, before we had our three children. Could they really just be friends? - A.G., 33, Williamsburg, VA

Would your guy cheat? And would you know?

Here is what Karen had to say:

Friends or not, it's time for you and your husband to find a marriage counselor. The nature of his attachment to this "friend" doesn't matter. What's more important is why he refuses to put you and your wishes before his connection to some woman at work. This is a serious problem and your husband needs to start taking it seriously. Clearly, he's not interested in severing ties with her. So stop demanding that he do it (as you've already discovered, you can't force him) and instead, tell him that you want to seek counseling together. I suggest this because the two of you seem to have reached a stalemate. Essentially, you're telling your husband that you don't like the situation, and he's telling you that you're just going to have to live with it. No marriage can flourish under these circumstances. We talked to four married men who cheated to try and find out why. Here's what they had to say.

If he refuses to see a counselor with you, then you should still go on your own. Having someone in your corner who can help you better understand whether or not you can continue to live like this will be invaluable. It's crucial to have a support network.

PLUS: What makes love last?

TELL US: Have you ever had a similar situation? How did it work out? Do you agree with Karbo's advice?

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