Husband striking up female friendships at our child’s school makes me uncomfortable – am I overreacting?

My husband and I share the responsibility of dropping and picking up our 5-year-old daughter from school every day since we both work from home. We’ve never had any issues, but this year my husband has become quite friendly with quite a few of the other moms. There’s one in particular that I know he’s exchanged numbers with. He claims it’s because he wants to set up playdates with her and her daughter. But I’ve got a bad feeling about it all. We’ve been married 8 years and he’s never really hung out with other females. I don’t know why he’s now become so friendly with the ladies. It makes me uncomfortable but he keeps telling me I’m overreacting. In general, we have a good marriage and I’ve never had to doubt him in the past, but as I said, he never really showed an interest in other women before. – Anonymous. 

Dear Anonymous, 

Let me begin by saying that your feelings are valid – you’re experiencing a situation in your marriage that hasn’t come up before, and you’re navigating new waters and figuring out what it all means. But I would hazard a guess that it’s the change in pattern more than the action itself that’s worrying you. 

If your husband had, in the past, maintained female platonic friendships, you probably wouldn’t feel so alarmed about him exchanging numbers with a mom at your child’s school. The fact that he’s never given you a reason to distrust him and your marriage is generally good isn’t something to overlook. The last thing you want is to cause a rift between the two of you based on assumptions, and what could possibly be an unaddressed insecurity on your part. 

Take this opportunity to reflect on your feelings. If your husband is expanding his social circle in a way that’s unfamiliar, it doesn’t inherently signal a problem unless it’s symptomatic of a deeper issue. Your task is to dig deep and figure out what’s really troubling you—is it the fear of infidelity, the change in routine, or perhaps feelings of exclusion?

Now, I will say that your husband could have handled the situation better. Telling you that you are overreacting is a dismissal of your feelings – an honest conversation about why he exchanged numbers and what has prompted this change in his behavior would have been a better route to take. This does signal a need for a wider conversation about how such feelings are dealt with within the context of your marriage. 

Finally, as a short-term solution, why not ask to be present for the playdate? Seeing the interaction between your husband and the other mom might put your mind at ease – or it might confirm your gut feeling that something is off. If the latter is true, be prepared to have some uncomfortable conversations to get to the root of why your husband is suddenly looking for company outside of the marriage. 

Best of luck, 

Evie 

Do you have a question for Evie? If you would like advice from Evie, fill out the form here or send your problem to askevie@ideapod.com.

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Ask Evie

Evie is on a mission to revolutionize relationships and help you sort through your emotional woes. Her popular column helps readers break free from societal restraints and create empowering relationships - both with their inner selves and with those around them. With a wealth of experience in relationship counseling, backed by several professional certifications, she’s open-minded, big-hearted, and extremely compassionate… But she’ll also be completely honest in telling you the (sometimes) brutal truth, so you can get straight to the heart of the matter. Maybe you’re trying to save a marriage that currently feels like a sinking ship? Or worrying that your new friend isn’t quite as nice as they seem? Perhaps you’ve accidentally killed your partner’s goldfish and are weighing up the pros and cons of going to the pet store and finding a doppelganger, or fessing up? Whatever the dilemma, Evie’s at the ready to help sort through the emotional turmoil and guide you towards the next best step. To get in touch with Evie, click here.

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