Life Advice



Husband Won't Give up His Female Friends

Annie Lane on

Dear Annie: I am married to a man who thinks it's OK to take other women out to eat repeatedly, at times, monthly. He pays the tab for dinner. He usually pays when we go to dinner, too, but I am required to pay half of all the other bills. He says these women make less money than him, so he should pay, but I make much less than him, too. He is a physician and makes good money.

I am not invited to any of these dinners. He says he should be able to go out with these friends because they used to work together. He stays in contact with them by text and talking. He never has a conversation with them when I am present. He has the notifications turned off on his phone so it doesn't show who is texting him. He gets angry if I even look in his direction when he gets a text message. He keeps his phone and computers locked. I do not have access to the phone bill.

He says I am being jealous when I get upset. I don't believe many wives would allow their husbands to go out alone with other females. This is destroying our marriage. Am I overreacting? -- Brokenhearted

Dear Brokenhearted: You are not overreacting. Anything that makes you uncomfortable should warrant an open, honest conversation with your husband at the very least. Instead, he is gaslighting you, maintaining inappropriate relationships with other women and deflecting any responsibility in how it makes you feel -- and saying the problem is that you are being jealous. Unbelievable. Couples therapy would be an excellent place to explore the potential for repairing the destruction his behavior is causing.

Dear Annie: I was in a relationship with a 62-year-old man, but after a few months, he just wanted us to be companions. I was OK with that.


This man has cataracts, and I helped him with his online job applications so that he could get back on his feet because his roommate bailed out on him. He stayed with me five days a week so he would have an easy commute to and from work. I put up with his verbal abuse for months. I fed him and washed his clothes weekly, and he did compensate me for it. But when he got a new girlfriend, the compensation got smaller. Eventually, I ended the friendship. Was it right for me to? -- Fed-up Friend

Dear Fed-up: Yes, of course. Not all friendships are meant to go the distance. It sounds like this man took advantage of your kindness and generosity, which real friends don't do. By ending this relationship, you honored yourself and your inner peace, which is always the right decision.


"How Can I Forgive My Cheating Partner?" is out now! Annie Lane's second anthology -- featuring favorite columns on marriage, infidelity, communication and reconciliation -- is available as a paperback and e-book. Visit for more information. Send your questions for Annie Lane to




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