Ask Scary Mommy is Scary Mommy’s advice column, where our team of “experts” answers all the questions you have about life, love, body image, friends, parenting, and anything else that’s confusing you.
This week… What do you do when meeting with female clients is one of your husband’s job requirements … and it has you seeing green? Have your own questions? Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Dear Scary Mommy,
My husband and I are both working parents, but his job requires him to have frequent face-to-face meetings, and often this will include meeting up somewhere for coffee and/or lunch. He has to woo clients, and sometimes this includes females. I have absolutely no reason to not trust him, and the women he meets in public and/or professional settings, and they are representing their place of business too….and I still HATE IT. I think he would hate it if my job required me to do this with men, but he swears that’s not the case. He’s open with me about his calendar and what his day entails, and I get angry and frustrated if I know he has to meet with women. It puts me in a bad mood, and I can’t help it. I know jealousy isn’t ideal, but also I feel like he could try to pass these meetings to someone else since he knows it bothers me so much. He says I need therapy for my insecurity. Is there a middle ground to be found here?
Okay, so just to recap, this is what I’m getting from your own words:
– You have absolutely no reason not to trust him.
– He meets the women in public settings.
– The women he’s meeting are also representing their place of business.
– He is open about his calendar and the details of his day.
Unless I’m missing something, this sounds like … a professional meeting with other professionals?
I could see this being an issue if, say, your husband were suddenly signing himself up to schmooze with female clientele at a cocktail hour a couple of nights a week. Or texting surreptitiously with them in the off-hours. But from what you’re saying, it literally just sounds like the guy is doing his damn job.
Meeting with a client for coffee and lunch seems like a highly unlikely scenario for any funny business to occur. In fact, it sounds more like the “plot” of some kind of porno. What exactly are you expecting to happen? A physical attraction so strong that they can’t help but retreat to the restaurant bathroom for a quickie? An emotional connection so instantaneous and deep that your husband somehow realizes he’s married the wrong person?
Give your husband some credit; it sounds like he tries his best to reassure you by being open and honest about what each meeting is going to entail. And while we’re on the subject, let’s give the women he’s meeting with some credit too — they’re professionals doing their jobs, not man-stealing vixens out to nab your husband.
You say that you’d like him to “pass these meetings to someone else.” You also mention that you work too, so think about that within the context of your own job: What would your superiors think if you constantly pass off a task they’re asking you to do? And secondly, securing someone else to take on your job responsibility — especially repeatedly — is a straight-up hassle.
Now, I recognize that I can’t glean all the details from your 182-word letter (yes, I counted). Your jealousy would be a bit more justified if you had dealt with infidelity in the past, or if there were another issue that had seriously broken your trust in your husband.
However, you say that you have zero reason not to trust him – so since the issue isn’t stemming from him and his behavior, it must be coming from you. Do you feel somehow inferior to these women he’s meeting with, physically or professionally? Do you worry that he’s looking for something better? These are your fears, and projecting them onto your husband — then being angry with him for not accommodating that — is unfair. He has proven to be nothing but trustworthy, and to not trust him when he hasn’t done anything wrong is damaging to both of you.
All you can do is be honest with him about how you feel, and acknowledge that it’s something you’re working to change. It sounds like he will do his best to keep reassuring you, and that’s absolutely all you can ask of him.
He’s with you for a reason. He loves you. Your relationship is multidimensional and rich with history and growth, unlike a lunchtime client meeting, which is literally just a working lunch. And anybody who’s ever had a regular job knows that there’s nothing less romantic than work.