Too friendly co-workers?
Question: My wife is really good friends with some of the people she works with. I want to encourage her to have friends at her office, but sometimes it makes me uncomfortable how friendly they are. She goes to lunch with one of the guys from her office several times a week, sometimes in a group, sometimes just the two of them. In addition, they often talk on the phone. Even though it is always about work, I can't help but wish they weren't quite so close. Am I over-reacting?
Answer: You can't be too careful, but you don't want to be causing problems for your wife at her work either. So, the best course of action would be to talk to your wife first, and ask her if there is anything you should be concerned about. Ask her if you can trust her, and if she has any suggestions to help you feel more comfortable with the situation.
In other words, let her know how much you love her, and you can't help but feel some jealousy that she spends so much time with this guy. Let her know that you trust her, but that things happen all of the time, and you would rather hear it from her that nothing is going to happen between her and her co-worker. Then suggest some things that might be able to help you feel a little more comfortable. For example, suggest that she make sure they are not alone, but always have others eat lunch with them. Ask her if it is possible to avoid the at home phone calls.
Of course, the fact is that your wife may just need a friend at the office, some adult conversation, or a person to discuss her office frustrations with. So, forbidding her from seeing or spending time with her office friend could be really dangerous to your relationship. You do not want to deny your wife something that is innocent, and a comfort to her. So, make sure that you approach it gently. Make sure she knows that you trust her, and just want what is best for your relationship, and that it would make you far more comfortable if she and the man from her office did not spend time alone together.
If she gets jumpy about it, let her know that you trust her, but you do not know him, and that you wouldn't blame him if he found you attractive because you certainly do. So, it would just make you more comfortable to have them stay in public places, with people, and not expand the relationship beyond work.
If approaching the situation makes you worried, you could go at it from a different angle. You said that she goes to lunch frequently, so consider talking to her about saving money by packing a lunch. This might eliminate some of the time they spend together, without you having to bring it up. However, if she is your wife, she should not be upset with you for being concerned, and you shouldn't be uncomfortable with bringing it up with her.