Should A Woman Call Another Woman’s Husband For Help?

Carl Bloch Two WivesIn regards to unspoken, cultural rules, I was trying to reach this gal the other day.  There was some problem with her phone. Wanting to get this errand or obligation out of the way, I contacted another woman who’s in a position to speak to this gal, directly on a regular basis.

The second gal told me the  woman I needed to message, routinely had problems with her phone. She suggested I call her husband, when I needed to reach her. His phone is reliable.

“Oh,” I said. “I would never do that. I do not call other people’s husbands.”  She seemed taken aback, so I tried to explain. “It’s cultural,”  I said. You just don’t deal with a woman’s husband, behind her back. I prefer to stay in the woman-network to get things done.”

I had the impression she had no idea what I was talking about so I quickly checked myself.

I’m Italian.  I know (in my blood), this is how things work. The woman I was trying to reach, is Mexican. I don’t think Mexican women like women near their husband, in a similar way.   It’s just not done.

The third woman contacts the husband, routinely.  I suspect this is forgiven because it’s obvious she doesn’t know the rule.  But I do know the rule and other women who know the rule, would know I know the rule! Because of this, a phone call I made to the husband in question, would be seen in a different light! I know this is convoluted but it’s true!

I think that most cultures around the world, work this way.  But it might not be conscious because I’m not sure rules like this are explicitly explained.

How do you (or your culture) deal with things like this?  What’s your cultural background?

55 thoughts on “Should A Woman Call Another Woman’s Husband For Help?”

    1. Exactly. Don’t complicate peoples’ lives & then blame them when they’re just trying to relate to you. Haven’t we all been there?

      1. Wow, you two. So judge-y!

        No one is telling you what do to. This post about what I choose to do. I’m also asking how *you* handle a situation like this. You both respond by attacking a gal you don’t even know.

        Jeez Louise!

        1. I’m with you Elsa, it’s just not done… My Mom would be very upset (and she was more then once) my step-dad was always happy to help others…. and woman would just call him and ask for help from him…. I learned at a very young age you just don’t do that…if they asked her first it was ok….but if you didn’t there was hell to pay

  1. Uh, no, I prefer not to call other women’s husbands, if there is any way to avoid that. I mean, I have never talked about that, and never even thought about that before, but I do not think that would be appropriate. But my culture is pretty similar to Mediterranean’s cultures, we are passionate and fiery, so that’s probably why 🙂 My grandmother was Istrian, and Istria borders on Italy, so maybe a little bit of genetics, also? 🙂

  2. I don’t know. Maybe it’s a generational thing: I’m latina and I for one find that kind of thinking foreign to my character. Doesn’t it kind of say more about you and your world view, than it does of other women?

    Not attacking you! I’m just saying: if it’s as innocent as a woman trying to get to *me* and having to resort to asking another friend how to contact me, I wouldn’t mind. The comment above me about “complicating someone else’s life” – I would have felt that I did just that, and I probably would’ve fixed my phone fast so people wouldn’t have to go through that much trouble.

    At the same time I would consider what you did considerate, Elsa! In your mind, you only extended the courtesy you probably want others show to you. But in my world married people don’t own each other, and others – especially friends! – are not out to get me, so I would have no reason to question motives or raise red flags. So If I were your friend, I’d probably be grateful for your consideration but also think “yikes”!

    1. I wasn’t complicating another person’s life. All three women are working on the same project. The woman who is hard to reach had a husband with two jobs, four children and a full time job herself, plus she volunteers! This is probably why she can’t mess with her phone!

      In whatever case, I knew for a fact that gal #2 was going to see, gal #1. I said, “Hey, can you let ___________ know this?”

      I can also tell you that gal #2 loves to be the center of a hub so this was nothing to her.

      As for her telling me how to work around (call the husband), that was a also a HUB function. She had recently been extremely, acutely ill; say a week prior. I mean, she might have died, she was so sick. And she’s the type who would want things to go on, with or without her so she was providing me a workaround. She’s a helpful person!

      In hindsight, I probably should have just said, “Thank you”, lol.
      Especially in light of these remarks!

      People reading this may be interested in this.. 🙂

      Anyway, I didn’t mean to start a conflict.

      1. I don’t understand what youre stating here that could be construed as offensive or triggering to people? Youre not telling anyone what to do.

        1. Well, clearly people want to be able to call anyone they want! And they can!

          But if you start calling my husband… lol lol lol

          Well, try it and find out. 🙂

          Same in reverse. The day some man starts calling me and asking for scones is going to be the day my husband shows up on his porch.

          But hey! To each their own! That was my point!

          1. I get the jist of your post. You’re protecting your reputation by respecting boundaries in respect to your culture. Interesting because this is going on in the sky right now.

            I think everyone could relate to that. It may not involve a husband, but perhaps another person.

      2. Oh no I didn’t mean you were complicating her life! I just meant that if I were the woman with the broken phone, I would’ve felt I was complicating *your* life by making it so hard for you to get in touch with me, so I wouldn’t have judged you for contacting me via my husband. I would’ve assumed and understood that it was out of necessity! I was borrowing the other commenter’s phrasing, that’s all 🙂

        And as I said, I realize that you were actually trying to make her life easier by not introducing any unnecessary conflict. I am that kind of person myself, but in this situation your thinking is based on values that is a little bit to intense for my taste. But of course that’s just me!

        1. “I am that kind of person myself, but in this situation your thinking is based on values that is a little bit to intense for my taste. But of course that’s just me!”

          I understand. I am throwback to what you see in the Godfather movies. A woman needing help from the Godfather, goes through the wife. The men DO NOT go through the wife! Or else!

          1. Sure I get that! 🙂 And I know a lot of women like you, so I’m sure it’s a very common way of thought. It’s a plutonic thing isn’t it? This entire discussion is Pluto.

            And you know Pluto with all his power is totally my jam: my chart ruler is square Pluto in Scorpio, my moon is trine it and Venus square it. Plus with mars on my ascendant I am certainly not a stranger to issues of anger. control, jealousy and possessiveness. That darkness in general: I am very familiar with it, the good and the bad.

            But I admit, I do opt to stay as far away as possible away from those feelings, and especially relationships that bring those energies out of me. My Leo Jupiter conjunct Virgo sun tells me that those feelings are “ugly”, filthy, inelegant.. unworthy! So I try not to engage a person that makes me want to indulge those impulses. Of course, sometimes it’s hard!

            As always I believe that it comes down to the astrology, and also what aspects in our charts we choose to identify with, and develop. I have chosen this! But I can absolutely relate, though I’d obviously be a shit mafioso I’ll tell you that lol

            1. I understand but my Libra wants to present the other side.

              I don’t see this as “dark”, anger, control, etc.

              I think you have a mother, protecting her children / family. I think it’s a mother’s instinct and further, that we’ve been socialized away from what is deep within us.

              There is nothing ugly about it, in my mind. Someone just said that, or maybe a lot of someones, but it doesn’t make it true.

              Years ago, my husband and I talked about moving to South America, where he’s spent half his life.

              “Do you think I’d get along down there?”

              He stopped to think about it. “Yeah, I think you’d get along. So long as you had your own husband!”

              Be appalled if you like. He explained to me, generally speaking, women in that part of the world knew the value of a man, and they kept theirs!

              Compare to America with men made to look like fools on tv for at least two decades. This stuff really makes a difference.

              It’s not “dark” to want to protect your family. It’s what mothers do!

              1. “I think it’s a mother’s instinct and further, that we’ve been socialized away from what is deep within us.”

                Emphatically agree with this.

              2. Elsa; I’m not appalled. And I’m sure my latina mother would agree with you 🙂 my latino father too, probably.

                I don’t! But your perspective is familiar to me, and I appreciate your responses, truly. Thank you for an interesting discussion!

  3. Ya, I wouldnt be comfortable calling someone elses husband. Im old old school.

    I also really enjoy formality (Libra/Saturn) which I think this also has something to do with. The casual way in which most Americans interact isnt very fun for me. It actually feels more confining to me than the traditional way.

    Just a preference, Im not gonna impose my values onto someone else (Elsa, I also recognize that thats not what you are doing either.)

    1. Yes, I mentioned this to the other woman, because I am personally interested in cultural customs, as evidenced by numerous posts on the topics like this over the last 15 years.

      Notice I tagged it Moon Pluto.

      I do think these things are deeply embedded within us though I know this is merely my own opinion! 🙂

  4. I’m culturally Spanish and English, and mostly Continental European. I wouldn’t call a friend’s husband, no, no.

    At 43 years old I’ve had plenty of life experiences that confirm that my approach is right for me and my environment.

    1. I am Italian and I agree 100. But I’m also territorial. I had a woman call him asking him to do work on her kitchen and we thought it was just a job but years later her kitchen still hasn’t been remodeled. Just wanted a man around to give an estimate to something she never planned on doing hmm . Also had his ex wife start to call with things that needed to be done around her old house after she found out he had a new partner. “Come lift this heavy package for me” type stuff. So I don’t play that ask another woman’s man for anything. Boundaries and respect it comes down to for me. And they both had their own men to ask! A friend of mine would of just asked me hey can u bring him by to help my husband with something.

  5. I’d call the husband if I needed to get in touch with the friend, but only if I had to. In this situation, it makes much better sense to me to go through the mutual friend.

    That said, I would never, never, never call someone’s husband to help me with any other thing.

    Why? If a woman needed my husband for something, whatever it might be, I’d expect her to call me, and ask me. If she directly contacted my husband, I’d be wondering if the woman was interested in my him and I just don’t need to deal with that! But also, he’s mine so, ahem, ask. It’s a respect/courtesy thing, and I wouldn’t want to put someone else in this position.

    My cultural background isn’t specific to this issue so I think I’m just possessive of my man ? But I get it.

  6. I’m with you on this Elsa, I’m Mexican and I know some women wouldn’t have a problem with it, but some might, and they would let you know 😀 The same with men.
    But it also depends on the person, so, in this case, i would ask my friend if it’s ok with her that I try to reach her on her husband’s cell in case hers is not working.

    1. Yes, the permission route works for me as well but not necessary in this case. I agree with you. There probably are some women who wouldn’t care… I just don’t know any, lol.


      Look. This gal has four children. I am sure she needs her husband so stay the hell away from him! She’s also a Scorpio, are we doubting this?

      We’re not doubting this, because I know her and we’ve discussed things like this before. Example, something with a child. We have discussed whether we should approach the mother or the father or both.

      This is Catholic (universal) on some level. We find someone to intercede for us, because frankly, it works.

      Think of it this way. If you need something from my husband and ask me, you’ll probably get it.
      If you ask him when I’m not looking, your chances of getting what you want will be lowered dramatically. So really, the long way around is most efficient.

      PS, I also wanted to spell this out for younger women because they might find this to be a good practice.

      I was even taught this as a bartender. If I wanted a good tip, I focused on the woman. If I wanted my ass kicked, I focused on the man.


  7. I am thinking like you Elsa
    To each their own husband
    For me being divorced can’t
    Explain the weird number of conversations or feelings I’ve had with married friends I am in an
    Awkward part of time .I do think it’s
    Something I was encouraged to behave like from grandmothers ,French-Canadian/Native American Indian
    They both were quiet ,avoided talking to their own husbands as well.

  8. No, I would never ring someone’s husband, and it’s wise if they don’t ever try ringing mine ? (Moon conjunct Pluto in 8th).

  9. This is so interesting. I know that my mother had and has no qualms about reaching out to another man for help while at the same time being considerate of their time or other duties. I’m not sure why she’s this way…she’s very talkative and open to everyone. I certainly do know she would respect another’s wishes if they asked her to. She’s also an Aries, so… I’m also not sure the cultural reference Elsa talks about is one that is prevalent in mine (I’m just British Isles and Western European descent).

    That being said, I can completely understand what Elsa is talking about. I have reached out to another’s husband, a neighbor’s, but my husband is aware of it and it always has to do with some event or party or something.

    I’m trying to think of something culturally relevant to me but I guess I’m kind of bland. My husband and I don’t have opposite sex friends that we go out with alone. He just doesn’t go for that and I know I would have to know all about any female friends he had, if he had any. I guess if Iw as really pissed at him, I wouldn’t care who he hung out with, but it would pretty much be over at that point.

  10. There are many factors that could be at play (cultural, generational, beliefs, values). From my experience, it’s about context, familiarity, and trust. For example: A neighbor, married lady, asked my husband to assist her with her bicycle. He was in the garage seeing her struggle. He fixed it and she was on her way. We are all friends and it would have been utterly silly for her to call me at work, when my husband is right there. My husband refers a lot of people to job opportunities. I don’t even think twice about the female colleagues and acquittances getting advice. We learned as midwesterners you just help.We are also GenX with Virgo placements

  11. If I really needed someone, I would call not only her husband, but all the husbands I could think of. No problem.
    So, woman, fix that phone!
    I, also, come from a Mediterranean country. And I don’t think it’s a generational thing –
    I think my mother, who is 89, would do the same.

  12. I’ve never really thought of this. Sagittarius Rising here—sometimes I’m clueless AF about social mores.
    But no, it’s not appropriate, IMO, unless it’s family. I have no qualms about calling Dad for something because hello, he’s my dad.
    But anyone else? I’m real hesitant. Especially now as a widow, the last thing I need is for any woman to view me as a threat to her marriage. Widows and divorced women are often given side eye by married women. Why give them a reason not to trust me?

    I guess if anyone has a question about whether this is appropriate or not (based on the consensus here, I’d say absolutely not)…..just ask yourself this question, courtesy of Dr. Laura:

    “What would a lady do?”

  13. Annica’s comment is interesting to me, as a fellow Gen X with some Virgo placements.
    I agree with what she said, but also, in some circumstances, with what Elsa said. (part Italian LOL)
    So examples:
    My husband and I are friends with a couple I would call our best friends. I am sure none of us has any issue contacting any of the others – there is no jealousy in our dynamic.
    We are good friends with other couples where I would, out of courtesy, contact the woman if I wanted her husband to help me, and would expect her to do same, because, we are friends.
    Third example is, I needed a skilled carpenter, my dad had a friend who is one. My dad is only 19 years older than me, this guy less. But when my dad gave me his number I did not hesitate to call his cell. Over the course of the job, he became friends with me and my husband. We even had him and his wife over. But when I needed to see if he was available for another job, I felt fine about calling his cell.
    I do however now, that I have another job, also call their joint land line and leave a message (they screen calls) that I am about to call him personally.

  14. Interesting! I would only consider not ringing someone else’s husband if I actually was attracted to them! Then I would feel possibly a bit awkward, like they would interpret the call as an excuse to talk to them rather than a bona fide call for help with something. Otherwise, being an Aries and culturally from a very plain speaking region, I wouldn’t worry because it would be a call about something practical and calling them might be the fastest way to get it done. Then I’d think if the wife has a problem it’s her problem! I would feel innocent. Having Neptune / Scorpio rising I pick up on nuance and am used to being seen as a threat whatever I do, so honestly I just see other people acting out as an occupational hazard. If someone rang my husband it depends on what for, but if I might be suspicious i wouldn’t create a fuss I’d joke with him about it in a teasing way. Then he would be aware!

  15. I think i have libra strongly in my chart, despite having no 7th and no libra, but i have a strongly cusp energy and Taurus dominant, so it’s Venusian. I think personally that is, kind of thinking of the other person. I hesitate because i think of the other person; this maybe a Libra dilemma, and Saturn being exalted in Libra, there are “rules” to abide to. Maybe because of thinking far far ahead… and what it might cause. Strife and confusion.

  16. Avatar

    I understand what you’re saying and I have crossed the line before, unconsciously. We have a neighbor up the road who cuts our hay. When he bills us he leaves an invoice in our mailbox, he doesn’t mail it. Last year, I left a check in their mailbox, I usually mail it but thought maybe this way was preferred. I walk my dogs past their house every day. So I called him to tell him I left a check (large) in their mailbox, so he could get it asap. When he first answered he sounded taken back but then was thankful. It was a 15 second conversation if that. Similarly last December I was walking my dogs and noticed at dead cat on the side of the road across the street from them, it was kind of hidden in the tall grass. I thought it might be their cat, so I called to tell him it was there in case they were missing it. He actually had put it there after moving it from the middle of the road. He said it was not their’s and thought it was a feral cat. It felt weird then to call him but what was I going to do? I don’t have his wife’s cell phone, they no longer have a home land-line. I had his number because he cuts our hay.

    Our farrier (2 actually) are male. I make all of the appointments for the horses. What am I supposed to do? One is now divorced, the other I don’t know his status, not my business. My husband is way too busy to coordinate any of this. Now-a-days it more texting than calling, thankfully. I don’t know I’ll certainly be more aware and careful going forward. I’m zero interested in any of them in any case, I have one man and that is more than enough. ?. There have been instances where females at my husbands work have made me feel uncomfortable so I know what you’re talking about. Thanks for increasing my awareness.

  17. I think the younger generation either treats people they are attracted to within the confines of gender (where this argument of trying to snap someone else’s partner might arise), or treat everyone else as gender-neutral friends.

    If anyone told me specifically not to talk to their partner – man or woman, it would be different thing, and u would totally respect that. But I would be a bit weirded out by super possessive behaviour of that person, and gradually slow-fade them from my life. I heartily dislike drama.

    I have many friends of opposite gender. I am frequently the only woman (and often the only under 40 person) at work. I travel, hang out, eat meals with friends of all genders. Husband is a bit more socially aloof, but also has work buddies who are women. It would be hilarious if either of us ever got jealous.

    In my case, my husband has a genuine cause to be jealous and be wary of a close work associate I am actually attracted to, but he respects the fact that we both value commitment. The day either of us wants to step out on our marriage, will be the last day we would actually be married. That kind of security is precious for my peace of mind.

  18. Avatar

    Yeah… I get both sides.

    Unless it’s a professional or they’re TIGHT family and she can’t reach the “blood”-linking relative, my mom always talks to the wife or the women and sends my dad to talk to the husband. I think ‘cause we’ve been taught by my grandma (educated, Taiwanese-Japanese upbringing) to be sensitive to all folks’ family relationships. And to err on the side of caution. Life for her depended on the relationships she cultivated.

    On the other hand, I have friends that don’t like that feeling of “ownership” in marriage and extend trust to people first, before jumping to conclusions, and distrust feelings of personal jealousy.

    (People feel that jealousy can lead to an abusive relationship when that person can’t control themselves and wants max control over others, sometimes).

    Maybe the idea of give people the benefit of the doubt. An (Uranus?) ideal of human hood, egalitarian opportunities, world friendship, perhaps? Like you believe people and partner can be “evolved”(?) to suppress that part of themselves, properly in a friendship? Or that the baser part of themselves doesn’t exist, or doesn’t exist in their partner? I don’t know. May be a generational idea, like someone said.

    Like the idea that it’s better to have real woman-man friendships, so that we can understand each other as people. Sometimes in others, people just see sex objects, bodyguard protection, or status symbols to attach yourself to. Maybe the practice makes it so that we are trying break free of a feeling of being trapped in roles that don’t fit them? Hmm I’m still not sure.

    ‘Cause I also know as a mega-Scorpio, you can walk into a bomb. Unless you have a handle on yourself, you could lose a friend and a few limbs in the process. It’s good to be closer to your linked female friend and keep your distance from a male partner, just in case you spark something uncomfortable. I just have that sense of “oh no, that this is uncomfortable”. Yes, I have mostly female friends, and I keep a joke-y, banter-y but polite friendship with any male acquaintances/friends. Definitely not on the same level.

    (I think it’s like the “How I Met Your Mother” manatee suit, doesn’t work sometimes! In that case… Stay away!!! Far away!!)

    Interesting topic, Elsa!

    1. Avatar

      I wonder whether the dynamics change with same-sex relationships, or polyamorous relationships, etc. Because I guess you learn you can be friends, but you learn what lines not to cross for a friend, and for a romantic relationship, depending on the person and culture.

  19. Most of my friends or people I hang out with are Lanino– Guatemalan, Columbian, Cuban, Mexican…. and I don’t think any of them would care if I called their husband if I couldn’t get ahold of them. Then again, I think it may depend on the relationship…how well they know you– we do stuff as couples all the time and I always focus more on the woman when we hang out. I acknowledge and am nice to the man, but I think the wives can tell I am not into them so they don’t feel threatened, therefore an innocent call to find out something in regards to the wife wouldn’t be a big deal. Also, Italian is a bit different from Latino.

    And I have seen some Latino women completely ignore whatever their husband does with other women…turn a complete blind eye to his shenanigans with other women friends…. just another perspective.

      1. I have yet to read through the majority of comments, but as a general rule, no! That’s my opinion anyway. Save for an urgent situation.

  20. My sweet little Aunt Jan, who was over 80 YO at the time, and legally blind, continued to mow her own lawn. She did pretty well for herself, unless there was a problem with the mower or something big needed to be moved. She just needed a little help. I asked her, was there not someone from her church who would occasionally help her out? Or the neighborhood? She said there was a man from church who had offered but his wife put a stop to that in short order. I couldn’t believe it! 80 year olds acting like kids! Aunt Jan snorted, “I don’t know what she was thinking, I already got rid of the one I had, what in heaven’s name would make her think I wanted another man?”

  21. I would not call a woman’s husband if I did not know him. If however, we were all mutual friends, and I wanted to reach the wife for a girl’s night or something I definitely would call the husband. Otherwise, I just wouldn’t. Not sure it is a cultural thing for me, even though I am also Italian. It is just who I am.

  22. Not Italian or Latina, but nope…not calling some woman’s husband. If it is super important then I am talking to the wife directly.

    1. You CAN’T talk to the wife directly – her phone’s NOT WORKING, and is IS super important!
      Mars and Mercury are sitting on my natal Uranus and now they are all opposing Saturn and Pluton, etc., etc. Now I have to stop reading this because you guys are killing me.

  23. This conversation has been quite interesting and enlightening. I am Leo/Virgo with Virgo Merc. so I would not have given a second thought to calling the husband. My mind says that I need to get this done and I will find the fastest route to do it and move on. I would have never thought the method was stepping on anyone’s toes, because it shouldn’t be. It’s just a call. I have done this before when trying to reach people and no one cared at all. To me, it does sound like a control issue.

  24. I’m not Italian or Latin or or from a culture where that would be an unspoken rule. I feel that is just a matter of respect, especially where I’m friends with the woman, but just friendly with her husband via being her friend.

  25. Hmm, this is very interesting. I’m Mexican, born and raised here so I’m American, in part, culturally.

    I have a lot I’d male friends, and mixed sex friend groups. If I was close friends with a man before he got a gf, it was alright to contact him, since he’s my initial line to that couple. If I knew them both more casually, I’d feel an odd repel energy on deepening the friendship w/o going through the woman. I’d try to “reason” to myself, “well, how’s this different than my guy friends?” I couldnt, I’d lways go through woman friend first, even if it was something he’d be more interested or responsive to, or start a group message w/ both. Usually, the man, Mex.Amer. would also indicate plan making through the woman. Talked to my mom about my reasonings, and she’d get serious, and say it was not a good look to contact the man.

    I would hate if a woman friends contacted my man! Hadn’t really given it a name til seeing this thread.

    I’ve heavy Aquarius, so the little logic hiccup was bothersome, since I try to be on friendly terms with everyone. Hmm, making friends with my woman friend’s man, when I’m single, yeeugh, I don’t want that mess. Pluto squaring Sun, moon mercury? Pluto trine Venus?

    I guess, we knew without knowing what we know 8).

    1. I have Pluto in square with Mars and Venus and in a grand trine with moon and sun/ Mercury ….yes I agree that they better have a good excuse to be asking my man for anything lol yikes!

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