BaeWatch: “My Husband Has A Problem With My Friends”
As an unmarried woman with several female friends, I can really vouch that most of them get extremely unavailable after getting married. I mean, they really assume that life will not change as much but before they can catch their breath, everything changes. Two of my closest friends who got married spend most of their social time with their husband and his friends. And I am sure they enjoy that too, they do. But really, can you compare that with the comfort you feel with your own friends?
I don’t think men understand female friendships and the kind of closeness we share. We find solace in the sisterhood, whether we are meeting to chug down beers or enjoying a movie night followed by some chai and heart-to-heart conversations.
It’s not like the husbands and boyfriends will ask you to not meet your friends. But with all your weekends and holidays booked with his friends, you struggle to make time for yours. Of course, if you are married, there are also other responsibilities that a lot of Indian men don’t have to worry about.
Several women lose their personal social life and it’s not healthy. So when a woman wrote to us about her husband having issues with her friends, team Hauterfly decided to help her out.
“It’s been three years since my husband and I got married. In these years, I have warmed up with his friends and wholeheartedly participated in all the get-togethers and holidays with them and their wives. But he refrains from coming out with my friends. In fact, he doesn’t even interact much with them. To top it all, each time I spend time with my own friends, he acts resentful and has said things that say he doesn’t like them much. This has been an issue we fight over a lot. Expecting him to be friendly with my friends seem like too much for him. But at least let me be friendly with my own friends? My friends are nice people and I don’t understand why he has such a problem with them. I don’t want to be hanging out in his social circle all the time.”
“Make plans on your own with your group and don’t drag him along.”
Mansi Shah, Managing Editor: “I know I am going to get flak for this but I think there might be a smidgen of misogyny involved here. Most men consider their friends and family important enough to warrant the wife being involved but they aren’t so generous when it comes to our friends and family. It’s because he isn’t really “required” to and the only thing it’s probably going to earn him is brownie points, which maybe he just doesn’t care about enough. My suggestion would be that you sit him down and tell him that your friends are important to you and that you like spending time with them. It’s your comfort zone and that he should certainly try and make an effort. If he’s still pout-y and sulky, make plans on your own with your group and don’t drag him along. In fact, it might work better because it gives you time off each other. It should make your relationship stronger! :)”
“Make him understand that being with them makes you happy”
Jinal Bhatt, Associate Editor: “When I was little, I had asked my mom why we always hung out with Dad’s friends and barely with her’s. And it was since then that I understood until our mothers and grandmothers were conditioned to consider their husbands as their BFFs and closest confidantes. Not saying they didn’t have any friends at all, many do. But just as the man’s family takes precedence over the woman’s in a marriage, so does the friend circle. But we don’t have to repeat the mistakes of our parents. We are not them.
My advice to you is to treat this less like my friends-your-friends situation and more of a ‘you do you and I do me’ situation. Especially, if he isn’t willing to understand what you have to say about giving both your friends the respect they deserve. Don’t stop hanging out with his friends out of spite; you’re better than that. If you enjoy their company, don’t hold back just to piss him up passive-aggressively. But go ahead and spend enough time with yours too, and make him understand that being with them makes you happy, which in turn, keeps your own marital relationship from getting saturated.”
“I don’t think he realises any of this.”
Akanksha Narang, Features Head: “This is a very common problem that I have been observing in couples. I believe it has its roots in the same tradition that expects women to leave their house, their family and join their husband’s family. For decades, women have been changing surnames and families. Since we are young, social, and find solace in friendships, several men extend that tradition to their peers. In fact, several of my friends who aren’t even married end up in similar situations. They hang out so much with their partner’s friends and I don’t see the boyfriend doing the same when tables are turned.
I am afraid you are caught in the ramifications of patriarchy here. But giving your husband the benefit of doubt, I don’t think he realises any of this. Have a word with him and try to understand what makes him not like your friends. Does he feel you give them more priority? Then together you can fix that. Does he find them boring, or not relatable?
There are a few ways you can go about this. You can invite some of his friends and some of your friends, so he is hanging out with your peeps but also has the comfort of familiarity. Who knows, they may just get along pretty well! Another thing you can do is have an ice-breaker – there must be something in common between him and your friends. Lastly, if he really isn’t interested, it’s okay. Let him do what he’s comfortable with. But also set some boundaries here. Let him know that you will devote more of your social time with your friends and less with his friends and he just has to deal with it. Meanwhile, don’t let it become an ego problem. If you’re having fun with his friends, just let your hair down and enjoy that time. And then you can go back to your own friends and have all the fun too!”
“Try to host both his and your friends together”
Sadhika Sehgal, Trending Head: “It’s very common for partners to develop a strong dislike towards your friends, sometimes for no apparent reason. It’s good that you try to bridge the gap and keep up your end of the bargain by engaging with his friends, but it’s important he makes the same gesture too. If he has trouble hangin out with your friends, try to host both his and your friends together. Ask him to invite one or some of his people to when you have your friends over and see if that makes him more comfortable. But most of all, talk to him about it. Chances are, he’d be just as willing to find a solution!”
“There could be some underlying reason for him to not like your friends.”
Chingsanghoih Guite, Graphic Designer: “There could be some underlying reason for your husband to not like your friends. Maybe a wrong first impression or so. I suggest that you bring this issue up with him in a calm manner without playing the blame game. First, try to find out why does he not like your friends and then make him understand how you need to hang out with your friends too as much as he hangs out with his. It is one thing to not want to hang out with your friends but it is irrational for him to not let you be friendly with your friends.”
“He needs to give you enough guilt-free space to be with your friends.”
Mitali Shah, Lifestyle Writer: “This is indeed a very frustrating problem. It’s not fair that your husband expects you to be friendly with friends and doesn’t even make an effort with yours. He can’t guilt you and pass snarky comments every time you want to hang out with your friends. You need to find a common ground. You could try hosting dinners and get together and combine your friend circle with his. Maybe that way he will be more forthcoming. Of course, it’s important to mingle with your husband’s friends but it’s equally important for him to give yours a chance. He needs to give you enough guilt-free space to be with your friends. You need to speak to him and communicate your problem. I am sure you will find a solution that makes everyone comfortable!”
“You can also ask your friends to make him feel more comfortable”
Anjali Agarwal, Fashion & Beauty Writer: “First of all, ask your husband the reason why he says he doesn’t like your friends and especially why he resents you hanging out with them. It could be that their vibes don’t match or something easily fixable. If convincing your husband hasn’t worked out, you can also ask your friends to make him feel more comfortable and involved the next time you plan something. You can do things he enjoys and places he likes for once so you know if there’s friction or he’s just reluctant to get along with your squad. If it’s the latter, let it be. However, tell him that he’d have to accept that you cannot always hang out with his people and need an independent social life for yourself, which is the least your husband can do in this situation, if not willing to accept your friends.”
Baewatch is Hauterfly’s weekly service to women everywhere. We are giving no-holds-barred, funny, interesting answers to your relationship problems. We’re not experts so you may end up married or broken up. It could go either way. *shrugs*