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Are Friends a Toxin to Your Marriage?

Updated on January 19, 2017
Are your friends ruining your marriage?
Are your friends ruining your marriage? | Source

Husbands Choosing Their Friends over Their Wives and Visa Versa

When two individuals decide to get married, a change occurs in their lives—hopefully for the better. But if people are not willing to place their partner/family above others, it can lead to devastating consequences, regardless of how wonderful the union began.

Friends will always remain a vital part of life. Their advice and support will guide you through good times and bad, and you can count on them for their shared joy during moments of triumph and their empathy during moments of pain. However, friends are the people who have the greatest capability of destroying a relationship. Friends have a close bond, and sometimes it's hard for them to let married friends spend most of their time with their spouses. The challenge comes when friendship interferes with marriage, and a choice must be made.

Can Too Much Time Be Spent with Friends?

This poll presumes your spouse resides with you and comes home after the work day ends. If your spouse works abroad, you don't need to participate. However, should you decide to, answer as things are when he/she is home.

How much time do you spend with friends, on a weekly basis, without your spouse being present?

See results

Though it isn't true of all friends, there are some who manage to wreak havoc in the following ways:

1: Trying to Recreate "The Good Old Days"

Some guys expect a newly married friend to continue to be as committed to hanging out and doing things together as he or she had previously been. They feel let down when their friend declines to go out for whatever reason, and they may begin to resent him or her for getting married in the first place. Other times, the resentment is directed toward the spouse, who has "taken the friend away."

In situations like these, unless the married person is able to explain the new facts of life to his or her friend, there will always be tension where he or she will feel forced to choose between loved ones. If the married person can't stand up to the friends, his or her marriage will suffer. Hopefully, if it comes down to a choice between friends and spouse, the newlywed will honor the latter commitment.

2: Hanging around and Demanding Attention

Some women and men are famous for dropping in on married couples sporadically throughout the day, demanding immediate attention or lingering with no obvious purpose for visiting.

When couples don't get much time to themselves, it's easy for outside influences to gradually pull them apart. A demand here, another there, then another one and, before realizing it, the couples' time is all used up caring for the needs of their friends as opposed to tending to their own needs. They are often exhausted before the day is half over.

Even when a need arises for friends, or multiple friends, to visit, they should consider leaving at a respectable time so that couples can get time to relax together at the end of each day.

Granted, emergencies do arise with friends and everyone needs a shoulder to cry on. It's when these situations become routine—and occur just as couples prepare to spend alone time together—that they can cause damage.

On a personal note, when I want to spend time with my partner, I don't even want our children to interfere. We've spent time with the children and consider our time sacred.

Granted, emergencies do arise with friends and everyone needs a shoulder to cry on. It's when these situations become routine - just when couples prepare to spend alone time together - that can cause damage.

On a personal note, when I want to spend time with my partner, I don't even want our children to interfere. We've spent time with the children and consider our time sacred.

3: Treating a Spouse Disrespectfully

When friends show no respect toward their married friend's spouse, it creates strained relationships. When ill words are spoken, even in jest, they can resurface in a spouse's mind later. A seed has been planted that, if not cast aside, will be watered more and more until a joke has created a monstrous problem. Friends should always show respect to their friends' spouses. If they can't, they should simply stay away and remain quiet.

4: Spreading Gossip

Gossip is deadly.

The last thing a couple needs is constant exposure to gossip, and friends are often the source. Even though people know that situations become exaggerated with every retelling, some still tend to believe every word of gossip that falls on their ears.

As if this isn't bad enough, such friends may start spreading stories about the couple, as well. Too often, the other spouse gets the blame for talking when, in fact, it was an observation made by a friend that initiated the gossip.

Sadly, people who thrive on gossip don't know the difference between a friend or stranger when it comes to keeping their mouths shut, so married couples, beware! Steer clear of anyone who is constantly putting someone else down, for whatever reason. Gossip ultimately destroys peoples' lives and marriages. Yours could be next.

Old Habits Die Hard

When people choose to get married, often there is a compromise in certain areas. For example, if a woman doesn't want her husband drinking too often, or vice versa, she may ask him not to go out drinking with his friends every night. Likewise, if a man doesn't want his wife going to clubs alone, or vice versa, she can always pour a drink at home and avoid possible temptation from outside.

That being said, when a guy comes banging on the door of a married couple's home demanding the husband come out and have a few drinks, the husband may be tempted to give in unless he chooses to honor a promise he made to his wife about that very issue. As time goes on, the right decisions are easier to make, but at first they can be extremely difficult.

Similarly, when a woman comes to the house asking for the wife to join her for cocktails at a bar, the wife may be tempted to go, thinking she's just going to enjoy some time with her friend. However, she should honor the promise she made to her husband, as she expects him to honor promises he's made to her.

Jobs change, children grow and focus on their own families, while many friends come and go.

Did you realize that marriage is the only earthly lifetime commitment you make?

Guard it with your life!

True friends will hold sacred the vows made between a man and his wife.

They will respect the decisions made and act accordingly.

If people are not capable of such respectful behavior, they were never really friends in the first place.

Any Other Ways?

Can you think of other ways in which friends can be toxic to your marriage? Please state them here.


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    • Kelsey-Budden-16 profile image

      Kelsey-Budden-16 6 years ago

      Something that is also toxic is, when a friend or sister/brother thinks the world of that husband/wife's spouse. Not as in helping out with the chores and things like that. I'm talking about when they have strong feelings for the husband/wife. Things can get pretty nasty when that happens.

    • Lady Lorelei profile image

      Lorelei Cohen 5 years ago from Canada

      My first sprinkling of angel dust on this lens has long worn off so I am back once again to scatter a little more. It is my quest today to bless all the lenses which I blessed in October of 2010. You are on this list.

    • AuthorNormaBudden profile image

      AuthorNormaBudden 4 years ago

      @anonymous: Michael, taking the chance that you might read this, I'd suggest taking the time to consult the doctor about this situation. Perhaps he/she can clarify things to your wife's friend, though the friend may choose to live in denial.

      Otherwise, you can research both medical conditions on the Internet and pass copies of what you find onto your wife's friend - not expecting her to read it right away, of course, but curiosity will get the better of her at some point.

      These are just a couple of ideas which come to mind but, regardless of the present, when your wife gets to the point of not remembering her friend, the friend will have no choice but to accept the facts.

      In the meantime, I'm sorry you have to carry such a burden alone and would strongly suggest you find someone you trust to talk to about the situation. I will keep you and your situation in my prayers...

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      My husband's newer job has him developing relationships and friendships with mostly male colleagues, bosses, and coworkers not honorable to our marriage vows. They condone immoralities and share vulgar language and innuendos on a regular basis. On the phone, in person, and heavy texting. Very guarded conversations. They will call or text 24/7. And most of the time he will answer. We have precious little time together due to our job schedules. These 'friendships' have become first priority to my husband over our marital promises to honor one another . I pray he would have the guts to put us first again and stop engaging with these people in this way for the sake of our life we committed to each other over three decades ago! Prayers.

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      A man shouldn't be sharing him and his wifes marital problems with anyone else and try to fix his marital problems with his wife only. Most women feel this type of man is disrespectful and not trustworthy.

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      When you are never allowed time alone as a couple, because of a metalling old man. The guy can't take a hint to leave. He will just lay down on my couch and sleep until dinner.

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      When they land up at home unannounced, stay over and expect the friend to be baby sitting all the time, and if that's not enough, walk into our bedroom when we are talking in private...I can't wear nightclothes...Constantly wait to be heard...And once they locked themselves in the room talking, didn't attend my calls and I had to hunt for dinner...We can't have a decent conversation because he is always around...When we're alone, he's always texting because he's going through a separation...And it's taken a toll on my relationship and communication...Taken to drinking more and gone back into my shell...

    • maryLuu profile image

      maryLuu 4 years ago

      The frends can become toxic when they are taking sides, when they are always present in your house and they like to spread what they hear or see in your family.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      When a friend hangs around a married couples home .but they know they aren't wanted there so often it can cause a lot. Especially when the person is younger and has not really understud the reall meaning of a married couples relationship. It can cause great distance for one of the two that are married . So please just take that into consideration . Even if you need to talk to your spouses friend do that as a couple so there is a clear understanding. But in some cases you have to be very cautious of the approach . Hope this was helpful .

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      I have had some vile people in my life. Some real stirrers. I don't call them friends. I have about two good friends. And the rest mean nothing the rest are just mates.

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      Based on the fact you wrote article, you're clearly experiencing some issues. It's hard to tell if your views are directed at multiple friends or one individual in particular. I would advise that you discuss the situation with your partner and if it still can't be resolved seek further assistance as a pair (counselling etc). I don't mean to sound brutal but I don't think it's the "friend(s)" that are the underlying issue. Hope you manage to sort things out.

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      anonymous 3 years ago

      My husbands friend always calls always drops by and always has something that he wants to take him away out of the state to do.. Belittles me in front on my husband and acts like I do not matter. He is a divorced single man and is bitter. He has no regard for my feelings and our marriage. My husband drops everything to take care of what his friend has rather than to take care of our relationship.

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      Gez 2 years ago

      my wife and I have been together for 13yrs now and have two beautiful daughters we had our ups and downs but got wife now has this friend she has known for just a few months and already the changes have got out of wife now has to have every Friday night with this friend and ends up blind stinking drunk coming home at all hours.this friend buys my wife gifts and always makes sure the drink is in.she knows I have issues with my wife getting too drunk but this seems to fuel her to do it even more,my wife has even had matching tattoos done with this woman and seems to spend every spare moment with her even though she talks to my kids like dirt sometimes.i think this woman has a gay fixation on my wife but she can't see it. I don't want this poison in our lives no more and I told my wife it's me or her and it would seem my wife has chosen her over our marriage.any advice would be great.

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      guest 2 years ago

      My husband keeps talking to my female cousin. I've expressed my concern but neither of them care obviously bc they keep talking and texting. He's lied about being at her house when we were not to be speaking to her. Now she's single and my worry is stronger than ever. I love him and we've got 13 years into this marriage. Nothing seems to work :(

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      annonumous 2 years ago

      My husband is an extrovert. We never entertain people at home. But he will see his friend 2 to 3 times a week for coffee. When he is at home with me he would rather be on Facebook than be with me in a conversation. I have to fight to have his friendship no matter how nice I am or loving I am. Is this normal. ?

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      anonymous 2 years ago

      After my husband.s mother died he became friendly with a gay male couple further down our street. At first i wasn.t keen but after a while i sort of got used to the situation. To cut a long story short eventually we saw them almost every day. We were scarcely ever in our own home in the evenings and i couldn.t plan meals any more. They were heavy drinkers and a very bad influence. My husband was also for a while drinking heavily. It wasn.t always bad. I had some very good times with them but i became tired and worn out by the situation. They interfered too much with our relationship for example criticizing long standing arrangements we have. We were arguing all the time and there was no one i could tell howhoe unhappy i was. I am catholic. I prayed to mary and asked for their influence to be reduced. A miracle happened. My husband had a disagreement with them over something trivial which blew up into a huge row. Then we were away on holiday. They seemed to begrudge us out time alone away from them. When we got home we saw them again for drinks but one of them made advances at my husband which offended him very much. Thank god that was the end of the situation. We have our normal life back again. Looking back i don't know how i coped. I think they were mainly interested in him and just toleratEd me as A necessary appendage. This were three of the worst years of my life. A tug of war that i had no chance to win. Always being the odd one out in the situation because of my sex aNd my religion. Being treateD with total lack of respeCt by them. LaugheD at down the pHone when i called to say dinner ready. We are now happy again thanks be to God.

    • profile image

      Tabatha 23 months ago

      We recently moved back to a town where my husband had an old friend that he was always getting in trouble with. We have been together for nearly 11 years and we have always been best friends. We made friends with another couple in our old town just so we could spend some time with other people. Now he is lying to me about going to the old friends house, staying out till 3 or 4 in the morning, turning off his phone so I can't get in touch with him, and giving him money we don't have. I don't know what to do.

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      sadfriend 23 months ago

      I was shocked to see a post from 5 years ago nearly identical to what I am about to write. A friend becomes toxic when he/she cannot discern between love/lust and admiration of your spouse. My best friend literally worships the ground my husband walks on and it makes him very uncomfortable. She comes from a good place, but her behavior has started to ramp up into a more sinister mode. When she comes to visit, she goes out of her way to wear very provocative clothing and even wore a silk and lace long nightie around the house...thinking this was appropriate attire. Who does that? She told me recently that she compares all men to my husband and cried when she told me this. My hubby gets road rage every now and then (I know...a truck drivers curse) but it bothers me. The three of us were in a car together and he yelled at someone so the next day I apologized to her on his behalf. She said, I never picked up on his rage, only your reaction to it. Really? I think people in the next state heard him yell. My husband like to make cabochons for jewelry and I showed her a heart that he made me. She had the nerve to ask him to make her one. He said, no thank God. He said that it was only for his special girl (me.) Anyhow, long story short, I have been somewhat honest with her and told her that we need space and no visitors for a long while. He wants me to cut it off completely because she causes me so much angst pre visit and post visits. I haven't heard from her in two days, so this is a very good sign that she is not happy with the request for space. That's her M.O., she shuts people out and doesn't speak. Very abusive in my opinion but I'm so over it!! Thanks for letting me vent.

    • profile image

      pict 21 months ago

      I know what that is like. My bad and I and our 2 kids moved across country for his work. Last minute I found outhis his buddy I never met(as he lived in another province) was coming to help. That turned into staying with us. While my husband is at work he just sits in our living room all day that I want to hide in my room.c when he does get off his ass he has'suggestions' how things should be done around here. He waits outside for my husband to come home from work than follows him around all day like a puppy. Now the only time I get with my husband is when we go to bed for the night. At this point it feels like those 2 are the 'partners' and I'm just the maid/cook. But my husband throws a fit when I bring it up. Now that I'm on the other side of the country with my kids I don't know what to do.

    • profile image

      AdelineFrances 19 months ago


      I'm in a similar situation. My husband started his own business and hired this guy about a year ago. The employee lives out of state. They speak frequently as they are really the only two running the business and spend all of their time on work. By frequent toy I would estimate 10-20 times/day.

      I found out that he was in town. At the same time, I find out he's moving to our city, and wants to be "close by."

      Backing up the story a tad: For a decade, I was the underling's wife and would go to settings with the boss and the boss's wife (same profession). I am very familiar with how they work. So I put on my boss's wife hat for the dinner to mee this employee and his fiancé. The employee of my husband couldn't have been more messed up. First off, they were both extremely hungover, and kept complaining about it. I tried to make conversation but it was like pulling teeth, and when the employee finally spoke up, it was to tell me that this woman seated next to him was not his fiancé, but another girlfriend, and he still lives with the fiancé. And then I ask the girlfriend what she does for a living and she said she works for the husband's employee (so sort of works for my husband, too, right?). Then he goes on to bask my hometown, well knowing I grew up there, and then he goes on to say how crappy my alma mater is, and makes no apologies when I inform him that I went to school there. Plus he kept talking about how awesome he was...

      Clearly, I thought the guy was a major jerk. Husband doesn't seem to care, and that is nothing new. I certainly don't want him living out here, nearby, and given how unprofessional he was at our dinner, I can't imagine he is much different with clients?

      I'm rambling, but I think, in the end, it comes down to hubby. Why does he tolerate people like this? Why does he gravitate toward people like this? And why doesn't it bother him when someone shows disrespect for his wife? It's not the friend/employee, really. It's the husband. When this happens, and happens repeatedly, it makes you question your spouses' true personality. And that is what bothers me when "bad influences" show up. Because if hubby was truly a first class hubby, he'd not tolerate such people.

      It's been over a year with this guy and my husband talking all day every day, and I do see a difference in my husband. Retrospectively, since having that very unpleasant dinner, I can see where husband's debbie downer/disrespectful attitude has come from. But the hard truth is, if he were a stand up guy, he would think that his employee was a creep and wouldn't emulate or be influenced the way he is. Maybe he gravitates toward these people for a reason.

      If that makes any sense. It's been a recurring problem since we met over 13 years ago - these "bad influences."

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      Concerned 11 months ago

      My hubby insists on remaining running over to his best friend house as much as he can when I've exposed to him how this makes me feel uncomfortable because he has cheated twice with the sister of his best friends wife. Am I asking too much to ask him to let that environment go?

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      anonymous 8 months ago

      my husband prefers to be with his bestfriend after our store hours,it kills me and makes my day a bullshit whenever i insist to have dinner with him at home together with our daughter for he makes a lot of the way we are married 20 years now,he always makes me feel unwanted.he laughs a lot when his bestfriend is around,often times they go out together to have coffee and merienda leaving me and my son at the store.he would rather choose to spend spare time with his bestfriend talking about non sense things than spending the night with me and our daughter.

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      Anonymous 7 months ago

      My husband and I have only been married for a year but he does a few things that bug me. A lot of his friends are still single so the places they like to hang out at are usually places that are a bit odd for a married man to be at. When they do go out, it's always for hours and he ends up coming home very late in the night. Another thing is when one of the guys is over, he makes a big deal about me being around. I'm not the type of person who would interfere in their conversation or sit between/near them, but I find it disrespectful that he wants me to be in some other room the entire time his beloved friend is over. I get that they need their privacy but it's my home (not his friends) so I don't think I should have to wait in another room for hours just because his friend is over. Is this common? When I have someone over I don't force him to do that.

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      Prakash J 7 months ago

      My wife spend too much time with her female friend and feels happy when she is around . I don't feel good when she come my home and stays for many hours together gossiping..I am kind of person who speaks less and contributes when required ..Now a days I feel that she is very happy with her friend and her husband who often comes to my home along with his wife .. this has now becoming very frequent ..Her husband ( Female friends')most of the time comes to have drink with me ..I finished the drink and gossip and usually go back if there is anything urgent on offcial work during weekend ... he continues to sit with my wife for 2-3 hours in my absence .. .Which I feel very bad as I think she does not enjoy my company anymore ..may be she does not neet at all ....I believe they have become toxin in my life..What should I do please advise ?

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      Lulu 7 months ago

      My husband's "friend" told him that he didn't need to take anti depressants and should never have been prescribed them! My husband hides his mental health issues so people don't understand how hard he is to live with or he awful his moods are. Thanks to this friend my husband stopped his meds and put my family through hell. Not fair on me or our young children to be treated so badly because my husband values his friends opinion over mine and his doctor. Wrecking our marriage.

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      Bruno 7 months ago

      My wife believes it's ok to spend more time with other men than me. She says they're just friends and she needs "me" time and doesn't get along well with other women. She actually planned a weekend of camping with a guy friend and his friends on her birthday!

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      Nick 6 months ago

      Constantly texting when you know your friend is with her spouse.

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      Karina 6 months ago

      My husband and I have been married for a year and the only problem we have are his friends. They call or text him late the night before or the day of expecting him to drop what he's doing to hang out with them. Weekends are usually the only time we really get to spend together as we both work and that's when his friends also try to get ahold of him. None of his friends are in committed relationships and have already caused problems between us. Very frustrating because I've already communicated that he doesn't need to hang out with his friends every single weekend or every time they call but for some reason he feels otherwise. Like he's letting them down instead of me. I don't know how much longer I can put up with it.

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      Diana 5 months ago

      I have been married to my husband for 6 years I can't even call him my husband anymore because he prefers to hang out with these stupid ass minors friend's of his from work instead of spending time with me. I ask him if I can come along to hang with his friends too and he tells me no and says it's just for guys, also I end up finding out there was a girl involved in the group who happens to be a minor too so my question is if she got invited why can't I be invited too? Why does he care so much of what his friends think if he brings me? Does that even matter to him? I have 2 little kids who will look back and think their dad doesn't love them much as he says he does because he is choosing his friends over me and he's not setting a good example for my poor little kids who will suffer later :( to the people who is friends with my husband that I was married to for 6 years you guys are hurting my marriage by bad influencing him and asking him to hang out he has kids with me and you know it respect our family guys and girls. What should I do about this situation? Please help me

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      Paul 4 months ago

      When I first met my wife I was young and loved to party with friends. I always invited my wife and have never told her she couldn't tag along. She choose to not tag along a lot of times but I always invited her. My wife started to get upset and said that your a married man with kids your party days need to end, even though I was angry at her I realized she was right because I loved her so I changed my ways and stopped going out once a week with friends and realized that it was wrong for me to do , even though I always invited her. Years later after having 3 children with her my wife made a few girlfriends recently divorced girlfriends that I feel is toxic to our marriage for the simple fact when they first became friends with my wife they included me them all of a sudden I was excluded for whatever reason? Girls night out bullshit ? Which got me very upset and felt like it was wrong considering the fact I respected my wife always and even lost friendships for her because my marriage and children were more important to me . I told her that she doesn't need to be going to bars , I said why can't you girls go to a dinner or have drinks at a friend's house and why am I always excluded?? very shady and disrespectful , what should I do???

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      Gina 2 weeks ago

      My significant other's best friend will show up unannounced all the time, or start calling him early on the weekends or show up at dinner time during the week then he wants to play video games w/him and we have no alone time until 9:30-10 pm some nights. Even when he leaves after hanging out with him all day he then is texting him non-stop. He's a good guy, but just dumped his girlfriend and moved 5 minutes away and thinks he can just pop in whenever he wants. I am trying to be nice but it is eating away at me this has been going on for almost 3 years. He likes to gamble and got my guy into gambling really bad as well. He finally stopped (I hope) but I do not know what to do.

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