I'm a busy mother with three children. I enjoy writing about marriage, relationships, and families.
Husbands Choosing Their Friends Over Their Wives (and Vice 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 wonderfully 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.
How Friends Might Cause Problems in Your Relationship
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.
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.
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.
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.
Any Other Ways?
Can you think of other ways in which friends can be toxic to your marriage? Please state them here.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.