“My wife doesn’t really like any of her childhood buddies. She likes my friends and actually communicates with them more than I do! They send her text messages with general conversational stuff, they contact her for plans, and I just don’t know how to feel about all of this. It makes me uneasy. Am I being overly cautious?”
Our Experts Responded:
No matter how long you’ve been married or how long they’ve been friends, if it makes you uncomfortable, you need to tell her and she needs to understand it. Emphasize with her that in that particular instance when you bring it up with her, all she needs to do is understand how you feel. Nothing else really needs to be done at that point in time. If she tries to drag it on and argue, you’ve already said your piece. Just remain calm and don’t let anything escalate. She’s the one having a hard time finding friends and that could be for a good reason. Once you’ve gotten to that point, there shouldn’t be any if ands or buts. I know things may get boring in ol’ Californi way but you both have a role and promise to stick to in this marriage.You would assume that a friend would think twice and even ask you before making plans but obviously respect has been compromised and both parties have over looked a not so common courtesy. The key words to me were that you don’t know how to feel but you feel uneasy and wanted to know if you were being too cautious. Well, your reactions are a result of how you feel and the way you feel is all on you buddy. You need to be more confident with how you feel. YOU FEEL THAT WAY FOR A REASON. I’m not just talking about with her. I’m talking about your career… hell, your everyday life. If you’ve gotten to the point when you are asking these questions, then its time you start taking control.
- Bill Wilburn
You don’t provide very much information… like how long you two have been together? Have there been problems in the marriage? It sounds like this just might be friendly communication? Is she making plans with women or men? Are the plans she makes with or without you?
IT could just be that your wife likes being the social director and enjoys this new found attention! If you trust your wife then you should not feel overly cautious but if you think that one of your friends is trying to sneak in through a back door so to speak? Then you have to discuss things with your wife and let her know your concerns! A lot of women enjoy attention, it reassures them that they are wanted, attractive, noticed, etc… You might find that by putting a little romance back into your lives, you can turn embers into a fire again! In the end, talk with her, it is easy enough for us to create scenarios in our heads that don’t even exist because we are making assumptions!
Surprise her with flowers, a night out alone, a romantic evening to remind her that is she still your number one girl!
- Gina Landeau
Hello Ms. Heartbreak, I’ve been expecting you!
I think you’re being jealous that your friends are giving your wife more attention than yourself. As long as she isn’t cheating with one of your friends, I think everything is okay. If it’s that big of a problem for you, then talk to your wife and let her know you want to be included in her plans.
- Porsche Simpson
Cautious? Or jealous? It sounds as though you’re in the enviable position of having mutual friends. People aren’t limited in the amount of friendship they can share, so the fact that they enjoy her doesn’t diminish the amount of affection they feel for you. They may schedule social activities with her because women are generally the social directors in straight partnerships or she may answer calls more quickly than you or be more receptive to social opportunities. Either way, you benefit from her involvement.
Perhaps you’re cautious because she lost contact with her childhood friends. She may have matured into a very different person than she was as a kid or her old friends may have become adults whose politics, beliefs, or attitudes she doesn’t appreciate. None of it matters. You fell in love with the woman she is now, so appreciate her warmth and friendliness and be grateful that your friends enjoy your life partner – the alternative would be very awkward.
I’m wondering what it is about conversational stuff and plans that threatens you? I think that you’ve got to look at what it is that is making you uneasy. You mentioned that she doesn’t really like any of her childhood buddies. I wonder why this is so. Could it be that she has moved on to a different phase in her life and they don’t quite fit in? People are quite unique when it comes to this sort of stuff. Some stay in contact and some do not. I hope this helps.
- Jennifer Hope
On the positive side, your wife enjoys the company of your friends and wants to spend time with them. Many times in marriages the opposite happens and the husband feels he is in a position to choose between his good buddies and his wife. Since your intuition is sending you caution alerts, I encourage you to explore why you feel uneasy with your wife communicating with your friends. If she is setting up plans without you, then I do believe that is not in the best interest of your marriage. Even as innocent as something like this starts, there is a tendency for men and women to form intimate, emotional connections that should be reserved for only spouses. If she is friendly with the wives of your good friends and they are getting together without you, then I do not see anything to worry about in that scenario. As a Christian, I believe we must guard our hearts at all times and be very mindful of who we associate with and not place ourselves in potentially tempting situations. This is not a question of loyalty in your marriage per se, but it is a wise practice in any committed relationship. Guarding and cherishing what you have together, realizing how precious your emotional and spiritual connection is in your relationship will keep the marriage from being taken for granted.
It is good to be cautious, but not overly cautious. Your problem is that you don’t know how to distinguish between the two when it comes to your wife. The key here is trust. Do you trust your wife to do the right thing if someone starts to talk to her inappropriately? If the answer is yes, then you have no worries. If the answer is no, then you need to set boundaries. I trust my wife to do those things, not because I trust or distrust the people with whom she converses, but because I trust her. If you feel like it is getting out of hand, the best move is to first let her know how you feel about it and give her an opportunity to correct it or at least compromise with you to a point where you both are happy. If this doesn’t work then talk to the friends. Approach them with wisdom and humility and let them know that you are a bit uncomfortable with the excessive communication and you would really appreciate it if they could keep it to a reasonable minimum. If that doesn’t work, talk to the one above, because I don’t have the answers for anything beyond what I have already told you. Have you ever thought that maybe her friends might just like her more than you and not mean anything personal or disrespectful by it? People can be stubborn sometimes and take offense when it comes to their personal business, so be careful you don’t lose any of the people you hold dear over something so seemingly small. The real answer is that you need to trust your wife to do the right thing, because if she really wanted to do something shady, there is absolutely nothing you can do to stop it anyway. Here is a quote just for you. “The only way to make a man trustworthy is to trust him” (Henry Stimson).
God bless you. I hope this helped. Keep me posted
You wonder whether you are being “overly cautious”. Could it be that your are jealous and that your jealousy may be groundless? Your buddies engage your wife in “general conversational stuff” and consult her about their plans. This seems perfectly innocent to me. You should be flattered that she likes your friends and that they have a high opinion of her. Now my analysis of your situation rests on what you have told us. If, on the other hand, your wife flirts with your buddies on the internet and carries on verbally with them in a way that suggests something more that just friendship, you would have reason to be anxious. From what you have told us, however, it seems that she simply enjoys chatting with them, and there’s no harm in that. I would suggest that you just keep your eyes and ears open for the time being and say nothing.
All the best
- Dr. Leonard Rosmarin
Author of the novel Getting Enough
The best way to address your concern is to tell you a story… When I was a single college kid, I had all kinds of friends — both guys and girls… hanging out, talking on the phone to all hours of the night. As I was one of the last ones to get married, I had plenty of opportunity to practice being a FRIEND OF THE FAMILY. When one of your friends gets married, you actually gain another friend — the new spouse.
There were these 2 brothers I was particularly close with. I still remember the time when each of them told me they were getting married. Of course I went to both weddings and from the day they each got married our friendship changed. No longer was I the best friend they would call to share all their day’s happenings with. That wasn’t my function anymore, that was their wife’s place. I never again called their house to speak with them directly and much less would I ever have called them privately on their cell phone because that would have been inappropriate. It’s been 15 years and we’re still the best of friends, but the dynamics have changed, we’re now FAMILY FRIENDS. If I have anything to say, I call their wives. In fact, their wives have become my new best friends. It’s not loosing a friend, or even betrayal that’s just the way it was supposed to be, the way I was raised to believe and behave.
When I got married, HOWEVER, my husband was not raised the same way. He was of the opinion that married people could keep their close opposite-sex friendships. He just didn’t see anything wrong with it. I explained that I wasn’t trying to get rid of his friends, just that I valued and respected his choice of friends and I wanted to get to know them as well. So I made sure to include all of his friends (and mine) in the new category of FAMILY FRIENDS.
To get back to your question…..Why doesn’t your wife like her own friends? Are your friends male or female? Married or single? When your friends make plans with your wife, do those plans include you? Could it be that your wife is just the “PLANNER”? Could you possibly take a more active role in making PLANS? Is it time to make new FAMILY FRIENDS with other couples with similar likes & goals? Does your wife actually spend time a lot of time talking to your friends? If so, what about? Is your wife OK with you reading her texts?
Take a good look at these questions then decide for yourself is your uneasiness is warranted. Either way, communication is the key. Talk to your wife about your feelings.
- Rebecca Allen
Why do you feel uneasy? Is it a sense of jealousy like “Hey, those were MY friends FIRST. Why are YOU so tight with them now?”
lol (that’s understandable).
Or is it something more serious, like a worry of her cheating on you with one of them or something?
I can’t actually answer your question accurately without knowing which one of those ^^ “uneasy feelings” it is that you’re experiencing.
If it’s the first one, that’s pretty light. Ya kind of just want your friends to be yours, and you feel like your wife has “moved in” on your territory (your friends). As I said, it’s an understandable feeling, but still light.
If it’s the SECOND one, then that’s an issue of trust (or a lack thereof) on your part and if that IS the case, is it your FRIENDS or your WIFE that you distrust? You have to think about that, Walter.
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