What Your Husband's Friends Won't Tell You
- Next1 of 11Maece Seirafi
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Guy Code1 of 11
By Woman's Day
Ever wonder what your husband's friends really think of you—and your marriage? You may be surprised to learn that your joking eye rolls at your spouse's corny jokes make his friends feel bad for him—or heartened to find out that his closest pals want to see you more. "People outside your marriage can often see blind spots we can't," says Julie Hanks, LCSW, BCD, director of Wasatch Family Therapy in Utah. We asked men to share their thoughts on their buds' wives. Read on to discover how you can benefit from these guys' feedback.
Judge Judy2 of 11
Scott* is convinced that his oldest friend's wife is a snob. "Whenever we tell stories from years ago, she rolls her eyes as if to say we're pathetic for living in the past." Even if you never say a thing about your husband's and his pals' antics, your eye-rolling can send the message that you think you're above them when you like them just fine. Perhaps you feel threatened by the amount of time your husband spends with his buddies, especially if their association predates you, says Elizabeth Lombardo, Ph.D., author of A Happy You: Your Ultimate Prescription for Hapiness.
Plus One3 of 11
The good news from this obvious compliment is that they like you. The bad news? They think you don't want to see them. "It's cool that they want to get to know you; they value your husband enough to want to spend more time with the whole family," says Hanks. Take the hint. You don't have to go to every softball game, but consider inviting them and their significant others out for dinner. Or when they call, talk to them for a minute (How's work? What's new at home?) before handing the phone to your hubby.
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Party Pooper4 of 11
Jeff* gets annoyed and defensive when his friend's wife phones more than once during a guys' night. "Why doesn't she trust him after all these years? It's not like he's doing anything wrong!" But it might not even be a matter of trust, says Lombardo. "Often, when the husband is out and the wife is home, maybe with the kids driving her crazy, her stress levels go up and make her do things she wouldn't ordinarily do—like texting or calling incessantly." But you don't want to be seen as a nagging wife. Unless you need him for a legitimate reason, don't check in multiple times.
Teen Wannabe5 of 11
Jake* is uncomfortable when he sees his good friend's wife dressing like her teenage daughter. "It makes me wonder if she thinks her husband doesn't find her attractive anymore." Your man's pals may, like Jake, guess at what's behind the Forever 21 look—others may simply feel uncomfortable. If you dress the way you do purely because you love it, then don't worry about what anyone else thinks. That said, notes Lombardo, "be careful you're not trying to be someone you aren't or to solicit extra attention.".
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Nag Hag6 of 11
Do you think the money your husband drops on restoring his classic car is extravagant? Perhaps he and his friends think it's frivolous that you get your roots touched up every six weeks. "This comes down to a mismatch in values, a common issue in marriage," says Hanks. "Unless one of you is spending large amounts of money without telling the other, tolerate (within reason) what your husband spends on his hobbies, knowing you have your own priorities." Hanks advises having regular financial matter "check-ins," during which you discuss the big stuff as well as your personal spending.
Fun Snatcher7 of 11
Ask yourself: Is there a pattern of forcing your husband to back out of plans with all his friends? Or does it happen only with a particular friend you aren't crazy about? Instead of sabotaging time your spouse spends with his friends, "take a page from his book and arrange your own social plans," recommends Lombardo. That said, if he truly is spending more time with the boys than with you, then Lombardo suggests explaining what you want assertively rather than passive-aggressively (Oh, sure, go out with them again. I don't care!).
Debbie Downer8 of 11
"If your husband's friends are true ones, then they'll defend him if they see you putting him down," says Hanks. That describes Frank's* experience: "My good friend's wife always belittles what he says. It makes me feel terrible for him and angry with her." Explore whether there's some buried resentment that's making you disparage your husband in public, and deal with that behind closed doors, says Hanks. It's better to keep your mouth shut rather than put him down, she adds. Try to see your spouse the way his friends see him—as a great guy who deserves your support.
The Fixer9 of 11
"I have a friend who was kind of a mess before he got married. His apartment was like a dorm room, he never exercised, and he always ordered fried food," says Rod.* "Now that he's married, the rough edges are smoothed out." And Rod completely credits his pal's wife for the positive change. Guys like Rod may never share this praise with you, because they don't want to offend you or your husband, don't feel close enough to you, or aren't comfortable bringing up the subject. But take this as a reminder to work to bring out the best in your husband, says Lombardo.
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Busy Body10 of 11
Steven* was shocked to discover that a friend's wife had been reading texts her husband received. "It made me think she's insecure, and it turned me off her," he says. Same goes for interrupting phone calls, assuming the friends aren't ringing at bad times, like when you sit down to dinner or are putting the kids to bed. "His pals might perceive that you're keeping him on a short leash," says Hanks. Again, think about why you're acting this way. Are you envious that he's on the phone with the guys and not plopped on the couch next to you? Then tell your husband directly, says Lombardo.
Big Tease11 of 11
True, some women are friendlier than others. But if you're trying to get your husband's attention—by sparking jealousy, say—then his inner circle may notice. "Try to see how people around you perceive your behavior," says Lombardo. Is everyone having a good time and joking back and forth? That's fine. But if you suspect you're making someone uncomfortable, then rein it in. And if you'd like more attention from your husband, then "flirt with him!" says Hanks.
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