Your Spouse's Friends
When we marry we often forget that our spouse had others that were significant to him or her when they were single. Some of these people are known as our in-laws, whom, if we are fortunate enough, are the type of people we get along with well. In our spouse’s past we also have to take into account our spouse’s friends, our spouse’s friends make up a very significant part of our spouse's life. These are the people our spouse confided in when their parents simply didn’t understand; these are the ones they may have known since childhood and have shared many special moments with. If you did not know your spouse since childhood, your spouse’s childhood buddies have a head start in your spouse's life. If you ask yourself, are these people significant in his or her life? You bet they are and it is important to treat these people with respect, on the other hand, there will be times when you will have to draw the line for the sake of your marriage.
It is very important to know when you must be tolerant and when you must draw the line if you are to keep your marriage in tact. There will be people in your husband’s or wife’s circle of friends that you will like very much and enjoy having for dinner and these are the ones you hope will be there always. Then there are those friends that you simply can’t stand or have to make a big effort to bear.
Knowing When to be Tolerant and When to Draw the Line for Both Husbands and Wives
In the case scenario involving one’s husband let's imagine the following: It is a Sunday afternoon during football season and your husband invited his three favorite buddies to watch the game with him. Being an understanding wife you make sure that his guests are comfortable and that there is plenty of snacks and beers for the guys, and that the mugs are frosty. Despite your best efforts to be hospitable, It just so happens, that even though two of his friends are very considerate and pleasure to have around, there is this one friend that you find hard to swallow. You know the one, he’s the loudmouth, who often uses swear words, is fond of crude jokes, and expect everyone to laugh at them, he is usually divorced for obvious reasons, or he’s married but is barely with his wife (you don’t have to wonder why), or he never fooled anyone and he is still single, but claims that no woman has ever had the privilege of trapping him. Unfortunately, most men have at least one friend that fits this description.
You might ask yourself; why does my wonderful, charming husband choose such undesirable company? Well the answer is simple, the female and male criteria for what makes a great friend is very different. Even though you see him as crude and obnoxious, your husband sees him as this really fun guy, who did all this crazy stuff back when they were boys or perhaps during his college fraternity days.
I would advice that even though this one man drives you crazy, if he hasn’t crossed any boundaries than you should make an effort to be tolerant and hospitable. If this friend of your husband belches during the game, try to ignore him, or if he is simply loud but doesn’t go beyond that, than just be tolerant remember football season will pass and it is only once a week for a couple of hours.
Of course, there are times when you and your spouse may need to draw the line. If this obnoxious friend of your husband has a roving eye, and that leads to patting you on the behind, or touching you somewhere that is inappropriate, as well as making lewd remarks than this is harassment and it is your husband’s duty to step in, because allowing this behavior is not only disrespectful to you, but to him as well. If this means no longer being this man’s friend, than so be it, this man has crossed the line and your husband will have to consider that your place as his spouse takes priority over his friendships. Trust has been broken and respect has been betrayed, true friends know how far to take things and this person is not behaving like a true friend.
Men I do advice you that for the sake of your marriage, you bid this fellow goodbye, your marriage could be at stake if you don’t. This man has disrespected your wife, and by doing so has disrespected you, so if you want to preserve your self respect as well as that of your wife, you must break the friendship. You might also want to give this man a tip on how to treat women with respect, or he will never be welcomed anywhere.
Let’s look at another scenario: Your wife is having a bridal shower for one of her old college girlfriends and she invites all of her friends. Being the considerate husband that you are, you helped her set up her party; you even helped her with the food and the decorations. It turns out most of her friends are charming women and a joy to have around, but she has this one friend you just can’t stand. You even nick name this woman the hag, the witch, and the list goes on. She is the one with the snide, disparaging remarks, she’s always trying to give marriage advice, even though she is still single (The reason is obvious to you, but she still doesn’t have a clue why). Her brand of advice is always aimed at your flaws as a man, flaws that your wife often forgives, but this woman is constantly bringing them up. You ask yourself how could your darling, beautiful, precious bride have such an unpleasant friend, who for some reason doesn’t recognize your finer qualities? The reason is simple, even though you see her as some overbearing Prima Donna, to your wife she may have been the voice of reason when they were in high school or she’s just that girl that your wife took under her wing and for some reason your wife does not have the heart to abandon this friend.
The question is: should you tolerate this woman. Well it depends, if her remarks do not affect your wife’s behavior or they are not toxic enough to threaten your marriage than maybe you should consider being tolerant, you may only have to see her on certain occasions and well why cause friction for such a little thing. On the other hand, if her toxic remarks are causing your wife to act in an undesirable way or this woman has in someway insulted your manhood with her disparaging remarks, then it is time to talk to your wife and tell her that the friend has got to go. This woman shows no respect for you and therefore, no longer welcomed in your home.
Women, it is important that for the sake of your marriage that you take into account your husband’s feelings, his self respect and the invasion of his sanctuary (his home). Therefore, it is important that you break the friendship and try to advice this woman to be careful with what she says or she won’t be welcomed anywhere.
How to Know Who your True Friends are
Friends are important in one’s life and are often a significant part of one’s past and they are often the people, who one likes to keep around, but if that person causes problems for you and your spouse, that friend is no longer acting like a true friend. True friends are the ones that care about what is important to you, and who can be more important than your wife or husband? Friends find ways to draw you closer to the ones you care about, true friends are the one’s that try to reunite a couple when hard times come and true friends never separate a happy marriage.
Both spouses must always be on guard when it comes to which friends to keep and which friends to leave in their past. Sometimes some friends might be jealous of your spouse because you don’t have as much time for them as you used to. These jealous friends may be causing trouble on purpose and this can be very destructive to your marriage. Therefore, one must be wise in these matters and try to do whatever has to be done to protect your marriage.
Like any other matter involving relationships, the area of friendship must be handled with wisdom, it says in Proverbs 18:24: There are friends that pretend to be friends, but there is a friend that sticks closer than a brother. Therefore, it is important to know who your real friends are.