I have a very good friend from college (M) that I adore. We were great friends in college, but have never been attracted to each other or anything more than friends. Don’t get me wrong, he’s an extremely good looking man. It’s just that he was involved with a few of my friends and I dated a couple of his, but he and I have always been purely platonic. He recently moved about an hour away from us and I was thrilled to have him close and to be able to reconnect. He was going through a divorce and in a new town and I was excited to have my friend around.
We went out together – hubs, M and me. When we got home, I went to bed and apparently the “boys” snuck out and went to a nearby strip club. When hubs fessed up the next morning, I just laughed and was glad that he had connected with M and that they had fun guy time. However, later that day, hubs let something slip that I was not OK with.
Although hubs knew that there had never been anything between M and I, hubs felt the need to do the chest pounding – Wife=Mine – posturing with my friend. M never told me what had happened, but hubs let it slip. I was so embarrassed.
I was embarrassed because it felt like he exposed our dirty laundry to my friend. If hubs felt the need to warn off another guy, to me that implies that he doesn’t trust me. It also put a burden upon my friend, who had done nothing wrong, to be uncomfortable when around us. I was hurt that hubs publicly showed his distrust of me (although I have never given him reason to worry). I was also angry that he would put this obstacle in the way of my friendship with M.
I’ve been reading the fantastic comments on Maria’s first post (go here to check them out) and it helped me to realize what I was ultimately upset about.
Respect and Unity
I am no saint. I have certainly felt jealousy and envy. Mine hasn’t just been limited to other women though. I am not worried about physical cheating. As I said yesterday, if he wants another woman and acts on it, I’d rather know now. For me, I get upset when hubs would rather watch football with the guys than spend time with me. I feel a twinge when he’s laughing with his mom or his BFF and it’s been awhile since he and I laughed together. For me it’s the intimacy/connection rather than flirting that gets my green monster showing.
But whatever the cause of the discomfort, I expect for us to deal with it between us. Our relationship is ours to make work or allow to fail. There will always be external influences – whether another woman, or a time consuming hobby – that challenges our relationship. I expect my husband to respect me enough to resolve the matter with me until I am comfortable. Not because my concern or issue is rational (because most times it isn’t) but because nothing and no one else is as important to him as I am.
I expect to give him the same respect. If he doesn’t like the way I’m interacting with another man, or that man with me, I need to respect him enough to resolve it until he’s comfortable. But that is a conversation with my husband. The other person should not have power over our relationship and therefore doesn’t warrant being talked to directly. Certainly not without my agreement. To me that’s a matter of respect.
So, one comment and three posts later, here’s my conclusion:
Don’t worry about the gender of your partner’s friends or the friends’ motivations. The only person you can control is yourself. Love, Respect, and Trust your mate and work on staying connected and maintaining intimacy between you. The rest will fall out in the wash.
What do you think? Think it will work or is this complete crap?
*image source & credit here