We all have this dream in our heads of a “Friends” type scenario – you and your best friends and your partner all laughing and hanging out in one happy family. In reality, it is highly unlikely that your partner will get along with every single one of your friends, but what are you supposed to do when your partner starts getting in the way of your friendships? Been there, and it isn’t fun.
I have one girlfriend in particular – lets call her Jen – who I suppose one would call a bit of a “party girl”. Jen works as a bottle girl, is famous on Instagram, aspires to be a housewife, and has truly never been anything but a lovely friend to me. My partner, conversely, is quite conservative, career-focussed, and doesn’t support excessive vanity; needless to say, he is not a huge fan of Jen. Any time I invite her out, I find he is polite enough, but subtly rolls his eyes when she isn’t looking, and feels the need to tear her apart afterwards. Being so in love with my partner, I felt like I should distance myself from Jen – I stopped inviting her to our get-togethers, and tried to subtly keep them apart as much as possible. She had already made some big ‘mistakes’ in our friendship and, given the situation, I just decided it wasn’t worth fighting for. Now, five years later, Jen and I barely speak.
Last year, my partner was scrolling through Instagram beside me, and made a rude comment about one of Jen’s photos. With years of pent up frustration, I lost it. I told him he was the reason she and I didn’t speak, he was a judgemental jerk, etc. Needless to say, he was flabbergasted. He felt absolutely terrible. He said he thought all those years that I was laughing along with him, and it was meant as more playful teasing than an actual dislike. He said that, even though he strongly disagreed with her lifestyle, he always appreciated how much she had supported me and been there for me through the years. He said to me “I wish I’d known you felt this way; you should have just told me”.
If your partner doesn’t seem to like one of your friends, it is ok to tell him that it is a problem for you. As I have learned in the past 5 years, not everything needs to be a big fight; if you say “Hey, regardless of who she is, she has been an amazing friend to me, and I love her for that. I don’t expect you to like her, but I need you to respect her” and he doesn’t listen, THEN you have a problem. If he doesn’t respect your wishes and requests, then that is an issue, but remember: your partner can’t respect the requests that are never made.