Monday, January 25, 2010

My spouse is jealous of my best friend because...

...she often feels like she isn't really part of this relationship I have with my best friend. You know how that met your best friend years before you met your spouse. I can tell that you're nodding at this, but my case is unique in 3 ways: 1) I met my best friend after I met my wife, 2) my best friend is female, and 3) my wife is my other best friend. When you think about it, that means my wife is jealous of herself. Hehe.

Let's look at this from my perspective. Why is my best friend female (or in this case, 2 best friends)? I believe it has something to do with my upbringing in a post-divorce family. After my mom got divorced, a family moved in with us. A family of 3. It just happened that I was the only male in the house, surrounded by 5 females, 3 of which were in my age range. Because of this unique experience, my learning curve was accelerated and I believe I have a deeper understanding of the female perspective.

With this understanding, I feel I'm better in touch with my feminine side and I'm better able to relate to women. It may be because of the whole "nature vs. nurture" theory that women tend to be the caregivers and more nurturing than men. Who knows? I just know I'm better equipped at dealing with the nuances of the female psyche than the average male.

With my female friends, I know I can fully engage myself in an in-depth conversation, where both parties equally express and receive the information shared. I find it equally incongruent that there can be sexual tension or the complete lack thereof when discussing sex with a female friend. I'm not saying that I seek out discussions of a sexual nature with female friends or try to have sex with them (maybe, maybe not LOL), though I won't shy away from them, especially if they need somebody to listen to their frustrations or issues.

I find it amusing that my wife gets jealous...and it's not only because of my friends' gender, but she simply wants more time with me. It is possible that I enjoy talking to my female friends while my wife is at work because it helps fill the void of her absence. Maybe not. I've assured my wife that I'm simply enjoying time with my "girl friends". Of course, my wife looks forward to our pillow talk time. LOL


tysdaddy said...

It seems your wife is cool with the situation and not at all jealous. She obviously trusts you to do the right thing as regards your marriage relationship.

One of my best friends is also a female, and she also happens to be my wife's best friend as well. I met her after I met my wife on one of those early trips home to meet all her family and friends. We hit it off, and over the years have become very close. She's my muse in so many ways, and we find that we can talk about anything without all the hangups of typical friendships. We've now known each other over twenty years and my wife and I always look forward to visits with her and her family.

I grew up with two sisters, and most all of my good friends growing up were female. I was the sort of guy most girls just felt comfortable talking to because I 1) offered a guy's perspective, and 2) didn't always try to hook up with them. I was a voice of reason when their own relationships were crumbling. And I'm sort of proud of that . . .

Just be sensitive to your wife's feelings through all of this. If she starts to express some reservations about your friendship, dig deep and find the cause and then work to give her what she wants/needs. Keep her in the loop, and then you'll never have to cover something up . . .

Denise said...

My old friends seemed to be bad investments, and I had to bow out gracefully. My best friend today, without a doubt, is my husband.

If I were to have a male best friend my husband would definitely have issues with it. And he'd probably also be jealous of a female best friend if that cut into "our" time. It's something we may have to work on in the future. But for right now I'm perfectly happy with the best friend I've got!

Jessica Stier said...

I kind of have a different perspective on this. I feel like if your wife really is concerned then you need to be more sensitive to her feelings and back off from your friendship with the other woman.

I think the most important thing is to remember who you chose to marry and to keep her needs and concerns foremost in your mind. If things reach a point where she really does have concerns you need to choose her needs over your friends.

But it sounds like you have a pretty good thing going right now. :)

The Bare Essentials Today said...

My ex had a female best friend and I definitely had an issue with it. I don't think it was so much the fact that she was female, but the way he handled the whole thing. She would call constantly at work and they would always page, Loser, female chick on 101, etc. And then she would call the apartment and if I answered she would hang up.

Shelle-BlokThoughts said...

I'd have to agree with Jessica.

If it really affects your wife than she should come first and your dealings with your best friend she take second.

But knowing you...I know that you would do this. So Im thinking she doesn't make to much of a fuss over it.

And I'm sure you let her know she is pretty much your number one, your wife.

But friends sometimes do fill that gap in between seeing your spouse during the day.

I know I have friends who I talk to during the day while I can't reach my husband. But then I'm the girl version of you... grew up around guys!!! :)

Great post!

Cajoh said...

My wife tends to get jealous if I talk to any female. This is understandable especially if she feels insecure about herself. I do not have any best friends who are females, but if I did this may be an issue for her. It is easy for the male to rationalize the whole situation and say to themselves (and their wife) that it is not a big deal. Being sensitive to your spouse's jealousy helps to build trust especially if you can talk it out with them. You may realize that what you are doing makes your spouse uncomfortable and need to change the way you interact with your friend so that this does not become a bigger issue.

Emmy said...

Damn! I am not first like I swore to you that I would be. :)

My husband has a lot of female friends - and like you, they pretty much can talk to him about anything and everything which they do.

When I myself have started to have problems with these friendships, it is when I feel they expect his time to be given first to them, then to me. In same cases when there is a crisis, I don't believe that is incorrect. I mean, if that is your best friend and she just had her house broken into and she's alone - yes, go help her out. I'm not unfeeling or uncaring. I'm quite the opposite in those regards.

My husband has had a few female friends that were unattached so would start using him like their own pseudo-boy friend. No sex or intimacy - but full crisis support, venting on a bad day, looking to him for help and encouragement in aspects of their life, etc. This started really cutting into what I felt was my time with him. For example, I can't talk about my day because she's on the phone with him talking to him about HER day. In those cases, I started feeling like we had boundary issues here.

I have plenty of guy friends. Like you, I grew up in a house full of men. I have a career that is very male centric. My friends are mostly men. I relate to them better.

But, I am also very careful about boundaries with them. I had one friend who was a very good friend too who started stepping over that boundary - he clearly had a crush & wanted as much of my time as possible. I had to squash that one quick.

And, maybe that is the true root of your wife's jealousy. She feels there is a boundary that has been crossed or a line being walked, and she is not comfortable with it. Might not be a bad idea to take a look from that angle. I know I can list about a dozen times this has happened with me and my husband with our respective opposite sex friends.

Just an idea.

Nolens Volens said...

Tysdaddy - she WAS jealous of this but I reminded her that I am not jealous of her male friends and I would never do anything inappropriate without her consent. I always keep her in the loop.

Denise - if that works for you, that's good.

Jessica Stier - I totally get what you are saying and I did have a discussion with her. She let me know how she felt and what I could do to improve things.

The Bare Essentials Today - if my wife was acting like that with a friend of hers and it is NOT close to my birthday, I would be suspicious too. One of my former friends tried to be the same way with me...only when my wife wasn't around...and I let the ex friend know how I felt and she just disappeared. No loss.

Shelle BlokThoughts = you're exactly right on all points. ;)

CaJoh - yeah, and my wife still wants more of me to herself every day. LOL

Emmy - I like that..."pseudo boyfriend" and I can see where you're coming from on that one. That was a really good standpoint you presented here. I'll be more mindful on that with others. Thanks!

Anjeny said...

NV..when I first read this post, I was going to ask you how you would feel if the roles or situations were reversed but you answered that in your comment.

So I would just go with what everyone's already suggested. She is after all your wife so therefore she and her feelings should always comes first.

I don't get the guy talking to a "female" friend about his marital/sexual relationship or vice versa. To me, that is just too personal a topic to even think about discussing with a guy friend. Sure, I can talk about any other topics, u name it but when it comes to the marital or sexual relationship between my hub and I, that is off limits to the guy friend. But that's just me.

Adoption of Jane said...

Hmmmm you sound so awesome I think I would be a tad jealous too, and i'm not even the jealous type!

Just Jules said...

women make a fuss sometimes just to hear the verbal reassurance we crave. Is it stupid that we act childish like this? ummm, yeah! but we really can't help it most times.


Completely over thinking is bad for your health. Obviously you’ve missed the old BFF but enjoy the company of the boyfriend. If either relationship is going to stand true they’ll be able to coexist.

Anonymous said...

I would say she's justified..if she were to be busy spending time with anybody else while u needed her attention/affection sorely,u might get over it first ciuple of times...after that,it can piss off even the most mature soul on planet.If she loves you,her behaviour is very much expected and being considerate of that will help urself in long run.If you truly love,you would be more in tune of this instinctively.Sorry to judge,but beneath all the fun and amusement,there are emotions and expectations like i'm sure you hv as well!

sweetie pie said...

I loved every word of Jessica.. Hope every one thinks lik her..
"I kind of have a different perspective on this. I feel like if your wife really is concerned then you need to be more sensitive to her feelings and back off from your friendship with the other woman.

I think the most important thing is to remember who you chose to marry and to keep her needs and concerns foremost in your mind. If things reach a point where she really does have concerns you need to choose her needs over your friends."

sweetie pie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.