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Marriage/Bromance too much?

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Question
Hello,

My husband Justin and I have been married for a couple of years now, we have a 1 year old baby girl. After we got married, my husband reconnected with his high school friend. So the three of us would hang out quite often. We had fun going to movies, shopping, and sometimes would cook for them. After we got married, things were still the same. Then I became pregnant, and because of that Justin opted to not hang out with his buddy so much fear of leaving me alone. If I didn't want to go with them he would not go as well.
Now that our baby is 1 years old, they are back to hanging out with each other at least 2-3 times a week. On top of that they call each other, IM for couple of hours every night. I am just so sick of it because theres not a day or time when I don't hear or see him with his buddy. FYI the friend had 1 relationship with a girl back in high school. Things didn't work out for him so they broke up. The girl is dating. While this guy is still single. He makes no effort to look. When I bring this up to my husband he backs up his friend saying he is scared to go into another relationship with another woman, and blah blah blah.
Denies his friend is not gay. Something inside of me is giving me the creeps about this friend. Just last week they went fishing, 2 hours later the friend calls and wants to know if my husband is going to get some coffee he wants to go too. The next morning they make plans to play games together, and my husband openly asked if he wants to go eat with us.
It makes me so mad and sad at the same time that this guy is soo much involved in our families life. Even I am not that way towards my sister. They tell each other everything, and I mean EVERYTHING. Some stuff he knows before I do.
I have expressed to him that I wished he would not spend so much time with this single friend, now that we have a baby. He apologizes. Next day we are back at square 1, calling each other early in the morning afternoon nightime. And making plans with each other. I just dont understand why he is not sick of his guy friend. Why is that he is more involved in this persons life than he is with his own family? If his single friend is looking for a girl and attempting to go on dates here and there I would not be so uncomfortable.
His friend cares so much about how white his teeth is, more stuff about babies than I do, cleaning and housework stuff, personal behaviors of people, always judging people about their physical appearance, up to date about latest trend, runs to keep his body in shape and more.
I hate it when my husband tries to make me feel bad by saying his friend is sad because he thinks I dont like him. I dont mind the guy, but I do mind he and my husband are so close it creeps me out! Please help, I think I am depressed about this because everyone thinks I am crazy.

Answer
Hi Emily. From your description, I don't think you're crazy. I think you're feeling somewhat insecure and resentful that your husband won't honor your need for him to want to back off on his male friendship. Reading between your lines suggests your discomfort that your husband may be over-interested in a gay (?) man. If so, can you discuss this with him openly?

A surface problem you two seem to have is an unresolved values conflict over your husband's priorities. What does his behavior suggest about which he usually values more - your marriage and child, or his male friendship?  See these for perspective and options:

http://sfhelp.org/relate/vc.htm

http://sfhelp.org/relate/mates/priority.htm

A possibility is that you're not being specific enough on asking your husband for what you need. Another possibility is you're not providing a meaningful consequence if he is unwilling to meet your need for him to want to to reduce his contact with his friend. Do you feel he understands clearly what you need from him on this issue? If you're not sure, ask him!

http://sfhelp.org/cx/skills/assert.htm

http://sfhelp.org/cx/improve.htm

Two deeper issues to examine are whether you're losing trust in and/or respect for your husband because of his behaviors. If so, see these:

http://sfhelp.org/relate/keys/respect.htm

http://sfhelp.org/relate/keys/trust.htm

Another possibility is that your resentment and frustration are unconsciously causing behaviors in you that are pushing him away, but he won't tell you what he needs. If you ask him whether this is true, do you trust him to tell you the truth?

A final possibility: your husband may be a psychologically-wounded survivor of early-childhood trauma. If so, he may have inherited a "split personality" which causes him to unconsciously give you a confusing double message: "You and our child are my highest priority" and "My friend is my highest priority." See these:

http://sfhelp.org/gwc/gwc.htm

http://sfhelp.org/gwc/personality.htm

http://sfhelp.org/gwc/means.htm

http://sfhelp.org/cycle.htm

I suggest you discuss all of these with him on behalf of your child.

This is a LOT to absorb, Emily, so take your time.

If these ideas bring up new questions, please ask!

Respectfully, Pete

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Peter Gerlach, MSW

Expertise

I can answer questions about choosing a mate wisely, marital communications and problem solving, affairs, same-gender relationships, trust, respect, bonding and intimicy, values differences, boundary problems, grieving, dealing with ex mates, parents, and in-laws, remarriage, separation, divorce, abuse, feeling unloved, codependence, psychological wounds, money disputes, balancing kids, careers, and marital primacy, etc. I cannot answer legal or medical questions

Experience

I've been a professional family-systems therapist in private practice for 33 years. I have specialized in helping people avoid and adapt to divorce, and manage remarriage ans stepfamilies, since 1979. I've studied and taught classes in interpersonal communication for over 40 years, and have presented over 200 seminars on a wide range of human-relationswhip topics to Chicago-area churches, schools, menyal-health agencies, and businesses, and have been featured on Chicago and national radio and TV. I have been married and divorced. I now believe all marital and family problems are caused by five little-known factors - see http://sfhelp.org/hazatrds. This forms the basis of my work as therapist and educator.

Organizations
I now answer "AllExpert.com" questions on stepparenting, communication, and counseling. I belong to "SelfGrowth.com, "Death with Dignity," "Compassion and Choices," and to the online Adverse Childhood Experience Study (ACES) at http://acestudy.org/

Publications
I've published over 200 free Internet articles on childhood-trauma recovery and wholistic health, communication skills, healthy grieving, human relationships (including marriage and divorce), family health, effective parenting, and managing a stepfamily). These articles are in the form of seven free self-improvement lessons (http://sfhelp.org). These articles are augmented by 168 YouTube videos ("gercacn" channel); I've published a book on childhood-trauma recovery ("Who's *REALLY Running Your Life?"), and other books on interpersonal communicactioin skills ("Satisfactions"), remarriage ("The Remarriage Book"), "Stepfamily Courtship", and "Stepfamily Co-parenting" All published by Xlibris.com.

Education/Credentials
Bachelors degree in Mechanical Engineering (BSME) from Stanford University (1959); Masters degree in Social Work (MSW) from George Williams college (1981); hundreds of hours of post-grad trainng from Northwestern U. the University of Chicago, et. al. in a wide range of human-relationship topics.

Awards and Honors
The state of Illinois licensed me to practice clinical social work in 1981. I was selected twice to serve on the board of the Stepfamily Association of America (SAA), and am currently on the Stepfamily-expert panel at Auburn University; I was the Board chairman at a major public mental-health agency in suburban chicago, and was the chairman of the Parent Relations Council for a major suburban High School. I currently have over 500 subscibers on YouTube since I began uploading educational videos in May, 2011.

Past/Present Clients
I've worked with over 1,000 men; women; dating, merried, remarried, divorcing, and redivorcing couples; and whole families. I'm currently 74, semi-retired, and disabled, and I do therapy with people and couples by phone and Internet (Skype).

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