I don’t approve of some of my wife’s friends. They are wild women and I think they will influence her negatively. She has not changed or anything but I wish to be proactive about this without being demeaning. Please advise
I definitely hear you. Most men are uneasy when their wives make friends of questionable behaviour. Perhaps this concern stems from the inability to control what their wives do when in such company. You need to remember that love, to some extent, provokes feelings of jealousy.
I am of the opinion that wives and husbands need to give each other some moments of refreshing—and at times away from home. However, let me put a rider here, such a moment a way must be shared openly and done with friends of the same sex without inviting compromises. In addition, activities that a wife would be engaged in should be ones that are acceptable to both parties. I remember some time back, my wife wanted to have an outing with her friends. We set some ground rules –applying to both of us—on where one could go, what activities to engage in and the kind of friends we would go out with.
I am of the opinion that your concern has something to do with the fact that you are unfamiliar with her friends. If so, I propose you sit down with her and agree on some ground rules. As I mentioned, this worked out very well for my wife and I.
Peace of mind
Some of the leading questions to guide that conversation could be: Who are you going out with? How long will the outing last? Where will you be hanging out? Whereas these questions appear intrusive, they are necessary for the sake of both parties’ peace of mind.
Both of you have to remember, you chose to enter into the marriage and that involves losing certain privileges. When I married my wife, I knew that I can no longer live as a single person. I had to be accountable to her in every area.
So, what do you do? I am glad that you still have faith in her. According to your confession, she has not changed in character. However, you worry because it could be only a matter of time before these friends begin to influence her negatively. You do not know her friends and therefore you can’t trust them.
Keep communication open
My suggestion is: First, you need to be affirming yet willing to share your fears. Second, speak the truth in love without being accusatory in tone or with your words. Third, create an environment where you will be intentional at wanting to know her friends. Fourth, willingly share with each other where you like to hang out with your friends. Finally, do not demand of her a type of behaviour that you are not willing to model. Do you have wild, irresponsible friends? Then get rid of them otherwise you lose moral authority to be concerned over her poor choice of friends.
Which friends do you have? How well does she know them? It is important that the two of you get to a place where you create common friends that you can do stuff with. Doing retreats, rides, and dinners together will lessen the pressure of one demanding to be away by themselves. Let there be freedom for either of you to invite friends at home or to a dinner together where you can get familiar with each other. I am reminded of a gentleman whose wife would be away every Saturday clubbing. She refused to be accountable or even allow the husband to comment about her girlfriends. After some time, she began coming hope very late and drunk and could often be dropped by strange people at home. In the long run, that marriage collapsed.
Building a relationship where trust and honesty is part of building your journey to a successful marriage will require that you develop certain habits that characterise a thriving relationship. These may include and not limited to: First, refusing intimidation and instead learning to respect each other’s uniqueness. Because of the anxiety and fears you are having, there is need to be careful with both your language and approach so that you may not come across as being condescending. Or demeaning, as you put in the question.
Good communication skills
Try and avoids words that would appear threatening in intent. Second, growing a culture of intentional good communication skills that embraces conflict management. Your communication should encourage disclosure and freedom of expression of both agreement or dissent on an issue.
Enable each other not to be afraid to speak their mind. Try and embracing a problem-solving mentality where each person’s viewpoint matters even when it looks out of place.
It is through affirming that you have heard and empathize with the other person’s feelings that correction is possible. This calls for either party to understand and know how to use their partners love language.
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