The First Year of Marriage: Dealing with Husband's Friends After Marriage?
Q: Now that we're living together, I realize just how much time my new husband spent with his buddies before we were married. They've now become semi-permanent houseguests -- the other day, I came home and two of them were already parked on our couch (and he wasn't even home yet!). I don't want him to lose his friends, but they're driving me crazy. How can we handle this?
A: Yikes. Sounds like its time for a Talk (yes, with a capital T). Unless you hope to be miserable forever (or at least till his last pal finally gets hitched), you're going to have to bring it up with your new husband. Over dinner, start with something as neutral as possible, like, "So I noticed Barry and Glen were over again today. They seem to hang out here an awful lot." He's probably going to smell trouble and go on the defensive right away, so be prepared to let him know how you feel. Say, "I know your friends mean a lot to you, and I really like them, too, but I want it to really feel like this is our new home together -- right now it feels like it's your house, not ours." Hopefully seeing your distress will soften him up a bit. Once you're really talking, i's time to start hashing out a compromise. Basic ground rules (they shouldn't be there if he's not, for example) are a start, but you should also add some room for fun. Maybe creating a regular guys' night at your place (chips, dip, and football, anyone?) can allow your place to still be fun for them, but more of an occasion-oriented space than a 24/7 hangout. As an added benefit, it saves you from looking like the needy gal who tore him away from them -- even though it's an old stereotype, it's a pretty enduring one, and you'll get tired of dealing with their sad-puppy eyes sooner or later. A proactive approach is your best way out of this situation and back into a loving home where it's all about the two of you.