Marrying a high-powered executive 12 years her senior, Christina, from Los Angeles, knew she’d often be in the company of his colleagues and friends, and it was a scenario she dreaded.
“They we’re all from Ivy League schools, and had kind of a superior attitude about it,” Christina, 42, explains. “Once we were at a party in the Hamptons and this guy was trying to connect with the group, and they just belittled him. It was embarrassing.”
She’s now divorced.
For Barbara, from Brooklyn, N.Y., it was an even tougher situation, since one of her boyfriend’s best pals was his brother.
“Carl and I check in with one another if we’re getting home late, just to let the other know we’re ok,” she says.
One night, her boyfriend went to a concert with his brother and pals, and they got “pretty wasted” at the show, deciding to go out for even more drinks afterwards. “Somehow, Carl’s brother convinced him it would be better off for him not to call me, as I might get worried over his condition,” she says. “I didn’t hear from him for hours, and I was seriously freaking out.”
It’s hard to be supportive of your boyfriend or husband’s boys night out when you can’t stand the boys.
“You’re thinking their poor behavior will rub off him,” explains relationship expert Marni Kinrys, better known as The Wing Girl and Owner of the Wing Girl Method (www.winggirlmethod.com). “It’s about getting an understanding of what time with his friends means for him and knowing if he act differently with his friends, it doesn’t make him a bad person.”
Accepting that her husband’s friends were a priority to him helped strengthen Marni’s own relationship.
“Whenever he would go out with his friends, he’d have that time to recharge, and he’d come back to me more giving and more loving,” she shares.
If there is something that is affecting your relationship, don’t be afraid to express your concerns.
“Really take the time to identify what that is, without blaming the other person, and make sure you have a clear request at the end,” Marni says, suggesting asking a boyfriend who stays out all night to just send a simple text once he arrives with his pals, and once the night ends.
So what if his friends are fine—but you just can’t seem to connect? Marni says it’s OK to compromise a little.
“If his friends are really important to him, and it’s really important for you to get along with his friends, then you have to find a way,” she says. “That doesn’t mean being there every single time they hang out, but try to give it your best effort because you love your partner. You’re doing it for him and the foundation of your relationship.” Engaging in an activity you enjoy can make the outing more palatable.
“If there’s something you know of that could be a common like, then suggest that,” Marni advises. “You’re having fun and showing that you’re putting in an effort.”
Just remember: “Men are much more simple. They don’t need to have a deep connected conversation to show that you’re kind of a cool girl. Just you showing up and drinking a beer with them is enough.”
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