My husband of 12 years recently made some major changes in his life. He used to be very absorbed in his work, with little time to spend with me. He never, ever joined my friends and me for dinner or other outings.
His workaholic tendencies almost led to a divorce several months ago. We talked it through and he decided to start spending less time at the office and more time socializing. He started joining me at social events and such. Unfortunately, after years of never seeing us together, my close friends have apparently formed an opinion about my husband as an arrogant, uncaring, work-obsessed asshole. They never expressed this directly to me, but I found out they’d been talking about our relationship behind my back.
Now that he’s entered the picture, my friends haven’t been very accepting. They’re cordial to his face, but when he isn’t around, I get plenty of flack for his sudden appearance in our social circle. How should I handle this?
— Patient Wife & Friend
Dear Patient Wife & Friend,
This is quite a predicament. On one hand, you’re still mending a fragile marriage, and it’s commendable that your husband is attempting to give work a backseat after so many years of neglecting you. But on the other hand, you have to understand that your best buds were there for you when your husband was not. They may be feeling a bit betrayed, now that the man who never joined the group is suddenly interested in becoming involved in your social life.
However, that doesn’t make their lack of acceptance okay. They should at least give your husband a chance to show that he’s not the “arrogant, uncaring, work-obsessed asshole” they thought he was. Let your friends know that their disapproval of your husband hurts your feelings. Explain that you’re giving him a second chance and they should as well.
There's no need to fill your husband in on your friends’ opinion of him. That may only hurt his feelings and push him away from hanging out with the group. Hopefully, in time, your buds will begin to see the new man that you see in your husband. Until then, be patient.
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