My problem is simple and straightforward -- nothing deep, dark or mysterious. I can’t stand my husband’s best friend. They’ve been friends since childhood and they get along great, but he rubs me the wrong way. Should I say something to my husband or just leave it alone? -- CONFUSED
DEAR CONFUSED: I’m sorry for your discomfort. I really am. But your discomfort doesn’t have to belong to your husband, too. You say that they’ve been friends since childhood and they get along great. Where’s it written that your hubby’s best friend has to be your best friend, too? Leave them be.
You might also want to do a deeper dive into the nature of your discomfort. Is it something specific about your husband’s friend that makes you uncomfortable -- or is this more of a control issue, where you might be feeling threatened by the amount of time they spend together or perhaps by the fact that their relationship is older than yours? You didn’t mention any specifics about why he “rubs“ you “the wrong way,” which means it might be unclear in your own mind, too. Do a bit of heart work.
Also understand that there’s nothing’s forcing you to spend time with your hubby’s BFF; you’re not joined at the hip. Set some boundaries and encourage your husband to spend time with his buddy apart from you. Ultimately, you have a right to like who you want to like -- but the fact that you have dominion over your emotions also makes your responsible for understanding them, too.
Chances are your husband feels your discomfort when the three of you are in the same room. Rather than ignore this negative energy, consider finding a quiet moment for the two of you to sit down and talk through it. Communicate without sounding accusatory, and without trying to change your husband’s mind about the friendship. Any solid relationship is based on open communication, but be gentle and nonjudgmental.
Lastly, leave your heart open to the possibility that BFF might not think all that highly of you, either. After all, he knew your husband long before the two of you even met, so there might be feelings of insecurity on both your side and his -- and he can probably feel your negative energy, too. The good news is that positive energy can displace negative -- so do what you can to banish the bad juju.
One way to do this is to give BFF the benefit of the doubt by creating an opening in your heart and giving him a chance. I’m not saying you must force yourself into an uncomfortable emotional space, but I am saying that in life and in love we must sometimes expand our hearts and open our embrace just a little wider.
Whatever you do, do it from a place of grace and love. You might not love your hubby’s BFF, but you DO love your hubby, so try to make this work.