• Resolving Problems

Caught in the middle

Published: October 23, 2015 | By | 4 Replies Continue Reading
A husband feels caught in the middle between his wife and a close friend.


Hi Irene,

I have a question about an issue that I am trapped in the middle of. My wife is upset with a close friend of mine and she blocked all communication from her. The reason why my wife did that is because this close friend hurt her repeatedly.

Well now my friend has been messaging me to see what is up. What should I say to her and my wife?

Signed, Jake


Hi Jake,

You say that your wife was so hurt by your close friend that she felt the need to cut off all communication. Has your wife asked you to cut off your communication with the friend, too? Even if she hasn’t, do you think it is something you should do, perhaps in the short-term, so your wife feels like you’re on her side?

Although you feel in the middle, unless your wife is off base in making this decision, I’m hoping that your position wouldn’t be exactly in the middle and that you would choose to be more supportive of your wife than her ex-friend.

Once you think through your position, you need to let your friend know that your wife is so upset that she doesn’t want to communicate with her and then articulate whether or not this will call for any changes in your communication/relationship with the friend.

Hope this helps.

My best, Irene

Tags: , , , ,


Comments (4)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. I have been in this situation. I have only one advice regarding to this: Always stick with your spouse because at the end of the day the only person who stays is your spouse.

  2. Tara says:

    Hi Jake,
    I can relate to your situation. My husband and I have struggled with such situations as we come to realize that many of our ‘old’ friendships are unhealthy. I have ‘downgraded’ communication with many as to want to put energy into forming new, healthy friendships where as my husband struggles to let go of the old friends.

    In a marriage, this is extremely difficult to handle when there are mutual friends and when each may have different experiences (or history) with particular friends and have different views of the friendship. Here is how my husband and I resolved this delicate situation (which took time) and maybe something out of my story might help?

    We both had to acknowledge that each of us have different feelings, thoughts when it comes to a shared friend. My experience could be that one friend puts me down consistently and doesn’t my husband. So, he doesn’t walk away from an interaction in a swampland of shame, whereas I do. We had to respect the fact that each of us have different experiences even with the same person.

    Then, we had to respect each other’s decisions (with many boundary discussions). He needs to respect the fact that I will not go out with friends I feel uncomfortable with and that I removed from the Facebook, etc. If he wants to go out with them, then I need to respect that as well. The tricky part was the boundary discussion and it seems this is relevant to you feeling like your stuck in the middle. Shared/mutual friends cannot triangulate. Meaning my husband’s job is not to facilitate communication among the three of us. Triangulation is an extremely unhealthy way to communicate. The only thing my husband can do is suggest to his friend or to me to communicate with each other directly to either resolve the situation or to get closer (in ending it). That there is no more in between discussion between him and the other friend was a clear boundary. This may be a discussion to have with your wife and friend? Other boundaries may need to be clarified (such as time boundary, etc.). Over time, you may come to notice if your friend can really respect your boundary and your wife’s (your marriage) and it may reveal aspects of the friendship that your wife noticed and you hadn’t before?

    All the best in dealing with this difficult situation.

    Kind regards,

Leave a Reply