• Keeping Friends

I just don’t like my friend’s husband

Published: April 17, 2015 | By | 35 Replies Continue Reading
It can be tricky when you don’t like your friend’s husband and she always wants him to be around.


Hi Irene,

I don’t like my best friend’s husband. Never did.

At present, I don’t like visiting their house anymore. I don’t know what to tell her…it’s really none of my business, but I find that I don’t like being around him. She is very family/friend oriented and enjoys inviting everyone for holidays. My life is not busy enough to have an excuse to say, “No.”

Thanks in advance for the advice.


You don’t have to like your friend’s husband. Your primary relationship is with her, not her husband. Since it sounds like she’s happily married, your only responsibility as her friend is to be cordial when you see him.

Can you simply tell your friend you would rather get together as girlfriends rather than as part of a couple? With that approach, you don’t even need to express how you feel about him.

If she consistently asks to get together as a family, you may well have to make up some excuse if you want to preserve the friendship. You don’t have to tell her that you are busy if you’re not; instead you can simply say you prefer to spend holidays with your own family rather than with friends.

Hope this helps.

Best, Irene

Any other ideas as to how this woman can handle this tricky situation?

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Comments (35)

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  1. Kp says:

    I have a curveball for everyone : I’m a guy and my friend is a woman and I’m in this situation, so I can’t use the “girls night” line that many people have suggested. I rarely have a good time when we I hang all hang out and yet I don’t want her to know I dislike him. Now what?

  2. Debbie says:

    I do not get along with my friends husband because he disapproved of my cheating on my husband.

  3. Jessica says:

    I googled this thread because I have a lovely friend who I’ve known for about three years. We have kids the same age and they love each other. The friend and I and the kids all went to Disneyland last year and had the best time! The problem is that I dislike her husband–because he makes Zero effort toward me! It’s hard to do things “just us” because she works and her time is limited. I’m a single parent, so I feel grateful when she includes us in family dinners etc. But her husband literally will not talk to me! If he and I are alone in the kitchen and I try to make conversation, he makes the most minimal of effort. If we are all together, it’s not much better–he checks out. I can initiate multiple topics to try to engage him–he won’t engage with me. Last night he was overwhelmed because his four year old was screaming and rather than even remotely laugh about it with me while my friend was dealing with it, he just left the room! I can’t even believe the rudeness. I think he’s a putz and really don’t enjoy being around him! He seems socially adept in other situations. He does not care/care to make effort. It makes it so uncomfortable to go over to their house! He’s not a jerk. He’s remote, removed, rude and disinterested. What to do…??

  4. Cindy says:

    Seeking advice…
    I have a wonderful friend who is married to a guy that says something inappropriate to me every time I see him. I have never said a word to her and successfully avoided him (ie: girls nights) for a long time. I have not seen this friend in a very long time and we finally are getting together tonight. I am looking forward to a night out with her especially since as a cancer patient it is a rare treat for me. She just sent me a message saying her husband is joining us, adding — “hope that’s okay!” I feel stressed just thinking about it. She loves him and is happy and i am happy for her. I never wanted her to know how i feel and why. But all my docs say stress is the worst thing for me and that cancer patients all need to speak up and say no when they feel like it. The easiest thing would be to beg off but i would love to see her. Any advice?

    • Amy F says:

      Cindy, I’m a cancer survivor and I hope you survive your cancer.
      Sounds to me like you wouldn’t want to be around the guy cancer or not. Let’s face it, stress isn’t good for anyone so don’t think you should think of your cancer as a reason not to be around him.
      I think you’re doing your friend and your friendship a disservice not being honest with her about your feelings. All you have to say us what you said in the post, you’re happy for her but you feel uncomfortable with his sense of humor (if he thinks he’s being funny) or when he says things like _____, give her an example or examples. Say you’re only up for spending time with her (don’t use cancer as an excuse because it will sound like you’re playing the cancer card, plus it’s already implied).
      Being assertively honest will probably be a stress reliever. Everyone, not just cancer patientsn, benefits from stepping up and being strong.
      I learned a lot about being assertive and setting healthy boundaries without making wishy-washy excuses. Not wanting to be around him is all the reason you need, cancer or not. Plus, if you use cancer you’re going to find yourself having to think if a new less than forthright excuse the next time.

  5. lua says:

    Depending on how close the friend is, I try to put my best foot forward. I don’t care for my sister’s boyfriend, so I just see her separately, which is rare. It sucks, but what it is. I don’t say anything negative around her. But I don’t go out of my way to ask about him or hang out with them as a couple.

    Best strategy is to see friend(s) separately and be cordial to their partner. Otherwise, may have to limit time and friendship could fade. Clearly that friend is choosing to listen to their partner. Likely happening with other friends too. Never know what is being said or done behind closed doors.

  6. Brenda says:

    This just happened to me, and I don’t want to tell my friend even though I only met her husband twice. I have known her for three years, every few weeks we catch up for girl-time. So eventually now we went out as couples but every time I meet her husband it is like a freaking interview.
    What? When? How much?
    I mentioned somewhere we went shopping and how much me and my husband enjoyed it- the words weren’t even dry from my mouth… ‘Where is it, I am going next week. Give me the address, how much did you pay for that?’ Then a few days later she was messaging me checking the address cos her husband really wants to go to the shop. And they haven’t stopped talking about that shop. After they went, she messaged me to say her husband really liked that shop.
    I’m sorry but that was too much, they don’t understand boundaries…. I called it quits with both of them for my sanity.
    Its enough she wanted my cleaner and physio, but now I feel they want everything in my life. It has to be WHAT I HAVE…. We live in a big city, why must you do everything I do…
    My husband says it’s like her husband is interviewing me and then comparing me to his wife. My DH said, when we were dating I didn’t even ask you so many questions.
    Boundaries… eek. Goodbye.

  7. Sarah Anne says:

    This is SO RELATABLE it isn’t funny. I haven’t liked a friends partner a couple of times. Fair enough one didn’t like me either because they were threatened by me- even though they had no reason to. I ended up getting dumped though because the partner’s opinion trumped everything, even though the friends partner was the one who was rude to me. Hurts.

  8. Alakiki says:

    I rarely like my friends’ husbands, as they usually date/marry beneath them, which of course, blows up later. I just don’t associate with the men in any context, especially if I get a creepy vibe from them or they say inappropriate things to me or others. Yuck. I don’t have to be married to them, so I see my friends for “girls only” activities, which I find is the easiest way to avoid uncomfortable moments.

  9. Melinda says:

    I agree with Irene’s advice and with some of the comments here.
    To the OP…you don’t have to like her husband. Sometimes there are people we just don’t “click” with, that’s life. But is there a good reason you don’t like him?
    Is he abusive or mean or racist? Does his behavior make you uncomfortable? Or is it something petty like his laugh and mismatched socks?

    I believe you can still maintain your friendship without hurting anyone’s feelings.
    You can meet up with her for lunch or a shopping trip or even a movie. Or she can visit your home and you don’t have to see him.

    I know how you feel…I dislike my stepfather, my mother’s husband.
    He has been a thorn in my side for 17 years (they have been married that long). But I love my mother and value my relationship with her.
    He isn’t whom I would have wanted my mom to be with; he doesn’t always treat her the way he should.
    And his treatment of me has often left much to be desired. But she would never ditch him to make me happy, nor would I expect that.
    When I want to visit her and enjoy her company, he is always there. I can’t do anything about that. I prefer spending time with her when he isn’t around, but he monopolizes her time.

    So I look at it this way…your friend is part of a couple. You don’t have to like him or enjoy being around him. You can be cordial, which doesn’t mean being “fake” but simply being civil when you see him.
    You can’t change the fact that she is married to this person, but you can make adjustments about how you spend time with her.
    Suggest having a day for just the two of you once in a while, without him…not in an exclusionary way but in a “let’s have some girl time” way (like Dionne said). That is what I try to do with my mother because I can’t stand her husband.

  10. Kate says:

    My closest friend of many years decided to tell me, 2 weeks before my wedding, that she did not enjoy my husband’s company and was not interested in spending time with us together or getting to know him better. Her reason was that she did not like his boisterous sense of humor. In hindsight, this friend was self-centered in several other instances, but I was shocked that she did not see any problem with telling me this. My husband and I have now been married for 12 years and have 2 kids together. The former friend and I are barely Facebook friends. From my perspective, she asked me to choose between our friendship and my loyalty to my husband. I have no regrets about not choosing her.

    • Lauren says:

      Hi kate,

      I am so sorry to hear that she acted in this bold and hostile way, regarding your husband. She sounds quite narcissistic, uncaring and aggressive.

      I am glad that your life is working out well for you with your husband and your children. On the other hand,you are really forgiving and even have her as FB friend, albeit barely friends. Her behavior towards you was atrocious.

      It’s good that you don’t have her in person in your life or she might start to criticize and bad mouth your children as well. I could not even stand to communicate with someone like her of Facebook. I would have been done with her for good. Not liking my family, and being so vulgar and outrageously open about it would be a total deal breaker for me.

      Thanks for sharing this, and best wishes to you.

    • IBikeNYC says:

      She HAD to tell you this TWO WEEKS before your wedding.

      Can you say “Narcissist?”

      I’m so sorry this happened to you but glad you saw it for what it was.

    • Alakiki says:

      What a weirdo! I have never told any of my friends that I didn’t like their man, not even after a relationship ended. It is none of my business. Of course, you made the right decision.

    • Anna says:

      “Loyalty to your husband”: interesting choice of words! What about your loyalty to her? Love is supposedly blind, should it still be an excuse to ignore our partner’s flaws? Sometimes (unless we’re one of those eternally clueless peoples), deep down, we do know what our friends dislike about our significant others. It’s flaws we’re fully aware of, but that WE have chosen to accept and live with. Our friends do not have to make these concessions. If you really know your husband AND your friend, you should be able to tell whether they’ll get along or not. If they don’t mesh and you want to keep your friend in your life, well, it’s up to you to make sure that they don’t have to endure one another, just to please you.
      As far as I’m concerned, I don’t get people who think that loving someone or being married to a person, means that they’re absolutely diluted in that person. If a person doesn’t like your husband, it isn’t a personal attack against you. It isn’t: “if you love me, you have to love my husband!” You may be oblivious to your husband’s flaws or mistreatment of others, or even find it attracting, good for you! Your friend doesn’t have to put up with it.

  11. Andi says:

    I am in a similar situation with my best friend. After literally years of saying no – really making excuses to my invites for couples stuff… Informal casual dinner or baseball game or just coming over to hang out, she finally told me that couples stuff is no big deal and that her friendship is with me and she’s not interested in hanging with him especially because she knows he cheated years ago and some other instances where he waffles on doing certain things. Really hurt for a long time because she said she considers me a best friend and loves my kids but does not have any desire for couple stuff. I know she does some couples stuff with others so I just didn’t get it. Felt I would suck it up and so she she occasionally. I don’t know if there is a right answer, and it’s weird be I get along well with her hubby and the three of us have even done a few things socially. Worrying about it exhausted me, but I’ve come to realize that I should respect her decision. Still sucks at times though because people screw up royally at times, but sometimes marriages can work through the hardest times. I think be my friend knows about a lot of the ups and downs in my marriage – looking back I probably overshared – she is unwilling to try to forge a couples friendship and I realize now that is her prerogative.

    • DJ says:

      Good point Vee and highlights the need for honesty imay be the best policy. It can be extremely helpful to hear excuses as it takes a while to realise they are just that and can be extremely damaging to a friendship.
      Yes the person who posted the questionsounds like it’s time to be honest with your friend and also advise you want to keep the friendship going so suggest you do things with her alone. I don’t Mena you have to say that do t like her husband, you can say you don’t have much in common with him hence doing things separate to him.
      Are you prepared to see them as a couple for very special occasions? Then you can advise that as well so yourre not saying I never want to see you as a couple just less of that and more the two of us (or with other women)

  12. Vee says:

    I was on the opposite end of this. I’m not married, but I did have a boyfriend until recently. Some of my friends didn’t like him. And he didn’t have friends of his own. In short, I was his only confidant, which was exhausting after awhile. He also didn’t always understand why I sometimes wanted to just hang out with my friends alone. There were times that he would pout and whine when I wanted to spend one day of the weekend with a friend instead of him, or he would blow up my phone demanding when I was going to come home if I was out with a friend. These were just some of the reasons why I ended our relationship. As most of my friends are single, I limited the times I invited them out with the ex and I as I wanted to spare them from feeling like a third wheel as often as possible. The best I can suggest is to invite her to do things with you without her husband. If she insists that he tag along sometimes (as I had to do with the ex when my friends invited me to things sometimes since, as I stated before, he had no social life outside of me) then you’ll have to decide whether to abandon the plans or suck it up. If she insists on inviting you to holiday barbecues and Christmas dinner at her plan, again, it’s up to you whether you feel you can tolerate the event in his presence. If you feel you can’t, there’s nothing stopping you from saying no. And when you do say no, don’t offer a concrete reason. The more you explain your “no” answer, the other person is more likely to manipulate you into doing what they want you to do.

  13. DJ says:

    Interesting conversation. If she has kids perhaps you can also suggest activities just with her thst the kids can come with her. Or girly activities. But a hard one.
    I’m in the opposite situation, my husband doesn’t come to things with me. But despite appropriately trying to get on with the husband sometimes its the husband not wanting me around as I don’t bring a man for him to talk to. So then my friend has to see me on her own and I don’t get invited to couples and fsmily things. And naturally I dint want to go her place when it’s clear hubby doesn’t like me.

  14. Lauren says:

    I agree with what Dionne has said. Yes, it is awkward and as Dionne said , you can’t say or even show that you don’t like her husband any more than you could say you don’t like her child. It’s now a package deal.

    She might or might not like the suggestion to meet as one to one girfriends, without her husband (and any kids she may have).

    Be prepared that this may be a deal breaker for the friendship, or on the other hand, things may work out with just the two of you getting together for lunch, lunch dinner, theatre, meet ups. You probably have a good idea already of how this might go.

    Or alternatively, you may just have to decide it’s the old “love m, love my dog” type of situation. Then you will have to readjust your thoughts and perceptions and be polite and pleasant to her husband while enjoying her company. That may be the only viable reality now.

    Yes, thing really do change when friends marry.The dynamics of the friendship become much more complex.

    I wish you good luck in the path that you select.

  15. Amy F says:

    Disliking a friend’s partner is so uncomfortable. Glad you’ve worked hard to keep your feelings to yourself. Is this a new marriage? Are you and your friend are renegotiating the parameters of the changes in her marital status?
    Good news, you don’t need an excuse to say no. Lots of women feel like they have to have s reason other than, “Can’t make it”, though I suppose your best friend knows you well enough to ask what you’re doing.
    If your BF is the type to have lots of people around, can you gravitate toward the others rather than him?
    Can you invite your friend (sans husband! to your house, rather than go there?

    • Laura says:

      I agree with Amy that you don’t have to say more than “I can’t make it.” Some women feel the need to go into excruciating long explanations. I also agree that your BFF probably knows everything you’re doing, lol!

  16. Sandra says:

    Good topic here! I am not fond of the husband of one of my closest friends. (This is her second marriage, later in life.) At first, both my husband and I liked the new husband well enough — we went out for dinner several times as couples and even tried a vacation with the two of them.

    Problem is, the guy is very cheap and pulls stunts like leaving the dinner table and heading to the bathroom right before the waiter leaves the check … with the obvious intention of leaving his wife (who has her own credit card and bank account), or my husband and me, to pay for dinner. (He always graciously thanks us for picking up the tab, and never reciprocates.) His political views are vastly different from ours, too, which makes for strained conversation at times.

    My friend is aware of her husband’s miserly ways, of course, but she desperately wants us to continue being “couple friends.”I dread it each time she tries to set up a date with the four of us. Lately I’ve been telling my friend that I miss our “girl time” and have been suggesting evenings with just the two of us. We still get together as couples — but not as often now — and my husband and I always ask for separate checks when we do go out for dinner!

    • Laura says:

      The simple solution is when the server takes your order, ask for your own check for you and your hubby. Usually when my hubby and I go out with other couples, everyone prefers this anyway because some people drink (which can cost more than a meal) and some don’t. It keeps things uncomplicated when the check arrives.

    • Maddie says:

      Separate checks. I hate cheap skates.

      • DJ says:

        Unfortunately it can get expensive though to split the bill when the amounts ordered by each couple really differs. It’s also difficult for those on limited budgets who have made their orders with that in mind to then find they are picking up on the expense of the orders of those who have ordered much more. What seems to work in relation to payment is everyone putting in what they’ve calculated the cost of their order is then look at managing any differences both in the credit or debit.

        • Mark says:

          Nobody said split the bill.

          Separate checks means just that. You pay for what you order, and I pay for mine. Cheap skates better get back from the restroom pronto because everyone paid up already.

  17. Laura says:

    Since she’s your best friend you need to suck it up once in a while and be with him. I wouldn’t say anything because she sounds like a great person!

    I’m not crazy about a friend’s husband but she’s not my best friend. I make plans with her for things like lunch or shopping. Somethings are just better left unsaid and it’s less complicated to just say nothing, and steer things in the direction you want

  18. Dionne says:

    I agree that phrasing it that you don’t like to feel like a third wheel and would rather see her on “girl time.” That’s a great way to frame it. That also doesn’t put her in a position where she feels like she’s being asked to show disloyalty. I don’t think you can really say you don’t like her husband any more than you could tell someone you don’t like their child.

    However, you will have to be prepared for her input on that decision, and it might mean seeing her less or even not at all. Then again, if she is only interested in your company when it’s of utmost convenience to herself and the way she wants to have it, then she is not that invested in the friendship anyway.

    Also, please get out of the habit of feeling like you need to allow someone else to make your decisions for you unless you have an official excuse. Whether you sit home twiddling your thumbs all day or spend it saving the universe is your business, no one else’s.

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