What do you do when you hate your BFF’s husband?

Our guest blogger today is Jesse’s Girl! And she sent in a doozy! Here’s what she wrote:

I don’t like him….I can’t help it. Lord knows I have tried. I have turned the other cheek. I have vented to Mr. Jesse. I have vented to other friends. I have journaled and prayed. Nothing….and I do mean nothing…changes the fact that every time I see him, I want to thwop him upside the head.

Who has earned such eye-rolling ire you ask? Its my friend’s husband. The man has actually been known to cause hives…serioulsy. Now I must say…I love my friend. I love her like my sister…and if I thought for a hot-second that she read anything other than pre and post planning, I’d never post this. There are only 3 people in the world who know my true identity….and they all know I would hunt them down and slice them like a filet if they ever snitched:) And my friend’s husband doesn’t read anything longer than a tweet. So I feel pretty safe asking for the sage wisdom and advice of Momania’s regulars (and visitor’s!) on how best to handle my ever increasing FHI’s…..Friend-Husband-Issues!

A little FH history…..He has…

1. Cheated on her

2. Never changed a light bulb, used a hammer, or cut the grass a day in his life.

3. Has never finished anything he started…including (sadly)  Seminary.

4. Has no respect for my friend…or any woman for that matter.

Now…I know my liking or not liking my FH is not a prerequisite. And in the grand scheme of things…this is a rather unimportant bump in life’s road. But my quandry goes even deeper I think. I struggle with the notion that my sweet, caring, beautiful, giving and faithful friend allows her husband to get away with such BS! Perhaps my disdain has less to do with him and more to do with her? Cause’ you best believe that Jesse would NEVER pee normally again if he behaved in this way!

I have tried to bring this up to her….but its so very difficult to find the words. I can see what it does to her when he acts childish. But I can also see the love she has for him.

So my question…..should I go on keeping my mouth peacefully shut? Or the next time she cries about this or that…should I lovingly intimate that its she who is perpetuating this by not taking a stand? Now, my Momania junkies….you may talk amongst yourselves:)

87 comments Add your comment

Buzz

June 30th, 2009
7:30 am

Get better friends.

Nikki

June 30th, 2009
7:45 am

Simple—Leave it alone.

No real name

June 30th, 2009
7:49 am

Hi Jesse’s Girl!!!

I’m a semi-regular too, but had to get a new identity today b/c I can’t have this traced back to me. I’m in the same situation with my best friend’s fiancee, so I can’t wait to see what everyone says — EXCELLENT TOPIC!!!

It has gotten to the point among her friends and family that hating on him is a sport. I don’t want to get into specifics b/c #1 – He’s so bizarre that if I said what he did, someone would probably recognize it, and let’s face it, Intown Atlanta is not that anonymous. #2 – It would break her heart b/c no matter how much the rest of us hate him, she still loves him. Suffice it to say that she could do better than him in every way, shape and form.

Exactly...

June 30th, 2009
7:51 am

…if your friend puts up with it, then who are you to do anything. So, just avoid him at all costs, until such time that he physically abuses her, THEN you can call the law and that may be the end of said problem. Until then, you have to deal with it.

Jen

June 30th, 2009
7:54 am

I would ask her what she is going to do to make herself happy if nothing ever changes w/ him? Can she go on living like this? She can not change him, she is only responsible for herself & her actions. Other than that, I would strongly encourage counseling – pronto!!

momtoAlex&Max

June 30th, 2009
8:00 am

OOOOOOHHHH that one IS a doozy. I am sorry JG, but the way I see it, there’s not much you can do but grin and bear it. If she comes crying to you, offer her comfort. Because (and this is based on past behaviour) if you say anything bad about the husband and then a day later she makes up with him, you are the one in the dog house. Plus you just KNOW that a man like that would use your “non-support of our marriage” as a wedge between you.

April

June 30th, 2009
8:03 am

JG – I have no answers for you. I do understand how hard it is to watch someone you love live in a situation that is making her unhappy and, in the long run, is dangerous to her emotional health and self-esteem. As a friend, your main job is to be supportive and say and do what she needs you to do – not what you truly want to do (thwop him upside the head). You are a good friend.

Jeff

June 30th, 2009
8:06 am

Are you concerned about his opinion of you? Or is this solely a one-way “he needs to be different because…..”

It seems your hatred of him starts with the perception that he doesn’t respect women but yet your list includes not liking him because he doesn’t do the stereotypical “man-duty” things like using a hammer and changing a light bulb. In the age of equality, maybe she should just pick up the hammer or change the light bulb herself. Maybe he does all the dishes and laundry.

Or maybe, subconsciously, you’re mad that he’s taking some of her time away from you.

Photius

June 30th, 2009
8:09 am

This guy sounds like a real jerk, but my wife has had friends who for whatever reason do not like me…. Guess what? They always cause problems in our marriage with a third party busy body. Once we realize what her “friend” is doing, the friend get eliminated.

One day perhaps one of Mr. Jesse’s friends will hate you and meddle in your marrige. Think you’re above that? Women have a tendency to gossip and get involved when they should remain silent. Stay out of other people’s marriage unless she asks.

shaggy

June 30th, 2009
8:12 am

Simple. It’s none of your business. If she chooses to be married to a loser, that is HER problem, not YOURS. Why do you even think it is ANY of your business? Busy bodied people should concentrate that energy on their own lives, and just butt out.

Ghirl

June 30th, 2009
8:22 am

JG you are a busy body who need to sit back and be supportive to your friend, instead of airing her dirty laundry. I hope this gets back to her so she can see what kind of friend you truly are.

Ghirl

June 30th, 2009
8:25 am

JG Do you have the perfect marriage? Take a look at what’s going inside of your own household, you might be surprised that your marriage isn’t so perfect either.

SingleMom

June 30th, 2009
8:25 am

I think it is worthwhile to have a conversation with your friend. This thought applies to “No Real Name” as well. I married and had children with a dud exactly like the one you describe. It was not until we had children that I realized he was never going to pitch in and change a diaper or take night duty with the children.
This person is now in a new relationship and I fear will convince some other poor woman to marry him. What he wants is a mother not a partner.
So, yes, I would tell your friend that you are concerned about the behavior you have seen but that your first priortiy is as a supportive friend to her.

Anonymous in the burbs since single moms can’t afford to live intown.

Purple

June 30th, 2009
8:29 am

It’s quandary, not quandry. And, hey, maybe you’re not so swift yourself, babe.

lakerat

June 30th, 2009
8:30 am

“Or the next time she cries about this or that…should I lovingly intimate that its she who is perpetuating this by not taking a stand?”

That is a perfect opening to at least tell her what you “observe” regarding the relationship (or, lack thereof). Then it is up to her to change her expectations, but at least you have done what you can to help alleviate the situation.

dddddave

June 30th, 2009
8:36 am

Nice post Photius and I would agree with you if she didn’t like him because they just don’t get along. But that is not the case. Infidelity, laziness, and disrespect sure do add up as serious faults to this man’s character. But be tactful in how you handle this, Photius is right, you could lose a dear friend. Your friend has been abused, no not physically, but it sounds to me like she has some self esteem issues if what you say is true about this man. Or are their children involved? I’m thinking it is most likely the cheating that has her blood boiling and antiforgiveness radar at full alert. And if he truly is the scumbag you say then maybe it’s time you let her go live her own life regardless of how it makes you feel. I know it’s not easy, but it may open her eyes.

Jsmom

June 30th, 2009
8:39 am

Jesse’s Girl, Holy cow I could have written this post! A very dear friend of mine married a guy that I knew the second I met him was not the type of guy she needed to be with long term. In fact, another friend in our circle very gently asked her some questions hoping to get her thinking about her future with the putz. He slowly tried to cut us out of her life by being a passive aggressive jerk (Example, We’d have girls night scheduled for MONTHS…. he’d go out to run errands a couple of hours before she had to leave and “accidentally” drink too much at the bar he “wandered into”) The husbands of the ladies in our group didn’t like him either- even if one commented that the idiot did make the rest of them look better. Eventually he “won” and she sort of fell off the face of the Earth
The best thing you can do is be there without judging. If he is the idiot that you see in him (and it’s not just a personality conflict) then she *will* see it eventually. And then she will need you love and support. My friend did see the light and is now divorced from the idiot. She was happily welcomed back to the fold with the understanding of if she ever wants to talk about it we’ll listen. And the fold did the I Told You So dance (not in her presence of course, but it made us feel better)

Jesse's Girl

June 30th, 2009
8:40 am

Jeff…SSSOOO happy to see you here again! No, I do not dislike him because he lacks the initiative to do “man” things. (although I have developed an eye-twitch watching him watch the tv as she PUSH MOWS her yard) My disdain for him has grown slowly over the years…He’s a huge jerk and I don’t think he is even aware of it. No one in his life has ever held him accountable for anything…so perhaps he can claim ignorance on some of his actions/inactions. I have always been a huge proponent of taking personal responsibility. This notion is like Mandarin Chinese for him. He just doesn’t get it.

It truly has nothing to do with being busy-bodied. I knew most of the men on this blog wouldn’t get this. It takes an act of congress for most of you to get emotionally involved in anything outside the walls of your own home:) Plus…your guy friends complain in that cool guy way…”Damn, she’s driving me crazy! I wish she’d just get to the point. What time is the game?”. Good, bad or indifferent…girlfriends become emotionally involved in eachother’s lives. It hurts my heart to see her hurt. When she cries…I cry. When she celebrates…so do I.

Perhaps this blog is simply a way to live out my fantasy…..telling him off without really telling him off:) She has enough drama in her life…I could never forgive myself if I were the cause of more. Or maybe I am need of a more modern and less stinky take on the horse-head-in-the-bed”) I’m open here people:)

Michelle

June 30th, 2009
8:41 am

I think some people are being too harsh on you JG. You are concerned that your friend is ultimately going to get hurt. Really, about the only thing you can do is be supportive. When she complains to you, point out if she is unhappy, only SHE can make changes. Ask her if she is just venting or asking for your opinion. If she asks for your opinion, then give it respectfully.

Perhaps he provides her with something that she perceives she is lacking. EVERYONE disliked my first husband. He was a jerk. He was a kind person to those he felt deserved, anyone else was beneath him. For awhile, he made me feel special. Eventually, I realized that he just wanted me to be there solely for him. He didn’t care about me or what I needed, just what I could do for him. He didn’t care about my family, my likes, or my needs. He constantly demeaned me and tried to make himself look SO much better than anyone else in my life.

Thankfully, my family and my friends were all still there after he was gone! There is NOTHING you can say or do that will change her feelings. She will have to see things in her own time. Your responsibility (for however long you want to deal with it) is to be her friend. Now, if you start to see major personality changes, bruises, etc. I would maybe think about getting more aggressive, but this is a WHOLE different ball game than just not liking the guy!

PJ

June 30th, 2009
8:41 am

Wow! You have some serious issues. If your friend is happy with her husband then you need to leave it alone. He’s HER husband. It’s HER marriage. You stated that you “see her love for him”… then don’t meddle! THEIR marriage is not about YOU!

From your writing, it doesn’t sound as though you keep secrets very well. Most likely both of them already know you don’t like him and neither one of them really care.

Kathy

June 30th, 2009
8:43 am

JG….I agree with Lakerat. When she is crying about him to you, you can simply state the facts about what you observe about his behavior. I would leave opinions and feelings out of it. In the meantime, you might just have to do nothing. Clearly she sees something in him that noone else does. If it really bothers you to spend time with him, you could choose to only do things with your friend and not involve your respective husbands.

cookie

June 30th, 2009
8:46 am

If your friend has turned a blind eye in the past, she has to live with that. For the sake of your sanity, voice your concerns. If she doesn’t hear it from a best friend she’ll be worse off. But if things do get worst, don’t say “I told you so”. Just help get through it. She needs confidence and support to stand up to his childish ways. Has she seen the movie “Why Did I Get Married ?”?

shaggy

June 30th, 2009
8:46 am

Yeah, all you busy bodies, go ahead and get involved in someone else’s business. We’ll be reading about your untimely death too.

JJ

June 30th, 2009
8:51 am

Your fried may also be so desparate, she is willing to overlook his flaws, and hopes she can change him……

On of my best friends is in a relationship with a man I like, but I don’t like the way he treats her. But, I’m not in the relationship, so the only thing I can do is offer my support when she cries. I think he mentally abuses her, and she is a doormat (yes I have said this to her face, and yes she agrees, she is VERY passive). At least we are open and honest enough to discuss this. We have been friends for over 30 years! But like I said, I like the guy, just not the way he treats her.

DB

June 30th, 2009
8:53 am

I think you need to allow your friend the compliment of assuming that she is a functional, thinking adult and keep your nose out of her marriage. For heaven’s sake, don’t EVER bring up the fact that “she could do better” or “what was she thinking?” or “dump the bastard!” Evry marriage is different, and meets different needs for different people, so don’t apply your own standards to what you think her marriage should be like.

That doesn’t mean, of course, that you shouldn’t be available for her to talk to if SHE initiates it. But at that point, you should be more of a listener and not a critic. She knows his faults, believe me, she doesn’t need you to point them out to her. When you criticize her husband, you are criticizing HER choices and HER life, and while she might know deep down that you are right, she will resent your interference. About the only thing you can safely suggest is to gently encourage counseling — and then drop the subject. If you get on the attack about him, she may become defensive and you might find yourself losing a friend.

Photius

June 30th, 2009
8:59 am

JG writes, “I knew most of the men on this blog would not get this”???? Are you kidding me???!!!! You are thinking about meddling in someone’s marriage! Don’t give us that crap that men are just same, no way babe. Women (God bless all of them) have a natural tendency to gossip. STAY OUT OF THEIR MARRIAGE AND MAYBE PEOPLE JUST MIGHT STAY OUT OF YOURS.

Jesse's Girl

June 30th, 2009
9:00 am

To answer your question….no this man has no clue how I feel. And while I have never spoken the words to my friend…” I do not like your man”…she does sometimes say how she wishes she could be more vocal….saying how she knows Jesse and I would never put up with this from one another. But that truly isn’t her way. She is a true peacekeeper…she hates to rock the boat.

My marriage isn’t always a picnic…he has imagined shoving my head through a wall and I have imagined driving the car over him:) The difference is…we actually communicate these frustrations to eachother! Neither one of us allows the other to take advantage. We keep eachother in check….

Jesse's Girl

June 30th, 2009
9:03 am

Photius…Photius…calm yourself. I was simply stating the gap between how men and women think. So fiesty…..

PJ

June 30th, 2009
9:05 am

Photius –

It’s just a time proven technique of shifting the accountability.

HER thoughts certainly couldn’t be wrong, so it must be EVERYONE ELSE who just doesn’t get it.

View from the other side

June 30th, 2009
9:21 am

From the description you gave, you could be talking about my X, right down to the never finishing seminary! The only thing missing was verbal abuse of the children and myself. I was married for thirteen years to a man who was one person in public and a totally different person at home. Until she gets fed up with his treatment of her, nothing you can say or do will change the situation. It took me a long time to figure out why my X and I could not keep friends (not an issue now with the new hubby). Everyone but me seemed to be able to see through him. What it took for me was finding receipts for and phone calls to massage parlors. I was admittedly complacent because I did not want my children to be a divorce statistic despite everything he’d done (definitely a by-product of my religious upbringing that a wife is a doormat under the authority of her husband). Until I accepted in my mind and heart that he was a sex addict and abuser who was never going to change, nothing anyone said would have made a difference. I was extremely hard on myself for not doing it sooner. You never know what she’s truly thinking. You may think she’s telling you everything that’s going on in her head, but I assure you, she’s not. Right now, the best thing you can do for her is be supportive, non-judgmental and just love her because you don’t know what is going on in their relationship. But, stick by her because she’s going to need you so much more when/if she makes the decision she no longer will tolerate the situation.

shaggy

June 30th, 2009
9:23 am

PJ: Spot on. This is how busy bodies justify butting into other folk’s business, which is exampled by her own words: “on how best to handle my ever increasing FHI’s…..Friend-Husband-Issues!”
It’s not her friend’s issues. It’s her issues.

Jesse's Girl

June 30th, 2009
9:33 am

Thanks View…I have every intention sticking by her…regardless of what does or does not happen. I just wish she were happier. There are other people in his life who could absolutely get away with setting him straight…and I really think if this were to happen, there is good chance he would change. Like I said…most of his issues arise out of ignorance. He has honestly never been held accountable in his life. I didn’t start off disliking him….and believe me guys…..I do not have the market cornered on issues with this man.

Jesse's Girl

June 30th, 2009
9:35 am

Shaggy….well thats the biggest DUH ever! Of course they are MY issues….kind of the reason I wrote in the first place.

shaggy

June 30th, 2009
9:48 am

JG: So, stay out of your friend’s business, and quit being a busy body. And, yes PJ was right about your need to make your friend’s issues, your issue. That empowers you to be the problem solver in someone else’s business, which you have no right to meddle in. You do realize that people die from meddling behaviour, don’t you?

Jesse's Girl

June 30th, 2009
10:04 am

Shaggy….Well Thank you! You have solved all of my “issues”! Where have you been? Everyone…..Shaggy has all the answers! Do as he/she suggests, or DIE!!!! Whew! Do I feel better….silly:)

sd

June 30th, 2009
10:12 am

You’re right, most men don’t get this. Thats because men would never behave this way.

By the way, i find your threats of your own husband to be disturbing. ie: If he behaves this way, I will mutilate him in that way.

Take the stick out of your eye.

No Name Today

June 30th, 2009
10:29 am

Okay. Same thing here. My BFF’s husband is not a nice person. He is great to us as her friends, goes out of his way to help us…BUT…with regard to the way he treats her…another story. They have separated several times but always seem to get back together within a week. They have 3 children, one is from an earlier relationship she had. When she is not in the room he makes comments in front of whoever is standing around, including the kids, like “If I knew then what I knew now, I would never have married her”. Puts her down to her face comparing her to other people. Belittles her career. She has suspected him of cheating, don’t know if he was because it was never proven. I do recall that she was 10x more angry with the person that she thought he was cheating with than with him. What I also know is once he said something to me that made me extremely uncomfortable which was “If two people break up, I don’t think there is anything wrong with dating a friend of your ex if they have a lot in common.” There is SO MUCH more, but I don’t want to say too much because if she were to just happen to read this blog today, it would be obvious. Needless to say, I do my best to NEVER be alone with him.

PJ

June 30th, 2009
10:43 am

SD – I noticed the references to violence in several of her comments, too. I’m sure they’re just playful humor, but I would start to be concerned if MY husband joked about violence to my body as much as JG already has in this blog this morning.

NotGonnaGiveOne

June 30th, 2009
10:45 am

Your business is not to interfere in their marriage. I would be willing to bet that you are getting and seeing only one side of the story regardless of how close you are to BFF. You have no idea either why he is the way he is. Your poking about in their marriage is just asking for trouble. Listen to her and support her…but recommend what she should do based on your incomplete knowledge and insight? NO…

Jesse's Girl

June 30th, 2009
10:50 am

It is just playful humor….lighten up people. I think a spouse that cheats would inspire thoughts of violence in just about anyone. IF of course, you are able to find a way off the high horse some of you ride long enough to remember that its a very understandable ( and normal) human emotion.

Jesse's Girl

June 30th, 2009
10:57 am

Notgonnagiveone….I hear you. Thank you. According to my husband, I am reacting to this much like a man:) I listen to her and support her…but I see a solution to her problem….if only a partial one…and I want to help her solve it. If in her situation…while leaving may not be high on my list…I would absolutely stick up for myself. I would not allow someone to treat me in such a way.

PJ

June 30th, 2009
10:57 am

JG -I said I did think it was just playful humor. However please keep in mind that some of the blog readers and contributors have been (and possibly still are) victims of domestic abuse. While your intention is humorous, “shoving [your] head though a wall” does stir up images of genuine domestic abuse.

Photius

June 30th, 2009
11:09 am

Oh lay off Jesse’s Girl on her “violent” comments. Common – we’re adults and she in line and fine. Plus, anyone who is married certainly had had visions of murdering the other one!!! HA!

Andrea

June 30th, 2009
11:13 am

JG – normally, I read your comments with some agreement, but on this topic, I think you are WAAAAAYYYYYYYYYY off base.

I know you want what is best for your friend. But, what is best for your friend is probably not based solely on your parameters. I do agree that you should be there for her. I think you should comfort her when she comes to you. But I definitely disagree with “stating your observations”. Are you kidding me? Do you really think she doesn’t know her own husband?

Maybe coming to you was a way for her to vent and just have (what she probably thought) a listening ear. You have really interjected yourself too deeply into their marriage.

Ladies – there is a lesson here. When you vent to your friends and family, they take it to heart because they truly love you. However, when you and the hubby are back lovey dovey, guess what? Your friends haven’t forgotten the hurt the other person caused you. Stop putting them in that position by talking to your spouse about your problems. If that doesn’t work, find a neutral party (clergy, counselor, etc.). Because as this blog clearly demonstrates, what is told in confidence to a “friend”, does not always remain that way.

shaggy

June 30th, 2009
11:46 am

JG:
Glad to hear you admit that you blog, asking for advice on how best to be a meddlesome busy body. Your blog title should be: “I like to butt into my friend’s life but need more ways to do it”
Yes, doing so can be dangerous, and it is unwanted, except by you.

Jesse's Girl

June 30th, 2009
11:51 am

As I stated…..I feel confident …highly so, that she would never discover my secret-super-spy-blog-identity:) My friend is not my BFF…just a good friend that is certainly in my inner circle. My BFF would actually use violence….and be giddy about it!

I think there is another lesson to be learned here….as women, when we do rant,vent, beeotch about things to our friends…its just as important to give the good updates. Andrea is absolutely right about that!

Jesse's Girl

June 30th, 2009
11:54 am

Oh Shaggy…you tickle me. Thank you ever so for your pureness of heart and mind. Its so good to know there is one person that reads this blog that would never stoop to any level lower than his/her pedestal.

April

June 30th, 2009
12:04 pm

I feel bad that some of you have never had friendships that meant as much to you as this one obviously means to JG. It is truly difficult to watch someone you love – someone who is the family of your heart – suffer. And it does sound as if this friend is unhappy in many ways. JG admits she needs to deal with her feelings about it. However, there are many stories of abused people who after things reached a tragic point friends said, “If only I had said or done something.” I hope this situation does not develop into that but we do not know that.
I think JG is a good and caring friend trying to walk a fine line of support and help.

jct

June 30th, 2009
12:24 pm

JG I feel for you. I had a really good girlfriend who was in a relationship in which I did not think was healthy. I never said a word to her because I think that every marriage has dynamics that I should not be involved in. It did take a toll on our relationship because I could not stand to be around him. Everyone (even her parents) knew that he was cheating on her. He was so blatant about it. After about 4 years she choose to leave. Until this day I won’t speak poorly about him to her. I was glad that our friendship weathered that storm.

I am happy to say that she remarried three years ago to the most wonderful man. I am so happy that this worked out for her because you can see that she is so free, respected and valued by her new husband.

The only advice I would give is to listen to her when she voices concern but stop short of telling her what to do to solve her problem. It seems that from everything that you have written today that you are already doing that.

gadyke

June 30th, 2009
12:26 pm

JG – I have been through this with my BFF before. I actually just let her know how I felt about him and what I saw and made sure to tell her that my concerns were only because I love her and want to see her happy. It took her a while to really see it as well and have the courage to break it off with him, but she’s happier for it. Good luck with your friend!