When my husband wants to go to the gym after work, I tell him to go. Exercise is scientifically proven to relieve stress and promote happiness. After an hour and a half in the gym he comes home hungry and tired. A man who is hungry and tired has no interest in anything other than his dinner, a shower and going to bed – but not without kissing me goodnight first.
Healthy coping mechanisms are great for any relationship so by default, maintaining healthy friendships outside of your relationship aides in coping with stress. (You can read my piece about why women need female friends here. )
Of course my husband and I share mutual friends because most of his friends have wives or girlfriends that I’ve come to know and love as well. Get-togethers usually work out in everyone’s favor, the women chat with the women and the men mostly watch or play sports. Over the years I’ve gotten close to his friends, I view them like brothers – I know they would do anything for our family as we would for them.
When a man is able to build and maintain healthy relationships with other men he will most likely be a happier, more easy-going guy who knows how to effectively communicate. I urge you to encourage him to spend time with his buddies… If you value your man you should value his friendships also.
This is what happens when I encourage my husband to spend time with his pals:
- He comes home in a great mood. My husband and I are opposites on the social spectrum (You can read my piece about being an introvert here.) After he spends time with his friends he feels refreshed and comes home in good spirits. His friends are all great guys who share his boyish spirit – they laugh at farts and talk smack about each other’s football teams.
- They give him great insight. Very rarely do we find that we’re going through something that no one else has experienced. My husband has friends who are more experienced than him – they can share their wisdom with him so he can bring it back to our marriage. Men break things down into smaller pieces for each other to chew and digest – half the time when I explain things to him he looks at me like I have 4 heads. Maybe I use too many big words?
- They lean on each other in times of need. His friends helped us move into an apartment then again a year later when we moved into our house. When we got married he had 7 groomsmen (not including his brother) who all rallied around him in a display of pride and affection. When we go on vacation one of his friends stays at our house to take care of our cat and keep the house occupied. They support and help each other through everything.
- It gives us a chance to miss each other. We’re married and we live together. Even though we both work fulltime and only see each other for a few hours a day, we still somehow manage to get on each other’s nerves occasionally. Sometimes I beg him to go hang with his friends just so I can take a long, uninterrupted bath and pluck my eyebrows with my music up loud.
- I know he’s staying out of trouble. He’s a mature man with adult responsibilities so he tends to hang out with like-minded men. Plus, I know his friends personally and they’re not out getting into mischief. For his bachelor party they went paintballing and had a cookout – if any other business came about, I didn’t hear about it. He had an amazing time.
- He can complain about me. We don’t fight but we do disagree and bicker when we’re tired or stressed. He doesn’t like the way I load the dishwasher without rinsing the dishes first and I don’t like the way he dumps his clothes by the staircase when he gets home from work. Since we both have friends to bounce things off of, we rarely get into big blow out fights. Usually our friends will help us see our own parts in the disagreement and we end up apologizing to each other.
This doesn’t necessarily apply to all relationships and I understand that. Each circumstance is different. If your man’s friends are shady, untrustworthy or even dangerous – I suggest you introduce him to different people. However, for me, I know I can trust him and his friends. My husband is free to come and go as he pleases because he is not my property, he is my partner. (If you ever hear him say, “Sorry, my wife won’t let me” just know that that is his safe excuse for getting out of something he doesn’t want to do) He’s an individual and I respect his space, in return he respects mine.
Thanks for reading!
Until next time,