It’s perfectly OK for you to not enjoy your spouse’s chosen chums. But, it is important to your spouse and your marriage you all get along. So, what do you do when you genuinely dislike your hubby’s frat brother friends or your wife’s man-hating gal pals?
Smile and nod
Ask about the friend's day, her life, her love, her work; whatever. Then smile, nod and keep quiet. People love talking about themselves. Bring it back to the friend. Say little and listen a lot. Quickly answer any questions and bounce back with one of your own. Then, bring your hubby or wife back into the mix and let her or her take the lead. Tag out and tune out, but keep smiling and nodding.
Put on a show
Make an effort to show your spouse’s friends they are welcome, but under your jurisdiction. This means you are not inviting them into your life or into your marriage, but into the public space in your social calendar you have specifically allotted for them. Don’t make the fact that you are ultimately in control of the situation obvious to them. But, instead, share with them that you made the suggestion, sent the invitation and requested their presence — even if you didn’t really want it.
Invite them out
It's OK to double-date with that couple you can’t stand; just make sure every other aspect of the occasion is soothing and relaxing for you to balance the power and keep you calm. Go to your favorite restaurant, take a trip to a spa for a mani-pedi before dinner, go to brunch and enjoy the rest of your day friend-free or get a few conversation-free movie tickets and watch a flick. Heck, make it a double feature!
Invite them over
Put on a celebration in your home and invite over the crew. Have their favorite foods, drinks and games available. Make sure they know you suggested it. Then ... get the heck out of there! Nothing says you actually have to stick around for the “fun.” Let your husband or wife enjoy his or her friends while you enjoy your own friends, your kids or some much needed alone time. Sometimes inviting stress into your home is less stressful than fighting to keep it out. After all, "Happy wife, happy life!"
Honor the occasion
Make your spouse's friend the honor of the occasion. Toast to him, or to your spouse’s friends in general. Make that bad boy or gossip girl the man or woman of the moment. Of course, don’t forget to toast the Mr. or Mrs., too!
I remember being very cordial, but not exactly warm, to the wife of a friend of an ex. She sucked the energy from people and I wasn’t going to be one of them. My ex, being a well-intentioned people pleaser, tried to get me to pretend to like her and let her use me the way she used others. Naturally, as a no-nonsense person, I refused. But, I still invited her to my birthday party and went to couples dinners with her. This showed both my ex and I that people are who they are, and sometimes that’s OK.
It may seem counterintuitive, but part of coping with your spouse’s friends is putting on a brave face and opening your home, arms and heart to them. As long as your life partner’s choice in friends isn’t physically endangering or life threatening, let them have their fun. You can find your release elsewhere. It’s actually healthy to let your loved one go out and play. We had recess in school, and we still need it in life, too.