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Dating Advice #170 - Competing for Time
Dating Advice 170

Dating Advice #170 - Competing for Time

The groom still thinks that his best friend is his primary relationship. Guess again.

by

Dear Rosie & Sherry,

My fiance has a best friend who is always around! Since I don't have a car, but this friend does, he has much easier access to my fiance than I do. But it goes beyond that: When I'm at my fiance's house spending time with him, this friend always calls. I went on a day trip with my fiance and guess who tagged along?

I feel annoyed and jealous at the fact that my fiance sees his friend more than he sees me. There are many little things that are all connected that bother me, and my fiance always has something good to say that makes sense in the end.

What should I do? It's driving me nuts!

Fawn

Dear Fawn,

We can understand your being annoyed that your fiance's best friend always seems to be around, when you are looking forward to spending time alone, and that the friend seems to have unlimited access. Engagement, as well as marriage, often play havoc with friendships because changes in the engaged couple's relationship affect how much time and energy each person can devote to their long-standing friendships.

Once of the biggest adjustments a married couple has to make is balancing each partner's private life with your lives as a couple. Each of you will have your own hobbies and interests, as well as interests you share. Each of you will have things you do on your own time, such as work, taking care of personal needs, running certain errands, and meeting certain responsibilities around the home, and there will be many other things you will do together.

In addition, each of you will have your own friends, and will want to continue a relationship with them even though your spouse won't be a part of it. You'll also have joint friends that you will want to spend time with as a couple. And of course, there will be times that the two of you just want to be alone. There won't be enough time for you to carry on your lives exactly the same way you did before getting married -- some of the time and energy you devoted to private interests will now be channeled toward your lives as a couple.

Right now, your fiance and his friend relate to each other the way they did before you got engaged. This is natural, since they're best friends and you and your fiance haven't yet embarked on your life together. At the same time, now that you are engaged it is natural for you to want to focus exclusively on each other during part of that time. His friend, and perhaps your fiance as well, may not realize that they need to make an adjustment even during the engagement. They may also not realize that there will be an even greater adjustment after the marriage.

This is not an insurmountable problem, and it is not an uncommon one. One factor that will help your situation is that you don't dislike your husband's best friend, and you don't seem to resent the fact that your husband has a close buddy; you just don't want to have to compete with him for your husband’s time.

Hopefully, you and your fiance will be able to find the right balance. However, until you raise the issue, it won't be addressed -- because your fiance isn't aware that there’s a problem!

So really the ball is in your court to resolve the situation peacefully and without confrontation. It’s not going to help the situation to say, "You spend more time with Joe than you do with me! You'd think the two of you are getting married, and not us!" It's far more helpful to say, "I know that you and Joe are best friends and enjoy hanging out together. But now that we're engaged, I feel like I'm competing with Joe for your time and attention. That's especially the case when I come to visit, or when we do something together that I am looking forward to doing as a couple, and Joe joins us. I don't want to end up resenting your best friend. Why don't we figure out a way you and I can have enough time alone with each other, and when both of us will be comfortable having Joe around?"

We hope this will be the start of a fruitful discussion that will enable the two of you to make a positive step toward the adjustments to a happy married life.

Rosie & Sherry

Published: January 15, 2005


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Visitor Comments: 4

(4) dd, January 25, 2005 12:00 AM

why is he letting it happen?

fawn:
first, you got to ask yourself why is your fiance do not stand up and say something ..it is his friend and should be able to be honest with them, and their friend should understand that you come first.. Jelousy is an ugly spirit, and competing with a friend should not even be an issue. Making good excuses and making sense of why the "other" is always there, does not take away from what is building in your heart. Jelousy or envy turns in bitterness and anger. Let him know how you feel and if you already did, but your fiance refuse to change the situation; i would question his true motives and how much priority is implied when it comes to your future and your repsect. "third wheel party" do not always belong, when you call someone "fiance".
Hope this works out for you before you explode and it turns ugly and all will loose friendship.

(3) annette, January 16, 2005 12:00 AM

One thing a Chosson & Kallah must remember

One thing a Chosson & Kallah must remember & that is that from now on they should be each other's "best friend." When I was a Kallah many years ago, my teacher asked the question: What happens if you need to go to Mikvah on the night of your best friend's wedding? Everyone gave different ideas & responses. But the ultimate answer came from the teacher: YOUR HUSBAND IS YOUR BEST FRIEND! He is you Ezer K'negdo, your other half, the ying to your yang, the second part of you. And during the engagement is the time that the couple as well as their friends need to come to the realization that things do change & that they shoould no longer come first in their lives: their spouse/fiance will. May all our engaged couples build their own Bais Ne'eman B'Yisroel.

(2) Anonymous, January 16, 2005 12:00 AM

You're so Right

You are so right. When a couple gets engaged, they should spend more time together. Even before they get engaged, they should spend more time with each other, without their other friends around, so they can determine if they want to get married.

(1) Anonymous, January 16, 2005 12:00 AM

diplomacy rules!

It's one thing to advise avoiding conflict, but I love the exacting way you spell it out. By specifically elucidating how Fawn should express her dismay in such a non-threatening manner, you've created a path of peace. Maybe you should be in the Knesset : )

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