Hubby Rejects Her Friends

Q: I'm getting really frustrated with my husband. Every time I get a new friend, he finds a problem with her. One friend was too needy, he said, and he didn't want her hanging out at our house so much. I did things with her when he was gone, but he stayed home more and sighed when she was around. Then another friend was boy crazy and a bad influence, according to him, and he didn't want me going out with her for girls' nights. She could tell he didn't like her by the way he acted, so she didn't want to come over to my house. If we went to her house, my husband always made up excuses for why I needed to come home early, and she drifted away. Now I have a new friend who's a successful career woman, and he can't find anything wrong with her. So he says she doesn't like him and talks down to him. She's really helping me look at my life in a new way and try to get a better job. I don't want him to drive this friend away too. How can I get him to let me be? —Alexandra, 32

Dr. Susan: You don't say your husband is abusive in any other way, but keeping a tight rein on who your friends are is a sign of his being over-controlling. It sounds like, for whatever reason, he doesn't trust you. You have to let him know that he has to stop treating you like a wayward teen. Ask him to please stop interfering with your friendships by his actions and his obvious negative attitudes. Ask him if he feels somehow threatened by all of them. Some men (and women) can't stand the idea of their partner needing other people in their lives. And if such insecure partners don't loosen up and give their mates the freedom we all deserve, resentment only keeps building (on both sides).

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