Stop Forcing Me To Be Friends With Your Friends

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People are smart enough to know who they like and who they don’t like, especially when they are grown and have been around the friend block a time or two.

My partner has her own sets of friends, and I don’t really care for any of them. We are different and they are taxing. I have never had a lot of female friends because women can be a lot, so I choose my acquaintances wisely. No matter how much I say I dislike my partner’s friends, she forces me to be in situations with them for extended periods. I have long advocated for separate friendships and friend times. I would like a relationship where she goes to visit her friends, and I go visit mines. It’s become a source of contention in our relationship, and I find it hard to keep my shit together together these days. Her friendships invade my personal, and I need that space to survive.

In the future I’m advocating friend neutral spaces, even if it means I need to leave town. My peace is worth it.

One of her friends has an food preference issue. She eats this, doesn’t eat that, can only eat a certain kind of fish, comes expecting to be accommodated. I eat everything and the oink. I am the household cook most times too, so when guest come, I’m expected to accommodate their food preferences. I don’t mind, but after about three or four days, I’m a bit tired of it. The relationship connection is not rewarding (to me) because the shoe is never on the other foot. I can see the bad in it. Her friend never offers to entertain, never treats for dinner, never buys food, and this particular friend is also pretty rude when we come to her hometown of New York City. We ask where this friend would like to dine for dinner because she’s the one with all the food hangups, and she never knows.

My partner sees nothing wrong. We must wait for this friend to decide what she eats before we dine. I detest it. It’s the lady’s hometown for god-sake! Then when she does finally pick something, she gives us terrible directions. We ask for MapQuest instructions and that’s asking for too much on a city the size of New York. Most times the only reason we’re in New York is because we’re visiting someone who is mentally ill. Adding any additional stress to the trip is insensitive in my opinion.

I hate inconsiderate people. I hate bending over backwards for people who don’t do the same when it’s time. I hate being put in circles with people who don’t have the same friendship ethos. I’d much rather be alone.

This summer my partner and I planned a six-day trip to Barbados alone. Somehow, friends got invited. I invited my best friend, my partner invited a friend or two until she got one take her up on it. I suspected the friend had bi-polar disorder a year or two ago based on some of her behavior, but it was confirmed on the our trip. The trip started out okay, but as the days went on, I just noticed how rude this friend was becoming. We’re all ladies of another season, but some in the group are going through the hot flashing stages. This particular friend would take the fan and center it on her, she would take command of our driver’s air conditioner even when it wasn’t hot, so we would be forced to freeze while being transported.

She made it really hard to like her. When I mentioned the behavior to my partner, she told me there was nothing she could do about it. I didn’t ask for the friend to come with us and surely I expected my partner to check disrespectful people. That’s one way to sour me on a relationship. Let your family, your friend, or your kids be disrespectful to me. I’m checking out!

During the trip would all sit outdoors listening to the ocean breeze and looking at the beautiful views, sipping on adult beverages and listening to Smooth Jazz. This friend would just come outdoor where we were with her wireless speaker and turn our music off so she could listen to what she wanted to hear. No discussion. No conferencing about the matter. I would just go to my room and put my headphones one. I couldn’t wait for the trip to be over. Every day was a challenge living with this woman in confined quarters.

My partner’s friend also got drunk and talked extremely loud at night. Our cottage didn’t have screens, no windows that closed our cottage off from her noise, and the front porch was outside of my bedroom. We were living in an AirBnB and in the middle of a very conservative Bajan community. I was horrified. Her behavior was typical loud American tourist, the thing I prided myself on not being. There was no escaping this woman.

You never really know a person until you live with them, and I had learned enough about this woman to know I didn’t want to be bothered with her as a friend or an associate for that matter.

My partner and I made a schedule of activities and excursions prior to arrival. This friend insisted on changing our schedule daily with no regard for our time, pre-arranged travel made, desires or wallets. By day four of the girl’s trip, I had made up my mind I never wanted to take a trip with that woman again. If she came to town, I was leaving. Her antics were outrageous and she’s done enough in my presence for me to know I’d never have her in my circle of life.

If you get along with your spouse, partner, or significant other’s friends, that’s great. I assume these people must be self-aware and they some emotional intelligence which keeps the relationships healthy.

But if you don’t like your partner’s friends, that’s cool (and normal)). We choose our friends for different reasons. We have different needs and desires for relationships. We must protect ourselves and make our agency a priority. Sometimes the people claiming to love you don’t love or respect you. We maintain friendships for different reasons. You don’t get to pick anyone’s friend’s except your own, and you don’t get to regulate or govern anyone’s relationships except your own (and perhaps your young children). Forcing people to be friends, not respecting boundaries, and not addressing the ugliness in your friends, does no one any favors.

It’s a quick way to lose friends, and your loved one.

My partner dislikes it when I tell her I dislike her friend choices for my life, but I don’t care. My choices are my prerogative, for my own safety, and well-being. Whatever history they have is not my history, and whatever compelling qualities they find for clinging onto their inequitable friendships, I don’t understand them and it’s none my business. I want my partner to have her own friends and be happy. When friends and lovers don’t respect your boundaries, perhaps you should reconsider the value given to those people. Some people believe treating you well is buying and giving you stuff, wining and dining you, and gifts. That may be their love language, but it’s not yours. Love and respect is what’s left when there is no money left. It’s what remains when all the other distractions are stripped away.

Without love and respect, you can’t have any kind of ship.

You can’t have a friendships, a relationships, or even kinship. People who don’t respect you don’t deserve your friendship. You certainly shouldn’t be pushing those folks off to others.

I want my own friends. I tried to include my partner in my few friendships, but she’s just not a good fit. She’s jealous and at times controlling. I’m an good old country girl, and I don’t have time for people’s quirks, excessive nosiness, and people just being plain old rude! Everyone should be able to hang with the friends of their choosing, speaking freely, and enjoying life without dealing with unwelcome drama. Being around such awful people helps me to realize why they are so miserable. No one wants to be around people with no respect for them, mental illnesses or not. People can’t go around their friend’s mental illness to excuse their shitty behavior as an alibi for being a horrible person all your days.

Yes golly, there is another friend my partner has who is less than pleasurable to be around. If it was just one friend I had an issue with I probably could deal more, but there are several friends I have personal conflicts with, making the friend subject touchy for us. It’s almost safe to say my partner has no idea how to pick friends. My partner’s last friend (and best friend for 35 years) has chronic health issues which requires lots of maintenance and she always wants to come visit for an extended stay. She is non-compliant with her healthcare treatment, which makes everyone’s life hell. The problem is not the length of time she stays, it’s the fact she never brings all her supplies and medications despite having insurance and know months in advance she’s coming.

The friend never has a contingency plan for her shortcomings, she never brings all of her meds, she never takes all of her treatments, and she smokes which adds to her health woes. The friend gets up in the middle of the night setting off the alarms, slamming screen doors, and sneaking in and out of our bedroom trying to keep her smoking habit a secret hidden from my partner’s kids. I don’t know what to do except exclude myself when she comes to town. There is nothing pleasurable about her visit, add to it all my partner’s safety quirks and secrets, and I feel like I’m in a mini asylum.

There is something not right about this. Same-sex couples shouldn’t mean we must share friendships and punishments. What you choose to get yourself into is one thing, but dragging other unwilling participants into is a relationship stressor. Partners and spouses deserve their independence, individuality, respect, and serenity. Especially when you’ve entered the next season of life.

I don’t really want any new friends at the stage of my life, and if I do want or need some, I will find my own based on my criteria. Accepting someone else’s friends is nice for dinner one night, every now and then or perhaps for drinks, but forcing your loved one to take international trips with your incompatible friends putting your wants and wishes before those of your partner isn’t fair to your them or the rest of the strangers expected to gel during such excursions. There was a time I could go anywhere with anyone, but those days are gone. Lots of women have undiagnosed mental health disorders making it difficult to maintain healthy, pleasurable relationships with them, along with quirks and control issues making friendships unbearable.

I have my own peaceful ways which are quiet and respectful 98% of the time. I have little tolerance for people with no manners. I have zero patience for overtaking my personal space. I cannot tolerate loud, rude, or cruel people, and I cannot stand people who don’t know how to share like civilized human beings. I can’t stand inconsiderate folks.

I know I’m not a control freak, and I’m very explicit when it comes to sharing my feelings, but when you disregard my feelings for your will, you get what you’re asking for.

Your Friends Aren’t A Package Deal

Your friends are your own personal friends. You don’t hand them off or pass them around like they are some cheap thrill. Just because you like your friend’s doesn’t mean your partner or spouse should like them, nor should they be forced to just so you can have the picture-perfect life you believe you should deserve. We all need our own friends and we deserve to have friends who understand and cherish us. We deserve friends who respect us, and ones who loves. Forced friendships never work out well. Make time for your friends. Partners don’t force friends to be friends.

© Marley K, 2019. All rights reserved.

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