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You Asked: My Husband Just Wants to See His Friends

Dear Sugar,

Seven years ago I agreed to relocate our family from Michigan to Texas because we couldn't take Michigan weather any longer. My husband wanted to move to Texas where his company's headquarters are. My biggest concern with the move was that I'd have to make all new friends and he'd always be with his single guy friends.

Everything has been going pretty well I must say, but my husband has started a habit of stopping by the bar with his friends on his way home from work on Friday nights. He always invites me to join them, but sitting at the bar talking work and sports just isn't my idea of fun. He's usually there from 4:30 - 7:00 p.m., meanwhile I'm home either fixing dinner for the kids, or for myself because the kids are now teenagers and have their own lives. I do have girlfriends that I go out with, but I make sure to do it on a weeknight — I feel that he should give me the same respect — weekends should be family time.

I'm hurt that at the end of his week, his priority is going out with his guy friends instead of coming home to me. I really don't know if I am blowing this out of proportion, after all, it isn't like he stays out all night, it's just that I look forward to Friday nights, too, and I don't want to start my weekend alone. I have suggested he pick a different night, and his response is that his friends don't like to go out during the week. This has caused many fights in our household. Do you have advice for me?

— Waiting at Home Heather

To see Dear Sugar's answer

Dear Waiting at Home Heather,

I'm sorry that this is causing you such pain. I don't think it's strange to hope that your husband will share your same priorities, but I do think that it's important to recognize that just because he values his Friday nights with his friends, it doesn't mean he doesn't value the weekend with you and your children. As with most issues like this, I think compromise is the best solution.

I'd ask your husband if he'd be willing to just go out every other week with the boys, and plan something for the two of you on those nights when he's home. For the other Fridays when he's out, you might want to think about planning more gatherings with your girlfriends, give into some weekend fun of your own! When they're not available, curl up with a movie you've been wanting to watch and a glass of wine to pass the time until your husband gets home. I'd even suggest that you meet him and his friends at the bar every once and a while to show your support and set an example of give and take. It sounds like this is something a little communication will take care of. Good luck!


ali321 ali321 7 years
I can see both sides. I say compromise. Ask him if he'd be willing to cut it down to two Fridays a month. The other two he comes home to you. But really he's only out until 7 and then I'm assuming you have the rest of the weekend. I don't like bars either, but you could also make an effort to hang out there once in awhile. Some guys go out on weekends and stay out all night and just want to hang out with their guys and don't want their women there. So, you're kind of lucky that he's not like that. And your kids are older so it's not like he's leaving you alone to raise them while he goes out to have fun without you. You also mentioned the move though, so it kind of sounds like that's an issue too. Like I said ask him to spend at least one Friday at home and on the other Fridays create something for yourself that you will get excited about.
skippitydo skippitydo 8 years
Why a bar? This guy and his friends probably have a drinking problem or will soon have if they keep this up. When he does come home at 7:00, the evening is probably shot because he goes and passes out. He let's his wife take care of everything and take all the responsibility. Sounds like he needs to grow up. I think this is the underlying issue, not whether he should go out with his friends or not. Read between the lines, people!
tinyspark tinyspark 9 years
My advice? Take the stick out of your a**...
red4bonez red4bonez 9 years
dear sugar said everything I wanted to say. Good luck. =)
expatriate expatriate 9 years
Lickety split and Muirnea are right - something is wrong, and as I posted earlier, I think it is NOT just about this friday night thing, but a bigger issue that she has to explore TOGETHER with her husband. I'm guessing it still has to do with the move - but re-reading the message, perhaps also something about an early "empty nest" - her teenagers are now going out more. My own kids are very little but I can say that we moms spend a WHOLE lot of time doing things for other people and wishing for personal time. But when that time finally comes, I imagine that after so many years, habits are hard to break and you have to figure out how to fill in that hole. Maybe Heather is starting to experience this . . .
Muirnea Muirnea 9 years
I agree with lickey split too. Whether we all think this poster if overreacting or not, she has a problem with this, so the husband should address it.
lickety-split lickety-split 9 years
he's going to a bar.  what is he not getting at home that he needs to get; in a bar.  married people don't need to be together all the time and i don't think that's what she is saying.  why does it have to be in a bar?  sit around and drink for a couple of hours and then drive home?  yeah that's smart.  why can't the guys go out to dinner, play on a sports team, something that doesn't involve and alcohol; every week. and don't think anything that happens after 10:00 can't start before hand. bottom line is that this makes her uncomfortable and since it's her marriage it's a problem. maybe even a different bar would be better if there is a reason this place isn't sitting well.
cgmaetc cgmaetc 9 years
The very idea that a woman can have her man "on lock" is pretty dang silly.
Marci Marci 9 years
The guy is home by 7:00 p.m. That's the start of the evening, so you DO have you husband on Friday night. What are you not getting before 7:00 p.m. that you want? I genuinely don't understand.
0danielle0 0danielle0 9 years
Wow, it's shocking to me that so many of these comments are so harsh. It seems like your husband is being pretty reasonable and respectful. He needs some time to wind down from his week, and meeting his friends at the bar provides a stress-free environment for him to do so. If he was coming home at 9 or 10, I'd say he was being inconsiderate, but 7? That's pretty early. If you feel he doesn't make time for you, then that's another issue. Maybe suggest he stops at Blockbuster on the way home from the bar so that you can watch a movie together before bed? Or ask him to stop and get dessert, or champagne and orange juice for mimosas with your Saturday breakfast. It sounds like you wish he'd show that he wants to spend time with you, so let him know that. Arguing with him over his Friday night with the boys is not going to help bring you closer, or make him want to spend time with you. Let him know how he can make you feel better about things, and then let him take the initiative to do so. Best of luck.
remedios remedios 9 years
I don't see anything wrong with what he's doing, but that's between you and him. It seems like you might be making this into something it's not. You clearly have a problem with this, but it's got to go deeper or to something different, and it's that other thing you need to talk about. Are you jealous? You've got to find a way to deal with this. There's nothing wrong with him going to happy hour on a Friday. Maybe you should go along, try to make an effort. If it's that bad, then don't, but if you do it regularly with him you might find you enjoy it. Yes they'll talk about work, but other stuff too, and you can direct the conversation to that other stuff. Good luck.
geebers geebers 9 years
Wow posters are harsh -even if I do agree with them. Heather- I think you deep down have a bigger issue. You are lonely and you dont really have anyone else while he does. I know you feel like he is choosing them over you but keep it in perspective. If he does this every Friday night -yeah it can be annoying for you but honestly- unless you have some interesting plans that DIFFER from your other nights (staying in and watching tv or eating out ) and your Sat nights- I dont think it is fair for you to expect him to rush home to you for what he is rushing home the other nights for. If you are really bothered step back -ask yourself if you can be busy every friday -take a class- read a book -do all the single behavior you had no chance to do with him around.
cvandoorn cvandoorn 9 years
To Expatriate - i've lived abroad my whole life and moved countries about eight mom never ever had issues with my dad being out. She just found things to do for herself - learn the language of the new country, join clubs, join a gym, etc. Plus, expats usually travel abroad for business a lot too...My dad is always gone on business trips. My mom loves this alone time! Granted, they have been married for 25 years now. I honestly can't imagine life any other way, so i'm hoping that my future husband will be an expat as well. You get to live a great life, experience a new country, and I bet you anything that your husband's expat package is great. To the OP - let your husband have his alone time with the boys! He is home by 7!! Now if he came home at 4 am, i'd be worried, but he respects your time, and you should respect his! You have the whole weekend to spend with him, why does Friday night matter so much? Get out there, find things to do for yourself. Go shopping during those hours. Get drinks with the girls. Men love women who are independent.
cubadog cubadog 9 years
I also think you are blowing this out of proportion. I think that now that your kids are becoming more independent you need to do the same thing and get out there and do more things on your own. The man is home by 7 he is not out at all hours, on top of that you are invited instead of complaining about the topic of conversation join them once or twice a month.
onesong onesong 9 years
wow...some harshness up there. well miss poster, i think that you're on the right track when you say you're blowing it out of proportion--sorry to say, my dear, but you are. as has been pointed out by a lot of posters, it's 2.5 hours one night a week, and those hours aren't from 10:00 PM - 12:30 AM. unfortunately, you need to let it go. that, however, is not to say that i don't COMPLETELY understand where you're coming from--i do, because my boyfriend does the same thing every friday. i used to cry, and have tantrums, and yell...and then i tried going out with my girlfriends which just prompted DRUNKEN crying/screaming/yelling...and then i finally just said to him, "I don't get it why you don't want to be with ME on friday night. it's the weekend! it's fun time! don't you want to be with me for that?" want to know what he said? "i DO want to be with you then, but this is when all the guys get together. they're all out until midnight, and i come home at 8 o'clock--even though it's to a screaming girlfriend--because i DO want to be with you for the weekend." well...that shut me up right quick. ever since then, i've been totally okay with it (with the exception of pangs of grr-arrrgh at him being at a bar and getting hit on by skanky girls, lol, but that's my own insecurity). i bet you will be, too.
Kristinh1012 Kristinh1012 9 years
If this is your biggest problem you should relax a bit. Your kids are teenagers and have their own lives. You should find something to do that you like during that time he's out. Meet him at home or somewhere you both agree on around the time he would usually get home. I was shocked when you said he's home by 7. I thought you were going to say he was out until all hours of the night. You're being unreasonable.
merie33 merie33 9 years
yeah, you ought to cut the guy some slack here...i mean, my dad goes out sometimes after work on fridays (he gets out at 330), and he doesn't call my mother, and he isn't home until after 10. just be grateful hes not being inconsiderate like that. the man just wants to let loose for a bit...he's even INVITING you to go!!!
expatriate expatriate 9 years
Dear Heather, I think everybody is missing the point. I get it. It's not really about Friday nights. It's about something more than that. You left a comfortable place surrounded by a strong support network that doesn't take overnight to rebuild, and you haven't quite adjusted. Maybe your husband isn't getting it either. So you're focused on this one Friday night issue that is serving as a surrogate for a different, underlying problem that is just much harder to put your finger on. Besides, everyone must think that now after 7 years, you should be okay with it, but I sense from your very first sentence that this is not the case. I know. I married a wonderful foreigner (will not disclose details), and despite that this was not the original plan, we ended up moving overseas three years ago with our two very young kids. It has been a major transition for me and he and I still are struggling with some kind of balance around HE-time, ME-time, US-time, and FAMILY-time. I think this is a normal thing that partners go through, but the move puts you on an uneven playing field - you are in HIS territory. For me, at first it was horrible - he comes from a party culture and he would be out with the boys until very very late. Now he gets it that it's not cool, but there is still a big disparity. It still irks me when his friends just show up or I have other ideas in mind and he doesn't bother asking. Main thing is, that meeting new friends (especially for me in another country) is just not that easy and takes a whole lot of time, particularly when you are a little older - not in college anymore. So my advice, if you call it that, and for what it's worth, is to keep trying to dig down deeper and figure out what this issue is really about and address THAT thing that's bugging. I'm still working on it here. Good luck!
Le-Luxe Le-Luxe 9 years
When ever you get frustrated with something he does, just remember to flip the situation; You work a long hard week, and friday rolls around and all you want to do is get a few drinks with the girls to unwind and relax. Meanwhile your husband is at home getting pissed about it because he wants to spend every friday with you alone...what would YOU do?
CoMMember13630786602261 CoMMember13630786602261 9 years
I agree with eternity and popgoestheworld. People are much more willing to negotiate when they feel like the other person is negoatiating with them..not demanding them to do something. What if you said to him "If I come with you this week, can you just come straight home next week?" It shows that you are willing to make a sacrifice for his happiness, which will make him much more willing to make a sacrifice for yours. And like eternity said, you can always ditch the bar after a while and go do something just the two of you. You children are teenagers so they can probably take care of themselves while mom and dad go out.
CoMMember13630786602261 CoMMember13630786602261 9 years
I understand that you want to spend weekend nights with your husband, but honestly, is this that big of a deal? Hes got to be able to do what he wants once in a while. Hes obviously not doing it to get away from you (as he invites you) hes not being secretive about what hes doing, and he doesnt stay out late (home by seven when out with the guys?! Most women would kill to have a husband like that) Why cant the two of you have a date night after he gets home? Seven oclock is not late for a weekend night, and still leaves plenty of time for the two of you. I think maybe you need to reevaluate your demands and loosen the reigns a offense...but really. You arent willing to even go with him, so why should he be willing to do it on a different night or scrap it all together? Do you think maybe you are being a bit too controlling?
snowbunny11 snowbunny11 9 years
I just want to add that I am not trying to say anything along the lines of, "be grateful you just HAVE a man!" and let him do whatever he wants. My boyfriend always jokes that I am such the feminist, and I am, but I just still give the same respect to my boyfriend that I would want for myself, and I think that as strong women we can figure out what to do for a couple hours every week. There are about 100 ways I would agree with Heather here; if they had very young children, if he had a drinking problem, if he went out to pick up women, if he came back super late EVERY Friday, if he had never been to one of his daughter's soccer games because they are on Friday...but Heather doesn't mention any of these things as being an issue, so I just can't really understand what the problem is except that her husband isn't "choosing her over his friends" as someone said.
popgoestheworld popgoestheworld 9 years
He gets home by 7? And he does this one night a week? He's really not asking for much, in my opinion. I'm just imaging a scenario where I meet up with my girlfriends for happy hour once a week and am home at a reasonable hour, and my boyfriend complains that I'm not spending all my free time with him. I would be so... annoyed. And I would think he was being controlling. Personally, I think you are blowing this out of proportion, and I do not think you should ask him to sit out Happy Hour every other Friday. That is the type of thing that makes it seem like he's a man on a leash with the old ball and chain waiting at home and ready to nag him.
Eternity Eternity 9 years
there are 30 other comments on this issue, but i'll make it short for you. You are living your own manifest destiny. Go to the bar like he asked you to, and maybe he will come home on a friday night like you ask him to. Get would be pretty easy to turn that friday night trip to the bar into a date for just the two of you...escape early and go to a movie.
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