When you enter a relationship with someone, it’s generally understood that both you and that person are going to come with things that the other might not like: bad habits, weird tastes in music, terrible cooking skills – you name it.
For the most part, you accept these things into your life because they’re part of the package and, let’s face it, you’re not perfect, and I’m sure your Xbox or 25-year-old teddy bears aren’t exactly appealing either.
But what if part of your partner’s package are friends you don’t like?
It happens. You’re going to butt heads or not get along with people you come across in your life, but when it’s your spouse’s friends, friends who clearly aren’t going anywhere, that can be hard on you and your partner and put you both in a difficult position.
There are ways to go about this, some right, some wrong.
The worst thing you could probably do is give your partner an ultimatum – “It’s me or them” – and that’s not fair, nor is it rational, but I see it happen all the time. If anything, forcing your partner to dump his or her friends for you is only going to lead to resentment towards you. After all, they were part of his/her life first, no matter how much you don’t like them, and unless these friends did something really awful, you don’t have a right to make your partner choose between you.
Avoiding them is an option, but one that’s not always feasible when you’re in a relationship. There will always be parties and events where you and that friend will be in the same room, and unless you decide not to go to that event just because of that person (also not recommended), you’re going to have to be around them and doing things like blatantly ignoring them is only going to ignite issues between you and your partner. It also isn’t fair to not invite that person to things at your own home when I’m sure your partner would love to have them over.
So what do you do?
To be blunt, suck it up.
As long as your reasons for not liking or getting along with that friend aren’t seriously valid (like they tried to beat you up or enjoy hurting puppies), the best thing for you to do is to take a deep breath, put on a (fake) smile, and get through that social event the best you can. Be the better person.
You’re not doing it for you or for that person you don’t like; you’re doing it for your partner. You’re respecting his or her relationship with that friend (even if you don’t like them) because that’s what you do when you love someone.
These friends aren’t going anywhere either, and they’ve likely been around for some time, so it’s best to tolerate them and make your partner happy. After all, there’s something he or she likes about them, and that’s your partner’s right.
Remember, accepting your loved one’s baggage generally means accepting everything, annoying friends and all. No one is saying you have to be friends with them just because your partner is, but you can certainly be polite and do the best you can to make your loved one happy.
Isn’t that what relationships are about?