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by Sheryl P. Kurland
My wife and I met a lovely couple at church a few months ago and we often "double date." We have been married 10 years, and the couple has been married 8 years. We have noticed that the husband, every so often, says things that are denigrating and condescending to his wife. Outwardly, she sloughs it off. But we know his remarks must deeply hurt her feelings. I'm not one to get involved in other people's business, however, my wife and I have been mulling over having a talk with the husband. Do you think this would be appropriate? If "yes," do you feel I should speak with the husband by myself, or both my wife and I should talk to him together? Or do you think we should have a heart-to-heart with both of them at the same time? The other concern is that by sticking our neck out, we are risking losing their friendship, and that would be more destructive to the wife. What suggestions do you have?
Since your friendship is only a few months old, you should wait until your relationship is on solid foundation. Then, Sir, I would approach the husband only, saying: "We admire both of you very much. Are you aware your wife may be hurting by your speaking to her in a denigrating manner?"...or your choice of wording. This could interfere with your friendship, but if you and your wife are so upset by his actions, you probably would stop seeing them in the future anyway.
M.Y.O.B. (Mind Your Own Business)! If the wife "sloughs it off," then she is
dealing with the problem. Your interjecting yourselves into their lives might
be well intentioned on your part, but may be resented or interference on their
part. If they have been married for 8 years, then they have a working
relationship and this may be a very minor glitch that has little or not impact
on their marriage. On the other hand, perhaps you present a role-model
marriage, from which they can imitate and learn. Do nothing! Enjoy the
friendship for what it is, and look for a solid and long-lasting "double date"
through the years.
Sonya and Morris have been married 50 years
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