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Dilemma: My husband can't bear my friend but I think she's great

Dawn French / 07 January 2020

A reader writes in to consult agony aunt Dawn French about her husband's dislike for her bossy friend.

A couple sit at a table with another older lady, the husband is not hiding his irritation

Dilemma: My husband gets so annoyed at my bossy friend that it makes her visits almost unbearable

My oldest friend is loud, bossy and demanding – and I love her dearly. The problem is that my husband can’t stand her, and says that she takes advantage of my good nature. 

He gets so grumpy if I invite her to stay that it’s almost not worth the hassle. How can I get him to accept my friend for all her flaws?

Dawn French's advice

First of all, tell your husband how much you appreciate his stalwart support, and that you know he only has your best interests at heart.

BUT. Explain there’s another whole side to this.

Ask him please to trust that you know how your friend functions, and acknowledge that she is loud and bossy. Maybe tell him you secretly call her Mrs Bossytwitpants, but that you love her and enjoy her company, and you try to focus on the good parts of her character. Then tell him you are prepared to compromise by having her round when he is out or away, or that you’ll meet her away from home so he doesn’t have to deal with her. Ask him to understand.

Of course, if that doesn’t work, tell him to stop being loud, bossy and demanding about your loud, bossy and demanding friend.

(By the way, may I just take a tiny moment to blow a mini-trumpet for loud, bossy and demanding people? We could so easily reframe them as vibrant, organised and assertive, couldn’t we, if we decided to view them in a positive light? Just saying…)

The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated.

The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.