Friend of Hubby Annoys Me - Venting Thread

Hubby has an old friend from high school days. He is very intelligent, well-traveled, speaks about seven languages fluently and a few more passably, is a walking historical encyclopedia and hubby finds him interesting to talk with and likes that he is an old friend from bygone years. I have found friend to be rude and sharp-edged for most of the many years that I’ve known him. Friend used to come over to our house for dinner maybe once or twice a month about a dozen years ago. I knew not to serve him broccoli or chicken. Why? Because, once when I served those items, he told me that he didn’t like chicken and preferred beef and that he really disliked broccoli. He still ate dinner at our house after that and I was accommodating regarding his menu preferences, but because of things like that, friend is not one of my favorite people and hubby knows it. When friend stopped eating dinner at our house, that was fine with me.

For the most part, hubby and friend generally socialized together without my involvement over recent years, though I probably saw him about once or twice a year when our family would meet him for lunch or to go to Church and then lunch. Anyway, friend got married and they had a child a few years ago. Now, instead of the men socializing together, it has become more routine for our family to socialize with friend’s family a few times a year. That is okay because his wife is sweet and his sharp edges seem to have smoothed quite a bit and their little girl is cute, if a bit indulged. But, he still aggravates me with his rudeness. He called last night, so I am here venting to keep the peace instead of talking to hubby about his friend.

Friend called to invite our family to his daughter’s birthday party in a few weeks. Friend told hubby that if we bring a gift, we should not bring any toys or “stuff” because his daughter has too much junk already. Friend told hubby that the gift should be cash. He then offered a suggestion of how much we should give her. I was flabbergasted (but shouldn’t have been) and aggravated.

I need to just offer it up, I know. Lord, give me patience.:gopray:

this guy is never going to change
how much is the friendship important to your husband?
why don’t you two discuss that aspect?
if it is, then you bite the bullet the few times a year you are together and treat them as you would business clients to whom you have to be polite

then get down on your knees and thank God they are not relatives

I have a friend who is kind of like that. This guy is a college professor…smart as a whip, and he knows it. Not afraid to let others know it too. Not much humility, and while he possess an acceptable amount of social grace, he won’t bother to use it if he regards you as being too far beneath him. My wife, who has to be the sweetest person in the world and can get along with absolutely anyone, barely tolerates him. If you can get past his rough edges, however, he’s a decent guy and I value his friendship.

In your case, extend you friendship to the wife, and just let the guys do guy things.

As for suggesting an amount for a cash gift…that’s just too much. If I was your hubby, I’d call him on that one.

It’s amazing how folks these days see any personal celebration as an unmitigated gift-grab.

From your description this guy sounds like a Class A bore. Birthday parties should be given as a thankful celebration for having the child in one’s life/family; apparently this man thinks they are business opportunities.

If this were me, and it’s not, I would give the child a small, useful gift: practical clothing or cute toiletries come to mind. I would not give cash.

Nor, sadly, would I expect a thank you card.:frowning:

Tell your husband to suggest that they do “man” things together - go out for a beer and a game of pool, go fishing, take in a ballgame, whatever. Individual friends are choosen by individuals, familiy friends are choosen by families. I would feel different if this man were a bad influence on your husband and you had reason to want to keep hubby away from him, but it sounds to me like your personalities clash. That’s okay, it happens - but it doesn’t mean you have to go to his house or invite him to yours.

Love that advice to you! Good luck… I’ve never known anyone like that and pray I never do…

If this person matters to your husband, then he should matter to you, no matter how annoying you find him.

While it is socially tactless to ask for money in lieu of a gift, as someone who has been around kids/families…I can understand why the parents would ask. I actually had one very wise parent who purchased something like a swing set and then took out the swings and had people wrap and give them individually. (one uncle opted for wrapping a sand bag :shrug:)

They hinted, but did not ask, that the aunts and uncles give some money towards the gift. They did say that they would not let any other toy enter their home. So, while the friend may have handled it EXTREMELY poorly by suggesting money, I don’t see it as far fetched.

Also, he ate food he disliked but let you know that he didn’t like chicken or broccli. Why are you resenting him for it? If you hated a food and your host cooked, you may mention it after a while.

I think you are correct, friend is not going to change. The friendship is important to my husband, mostly because they have known each other so many years and because friend offers intellectual discussions that hubby finds most worthwhile. Also, friend is a conservative Catholic, which is a trait hubby values.

I only see the guy a few times a year now, but his personality still bugs me. I rather like the idea of treating him as a business client. I think that is the ticket. :thumbsup:


Thank you so much, I needed to laugh!

Hmm, perhaps your friend is also hubby’s friend? :smiley: Kidding, hubby’s friend is not a professor, but he has some of the same traits.

His wife is sweet, but I’ve never seen her anywhere without her husband. If I see her, I see him, so I think I’ll have to pass on that idea.

I suggested that to hubby. Hubby agreed with me that it was really rude, but he didn’t appreciate it much that I said so because hubby knows I don’t like his friend. Also, hubby didn’t think it was his place to tell his friend proper social customs. Thus, I am here. :slight_smile:

Hubby suggested we give her a book or two instead of the suggested cash gift. Maybe we will buy a couple of books. Or, maybe we’ll just give her the cash. Certainly, we won’t be getting any toys.

I don’t expect a thank you card. Last year, they didn’t acknowledge the gift-giver as the child opened each gift, nor did they make a list to note who gave her what so they could write thank you notes later. I don’t expect anything to be different this year.

When I hear about or run into people like this I often wonder if they are just plain rude or simply socially incompetent. Being a walking encyclopedia and knowing several languages on top of not adhering to basic social policy seems like it may be evidence of a low level autism.

He is my husband’s friend. That is why I have put up with him whenever I’ve had to all these years.

Yes, it is socially tactless to ask for money instead of a gift. I do agree that a hint would have been better than outright asking for money AND a certain amount of money at that. How about something along the lines of “We don’t know what we are going to get her this year for her birthday, she has so many toys and doesn’t really need anything more. We think we are just going to open up (or add to) a savings account for her and have her party to celebrate.”

No, he did not eat what he disliked. When I served him chicken and broccoli for dinner, he told me he did not like either and then suggested I serve him beef instead to go with the potato and bread, (which I did in the future, from then on I was always sure to serve beef when I knew he’d be over for dinner). I resent that behavior because it is very rude. If I hated a food my host cooked, I would eat a small amount and say “thank you for dinner.”

You know, that thought did occur to me today that friend might be on the spectrum or have Aspergers. That would explain a lot and also excuse a lot.

I have tolerated the man for years, even welcomed him into my home and served him meals. I will continue to tolerate him and will invite him and his family over on occasion because he is an old friend of my husband’s. I just was aggravated yet again by his behavior, so I came here to vent to you instead of venting more to my husband.

I thank you all for “listening” and offering your insights.:slight_smile:

Yes, definitely could be Asperger’s. They often are very academically intelligent, but lack “common sense” things.

I have had several students with Aspergers, and every single one has been extremely intelligent academically, but socially, they are often clueless. The student with Aspergers I have this year has no sense of personal space. He is literally inches from my face when he talks and he is ALWAYS so close he is always touching me - whenever I back up, he moves in closer…I literally have to ASK him to back up every time, then he does, but he just does not “get” it that he cannot be that close to people. Grade-wise, he gets straight As.

I’m sorry I missed your post earlier.

Hubby and friend used to jog together, play golf together, meet for lunch and a brew, have dinner, see a movie, etc, or they did before friend got married. Now, his wife and child accompany him whenever friend sees hubby, so hubby generally involves his family too.

I don’t think friend is a bad influence on hubby. He is just a bit abrasive and clueless socially. His personality and mine do clash, but hubby values his friendship enough for me to overlook that most of the time.

I suppose it could be, though friend can be social enough to entertain business clients. Perhaps that is learned behavior, though. I recently read a book about someone who grew up with undiagnosed Aspergers. The author has since been diagnosed and is a gifted musician who is quite successful. If I recall, Aspergers is a relatively newly identified syndrome, so diagnosing it in anyone is also relatively new as well.

For better or worse, I think it’s actually becoming more socially acceptable. We’ve told people that gift cards or money would be preferable in certain situations (kids were saving up for something bigger, and we never demanded), although we’ve had others demand it just as the OP’s husband’s friend did. We actually got a wedding invitation that told us not to buy gifts as this was at least each person’s second wedding and they had everything they needed. However, they wanted to defray the costs of the honeymoon so they asked that everyone give cash instead of a gift, and at least $100. We chose not to go.

I agree with the idea of getting the daughter books. If nothing else, the father may see them as a practical, educational gift, although it’s doubtful that any recognition of the gift will be forthcoming.

At issue here is how a couple should spend their time when there is a difference of opinion of the value of something. If my husband had a friend who did not respect ordinary customs or seemed to be pushing for a relationship that I did not want to maintain or did not see the value of for either of us, I would ask my husband to seek friendship elsewhere. This is a difficult request, but acceptable within a marriage. Tthe OP feels so strongly about this man and has so for years, her feelings aren’t going to go away. Nothing can fix or change that. He isn’t a relative. It is not going to get any easier to be with this man, and resentment will build up. Before you know it, they’ll have a child and you’ll be the God parents or something that binds you to them several times a year until that child is an adult. I know this sounds uncharitable, but the truth is important.

Nothing is going to change your feelings. Since you aren’t related to this little family, move on. Regarding the birthday party, make it the last event you go to as a family. As invitations continue, decline them. After a while, the wife will get the message though the husband may never understand. Let your husband limit himself to one or two nights out a year with this man. That should be enough. While the cause of this man’s lack of social skills may be beyond his control, there is no need to feel guilty about distancing yourself from him. Clearly, friends don’t matter too much to him, he seems to use his friends with little regard for his actions. Compassion is good, don’t judge him, but he’s not a charity case either. You cannot save this man from himself and neither can your husband.

Encourage your husband to find solid, Catholic men who are capable of an equal friendship. This would be a far better investment of his time which will produce fruit elsewhere in your husbands life, such as spiritually. A holy friendship can have a profound effect on your husband’s soul. Or encourage him to work on professional relationships that will advance his career or lead to further business opportunities. Or spend time doing things like daily Mass, praying, working out together with you, or spending time with relatives/friends you love to be with, volunteering for a Catholic cause, helping out at school or serving your parish, etc.

Life is too short to waste time on dead-end “friendships.”

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