Take a close look at the friends you surround yourself with. Do you need to change (maybe even eliminate) some of those relationships?
My friend Kate showed up out of breath and about forty minutes late. “Sorry I’m running behind, guys! Gregg got home late from work.”
She sat at our table on the restaurant patio with the mostly eaten plate of taquitos and mini tacos and caught the eye of the waitress to order her iced tea. She was ready to settle in for some serious girl talk.
“Didn’t Gregg know that you had plans tonight?” Bev said. “I hope he apologized.”
I sat there kind of stunned. As far as I knew, Gregg was a loving and considerate husband. A really good guy.
But Bev couldn’t let it go. “This is what drives me crazy about Ben. He’s always coming home late from work, not even thinking about me and how long I’ve been home with the kids. It makes me crazy.”
Bev went on like this throughout the evening. Harping on Gregg and Ben and any other husband she could think of. Finally, Kate had had enough.
“Gregg had a big project at work and his boss asked him to stay behind. He called to ask if I would be okay if he ran late—and I told him of course. I’m sorry I was late, but this was important.”
Sometimes the Bevs in our life are going through a crisis of their own. Their husband is not in a great spot, she’s feeling unsupported, and marriage is hard. In those instances, be a friend and love her through it. I’m guessing she wants to hang out with you because she desperately needs some encouragement.
But husband bashing—hers, mine, or yours—is never okay. I have a few select friends that I’ve been known to ask to pray for my marriage, but these women are champions of my husband. They are the ones pointing out the good in Roger, looking at his side, and generally in for the win of my marriage. And I feel the same about them and their marriages.
If the Bev in your life is constantly pointing out the bad in your man (or hers), it may be time to move on from that relationship.
Here are some things to consider when looking at the people you surround yourself with:
Does she speak the truth?
If she exaggerates the misdeeds (real or imagined) of the man in her life, it may be time to lessen your time with her.
When speaking the truth, does she do it with love?
So maybe her husband really does do some not so great things, but we can either approach our relationships with love or judgment. We don’t get to do both. Is she speaking the truth but not with love? It may be time to move on.
Does she love being stuck?
Some people just love being stuck in their bad situation. It doesn’t matter how many suggestions you make or ideas you offer—they just want to be stuck. Get out now before they start to limit your thinking about your own marriage.
Excerpted from 101 Simple Ways to Show Your Husband You Love Him by Kathi Lipp.
Kathi Lipp is a busy conference and retreat speaker and the author of several books, including The Husband Project, Clutter Free, The Cure for the "Perfect" Life, 21 Ways to Connect with Your Kids, and The Get Yourself Organized Project. She has had articles published in several national magazines, and has been a featured guest on countless radio and television programs including Focus on the Family. Kathi and her husband, Roger, live in San Jose, California and are the parents of four young adults. Her official web site is www.KathiLipp.com.
Publication date: March 16, 2016