Though it would be easier if marriages were really just between two people, it's usually not the case. Between two sets of families, two sets of friends, and all of the folks in between, there are a lot of people to take into account when you're talking about marriage. You want your lives to blend seamlessly, but that's not always the case. Sometimes, friends aren't too keen on your partner. And sometimes, your partner's friends aren't too keen on you. It can be hard to catch the signs your spouse's friends don't like you, but if you pay close attention, you can find them. Though friends usually do their best to remain neutral about your nuptials, they're all dropping subtle hints as to how they really feel. Because like it or not, everybody has an opinion, and what other people think about your marriage can have an effect on things.
I spoke with relationship counselor and psychologist Elisabeth Graham about how to read the signs that your partner's friends don't like you. Graham says that whether or not you care what your spouse's friends think of you, you should still be paying attention to the warning signs that your partner's friends don't like you. Because knowledge is power. And rather than going into the next social gathering blind, you can prepare yourself for greeting your new found frenemies, and kill 'em with kindness.
1. They Don't Invite You Anywhere
If your name is constantly left off the guest list for outings, barbecues, and more — it's no coincidence. Graham says that being excluded from group outings, double dates, dinner parties, and more, can be one of the first red flags when it comes to how your spouse's friends feel about you.
2. They Don't Hang Out At Your House
If your spouse's friends never hang out at your house while you're there, it's probably because they're uncomfortable around you. "This could be because they don't like you," Graham says. "Or it could be that they don't feel comfortable enough around you to be themselves in your home." Graham recommends hosting a social gathering at your home to break up any ice there may be between you and your spouse's friends, to make them feel welcome in your home. If that still doesn't do the trick, then it's probably personal.
3. They Don't Make Eye Contact With You
If your spouse's friends avoid making eye contact with you, it means something. According to Psychology Today, eye contact has much more of an impact on how people feel about you than conversation does. Friends make more mutual eye contact than others, so if you're searching for their gaze and they're not returning it? That friendship probably isn't mutual either.
4. They Don't Accept Your Invitations
If your spouse's friends constantly have an excuse or a last minute emergency when you invite them over for dinner or out for drinks, it's more than just bad luck. "If they don't like spending time with you, chances are that they will find a way to get out of an invitation," Graham says. Once or twice is par for the course, but if the decline of invitations is consistent, it's because they're not interested.
5. They Avoid You At Social Gatherings
When all of your friends get together, if your spouse's friends avoid mingling in your direction, or avoid you altogether, you've got yourself a problem. "When a person can't bring themselves to even say hello, or make niceties, the harbored feelings of dislike are strong," Graham says.
6. They Aren't A Topic Of Conversation
"When your spouse avoids talking with you about one of their friends, it's probably because that friend doesn't have many nice things to say about you," Graham says. Rather than lying to you, or pretending everything's fine, your spouse will leave them out of conversation, and avoid them as a topic altogether.
7. They Don't Ask How You Are
If your conversations with your spouse's friends seem dull, forced, and strenuous, then you've got an issue on your hands. "If a friend doesn't ask how you are, no matter how simple that question seems, it's because they're just not that interested," Graham says. Once or twice can be a mistake, but if you find yourself constantly involved in a one sided conversation, it's time to take a hint.
8. They Don't Acknowledge You In Public
Everyone has had a run in with one of their partner's friends, at the grocery store, out at the bar, at the gym. Even if you're not best friends, the polite thing to do is to say hello, give a wave, and acknowledge them. If one of your spouse's friends deliberately ignores you when you see them out in public? There's a good chance it's because they don't like you. Think about it: who do you avoid in public? The people you don't like.
9. They Urge Your Partner To Bail On You
If your partner has a friend who seems to be suggesting extreme decisions on your partner when it comes to your relationship, it's probably because they're not your biggest fan. When friends try and get your partner to bail on you whether for a night, or permanently, it's because they don't understand your marriage, or have respect for it. "These attitudes can both stem from your spouse's friends having a bad attitude towards you," Graham says. A friend who urges your spouse to duck out on you, rather than encouraging them to cultivate a great marriage — that's a friend who's not your friend at all.