Through the years I continue to treasure the friendships I’ve fostered with the wives of my husband’s own set of buddies. I feel fortunate that my husband, Mike and I have shared the company of fellow couple friends we had met even as far back as our college days.
As couples, we’ve graced each other’s weddings, celebrated our kids’ birthdays, stood as god–parents to each other’s children, and have spent many dinner get-togethers in and around the city. As many married people would know, nurturing friend-ships with other couples also keeps your own marriage much stronger.
I distinctly recall, though, those awkward moments when we all first met as wives. For the most part, the wives were often thrown together not by choice, but by cir-cumstance. But over time, I’ve learned how rew-arding it is to be chums with fellow wives—a camaraderie which typically takes form during dinner parties, when the men spend the night over a bottle of single malt whisky. In the long run, my fellow wives and I began to spend lunch dates sans our hubbies.
But as fate can often be unpredictable and inexpli-cable, through the years, some of our friends would soon have their share of marital woes and decide to call it quits. It was quite upsetting home from the All Wives Club, a new camp—the Ex-Wives’ Club—would come to be.
Often times, when things turn sour between couples, their friends are usually made to choose between sides. In fact, this theme is often played out in familiar sitcoms and drama series. To me though, this is a disheartening reality among couple friends. Awk-ward as it is, having been close to the former wives leaves me at odds on how to remain friends with either partner after their separation.
Honestly, I often feel slight-ly disloyal to the men if I call or even inquire about how the ex-wife is doing after a split. In one instance, one of the guys was quite surprised to find out that his ex had been in touch with me after their break-up. Although I had known that their break-up was far from being amicable, it was still a dilemma for me to simply throw away a friend-ship I had built over the years. Nonetheless, as the months and years went by, his ex-wife eventually cut all ties with friends she had met through her ex-husband, including me. Nowadays, this even means setting up a new profile on Facebook.
It’s even more awkward when the men bring new partners to dinner parties that their ex-wives used to attend. At one time, while all the wives were seated, one of the guys introduced his new girlfriend. Suddenly, one of the wives whispered to me slightly confused, “Wait, she’s not really his wife, right? That’s not her name because I remember being introduced to someone else last year. What happened?” And of course, I could only best reply with a shrug of the shoulders. But honestly, I can imagine how the new girlfriend must feel being in the company of an All Wives’ Club for the first time.
As marriages break up, it seems that even friendships are colla-teral damage to many broken relationships. Unfor-tunately, this social reality has become more and more prevalent. For friends, break-ups leave no one any better off as friendships are often compromised in the end. I guess even friends can be reminders of relationships gone awry and are best tucked away under the rug for most exes. But can you really blame them for it?