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Love me, love my friends? Alas, that's not always the case. Read on for some possible reasons why your adoring and otherwise totally awesome fiancé wants to keep his distance from your besties:
He Thinks They Don't Like Him
Recalls Ann, set to be a June bride, "My fiancé Joe is a great guy, very sociable, open, always offering to do favors for everyone in his circle. Yet, for months I couldn't understand why he kept saying no whenever I suggested getting together with some of my friends. He said no nicely, but no is still no!"
Confused and hurt, she finally asked the reason behind his man-of-a-million-excuses actions. Ann says, "When we first started dating I made the mistake of sharing with him that I'd asked several of my friends if they thought he was marriage material and they thought he was too good-looking to want to settle down. I thought he'd find this assessment flattering but it made him feel shallow."
Once the couple talked the issue out, Joe felt a lot more comfortable around his girl's gal pals. As always, communication is key!
See More: Love Him, Hate His Friends?
He Feels Like a Third Wheel Around Your Friends
Gayle, married since February, 2013, still regrets the many times she "dragged" her fiancé on shopping trips and brunch dates with her bridesmaids. She confesses, "Bill was really accommodating but after a while there was only so much he could take. He finally exploded to me that when we were with my friends most of the time the conversation excluded him. I started to protest but then I realized he was right!"
Since Gayle knew her females friends since childhood, they had a short hand when together that Bill wasn't privy to. Gayle did the right thing — she apologized and stopped the forced social outings. And when Bill is around her friends, the conversation is much more inclusive. "Luckily Bill and I can joke about it now. I learned a big lesson in the importance of thinking about what is right for my guy, not just for me."
He Is Shy
The "Opposites Attract" dictum certainly holds true with Sheila and Jim, her husband of nine months. She's an extrovert, while he's an introvert. "Jim and I were so confortable with each other from the get-go that it took me a while to realize that wasn't normally the case for him. He's shy with people he doesn't really know.
Consequently, like Ann, Sheila was hurt when a few months into their engagement Jim expressed a desire to see her alone instead of hanging out with her friends. "I asked if anything had happened," she explains. "In a halting voice he told me about how my friends were so open and personal and huggie with him, and he needed to take it slower."
Sheila wisely stopped trying to insert him into every corner of her life. Now that his attendance isn't mandatory at the girls' gatherings, Jim does occasionally tag along. It's called compromise.
Sherry Amatenstein is a New York City-based marriage therapist and author.