What to Do When Your Husband Puts His Friends First (11 Tips)

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It’s an awful feeling when your husband prioritizes his friends over you. 

If you’re feeling frustrated and disappointed by your husband putting his friends first, keep reading.

In this article, we’ll explore the most convincing ways to get your husband to give more of his time to you:

  • Make yourself a priority, and your husband will too
  • Be neither controlling, nor controlled
  • Express your feelings
  • Don’t deny your husband his time with friends
  • Make hanging out together fun, exciting and romantic

If you think your marriage is headed for trouble and want an immediate solution, we highly suggest relearning how you see, talk to and treat your spouse with relationship coach Dr. Lee Baucom’s Save The Marriage Program.

Click the link above now, or read on to learn how to deal when your husband chooses friends over you.

What to Do When Your Husband Chooses Friends Over You

Prioritize self-care

Prioritizing self care is important for so many reasons.

For one thing, it makes you less reliant on your husband for your emotional wellbeing.

When you make you a priority to yourself—instead of wishing and hoping your husband would—magical things happen.

You feel better, do better and take pressure off of your relationship, which in turn help it breathe.

The happier you are and the better you feel, the more you will start to notice that you’re recapturing your husband’s attention.

Here’s another way to think of it: Your husband is prioritizing self-care in the form of guy time.

By doing self-care just as well as he is, you give yourself respect, which in turn commands respect from your husband.

What kind of self-care are we talking about?

Essentially, whatever feels good.

Exercise if you want to. But also allow yourself to indulge in spa days and chocolate.

Have fun and cultivate hobbies. Explore new interests. Rock climb. Go to the movies alone or hang out with your own pals.

You might find that your husband starts to wonder what you’re up to these days instead of his friends.

Be neither controlling nor controlled

If you want your husband to choose you over his friends, make sure you’re striking the ever-important balance of power.

That is, you don’t want to become a controlling wife, nor do you want to be a meek wife whom her husband can walk all over.

Part of the solution is to set your boundaries, but also make sure you’re not overstepping your husband’s.

For example, don’t text him all night when he’s out with his friends—instead, talk about a time frame to be home before he leaves so that you’re on the same page.

Don’t argue about every instance when your husband puts his friends first, but do make your own needs clear.

Talk openly about what you expect in your relationship and allow him to help you come up with ideas about how you can meet those expectations together.

The most important thing to remember is to maintain your boundaries while avoiding the trap of dictating to your husband what he can and can’t do.

That will ensure that he feels he is still master of himself while respecting and understanding your wishes.

Communicate your feelings

Do you never talk about how your husband’s actions affect you?

Sometimes women feel hurt that their husbands choose their friends first and so shut them out, while simultaneously hoping that they’ll realize the error of their ways.

But a much more effective method of dealing with the situation is to talk about it directly.

Begin by voicing your concern in a non-confrontational manner.

Make sure you focus on expressing your feelings instead of blaming or accusing.

Use statements like, “I feel neglected when you spend more time with your friends than with me” instead of “You always put your friends before me.”

This approach promotes healthy dialogue and encourages your husband to understand your perspective.

Read Also: How to Save Your Marriage

Make time for regular check-ins and adjustments

Searching for the right moment to express your feelings to your husband?

Now might be the right time to establish regular check-ins in your marriage.

Check-ins, where you ask each other questions about your relationship that seek to improve and support it, can help you address any relationship problems and give you a chance to make changes.

Here are some simple strategies to incorporate:

  • Set aside dedicated time: Choose a specific time each week to sit down together and discuss how you’re feeling.
  • Create a safe space for communication: This means finding a private space that is physically comfortable for you both and staying open-minded to create an environment free of judgment.
  • Identify each other’s needs: Both partners should state their emotional and practical needs within the relationship.
  • Discuss your needs and expectations: Clearly convey what you need from your husband and the amount of time you expect him to spend with friends versus family.
  • Be open to compromise: Be willing to negotiate a balance that works for both of you.

Encourage spending time with his friends

It may feel a bit unnecessary considering how much time he already spends with them, but encouraging your husband to see his friends shows that you value his individuality and respect his personal life outside of your partnership.

Respect his space—let him enjoy his time with friends without intruding or questioning every detail.

You can even express appreciation by acknowledging the positive aspects of his friendships and how they contribute to his overall happiness and wellbeing.

Remember, a strong partnership doesn’t entail spending every waking moment together.

Allowing and encouraging your husband to maintain healthy friendships can enrich your life together and contribute to a thriving marriage.

Show your independence

When your husband frequently prioritizes his friends?

Assert your own independence. Don’t be at his beck and call.

Avoid jumping at every opportunity to spend time with him when his friends cancel on him.

Remember that you have your own life, and that does not make you a bad or neglectful wife.

Become more self-reliant.

Would you usually wait for your husband to fix a wonky door handle? Get to the hardware store and look up a YouTube video of how to do it yourself.

Your husband will see that life doesn’t revolve solely around him.

This can be quite a wake-up call for him, not to mention kind of sexy.

Date your husband again

When you got married, did your romantic life change dramatically?

It’s time to start dating your husband again to strengthen the bond between you two.

Here are a few ideas to help you reconnect:

  • Revisit your first date: Take a trip down memory lane and reminisce on the reasons you fell in love.
  • Try different kinds of dates: It doesn’t always have to be dinner and drinks. It could be as simple as making your husband’s favorite meal at home or going to a carnival.
  • Go on a short, unplanned getaway: Being spontaneous can reignite the spark between you.

Have fun together

Many times, husbands prioritize friends over their partners due to a lack of camaraderie and excitement in the relationship. 

To turn the tables, work on being your husband’s friend, too.

Find a hobby or interest you can share and do together. Create a monthly bucket list.

Try doing something you know your husband enjoys doing, or have fun turning the mundane into adventures.

A simple food shopping trip can be more thrilling if you go to a different grocery store, divide up the shopping list and see who can get everything fastest, cheapest, etc. Winner gets to choose where you’ll eat dinner.

Exploring ways to be playful can rekindle the spark in your relationship and make your husband more eager about spending time with you.

Check the health of your physical intimacy

If physical intimacy is on the back burner, that can be a huge hit to your husband’s sense of self-confidence.

It can make him feel undesired and a little down on himself.

Likewise, lack of physical intimacy may be making you feel less desirable and also impacting emotional intimacy between you.

And your husband may be dealing with that by trying to get out of the house and away from his own negative thoughts and feelings.

You’ll probably need to have an open and honest talk with your husband, but remember that rebuilding physical intimacy takes time and effort.

Encourage non-sexual touch, like hugging, holding hands or cuddling to help reconnect emotionally and promote a stronger bond. 

With patience and understanding, you can improve intimacy and help both partners feel valued and prioritized.

Offer to listen

Sometimes what your husband needs is a good listener.

And sometimes, he feels like his buddies get him or listen to him better.

If this is the case, you might want to find a quiet time to talk—or rather, listen.

You can also find more small but meaningful opportunities to show you care, like asking about his day, or about how a particular meeting went that you know he was preparing for.

Show him empathy.

Give him your undivided attention and listen actively to his perspective and feelings. 

He may resist at first, but with patience and a nonjudgmental approach, he may feel more comfortable talking to you.

You can also help this by continuing to ask open-ended questions and not forcing him to elaborate when he doesn’t want to.

The more he feels he can confide in you, the more he’ll come to appreciate spending that special time with you.

You can get vital tips to change your relationship dynamics and have healthier communication in Dr. Lee Baucom’s Save The Marriage.

Be affectionate

One way to handle a situation where your husband picks his friends over you is to shower him with affection.

A loving touch, a heartfelt compliment or a simple “I love you” can go a long way in expressing the depth of your emotions and reminding him of what he may be taking for granted.

Surprise him with small acts of kindness, like making him breakfast in bed.

Leave some unexpected, affectionate notes around for him.

Create an atmosphere of love and intimacy if you want your husband to return it.

Sometimes husbands can suffer from feeling a lack of affection, so paying attention to this can remedy the situation more easily than you might think.

Create routines together

Not everything has to be a grand gesture to get your husband to spend time with you.

Sometimes little routines can be fun and simple ways of getting that time in together, which will grow as you reinforce your bond.

Routines couples enjoy can involve exercising together, having coffee and doing crosswords together or joining arts and culture events that happen in your local community.

Another good routine to get into is simply hugging.

Do it every morning or every day when you get home from work for 20 seconds to get that release of oxytocin and increase emotional receptivity in your husband.

Even little routines like this can make a huge impact on your relationship and make your husband miss you and your time together.

Why Does My Husband Prioritize His Friends Over Me?

If your husband is prioritizing his friends over your relationship, it might help to understand the underlying causes so you can work together to restore the balance in your relationship.

Your husband’s friendships are sacred

Friendships play a vital role in an individual’s life, providing support, camaraderie and a sense of belonging.

It’s possible that your husband values his friendships for these reasons and sees them as an important aspect of his identity.

This doesn’t mean he values you less, but rather that he wants to maintain these connections.

It’s his way of striking a work-life balance

Your husband may use his time with friends as a way to unwind after work and separate his personal life from his professional responsibilities.

It might just be that cracking a cold brew open with his mates helps him feel like he’s de-stressing.

Trouble in paradise

Problems at home, whether they stem from unresolved conflicts, constant fights or feeling out of sync with each other, can motivate your husband to seek out his close friends to relax.

If things aren’t relaxing at home, that is.

Lack of intimacy

Your physical and emotional connection dwindling can be a trigger for your husband to spend less time with you.

Consider whether there has been a sudden drop-off, or if the decline in intimacy has happened over time.

Stress and unresolved conflicts can be major culprits.

Unconscious behavior

It’s possible that your husband may not be aware that he’s prioritizing his friends over you.

The unconscious behavior could stem from a variety of factors, such as habits formed during his upbringing or past relationships.

In this case, communication is vital to discuss the issue and prioritize the relationship.

Different social needs

Each person has their own unique social needs, which may differ from their partner’s.

If your husband is an extrovert and you’re an introvert, it can make you feel a little left in the dust.

It’s a temporary phase

At times, a man spending more time with his friends over a spouse is temporary.

This might happen during major life events, new friendships or work-related stress.

In the case of a temporary phase, patience and understanding can be beneficial.

Conclusion

If your husband chooses his friends first over you, you have many different tools at your disposal to encourage him to spend time with you too.

Part of it is practicing good self-care, and another big part of it is asserting boundaries without coming across as controlling.

Offer your husband friendship, intrigue and a listening ear without judging him for wanting to spend time out of the house.

And of course, don’t forget to communicate your needs, or your husband may not even know to change his behavior.

FAQ

My husband talks to his best friend more than me

It’s important to remember that everyone has different communication needs and patterns.

If your husband is talking more with his best friend, it may be because they share common interests or history, not that you’re not a good wife to him.

However, if it’s affecting your relationship, discuss your feelings with your husband and express your desire for more communication.

How do I get my husband to make me a priority?

Follow these steps to help your husband make you a priority:

  • Communicate your needs clearly and honestly
  • Express love and appreciation regularly
  • Plan and participate in activities that you both enjoy
  • Create a balance between individual and couple time

What comes first, relationship or friendship?

Often, a healthy relationship is built on friendship, so friendship comes first.

This is because being friends allows you to move slowly, get to know each other inside and out and learn to love each other’s flaws.

But just because a relationship doesn’t start with friendship doesn’t mean it’s doomed to fail.

How do I make my husband a priority?

Here are some suggestions for making your husband a priority in your life:

  • Pay high-quality attention to him and show him affection
  • Be supportive of his goals
  • Show love and care through words and actions
  • Attempt to show interest in the things he likes
  • Give him time and space when he needs some self-care of his own

Not sure how to get back to who you were in the beginning of your relationship?

You can become the couple you’ve always wanted to be with some surprisingly simple techniques like Dr. Lee Baucom teaches in Save The Marriage.

Marlene Davis is an experienced blogger with a focus on interpersonal relationships. Her dream is to help improve people's lives and relationships through sharing of practical knowledge and evidence-based practices.