Integrating Your Second Husband Into Your Social Circle
Do you remember how much work you put into integrating your first husband into your social circle? I mean really integrating him to the point where he had inside jokes with your friends, and he would even hang out with the significant others of your girlfriends, without the women around? Maybe some of your friends or their partners did some business with your ex-husband or made useful introductions for him in his career. You and your ex may have vacationed with your social circle, spent holidays with them, and been together through tough times. All of that took years to cultivate. And now, if you’re divorced from your first husband but moving onto husband number two, you need to do it all again. Here is what it’s like integrating your second husband into your social circle.
The men can feel disloyal
The men in your social circle, like the boyfriends and husbands of your female friends who used to hang out with your ex, can feel disloyal. Don’t be surprised to find that only your female friends come around to meet your new husband, while their significant others become mysteriously busy. They could just feel like by befriending your new husband they’re betraying your ex-husband.
Most memory talk is off the table
When you’ve been friends with people for years, a lot of conversations involve old memories. But most of your old memories with your friends include your ex-husband. This can leave your friends at a loss for what to talk about around your new husband—they don’t want to make him uncomfortable by talking about some trip you all took with your ex.
Yes, they’re comparing
You can’t expect your friends to not compare your second husband to your first husband. Of course, they are. Look: they put their heart and soul into their friendship with your first husband. And then, in their eyes, you sort of took that away from them. They just want to make sure you’re marrying the right guy this second time, so you don’t wind up divorced again. (And so they don’t make all this effort getting to know this guy for nothing).
Some friends will choose your ex
Some friends may feel like they can only be friends with your new husband or your ex-husband, and they might choose your ex-husband. Even if these friends started out as your friends, they could have become very close to your ex over the years. Today, they may just have far more in common with him than they do with your new husband, and “take his side.”
Some friends won’t make the effort
It can be rather disappointing, but some friends may not make an effort to befriend your second husband. Some people can have the mindset that they did their job by developing a relationship with your first husband and now their job is done—you had one shot. It’s a bit insensitive, and if they ever get married more than once, they’ll regret acting like this, but it happens.
You have to meet his circle
When two people get married, their worlds come together. You don’t only need to work on getting your new spouse to be friends with your friends, but you also need to become friends with his social circle. This can be very time-consuming and you won’t have as much time to spend with your old friends. You might also make some attempts to bring your new husband’s friends and your friends together and hope people click.
And, you need to make new friends, together
In addition to introducing your husband to your friends and meeting his friends, it’s important that the two of you, as a couple make new friends—those are friends neither of you had before meeting each other. If you recall, you did this with your first husband, and it was an important part of your bonding.
Some friends are just too busy
You know from your own life that you can be too busy to make new friends. At this point, since you only have the time to see friends once or twice a month, you can really only maintain friendships where there is already a history there. New friendships require a lot of time and frequent interactions to develop. Some of your friends may not have that time to dedicate to your second husband.
Not all traditions will keep
You and your new husband may not slide right into the traditions you and your friends had with your old husband. So, if you and your ex used to vacation every year with one couple, that couple may not be quite ready to invite your new husband on the same trip. Just give it time. And remember, people cherish their vacations—they just want to make sure they hit it off with your new hubby before bringing him along on their precious travel days.
Some friends are mourning your ex
While you and your ex may have known for quite some time that your marriage was on the outs, the divorce may have come as a surprise to your friends. In other words, while you’ve moved on, it’s possible that some of your friends haven’t. They’re entitled to their mourning period, just like you were.
Your partner can feel he has big shoes to fill
Meeting a group of people who all liked your ex can be very daunting for your new husband. You might find that he acts awkward, or tries too hard to get people to like him. Don’t be hard on him. When you go meet all of his friends, you’ll understand the feeling.
There is a discrepancy in bonds
It’s natural to feel a little guilty when you at first bring your new husband around your friends. You have rapport, inside jokes and memories with these friends. You, of course, enjoy being around them more than your new husband does simply because he is new to the situation. Just be patient and remember that you’re doing the same thing for your husband when you meet all of his old friends.
Some friends may give him “the talk”
Some friends may pull your husband aside and not-so-subtly tell him that he’d better take care of you. They may even lay out all of the mistakes your ex made, to ensure your new husband doesn’t make the same ones. They’re just worried about you—they saw how tough one divorce was for you and they don’t want you to go through two.
Some friends can compare him, in a good way
With the best intentions, some of your friends may tell your new husband how much better he is than your last one. The comparison could make him uncomfortable, but let him know that your friends are only trying to compliment him. (Then secretly ask your friends to stop comparing your new husband to your ex—at least to his face).
You’ll see who your real friends are
You really see who your real friends are when you not only go through a divorce but go through marrying a new person and integrating him into your life. Your best of friends will make an effort to have a relationship with your new husband, no matter how busy they are, and no matter how much they liked your ex.