*This article is a work of nonfiction based on actual events recounted to me by a friend who witnessed them firsthand; used with permission
Being married and still going to parties with your friends is not always easy to do in a relationship. Trust, patience, and plenty of determination will go into convincing your partner that nothing strange is happening when you come back later than usual, but even then, doing it too often can eventually lead to them doubting your actions.
Is marriage meant to stop you from seeing other people, or should you still be able to go out without your partner as long as you reassure them?
My friend Avery has been married for two years to her husband, Benjamin. They dated for three months and then had a very short engagement because they wanted to start a life together as soon as possible.
"We don't believe in planning a wedding for a very long time or trying to please everyone with the arrangements. It was about us and how much we loved each other, so there was no need to wait too long," Avery said.
They had a simple wedding with their families and close friends, and after that, they moved into the new home they'd been saving for.
"Both sets of parents helped us so much because they knew how it felt to be stuck in overtime because they couldn't have a home right away. I will always remember that," Avery added.
Even though they were both sure they wanted to be together, Avery and Benjamin started noticing things about each other they hadn't realized while going out. Benjamin liked spending time at home in the evenings, relaxing with homemade food, and watching movies. Avery, on the other hand, loved going out every weekend and during the week, too, occasionally.
"I didn't think being with my friends had anything to do with getting married. I mean, I would always keep that connection with them. I knew my friends long before I met my husband. It only makes sense to still do things with them," Avery said.
Unfortunately, Benjamin doesn't see it the same way. He only has two very good friends and mainly spends time with them at home, in the afternoons, while his wife is around too. And when Avery goes to parties with her friends without him, he gets upset.
He let it go once or twice, but after that, he's been waiting for her when she gets back and asks her to stop doing that.
"I'm not going to give in. Why would I drop my friends? We're not doing anything wrong, and if he doubts me, that's not a good thing for our relationship. He should just relax and trust me. I love him, and I told him so many times. There's nothing going on, just reconnecting with my friends," Avery said.
Seeing his wife is not about to give up her late nights out with friends; Benjamin has started to consider whether their relationship can last or not. And divorce is being mentioned often in their talks these days.
"He talks about divorce each time I stay out late with my friends. He's exaggerating, but anything I tell him just makes things worse. I even asked my friends to come so we could all talk about it, and he avoided them the whole time they were here. How can we fix things if he won't listen? This is very tiresome, and there's no need for all these arguments," Avery said.
Benjamin's parents agree with him and think his wife should stop going out so late each weekend, but her parents say she's done that since she was a teen and with the same group of friends.
While the arguments continue, Avery has relented and only goes out two weekends a month instead of every week, but she feels there's a lot of pressure in her marriage and that her husband doesn't trust her to be herself.
How do you think this should be handled? Is it fair for Benjamin to ask his wife to stop partying with her friends? Should he just go out with them so he can convince himself all is well and there's no reason to worry about anything?
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