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When I am boyfriendless, I tend to rely on other people’s husbands to do the things that my own husband would do, if he existed. (Well, no, not everything. This is all very G-rated.)
If I could’ve figured out a sane way to have a (faithful) husband on a part-time basis, I possibly would have married at some point in my life. Possibly. But I now realize that I have figured out the part-time-husband thing. He’s just not my husband. More correctly, they’re not my husband.
I’m fortunate to have a number of good girlfriends who are married to great guys who willingly pitch in when I don’t have a beau to do whatever it is that needs doing. Entertain, fix things that need fixing, share a meal and/or cocktail . . . sometimes just hang. (I say they “willingly” help out; I’m just hoping that’s true.)
In some cases, I knew the wife first; in others, the husband was already my friend. This situation is kind of the best of both worlds. The guys are funny and smart and useful . . . and then they go home . . . to their wives.
Recently, Serena’s husband, who is one of my best friends, took a ride with me to confront my wayward tenant about not paying the rent. Having him with me gave me more confidence, and I thought it would be handy to have him if a fight broke out. (Kidding . . . but just a bit.) He has also accompanied me to a social event or two when I needed an escort.
Trina’s husband helps me with my computer whenever I’m stumped, which seems to happen quite often. He’s also good for a glass of wine, which we both enjoy.
Lori’s husband really hooks me up. He regularly does work around my house; on their last visit, he re-arranged and fixed so many things that my place almost looked like new when he was done. He and I even had to talk his wife into a trip to South America, a place he and I both wanted to go. I’m not sure she enjoyed it as much as he and I did, but she was a good sport about it.
Once, I left an old car at my house and didn’t drive it for a while. Betty’s husband cleaned out the nest that some critters had made in the car engine. (I would have just given the car away. No way was I going near that.)
How do these husbands feel about me? I’m not at all sure how all of them feel, although Betty’s husband has called me his “co-wife” on occasion. I do know that I’m very lucky that these women so freely share their husbands with me. I consider these guys my good friends.
It doesn’t always work out that way, though.
Chuck and I had been really good friends for 10-plus years. Always platonic, we’d seen each other through multiple relationships, jobs, the deaths of our parents, and thousands of parties, movies, meals, and laughs.
But then Chuck dumped me. He had a new girlfriend (now his wife), and, apparently, no longer needed me. We went from being in touch every week or two to, well, never. Just like that. It was confusing because he’s had lots of girlfriends through the years, and our friendship was never an issue (that I know of). Although I don’t know it for sure, I suspect that this girlfriend-now-wife wasn’t comfortable with our relationship.
And, a few years ago, I became friendly with a couple with whom I have mutual friends. Actually, it’s an overstatement to say “friendly with the couple,” because it’s only the husband who is friendly. The wife is rather chilly toward me. We live in the same neighborhood and the husband has suggested that we (he, his wife, I) get together for dinner at a neighborhood restaurant. The wife has made it clear that this will not happen. It’s awkward. Hubby is friendly, and he and I get along really well. It’s all completely aboveboard. He’s never said or done anything that would suggest he wants anything other than a platonic relationship. Wifey is not having it, though. I imagine she thinks there’s more going on between us. Or maybe she just doesn’t like me. I suppose that’s possible. Rather than trying to win her over (something at which I was having no success anyway), I’ve decided to write that friendship off.
I know that a friendship between a married man and a single woman can be tricky. Which really makes me appreciate my guy friends—and their wives—that much more. Sometimes the Single Lady just isn’t welcome.
I’ve learned, though, that each relationship is different. This part-time-husband thing wasn’t planned; it just sort of developed organically. I like it. Obviously, it works for me . . . and it appears to work for the guys, too. Men do like to be needed, don’t they?