Like many of you, I have couple friends who I spend time with occasionally as the “third wheel” but I don’t mind being the odd-man out. I’ve been friends with John since high school and he’s dated his wife Michelle since then, so although John is technically a closer friend I try not to favor one over the other in certain matters. Like their fighting.
Couples fight — it’s just a fact of life. But John and Michelle often display a level of dysfunction that affects people around them. For example, they will commit to an event and then argue about when to leave, how to get there, what to wear, and even where to park their car, and end up no-shows. One time the parking argument occurred in the lot next to the restaurant where we were meeting and I watched them give up and drive home so upset with each other that all they bothered to do was shoot me a text. It’s rude, really a problem, and I don’t want to be involved.
So generally, I don’t. My opinion about what they should be doing to achieve harmony in their marriage doesn’t run particularly deep and I’m no relationship expert. But it’s hard to sit there and just nod when a man you’ve known for decades is struggling with his marriage and a woman who you genuinely care about is explaining all of the things her man is doing wrong and you completely identify with the issues. As much as I tell them I can’t really be of much help, because they are close friends I’m still sometimes pressured to choose a side.