At a party last weekend, someone proposed that wives are most often the cause when men lose touch with their friends. I find statements of this sort – which cast the woman in the role of eternal vamp with endless powers to manipulate her poor, impressionable man – quite irritating.

I am sure, as was suggested, there are wives who keep dissuading their husbands from meeting their friends because they don’t like them, think they are a bad influence (whatever that means) etc. I personally have not seen such examples but television and my friends at the party tell me they do exist.

I am equally sure, and this I have seen, that women often lose touch with their friends because women tend to be pleasers and also tend to make more effort socially while the husbands tend to be lazy about meeting new people. So the wife will initially persist in meeting her friends herself, but slowly, because both she and the husband get along well (thanks to her efforts) with the husband’s group and since its something they can do together, they hang out more with that side of friends and slowly the women’s group takes a backseat, or becomes relegated to occasional meet-ups.

Maybe women are more vocal about their pettiness. Men tend to couch it as something more passive like laziness (“I really don’t feel like going out. There’s a match on. You go.”) Women definitely make more effort to stay in touch with friends overall and so maybe we don’t cave so easily to pressure in this regard – even if we’re not meeting as regularly as we used to, we’ll send the occasional email or sms. Men if on the receiving end of pressure from the wife, poor darlings, maybe just drop the friends. Now, if women can keep up their friendships under pressure, why not men? And if they don’t want to put some effort into maintaining their friendships, why are their wives to be blamed?

I actually don’t see this as a gender thing. I think it happens across the board. Marriage changes people. It’s a new lifestyle and adjustments are always made. So some old friends will receive less attention, some new friends will be made, for both husbands and wives. And both have to make compromises and also be firm about keeping what’s important to them. What’s the deal with pinning all the blame on the wives?

I am always surprised that women are so eager to accept and propogate negative stereotypes about their own gender without at least critically examining them first.

Edited: MinCat has a post about it here.