Why Do His Female Friends Hate Me?

Dear Dategirl,

I am my husband’s third wife, and I am sick of all the garbage I constantly get from his female friends. I understand that it’s threatening to them that I’m a lot younger and in great shape, while they’re all over 40 and tend to be not thin, to put it nicely. Even his bitchy ex-wives are nicer than the friends’ wives. For a while I tried to ignore them, but his job demands he be very social, and I’m inevitably expected to hang out with the women, even though his guy friends are much more interesting to me.

His last marriage was awful—and I was not the cause of it ending, btw. We knew each other from work, but nothing happened until they separated. Why would it have been better to stay in a loveless marriage? He’s lost 30 pounds since we hooked up and looks fantastic. Shouldn’t these bitches put aside their jealousies and be glad that he’s happy?

—NOT a Trophy Wife

Well, bless your heart. Aren’t you something!

I was once the much younger partner of a much older man. And like you I found the women in his circle wary of me in the beginning. However, unlike you, I was fairly humble, had a modicum of empathy, and was able to understand why a 40-year-old woman might look upon her contemporary’s new 25-year-old piece with a combination of bemusement and contempt: because such relationships are plucked straight from the pages of the midlife-crisis handbook.

Instead of comforting yourself with the idea that these are bitter biddies seething with jealousy, try pulling your head out of your toned little hiney-hole and look at things from their angle. You are the second trade-in this guy has brought around. They might still feel loyalty toward the discarded ex (or the one before her), or perhaps worry that their husbands might be infected by the same cliché-itis and dump them for a winsome young co-worker. Then again, perhaps they feel like they don’t have anything in common with the young hottie with a chip on her shoulder. Who knows?

It might interest you to know that most of the women I’ve come across who blame their lack of female friends on jealousy are women who are far more comfortable basking in the adoring glow of the male gaze than with dealing with the ins and outs of actual friendships that require more than looking cute.

The most effective way to deal with these ladies is kindness. Maybe try to get to know one or two of them. Ask questions. Listen to the answers. You love your husband, so it would make sense that his friends would be interesting people, right? By simply hanging back and being nice, I made some fantastic friends who long outlasted my relationship. You might be much younger today, but when you’re 40, a couple years won’t make a bit of difference. And by that time your husband will probably be onto a new youngster, so it’ll be good to have friends around to pass the tissues and ply you with wine. E


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