Jana Jana Bo Bana

Steve wrote:


Maybe you can help me with this.  I am a little older than you and married, so I don’t know if you can identify, but here we go.

My wife has a friend “Jana” who is ruining our marriage.  My wife and Jana have been friends for about 5 years but Jana has progressively moved more and more into control of my wife.  She has these “panic attacks” (which after looking up what a panic attack is..these are NOT real panic attacks), and calls my wife over at 9 or ten at night freaking out about her life and then guilts my wife into going out for drinks.  My wife feels obligated since she and Jana are good friends and she goes along, but then Jana asks her to play wingman for her and help her get guys.  My wife has declined a few times and Jana’s thrown a fit about it for a few days, then it’s back to normal. 

Jana also hates my guts and tries to convince my wife she’d “have more fun as a single woman” or that “she doesn’t need a husband”.  My wife brushes these things off, but when we get into arguments about how much time she spends with Jana, my wife says she understands what Jana meant about being confined in a marriage and it hurts my feelings.  This is becoming more and more frequent and I don’t know what to do.  Any advice you can give would be helpful.




Put your foot down and say, “Dammit woman, I am the man here and you can’t see your friend.” That’s what you were expecting me to say here, right?  Well, that’s not the right answer…not necessarily.

First, you should ask your wife why she feels the need to spend so much time with Jana and why she feels obligated to be the primary responder for her “panic attacks”.  Doesn’t Jana have other friends or family that can help?

Next, figure out why your wife brushes off Jana’s statements one minute and uses them against you in an argument the next.  This tells me that she really DOES find validity in what Jana is saying and is simply playing it off to you that she doesn’t care.  Something doesn’t jive here and you need to determine what it is.

Finally, have a conversation with your wife and let her know that you feel Jana is a bad influence and that Jana is wrecking the relationship between you two.  Don’t forbid her to see Jana, but let her know you’re not comfortable with it.  This seems to be a toxic friendship and sometimes these types of friendships destroy everything they touch, but once in awhile the person sees the danger of having a toxic friend and gets out.

Good luck!