A few weeks ago I was out of town on business when I called home one evening to check in with the guys.  But someone else picked up the phone in my kitchen.  It was my friend, Mo.  Her voice was cheery and I could tell she was smiling on the other end, having confused me into thinking I had dialed the wrong number.

“Hello!” she said.
“Yeah!  How’s it going?”
“It’s going good.  What’s going on there?”
“Doug is working so Dave  and I are making dinner with the kids.”

(Cue dramatic music.)

It is the shit that Lifetime movies are made of.  Two couples… close friends… horrible betrayals… perhaps a shower scene… and a loaded gun….

But it gets better because there have been an equal number of times when Doug and I have hung out without Dave and Mo.  In fact, in our circle of friends here in town, you will often see a mixing and matching of husbands and wives out and about – working out, at kids sporting events, out to dinner or ice cream, or even at the local brew pub grabbing a drink.  (You know who you are.) But unfortunately for Lifetime – and any reality show in the making – we really are “just normal friends.”

But lately I have been wondering how normal it really is.

Conventional wisdom suggests we may be a little odd.  Societal norms discourage wives and husbands to build meaningful friendships with someone else’s spouse.  On more than one occasion, Dave or I have felt the local scrutiny when showing up in public with a spouse that is not our own.  And while tremendous fun can be had perpetuating the morbid fantasy of the neighborhood gossip, I often feel compelled to explain myself and tell folks not to worry.  We are not swinging or swapping.  Those terms suggest the exchange of other things beside conversation and a few laughs.  I’d like to say we are just switching – and temporarily at that.

Spouse switching has is benefits.  I, for one, feel better when I am out of town that Dave doesn’t have to handle the burden of the brothers by himself.   As for exercise, if I can find anyone to run 10 miles with Dave at 5:00 a.m., I don’t care what color their sneakers are.  And I’m actually kind of proud that I have a husband who wives want to hang out with.  Gives him a little street cred after 17 years of marrigage.  As for me, I genuninely like spend time with these men.  They are kind and funny and real.  My friends picked winners. 

Still I don’t see many other spouse switchers out there which suggests one of the following realities:

People generally do not LIKE the spouses of their friends or …
People like the spouses of their friends but at not comfortable spending one-on-one time with them for a variety of reasons.

If the former, then so be it.  But if the latter, I might suggest that you are missing out on half of the close friendships you could be enjoying.

So tell me MoB readers, do you hang with your friend’s spouses one-on-one? 

Or do you think there is something fishy about it? 

Life enhancing or Lifetime movie?  Weigh in here today.


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