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Hey, Can I Borrow Your Husband?

by: Patricia Bubash, M.Ed.

Hey, can I borrow your husband? Now, we know lawn mowers, hedge trimmers, cups of sugar are not unusual items for a friend or neighbor to ask us to lend out, but a husband? This presents a whole new spin on what one might “borrow."

My good friend and colleague who made this request didn’t need Jim as a strong-armed man to wrestle a heavy piece of furniture up the stairs nor an escort for an social event, but, rather, some help with insurance forms. She only needed his expertise on the subject-and, only for a short amount of time was she wanting to “borrow” him.

Pris is one of a circle of girlfriends I have who are either divorced or widowed. She is quite content in her status as once married, now single. She is well educated, has a profession which she enjoys, and an active social life. She doesn’t need nor is she looking for a permanent male in her household – borrowed, is fine. She can use Jim’s skills, then, send him home to me once he has given her the information that she needs.

I am quite happy that I can loan Jim out to my friends who may need some advice regarding house maintenance, websites or other skills for which he is known to excel. His abilities and graciousness in helping is greatly appreciated by my BFFs. And, that is the key word here, not borrowed, but “appreciated."

As his wife, I, sometimes, no, most of the time, take his ability to do so many things for granted. My friends give him the positive regard that as a wife I more often than not, don’t give, simply, seeing his expertise as part of the package of being a married couple. I do my thing: cooking, laundry, he does his, house maintenance, yard work, and all the computer needs.

I mentioned this “borrowing” exchange to a colleague, male, who was quite surprised that this relationship worked so well for my single friends and me. He commented, “In most situations where there are two women, one male, someone gets jealous. One female feels the attention is being taken away from her. I guess he may be thinking of that old adage, “two’s company, three’s a crowd.”

Everyone enjoys receiving positive regard and appreciation. It makes our self worth go up a notch. As I see it, this is a win-win for all involved: my friend gets what she needs, Jim feels appreciated, and I feel good helping a friend.

At a young age, girls seem to be in tossed into the role of appealing to the opposite sex. Attracting and wanting their attention is quickly learned. I have even noticed how infant girls seem attracted to male voices, attending to the bass tones of whatever man is in the room. We grow up learning what it takes to win over the men in our lives, and some women are so relentless in acquiring a male, they lose valuable female friendships. As a teen age girl, then a young woman, I knew my girlfriends, and our relationships were equally as important as the male relationships that I had.

When my marriage ended, and I was a single mom of three daughters with ailing cars, faulty plumbing, house maintenance tasks that eluded me, it was my girlfriends who were my support, encouragement, and benefactors.

How grateful I was for my married friends who were willing to let me borrow their husbands to help me in tackling these daunting problems. It is as another “maturing” friend commented, “We gals need each other,"and if I can help by lending Jim out, that is just fine. I am not bothered by the adage, “neither a lender nor a borrower be” – Pris, Judy, and Susan are welcome to borrow Jim for his help----just as long, as he remembers to do all those same tasks for Pat!!!

Patricia Bubash received her M.Ed. in Counseling from the University of Missouri, St. Louis. Working with students and families has been her true calling for over thirty years.  For more than twenty years she has presented workshops at the community college on a variety of topics relating to parenting issues, self-esteem and issues relative to divorce.  Patricia is a Licensed Professional Counselor in the state of Missouri and, a Stephen Minister.  She submits a variety of articles related to relationships, marriage and divorce to several internet sites, and, frequently, is interviewed on internet radio stations. Volunteerism, writing and family are most significant in her life. Patricia writes for DivorceSupportCenter.com, HopeAfterDivorce.org, CupidPulse.com, and FamilyShare.com.

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