My wife is having a friend stay over with us at the end of the month for a visit. The friend asked if she could bring her new (~2 months) boyfriend along as well. We are not comfortable with this for multiple reasons. In order of importance to us:

  1. We have never met this guy before, and we aren’t comfortable with him sleeping in the room next to our two year old.
  2. My wife feels that it would be more entertaining and less catching up with her friend.
  3. They may opt (or request) to sleep in the same room together, something that we aren’t comfortable with in our house.

I told my wife that she needs to be honest with her friend, but she is worried about her friend interpreting this as not trusting her judgement in men, which isn’t the case. How does my wife explain that we would prefer that her friend not bring her boyfriend on an overnight trip to our house, without (or minimally) damaging the relationship?

Additional context: it would be one night spent at our house. My wife is also in the 8th month of pregnancy, which the friend knows about.

up vote 79 down vote accepted

It's your house, your castle, your 'nest' - especially as you have both a two-year old as well as a second child underway.

So I'd just outright tell the truth: at the current time you are not comfortable to host strangers there over night.

It should be well understood and respected in your situation, especially by a friend. It's your private place and you have to set the boundaries.

Offer alternative arrangements within these boundaries: she is welcome to stay over night, or they both visit for dinner and then stay together at a nearby hotel, or the girls meet at a local bar to do the catching-up... be open to alternatives and there should not be grounds for bad feelings!

If you present this as general boundary for you at this point in time, it should be clear that this has nothing to do with how much you trust the friend. A stranger is still a stranger and the feeling of having someone in your 'nest' who does not belong won’t change just because you know he’s probably OK.

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    @ Arthur: I trust that OP´s wife knows what is best for herself and he would not be tempted to send his wife into a dangerous place just to prevent a stranger staying overnight! What does that whole thing have to do even remotely with OP´s question and with my Answer? If you want to discuss medical aspects of pregnancy you are totally on the wrong stack! – Daniel Jul 12 at 12:39
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    I would add that laying it out plainly is good, but maybe not the "Staying in one room" part. That could come across very judgmental and, quite literally, "Holier than thou" – bendl Jul 12 at 20:22

Boundaries

Having a friend stay who is known over many years is one thing, a complete stranger is another.

To most people this boundary would be non-negotiable, unless there was a good reason to suddenly prioritise this.

Having strangers stay over, while on their way as a group somewhere else, and all one is providing is a space to camp out, is fine, but being part of the friendship group and participating in family and casual interactions is very different.

Most people in this situation make sure it is one night, and if things go bad it is easy to make excuses and part ones ways.

If it was me I would suggest a social occasion, to see how things went, where any worries can be laid to rest. With a wife who is in later stages of pregnancy and possibly grouchy etc. support for a friend maybe more important or an annoying situation something one might want to avoid.

So these are some things to take into account. A compromise trial would be the way I would go, so everyone can back out politely if needed. This would show ones worries, to the friend and get a feel for how things can progress without being rude and judgemental.

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