We are best friends with another couple who wind up in an argument or fight almost every time we hang out with them. We have mentioned this to them that it makes us very uncomfortable. Don't want to lose the friendship but it spoils the entire evening. Feeling frustrated!
That sounds incredibly frustrating. There are a whole lot of elements of polite society that I’m glad have been thrown out the door but not fighting in front of company is a strict rule that should stay firmly in place. I’m all for talking things out. Open communication. Yay! Conflict is part of any relationship but people need to hang on to the idea of appropriate time, appropriate place. Sheesh!
Ok, so you need to establish some boundaries with your friends and you’re going to have to be gentle but direct. I had a friend once who is a yeller with her kids. And I’m not. And my kids are not used to yelling in my house so when my friend and her kids would come to visit, the yelling freaked my kids out. So I told her my house was a no-yelling zone. Was it an uncomfortable conversation? Kind of. But there were two things that were important to me in having the conversation. First, I wanted my children to feel comfortable, safe and loved. And second, I wanted to spend time with my friend! And so I told her I love you, I want to spend time with you but no yelling in my house. And it worked.
So, that’s my recommendation. Sit them down and tell them that their friendship is so important to you but the fighting makes it hard to want to hang out with them. Is there a chance that you might lose your friends? Maybe. But most likely it’ll all just blow over and you’ll get some effort on their part to tone it down. Setting boundaries and enforcing consequences with adults is hard but not impossible. And if you don’t’ do something, chances are you’re going to start finding excuses not to hang out with them and that’s worse right?
Don't be shy! Say what's on your mind and get a good dose of perspective in return.