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I'm looking for an adjective /idiom /expression /phrase with a negative connotation, for describing someone who spends their time mostly with their friends, and prefer their friends to their own family, even though they are married.

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The only phrase that comes to mind is a negative one, "He's not a family man."

family man noun [C] uk us

     a man who has a ​wife and ​children, or who ​enjoys ​spending a lot of ​time with them

Cambridge Dictionaries Online

It's a very well-known idiom so I think it's suitable to your context.

  • Waylon might call him a "good-timin' man". But this type has wicked ways too, so it wouldn't necessary apply. Estranged or alienated is too strong since the description is “prefer”. I think Chasly hits it right on the head. – user116032 Sep 6 '15 at 21:28
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He/She is not family-oriented.

A family oriented man/woman is devoted to his/her family and prefers to be with them.

  • Being family oriented can carry several meanings, depending on the context in which it is being used -- but at its core, being family oriented is appreciating your family, your relationship and the relationship that your partner shares with his or her family. Being family oriented is a state of mind that guides your actions with friends, family and in relationships. Individuals who consider themselves family oriented may come from a strong religious background, may have a tightly knit family, or may long to start a family with the right person. (from cs.com)
  • +1, Thanks @Centaurus, appropriate phrase. Can I say "someone is friend-oriented"? – Soudabeh Sep 7 '15 at 3:09
  • @J008 I never hear it. "friendmaker" fits better. "an interesting person whose biggest talent is to make friends/contacts in all sorts of circles and whatever the circumstances are." – Centaurus Sep 7 '15 at 13:11

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