Can Married Men Have Female Friends?

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Quick quiz: A 38-year-old man you don't know well asks you to dinner. He is married, you are married. Is he hitting on you?

Many people say yes, unequivocally. They suggest there are few married guys who are "just interested in being friends." Most importantly, a man who is really interested in just trying to cultivate a friendship invites both spouses to dinner with him and his spouse as well.

Compelling points.

On the other hand, I definitely believe that men and women can be friends with one another without hooking up. Or, as my friend pointed out the other day, the two most important things in a marriage: trust and lust.

We have to trust our spouses. So, do we?

I will admit, the idea of my husband having close female friends doesn't please me. I'm a jealous person by nature. I wish I weren't and I'm working on it, but I am.

My husband is far less jealous and perhaps trusts me far more than I trust him (zoinks!) because he would gladly let me go to dinner alone with a man, while I would throw down with any woman who dared ask my husband to dinner alone.

I know I'm not alone. There are women who asked to stay anonymous who admitted that they, too, would never let their spouse have female friends and men who admitted that the only way a "friendship" is possible is when they're in no way attracted to the female.

Of course, what man will admit to being attracted to a woman to his spouse? We are left to guess at which friends our husbands find hot and which ones he doesn't. Better yet, just forget the whole thing.

Heterosexual men and women relate to one another through flirting and those little flirtations can be harmless, but they can also grow and grow until they're too big for us to control. For those who have had affairs, many will say they start harmlessly -- a little giggle, a hair toss, a dinner, some wine, and the next thing you know, you're trading marriage war stories and thinking the other person would be a much better spouse for you.

It's a slippery slope.

What do you think? Can married people be friends with the opposite sex? 

 

Image via tinou bao/Flickr


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27 Comments

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nonmember avatar Kira Dault

I think married men and women can be friends. My husband has many female friends, and I also have male friends. The agreement, though, is that we do not keep our friends away from each other. For example, my husband has a very good female friend. I do not call her up to talk. But I know her, we have all had dinner together. She is always invited to parties that we have. Same goes for my male friends. I trust my husband, and he trusts me.

nonmember avatar nonmember

I choose to be purist regarding this, seperating friends versus acquaintances.. With that said, yes I think it is certainly possible.. As for me, being married I exercise my right to only be an acquaintance with the opposite sex in lieu of being friends..

Kimberly Virga

I guess it's "possible", but when has it worked out well? Especially if you really did start out genuinely as friends, then someone develops feelings? Thats sort of what happens between men and women. I have many male acquantinces, but you will not find me ever going out to dinner or to a function with them alone.... I just don't think its appropriate. Maybe that sounds old-fashioned, but my husband feels the same way; he would never go out somewhere with a female friend, either. It's just not appropriate for a marriage. It has nothing to do with trust or anything, it has to do with being a united front and doing things together. We share mostly the same friends, and we like being together, not apart.

Gusan... Gusandruca

I have male friends. However, I would never go out to dinner with them alone, without my husband. I like to avoid the drama, and would never do anything that would raise an eyebrow. It's not worth it. As for my husband, I wouldn't allow him to have close female friends, for the same reason.

hotic... hoticedcoffee

Wow, I'm surprised that I'm the only one who is fine with opposite-sex friends.  What about guys you've been friends with since before you met your husband?  I've got guy friends that I've known since I was 5.  Do you just abandon them because you're married?  Does your husband have to cut loose any women he's been friends with, too?  Do women really assume that their husbands will automatically hop into bed with a woman if he's allowed to have an unsupervised dinner with her a few times?


I think it's unfortunate - the presumption that your husband will lose sight of your marriage just because he has an oppostie-sex friend makes me wonder why you married him in the first place.   I'm glad it's not the way my marriage works, and wow, sure makes me appreciate my husband in a different way.

nonmember avatar Allboys

I look at this a tad bit differently. If my husband developed a friendship via work that would be ok. The thing is he has never before sought out close friendships with women, only romances. So if he were to start telling me he was going to go hang out with another woman one on one I would be highly suspicious. Only because it's so out of the norm for him. I would have to meet her and see how they interacted with one another before I felt comfortable with it. Even then I don't think I would be all that comfortable unless she was gay.

nonmember avatar K

I was also going to ask about guy friends that one has before they are married - I have a few from college that I've gone to dinner/s with since becoming married. my husband knows them and is fine with it - it's never been an issue and I certainly have no plans on having affairs with them!
Maybe it is different for friends after a marriage?

nonmember avatar Booklover0313

i think it really depends on each individual friend and the comfort level of yourself and your partner. my husband has had a very close female friend for the last 20 years, she was a groom's woman! they have been friends when they have both been single or in relationships with others. they have gotten together for lunch or grabbed a movie at times. i am always welcome to come along, but i don't always go with them. i think it's fine that he has found a good friend, whether male or female.
however, there was another friend whom he met through work who i requested he not have any contact with beyond what was strictly business. this woman took it upon herself to send him emails, bring him food, ask him to lunch, and the first and only time i met her, she was either asking me very personal questions about our life or telling me how great she thinks my husband is; while she may just want a new bff, i was totally uncomfortable.
so, the point to that whole ramble is that yes, men and women can be friends with members of the opposite sex, but not every member of the opposite sex.

tired... tiredofthis60

my husband is talking to his exwife not happy about that he also looks online too at other women. Sick of itdevil

nonmember avatar Paul

Your husband is meeting with his friends, because they are important to him. I know it feels tempting to try to seize control over other human beings and feel more secure, especially because your relationship with him might seem like a sort of entitlement to him, but he is an adult human being and you cannot tell him what to do or correct him. If you start to explain how bad you feel about it, it would be an emotional blackmail. If you ask him not to see this woman because you think that all men and women relationship end in bed, that would be really insulting. I know it feels bad, but accept it.

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