Marriage Missions International

How A Man’s Friends Can Make Or Break His Marriage

Photo credit: Alex Light / Foter / CC BY-NC

Photo credit: Alex Light / Foter / CC BY-NC

Life is one series of choices after the next. We all have within ourselves the free will to make choices that are good for what we want out of life and we have the free will to make choices that can hurt what we want out of life.

If we determine that we want our marriage to be one of partnership and to be the best it can be, we have to make the choices that will help that to happen. And when it comes to how we handle our friendships, the same “rule” applies.

“Each of us has a choice to make in terms of what we expect out of our friendships with others. You see, some may be content with just hanging out with the boys after a game. It’s fine just throwing the ball around, getting dirty, having some laughs, and then going home. For many that’s enough; that’s what friendship is. But if you want something more for your life, you have to go after it. You need to find people who are looking for the same.” (Dave Currie with Glen Hoos)

It’s true what the Bible says in 1 Corinthians 15:33:

“Do not be misled: ‘Bad company corrupts good character.’ Come back to your senses as you ought, and stop sinning: for there are some who are ignorant of God —I say this to your shame.”

You can’t play with “fire” in going places and doing things with friends that can hurt your marriage and not expect for it to “burn” your marriage so it is severely damaged. If you have friendships that hurt your marriage, then you need to pull back from them, as difficult as that may seem. It’s the same principle as “cutting off the hand that causes you to sin.” One is a temporary hurt, and yet it eventually leads to a better end; and one leads to having you continually hurt your marriage which can cause it to break under the pressure.

Years ago I had a friend that enjoyed smoking. And that was fine for that friend. But when she kept trying to get me to smoke, and I determined in my mind that I didn’t want to end up a smoker, I had a choice to make. I could either keep up my friendship with this person and eventually become a smoker (because she wouldn’t stop pushing the cigarettes at me and I knew I would eventually give in to appease her) or I would cut off our friendship and find another friend.

As difficult as it was to cut off the friendship, I’m now glad I made that choice (especially as I see other friends who are struggling to try to quit smoking).

I realize this circumstance is different than the ones you are facing. But the issue is the same. If a friend is tempting us to go in a direction we shouldn’t, and we aren’t strong enough to do the right thing, isn’t it better to end the friendship rather than doing what we shouldn’t?

If you have a friendship that is hurting your marriage, you have a choice to make. Is this friendship more important to you than your spouse and is the vow you made when you married less important than your friendship, or what?

Sometimes we have friendships that are good for us “for a season” but then it’s time to move on from there because they just aren’t working anymore. A friendship is different than a marriage. With a marriage, you entered into covenant with your spouse and also with God. To leave that marriage for the sake of an outside friendship (no matter how strong the friendship bond was at one time), you are breaking a solemn vow. You need to realize that.

To help you further with this dilemma, we would like for you to read an article written by Dr Dave Currie and Glen Hoos. To do so, click onto the link below:

How a Man’s Friends Can Make or Break a Marriage

If you have additional tips you can share to help others in this area of marriage, or you want to share requests for prayer and/or ask others for advice, please “Join the Discussion” by adding your comments below.


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23 Responses to “How A Man’s Friends Can Make Or Break His Marriage”
  1. Tim says:

    (USA) Great article pointing out the need to have men in our lives that will both lift us up and hold us accountable while challenging us to be the man that God intended!

  2. ALove says:

    (USA) I’m currently going through this with my husband. He wants to be out with this friends all the time. I don’t think his friends are the best company since they are doing things that they shouldn’t and I know my husband is too. I’m so sadden by this that I just want to leave him. It’s been going on for 5 years and I just can’t take it anymore. Please pray for me. :(

    • Jenny from United States says:

      I had the same experience. The best can be to leave if they don’t give in to the relationship 100%.

  3. Cindy Wright says:

    (USA) We are praying for you ALove. May God open your husband’s eyes to turn his heart towards home and in the future, to guard his heart for you and God alone to be his partners.

    “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit!” (Romans 15:13) “May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus, so that with one heart and mouth you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ!” (Romans 15:5-6)

  4. Thababosiu says:

    (LESOTHO)  I am currently married, and we had problems even before we got married. The love and the spark is no longer there. I was in love with someone else before my marriage and I am still in love with her. Is it a sin to divorce my wife and marry someone that I truly love unconditionally?

  5. Heidi says:

    (USA)  I have a question. Am I wrong? I got up set today because my husband is talking to old girlfriends on face book. It hurts me and I said something to him and he got mad at me. He is now saying he is going to divorce me. I was hoping someone can show me in the Bible if it says anything about that or if I am wrong in how I feel? Please help.

  6. Sisi says:

    (NAMIBIA)  Hi Heidi. I have the same problem with facebook. My husband recently decided that he would sign up on facebook. We had initially agreed that we would not be on facebook, due to past issues. I personally feel that it is indeed an evil thing as marriages are breaking up because of spouses doing the wrong things on facebook.

    I don’t understand why my husband has to dig up women that have caused problems between us before. What friendship will they be having? He knows very well that I will not be happy if I were to find out that he is “friends ” with these people on facebook. Does that show respect for me cause what will they be thinking of me?

    This just shows that he does not take my feelings into consideration. If I were to do that to him (which I will not) would he like it? I just think that spouses should do to others as they would like the other to do unto them. I really want him to deactivate as I know the dangers from the pas.t But what do i do if he refuses to?

  7. Rose says:

    (S.AFRICA)  Hi Heidi and Sisi, At the moment I really hate face book. My marriage nearly broke up and again is at risk as a result of this. Talking to ex girlfriends/”friends” on face book leads to far deeper problems than you can believe. After just “chatting,” this so called “old love” of his, flew halfway around the world so that they could meet up again. It’s not just an innocent visit, I will leave the rest to your imagination.

    Divorce proceedings in-sued at my husbands request and he moved out for nearly one year. He is now back and I forgave him but once again he has not learned his lesson. Secret e-mail addresses and new FB accounts have resurfaced. How much more emotional abuse should one take? Trying to build up trust again but never know for sure who he “chats” to in secret. Modern technology unfortunately allows this to happen. I could easily get rid of the computer but there is always his lap top handy for “work” purposes. I ask God to help me deal with this issue as I will never know.

  8. Sisi says:

    (NAMIBIA)  Hi Rose. I ask that we pray for our husbands. A friend of mine decided to send me an email, to show me what my husband is saying to these people on facebook. Mind you, anyone who goes on his profile can see these comments. He is busy telling women how good they look and even saying things about visiting them. So I sent him the mail and he asked me what is wrong with what he said in this chatts. I could not believe my ears. So what he said was, “if you want to take it in bad way suit yourself”. So now I am wondering that, if he can allow the whole world to see such comments, then what is in his inbox? Please pray for us.

  9. Helpless says:

    (USA)  This article can’t be anymore truer! My husband works a lot of hours and spends a lot of time with coworkers (he’s a General contractor) and I sometimes see text messages from his phone from his male coworkers – elicit texts about other people, mostly women. I confronted him about it saying how I do not appreciate these kind of talk as it shows disrespect to him, our marriage and to me as well. He never talked to this kid about it to tell him to stop. They know at work that he’s married and them sending these inappropriate texts that could give him ideas.

    Our marriage has not been in a good situation for a long time now and he’s also had an emotional affair with someone else from work, as well. So the trust is not there and this kind of stuff makes it even worse.

  10. Christina says:

    (MALAYSIA)  My Husband’s friends are malicious towards me. It’s so embarassing talking about this because they are adults and not children but they seriously act like one. His friends hate me because of me, he has “responsibilities” now and sees them less. I have never forced my husband to stay at home with me, he does it on his own free will. His friends however, retaliate by treating me horribly.

    When I talk to my husband about this, he would go into a fit and says that he has been friends with them for 8 years and they mean a lot to him. I do not know what to do. I really feel that the only way I can stop this is to leave my husband. Please pray for us… I really need help.

  11. Tony says:

    (USA)  Again, a tip that would be good for both genders, aimed only at men. After all, how many times have you seen an unhappy wife get the “you go girl” from her girlfriends telling her to break her vows and leave her husband, that God would want her to be happy, etc. That too is an example of bad company corrupting good character.

    So let’s not just call men on the carpet for this. This is an equal opportunity offense, not just something men do.

    • Cindy Wright says:

      Tony, I agree that both genders can and do sometimes make unwise friendships they perpetuate. But give me a break here. This is an article posted in the “For Married Men” topic. It’s one, which is addressed to men about men. If you want something for “both genders” then go into the “Assorted Marriage Problems” topic and you will see an article, which addresses both men and women.

      And before you complain that there isn’t an article posted in the “For Married Women” topic, which addresses women concerning friends they can have, I can honestly tell you that I’ve looked for material on this issue and keep coming up empty handed. Trust me when I say that I’ve looked and will continue to look, but so far I haven’t found anything I can post. You can complain about the state of the world in being unfair on this matter, and you would be right. But I’m not a magician. I/we can only do so much. We do the best we can with what we’re able to find. If it isn’t there, we can’t post it. I can only write so many articles. If the Lord shows me that I need to write one on this issue, I will. In the meantime I work from early morning until late at night on the work the Lord shows me to do (and still preserve and enjoy my own marriage).

      However, you can see that in the “For Married Women” topic we do have an article titled, “Male Bashing.” Technically, this tells women to stop talking about their husbands in disrespectful ways. If you can find more on the internet to help us, please let us know. We need all the help we can get on MANY levels with this ministry. I agree that both men and women (or women and men, if you want me to put it that way) need to be called down “on the carpet” when they gang up with a mob mentality to take down spouses with their words and/or actions. Again, we do the best we can. Sorry. We can’t do more than that.

  12. Tony says:

    (USA)  I typically see what’s been recently updated. So the headings such as: For Married Men are not what draws a topic to my attention. It’s just the stuff on the RHS of your home page where the latest comments are written and/or the Recently Updated links.

    I realize you don’t write these articles, so my complaint isn’t necessarily with you. Actually, you nailed it. It’s that such articles are targeted at men or women when the principle applies to both. I believe the authors do a disservice to the church when they write things such as these articles and address them only to men or only to women.

    When I see that you’ve not mentioned that this is good advice that applies equally to both men and women with respect to the friends they choose, I simply point out that this is something that applies to both genders. It’s gender neutral advice.

    I think we as the church need to stop fostering incorrect stereotypes. Just today a women suggested that men cannot be faithful. I asked her who the men are having their affair with. Frankly, she had never thought about it.

    The overarching message is that bad character, bad decisions and poor relationship skills are not gender issues, but individual issues. The sooner we dispel the stereotypes that men are unfaithful, inept and are relationally challenged relative to women, the more accurate our starting place will be with respect to building Godly marriages.

    Men are no more and no less well equipped for relationship than women. Men are no more and no less well behaved than women. Men are no more and no less committed to their marriages than women.

    I don’t think our spirit has a gender. I believe scripture is pretty clear that in Christ, which I believe is speaking about our spiritual being, we are all the same. In Christ, we are not male, nor female, we are not slave, nor free. We may have different assigned roles while in these earthly tents. But our spirits are the same. We are all sinners, we all fall short. Not just men, not just women.

    It is just tiring to be constantly beaten down by those who are supposed to be our allies. Our brothers and sisters in Christ, spreading Satan’s lies that men are inferior, or superior relative to women. Or the converse, that women are inferior or superior relative to men.

    Spiritually, we are all in the same boat, suffering from the same conditions, making the same mistakes, and all falling short of the goal. It’s not a gender issue, it’s a spiritual issue.

  13. Ruby says:

    (PHILIPPINES)  My husband is a seafarer. Every after six months contract, he goes home. It’s his only chance to go out with his high school classmates and batch mates. He never asked me to go with him in all his meetings with his batch mates. And every time, he would only go home at 1:00 AM. But before he leaves, would always tell we can call him anytime, and truly he would answer. In their group, there are ladies, married and separated, and married men minus their wives. They would have a drinking spree there. And sometimes, my husband would drop these ladies off where they live. I never nag my husband when he goes home. He would tell me after, what happened in their meetings. I trust my husband because I love him so much.

    But just last month, while he was on the ship, he missent a message to me. On the message, he called me “honey” which was never our endearment. I was so much hurt. When I confronted him, he accepted that he has a textmate, and said that she will never be the reason for the destruction of our marriage coz he never had a sexual relationship with her. I felt so betrayed. I trusted him. He thinks it’s just okay to flirt with a woman he has not met. Now I doubt it, if she’s a textmate or a woman he met in their so called “meetings”. How am I going to trust my husband again?

  14. Hlumi says:

    (SA) My husband is always out with friends after work & sometimes on weekends. He always come home @ night. I understand his job is demanding but just when you think it’s Friday he will be home early! Guess he’s out drinking with friends without letting me know & he doesn’t see anything wrong with this. It’s really putting a strain in our marriage now because I don’t want to be the nagging boring wife & I have decided to just keep quiet because there’s no point. I pray that we take priority in his list after God.

  15. Jeff says:

    (USA) Let’s take some things into account. Sexless marriage for first 13 years. Run my own business and there are/were always quirks and always will be. Both have grad degrees in the same field, but she has always been a stay at home mom of two.

    She told me flat out she didn’t want to hear about the office if it wasn’t positive, so couldn’t bounce things off her even though she has same education. I never did enough even when I took Fridays off so she could have a relaxing day. I cleaned and took the kids on Friday. Friday night date night for how many years never led to lovemaking. Did not get support for my business?

    Finally now we are 18 years in. The last 2 years she has only rejected me sexually about a dozen times even though she has said she will never reject me and is ashamed she did for all those years. Now? Well I am either conditioned to masturbate or just do not care and we’ll go weeks without it. Do I blame her? 100% for the sex. I have a very strong suspicion that she was told to withold sex to get what she wants, as my sister, m-i-law, and mother have done that to their spouses and I know it for a fact, so I think she thought it would do something…what I don’t know. My sexual drive is not what it was when I wanted her. Now she is nearly 50 and not the 30 year old athlete I wanted so badly for 15+ years.

    Let me ask you ladies? Has the women’s movement helped society? Has society been better than the 40s/50s? Why not go back to the respect that women once gave to men? I love my wife deeply, but do not desire her as I once did because of the lack of support, respect and sex. Can we get that back? I do not believe so, as it is… I come last and our teenagers come first. I am as 100% committed to her as the day we married, but I cannot lie and say my hope for a satisfying marriage is still there. I think when she really became saved, she turned a bit of a corner, but I always, always get the exhausted, tired, spent, nagging, complaining wife when I get home, get up in the morning and weekends. Bless you all.

  16. Kishan from India says:

    I’m from India. It’s a well known fact in the difference how marriages are handled in East and in West. When I read through the comments I see the difference in approach. In India, when marriages have these bitter moments the only discussion is about the children. Both parents would always think of the child first. And for the same reason it’s very few relations, which end up in divorce… few means around 10 in a million.

    I also understand that in such life there may not be happiness with one of the couple. As the parents love & care for their children the relationship is strong. Children are dependent on their parents till the age of 20-22. And this makes their bond strong. So what happens in marriage is… lets assume the husband seems to go the wrong path, the wife if knows has an argument with her husband… 60% of cases the husband correct themselves. The reason again is he can’t be the reason for the bad effects on children. 20% cases where the husband is not changing parents of both husband wife get involved… and then the husbands tries to change. This is because of the respect he holds for his parents. 20% of the cases may be that the husband never changes. In such cases the wife lives a painful life. But see the brighter side… the children in that family know the pain their mother took… if they’re sons they become very sensible husbands when they’re grown up.

    So the point is if the husband and wife just break up on issues… this is what children learn and then this culture goes on and on… Marriage has to be taken not as moving into home… where you try to live and then if it is not working out you move out. Marriage should be taken as bond which almighty have created between a man and woman. And they should try all that is required to hold on to that.

    I know in that case most of the women may be exploited/cheated upon… but I feel the next generation will be very sensible human beings… and there on it may get passed on.

    What I say may not be practical… or well thought because it’s just 6 years into marriage for me and I have a beautiful daughter and a wonderful wife. The way I was brought up… cheating is something by default of the system. I remember a quote from a very old aged husband/wife when asked about how they worked it out to stay together. They said “we come from a time where if something breaks you fix it… not throw it.”

    • Cindy Wright from United States says:

      Kishan, This is VERY well out, despite your doubts. You are right in saying that marriage is not supposed to be thought of “as moving into a home where you try to live and then if it is not working out you move out.” That is beautifully said and thought out. Too many people approach marriage like that. It IS supposed to be “taken as a bond, which the Almighty created between a man and woman.” It’s supposed to be approached as a covenant bond, where God is the third person within your marriage, who helps you to hold together as a “cord of three strands” when you both look to Him to help you, which He very much wants to do. If more people who marry see marriage that way and more people also look at the example they are living out for their children, they would each try harder and put their personal feelings aside to do all they can to repair that which is broken. It’s when selfism comes into the picture, then all is tainted. Thank you Kishan, for commenting. It is inspiring. May the Lord continue to bless you and your marriage.

  17. Lonely wife from United States says:

    I’ve been dealing with this issue for past 2 years with husband. We have a neighbor who has become best friends with my husband and since they moved in. My husband is never home. The neighbors have parties all the time and lots of drinking is involved. We’re welcome to tag along but because I don’t want my kids around that type of environment, I don’t go to the neighbor’s house very often but do have to walk over if I need to ask my husband a question or need anything.

    We have been married for 14 years and have 4 kids who wonder why their mom is always crying and lonely and daddy is never at home and can’t take us out as a family or spend time with us anymore. It’s killing us all. We used to be so close but now only see him on weeknights after work for a couple of hours, and come Friday night. He’s at the neighbors drinking every single weekend. I miss my husband. But since I don’t drink, I can’t talk to any of them about how I feel because I’m labeled as the goody two shoe needy wife who has no life or friends and is a just a boring, depressed woman to be around.

  18. James from United States says:

    I can’t help but notice that it’s okay for women to discourage their husbands from hanging with a bad crowd, but when the husband points out these same types of flaws with a woman’s friends he’s being controlling.

  19. Mrs.Stewart from United States says:

    I’ve been having some of these same problems before my marriage. The FB & IG was a huge problem for me. We always spoke on deactivating them permanently but it never happened. I can’t stand my husband’ childhood best friend. The man who was there as the best man at my wedding but still delivering ex-women messages. Smh. His friend must go. Honestly I’m ready to give him an ultimatum. Its either me or him because I’ve been dealing with this negative no good friend for too long over 5 years now. I feel like all 3 of us are in a relationship at times. So I took his phone and put his friend on the block list. He didn’t realize until a week later…The best week of my life. Then I just asked him, “Can you stay away from going by him for me because he causes problems and he agreed. And he permanently deactivated the FB just have to make it to the Library to get rid of that IG.

  20. Sue from United States says:

    I am a non believer of new age culture in self promoting. I judge quality, not quantity of one’s frienship. Do you know the type of friends you have is a mirror of who you are? Maybe not so much 100% reflection but your belief, values are mostly on the same page. If a guy I dated is always around guys with questionable character, multiple divorces he got zero support to build a healthy marriage/relationship outlook. If he can’t be wise enough to at least have some distance from these friends, he is not in my opinion a worthy guy to date. I would give him a signal but I won’t make demand. The older a person, the more comfortable to say no without causing drama.

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