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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Comments

55 responses to “How A Man’s Friends Can Make Or Break His Marriage

  1. Hi ladies, I’m hoping someone can help me. I’ve been married for almost 1 year. My husband is a wonderful man, I love him very much. However, he has a group chat with 2 of his single friends who are constantly sending pictures and talking about other women. I explained to him that it makes me feel disrespected and because he’s married (even though he may not be physically doing anything), he should distance himself from these conversations and tell his friends to talk to each other, rather than including him.

    Just this morning at 7am I look over and see 2 different pictures of women in his phone that were once again sent by his friend. He tells me it has nothing to do with him. I told him it creates trust issues for me and I don’t like it. Now he’s acting as if I’m wrong for categorizing him. I told him there are lines that need to be drawn with his friends. I don’t talk to close friends or family because I don’t want to invite people into our issues, but am I overreacting for this?

    1. You are NOT overreacting. He is not protecting your heart or your marriage. This is a serious problem. He is dipping his toe into the hole of temptation and figures he won’t be drawn in. But what person does? We all think we’re the exception to this type of thing, figuring it won’t happen to us. And yet, if I had a dime for everyone who wrote saying they “never thought it would happen” or they “never meant for it to happen” sadly, we would sure be on the road to prosperity. (It’s money we wouldn’t want.)

      The point isn’t just whether or not this will go further down in a bad direction (although that’s a BIG issue –he’s being prideful to think that he’s more in control than millions of others who have gone down this temptation tunnel), but he’s also putting these other “friends” in front of you. By continuing this, he’s saying that your fears and desires for exclusivity, as far as being friends with females is less important to him than his desire to play around like this. Whether or not he thinks this is innocent fun or not, it’s not innocent but mean-spirited when he disses you and shows preference to entertaining himself and others over you. This isn’t about “categorizing” him, but about being wise and kindhearted, and showing love to you that is reasonable. Why did he marry if he wants to play around with his single friends and talk to other women who threaten the security of his wife that he vowed to love and honor?

      I would take this very seriously. If he’s a “wonderful man” then he will protect your marriage, and he will understand that other women will see this “wonderful” quality in him and will want him to be their own eventually. Why would he put other women in that kind of place to be tempted, as well? I don’t mean this sarcastically, but sincerely. There is a shortage of good men out there, and women know it. He needs to be true to you, as you are to him and invest time in your marriage –growing your love, so you don’t end up like so many couples we see who have lost that connectedness and intimacy in their relationship. I hope you can convince him to stop playing around like this and find a better outlet for his energy. I also pray for wisdom for you to know how to best approach this so you can open his spirit to the wisdom of this advice.

      Also, just so you know, we have several articles posted in the Emotional and Physical Affair topic at http://marriagemissions.com/category/emotional-physical-affair/ that could help both of you if you glean through and use them to establish good boundaries and hedges for such a time as this and other ones that could come up in the future.

      1. The issue isn’t with him talking to other women, the issue is his single male friends that send pictures of women they’re interested in. Rather than him telling them not to, he continues to entertain it and has even told them about women on social media they should check out. I mean, he was in bed with his wife and new born child and his friend was sending pics of some woman. I feel it’s disrespectful. What are your thoughts? Thank you for your response.

        1. My reply is the same. He’s letting his “friends” send him things that are not good. The friends may be interested in these women, but this doesn’t mean that it’s appropriate for them to send those types of things to him. They have brains… they can enjoy that showcase of women without including him in on the line up. It’s just not appropriate. What kinds of standards do these friends have? I sure wouldn’t want these types of things being sent about me (if I were one of these women). And even if they wouldn’t mind, then it doesn’t mean that we have to participate in this type of meat market type of mentality.

          And again, he’s showing preference to his friends over you. What you’re asking of him is not at all unreasonable; it’s wisely cautious. When I was single, I could do a lot different things (read 1 Corinthians 7) than I can now. And now that I’m married, God gives permission to do things singles shouldn’t be doing. There are some things that we did when we were single that we need to stop doing, and others that we didn’t do when we were single that we can and should do now. This isn’t to be restrictive, but to be wise and to enjoy all the fruits of being married in love and maturity.

          I hope this helps in some way.

  2. I actually have a serious question. Is it normal/alright for my new husband (married 12/24/15), to call his childhood friend, who happens to be a woman, during an argument, instead of talking with me? We barely ever argue, but we just had a doozey of an argument, and he immediately called her to talk about it, instead of me. I’m sooo heartbroken, and he immediately turned it all around on me. He said that I’m insecure, and that I wouldn’t be upset if it was a man, instead of another woman. I told him that’s not true. I have no one, except God. Please help me!!!

  3. My husband has been friends with our neighbor for about a year. I dont like the neighbor because he lies a lot, him and his girlfriend both have cheated on each other, he’s always in trouble with the law and he’s an alcoholic. I’m not so certain that when these people talk about me that my husband defends me. My husband says I don’t have a choice in his friends. I can’t stand it and its driving me insane! Any suggestions??

  4. Please pray for my wife and I. Please give any feedback that you might think is helpful. Last year my wife moved about 150 miles away to what had been her home. Before she moved, she progressively started going “home,” more and more often. It started about once per month, and then began that she would leave Friday morning for work and return usually Sunday, or Monday night after work. This was about 5 out of 6 weekends. I thought she was just spending time – a lot of time – with family (due to some sort of failure to “leave and cleave”/separation issues), and then I found out she was spending a lot of time with her single friends.

    She says the town, “fills her tank.” One man gave her a watch. The same man was sending her texts offering to help her move. She tells me she prays for us, on how we can be reunited, but then is usually out with those single friends at dinner, dinner and drinks, activities. You can see balcony to balcony with one of these friends. I have told her that these single friends are fine but their lifestyle and mind-set does not affirm married life.

    I have given her articles and spoke to her about the destructive effects of failure to “leave and cleave,” Christian priority of relationships, and now this article about relationships that destroy marriage. I have sent her a copy of her marriage vows and a “Christian women’s guide to marriage,” (I also asked her to find me a Christian man’s guide to marriage that she wanted me to read. Help? thoughts? Thanks, Mr. Clueless N. Frustrated.

  5. I really need some help & prayers are more than welcome. I am 9 months married with my husband. We were boyfriend & girlfriend for 7 years. Anyways it’s a long story, I will try to make it short. He meet these guys from a motorcycle club. He has his own motorcycle. The problem is that these guys are almost all of the married, but they go out to drink, hooters, strippers clubs, smoke weed & I don’t know what else they use, & my husband wants to go out with them. I don’t like them & I don’t trust them.

    My husband lied to me once in order to go to hooters when he knows I’m not ok with those kind of restaurants. He is very jealous of me. I can’t have guy friends, dress too “provocative” (wear shorts) or even go to the gym. He keeps fighting with me & I’m getting very tired. But mostly I’m very depressed. He said that I’m lying and making drama, but my feelings are true. Do you think I’m overreacting? Is it ok to be close to the fire? I can’t do this anymore. He calls me crazy, drama queen, & he gets very aggressive on his words if I said I’m not ok with him going out with them.

  6. My husband has a female friend and I’m not comfortable with their relationship. I tried to be friends with her and I even thought I had a good relationship with her until I found out she had lied to him about me. We talked and would hang out together a lot. We did the things girlfriends do and when we were upset with our husbands we vented to each other and seemed to have an understanding and sympathy for the other ones situation.

    Then I find out that not only is she repeating everything I say back to my husband, she’s also flat out making up lies and telling him I’ve said things that I never said. My husband would confront me and then I would tell him that wasn’t the truth and would go to her and ask her why she would say those things and then she’d deny even saying them. When I’d tell my husband I hadn’t said those things he wouldn’t believe me. When I’d tell him she was lying he would defend her. I can’t even say her name without him getting defensive of her.

    She comes crying to my husband any time she and her husband have an argument and tells him every detail. It’s almost like she’s playing some damsel in distress role and my husband is supposed to rescue her. I’ve tried to tell him how this all makes me feel, but he gets mad at me and tells me she’s his friend and that there is nothing wrong with it. This from the man who had a big problem with me being friends with any other men.

    I feel deep down that something inappropriate has gone on between them. I feel like he no longer is loyal to me and that his loyalty lies with her. We, as husband and wife, are supposed to be loyal to each other and be each other’s best friend and partner. We used to be that, but since this woman has come into the picture that has changed. I no longer feel like he is loyal to me or that he sees me as his partner. Every experience or day to day happening that you’d share with your partner he shares with her first and she finds ways of letting me know I’m not the only one he shared them with and that usually he’s told them to her first.

    There are things at our home that need to be fixed that he keeps putting off, but when there was a plumbing issue at her house he dropped what he was doing to go fix it. I don’t know what to do. It breaks my heart that I can’t share my feelings with him because I feel like he will tell her and it will be some sort of joke. I really feel like my partner and help mate has gone.

    1. Hi Nichole, This certainly sounds like a “friend” you can both do without! It sounds like the relationship is approaching the description of “emotional affair…” One “red flag” is your having things needing fixing at home which your husband puts off, with his being ready to fix things immediately at her house. An additional “red flag” is your husband’s friend’s confiding her marital struggles to your husband, rather than to her own. A third is your husband’s believing his friend over believing you. These taken together spell a dangerous situation.

      My opinion is that you do need to express your feelings to him, not in an accusing way, but rather in a way which reveals your feelings only, and makes clear your position to him: Ex: “It hurts when you don’t believe me when I tell you I did not say these things to her. It feels like you are not my partner anymore, but that your friend is of more value to you than I am. This hurts! How would you feel if I were doing these things with her husband or some other man? I know and understand that you’re not happy with my having male friends… but why then is it OK for you to have this female friend?” Objective here is to get your husband to perceive how this feels from your position. He really needs to “get it” so that your relationship can improve. Difficult… perhaps this is a start?

      The MarriageMissions site: http://marriagemissions.com/getting-unhooked-from-an-emotional-affair/ deals with this situation in more detail… this will give you a lot more insight. I really hope and pray you two come though this.. I know it is hard. Take care Nichole, WP (Work in Progress)

    2. I know how you feel. My husband has friend guys and girls and I’m always lie they are telling the truth and he always takes up for them. I tell him they are no good for him, to leave them alone. He won’t.

  7. I am Catholic, my husband is not. I went through the RCIA journey, and during that whole time he would put down Catholicism, & deter me from attending church. He didn’t attend the baptism either. (We were both married before I became Catholic.) I chose to journey with my child when she expressed an interest in becoming baptized. With that information being said, I am choosing to live a Christian life, and he is not. Two in friends of his in particular I am having issues with speak badly about me, smoke weed, drink, and my husband does these things with them. I say that I do not want to be around them, yet he still invites them over, and loses it anytime I mention not liking those friends.

    They talk about Christianity poorly in front of me, and my husband joins in. Not only that, there is no communication between me and my spouse and it seems like it is his way or no way. He tells me I’m making a big deal out of nothing. Yet these friends are all single, strip club going, partiers- who seem to want him to be single too. Anytime after he’s around them he swears, yells at me, and thinks he’s the boss. I don’t know what more I can do other than just putting up with it. Any suggestions or insight would be appreciated.

  8. I pray that my husband can stop hanging out with is friends and start spending more time at home with his family. He thinks I’m cheating, lying, and he calls me everything but a wife. What should I do? I don’t want to leave and I don’t want him to leave. I want this marriage to work. We talk about it. He still wants to hang out with friends.

  9. My husband has work friends that bugged him to be on Facebook and now stays up all hours on there. My husband has neglected me both emotionally and sexually. All he talks about is work and he is not the same person.

    1. I am suspicious as to what your husband is doing on Facebook. I believe in an honest marriage with trust and he should be happy for you to have his password if he’s not doing anything to weaken your marriage. My husband went on Facebook and neglected me while I was pregnant with twins. Sadly it turned out that he was cheating on me, something he denies because he says it was on line only, but emotionally and physically our marriage is now ruined. Please try to talk to your husband calmly and express your concerns, I really hope that if you focus on how lonely and neglected you feel and ask for more loving time together he will realize that Facebook isn’t reality and that you are there for him.

  10. After marriage I moved from my home town, far from my family and frienda but that was ok because all I needed was my husband. We were best buddies and I thought, oh well his friends will become my friends. Eventually that wasnt the case. They seemed awkward when I came there with my husband and never invited us anywhere unless it’s a boys night. They were all single guys but they never accommodated the married gals but the married guys always had to accomodate them. Oh well I told my husband that firstly these weren’t good friends. Friends are happy and supportive in all your decesions. I told him secondly its an insult to me that my husband does not feel he has to defend me with them and feel their behavior is ok.

    I eventually left the complaining trying to go on still knowing my husband is my friend. Eventually I noticed more and more that the times he is with them it’s like he blossoms. They interact, laugh, plan outings to see games but at home he is just a dead mouse on the couch. Problems arose so much that it went from bad to worse. Still he didn’t feel he had to give them up but he would if I ask him and I didn’t because it didn’t seem that he would ever. I feel sad to say because I do not know if he would ever of give them up for us. He misses them but lies when I ask. I want him back with them because we all need friends but don’t know if it’s a good idea.

  11. Hi All, I’m pretty certain about my position on what I’m about to share. However, for my sanity I just would like to know what some of you also think. I’m in a serious relationship with my girlfriend, however I have a challenge as it relates to how she handles how some of her friends and acquaintances behave when I find it disrespectful and she doesn’t. There’s this male friend she has, who she let me know used to like her before myself and her met (I’m sure he still does). Ever since he figured out me and her are an item, he began behaving jealous and negative towards me…which is fine lol, that’s his perogative. There have even been a few instances where he spoke about me to my girlfriend in a disrespectful manner. So there you have it; long story short, I don’t like him because he clearly has a problem with me and doesn’t seem to have anything good to say about me. The problem is that my girlfriend doesn’t like confrontation, so when I challenge the situation and ask her to check him, she gets upset and doesn’t seem to understand why she should have to get involved in the beef between me and him. Eventually she had agreed to stand up for our relationship and not condone any disrespect from others to me. I forgot to mention we all work together.

    Very recently the same guy came into our office, where it was me, my girlfriend and 2 other members of staff. He then asked my girlfriend to step outside for a minute. When I realised what had happened, I got upset. Afterward I asked her what was that about and she replied nothing, he just wanted to know how her day was going. I said I don’t understand, so why did he need to ask you to step outside in private to ask such a simple question. She said it’s nothing to worry about and began telling me that I am overreacting and overthinking the situation.

    I have been trying to explain that I need her to not allow him or any other person to behave or act in ways that make me feel upset, insecure and uncomfortable, but she doesn’t see anything wrong with what he did, despite the history of me and him having problems. It’s almost as if she has something to lose by simply telling him in a cordial manner, “okay that was very unecessary, you didn’t have to call me outside the office just to ask me how I am doing?”. Because to me, it’s clear he either has a problem speaking to her in front of me, or he is clearly trying to do things to get under my skin…and he has succeeded. Now, myself and my girlfriend are not on speaking terms and I don’t think it’s fair that I have to feel this way when someone disrespects me and my girlfriend appears not to be sensitive to my feelings.

    1. A, I can almost promise you that if your girlfriend is not motivated to change her behavior now – out of respect for your concerns/feelings – she never will. It’s pretty obvious she likes the attention/flirting from other men and sees no problem with it. Now, if it were you doing the flirting and giving attention to other women, she most likely would not like you putting “them” above her feelings. The basis for a SOLID relationship is that both parties take the other’s feelings into consideration when it comes to relationships with members of the opposite sex. If one of you has a problem with it, it is a problem for BOTH of you.

      Now, in all fairness to her – you are not married or engaged, so in her mind as much as she likes you she may also feel she as the right to “play the field.” Those are ground rules that needed to be established at the beginning of your relationship. She may very well feel differently about how deep she is in this compared to how deep you feel you are. This is the time to clarify so you can decide if you want to remain in this relationship. Because unless you are willing to accept this as a “normal” part of your relationship with her, there is no long-term future for you.

      I hope this gives you some additional perspective, A. Pray about it – take it to God and ask Him to give you clarity on this because this is only my opinion/observation. Blessings!

  12. I’m ok with my husband hanging out with his friends, like playing pool and stuff; but when I found out he’s been inviting a female coworker with them..I was really mad.