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.


Filed under: For Married Men

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

  1. 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: 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.