Marriage Missions International

Keep Your Opposite-Sex Friendship From Going Too Far

Photo by Stockimages, courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Photo by Stockimages, courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

The following marriage article was written specifically with the men readers in mind. But, even though the focus is geared to encourage the appropriate male perspectives regarding opposite sex friendships, that particular type of relationship is something every spouse should be aware of.

You may have heard before that your spouse should know your business and you should know your spouses’ business. At first glance that may seem like a critical way of living, but read on and see if you feel the same way:

You interact with them every day, sometimes up close and personal. You can’t help but be around them. In many cases, they’re women you see more often than your wife.

They’re women at work —opposite-sex friendships —and unless you’re on guard, they can be the single biggest threat to your marriage.

How do you know you could be in trouble? It’s not easy, because relationships tend to be progressive …and almost all opposite-sex friendships begin innocently.

You start at a very basic level of getting to know each other. But before you know it, she begins to open up and express her concerns, hurts and problems (particularly those relating to her husband or boyfriend). Being a gentleman, you give her a sympathetic ear. In appreciation, she gives you attention and caring —perhaps more so than your wife. You find her flattering, and a nice little boost to your ego.

Before you know it, that opposite-sex friendship becomes the most important relationship in your life —surpassing even your relationship with your wife. When that happens, that workplace relationship has become a real threat to your marriage.

Here’s how you can tell when an opposite-sex friendship in the workplace is becoming dangerous:

• You find yourself sharing personal information with her that you otherwise wouldn’t share with someone else or your spouse.

• You begin looking for her when you get to work, and find yourself genuinely disappointed when she’s not there.

• You start creating opportunities to be alone with your opposite-sex friend during the workday, such as through non-work related lunch appointments, or lingering too long at her office or cubicle.

• You’re physically attracted to the person, and think about her when you’re not at work.

Now, guys, I know there are many of you thinking, “Look, I’ve had an opposite-sex friendship at work with (insert her name here) for years. Nothing has ever happened, and nothing ever will. It’ll never become inappropriate.”

Okay, then please ask yourself this: “Are you sure she feels the same way?” You might not intend for anything inappropriate to happen. But because of her own issues —ones of which you are completely unaware —she may be starting to drift from concentrating her husband or boyfriend.

She’s not dealing with problems they way she should be with her spouse, and she’s starting to find more fulfillment from her relationship with you. Even if nothing inappropriate ever occurs, you may be unknowingly preventing your opposite-sex friend from facing issues she needs to deal with only with her husband or boyfriend. You can’t risk letting that occur.

Here’s a good rule of thumb to keep in mind. In the workplace, it’s best to keep a professional barrier between you and others. Frankly, you’re not at work to have an opposite-sex friendship anyway. You’re there to get a job done. That should be your sole focus.

Finally, take to heart this sound advice from Proverbs:

My son, preserve sound judgment and discernment, do not let them out of your sight; they will be life for you, and ornament to grace your neck. Then you will go on your way in safety, and your foot will not stumble. Proverbs 3:21-23

Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life. Proverbs 4:23

Demonstrate God-honoring character in all your relationships, especially those with women at work —and you’ll avoid the pitfalls that come with opposite-sex friendships, and strengthen your bond with the one person that matters most—your wife!

The above article came from an E-mentoring message sent through the ministry of Intentional Living Theintentionallife.com with Dr Randy Carlson, which also includes the ministry of Family Life Radio. This ministry provides many free articles you can read on their web site, as well as Dr Carlson’s radio program that you can listen to.

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Comments

40 Responses to “Keep Your Opposite-Sex Friendship From Going Too Far”
  1. Loretta says:

    (USA) I have a question. Is it okay for married men to counsel, mentor, or spend time with single women?

    • Ashish says:

      (INDIA)  Yes, but there should be no sexual relationship with that single woman.

      • Srinu says:

        (INDIA)  Yes.

        • Sindu says:

          (US/INDIA)  I need some help. I want to call off my wedding which is just 20 days from today.

          Here is the situation:
          While dating, things were fantastic between my then boyfriend and I. I seem to understand his work pressures and he seemed to understand my emotional needs and things were perfect. Then all of a sudden I lost my job after our engagement. I moved in with him to his state and that’s when all the issues began.

          1. I found out he lies a lot. He told me he was going out of country to Amsterdam, but had a side itenary in Germany.

          2. When he got back from the trip, he said he said his ex-gf wanted to meet him. But after pleading he forwaded that email and turns out he wrote to her saying “I am getting married and want to share the news with you in person”. Another lie . He went on defending himself saying it was indeed very healthy to meet an ex. I am totally against it . I have cut off all ties with my ex and I expect him to do the same.

          3. He has a female co-worker that he is very good friends with and spends a lot of time working with her even when he doesnt have to. I told him he could work with her when necessary and when not he could work in his own office. Again, he got very defensive.

          4. I noticed that he shares a lot more with this particualy female colleague about his work than he does with me. He tells her when he is stressed out etc. I long for the emotional connection with him and I don’t get it. He once again got defensive and said that co worker has been a friend since before he knew me and he wont change his lifestyle because I am more recent. (The female colleague is getting married a month after us and she is very friendly to him but doesnt look me in the face and talk to me the all 3 times we met). He also said that her friendship was important to his personal growth and professional growth (I agree she is a good and intelligent colleague and they get lot of productive work done). I’ve asked him to keep professional relationships professional.

          5. Now I dont suspect that there is an affair. However, I know that my fiance is emotionally attracted towards her and will do anything to keep her friendship. He also likes spending time with her and that is why he works at her office instead of his even when unnecessary. I almost broke up the engagement a month back but he promised that he will work only on their shared work together and not be in her office.
          Despite his promise, I feel no peace. I know he will live up to his promise, but that wont bring him satisfaction. And that wont bring me satisfaction because I want a relationship based of understanding and control. He sure doesnt understand me and making him do things for me is control and will backfire sooner or later.
          In a nutshell I dont feel emotionally close with him. I’m craving for my boyfriend of 4 yrs that I broke up with. But he is also engaged and going to get married soon.
          I dont feel peace at all in this relationship. Someone pls. help.

          –Confused at heart.

    • IheartJesus says:

      (USA)  Its not necessarily wrong however, it’s not ideal either. If he is simply there to council them then certain guidelines should be followed… He should only communicate with them during work hours and in their time that has been appointed. Also, there should be a way for others to view them during their session. Not necessarily hear them, as I am sure the issues are private but, they should be where nothing innapropriate can take place.

      Keep in mind that God expects even single people to stay sexually moral. Therefore, we shouldn’t put ourselves in tempting situations. That is why it is always better for people to council their own sex. Other people may not see this as a big issue but, I see it as you trying to protect your spouses sanctification and your marriage. We should always look out to keep our brothers and sisters on the straight and narrow. We are called to discern and correct. God Bless!

    • Pavrone says:

      (USA)  Scripture is clear that this is never a good idea. Anytime you are sharing your deepest emotions with another, there is going to be something DEEP coming out and the devil is right there to grab on. Adults absolutely know what they are doing every step of the way and many of them are raising kids to act just like them. Raising a generation of vipers as God puts it because children do learn what they live.

      Just like the male/female friendship. They always say “we began as just friends and then started sharing everything about or lives and how unhappy our marriages were and it JUST happened.” There is no love outside of Christ and cheaters always paint their spouse to look awful and they are wonderful but it’s all the devil and based on lies and slander.

      Of course your marriage is horrible, look what is in your heart to do and who you are giving all your attention too! And what kind of person does that to their own flesh and what does someone hope to get from one that betrays their God and family? If they are the 3% that actually do leave their marriages, they will do it to the other adulterer. A marriage made in Hell! And as they are always claiming Christ can you hear the fights? Always attacking each others testimony which is long gone by now. Outright rage and hared authored by Satan that they gave everything too!

      Like mowing the neighbors lawn and neglecting your own. It is not rocket science. We are all capable of honoring our word but men love darkness rather than light. Unrighteousness rather than righteousness and is most often the case, females working their way up the pay scale at the company. Going for the money and the love of money is the root of all evil. Men have been paying for sex from strangers and there have always been females willing to sell their bodies since we began. It is in the Bible only the currency was often livestock. If you cannot find a same sex counselor and really feel the need, never go without your spouse. It’s really crucial to understand that affairs and all sexual sin are always of Satan and with the same intent: To destroy God’s most sacred of unions-marriage/family. Guard your heart-Proverbs 4-23, drink waters from your own wells and cisterns-Proverbs 5-15 and do not take chances.

      People know when their conversation with a “friend” becomes inappropriate and that is the devil convincing you to take the first step. Everything after that gets easier and easier and the devil doesn’t have to do anything else. People take it from there and that is Satan’s plan. These are the willful children of disobedience and wrath God speaks of. He is not talking about kids but adults that claim Him and live so wicked. “Ye are as your father the devil” 1 Timothy 4-1 tells of those that depart from what they know and give into seducing spirits.

      There is enough scripture to support that we cannot lose our salvation but watching someone live so wicked for so long you have to ask if they were ever saved at all. That is who Jesus is talking too when he says “Depart from me ye workers of iniquity, I never knew you” Who is a worker of iniquity? Those that willfully sin.

      Satan has become very good at telling us it’s all okay. If that were so there would be no reason to live a righteous life. God’s words are very clear. Those that are of Him live in a way that shows that. We all still sin which is any thought, thing or action that displeases Him but they don’t all destroy other people. There are consequences and they do match the offense.

      He saved us to worship Him and lead others to Him. Rather hard to do when you are at the top of the sin list in your company albeit carrying a bible. Carrying on year after year with your “friend” and trust me, everyone that sees it-knows. People are not stupid as with our kids. What you do counts more than what you say. It will all be judged and the harm done to the innocent will be judged most harshly. Live like God is watching!

      • Joe from United States says:

        This is sad… why can’t any of these articles be geared towards women? My wife has a male friend that she spends hours on the phone with; she calls him during her lunch, and chats with him on her way home from work. She does not see this as inappropriate at all.

  2. Gert says:

    (SOUTH AFRICA)  All the articles are about marriage. But is it not also applicable where you are in a serious relationship? My view is that a serious relationship is almost as if the couple are married.

    • Pavrone says:

      (USA) Sorry Gert but “no”. Marriage is the second most sacred covenant bewteen man and God besides giving your heart to Jesus and he says that if you have sex outside of marriage, it is “fornication” and right there with murder, adultery, blasphemy and all other things that anger God.

      If you want to spend your life with your partner, go to a Magistrate. It doens’t haven’t to be a big fancy church wedding but please, get it right with God.

      In marriage, you become one flesh and the spiritual connection of knowing you were made from his missing rib and belong to each other is mind-boggling. That is why adultery which rips that God has made apart is so dirty and evil. I promise once you feel that bond in Christ with the two of you, you will be so amazed. Love and prayers.

  3. emma says:

    (ZIMBABWE)  I think another area that needs to be discussed is that of communication between husbands/wives with ex-girlfriend/wives or husbands/boyfrineds. Where do we draw the line?

  4. Cindy says:

    (ZIMBABWE)  i have a friend of the opposite sex and people at work have started talking. on my part i dont think of him any further than a friend. When i read this article it was like a wake up call. Because i dont want it to go further than that. My hubby doesnt know about him so should i maybe take a few steps back with this friendship. We are constantly together, 1st thing in the morning its either he looks for me or vice versa. We go for lunch together. I sometime send him on personal errands if i cannot. He tells me he loves me but jokingly (i think) or maybe he will be serious, but i never take him serious coz he wont be serious

    • Brianna says:

      (USA)  Drop him before your husband finds out and you LOSE you marriage. You WILLLLLLL destroy your marriage if you continue. The worse thing is, and I’m going to be blunt, that the woman always comes out losing. The guy is patted on the back for being a player and you, well, let’s just say a woman in an affair, whether physical or not, never comes out smelling like roses.

  5. Philip says:

    (KENYA) I have a dear girlfriend who bothers me a lot in terms of her totality! She has been so close to me. She does anything to win my attention, of which she has worn! She ensures that we are constantly together. 1st thing in the morning it’s either she looks for me or vice versa. We go for lunch together. I sometime send her on personal errands if I cannot. She tells me she loves me but jokingly (I think) or maybe she will be serious, but I never take her serious coz she won’t be serious.

  6. Chris says:

    (USA)  My wife has two very good friends from work that are lesbians. So I’ll assume this also applies. I think one good point here is that even if she has no intentions of anything other than friendship, her friends feelings could grow stronger for her. Each of them takes her out to lunch or dinner at least three times a week. She seems to spend a lot of time with either one or both of them watching a movie or going to their place. She is open to me about it but it makes me feel very uncomfortable. I look at the situation the same as if the friends were males. Am I wrong to feel this way?

  7. Kris says:

    (USA)  Well, I have been going through a rough time with my husband and I have found it comforting to spend time with and discussing my issues with my male friends. I always make sure that they understand that I am married and that I do love my husband very much. My husband is aware of my contact and dealing with my male friends. I have not chemistry or attractions what so ever to my 3 male friends. It is almost like they are just a listening ear.

    Part of the problem my husband and I have, is that he does not like to do the same things I like to do and because of my "wild past" he does not like to go out with me too often and this has cause me to have a lot of resentment and anger towards my husband because I never go anywhere. We have an 8 month old daughter and I spend most of my time with her so I would like to have something just for me (my opposite-sex friendships).

    I do not feel like I am having inappropriate conduct and my husband does not give me any indication that he is uncomfortable with it but then again we have not been exactly on the best of terms, and he had also withheld information from me about his dealings with those of the opposite sex. Am I doing something wrong??

  8. Rosa says:

    (USA)  I have been away from my husband for over a year now. Not on purpose or planned but due to events beyond our control. I miss him so much and sometimes I feel like my heart will stop beating because it hurts and I get so lonely.

    Last year I befriended a coworker of the opposite sex because we had some things in common. He is married and has a family, but understood my current situation. It was like finding someone to talk to who understood the way I was feeling and actually gave me some pointers on how to resolve some issues I was having.

    Anyway, we went to lunch constantly – sometimes alone and at other times with other co-workers. We talked about personal issues and I agree with this article because the more we talked the more attracted I was to him and vice versa. Luckily he got another job but we still kept in touch (talk on the phone, texting each other etc.).

    I know this was wrong and I should have stopped it, but I couldn’t. I still think about him, everyday and constantly look on my phone to see if he called. We had talked about this and decided to not pursue anything physical between us, but I still think of him. Should I tell my husband about this?

  9. Wilma says:

    (USA) Am I too hard for my husband to get really angry, when I found out he was talking to his ex from HS? Cell phone, myspace, IM, texting everyday… I accused him having an affair. He got really mad, told his friend (girl) that he was leaving me; he’s tired of me. I asked the girl to ignore my husband’s calls & told my hubby to stop too. They didn’t stop, so we had 2nd round fight. And he told me he stopped, but sometimes it’s hard to trust. Most especially since he’d done this twice. 5 years ago, he found his other friend (girl) from classmates.com. We changed our cell phone & home phone. They’re very expensive. I found out they’d been talking all that time. All along he’d tell me they were just friends. But as a wife, it hurts a lot. He spends a lot of time talking to them, instead of talking to me. I told him I’ll trust his words, I love him so much…

  10. Zodwa says:

    (ZIMBABWE) I do agree with the article. I had a male friend too and we were so close that when I reported for duty he would look for me just to say hie. I had no feelings for him since l knew his fiance, but things didn’t go the way l thought they would. He started passing comments like "l wish l was in love with you." l smelled a rat and told him l also had my fiance. He knew about him but he kept on insisting. Even now that l am married he keeps on saying he loves me. So ladies out there, be very careful because opposite sex friendships are quite tempting.

  11. Cindy Wright says:

    (USA) Hi Zodwa, This man is not a friend, he is the opposite –a wolf dressed in sheep’s clothing. A friend does not think of satisfying his own desires above yours. For the safety and sanctity of your marriage, you must confront this “friend” if he steps over the line of saying or doing what he shouldn’t, and tell him that he is no longer your friend if he talks to you that way. Flee from his friendship if he continues.

    The Bible says that "A friend loves at all time." In other words, a friend loves you so much that he cares about that which harms YOU — not what satisfies his/her desires above that which will hurt you and damage or destroy your marriage.

    Make Christ your friend instead. "A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother" (Proverbs 19:24). "My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends" (John 15:13).

    Jesus thought less of His own comforts and more of yours. That’s why He sacrificed Himself for you. Please never forget that and remove this other "friend" from your life if he approaches you wrongly or you find you have feelings for him that you shouldn’t. That is a friendship that will poison. This is sound advice for ALL of us.

  12. Laine says:

    (USA) My husband has a friendship with an ex-girlfriend through email… doesn’t understand I want it to stop. What is you input of this? I am heart broken, and found out by accident. She got his email from a mutual friend of theirs, by emails this woman was sending her boyfriend. I am sick about it and can’t mention or talk about it with him. He feels that he is not doing anything but emails and that is okay.
    HELP ME PLEASE!

  13. Sofia says:

    (UGANDA) Men never seem to understand the impact of their relations with women and ex girlfriends. They take it so easy. We women take it so seriously; it makes us seem like nags.

    My husband is the culprit in this. He has done this to me not once not twice. He says he’ll stop. Then he tells me that I knew the man I was marrying before, and I said I would not change him. Today I have freed myself of the whole hullabaloo and decided to ignore and let him act a fool. Maybe one day he will come to his senses. I am hurt to the extent I am becoming indifferent to his behavior. That’s how bad.

  14. Angie says:

    (SOUTH AFRICA)  3 years I had serious problems with my husband, in fact he was cheating on me but kept on denying it. I asked for advice from my male friend and at the end of the meeting, he told me he loved me. Because I was so hurt, with time this grew into an affair. I would tell him about anything that happens between me and my husband and he always had “advice” handy.

    I later was determined to get things working between me and my husband and I thank God he intervened for me. Things are well between us now and I always regret that encounter with my male friend. I don’t even want to see him because I have seen what it can do to my marriage. You don’t know the intentions of the other part, so it’s best stay clear from the beginning.

  15. Vince says:

    (ZIMBABWE)  To be honest, it’s difficult to maintain propriety with the opposite sex. It has been really difficult to not commit “minor” indiscretions in the relationships I have had. It seems the relationships end up becoming liaisons instead of friendships. Because of this, I have decided to not have friends of the opposite sex. Is it practical? Please help…

  16. Alexis says:

    (UNITED STATES)  I know this is an older discussion, but I’m dealing with this right now. As a newlywed couple I don’t like how defensive he get’s when the subject of oposite sex lunches comes up. I agree with him that we can have opposite sex friends, but I disagree when we should see them.

    Example ~ for me, it’s ok to see them in groups for lunch or during their work relationship. My husband is an engineer and I find it hard that he will dedicate an entire hour to another woman uninterupted, but will come home to me exhausted and is just not up to talking. I can understand this because much like him I work long days from 5am-5:30pm coming home to cook and clean, but I look forward to seeing him.

    When he get’s home exhausted and a little grumpy I don’t know what to do. It makes me feel empty and unwanted inside. Over dinner we both vent about work and the day, but there is never a happy “friendship” conversation. We had the conversation of opposite sex lunches last night and the only thing he could say was “well, we will agree to disagree.” I feel brushed off and uncared for. Grant it, it was late when the conversation came up.

    Thanks for reading =0) Hurt and a little confused

    • Cindy Wright says:

      (USA) Hi Alexis, In praying about what you wrote, I’m so glad you’re addressing this issue as a newlywed. Hopefully, you (and eventually your husband) can straighten out some priorities so this problem doesn’t plague your marriage in the future (as it does so very many others). The Newlywed years are called the “wet cement” years where you can work on issues and change the course of them easier than if you continued on and on and THEN tried to make corrections.

      I truly can understand where both you and your husband are coming from — my husband and I have been there and done that. But eventually we saw (as we observed the problems it brought into other marriages, as well as our own) that we needed to put more intentionality into growing our relationship with each other and quit giving each other “the leftovers” of our energy and focus. That’s not the way you grow your relationship in a good direction — that’s the way you kill it through neglect. It’s also a way you give others the opportunity to “shine” brighter when they are with your spouse, than you are willing to do when you are together (and visa versa). That’s what helps usher in infidelity and the words said, “I/we never meant for anything to happen.”

      I’ve got a few links to some articles I recommend you read and ask God for personal insights as to what you can personally learn and do (each of these articles talks about giving and receiving emotional left-overs to and from our spouse): – “How to Date Your Spouse” – “8 Things That Destroyed Our Marriage” – “When a Job Steals Time Away from the Marriage.”

      And then I encourage you to pray and then read the Quotes (and whatever articles the Lord shows you) in the “Romantic Ideas” section and articles that will help your relationship grow closer in the “Communication Tools” section of our web site.

      Whatever you do, don’t overwhelm your husband with all of this. Pray about what you should share, what you should just continue praying about, and what you should do so that the direction of your relationship goes into being a healthy and growing one, rather than a tired and disconnected one. I trust God will show you the best approach. NOW is the time to steer the course of your marriage in a good direction. Don’t buy the lie that “love should come natural” … it takes work for it to “naturally” grow into a good one.

      Right now your husband doesn’t see what you are seeing as far as the dangers ahead. But it may be that God is using your eyes to see the problem and address it, until eventually your husband will agree to agree and approach things differently (as mine eventually did — but it came as I became wiser in the way and timing and the actions I put forth to steer things differently, through the Lord’s guidance and strength). Now, my husband is stronger than ever on this point… but it came at a later time as I did what God prompted me to do. I believe God will give you wisdom on this as well, as you ask for it. I hope this helps.

  17. Jan says:

    (U.S.)  “You start at a very basic level of getting to know each other. But before you know it, she begins to open up and express her concerns, hurts and problems (particularly those relating to her husband or boyfriend). Being a gentleman, you give her a sympathetic ear. In appreciation, she gives you attention and caring — perhaps more so than your wife. You find her flattering, and a nice little boost to your ego.

    My husband and I have been married for 7 years now with three little kids, the paragraph above is typical of him. Recently, I found e-mails btw him and a married lady in another country who was having sexual issues/probs with her husband and my husband started giving her advice on how to take performance enhancing pills for herself and her husband and the next thing you know, they are calling themselves, “dear”, “darling”, “missing you”. They started connecting on facebook, calling each other at odd hours, texting, sometimes it was just formal and friendly, sometimes it was kind of like btw lovers. When I confronted my husband, at first, he said he felt nothing was wrong and he was just helping her out because she was trying to reconnect with her husband. I e-mailed the lady in a nice way and told her I had seen all the communication btw them, she said my husband always talks about me and the kids to her so she saw in him a nice and loving husband and father she could trust for some counsel. I let her know I thought some of the words used were inappropriate and she never responded to that e-mail.

    My husband has since apologized and begged for my forgiveness. It is so painful because we are born-again Christains, we both work full time and have good jobs, blessed with amazing kids, I try my best (even after coming back from a full time job) to do most of the housework, take care of the kids and still save some time for him. Going to facebook to look at the lady, she is not near me in terms of physical beauty. The funny thing on her facebook page is that she preaches the Bible there everyday and I wonder “why can’t we sometimes see the log in our own eyes”.

    I want to stay with my husband but I always find my heart racing/jumping, I love him one minute and then I resent and hate him the other. Meanwhile he begs me to give him time to rebuild his life and that he is promising me and God, he will never let things go this far again, I just lost trust in him. It is indeed painful when you think you are doing all you can to make your marriage work, your partner is spending internet and phone time with someone else’s wife.

    • Alexis says:

      (UNITED STATES)  Cindy, Thank you for your advice =0. My husband and I have since worked on our issues and things are running smoothly now. We take time out for dinner dates, eat dinner and speak about anything but work and have in general taken care of eachother. I love how you described the newlywed stages as “wet cement” he..he..so true. We are building a strong foundation, attending church and I believe we are now ready to have children and be positive role models to them. We are soon leaving on a month trip to Europe in April please keep us in your prayers for fertility. Thank you sooo much for giving me the tools to better my marriage, Alexis

  18. Frank says:

    (USA)  I am a very open and engaging person. This is one of the traits my wife finds attractive in me. I’m not an extrovert, but what some would call an ‘open book’. I base relationships on truth, integrity, and being straight-forward (no game playing). My wife and I have been together for 40 years and what I consider (as does she) ‘soul mates’.

    I recently befriended a female near my place of business 15 years younger, but with issues regarding an abusive husband. Because of the line of work I am in, I listened and offered suggestions on who to see professionally. It seems that this lady is starved for communication with the opposite sex because her husband is extremely domineering and emotionally abusive. She chose me to communicate with and feel human again. I told my wife about her and she was more concerned with the lady’s husband’s actions if she goes to him out of anger and tells him “…(she has) a new male friend who listens to me, why can’t you be like him?”

    My wife knows how I am with ALL people and she is secure in the fact that I do not cheat. However, in this day and age, by becoming a friend and listening, it is leaving the door open for the husband’s mayhem (jealousy) or even an attack on our family by starting malicious rumors about this lady and I so as to cause embarrassment and friction between my wife and me. It is so sad that when wanting to lend an ear to another human being, there comes a great risk of being non-politically correct with those nasty little perceptions that affairs of the heart and sexual trysts ‘just have to be’ occurring.

    I assure my wife every night that I am the luckiest man in the world to have her and that my heart and soul comes home to her every night unotuched by another. But will I stop being an approachable sounding board or earnest ear to help someone sort out a path to get on for help? No. I am who I am, and I have the strength and resolve to not cross the line, I will be one of those people who can be confided in to maybe listen and advise just enough to stop a suicide, …or to help a person logically see through a problem instead of allowing their heart to tear them apart and/or do something drastic. If it gets too hot and heavy on their side, I will see it and act according (tactfully steer them to professional help at that point).

    Anyway, … this works for me but unless you have GREAT resolve and honor to not cross that line; moreover, a great love of your spouse, DO NOT get too close and let ego rule what happens below the belt-line. It can and will destroy most marriages.

  19. Faith says:

    (KENYA)  I have a friend who to me, is like a kid brother. He got married two months ago and any time they have issues with the wife, he will call me to speak to the wife. Even before he made up his mind to settle for this girl they first came to us as a couple so that I would walk with the girl. It is interesting to note that he has to call me (big sister) almost on daily basis. Is there a problem with that?

  20. Nik says:

    (UK)  Of course it is possible to have friends of the opposite sex, provide council and support! The question is would you introduce them and talk it through with your spouse too? Do they know your friends too? If not, then think why are they separate? I have friends like family who are the opposite sex and over the years we have gone through many life traumas together. You should never have to give up your friends due to your partners insecurities.

    • Cindy Wright says:

      So what I perceive you’re saying is that your friends are more important than your partnership with your spouse? If your spouse sees a certain friendship to be a threat to their marriage, the friendship is more important to keep “secure” than your marriage relationship?

      If I had a dollar for every time I’ve heard it said, “We never meant for anything to happen… we were just friends,” I’d be doing quite well financially.

      My heart breaks for the multitude of spouses who are given that excuse and then they watch their spouse and their “friend” run off together, leaving behind shattered hearts and lives. The unfaithful “friends” feel justified because they “never meant for that to happen.” But it did. And the spouse who was cheated on and the children’s hearts whose home is torn apart are supposed to feel better because the one parent didn’t THINK it could happen?

      Things happen. This isn’t la la land that we live in. “Friends” are hooking up everywhere –finding each other “again” on Facebook and all over the place. That which may start out innocent doesn’t always remain that way. That’s the real world.

      In a perfect world, we could all leave our doors unlocked and not have to watch over our purses and wallets and “identity” in the credit card world. But we don’t live in a perfect world. Things happen. So, we lock our doors, secure our purses, wallets, buy Identity Theft Protection AND do what we can to guard our hearts and our marital relationships from falling into temptation as best we can, even though we can’t imagine anything could or would happen. It can and does everyday.

      If you and your spouse agree together to leave your doors unlocked, purses and wallets and credit cards out wherever, and be involved in opposite sex friendships (where you can’t imagine anything could happen, as so many before you have found out differently), then that’s your decision together …and come what may. I hope it works for you.

  21. Cort says:

    (USA)  People, if you have to ask the question “Am I doing something wrong?” then YOU ARE. That is called your conscience! Keep yourself FAR from the point where lines between right & wrong are blurred.

  22. Betsy says:

    (USA)  For many years I longed for my husband to say or write words of affirmation to me. He said he could not, adding that was “just not me.” It hurt my feelings but I tried to accept it. Then one day not long ago I received a text about his looking forward to seeing my bright, smiling face. Only he made a big mistake – it was intended for a woman he works with, not for me. He said it did not really mean anything. I explained that if it had been meant for me, those words would have meant the world to me.

    I am thinking of a legal separation. All along, it was not that he could not affirm me verbally; it was that he did not want to do so.

    • Michelle says:

      (CANADA)  Betsy, I also experienced the very same thing with my husband. I expressed that it would be so nice on special occasions like Valentine’s Day, Christmas, or my birthday to write a card. A present was not necessary, but a card was more special especially if he just wrote a few words to me. It didn’t have to be a lot, but just something. He told me that it is not easy for him to do because of his English. I told him that it didn’t have to be anything fancy, just simple, or even a picture. Well, on the next holiday, he didn’t prepare anything, not even a card. I felt very unloved and unappreciated. I was even more hurt when I found out he was regularly writing emails, texts, and letters of encouragement to people at the Church who are part of his fellowship group. Everyone tells me he is such a great guy, so caring, and so generous. They tell me how lucky I am to have him as a husband. I just smile. I would agree too if I was on the receiving end. I have mentioned this to him, but he doesn’t think it’s a problem. Instead, he thinks i have issues and need to be more mature.

  23. HEATHER says:

    (USA) I NEED HELP. I’M MARRIED BUT I’M HAVING A AFFAIR ON MY CURRENT HUSBAND WITH MY EX-HUSBAND. I LOVE THEM BOTH, BUT I ONLY WANT TO BE WITH MY CURRENT HUSBAND. PLEASE GIVE ME SOME INSIGHT ON WHAT I SHOULD DO. THANK YOU

  24. Shirley from Kenya says:

    True, I agree with everything you have shared. I am born again and am dating a Christian man but my dissapointment is that he has a lot of female friends in his place of work and outside work and he flirts with them. He checks on them every time. Even when I am with him he just chats enedlessly and intimately with them. I am hurt and find it so painful. I have try to help him to understand it’s wrong especially, for us Christians, but he says he doesn’t see an issue with it because they are his friends and he won’t stop. It’s so painful.

    • Cindy Wright from United States says:

      Shirley, This is just a peek into what your future would look like if you go beyond dating and someday marry. Your desires will be secondary to his need to be “friends” with other women, and be involved in their concerns. He sees nothing wrong with it, and if he sees nothing wrong with it even though you have expressed your hurt, he will continue, despite your pain. He is a player, and as a result, what he wants to do with other women will take precedence over anyone else’s desire –yours or God’s. I’ve seen this time and time and time and time again. Beware!

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