Should you allow your husband to cultivate friendships with females? Whether you answer yes or no, to be friends with the opposite sex is inevitable most of the time, especially when they are at work, in businesses, or in communities.
But what should be the limits in these friendships? How can they avoid these platonic relationships from slipping to an affair? Below are my opinions from observing other people’s experiences, from counseling some married people and from reading literature on marriage and infidelities:
1. It is best not to open up his marital struggles or personal problems with a female friend.
Think of a married man who is experiencing some problem with his wife: he would seek counsel and comfort from a single female officemate, instead of working a certain grievance or problem with his wife. Whenever the man encounters some difficulty, he would always run for the friend’s company, and this friend would gladly advise and comfort the married guyfriend.
They would exchange stories not only about the guy’s marriage but also about their personal lives. Their friendship has grown deep until they both got illusioned that they are each other’s soul mate.
In a wife’s point of view, it’s very disheartening to hear stories like this. But in reality, this happens. The work place has become the breeding places of infidelities and affairs. So it’s really important to keep marriage issues within the family or with a marriage counselor to avoid opening doors to a possible affair.
2. If he’s frequently comforting and counseling a female friend, it is best to do it together with the wife.
There’s a damsel in distress who keep on asking, calling or meeting your husband for advice. She was needy of someone to comfort and save her from her problems. Would you still be comfortable with that?
It’s basically the same with number one. In the first case, the female friend acted as a nurturer, now in this case, it’s the married man who acts as a protector. Not a beautiful scene to see either.
For me, the husband can comfort and counsel the female friend together with his wife, or he can be a helping friend but should not overdo it, otherwise they might fall into the slippery slope of infidelity.
3. Don’t go out with a female friend frequently unless necessary for work or business.
In the book “Not Just Friends”, Shirley Glass mentioned that most infidelity started with a “meeting over a cup of coffee” that has gone frequently.
Sadly, there are people who use this tactic to cover up what they were really feeling inside. They tell themselves that it’s just an innocent meet up with a friend, but deep down they won’t admit to themselves that they’re enjoying each other’s company and are wanting the other’s presence frequently.
It’s perfectly okay to catch up with a friend, but it would be better that the husband knows the limit, otherwise he is disrespecting his wife.
4. If he can avoid it, He must refrain from being alone with a female friend inside a car.
One wife likened a car into a small room. Her point is, if you’re a single or married woman, why would you allow yourself to be in a small room with a married man, especially if either of you is attracted to the other.
I think she has a point and I think I agree with her, as I also talked about this already with hubby even before I heard her statement. Occasionally, giving a female friend a ride is acceptable, but if that occasion seems frequent then it could be a cause of concern for the wife.
Your husband maybe surrounded with female friends, but ideally, you the wife should be his best friend. The one whom he can open up himself with, the one whom he can be vulnerable with, the one who will accept him for everything that he is. When your husband let someone play this role for you, it could lead to an emotional affair eventually. That is why as early as now, it is best to ask them to put boundaries in their female friendships. Of course, same goes with us with our male friendships.
Nowadays, when temptations are rampant, when a lot of women are willing to become mistresses, we constantly need to guard our marriage with our husband’s help. As a team, we need to protect our marriage for our family and kids. And setting healthy boundaries in our other relationships is one way to protect it.