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Hi. im new here but am familair with Marriage Builders. I used the information alot while trying to save my marrige after a affair by my ex-wife. In the end the marrige failed and she is living with the other man. The reason that i am here is that i am engadged again. I have been discussing boundaries with the opposite sex with my fiance. I thought there was a good list that came from marriage builders and/or articles but cant find them.Does anyone have a list or can help us in this discussion?

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Hi dingerdad, welcome back. I can type out the list for you right here:

Married people should not have opposite sex friendships.


"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena.." Theodore Roosevelt

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Here is Dr Harley's position on opposite sex friendships: http://www.marriagebuilders.com/graphic/mbi8119_friends.html


"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena.." Theodore Roosevelt

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Thanks for the advice. Would really like to find a list to start a discussion with.

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Originally Posted By: dingerdad
Thanks for the advice. Would really like to find a list to start a discussion with.


I am not sure why you would need a list, though. What kind of a list?


"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena.." Theodore Roosevelt

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In addition to the good article that ML posted here is another great article.
The Risk of Opposite-sex Friendships in Marriage


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Too much hurt and pain on both sides that my brain hurts just thinking about it all.



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dingerdad, to clarify, I don't think you need a list. You need to know how she feels about opposite sex friendships after you are married. Because if she doesn't understand how dangerous they are to marriage and plan to eliminate them, your marriage will likely experience an affair. 60% of marriages experience an affair, and it is BECAUSE OF opposite sex friendships.

Having opposite sex friendships is a demonstration of poor boundaries in marriage, which will likely lead to an affair. Trying to set "boundaries" around risky behavior is the same as trying to be a great drunk driver.


"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena.." Theodore Roosevelt

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Originally Posted By: dingerdad
Thanks for the advice. Would really like to find a list to start a discussion with.

Hi dingerdad, in the article linked above in BrainHurts' post, Dr. Harley writes that he is "not opposed to all friendships of the opposite sex." He's only "opposed to those that can lead to an affair."

In the same article, he provides the list you may be looking for:
Quote:
To summarize my criterion for off-limits friendships of the opposite sex:
  • Any friend of the opposite sex that is not enthusiastically agreed upon by your spouse.
  • Any friend of the opposite sex that had been a former lover.
  • Any friend of the opposite sex that you know might have what it takes to trigger a feeling of romantic love (or may have already triggered that feeling in the past).
  • Any friend of the opposite sex that meets your need for affection (expressions of care and concern), intimate conversation (conversation about personal problems being faced, and topics of personal interest), recreational companionship (spending time together enjoying common recreational activities), honesty and openness (revealing personal feelings, past history, present activities, and plans for the future), physical attractiveness, or admiration (expressions of respect, value, and appreciation). This is especially important when your friend does a better job meeting your needs than your spouse in any of these areas. In that case you should drop everything you're doing to immediately fix the problem.
    But even if your spouse does a better job meeting these needs, a friend can make enough Love Bank deposits by meeting these need for you that you may wake up one morning in love with that person. And if that happens your judgment will be severely damaged.
  • Any friend of the opposite sex with whom you have a private, personal, and bilateral relationship. It's private in the sense that conversation is generally one-on-one, and sometimes kept secret because the spouse would be threatened in some way by it if it were done with the spouse present. It's personal in the sense that personal information is revealed, especially problems faced in life, along with a willingness to help if needed. And it's bilateral in the sense that both people share personal information with each other and have proven that they have what it takes to help each other.

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Originally Posted By: KeepLearning
[
Hi dingerdad, in the article linked above in BrainHurts' post, Dr. Harley writes that he is "not opposed to all friendships of the opposite sex." He's only "opposed to those that can lead to an affair."


Please note that these descriptions describe ALL opposite sex friendships. The definition of a "friendship" is:

"a private, personal relationship."

So any relationship that is "personal" with a member of the opposite sex is off limits. For example, Dr. Harley does strongly advocates against discussing personal issues with any member of the opposite sex. That is the basis of a friendship, otherwise it is an acquaintance. Therefore, he does not endorse opposite sex friendships.


"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena.." Theodore Roosevelt

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Originally Posted By: MelodyLane
Therefore, he does not endorse opposite sex friendships.

True, but he doesn't oppose them either:

Originally Posted By: Dr. Harley
I'm not opposed to all friendships of the opposite sex.


Originally Posted By: MelodyLane
The definition of a "friendship" is:

"a private, personal relationship."

There is more than one definition of "friendship," and perhaps Dr. Harley is using a different definition.

I like your distinction between friends and acquaintances; that's a good way to describe the difference between off-limit opposite-sex friendships, and the opposite-sex "relationships" Dr. Harley writes about that he and Joyce have many of.

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Yes he is opposed to opposite sex friendships. He and Joyce have friends as couples, but these are not one on one relationships between the opposite sex person.

Originally Posted By: Dr Bill Harley
One of the extraordinary precautions I mention when discussing the topic of avoiding affairs is to rule out friends of the opposite sex.


"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena.." Theodore Roosevelt

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Originally Posted By: Dr Bill Harley
The first place to look for the highest risks for an affair is to consider who is most likely to be an affair partner. It's a friend of the opposite sex. More people have affairs with that person than with anyone else. And the closer the friendship, the more likely the affair. So a reasonable precaution to avoid an affair is to avoid opposite-sex friendships.


Originally Posted By: Dr Bill Harley
But I take it one step further to warn couples that any friendship with someone of the opposite sex should be carefully evaluated because of the risks involved. Even if a couple is in enthusiastic agreement, I recommend that a friendship with someone who was a former lover should be ended. Also, a friendship with someone who you feel might actually make enough deposits to breach the romantic love threshold should be ended. Don't take unnecessary chances.


And then he goes onto say:

Originally Posted By: Dr Bill Harley
So I'm not opposed to all friendships of the opposite sex. I'm only opposed to those that can lead to an affair. And those are the ones where the most important emotional needs of affection, intimate conversation, recreational companionship, honesty and openness, and admiration are met.


In other words, he is opposed to any "friendship" where there is any one on one or communication of a personal nature. That really relegates such a relationship to "acquaintance."


"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena.." Theodore Roosevelt

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Originally Posted By: KeepLearning
Originally Posted By: MelodyLane
Therefore, he does not endorse opposite sex friendships.

True, but he doesn't oppose them either:

Originally Posted By: Dr. Harley
I'm not opposed to all friendships of the opposite sex.


Originally Posted By: MelodyLane
The definition of a "friendship" is:

"a private, personal relationship."

There is more than one definition of "friendship," and perhaps Dr. Harley is using a different definition.

I like your distinction between friends and acquaintances; that's a good way to describe the difference between off-limit opposite-sex friendships, and the opposite-sex "relationships" Dr. Harley writes about that he and Joyce have many of.


Is there a reason you are debating MelodyLane here a lot lately? Mel has been doing this for many years and has listened to hundreds of hours of Dr. Harley on the radio. She usually knows what she is talking about.

Usually on threads about opposite sex friendships, the very last thing we need is somebody coming in saying "Oh, but Dr. Harley doesn't completely rule out every single opposite sex acquaintance." Usually what we need is for people to help reinforce the idea that opposite sex friendships for married people are definitely something to be worried about. Usually what we have is a worried poster (and you have no idea how many worried lurkers) who is used to an affair-ridden culture where opposite sex friendships are supposed to be tolerated, who is starting to doubt their own sanity, whose wayward spouse is telling them everything is perfectly normal and they should just learn to accept it.

Splitting hairs doesn't really help anyone.


If you are serious about saving your marriage, you can't get it all on this forum. You've got to listen to the Marriage Builders Radio show, every day. Install the app!

Married to my radiant trophy wife, Prisca, 17 years, who is a beautiful angel.
Attended Marriage Builders weekend in May 2010

If your wife is not on board with MB, some of my posts to other men might help you.
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Good grief, waywards use the excuse "we are just friends" all the time.
Dr. Harley is against opposite sex friendships. Period. Start listening to the radio show, KeepLearning.


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Originally Posted By: markos
Splitting hairs doesn't really help anyone.

The OP asked for a list of guidelines. When I found a list, I noticed that Dr. Harley wrote "I am not opposed to all opposite sex friendships," which seems to contradict Melody's first post "Married people should not have opposite sex friendships." I don't see that as splitting hairs. That's an apparant contradiction that I wanted to hear Melody's explanation of. Others might see that as a contradiction as well and be curious. I think Melody did a great job of explaning. Thank you Melody.

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Quote:
When I found a list, I noticed that Dr. Harley wrote "I am not opposed to all opposite sex friendships," which seems to contradict Melody's first post "Married people should not have opposite sex friendships."

Start listening to the radio show, KeepLearning. You will find that these apparent contradictions are often explained.

But, you have once again disrupted another person's thread with a debate.


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Originally Posted By: KeepLearning
Originally Posted By: markos
Splitting hairs doesn't really help anyone.

The OP asked for a list of guidelines. When I found a list, I noticed that Dr. Harley wrote "I am not opposed to all opposite sex friendships," which seems to contradict Melody's first post "Married people should not have opposite sex friendships." I don't see that as splitting hairs. That's an apparant contradiction that I wanted to hear Melody's explanation of. Others might see that as a contradiction as well and be curious. I think Melody did a great job of explaning. Thank you Melody.

I almost posted the same link to "The Risk of Opposite-sex Friendships in Marriage", but as I read it I came across the same questions about the OS friends that KeepLearning did and I didn't know how to articulate that on statement as a newbie to MB so I didn't post the link.
I can see someone latching on to that statement and saying "There you see... I can have OS friends". I don't think that, but I know my wife would at this point. Perhaps OP's spouse if reading it may get that take as well... in spite of all the warnings given. Perhaps some links to some of the radio shows where he really highlights the OS friendship dangers would be helpful for the OP as well.

Dingerdad... I can tell you first hand the risk OS friends place. I have witnessed at least 5 other couple's marriages fail due to this and mine was heading down that path with my spouse. Today I still have no proof anything ever happened beyond a strong friendship building before it was discovered, but it is the number 1 risk in my book to affairs and it seems the good Dr Harley has already known this for years!

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Originally Posted By: MelodyLane
Yes he is opposed to opposite sex friendships. He and Joyce have friends as couples, but these are not one on one relationships between the opposite sex person.

Originally Posted By: Dr Bill Harley
One of the extraordinary precautions I mention when discussing the topic of avoiding affairs is to rule out friends of the opposite sex.


Joyce explained this on the Radio Show a few months ago.
She mentioned that her and Bill are friends with many in their church.
But they are friends as couples and if, for example, a man approaches her and talks to her of personal matters Joyce often replies: "Oh, well I will let Bill know and make sure he calls you."

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Totally agree with ML on this, there should be no such thing as opposite sex friends in a marriage period stop..... Nooo

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It is easy to look at the list of dangers that Dr. Harley wrote and say to yourself "But that does not apply to me! I love my spouse! The Other Person is in love with their spouse!" Or any number of rationalizations for why you are exempt from that list. Opposite sex friendships are like flypaper.
My ex had a friendship with a woman that I supported for a long time. It became entrenched. The woman's husband supported it too. When the red flags started waving, I let my ex talk me out of my feelings. We're divorced. Opposite sex friendships are poison to your marriage.


Belle, Domestic Goddess
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