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#935601 08/03/01 12:25 AM
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Is it ever OK for two people of the opposite sex, not married to each other to be friends?

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What kind of friends?

L.


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And is either of them married to someone else?

Z

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He loves not who does not show love.
----William Shakespeare


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Mrs. Me,

I can see by your profile this is your 1st post. It may be helpful if you could give us a little background as to what brought you here to Marriage Builders so that we can better support you. You can post your story here or on the Just found out site and we can go and read it there. If you have a copy of the August 2001 Marriage Builders Newsletter that came out today, Steve Harley outlines the best way to use this site.

Again, it is up to you and we would be happy to answer your questions.

L.


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Hi Mrs Me,

this is not an easy question to answer because I think you have to define the context within which the friendship exists and then describe the kind of behaviour which could be acceptable within that context.

Of course men and woman can be friends. There's no question about this. And I do believe that men and women can have friends of the opposite sex while being married. However, if there's an attraction between the man and woman (it doesn't have to be mutual) which could take the friendship beyond feelings of just being friends then this is a potential powder keg.

does that help any?



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I have a lot of friends of the opposite sex. I am married. I also include my husband's involvement in my friendships with members of the opposite sex. My husband has met them all and their wives, if they are married.

One of my friends recently had an affair. We had not seen each other in several years. His wife felt uncomfortable meeting me because my friend confided in me regarding his affair. We have cut off contact until our spouses can meet with us all on a double date. Might not happen tho?

Regarding all opposite sex friendships, each couple has to follow the policy of joint agreement and if anyone feels uncomfortable, then the friendship should cease.


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If the friend in question is friends EQUALLY with both H and W -- that is, they are someone you could describe as a "family friend -- " then it's probably ok. (But even then, keep your eyes open.)

But if this person is a friend ONLY of the H or W and has no interest in the spouse -- this is a HUGE RED FLAG. No married person should have a friend of the opposite sex that is not equally a friend of the spouse.

And if they try to tell you "we're just good friends," that means "we're sleeping together."

Psycho_B***h


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quote:
Originally posted by psycho_b:
if this person is a friend ONLY of the H or W and has no interest in the spouse -- this is a HUGE RED FLAG. No married person should have a friend of the opposite sex that is not equally a friend of the spouse.

If only I believed in that 6 months ago


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quote:
Originally posted by psycho_b:
If the friend in question is friends EQUALLY with both H and W -- that is, they are someone you could describe as a "family friend -- " then it's probably ok. (But even then, keep your eyes open.)

But if this person is a friend ONLY of the H or W and has no interest in the spouse -- this is a HUGE RED FLAG. No married person should have a friend of the opposite sex that is not equally a friend of the spouse.

And if they try to tell you "we're just good friends," that means "we're sleeping together."

Psycho_B***h


Dear PB...

AMEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Winny


PS..
Dang it all! I PROMISED myself I wasn't going to elaborate, but I just can't resist! Here's what I mean:

Some more ways of saying "We're sleeping together":

"She has some problems in her life that I was helping her with"

"She has a similar problem to what I'm going through"

"Attracted sexually to her?? Noooo!"

"Honest, I don't know where that (article of clothing/piece of jewelry/some other strange piece of crap) came from"

and the all-time, time honored biggie:

"I'm so confused."

W.

[This message has been edited by Winnytoo (edited August 03, 2001).]


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Because we have been given over to our depraved minds: NO!

We have to trust in the Lord to guide us to being a real friend. It is possible but only through God's help.

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God Bless,
Rob

regilmor@swbell.net


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I've written whole posts about this myself.

For ME, and many other people I know, NO, it can't be done.

I would like to hear your story too... what brings you here asking this question?


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5 years ago I would have said sure. But my H had an affair with my best friend back then, who was married at the time to his best friend. They started out with the typical "talking" and thinking each other was so supportive and wonderful. Well, it became sex. Including in my bed which destroys me. He sent her flowers, cards, letters, etc. They even made out in (our) office, her car, her bed, etc. It's totally sickening as I've only found out the truth in the last month. I know some say "Get over it, it's in the past." But the fact that he lied and lied and lied for all that time and only confessed when forced to in counseling, makes me doubt I'll ever really trust him again. I no longer get as close to women either. She blamed it all on everyone else (but claimed it wasn't sexual). So I was exposed to the threat of stds with out being told.

I have male friends, but they are just as close to my husband. One of them practically saved my life 5 years ago when we were separated. But I NEVER write to him out of my personal email account, I always use our joint one.

I know how quickly friendship can turn to lust and sin. And the consequences just aren't worth it! If you are married, and your husband is their friend too, I'd say ok. But be very cautious! maggierose


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Friends of the opposite sex, OK. When I was in the military I had many of them. I think that the rule of thumb is: When you are with your friend, are you conducting yourself as you would in front of your spouse? Does your friend know that you love your spouse? Do you speak well of your marriage and does your friend know that you are happy in your marriage? Do you speak well of your spouse to your friends? Do you feel comfortable spending time with your friend AND your spouse together in any setting?

But most of all--do your give first priority to your spouse when it comes to fulfilling emotional needs? If the answer is no to any of these, then there is a problem and your friendship is not appropriate.


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Mrs. Me,

You have a lot of responses. Can we please hear from you?

L.


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The answer is yes, with qualifications.

Opposite-sex friends are OK IF:

1) Such friendships do not deliberately exclude your spouse

2) Your spouse does not have discomfort with the friendship. Where an opposite-sex friendship teeters over into an EA is like what Justice Potter Stuart (or was it Abe Fortas?) said about pornography: "I can't define it, but I know it when I see it."

3) The friend's needs do not become more important to you than your spouse's.

That's pretty much the big 3.

3 years ago, my H had "friendships" with three women co-workers. One of them was at work only, little or no socializing. This one, the few times I saw her, was always nice to me. No problem. The second one, my H was always cognizant of my feelings when dealing with her. ONe night H came home from work feeling ill and exhausted. Woman Friend #2 called, upset, threatening to quit. Suddenly H was saying he'd pick her up and take her out for a drink. Out of bed, putting on shoes, then stopped, looked at me, and said, "Do you want to come along? This looks pretty bad, that I'm too sick to deal with you but when J. calls, I'm ready to go." I went along, we both helped calm Friend #2 down, now Friend #2 was a friend to both of us.

"Friend #3", a.k.a. Dragon Lady. Never made an attempt to be nice to me. Would call him at the house and never even say hello to me, just ask to talk to him. Left him messages like "I really need to see you, I really need to talk with you." H sneaked out to see her. H took her up to our bedroom during a summer barbecue to see our cats, not thinking about how I felt about it. Insisted all along that they were "just friends". Never cared that it made me uncomfortable, just got angry: "You don't trust me. You think I'm f***ing her."

Do you see the difference in those three "friends"?



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