Talk About Marriage banner

Status
Not open for further replies.
1 - 20 of 118 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,446 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Yes, a lot of TAMers are against this notion. The reasons why have been laid out thoroughly, and extensively.

But I'd like to hear from TAMers who do have opposite sex friends. How do those friendships work in the context of marriage? Are there strict boundaries? Do you treat them similarly as you do your same sex friends? How does your spouse feel?

Any insight at all is welcome.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,214 Posts
The beauty in this TAM website is that it pulls together different views from varying backgrouds, based on personal experiences.

My wife and I do have opposite sex friends.
A whole lot.
I have never felt threatened by her male friends , because I personally know most of them, and they respect and admire our marriage.
Most of all I trust her.
The question of whether or not that trust is misplaced ,does not arise because there is absolutely no evidence to support it.
Does she trust me?
Well I have a few close female friends. I have lots of female acquaintances because of the nature of our business.
Sometimes my wife answers my phone, because we both work together. So a client or acquaintance may call and my wife answers, and takes the relevant information.
A running joke we have is the surprise in their voices when she answers.
Sometimes after when I meet them they might say;
" I didn't know you were married?"
To which I answer:
" Yes, 17 long , wonderful years,and still enjoying it.."


Do we have boundaries?
Of course we do. Our marital vows are the boundaries.
Beside that,we don't go to clubs and bars with our OSF, unless we are both present.
And, we both love doing sport bars.

I know others here may disagree, because of their bad experience.
But so far,
I have not had any such bad experiences.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,290 Posts
Well, my husband and I both have OSF. However, we aren't close to them. Considering our history with this, it's better this way. We have the understanding that if either of us is uncomfortable for any reason, we discuss it. Sometimes it ends with the friendship ending. Sometimes, it simply ends with not being alone with the OSF. There is only one woman I specifically told him "no more" about, and that was the EA. Same with mine. Otherwise, the OSF are friends of the marriage, but not CLOSE friends.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
I have been married for four years, I'm 36 and my wife is 30. I have a very close female colleague (I work in the emergency services) who is my designated partner at work. My wife knows this woman although they only meet socially at my work functions.

This woman is the same age as my wife and has just gotten engaged, her fiance worked on my shift several years ago and it was me who introduced them. I know more about her than her fiance does and she would admit that. She in turn knows more about me than my wife does.

We have been close friends right from the start. While we have both been honest and admitted that we are attracted to eachother, we have never gotten physical. We simply accept that it's not wrong to be attracted to eachother, it's only wrong to act on it. We cope by making an obvious joke of it and having pictures of our other half pinned to the dash of our vehicle.

It is possible to be close friends with the opposite sex, just be honest about the natural human instinct which compels men and women to evaluate everyone as a potential mate.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
218 Posts
These types of friendships are possible, but there must be serious boundaries. I don't care what anyone says, men are men and women are women and there is always a very good chance that friendships could turn into affairs in very short order. It's just the way God made us. I'm attracted to women. My wife is attracted to men. It would be naive of me to think that my wife couldn't be attracted to another man who is a friend of hers and even more naive for me to think that one of her OS friendships couldn't turn into an affair. This is especially true if I'm not giving her what she needs in our marriage and if there aren't appropriate boundaries.

I also don't think it would be outside the realm of possibility for one of my friendships with women to cross a boundary into affair territory. That's why you have to be very careful with these friendships. They're possible, but you have to set boundaries for yourself and live by those boundaries.

The worst situation is when you are enjoying a friendship with someone of the opposite sex and it becomes clear THEY have a thing for YOU. Your ego is happy and you feel good because it's very flattering but you have to live by those boundaries you've set.

I ultimately think people need to be honest about these types of friendships and make sure they are arms-length friendships. I've seen too many marriages ruined by OS friendships that result in the "friends" banging in the back of a car somewhere!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,446 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
I've always had close female friends. When I was younger I had more, but overtime that naturally shifted.

I know the potential pitfalls of being in a very close friendship with a woman. I know because I've only had one female best friend in my entire life, and I now have sex regularly with her, and she wears a silver and blue diamond wedding band on her finger. So I've been there, done that.

So while I've never had another female "best friend", I have, and do, have real friendships with women. Some of them I'd deem unattractive (by my personal likes), and others are drop dead gorgeous (I'm an actor, it's an occupational hazard ;)).

My wife and I never put boundaries on friendships (well save one), and we do not now. Our motto is, and always has been, full trust. We both believe that if one of us ever cheats, as improbable as that feels to both of us, it'll be because we chose to cheat. It won't be because of an opposite sex friend, or anyone else's fault. It's us. Period. We are responsible for our marriage, and nobody else. The way we define our relationship (and again I am not speaking for anyone else) has to allow for total freedom and trust. Anything less, and we'd be living in the kind of relationship that neither one of us wants to be in.

Having said that, what is interesting is that there are natural boundaries that exist. We both are fully allowed to spend one-on-one time with OS friends, and we do occasionally, but not nearly as frequently as we do with our SS friends. Neither one of us has taken a trip with an OS friend, like we have with SS ones. I don't have a single female best friend, but while my wife does have one male best friend, almost all the other "best friends" are of the same sex. It seems that divisions, and boundaries, happened naturally, without either one of us needing to put our foot down (again, except that one time).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,869 Posts
IMHO, like every other issue, this one comes down to degrees.

My wife and I both have OSFs. Neither of the consider them "best friends". After me, my wife's closest friends are all women. After her, my closest friends are all men.

I have some female friends, but I won't exactly confide in them. And same with my wife. We might get their opinion on something in order to do something nice for each other (get a woman's perspective on a gift for my wife for instance) but that's the "deepest" we go.

I would have a hard time if my wife's BEST friend in life was a guy. And likewise, I know she'd always be jealous if my BEST friend was a woman.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
2,585 Posts
I actually have a few male friends, most from work. We don't socialize alone outside of work, and H has met them. Other men at work are only acquaintances, so no issue. I also have a long time male friend who I have introduced my H to. We do not go have any alone time either, and if I do see him it's only with H. This friend is very careful not to step on any toes.

H had 3 female friends; two had to be turfed because they ended up wanting more than just friends although at the time, he insisted til he was blue in the face that I was wrong. They both ended up proving me right without any help at all from me!. The third is a married former work colleague of his that I have met and that we now socialize with (rarely due to distance) as couples.

The boundaries are such that we don't spend alone time with members of the opposite sex. To be honest, I'd feel funny doing so. I would probably never have a male 'best friend'. I don't even have a female best friend! H is my best friend...:)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,538 Posts
We have OSF's and they have never been an issue for us. My husband has more female friends, but it has never bothered me. Most of them he met in college. I worked straight out of high school and had a kid, so our paths were different.

We're one anothers best friend. Neither of our OSF's know something about our spouse that would be considered private information just between us. I think that's important. It keeps the intimacy between us special... if our friends knew all our personal business it takes away from our relationship together. Ours is supposed to be closer than that of our friendships.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,446 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
H had 3 female friends; two had to be turfed because they ended up wanting more than just friends although at the time, he insisted til he was blue in the face that I was wrong. They both ended up proving me right without any help at all from me!. The third is a married former work colleague of his that I have met and that we now socialize with (rarely due to distance) as couples.
Yup, been there, but the opposite. My wife had a couple close male friends that I knew were attracted to her. She swore up, down, and sideways that they didn't feel that. way. And just like you, without having to interfere, they made their feelings known one by one.

I do have female friends that I suspect were attracted to me, but they never made a move. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that I talk about my wife so glowingly, and so frequently, that they didn't see an in road?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,408 Posts
Yup, been there, but the opposite. My wife had a couple close male friends that I knew were attracted to her. She swore up, down, and sideways that they didn't feel that. way. And just like you, without having to interfere, they made their feelings known one by one.

I do have female friends that I suspect were attracted to me, but they never made a move. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that I talk about my wife so glowingly, and so frequently, that they didn't see an in road?
I really think thats the key! Talk about your significant other....let them know they are in your life. Just talking about the one you love will set boundaries.

Posted via Mobile Device
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
2,585 Posts
Yup, been there, but the opposite. My wife had a couple close male friends that I knew were attracted to her. She swore up, down, and sideways that they didn't feel that. way. And just like you, without having to interfere, they made their feelings known one by one.

I do have female friends that I suspect were attracted to me, but they never made a move. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that I talk about my wife so glowingly, and so frequently, that they didn't see an in road?
And maybe they are genuinely just good women, who wouldn't do something like that, as it would certainly end the friendship? Or is it that they know they haven't a chance, since you speak of your wife so much/glowingly? Either way, if they were coniving man thieves (they do exist!), your wife (and you) would have picked up on it.

I suspect also, that my male friend who doesn't want to step on my husband's toes, also may feel more than friendship, although he has never acted on it. He backed way off once I met and married my man....and over all the years we've known one another, he always would tell me "When you meet someone, I'll leave you alone.". Last time we saw him, he took H's number...solidifying their relationship to one another, maybe...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,785 Posts
Yes, a lot of TAMers are against this notion. The reasons why have been laid out thoroughly, and extensively.

But I'd like to hear from TAMers who do have opposite sex friends. How do those friendships work in the context of marriage? Are there strict boundaries? Do you treat them similarly as you do your same sex friends? How does your spouse feel?

Any insight at all is welcome.
I don't tend to get along with girls all that much. I'm a fairly drama-free person, and for some reason the dramatic girls always like to attach to me. I have a few close girlfriends, and then a few guy friends.

I have one close guy friend who I talk to alot. He's a writer, I'm a writer, so we often shoot ideas back and forth, and even write together sometimes. He lives in another state, so our friendship is usually over facebook chat. We've talked maybe twice in the phone, and that is something I don't often feel comfortable doing. Don't ask why. I don't know.

I've known this guy for years and years, and my husband knows it. The guy is very nice and respectful, and has never done anything to even remotely threaten my marriage. My husband has no issues with the friendship whatsoever.

My husband also has a lot of female friends. He was a cheer coach for all All-star nationally ranked team, and was surrounded by girls all the time. Some of them he's still in touch with, and they talk every once in a while. We both decided that the boundaries we have would be mutual...if it applies to me, it applies to him. As soon as either one of us is uncomfortable with the other's friendships, then things need to cool down.

But nothing of the kind has ever happened. He got married to me and the cheer girls kind of...went away. Which is odd. I'm nice. :D
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
2,585 Posts
Even though we each have them, I must admit that in general, I don't agree with the whole fight for opsex friendships...you know, the "no one is going to control who I am friends with!" type of argument we sometimes see here.

I also have to say that I wouldn't be impressed if H suddenly had a new female friend in his life. I would probably be suspect of her. Does that make any sense? At the same time, I highly doubt that I'll be bringing any new males into our lives, either. Since marriage, I am just not befriending men in the same way I would have as a single gal.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,214 Posts
Yup, been there, but the opposite. My wife had a couple close male friends that I knew were attracted to her. She swore up, down, and sideways that they didn't feel that. way. And just like you, without having to interfere, they made their feelings known one by one.

I do have female friends that I suspect were attracted to me, but they never made a move. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that I talk about my wife so glowingly, and so frequently, that they didn't see an in road?
^^^^
This works EVERYTIME for me.
Whenever a female I consider a friend or acquaintance starts acting all clingy and stupid,I simply start telling them that my wife and I are still having great sex, and I' not interested.

My wife on the other hand at one time refused to see my point of view when I told her I didn't like one of her male friends, because he didn't respect me.
She thought he was " nice." Turned out that he was sexing another man's wife from the neighbourhood,and it created a big stink.
She finally understood what I was saying all along.
But she was mature enough to admit that she was wrong.
I believe in self governance.

Lots of women hit on me. Lots of men hit on my wife.
Does it feel nice?
Of course it does.
But it does not affect my brain chemistry to the point where I need to get compliments from these women in order to feel good about myself , and thus * feel * attracted to them.

I don't need their compliments to feel good about myself.
My wife sees me naked every day,and she does a good job at making me feel good about myself.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,214 Posts
I've known this guy for years and years, and my husband knows it. The guy is very nice and respectful, and has never done anything to even remotely threaten my marriage. My husband has no issues with the friendship whatsoever.
^^^^^^^^
This right here is important.
It says that you respect your husband's opinion, and he trusts you.
You both discussed it and he has accepted your friendship with this guy.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
270 Posts
Yup, been there, but the opposite. My wife had a couple close male friends that I knew were attracted to her. She swore up, down, and sideways that they didn't feel that. way. And just like you, without having to interfere, they made their feelings known one by one.

I do have female friends that I suspect were attracted to me, but they never made a move. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that I talk about my wife so glowingly, and so frequently, that they didn't see an in road?
Jacquen - that is a very good and smart way to let others know "it is not happening with you" without having to actually say the words.

I had a couple of male friends when my ex and I were together but as with many other stories here, things ended when they went too far. My ex did not have any female friends, just acquaintances and I never felt threatened. I dont know how I would have felt if he had wanted to hang out with them without me there. I might have been fine or maybe a little jealous but I am not easily threatened.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
2,585 Posts
^^^^
This works EVERYTIME for me.
Whenever a female I consider a friend or acquaintance starts acting all clingy and stupid,I simply start telling them that my wife and I are still having great sex, and I' not interested.
No way would I ever say anything of the sort to another man; way inappropriate! Why discuss your sex life with anyone other than your partner, or a therapist?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,138 Posts
Yes, a lot of TAMers are against this notion. The reasons why have been laid out thoroughly, and extensively.

But I'd like to hear from TAMers who do have opposite sex friends. How do those friendships work in the context of marriage? Are there strict boundaries? Do you treat them similarly as you do your same sex friends? How does your spouse feel?

Any insight at all is welcome.
I have opposite sex friends and have had them for a long time. My platonic friendships hasn't been an issue in my marriage. Ever. I've asked my husband if it bothers him. He said no, he trusts me and he has known me for 20 years, he knows my character. Two of my friends are much older (in their 50s and one in his 60s). One is a grandfather! The others are closer to my age, but I don't think of them as anything other than friends. Two of my male friends attended our wedding and they came with their wives. The friends have always been respectful and our conversations are so PG-rated that my parents or grandparents could listen in.

Big, important things in my life I share with my husband then two or three of my closest girlfriends. I don't call up these men to discuss marital problems. I don't ask them for advice on deeply personal matters. Even before I knew about EAs, I knew instinctively not to do that. We mostly communicate about stuff happening in our industry (most of us work in the same field), people we know in common, current events, politics or we exchange joke emails. When I say communicate, it's mostly via email. My husband knows my email passwords so if he wanted to he could read anything in my email account. For some of these friends, I communicate with them maybe biweekly. Others I don't hear from for months!

They helped out in various ways over the years. One has a truck so he has helped us move heavy items that we would othewise have to pay to have delivered. The job I have now I got because a friend of mine from the industry gave me a heads up about the opening. Plus I think after my interview, he put in a good word for me with the panel that did the interview. Another friend's wife is medical specialist and when I had a huge health scare several years ago, she called me to give some great advice. Another friend's wife sells Pampered Chef products. I got some good items from her. All the spouses know who I am.

A long time ago, before I got married, I would go to karaoke with one of them but in a group setting with several other people. My husband was always free to come along but he hates public singing. So do I, but I don't mind making a fool of myself. :rofl:
My husband hasn't ever set boundaries on these friends like "no lunch" or "no diner." In fact, he'd be ok with it. I just wouldn't do it although lunch I've had occasionally with one of my friends (occasional being defined as maybe once in six months), but it's more of a working lunch, not a date.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,974 Posts
I'm one of the "no OSF TAMERS" but in reality I'm not as hard core as I come across on these threads. One-on-one intimate conversation time or talk about marriages or friendship with EXs are more of the triggers for me. Plus there's a gray area between when someone is an acquaintance versus friend.

Imagine male and female partners on the police force for example. That's a lot of one-on-one time and emotional closeness but it seems okay.
I have had a few close female friends that I work with. I'm sure my wife has had male friends too. Most I look back on and realize it was not inappropriate. Maybe one that was because I talked about my EX with her. Live and learn.

I think it's like many things in life. Give proper respect for the danger so you know if there is any. There are obviously plenty of examples where OSF works out great.
 
1 - 20 of 118 Posts
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top