Married Dopers: Still have close friends of the opposite sex?

A friend of mine contends that it is best for married persons not to maintain intimate friendships with members of the opposite sex after marriage. Basically, she says that her husband will be the only man in her life, and that she will maintain close friendships with only her girlfriends. I’m wondering how common this sentiment is.

Her argument is that the intimacy of a male-female relationship would interfere the marriage relationship, or perhaps create a temptation, or something. Everyday chit-chat, ‘how’s the weather’ conversations are fine, but nothing too personal, nothing too deep.

My response is that the world can be a lonely enough place, to cut off half the world’s population from the pool of possible friends is definitely a bad idea. Also, I (a male) have many more female friends than male, so the idea is doubly displeasing. I don’t wanna end up talking sports and sci-fi with my four male friends for the rest of my life.

So, is she insane? And is this a widely held belief?

I’ve been married for seven years, and still have many male friends. It doesn’t bother my husband, and he has become friends with many of them too.

I agree, why refuse contact with half the population simply because they have dangly bits?

I advertise the fact I’m married, and I think this cancels out any prospective advances. But I don’t think I’m popular in THAT respect anyway. :slight_smile:

Your friend is full of it. Most of my best friends are female and that is just the way it is. I even had female roomates in college while my the future wife and I were going out.

My wife’s closest friend at the moment is a male. Why would I care?

I even had people like your friend tell me that I had to drop my female friends as soon as I got married. I told them to go to hell but some were quite adament about it. I still didn’t listen because I can’t understand the logic.

It is just a different worldview I guess.

When I first met my husband I had more male friends than female. That hasn’t changed and he’s cool with it. All my male friends are friends with him too and they all know we’re married and devoted to each other.

The only reason I could see a woman having to drop all her male friends for her husband is because 1) he doesn’t trust her, 2) She doesn’t trust herself, or 3)He’s a very controlling person.

Diletante - is your friends husband dropping all his female friends??

Your friend is absurd, insecure, and paranoid.

One of my best and oldest friends is a guy. My truly best friend is my husband, but Tex (his nickname) is a very loyal and good friend. I did have a crush on him in college, but it was silly and short-lived. This comment from your friend:

…just makes me say “EwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwWWWWWWWWWW!” There is NO temptation there at all. Ugh–and for so many reasons. Yuck. No.

My hubby, meanwhile, still has many close, long-time friends that are girls. All of them are married now. None of them were ever a “threat” to me–heck, in fact, it’s been an awesome way for me to make new friends.

So, “is she insane?”


So, would you all be okay with your husband/wife having a really close friendship with someone of the opposite sex who was really attractive and shared a lot of interests with your husband/wife?

Is it insecure to be uncomfortable with your significant other spending time alone with someone with whom you think they ‘match up’ well? What if you’re suspicious, not necessarily of your SO’s motives, but his/her friend?

The problem for me is I’ve started to see both sides. I hate it when that happens.

Since I’m not planning to have sex with them, being in a happy and monogamous longterm relationship already, I don’t care what gender my close friends are, and neither does my partner. What I care about is if they are the kind of people I like and admire.
My very best friend of my own gender is gay. My partner is cool with that too.


I just posted in response to the thread title, so for the sake of clarity - I am a married man and I have no close female friends and seek none out.

My husband DOES have attractive female friends who share his passion of mountain bike riding. It doesn’t bother me. With no sisters around, I think its good for him to spend time with other women besides me. Makes him appreciate me more!

And I’m not suspicious of the motives of any of those women, either.

This may get me flamed, but I really don’t want my husband to have any intimate friends: the sex part seems irrelevant.

When I see “intimate friend”, I think of those people where your relationship transcends anything like common interests or concerns or geographical locations: people you confide your hopes and dreams and fears to, not people you go to the movies with and then dinner, or people with whom you get together to do one particular activity, be it gaming or drinking or writing or playing a sport or disscussing books or woodworking or swapping childrearing tips, or people whom you happen to see a great deal of, like co-workers. intimate friends are people who you have a crush on, though it may be entirely non-sexual: they are the people whose opinion really, truely matters to you, and who you are willing to make large, personal sacrifices for–and request large personal sacrifices from.

My husband is my absolute best friend, and frankly, I don’t want anyone else to even be in the same catagory as me. I never, ever worry about him cheating on me, but I would be jealous if he had a friend like I described above.

I do not, however, think that that would be true for most couples. In my particular case, my husband is not a man who tends to have close personal friends: he didn’t have any when I met him. He has lots of friends, mind you, but over all he is extraordinarily self-sufficent: his interests are mostly solitary pursuits. If he had had an intimate friend when I met him, I think that I would have accepted that without even thinking about it, but if he were to meet someone now and forge a strong bond with them, I would not like it at all. I wouldn’t “forbid” it–we don’t do things like that–but I wouldn’t like it.

Hmmm, Manda JO, do you intentionally avoid these close relationships, or is that just how things are? In any case, it sounds a mite insecure - it’s not fair to anyone to only have one person that they can confide in. With the girlfriends I’ve had, I’ve felt very comfortable with talking and confiding, but… there are some things that I would just rather talk to someone else about. It doesn’t mean that I have less respect or intimacy with them, just that there are some things that I feel more comfortable talking about with my platonic friends rather than my SO, and vice-versa. MY $0.02.

I’ve read some posts from Manda Jo regarding relationships that were absolutely beautiful and right on the money. I don’t have time right now to post a link, but do yourself a favor and search them up. Absolutely great to read, and once you have I think you’ll agree that she is not in the least insecure in her relationship.

That said, I have to say that I don’t believe that the only man in my life should be my husband. I have several close male friends who I cherish deeply and I would never, ever cheat on my husband. I don’t think that anyone can be everything to anyone else - that’s just far too much pressure to put on one person and one relationship. My husband and I have tons in common and are wonderful partners, but he doesn’t share some of my interests and I do need other friends to share with. That they happen to be men shouldn’t really matter.

Grelby Manda JO, do you intentionally avoid these close relationships, or is that just how things are?

No, no, no–I have close personal friends, and that’s cool. I’d be appalled if my husband were to even suggest that he resented them. It’s my husband who dosen’t, and never has. It’s not even a matter of me filling all his emotional needs: he tends to fill most of his emotional needs. If he were to break out of his pattern for a third party and I wasn’t welcome within that relationship, I would feel left out. It’s because forgeing that sort of bond would be so totally out of charecter for him that it would leave me feeling baffled and insecure.


Why, thank you!

Once again, I’m not really talking about shared interests. I’m talking about those people you stay close to even though you don’t have a thing in the world in common with them. I am talking about hte sort of friend you call whenever you get a piece of really good news, even if the news has nothing to do with them or any shared interest you have with them. All his life, my husband has been the sort of solitary person who would never call anybody when he got a piece of really good news, not because there was nobody to call, but because it dosen’t particularly increase his pleasure to share it. He dosen’t call me with really good news, or if he does, he does so only becasue he knows it gives me pleasure to hear it, not because it pleases him. If he were to forge a relationship with a new person and start calling them right away with good news, I wouldn’t like it. Gender would be irrelevant.

Yes, I would be fine with that. There is nothing wrong with having a close friend of the opposite sex, whether or not you’re married.

My hubby (DeathLlama) has several girl friends. I have never, ever felt threatened by that. He confides in them, although not as much now (not just because he’s married, but because they’ve married, moved, etc. and are not around as much), and he has much in common with them. So? There is absolutely no harm in that. I trust him completely (and that’s a very simple explanation), and I also trust these girls. They are highly respectable, moral women of exceptional character. To them, DL is more of a brother than anything.

I will admit to being uncomfortable with him, say, taking off with one girl friend for a weekend, or on outings on a weekly basis or more. Part of my discomfort is in the appearance of things, but part of it would also be a feeling something was being avoided.

Hmm. Just read the OP and my first response to the hubby. His far more succinct response? (to “the intimacy of a male-female relationship would interfere the marriage relationship, or perhaps create a temptation:”)

“I don’t think it has to be. And I think it depends on the person.”

Well then, there you go. This is one reason I love this guy–he can say in about 15 words what I try to express in 100.

Heck, I’ve even sent WinkieHubby off to Arizona with his best friend (who is female.) I really didn’t want to go to the event they were going to, her hubby really didn’t want to go, they both really did.

Am I uncomfortable or a little insecure about their friendship? Occasionally, but I usually find that insecurity is rooted in other things and is simply manifesting itself in doubts about their friendship.

What it comes down to is this – Either I trust him to be faithful to me or I don’t, regardless of the gender of his close friends. If I don’t trust him to be faithful to me, what’s the point of being with him?

I can beat that Winkie, my partner sent me off to a weekend event with my best friend, the one who is gay. In the full knowledge that we had booked one (two bed) hotel room.

Man, if I was forced to abandon all close relationships with women, and MrsB was forced to abandon all men, we’d both be pretty bored. And get very annoyed with each other.

We just happen to be two people who get along very well with the opposite sex, often better than we do with our own sex. We’re also a couple of flirts, who then rush home to use up all that temptation :smiley:

I’m in the middle on this one.

I’m male, and have always had close female friends, and expect to continue now that I’m married (it’s only been a year!) But I’ve also seen the husband of one of my female friends get jealous. Not for any real reason. I do think the potential is there for difficulites. But if the couple has strong trust in each other, it shouldn’t be a problem.

Let me preface this by saying this is how my marriage works, and I realize not everyone’s marriage can or should be the same. Take everything with a firm IMHO.

I’m more with Manda JO on this one. I wouldn’t want my husband to have close friends of either sex. I offer him the same courtesy. Part of marriage is being best friends. Female friends, especially close friends, would make me distinctly uncomfortable, not because I don’t trust him, but because he would be sharing a part of himself that should be reserved for our marriage.

I don’t talk bad about my husband behind his back, and I don’t share intimacies about him either.