Opposite Sex Friendships and Marriage

posted 3 years ago in Relationships
  • poll: How do you feel about opposite sex friends in a marriage?
    Opposite sex friends should not exist in a marriage : (19 votes)
    5 %
    It is inevitable, and I am okay with my SO going out alone with his lady friend : (93 votes)
    24 %
    It is inevitable, but I need to be included. I am not okay with my SO being alone with another woman : (73 votes)
    19 %
    Other (please explain) : (5 votes)
    1 %
    I talked to my SO about opposite sex friendship boundries before it was ever presented : (59 votes)
    15 %
    I will talk to my SO about opposite sex friendship boundries when the situation arises : (33 votes)
    8 %
    I am not planning on talking to my SO about opposite sex friendship boundries : (31 votes)
    8 %
    I will only worry about setting boundries should an issue arise : (79 votes)
    20 %
  • Post # 3
    8387 posts
    Bumble Beekeeper
    • Wedding: April 2013

    @LittlePumpkin:  I’m fine with opposite sex friends.  However, I think that boundaries and expectations must be clear.  Since my husband and I are best friends though, we typically are always together during our free time.

    Post # 4
    2696 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: June 2012

    I have no problem with hubs being around other women… I don’t feel the need to clairify boundaries, because he’s a grown man, and he knows what is right/wrong.

    Post # 5
    3442 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: July 2013

    @LittlePumpkin:  My husband & set some solid boundaries last summer after I became friends again with one of my best guy friends from my childhood.

    He really didn’t care at first when we hung out, even if we were alone, but then he thought my friend developed feelings for me (I think so too, so he wasn’t be crazy) & he wanted me to take a step back. I did, & I have no regrets. I miss this friend, but my husband’s feelings are worth more to me.

    I don’t mind if my husband has a female friend as long as he met her in an appropriate way, like through work or something, but I’m not okay with him hanging out outside of work alone with this woman. It just breeds issues/ hurt feelings, which we already learned.

    Post # 6
    4513 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: October 2013

    We both have friends of the opposite sex. Some of them are mutual friends and some of them aren’t. One of my best friends is a guy I’ve known since I was 12. We are super close and my FI is 100% okay with it (they are friends with each other too, but not as close as I am with him). My FI has a bunch of girl friends at work – who cares? I think its really bizarre to just forget people and distance yourself just because you’re in a serious relationship. Sure – don’t go out clubbing or to romantic dinners with them (unless you’re both okay with that) but I don’t see any harm in just being friends. My relationships with my male friends is absolutely nothing like my relationship with my FI.

    I think anyone that is strongly against this is really insecure. Who just cuts people out of their life for no real reason other than the fact that they’re married?? If your SO is uncomfortable with it or the friend develops feelings for you then thats one thing, but if the sole reason for not being friends anymore is just because they are of the opposite sex? :-/

    Post # 7
    1468 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: October 2012

    One of my husband’s best friends is a woman…a very attractive woman…and I’m fine with it.  They’ve known one another since high school and she was married to his other best friend that died 7-8 years ago.  On the other hand, my two best friends at work are men and he’s okay with it.  We’re grown ups and as a pp mentioned we know the difference between right and wrong.  If you can’t trust your partner either they have you reason to not trust them or you have self esteem issues.

    Post # 8
    10219 posts
    Sugar Beekeeper
    • Wedding: December 2012

    Mr TTR & I were friends first (actually we had mutual friends… and just got assimilated into a bigger group of friends… mostly couples, but a few single folks as well in this circle).  So we knew a fair bit about each other / and our values going in.

    When we began dating, on our first few dates we had a lot of very very deep discussions… and covered a lot of territory on what flew with each of us in a romantic relationship and what wouldn’t

    Then again, we are both older (40s & 50s when we met) and both had suffered thru the pain of divorce.  We were very gun shy about getting involved with the “wrong” person, and getting hurt

    So we spent inordinate amounts of time talking about ourselves, our lives, and our expectations in regards to dating

    Boundaries was certainly one of those talks.

    At our age we both seen a lot of life, and we’ve seen a lot of friendships develop in more… Temptation happens

    And more often than not, Cheating & Affairs occurs with people you know, not complete strangers

    Emotional Cheating (sharing inappropriate information) is often where it starts… and then that leads to more inappropriate behaviour

    Hence, the one way to protect a relationship is to understand that concept, and to agree not to see a member of the opposite sex for friendship… alone one on one

    Easy enough.  We hang out as couples or as a group.  I don’t spend one on one time alone with any guys… and he doesn’t the same with any women

    Lol, between our own busy lives (work – sports – home – interests – obligations) – our time for each other – time with other couples – and time with our “gang” of friends… we don’t miss any solo time with members of the opposite sex.

    Works for us.


    Post # 9
    1332 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: March 2014

    We’re actually working out some stuff in our relationship regarding opposite sex friend boundaries now. But personally, for me, these are the questions I would have.

    1) Is the lady friend nice and respectful to me and happy to include me in all their activities?

    2) Does the lady friend behave appropriately towards him?

    3) Is he neglecting any part of our relationship to spend time with the lady friend?

    If the answers are yes, yes, and no, then I’m fine with them spending time together. But if any of those issues arise, it’s time to set some boundaries.

    ETA: The fact that I was single until my mid-20s makes me have a somewhat more liberal attitude about opposite sex friendships. Single people need friends more than anyone else and I sympathize with the single person who starts losing their friends as they get partnered up. 

    Post # 10
    7664 posts
    Bumble Beekeeper
    • Wedding: July 2013 - UK

    Everyone knows how I feel about this already. Friendships are perfectly natural and normal, no matter what the gender of the friends. Other people say “but what if you develop a attraction to your friends?” and my response is “well, firstly it’s never happened before… I no longer look at people in that way. Secondly, if I did feel an attraction, I would spend less time with that friend, and stop spending time alone with them.” You choose whether to act on your attractions or not.

    The only caveat I would have is that I would not want DH to have a friend (of either gender) who I never got invited to hang out with. If he started hanging out with a friend and never invited me, I would either assume that they were doing something shady (gambling? drugs? joining the conservative party?) or that DH was ashamed of me for some reason.

    Post # 11
    2581 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: October 2014 - UK

    @Rachel631:  +1

    However, whilst I know I’m welcome to hang out with his friends, I’m also glad that I don’t necessarily HAVE to all the time. Firstly – I don’t get the house to myself very often, and secondly it means that if he’s hanging out with someone I find a little irritating, I don’t have to feel bad about saying no!

    Post # 12
    1287 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: May 2014

    @LittlePumpkin:  Before we even met one another, we both had friendships established with oppositve sex individuals.  Over the course of many years, we have not only maintained those friendships with individuals, but have each established new friendships with those individuals.  He is ‘close’ to my guy friends, and I have no problem hanging out one-on-one with his gal pals.

    With all that said, we have absolutely discussed boundaries, in regards to our relationshup and what is or is not acceptable in relationship to the opposite sex.  However, I think that those will come into play as we go thru life, and potentially meet NEW people/friends.  I feel that those that in our lives now are trusted individuals for each of us. in that, we are 100% comfortable and trusting of those friendships.

    Case and point, I met him at my best guy friends party 3+years ago. He, my FI, was his new neighbor.  In those 3 years, I have now become a neighbor to my best guy friend, and we have all become really great friends.  Him/his gf, my fi and him, etc.  He is a groomsman in our wedding even!!   On Saturday, a bunch of us went out, and had a great time.  When we returned, neighbors gf, and my fi went right to bed.  My guy friend and I told them we were going to take a dip in his hot tub.  So, we did.  We both poured ourselves another drink, got in our bathing suits, and sat in there talking for about an hour.  At NO point was his gf or my FI concerned about that, nor should they ever be.  We all trust each other 110%, if that makes sense, because even though he is my best guy friend, I have introduced this relationship to my FI.  No secrets, no worries.

    Post # 13
    4819 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: May 2012

    … it is inevitable and I’am SOMETIMES OK with him going out alone with his lady friend- it completely depends on who this friend is. Do I know her? if not, then no I am not OK, if I know her, yeah, whatever. Same goes for him. He would not be OK if I said I was going out for dinner and drinks with my new friend I met through dance class…

    Post # 14
    1013 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: May 2013

    I don’t mind opposite sex friends as long as they aren’t taking time away from the relationship, or are inappropriate in that the friend becomes a “best friend” and is put before the spouse, spends a lot of time with one partner alone, or hears about marriage problems that should only be discussed with the spouse.NOT COOL.


    I have some opposite sex friends, as does DH, but we pretty much always hang out with them together. DH works with a lot of women, and there are a few that he will get lunch with every so often on the way to a job or while working on a project (he tells me about it). I’ve met all of these work friends, and have hung out with them outside of work, and none of them try to exclude me or make me feel “out” of the circle. If they did, and he didn’t see it or didn’t think it was a big deal… we would be having a conversation about boundaries.

    Post # 15
    4540 posts
    Honey bee
    • Wedding: May 2014 - Royalton White Sands

    When FH and I first started dating, he was close friends with two girls and two guys – and he had dated one of the girls previously. They all lived together, and did basically everything together. I had to be okay with it if I wanted to be in a relationship with him.

    Eventually, he moved out and they drifted apart, but I’m still okay with him having female frineds. He knows and respects my boundaries. If I didn’t worry about him being faithful or crossing any lines then, I definitely don’t have to worry now. 

    I don’t really have too many male friends anymore, but if I did, I know he’d be okay with it within reason. 

    Post # 16
    11772 posts
    Sugar Beekeeper
    • Wedding: May 2013

    If he’s hanging out with women, it’s ALWAYS in a group, and 99% of the time all the women going are married!

    Most of my guy friends aren;t married, but most of them are gay, so it’s the same deal. And only in groups!

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