To The Spouse With a Close Friend of The Opposite Sex

In Advice and Encouragement, Marriage by Debra Fileta37 Comments

Q: I’ve always had friends of the opposite sex. Now that I’m married, I’m finding it harder to manage these close friendships, and feel that I may have even crossed the line. What do you suggest I do from here?

A: It started innocently.  The two of you just connected.  You had a lot in common, and before you knew it, you started looking forward to more encounters with your “friend”–and that’s all he/she is in your eyes…at least, for now. 

That’s what you tell yourself in your heart of hearts.  You don’t want to hurt your spouse, but this “friend” is such a good listener and makes you feel loveddesired…respected…wanted.  Things you haven’t felt with your spouse in a long time, but you’ve never really talked about it.

You started spending more and more time with this person and even went to lunch a few times.  And, you tell yourself it’s okay because, after all, you are JUST FRIENDS, right?  But, you find yourself sharing more personal stories than you had intended and locking eyes longer than you wanted.  During your encounters, time tends to stand still, and every day you find yourself thinking about this person more and more.

And, before you know it, you realize that some major boundaries have been crossed, and you are afraid to tell your spouse about it.

Does any of this sound familiar, Friend?  If so, please know that you are not alone.

There’s nothing wrong with finding a kindred spirit in another person.  In fact, it’s awesome–but, it’s a slippery, nosedive of a slope when this close friendship is with someone of the opposite sex who is not your spouse or family member.  This may sound harsh and even ridiculous to you.  I mean, we’re all adults, right? We should be able to control ourselves and be “friends” with whoever we want…right?

Well, not exactly.

Would you be okay with your spouse having this same kind of “friendship”? Same conversations?  Same encounters?  Same attraction?

Probably not…right?

I know you love your spouse and would never hurt him/her on purpose.  But, Friend, please hear me–being close friends with someone of the opposite sex isn’t good for your  marriage AT ALL.  As one who works with struggling married couples on a daily basis, it breaks my heart to see these “friendships” wounding marriages time and time again.  

Close friendships with those of the opposite sex open up your heart and marriage to a world of hurt, and here’s why:

  1. Your frequent conversations with this friend are like cords of a rope–each one making the connection stronger and more intimate.
  2. Your longing for more interactions is evidence of your desire to know this person more, and this is dangerous territory.
  3. As a man and woman, it is only natural for this connection to continue to progress to a physical, sexual relationship over time, unless you are intentional about putting boundaries in place and creating distance between you and your friend.
  4. The excitement and allure of this new friendship is intoxicating and is harder to let go the longer it carries on.

I don’t tell you all of this to make you feel bad; I tell you these truths to warn you and keep you from doing something that could devastate your marriage.  If you have a “friend” like this, then please do whatever it takes to put some distance between you, create healthy boundaries, and fight for your marriage.  Go home and connect with your spouseNOT this friend.

If you recognize that you are in pretty deep with this friend of the opposite sex and possibly have romantic feelings for him/her, then you need to confess this romantic affair to your spouse and seek Christian marriage counseling immediately.

This may be very difficult, and it will be hard for your spouse to process.  But, it’s better to confess this now then to engage in a full blown sexual affair later.  The two of you can get through this when you decide to fight for each other and do what is necessary to rebuild trust.  Don’t let this opposite sex friend distract you from your commitment to your spouse.  Your marriage is worth fighting for.  Let this be a wake up call.

It’s not too late, Friend.

Ashley Willis is a wife and mom of four rambunctious boys.  She and her husband, Dave, are the founders of the Facebook Marriage Page and are the co-founders of StrongerMarriages.com.  Ashley and Dave have a passion for encouraging and equipping married couples, and she does so through her blog, AshleyWillis.org, Facebook Author Page, books, and live speaking events all over the country.  Ashley and Dave recently released their books, 7 Days to a Stronger Marriage, his and hers devotionals designed to bring couples closer than ever before through daily readings, Scripture, conversations and a fun daily activity.  When they’re not doing marriage ministry, Ashley and Dave are most likely wrestling with their four energetic boys and quite possibly taking one of them to the ER–yet again.

Comments

  1. This reminds me of a similar article that was just posted on Relevant. Like that piece, this is entirely fear based. It’s hard to think of a less Christian ethic than that of categorically discounting an entire group of brothers and sisters strictly out of fear of temptation. I’m single with many close female friends, one of whom in married herself. The idea of marriage being a barrier to that is, in truth, absolutely ridiculous. I’m honestly surprised to find something like this on this site.

    1. Author

      Hi Zach, thanks for your feedback….I’d like to dig a little deeper here.

      To say that this article is “fear based” is not accurate, because boundaries are not about fear, they are in fact about creating safety. In any relationship, you could then say that setting limits or boundaries had to do with fear….which is not the case.

      Ashley wrote this article in particular, because of the countless marriages she and her husband have worked with in which one or the other spouse had an affair with a close friend. I affirm the content in this article from my experience as a professional counselor and also working clinically with couples post-affair. Whether or not we like it, this is a reality…

      I don’t think this this means that we don’t have ANY friends of the opposite sex, but I do think the word “close” is the key factor here. A close friend is a really intimate experience….therefore, if your friend is married, it’s only natural that her husband would also be a part of that relationship as well. All of my male friends have become “our” friends since entering marriage, and none of those male friends do I meet with or interact with in a one-to-one setting. Partly out of wisdom, but partly because I reserve that place for my husband.

      At the end of the day, you have a lot more to lose when boundaries are crossed in these scenarios, which you would be surprised at how often that happens. Some people say, “you don’t need such boundaries because an affair is a heart issue”. Well, truthfully, it’s more than a “heart issue”….it’s deeper than that psychologically, and no one sets out to cheat on their spouse. All that to say, boundaries are an important part of all relationships.

  2. Still being single at my age is hard and what if you have trouble making friends. Well that’s me. I treasure any friend I can find. A lot of my opposite sex friends and I have had to make hard decisions.
    I have had to come to the realization that they are now married to their best friend and have had to back off from them. Though I have not written them out of my life, I have given them space and even said that I am not available at times even if I was. I do it so they can build the relationship a marriage needs.
    Does it hurt? Indeed it does. Am I tempted to call or hang out? Yes. But as a man sometimes these are the hardest decisions to make but had to. Out will make you sad but in return you will get a better relationship and those intimate feelings will go away and create a better and happier relationship with a lot less drama.

    1. Author

      This says a lot of good things about you, B….thanks for sharing.

    2. Thank you for posting on this subject, Debra. However, I walked away feeling the author assumed all opposite sex relationships would eventually end up as a sexual affair. I feel the author could have been a little more precise in her explanation. There was room for misinterpretation/misunderstanding. My suggestion would be to start a discussion about ways to set boundaries in an opposite sex relationship from the beginning, (bc males and females do seek friendship from one another, opposite sex friendships do and will happen) or how to identify the ways in which boundaries are crossed, when/if they have been crossed and how to deal, if such a situation arises. An opposite sex relationship can be an enormous blessing. I’ve gained so many wonderful insights about the opposite sex from my opposite sex friends. I agree with you, these friendships must be treated with great care and clear boundaries must be set in place.

      1. Author

        Thanks Alicia….not wanting to throw the author under a bus here, though I see how this could come across in the “all or nothing” kind of way. Personally, I agree this is not about getting rid of all interactions with the opposite sex, but learning to display wisdom in how we interact. The author does clarify throughout the article that this is about “close friendship” with the opposite sex – meaning, when you develop an intimate friendship with someone who is not your spouse.

        I’m going to expand on this boundary conversation myself with an article….it’s a good follow up. Thanks for your input 🙂

  3. I agree with Zach. As a single woman with close friends both male and female, this article couldn’t be further from the truth. Individuals who are susceptible to temptation may have to consider some of the pointers here, but to make a blanket statement that says all friends of the opposite sex may as well be cut-off from close friendships is not only downright wrong, but very hurtful. Every person, married or not, benefits from having diverse friends. This article isn’t a wake up call at all.

    1. Author

      This article is starting some good conversations, which I appreciate. Thanks for your input, Terri. Like I said to Zach….I think more than “cutting off” all our friends, we’re talking about setting limits and boundaries here, which is important in all relationships, including male/female relationships. Even when you’re single, you’ve got to think through boundaries and levels of intimacy within a relationship. I get that maybe this article didn’t break that down, but it’s a general concept and idea regarding setting limits.

      We all need diverse friendships, but we also need to be cautious in the level of intimacy we engage in those friendships.

      I was like you…lots of male friends when I was single….and to be honest, the process of setting boundaries post marriage was something I wish I would have practiced more before marriage. It was a learning curve. So I think it’s good to think about these concepts no matter what stage of life or relationship status you might be in currently.

      We are getting the most pushback from singles on this article….I’d be interested to see if any opinions change after marriage. Mine sure did!

      1. Debra, I’ve read both of your comments to Zach and Terri. You keep saying this article is about boundaries, however, the topic of how to create boundaries with friends of the opposite sex is only in a few lines. The rest of it is about staying away from temptation that could arise (meaning-it’s not even there yet). An article about how to create boundaries would be a great idea, if you or Ashley wants to write one, you should! It would be very helpful. However, that is not what this article is.

        I agree with Zach, that this article is based on fear. Your response that it’s not based on fear, but safety is completely skirting around the issue. Why do we want to create safety? Because we’re afraid danger lies ahead.

        Debra, as a licences professional counselor, you know the signs of relationship abuse. One of those signs is telling the significant other they cannot hang out with friends of the opposite sex, and/or friends and family in general. As well as jealousy that can be the cause of the aforementioned sign. I’d like to hear your clinical opinion on that. Does it change if is or isn’t a Christian relationship?

        In your reply to Zach, you said you won’t communicate one-on-one with a male friend. I wonder how you accomplish this. What if your husband and friend’s wife left the room with just you two in there? What about when you have therapy sessions with just a husband or man? I’m not trying to question your morals or marriage here, but I’m trying to point out that never being alone with a man is just impossible. They exist, it’s up to us to have self control, be alert for possible danger (not exclude the opposite sex from our lives, just the dangerous ones), and cultivate a good relationship with our significant others, so we don’t feel tempted to lean on someone else for what our spouses should be giving to us in the first place.

        1. Author

          Good stuff here, Kat. I agree with you that it would be beneficial to dive into this a little deeper with some practical suggestions. I’d love to do that, and I’ll work on getting an article out there with some practical ways that “boundaries” can take shape in this context. My husband and I did a talk about this recently, the importance of protecting your marriage and what that looks like for us. So I will craft some of those points into an article…if nothing else, for good discussion.

          Just to quick answer your question about one-on-one…I agree with you and I’ll affirm that we can’t be “legalistic” when it comes to this topic…this is not about eliminating interactions with the opposite sex. That’s impossible, frankly. I interact with men on a regular basis: I meet with male patients, have phonecalls with males (pastors and leaders) regarding ministry, talk to male customer service reps on the phone (lol)….etc.

          But in our marriage personally, it means that we don’t meet with someone of the opposite sex in a friendship setting one-on-one. We’re deliberate about including each other – I mean, we are “one” for all intensive purposes here….and so we function as one in the context of those friendships as well. I don’t think there are hard and fast rules for how people should set boundaries in marriage, so I can’t say any of my suggestions will be set in stone for all couples….but ideally, all couples need to think through these things and come to a conclusion in their relationships of what boundaries will look like. I’ll get started on that article though.

          Oh and to address your comment about abusive relationships – this is less about “telling your spouse” who they can’t be with, and more about each one of us as individuals determining what’s best for our marriage. My husband, for example, never “told me” to do the things I choose to do….so it’s a little different here, as I think the best boundaries are ones a couple sets together, not ones that a person is forced to follow.

  4. I have always had close guy friends, probably due to the fact that I’m an MK who grew up with a little brother only four years younger than me. I recently got married, and I have definitely been intentional about setting boundaries with those friends, and like Debra part of me wishes I would have started that process earlier. Especially considering I’m still in college and in a lot of classes with these guy friends. It’s very difficult, but I definitely see the value in it. Not only does it guard your heart now, but it helps create healthy habits for when temptation really does come.
    As a single person though I had a totally different viewpoint. What I didn’t realize then, that I realize now, is that “boundaries” are not about cutting off those friendships. It is about keeping them while not letting it get anywhere close to what your relationship is with your spouse is (or should be), whether it’s emotional, spiritual, or physical. I am still very good friends with those guys, and though our relationships have changed since I got married, we’re still friends. I have not cut them out of my life, which seems to be the insinuation from a lot of single people when they hear the word “boundaries.”

    1. It would be helpful for me, as a single person, to understand what you mean by “boundaries,” if people would give us an example or a standard of what those boundaries look like for you. The language usually used (like the language in this article) by married people who have boundaries leads me to interpret it as cutting off friends of the opposite sex. It’s usually a lot of blanket statements and unclear temptations that could possibly maybe happen. What do we define as a close relationship? And what are the boundaries that we need to put up to keep a close relationship from being too close? This isn’t meant to be an attack in anyway, I’m just curious! And wanted to let you know why I think it means “cut off,” personally.

      1. I think this article is meant for married couples. I am totally agreed with the boundaries that have to be set and I am not married. My best friends are girls but I had to learn to set healthy boundaries to protect my relationship with my girlfriend. You guys not agreeing with this article need to see further and deeper. Or maybe you do have to get married and go through a hard time having your spouse hanging out with a close friend of the opposite sex which, in fact, it’s not you! We do have to guard our minds, our hearts and our spouses’, couple’s as well…

  5. I’d like to add my two cents here.
    As a woman who was married (and is now single), who had friends that got close, I now am very deliberate on how I treat and interact with my married friends.
    I don’t want there to be a hint of impropriety on my part. I never want their spouses to wonder about my intentions. It is very easy to become closer and closer when seasons of trouble come in a marriage. The person you should be drawing closer to is your spouse, not a friend. It is so easy to slide from friendship into something else. It’s a slippery slope that you DO NOT want to go down.
    Please listen to what Debra and Ashley are saying to us here.
    They are doing it for your own good. Maybe you can’t see it now, but trust me, when you get married, you need to preserve the unity of that marriage by staying close to your spouse. True friends will understand.

  6. I perfectly agree with this article. If we as Christians choose to marry a person, he/she should be our best best, our confidant etc. The Bible says that Adam and Eve were naked and not ashamed. That tells me that they were very open in their relationship to one another. If one party wants to have an outside best friend, then that is breaking the hedge and the serpent will obviously bite. So as christians, whether singles or married with married friends we need to establish boundaries to prevent putting asunder what God has joined together even if one of a marriage partners want such. Remember, the heart is very deceitful

  7. Hi Debra,

    I have a specific question regarding this topic. What if you have an opposite sex friendship that was already established before getting married, and they’ve been in your life since childhood? I understand that boundaries would need to be set upon getting married, but that friendship will always exist.

  8. First off, Debra, I want to thank you for your ministry and all of the wisdom and truths that you share. I have been reading your articles for several years now and have walked through singleness, dating, and am now recently blessed to be married to an incredible Godly man.

    As I navigate the newly married life, I have had similar thoughts and questions about opposite sex friendships and desire for both my husband and I to have wisdom in this area. Do you have any specific examples of what boundaries might look like? Particularly for single opposite sex friends that are close family friends and have a long history? What does it look like to maintain those friendships without overstepping emotional boundaries within marriage?

  9. I am currently married and I am 100% on board with this article!! My husband was the one who had more “female” friends and it was so challenging. People would tell me “stop being jealous” “you’re way too controlling in his friend selection” “be more confident in yourself as a woman” “he married you so who cares if he has female friends” “married guys can have close girl friends as long as he thinks about you in every action” but what people fail to understand as stated in this article is that it does start of totally innocent. No one makes a friend with the thought “oh this is the one I will become attached to, this is the one I’m going to cheat on my wife with” well it took my husband almost having an affair for him to have a wake up call, see his need for marriage counseling with me and to learn to respect me enough to stay away from the oposite sex as much as possible. It’s not about “an issue of the heart” it is not about “knowing how to control yourselves” it’s the fact that it literally can “just happen” and it’s better to err on the side of safety. I respect that some people have their own opinions in the comments I have read but until you go thru the pain of being married and having your spouse connect with someone else on a more intimate basis with you, then it hurts me to see that you could think otherwise… or unless one of your loved ones goes thru it. I respect that Debra and all these other God fearing counselors love their clients so much to understand their pain and share this. I wish more people would respect the marriage union. Sadly I feel like most people want to try and go against this topic just to prove someone wrong about these types of close friendships with married people but in the end it can cause so much hurt to a relationship.

    1. Author

      Thanks for sharing your journey and story with us….so appreciated!

  10. And just to clarify, if it sounds like I was controlling I wasn’t lol. But when hubby becomes emotionally distant out of nowhere, is always getting texts from Jane and always makes references of her without really even thinking about it, a woman’s antennae automatically goes up and clearly there’s too much closeness there. What’s sad is that it could be going on for a longer time before they even start showing any signs. It is all about trust but also about respect for your spouse. My husband admitted he would have hated it if I had close guy friends and thanks me for respecting him to not ever make the way open for the appearance of evil. We have a lot of work but at least he sees the dangers of close friends of the opposite sex now.

  11. I think as Christians, if we had a better grasp on the church Family and brother-sister relationships in general, this would be less of an issue. Single people wouldn’t be left with facing the difficulties of losing relationships (should they change? possibly depending on the level of friendship in the beginning). I think the problem with this article is that it speaks to a specific level of male/female friendships – it’s not about general friendship between members of the opposite sex. It opens up the opportunity to completely abandon a perfectly find friendship (or a single person who needs relationships) in the interest of saving a marriage. In these scenarios, the single person is always the liability and always the loser. That’s just not a solution. We need to dig deeper and find a solution that helps everyone, not just the marriage.

    1. Author

      Totally get what you’re saying here, T….thanks for that perspective.

  12. Hi Debra,

    Thank you for your response. I think this is something worth unpacking. I’d like to respond to each of your arguments:

    I agree with you that boundaries are essential to emotional health, that they are more freeing than restrictive when properly placed. I am instead arguing that the boundaries described in this article are unhealthy. The article solely views the other as an occasion for sin, putting more weight towards the other’s capacity to tempt than their capacity to love. People commonly set boundaries between themselves and others based on fear; why were the Pharisees so appalled when Jesus ate with tax collectors? The concept of “boundaries” is thus in and of itself amoral, with moral weight dependent on circumstance.

    I also agree with you that this hypothetical friend should be a friend of the couple; it certainly is all of my cases. However, the article does not state this, which changes the context of the argument.

    The tone of the article emphasizes depravity over grace, and that, I believe, is its primary flaw. I think Ashley’s argument needs to be reframed to include some of your points to make its distinctions clearer.

    1. Author

      I appreciate your thoughts and suggestions, Zach. Thanks for bringing another perspective to this conversation! 🙂

  13. Hear hear. I just made a decision that if I have a male friend who is married (or engaged), I will not see them one-one-one anymore. No matter how close we might have been. I think it’s just common sense really. I used to be one of those people who thought “so what? I can have male friends who are married, it’s no big deal”, but it doesn’t work that way. I don’t feel comfortable seeing them anymore with just the two of us, so I don’t do it. We are not as strong as we think when it comes to the opposite sex, so some boundaries are necessary. I think it’s also respectful towards the wives.

    I feel that since making this small, yet very meaningful decision, I have been so much happier, blessed – and free. 🙂

  14. Of course! I’m sorry for being harsh in my first comment; I’m a big fan of your work and have gotten so much from it!

  15. Another thing I thought about, at least as a single person, is that the older we get many of our close friends, one after the other, start getting married. Next thing you know, you are the odd one out. I always make it a point to befriend my close friends’ significant others so we all can hang out together. On the flip side, I also don’t want to be a third wheel, which often can happen when spending time with your friend + their bf/gf.

    It’s important to remember that single people DO NOT HAVE the relationship privilege that married people have with their spouses, so we must lean heavily on our close friendships because it’s all many of us have otherwise it’s a very lonely place to be. I hear what the married folks are saying, but I want y’all to take a moment and put yourself in the shoes of a single person. Our close friendships, aside from family, are crucial to our sense of community.

    1. Terri I just wish I could take you out to coffee and be your friend, because I would have said the exact same thing a few years ago, and I so understand what you’re saying! However, from the perspective of a newly wed (and I mean this completely out of love!) when it comes to choosing between our relationship with our spouse and our opposite-sex friends, our spouse should always come first, and if there is even the possibility of anything coming in between it then the spouse takes priority. However I do think that there should be more interaction with married couples and single people in a friendship setting for the very reason you mentioned Terri. The church also needs to work a bit on how to treat single adults as more than just an opportunity to play matchmaker in my personal opinion 🙂

  16. I once had a (christian married male) coworker tell me (a christian single female) that we couldn’t carpool to a seminar because he wanted to protect his marriage, and that meant not spending time with me alone. It would have been a 20 minute drive. I left that interaction feeling incredibly hurt that he saw me as a temptation rather than a sister. Especially because there never was anything even remotely between us except respect and friendship (not even a close friendship, just friendship based on a mutual love of Christ and spending many hours working together).

    I agree with setting boundaries, but I read this article and felt like I was being treated like a temptation all over again. Others have put it better than I have, but that’s what it reminded me of.

  17. Having been an opposite gender friend, who was cut off, I cannot even begin to describe to you pain of a nearly 15 year friendship abruptly ending, because I had the wrong genitalia. I had even started to shop for another church to avoid having to see that person week after week as they led our praise team in worship. We had never had a romantic inclination in our friendship, but the relationship ended when they got married. I had prepared myself for a relationship readjustment, but I ceased to be a person after that date. We could be in the busy atrium of our church surrounded by people, and they wouldn’t even look in my direction after greeting them like I would with any other friend. They have become more civil over the years, but the damage has already been done. The bridge has been burnt.

    So, how about instead of judging the propriety of the relationship based on genitalia, we base our need for putting on boundaries based on relationship content. Yes, the author focused on close friendships, however it still fans the fear flame that opposite gender relationships will always end in emotional and/or physical affairs. Becoming emotionally or physically dependent on your same gender friends is still just as bad. You’re still going outside of your marriage to confide in or receive physical touch from someone who is not your spouse.

    Having “Mean Girl” style rules, as in “they have the wrong genitalia, they can’t sit with you”, is juvenile. Marriage is for grown-ups, so if you can’t judge whether or not activities that you would do with your same-sex friends and not hide from your spouse is no different than doing them with friends of the opposite sex, then you probably shouldn’t be married. If there is a trust issue, then work on that, but don’t penalize the friend for having the wrong genitalia. Their choice to end a relationship to “strengthen their marriage” has consequences, and unfortunately the opposite gender friend pays the price.

  18. Yeah, good stuff! And you know, nothing can be truer than the truth!

  19. One of the benefits of having (not too close) friendships with married people of the opposite sex is when they show me what behaviors in a healthy marriage with appropriate boundaries can look like. For example, a married man can offer a ride home to a single woman and all he has to do is call his wife on his cell phone and let her know – he is respecting everyone in that situation. Anyone else who is worried about appearances needs to examine their own heart.

  20. When I saw the title of this article I was really hopeful. I really appreciate the advise posted on this site normally. However, I feel this article missed the mark. I feel the problem comes down to when a spouse is telling a friend things they aren’t or wouldn’t tell their spouse. As a single female with close friends of both genders, distancing myself from them in the future just because I’ve gotten married seems extreme. I wish the author had spent more time talking about communication between spouses about all friendships. Honestly, this article made me feel disheartened and sad. I expected more from a source I’ve come to respect and look to for encouragement.

  21. As a single person, I read the article with a bit of distance. I thought it’d be really cool to see an article about healthy relationships and boundaries with the opposite sex from the singles’ perspective.
    As for the contention that this article is fear based and unhelpful, I must disagree. Boundaries are not about fear of what might happen; boundaries are about creating a safe zone so you don’t have to worry about fear and danger. Boundaries are about respect.
    I have a friend who’s husband and I get along well – we have many similar interests – but I refuse to spend time alone with him, even when she invites me to. I’m not afraid something will ever happen, but I respect her, him, and their marriage enough to not even approach the line of inappropriateness.
    Instead of thinking about boundaries as created out of fear, think of them as created out of love and respect. Do you love and respect your married friend of the opposite sex enough to help them maintain the sanctity of their marriage?
    Sure, you don’t want to be an object of temptation or lust – you want to be a person, valid, and worth being in a healthy relationship with – but consider that it only takes one spark to burn down a house. It may not ever happen, but you blow out your candles before you leave the house, right? Turn off the stove when you’re not using it? Are those fear-based actions, or simply prudence? There’s a difference between fear and wisdom.
    You don’t have to cut people off entirely (usually), but love them enought to support that their primary and strongest (human) relationship needs to be with their spouse.

  22. Hey all,

    I found this article to be extremely helpful – I’ll recommend this to anfew folks – and I wish that I had read this six or seven years ago before I really hurt my spouse. I found myself saying a lot of the same things that I’ve read above regarding assuming things about male-female friendships and it eventually lead to a ton of hurt in my own marriage that we are still dealing with.

    We have come a long way from the hurt, but has been a very hard road of rebuilding my spouses trust because most of the time we ask our spouse to see the male/female friendship from our own perspective, assuming that they don’t have brokenness in their past that would cause them to see said friendship in a negative light. It becomes so easy to forget that the other person may see things differently than us. And really you will only come to that point when some pretty major hurt has already been done, hence the need for good boundaries.
    I know in my scenario, I had to cut off the friendship and ended up hurting the friend and my now wife (we were dating at the time). In hindsight, ending that friendship was the best decision of my life.

    Great thoughts Ashley, keep up the good work!

    1. Author

      Matt, thanks so much for sharing your perspective, it’s so great to hear all the healing God has done!

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