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Having an Opposite Sex Friend If You Are Married


When you’re married, you represent more than just your individual interests. You have to make choices that honor the union itself and choose friends that would be good for your marriage. This doesn’t mean you have to have the same friends as your spouse (although having a few couples friends in common never hurts), but instead means that whoever you are friends with should not come between you and your spouse.

One type of bond that seems to complicate some relationships is the opposite sex friendship. If handled well, this type of friendship can be very rewarding. But because of its nature, it needs to be given special consideration. You can’t just tell your spouse “get over it” if they’re feeling jealous. What’s more, your behavior in a friendship like this might be called into question, so you have to make sure you’re representing your marriage well.


If the Friend Was Once an Ex
Being friends with your ex is noble if it’s done naturally and not forced.
In other words, it takes time to build a true friendship after you break up. But if you declare yourself “friends” immediately after ending the relationship and then try to move on to a new romantic partner, you’ll inevitably have some lingering issues to work through. You need time to properly say goodbye to the old relationship before you can truly be friends with an ex.

Add to this a brand new spouse and your behavior might not be representative of someone who is focused on the needs of your marriage. You might be used to pleasing your ex instead, not wanting to upset them or cause an argument. Perhaps you even think your spouse will understand because they are a more reasonable person than your ex (after all, you did choose to marry them and not the ex-boyfriend or girlfriend).

But after the wedding, you need to put your marriage first. If there is any issue at all about your friendship with an ex (either from the ex’s poor behavior or your own insecurities) you need to talk to your ex. Tell them how important your marriage is to you and ask them to amend their attitude so you’re able to stay friends with them. If they refuse, you need to walk away.


When Your Spouse Is Uncomfortable With Your Friendship
If your spouse feels weird about your friendship, help reassure them. They might worry that you’ll end up leaving them for your friend, or even that you’ll want to spend time away from them.

If the issue is that they’re jealous or uncomfortable, have your spouse meet your friend (if they haven’t yet) to put their mind at ease. Plan a few dinner where it’s the three of you (or invite others along as well) so you can all get to know one another. If, after spending time with your friend, your spouse is still uncomfortable, you’ll have to discuss things with them again and perhaps get some distance from the friendship if it comes to that. Your spouse may warm up to the friendship eventually, but fitting in a platonic friendship when you’re married sometimes takes time.

Pay attention to the specific reasons your spouse is uncomfortable with the friendship, and do some soul searching to determine if they’re right. You might be too close to see the truth.


When Your Spouse Is Fine With Your Friend, But Everyone Else Thinks It’s a Bad Idea
It’s not always your spouse that has a problem with your friendship. Perhaps your other friends don’t like it, or acquaintances rumble about there being “inappropriate” behavior. Only you know what’s right for your life, but if you hear rumors about your friendship you should look at the situation objectively to see if there’s any truth to what people are saying.
For example, do you:
  • Flirt with your friend?
  • Stay over at their house?
  • Spend a lot of time with them alone?
These are situations that can look bad to people who don’t know you very well. While you shouldn’t live your life to please others, you should be sensitive to how your represent your marriage to the world. Acting inappropriately (even when you’re not having a physical relationship with someone) can be harmful to your marriage.


Finding Balance
Sometimes all it takes is time to figure out how to be friends with someone from the opposite sex without it causing harm or bad feelings in your marriage. Communicate properly with your friend and your spouse to make sure you’re doing all you can to keep your marriage healthy and strong. Men and women can be just friends, so if the friendship is important to you and and your spouse doesn’t have a problem with it, you will be able to make it work eventually. 


source: about.com




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Love Magazine: Having an Opposite Sex Friend If You Are Married
Having an Opposite Sex Friend If You Are Married
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