We asked our expert guest bloggers, is it possible to maintain opposite-sex friendships outside of your marriage? We wanted to know what it takes to nurture security within a marriage and if these relationships are counter productive.
Learn how to make your marriage secure while maintaining your opposite-sex friendship.
Maintaining Successful Opposite-Sex Relationships Outside of Marriage
Can you really have a platonic relationship with someone of the opposite sex when you are married without it hurting your relationship? YES! Opposite-sex relationships are possible when you have a healthy, happy marriage but I believe some boundaries/rules are necessary for everyone to be happy.
• Relationships need to be open — keeping secrets from your spouse or friend about who you are involved with is a sure-fire way to ignite tempers.
• No secret meetings! If you want to have lunch with your opposite-sex friend, discuss it with your spouse first! Keeping everyone in the loop means no one from the “outside” can surprise your spouse with “information” that could be hurtful.
• Take part in activities that involve both your spouse and your opposite-sex friend. If the two people you care about also care about each other, there is less of a chance for jealousy to rear its ugly head!
• Don’t overdo it. Sure, you can maintain an opposite-sex relationship while you are married, but you need to make sure it’s your spouse who gets more of your time and attention. If you’re starting to spend more time with your opposite-sex friend than your spouse, that could be a signal that you’ve lost perspective on what is most important in your life.
• Be honest. This advice is fundamental to all of the other tips given thus far. There is always a danger, when maintaining an opposite-sex relationship outside of a marriage, that deeper feelings could develop. Be honest with yourself and those you are involved with. If you want a successful marriage, you’ll remember the boundaries involved with friendship and not allow anyone to cross the line.
• Be respectful. This is possibly the most important tip. Don’t speak disrespectfully about your spouse to your friend or vice versa. Your opposite-sex friend should not hear about all of your spouse’s faults. Your opposite-sex friend should not feel he/she has to comfort you when things are difficult. It would be too easy for that friendship to cross the line if that were to happen. Before you tell your friend anything or do anything with your friend think to yourself, “Would I want my spouse doing this/saying this with an opposite-sex friend?” If the answer is “No” then you need to rethink your actions.
Opposite-sex relationships outside a marriage can only be maintained successfully when all participants respect and are honest with each other. Consideration for each others’ feelings must be paramount. Secretive meetings are relationship killers. Avoid hurting yourself and those you love by living a life filled with integrity. Honesty really is the best policy.