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April101 posted 4/23/2013 16:55 PM

Is it possible for people to have a close friendship with someone of the opposite sex? I think people need some form of boundary. They can be friends, go out to dinner, enjoy each other's company, just as long as there is first full disclosure to their spouse and second some other type of boundary such as a third party, time constraint, public meeting. Not intimate meetings. Am I off base in saying any other type of friendship just doesn't work.

This issue just came up this week. When discussing it, I don't really think it is a good idea to NOT have a boundary. People who were not affected by an affair (yet?) may not see a need. I myself, before being betrayed, felt little or no need for a boundary.

Please give me your opinions.

Also, on a related note, a co-worker of mine, male and about 15 years younger, is having boundary issues with another co-worker in our office. I don't want him to know about my husband's affair, but I am really worried he is going down the wrong path with B. She has texted him from home during the work day, when she is off and he's at work. She apparently has a drinking problem, which he found out about and confided to me. He has gone to her home and even carried her up to bed once when she was drunk. He has a wife and 2 little kids. When I asked him if anything happened between them he said no. My husband says to stay out of it. But I hate to see him go down that road. To me it sounds like the "knight in shining armor" syndrome. An affair waiting to happen.

BaldwinBeauty59 posted 4/23/2013 17:09 PM

He has gone to her home and even carried her up to bed once when she was drunk.

I'd bet the farm that it is already an A. Talking to him won't do anything as he is already too involved with this OW to pull away. Find out a way to tell his wife what you know. Let her in on this secret "friendship".

Extirpated posted 4/23/2013 17:10 PM

If you had asked me 6 months ago, I would have said yes that one can be friends and do those things with the opposite sex. Now, I have a much different opinion - no, they cannot be. It is a slippery slope that leads to no good. But, I may be bitter because the OW in my case was a good friend of ours. I made the mistake of letting them do things together without me because I trusted them both implicitly - that came around to bite me in the ass.

I have always gotten along better with men (women are too superficial and catty and backstabbing) but once I was married kept all friendships friendships of both my husband and I. We no longer had close friends that were just his or mine. I am no longer comfortable or allow my husband to do anything alone with someone of the opposite sex. It's both of us or it doesn't happen.

Being betrayed really does open your eyes to a lot of things. I never thought or even considered that this would happen to me/us.

heartache101 posted 4/23/2013 17:11 PM

I don't believe in opposite sex friends going out in public etc. Just me I am sure.

Now I have an opposite sex friend but he is gay. SOoo no problem there.

I would most definetely not allow my FWS to have a female friend. Period.

karmahappens posted 4/23/2013 17:12 PM

I made the mistake of letting them do things together without me because I trusted them both implicitly - that came around to bite me in the ass.

Yup, me too....

Rebreather posted 4/23/2013 17:24 PM

Most affairs start between friends, right?

I would have no problem telling this person he is wildly out of line and that he needs to end that friendship ASAP less he find himself out of a marriage. I'd have a hard time not saying something to his wife.

April101 posted 4/23/2013 17:35 PM

Don't think you are safe if the other woman is gay. The other woman in my husband's affair was openly gay and living with her "partner" wife. Four months after D-day, when I had my wits about me, I outed the A to the OW's partner. Before I did that, she merely thought of the TWO-YEAR affair as a "bump in the road". Right.

blakesteele posted 4/23/2013 17:43 PM

Before the A....I was actually encouraging my wife to find a running partner...didnt even care if it was man or woman.

But for me...even pre-A...I was always concerned about it. I never went to lunch with just 1 woman co-worker. If I felt the need to take one out for help they offered me at my job I would ask them which other female co-worker they would like to join us.

I just never thought my wife would have an A. Foolishly, I thought that was a mans trait....I have no idea why I didnt think that in every A there is a WOMAN involved too!

I just dont think you can have a really close opposite sex friend.

God be with us all.

brokensmile322 posted 4/23/2013 18:07 PM

I used to think so, but not anymore.

Think about do we all fall in love with our WS's to begin with? We spend time with them, we like their company, we discover we have something in common, we are attracted to them and it happens. Time spent together is creating that intimacy IMHO. The spark is bound to ignite on one side or the other. One person steps over the boundary, the other tries to resist because you know, they are married, but they can still be friends??! Ha! They ignore it for awhile, tension building, being friends until.... BOOM!

Nope. Don't advise it.

[This message edited by brokensmile322 at 6:08 PM, April 23rd (Tuesday)]

Kelany posted 4/23/2013 18:15 PM

No, no, and a resounding NO.

There is no reason for me (the BS) to have male friends. None. I can find what I need in a friendship from my female friends. There is no reason I would EVER need to go have coffee, lunch, etc. with a man who is not my husband. NONE. This was a boundary I had in place BEFORE my husband had multiple affairs. I'm not comfortable being around men alone because it's SO easy to go down that slippery slope. I can not honestly remember being with a man alone in a casual setting that wasn't a relative since before my marriage.

My husbands affairs all occurred with employee's whom he "befriended". There is absolutely NO reason he needs to have a female friend at all. NONE.

Being alone with opposite sex friends fosters a sense of intimacy no matter how you slice it. You let your guard down, you become comfortable and then you can start sliding down that slope.

So in my opinion, absolutely not. There is NO reason for me, or my spouse to have a close relationship with someone of the opposite sex.

We have friends of our marriage whom we hang out with together or, I'll hang out with the wife and he'll hang out with the husband, but that's it.

hopefulmother posted 4/23/2013 18:28 PM

Yep-sounds like an EA. In addition, I don't think you can have a friendship with the opposite sex unless you are there as well. My WH went out with co-workers from work for just drinks. Since, he works with all females. Cashiers-I trusted him. There were more than one there. Only to find out that both of them liked him. One was going through a separation. The other was bored because her boyfriend just started a new job and she didn't get enough attention. He was having an EA with the bored cashier. Her boss (the other women) helped the A along by taking them out. A few months later she got back with her H, after my H was out of the picture. You just can't trust anyone without you there.

Uneek posted 4/24/2013 00:45 AM

I'll be the lone dissenter. Yes, I think people of the opposite sex can be friends. One of my good friends is a male coworker. We text, we facebook, we hang out. Generally when we hang out there is a group of us. The difference between my friendship with CW and H's friendship with his CW/AP is A) H knows about this friendship and B) I hide nothing from him. He knows about the texts, he knows about the facebook messages, he knows if we go out to dinner or CW brings me coffee or whatever.

Could it eventually turn that way? Absolutely - in fact, I have a CW right now that I could see becoming an AP if I let it. But I make sure that I am never alone with him, I am very upfront with H about him, and our conversations are purely work related.

catlover50 posted 4/24/2013 01:25 AM

I think it's possible for people like Uneek who have excellent boundaries and morals, but not for former waywards and not for MY fWH!

While we we in " false" R ( when he was lying about the PA that had ended) he insisted he was "just friends" with another young, female employee. I didn't have the " right" to tell him who his friends could be, and since he worked with almost exclusively women what did I expect? When I became increasingly uncomfortable he said I was being controlling. Part of what made him finally come out of his fog (besides my finding out the truth of his LTA!) was when I looked at his cell phone records and we both saw how often he was calling this girl. Although there was never the "intention" of a PA, which is how he convinced himself it was ok, he was spending emotional energy on her that was inappropriate.

Now that he is seeing clearly he doesn't even consider behavior of this sort. He's ashamed that he fought me over it. And I would no longer put up with it for a second. No female friends one on one. Period.

Laura28 posted 4/24/2013 01:28 AM


Uneek posted 4/24/2013 02:23 AM

I think it's possible for people like Uneek who have excellent boundaries and morals, but not for former waywards and not for MY fWH!

To be fair, I am a Madhatter. I am quite a ways out, though, and know exactly what actions leds to the A and, perhaps more importantly, why I went that way.

We are only a couple months out from H's D-day but even so, I still have no problem with H texting or speaking to his female friends/coworkers, but again the boundaries are very clear. He has also taken steps to show me he is serious about R (NC with OW without me asking, taking himself off FB which was a favored form of communication for them, etc). If he were struggling to commit to R it would probably be a different story. We both recognize that the major difference between his friendship with his AP and his friendship with other women is that the AP was a secret. If you've read "Not Just Friends," these current female friends are definitely friends of the marriage.

[This message edited by Uneek at 2:24 AM, April 24th (Wednesday)]

struggling3 posted 4/24/2013 12:19 PM

Funny...I just saw this question and answer in a magazine and cut it said

Q: Can a man and a woman ever just be friends?

A: Well, it requires that you find each other at least vaguely repulsive. Good luck!

I agree!!

Gottagetthrough posted 4/24/2013 13:10 PM


sohowamI posted 4/24/2013 13:19 PM

My WH has always had women 'friends.' In fact he surrounded himself with them and they were just SO happy to be his friend - especially because he 'had such a feminine side'! No, he's most definitely NOT gay!

His female friends became his lovers too. He has no boundaries. He never, ever, looked in our circle of friends but anyone on his networking circle or sports circle or even among his clients, if they were available, then the affairs began.

I think that someone who has had poor boundaries in the past with friends of the opposite sex, then no, these are now off limits. I have certainly now made this plain to my WH. I don't know how he will retrain himself not to flirt or play the field. Lots of IC and lots of messages to himself that women are not sexual objects.

libertyrocks posted 4/24/2013 13:36 PM

No. There should be no need for that. For 13 years, I was ok with WH's female friends. Now, I realize I don't deserve that. It is not ok for WH to have female friends. What for? I know I wasn't enough for WH. Not physcially, mentally, emotionally, not even to date. My WH is a fucking asshole and I cannot wait to leave his ass. I'm almost there, I can feel it.

MoreWould posted 4/24/2013 15:57 PM

Call me a Heretic if you want, but I believe that friends of the opposite sex, that is, both sexes, are a necessary part of a healthy life. But unfortunately, so many of us have such poor boundaries, self-control, and self-knowledge that eliminating opportunity is the only path that keeps us faithful. Just a Dry Drunk I say.

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