(All that to say, it's not that black and white. DH was the wayward, but he still has some very close female friends about whom I am not in the least bit concerned. His boundaries are a lot stronger now.)
We go to lunch often, but there are always other colleagues invited. Same thing if we have a drink after work - its one drink on Friday and then he goes to meet his family for dinner, which is their tradition. If I have to talk to him about work after hours, which is rare, I call their house phone with caller I'd on the television. I never call his cell phone.
With all that said, I'm also good friends with his wife. My friend and his wife also love my mother so she also hangs out frequently with us and travels when we go on trips with both families, kids included. There is never an invitation extended anywhere that does not include the other members of our families. There are times when he will ask me, my mom and my kids to join him and his family for certain events or holidays. There are times when I will decline because I don't want to interfere too much and I want them to have their own family time without us around.
My ex cheated with his secretary so I'm very sensitive to boundaries. My friend is like a brother to me and I have never had a though of anything inappropriate.
[This message edited by Ms_Strong at 8:24 PM, April 16th (Wednesday)]
I had some male outer circle friends that I'd sometimes talk to online, out of respect for my husband, I don't talk to them anymore, my decision, he never asked me to stop this.
We have friends who are couples. I hang with the wives only if I'm alone. He hangs with the husbands if alone.
I feel uncomfortable if alone with males. Appearances and all that.
Former 80s Icon wishful thinking
Sooooo, that said. Would be very wary of NEW relationships, or anything done alone. Two examples from my end and how infidelity affected me and my relationships.
When shit was going down 4 years ago, my DD was in a church based preschool program and my family was very involved with the church. The pastor immediately noticed my zoombie like look and asked me what was up. Asked me at a particularly horrible time, and I just broke down. He pulled me into his office and I let it spill out. He regularly checked in on me, hooked me up with a MC, and then over the next couple of months, totally stepped over the line and ended up almost forcing himself on me. Bottom line is he was way wrong, but I had NO boundaries as I was not thinking in that point of time and I totally trusted a minister.
Fast forward to last year. Spent 10 hrs each way in a car with another father to my ds's Destination Imagination group. Only knew him in passing until that week. Spent a lot of time together. He and I really clicked. After the trip, he FB friended me so we (all the parents that went) could exchange pictures. I immediately friended his wife. He reached out to me in the first couple of months in very friendly ways, but I never really responded other than short answers back. I really don't think he though much about it, but I do because of what I've gone through. I don't know if he knows what happened in my M (I'm sure he suspects), I hope he doesn't think I've blown him off.
Infidelity changed my thoughts. Not sure I will ever make a new, close guy friend as I'm now engaged. I don't really want to, don't really need to, but it feels weird.
Boundaries are key...
[This message edited by MissesJai at 12:25 PM, April 17th (Thursday)]
we were friends with the AP and OBS for 5+ years, and my H always said she was like a "pesky little sister. . ."
I think this is the new "we're just friends" schtick. Saying someone is like a brother or sister.
(I don't mean that towards anyone on here, but it's been my experience.)
This is OW's game exactly. Acting like she's just everybody's little sister, everybody has to take care of her, she's not a threat because she's like a sister.
I wonder how that game is gonna work in 10 yrs when she's pushing 40 instead of still being in her 20s
I have a good male friend I had before my M. We do not hang out alone, but once in a while we will have an hour long phone gab fest (he can seriously talk like a girl). The difference is, I know my boundaries and so does he. AND I don't hide anything I do or say. But he has another female friend whom he calls his "sister" and she refers to him as her "brother". I know this thing between he and his "sister" caused problems with his relationship with his last gf, whom I grew to be very good friends with. His gf would confide in me about how uncomfortable she was with it.
That was my exWH OW thing exactly. She even told me during our confrontation that I didn't understand he was her BEST FRIEND as she bawled to me over the phone about how they were best friends but not cheating. yeah, it's true.
So I've seen both of these things. The sister game and the best friend game.
True story, if your BF/GF has a best friend of the opposite sex, one of them has already planned their wedding... and you're fucking it up. Expect drama. This is on my blog as 50 Life Lessons I Learned the Hard Way. I have NEVER encounter a situation where this has NOT been the case. NOT once. Even the best of boundaries... there will be jealousy and drama
On this site, there are so many AP's that were also "friends" of the betrayed.
I just want me and my H to get back to being each other's best friends.
Both feet pointed forward; positive
My ability to have friendships with both sexes is what keeps me from dating, actually. I'm not going to have some jealous SOB tell me that I need to curb friendships with my male friends. I know that I'm not crossing any boundaries and I sure as hell wouldn't encourage someone, so no one is going to tell me what to do. Just tonight I stopped by the house of a friend and his wife and visited about two hours. His wife is fine with it, we spend a lot of time talking and her husband (my friend) wanders off to do whatever it is he does.
I think you should go with your gut.
I can't really process the idea of a woman other than my wife being my best friend. It's like saying I'm married to a woman who isn't my wife. Incompatible points of data.
My case, when I cheated. I considered OM my great friend and didn't have ANY attraction to him and he was more like a brother to me, check check check. And yet slooooowly over the years the boundaries changed, so slowly that I didn't see it happening. Boundaries need to be checked like a fence line. They can develop weak spots that you don't recognize because they happen so gradually. Mine did, his did.
My "good friend" became the OM I was involved in an EA with and I didn't even recognize it happening. I didn't know what an EA was, that there was any such thing, I didn't think you could cheat without sex or kissing or lust. I didn't have ANY of those things with OM. I just started to rely on his opinion, advice, moral support and comfort during times I should have turned to my husband. I stopped sharing certain things with my husband because I had already worked through them with OM, and I no longer needed to talk about them with my own spouse. This increased my intimacy with OM and proportionally decreased my intimacy with my husband.
Sure enough, once that emotional and personal intimacy increased with OM, it just took a series of major stressors in my life to blur that feeling I had that I could rely on OM into more of a "I need OM to help me work through this" because I hadn't invested enough time in sharing with my husband to make him the natural confidant. And OM wasn't a girl friend - there was a difference in how I related to him because he was SOMEONE's husband, and I was using that side of his personality as my "rock". It was different than how I used my girlfriends to bounce ideas and problems and gather advice. At some point I didn't even recognize I was relating to him primarily as a man. And this was all in the complete absence of sexual attraction. I didn't want to sleep with him. So even my lack of attraction for him didn't keep that friendship safe.
In my FWH's case, he used the "we're just friends, what are you telling me, I can't have any FRIENDS now? Are you saying that I can't even TALK to women? Do you see how controlling that is? What is wrong with you??" gaslighting bullcrap during his months-long affair with the OW. He was vile. I never want to hear him say "just friends" again as long as I live. He's got other female friends and it's not a big deal. If you have to start saying that you are "JUST friends" with anyone, it's creepy.
Best friends don't creep up over night at our age. They are people who have traveled life's path with you for a time. And because of our history, FWH is not going to be traveling life's path with a woman by his side (other than me) to the point of best-friendship out of the blue.
What's funny is that most of their wives and girlfriends are really comfortable around me because I don't give off vibes of being interested in their partners AT ALL.
I think this is a good metric. We have couple-friends and there is one "wife" that I wouldn't leave alone in a room with my husband. The others I wouldn't care at all if they were alone in a room, but one wife in particular puts out that vibe that is unmistakable to everyone else (men and women alike). She's never done anything that I know of, but I can see her poor boundaries and need coming off of her like a wave. I can practically smell it on her. I can see the other wives noticing as well.