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Husband's Friendship With Women

4 "Rules" For a Husband's Friendships With Other Women

Krista J.'s husband is hanging out with another woman. Is that wrong? "He told me they are just friends, but he has been leaving me to go hang out with her," she frets.

As readers offer Krista advice, another question emerges: can married men have female friends? Ideally, they say, the members of a couple should be able to maintain individual friendships with the opposite sex, but in reality, a friendship like the one Krista's husband is developing is often a slippery slope.

Friendship can lead to flirtation, and what once seemed harmless can grow and grow. So how do you prevent this? Here, readers share some ground rules for a spouse's opposite-sex friendships.


1. Make sure there's no double standard.

"If he can, I can," is the guideline many members live by. But when Carol M. proposes this approach to her husband, his response was the very definition of the double standard and one that many members feel spells trouble: that while it's OK for a husband to talk to women, it's taboo for a woman to have friendships with men. "No guy is just a friend," he insists.

In contrast, Jill says that, in her marriage, both she and her husband have friends of the opposite sex. "The rule in our marriage is what is good enough for you is good enough for me," she says. "If he wants to talk to girls. Fine. I get to talk to guys. It works both ways."

2. Agree on appropriate boundaries.

Makena D. feels that "interaction between people of different sexes even after marriage is part of life," and that because male/female friendships outside of marriage are inevitable, a wife should not only "limit the kind of talk [she has] with other men," but let her husband know that "he needs to do the same."

Explaining further, she shares that "your partner comes first."

3. Give (and expect) the benefit of the doubt.

Many readers feel comfortable with their husbands' female friendships because they trust each other completely. "There is no way I would tell my husband who he can and can't talk to and vice versa," says Michelle W. "I've even met up with an old school friend (male) for coffee. My husband trusts me completely, and I trust him."

Megan R. agrees, sharing that she has no problem with her husband's female friend. "One of my husband's closest friends is a woman," she says. "I also have some guy friends, and my husband knows about them. I trust my husband enough to know he won't cheat on me."

4. Include one another in the friendship.

Many readers believe that if your husband wants to cultivate a friendship with a woman, whether a colleague or someone from his past, he should invite you and the woman's spouse (if she has one) to dinner or into the circle of friendship, too. This kind of transparency makes everyone more comfortable.

When It's More Than "Just Friends"

All of this said, some members simply won't abide a spouse's opposite sex friendships, no matter what. Tabitha R. points out that it's very difficult to watch your spouse have female friendships if he has a history of cheating: "I honestly think once someone has cheated that we lose respect for that person, and it makes us think that every woman they are talking to they are sleeping with."

Lisa P. agrees, but for different reasons: "I don't think a married man should be hanging out with another girl or woman even if they are supposedly 'just friends.' He should be home with his family. If his priorities are elsewhere and not with you and your family, then you should be questioning the marriage."

Where do you draw the line on your husband's female friendships?

Image Source: Shutterstock
RachelWhitman1387134136 RachelWhitman1387134136 3 years
My husband can't keep his hands off other women. It seems he finds reasons to hold them from their waist. I have told him many times that this bothers me. I thought he had stopped but I saw his hand on hostesses waist just below chest. He is a good father and loving otherwise but he becomes a different person when other women are around. I am 4 months pregnant but his habit is stressing me out. He also tells me that I am overreacting :(((
Ignost-U Ignost-U 4 years
i'm a guy and have female friends ( very far away ) I talk to online . I think what you're describing is worrysome especially him whispering in your presence as well as laying with her , tsk tsk . Let him know you feel uncomfortable with certain behaviours and as allways trust your gutfeeling . Don't tolerate what makes YOU uncomfortable . Some men( like toddlers....) need clear boundaries ! Good luck
JaveiaM JaveiaM 4 years
my husband had his female friend over here yester day and in the process of everyone getting ready to say bye he tells me to come to bed and I say hold on. When I didn't come, he laid on the floor next to her and started whispering about me as if I wasn't there. Do I, at any point have the right to be angry? He swears I am overreacting. She swears I am being insecure.
Viktoria14849748 Viktoria14849748 4 years
I have friend who husband for the last two years been talking to lots of women. The one current he been talk to lot. He got catch and he playing victim and got every one on his side. The oldest to her mom dad bought his friend that a girl gifts and took her out to Dinner. Claim he not cheatingt hey been separated for a little. It it cheating.
plumeriacarey plumeriacarey 4 years
My husband has been on workmans comp for a couple of years and I am home with him. He joined facebook because he was kind of bord at home. I had no problem with that, until he got addicted to a group on facebook, he would tell jokes and chat all day long with both women and men. One day he accidentally left his phone at home. I opened his facebook and found that male and females were poking him. I confronted him about it, and he said he doesn't think poking is anything at all,I was so angr that he did not go on for 2 days that's when I joined the same group on facebook, and about 10 people in the group kept asking me where is your husband?" we miss him," then they started chatting about and I quote "I drank him last nite" next quote "no! I drank him" so disrespectful! Both women knew I was his wife and both kept carrying on about him, making jokes! I told everyone off in that group! Bunch of older lonely ladies and gay men flirting with my husband! This tore me up, I also got messages from women, that I should let him stay in the group because they are lonely and depressped and he makes us happy. Well come to find that my husband's eago needed stroking. He is no longer on facebook. He finally realized that there was an emotional attachment developeing for him. Some women and men just cross the line to far. I got horrible messages from this one older female in the group that I had to block. We are going on our 25th wedding anniversary. Well the point I am making is something as innocent as being in a chat room can create a mess in a marriage. He needed his eago stroked by these people, and he gave his precious time to them while neglecting his marriage. I laugh at all of his jokes now. These people were stranger's, that crossed the line!
GoodWifeTales GoodWifeTales 4 years
My husband has a female friend who recently began working in the same office. I was fine when they were friends afar but this became too close for comfort for me. I know they talk daily and go with others (in a group) to lunch almost daily. Even though I think men and women can be friends as long as both are abiding by boundaries it still believe it is a slippery slope. I'm not at all comfortable with this new setup and I'm hoping that he or she gets transferred to another site really soon.
mommytobe1985 mommytobe1985 4 years
I'm sorry but I don't think married ppl should have friends of the same sex. That is what your husband/or wife is for. They are supposed to be your friend.
KrissyT23121 KrissyT23121 4 years
Men and Women in a committed relationship or marriage should never put themselves in a situation where cheating is even an option. Cheating isn’t just having sex with someone, being emotionally involved is much more hurtful I think than anything physical happening. If your spouse isn’t man/woman enough to grow up and understand that it is no appropriate for you to be hanging out with people of the opposite sex, then you need to rethink your relationship with that person. Especially when it is taking time away from you or your children with that person. I am all for guy time, because honestly I love having a quiet evening alone with my kids so he can go blow off some steam. That is 100% normal and healthy; going ALONE to hang out with a random woman you have never heard of is NOT.
toni75555 toni75555 5 years
well we don't have any rules - but my partner and I are bff's and we don't really do anything without inviting the other anyway - so if he was going to hang out with one of his 2 female friends I would get an invite - sometimes I go and sometimes I don't. I broke off a male friendship I had once because i was getting emotionally involved - I value my relationship too much to take that risk and I know my SO does too. Funny thing is he slept with one of his friend before he met me and told me before I met her, She made a point of telllng me they never fooled around at all. Gotta respect his honesty and her trying to keep things friendly (btw that was 9 years ago)
KellyDean73074 KellyDean73074 5 years
My husband has a few female friends, some of whom he's had relationships with in the past. I don't worry about it. If he wants to hang out with a woman he's had a relationship with, I ask that I be included (or at least invited) and extend the same courtesy to him in my friendships. If it's just a female friend or co-worker, I generally don't stress about it. We both spend the vast majority of our free time at home or hanging out with the family, so it rarely comes up anyway.
RubyTruong RubyTruong 5 years
My husband's gal pals are old so I have nothing to worry about,lol:)
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