Is It Okay for My Wife To Have a Guy Friend?

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Question: Is It Okay for My Wife To Have a Guy Friend?

My wife is always spending time with her best friend from college. I would be okay with this, but her best friend from college is a heterosexual male. He has a girlfriend, and I trust my wife. But I still feel jealous, and I worry that their closeness could tempt them. It seems like it would be easy for anyone to just step over the line from friendship into an affair. I don’t want my wife to cheat on me and jeopardize our marriage. What should I do? Should I stop my wife from seeing her best friend?

Answer: Married people need friends. They need to feel independent from one another. When they have interests, friends, and a life outside their relationship, it feeds their marriage. It gives them something to talk about and makes them well-rounded, fulfilled people.

But their hobbies and friendships must be respectful of their marriage. If you, as your wife’s husband, have a problem with her friendship, you must calmly share your concerns with her. Tell her how you feel. Be honest about your jealousy and the fact that you’re worried that she’s putting herself in a tempting position that could threaten your marriage.

Then, try to come up with a compromise. Your wife is an independent adult, and you can’t control her choice of friends. Expressing your concerns – along with how much you love her – should motivate your wife to compromise. Perhaps, you can suggest limits on the amount of time your wife and her friend spend alone or you could ask to tag along sometimes.

Frankly, some people believe that married people should never go out alone with members of the opposite sex, unless it’s for a professional meeting. You might even consider choosing for both of you to refrain from outings with members of the opposite sex.

You should discuss the potential for an emotional affair, where one spouse is confiding in a opposite-sex friend about things that they should be discussing with their husband or wife. Private e-mails and secrets between a married person and his or her opposite-sex friends are big no nos. Whatever compromise you and your wife decide, you should make sure that none of your friendships come between the two of you – and the marriage you’re building together.