I mean, do you think it is okay for a husband or wife to have a friend of the opposite sex that they meet up with, chat with on the phone or computer, and talk with quite often...without their spouse?
It's a tricky situation, I think. When you're single, it's fairly easy to have friends of both sexes. But when you are married, are you supposed to drop the "opposite sex" friendships? Is there anything wrong with them?
We haven't really had to face this issue in our marriage. My husband left all his female friendships behind in one state when he moved to another soon after we met, and didn't cultivate any new ones. The friendships with my male friends dissolved when I got engaged. It was a bit of an awkward situation for all, I think. One friend was truthful when he told me "I don't feel right being close friends with someone who is about to get married, especially since our friendship involved me becoming closer to you because you were single." Hint, hint. It's true that often times one can think it is just a friendship while the other has hope for something else.
There was one male friendship that I kept up after I was married. After a few months it became strange and weird, and apparent to me that one really probably can't be friends with someone of the opposite sex while being married. That friendship broke up. My husband never demanded that I stop being friends with anyone...and never brought it up even, but I realized when I became uncomfortable with it that it had to go.
Here's the thing. I trust my husband completely; I don't trust other women. I'm a woman myself, of course, but I see how sneaky, conniving, back handed, hateful, and jealous women can be. Women like to always one-up another. Women are not simple creatures. It's clear, especially, in a statement that my husband's cousin told him "Just wait until you have a wedding ring on your finger...women will become much more interested in you." Women want what they can't have...and want to take what you have.
Are all women like this? Well, probably not. But even just a friendship can be a temptation. While I trust my husband, I wouldn't agree with placing him in a situation that can be a temptation (or vice versa...I trust myself but won't place myself in a tempting situation). Men and women are different. When women chat with their girlfriends it's about anything that is going on in our life at the moment, including marriage and sometimes even sex. Especially marriage troubles. Men like to joke about things and will occasionally gripe about something that their wife did. Do we really want our spouses telling a woman about something stupid we did, or have our husbands trying to comfort a woman who is going through a troubled spot in her marriage? Yeah, I didn't think so.
This is not to say that I think all male/female friendships have to end after a marriage, but rather, I think they have to evolve to include the new spouse too. I've read many "Dear Abby" letters where a spouse (usually the wife) is writing saying that she is uncomfortable with her husband's friendship with a woman but that the husband brushes her off by saying "We are just friends". A marriage ALWAYS comes first, before ANY friendship (whether the same or opposite sex). If a spouse is uncomfortable with something it is our duty to calm that fear, even if it means that a friendship breaks up. After all, our spouses are our best friends, right?
And shall I even go into the people who consider their ex's their friends and still hang out with them even after becoming involved in a new relationship? What's up with that? Actually, I'd love to hear your thoughts on this whole matter. Do you agree or disagree?