Inappropriate friendships when married sometimes happen unintentionally. This friendship could start as a simple causal relationship. But most times, lines are crossed even when we don’t mean for that to happen.
These friendships centers on doing things with friends which can ruin your marriage. These friendships make you do things your spouse won’t approve of.
As married women or men, we should be wary of the type of friends we keep. We should also be able to keep these friendships within the ambits of sanity. In this article, signs of inappropriate friendships when married would be highlighted.
Rules of opposite-gender friendships
There are so many rules of the opposite-gender relationship that you should follow. Males and females can have friendships that are only platonic without sex. But you have to follow certain rules.
When you are only friends with the opposite gender, you shouldn’t dress based on what they will think. So when you find yourself dressing to please your friend, you need to check yourself. Remember that you need to keep every interaction platonic.
Do you feel jealous when your friend is getting closer to another person? Do you feel insecure? Are you happy for them or do you want them all to yourself?
When you notice such feelings, you have to step back. Especially when your friend is in a relationship already. And also it can ruin your friendship when it is one-sided.
Ensure you respect your friend’s feelings and don’t take their feelings for granted. Men and women don’t see things the same way. So when your friend tells you what you did hurt their feelings, don’t trivialize it.
When you have a neutral friendship with no feelings involved, you would do everything in the open. All your interactions should be open. Especially when you both are in another relationship. Also, you should avoid sneaking around.
Set boundaries. Also, ensure that your friend knows these boundaries and agrees with them. Communicate with your friend, and ensure you avoid sexual tension.
If you are in a committed love affair, you need to make sure your partner meets your friend. And see that he is very comfortable with them. It is good for your partner to meet your friend and for you guys to spend time together.
Try to avoid anything that will make things sexual. When you allow sex into the equation you complicate things, and most times you end up losing your friend.
Don’t have only the other gender as friends, have friends of the same gender to balance out the equation.
When you enter into a relationship, don’t hide it from your friend. Bring them along and make them understand that you are in a relationship. Talk to them and express your feeling about your relationship.
Hiding your love affair from your pal only means that you have hidden motives.
When you are pals with a guy, resist the urge to overshare. There are some things you should not tell them. Have in mind that emotional intimacy can turn into a love affair.
Ten ways to know your friendship with someone outside marriage is becoming inappropriate
- When you are only platonic with someone, you don’t need to hide to visit them or look for an excuse to be with them alone. If you notice that you’re looking for reasons to be alone with the person in their house or hidden places, it is a sign.
- Introducing your friend to your spouse should not be a big deal. When you can’t introduce your friend to your spouse and hide them, then you are in an inappropriate zone.
- Friends don’t flirt with each other. So when you catch yourself flirting with your friend, take a step back to analyze the friendship. When you notice attraction and flirting are also in the mix, then it is becoming unbefitting.
- As a committed man or woman, you shouldn’t have sexual thoughts about someone else. It is unbefitting and disrespectful. If you are friends with someone you are attracted to, then that is an inappropriate area to be in.
- When married, respect your spouse and not think of another person in a way that disrespects them. So when you know that you like your friend more than you should. And they feel the same way, you should take a step back because it is unbefitting.
- Alarm bells should be ringing in your head when all you can think about is your friend. They are in your phone inbox, gallery, your heart, and everywhere. Nobody has to tell you that the friendship is becoming inappropriate.
- You are walking in the inappropriate zone if you confide in them more than your boo. If you tell them things that you can’t tell your spouse, then it is a huge red flag.
- You can’t define the purpose of your friendship. And you can’t explain why you guys keep spending time together. But you only want to spend time with this person, it means your friendship is heading where it should not.
- If your spouse has an issue with the friendship or they are complaining about the friendship. Then you should look back and evaluate why your partner has a problem with the friendship.
- Your friendship is improper when your friend seems to be jealous of your spouse. And he keeps saying mean things or trying to downgrade your spouse.
How to prevent friendships with the opposite sex from becoming inappropriate
It is crucial that you avoid sexual talks with friends. You have to avoid being in a compromising situation. Especially when you are already in a committed love affair.
And try not to flirt with your friend if you must flirt and try not to cross boundaries. Don’t overshare. Yes, there is something like oversharing.
Try not to share all your personal information with your friend. When you start sharing everything, it gives room for inappropriate relationships when married.
Don’t compare your friend with your spouse. When you do things that can get complicated and try not to speak for your friends in some circumstances.
Also, when your male friends try to draw you close and make you feel closer than usual, be bold enough to kill that flame. A colleague once told me of her encounter with a male friend.
My colleague confessed that she was very bored at home while her husband was away from work. And during this period, she tried to chat with a male friend who knew she was married. After chatting due to loneliness and boredom, she decided to meet the guy at a restaurant so they could talk.
But she only decided not to go because she felt like she subtly cheat on her man by accepting to go for the date.
Many women are in this type of situation. You need to draw the line. It might not be easy, but it should be done. When this line isn’t drawn, improper friendships will crawl into your marriage. And might ruin it.
How to set boundaries with friends
Boundaries help to establish a healthy line for you and your friends. Especially when you are married or in a committed relationship. Boundaries help to know what is okay and what is not, but setting boundaries is not always easy.
Communicate with them and let your friends know the reason why you feel drawings the line is crucial. Also while setting boundaries, you should have the courage to compromise. It should be a compromise of what you both want for it to able work out.
Tell them how much you value your friendship. And that creating the boundaries is not to hurt them but to help straighten the friendship.
Respect yourself and your relationship. You should only be friends with friends who respect your boundaries. You should only be friends who totally respect your relationship.
Act like you are in a love affair and don’t act single when you are with the opposite sex. Don’t make them feel like you are free and ready to mingle.
Is having opposite-sex friends essential?
It is very essential. You cannot keep only friends of the same gender. You have to be willing to diversify.
Having a guy as a pal will help strengthen your relationship with your lover. And it helps you learn how the mind of men work.
Also, being friends with a male can improve and maintain your social capital. We need people to achieve things. As a married person or someone in a love affair, you need to only set boundaries while having male pals.
Don’t micro-cheat on your partner with them or rely on them for emotional support. Your man might not feel wanted when you do this.
We can’t push our male pals away. We only need to draw lines for them not to cross.
Is it toxic for couples to have separate friends?
Having separate friends from your spouse is not considered toxic. It helps to build your relationship. Especially when you and your partner don’t share a lot of interests.
Having different friends can help you to have someone with whom you share your interest. And whom you can talk about stuff.
Your partner should be your number-one pal. But having separate pals help you not to depend on your partner too much for a conversation. Especially when you and your partner don’t share a lot of similar interests.
Having separate friends can help you learn from other people. And also see from the perspective of others. These friendships can also render useful advice that can save you from danger.
Should couples spend time apart from their friends?
When you can do things you love, without judgment you are helping your relationship grow. So being able to hang out with your friends in the absence of your partner is okay. Hanging out with friends to do what you love can also be said to be a form of self-care.
Sometimes couples want to chill with friends and have fun and be with them. There is nothing wrong with that as long as it is not hurting your relationship.
Hanging around your man always might make your relationship boring. This is one reason a lot of women go to work or their businesses.
They want to have interactions with other people asides from their partner. It makes you value your love affair more and enjoy the time you spend with your number one gist partner.
Is relying on emotional support from the opposite sex inappropriate behavior when married?
Cheating is not only when you have sex. Cheating can also be an emotional bond with someone else. So forming an emotional bond with someone else can be considered an unbefitting behavior. Especially when you are married.
Having emotional support can lead to developing feelings. But sometimes your friend can give you a shoulder to lean on without it meaning anything. You have to be careful not to cross the line when getting emotional support outside as a married man or woman.
We should be very strong not to fall or lead our friends of the opposite sex into temptation. The more you reveal to your friend of the opposite sex, the more they think they have power over you.
Don’t sell your cheap. If you are going through a rough patch, see a counselor. Try to communicate with your man to resolve whatever issue is stealing your peace.
Having guys or ladies as friends is superb. But your friend has to be emotionally mature too and aware for the friendship to meet the standard.
Can friends end a marriage?
Most times, most love stories start as friendship. So yes the possibility of your friend ruining your marriage is very high. You have to be careful with your friend and try not to ruin your marriage by breaking the boundaries.
When you see there is a chance you can develop feelings for your friend, it is for the best that you end that friendship. This is to enable you to focus on your love affair and children.
Inappropriate friendships when married can end a marriage. It can happen if our partner finds out that we’ve done silly things with these so-called friends. Friends can also ruin a marriage if they influence you negatively.
This is why we should be very careful of the friends we keep while we are married. We should properly analyze whatever our friends tell us before we act on them.
Humans aren’t islands, we need friends to assist us in navigating our life voyage. Our spouse should be our biggest friend, cheerleader, and confidant. But we can also have other friends too.
These friends can be people of a different sex or a similar one. But when we have friends outside the walls of marriage, we should also know that there are rules. If these rules are followed, it will help us keep both our marriage and external friendships.
Note that inappropriate friendships when married can act as a problem in your union. Avoid inappropriate friendships when married. Ensure you set the appropriate boundaries to keep your marriage.