Opposite-sex friendships

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-12-2002
Opposite-sex friendships
9
Sun, 03-11-2012 - 12:49am

This is from Annie's Mailbox today:

Dear Annie: Is it possible for two married co-workers of the opposite sex to be friends?

I have been married to "Jane" for 15 years. A year ago, she discovered that I was texting my co-worker "Lisa," with whom I have a professional relationship. Jane became upset and said a male and female could not have a friendship because eventually one of them would want more. So I discontinued all outside communication with Lisa.

Eight months later, Lisa caught her husband cheating and moved out of her house. I began texting her to inquire if everything was OK during this difficult time. Well, my wife saw those messages, and now she thinks I'm cheating on her. She is ready to file for divorce.

For the record, I have never once seen Lisa outside of work or ever called her, just texted. I am being persecuted for something I never did, which still boils down to my question: Can a male and a female be friends without strings attached? — Not Guilty, but with a Good Female Friend


So, what do you think?

Okmrsmommy-36, CPmom to DD-16 and DS-14

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-08-2009
Sun, 03-11-2012 - 1:05pm
i think its different for every relationship. In my relationship we do not make friends of the opposite sex. At work I socialize with the guys but I don't text or add them to facebook or get personal with them. He doesn't with the females.
We did make friends with members of the opposite sex before and it just caused problems as some of them did want more.

My BF has kids with his ex and they talk, but only regarding the children and divorce issues, but obviously that doesn't bother me at all. Im casual friends with an ex I was with 20 years ago and we ended 10 years ago, but my BF is also friends with him.

So in my personal opinion I think its inappropriate. I know I wouldn't be happy if my BF was texting another woman at work outside of work about personal issues..and vice versa. He has a female friend at work but Im friends with her also and her husband but they don't text or hang out outside of work. So theres certain situations we are fine with. But none of this going out for lunches, texting etc stuff.
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-12-2002
Sun, 03-11-2012 - 11:49pm

I'm on the exact opposite side of things.

Okmrsmommy-36, CPmom to DD-16 and DS-14

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-08-2009
Mon, 03-12-2012 - 9:46am
I refuse to get rid of the male friends I was friends with before we got together. He's a bit jealous of that but thats too bad. I don't expect him to get rid of the women friends he had before me either. Its just making new ones that we don't do. I get along better with men than women so I need my male friends.
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-28-2009
Mon, 03-12-2012 - 10:23am
My best friend is a male and an ex bf. he was in our wedding he's my DD godfather. I have many many male friends at work who I text have lunch with who bring me coffee at work. My DH has met all of them but doesn't hang out with them on a regular basis. They are nothing more than friends. I'm completely open with my DH about who I'm texting why when and who I go out with I think being transparent is the key and I always make sure he's comfortable with whatever I'm doing. I don't think it's reasonable to demand someone not make or have opposite sex friends. As lOng as they're being open and truthful. My opinion is if I'm telling u the ins and outs of my friendship where I'm going what I'm saying chances are I wouldn't be telling you that if I was cheating
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-12-2011
Mon, 03-12-2012 - 11:51am
Why didn't this guy tell his wife "Hey, Lisa just separated from her husband, I'm goign to check on her and see if she's OK."

I have no issues with my husband talking to girls. He has female co-workers, etc. But I'd expect openness about their friendships.

DH and I talk nightly about our days, anything going on in them, and it would be very off if DH were talking to someone to not mention it to me even offhandedly as in "Oh Steve is having issues with his car and Mary is struggling in her class this semester" or something.

- Luhverly Mom to DS5 Smom to DSD6 & DSD4 Lilypie Pregnancy tickers
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-07-2011
Mon, 03-12-2012 - 2:15pm
I think it depends on the relationship. My dh has friends that are women, and most of the time I haven't had an issue with it. The problem comes in when the texting/relationship replaces any of your relationship with him. For example, if he comes home from work, mumbles hello to you and then heads off to text this friend and talks about his bad day for the rest of his evening with her while ignoring me, I have an issue with that. I also have a problem with it depending on how the female acts, if she's flirty or seems to be trying to keep his attention (my dh was friends with a girl like this - that one I had a serious problem with and told him about it!). If they ever put that texting relationship over your marriage, that's a huge red flag. They also should be completely honest and transparent about it, if they are hiding the texts or not telling you, that's an issue. My dh texts somewhat with a girl that we both know, I don't have a problem with it at all. I'm comfortable she doesn't have an ulterior motive and he'll often mention something about what's going on in her life.

On whether it matters if it's an ex- spouse, I guess that also depends on what they would be texting about? If it's getting really personal, I would question why they got divorced in the first place ;)
iVillage Member
Registered: 02-09-2005
Mon, 03-12-2012 - 4:50pm

What bothers me about the letter is that the man noted his wife "discovered" that they had been texting.

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-12-2002
Mon, 03-12-2012 - 9:27pm

>>>On whether it matters if it's an ex- spouse, I guess that also depends on what they would be texting about? If it's getting really personal, I would question why they got divorced in the first place :smileywink:<<<

Ehh...my ex and I talk about just about any and everything.

Okmrsmommy-36, CPmom to DD-16 and DS-14

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-21-2011
Mon, 03-12-2012 - 9:56pm

I think it boils down to personality and communication. I've always been friends with guys. My husband knows this and he's cool with it because we talk about it and he knows all of my friends from work. He tells me about the female friends he has at work and it's not a big deal at all for us. But then there's no jealousy and we communicate. Perhaps that makes a difference.

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