I have many female friends, and of them many have been among my best friends I’ve ever had. I’m grateful to name them friends and enjoy speaking with them. As time has passed, many have married and moved on to their marriages and to start families.
I’ve recently come to the conclusion — one I could have come to a long time ago — that hanging out alone with them is no longer acceptable.
Now, I should note that I’m a nice guy. I’m pretty proud of that fact, too. I’m not a player, I don’t date to get laid, and cheating on/with someone is about the most abhorrent thing I could ever imagine. It’s that whole golden rule thing — do unto others … and I would never have this done unto me.
And yet, I’ve heard more female friends tell me that there is only one guy that their boyfriend or husband is ever jealous of: me.
Why? I haven’t the faintest. I don’t call up married women late into the night, text them constantly or even regularly, to be honest. I once lived with my best friend and her husband, as a roommate, for a few months and I gave them plenty of space. That still didn’t help.
But I’m the only one who makes them jealous. And I’m done with it. I’m done creating any kind of rift in my friends’ relationships just so I can continue a friendship with them.
Ladies, I honor your marriage more than our friendship, and so I’m willing to let our friendship dwindle to acquaintance or even release entirely.
But further than that, there is a matter of my own honor. For any man to believe potential ill of me because of a preventable behavior is unacceptable. I would rather go without niceties like friendships with married women and maintain the appearance of my name than to fume that someone doesn’t want me associating with this or that.
While you may protest that a married woman should be allowed to have any friend she wants, I’m not arguing against you. Her friendships (as her husband’s) are a matter for both of them to manage for the betterment of their relationship, but folks marriage is above friendship. Even best-friendship.
When I hear people complain that so-and-so disappeared after she started dating/married this-or-that guy, I don’t see the issue. Marriage is about cleaving from 50% relationships around you to have a 100% relationship with your spouse. There should be nothing so intimate and valuable in this world as the relationship you build with the one person you decide to share the rest of your life with.
If you’re fighting your spouse over this or that relationship outside your marriage, you need to reassess your understanding of marriage. You OWN each other. A man owns his wife as much as a wife owns her husband. That is a two-way street, without reservation. Protecting the integrity of your relationship is more important than your friends on the outside. And if it isn’t, then you either don’t understand marriage, or you married the wrong person.
Get your head in the game. Marriage is a serious undertaking with serious costs, but those investments, tended well, produce incredible return.
The sacrifice of old friendships for a good marriage is well worth the loss.