Maybe you just got married to the “love of your life” and are wondering if your “male best friend” is appropriate anymore. Maybe your husband is expressing concern over your male friendship. Maybe you’ve been married a while and are developing a male friendship at work but feel concerned it’s not okay. Whatever the reason, I’ll give you the “male friendship test for married women” to help you make a decision whether or not you should rethink male friendships.
The Five Tests a Male Friend MUST Pass Before He Can Be Friends With a Married Woman
I discovered this “male friendship test for married women” by accident. Soon after I got married, an old male friend called me up. We were both going to be in our hometown at the same time and he wanted to know if I could get together. Immediately, I felt something deep inside tell me close male friendships were different now that I was married, so I asked him the one question that tested whether or not this particular male friendship was safe.
“Do you mind if my husband comes?”
Immediately, he backed off. He didn’t want my husband to come. If he had said, “Sure! The more the merrier!” I would have gone just to catch up. (On a side note, if we had met, I would have slowly scaled back the relationship until it dissolved. But I try not to be a complete weirdo and say “Sorry. I’m married. I can’t.” Very rarely can a previous female-male friendship be viable group friendship after marriage.) First Test: Ask your male friend if your husband can tag along in your meetups. Be suspicious of any man who doesn’t want your husband around.
Even if a man passes the first male friendship test for married women, he MUST pass this next one with flying colors. AND you have to accept the “results” of this test might change over time. Second Test: Ask your husband if he’s okay with the relationship. Tell him to be brutally honest because above all you want your husband (not your friend) to approve of your actions. If your husband hints at even the slightest bit of concern, I would proceed with caution. When an actual security system goes off warning of a potential intruder, we would enter our house with caution…maybe armed with a baseball bat just in case. There are many reasons why we should rethink male friendships and oftentimes we can’t see danger before it approaches us. Our husbands are our built-in protection system. Just like there can be false alarms in a security system, there can be unnecessary reason to avoid male friendship, but you’d rather be safe than sorry. After all, it’s your marriage on the line.
The next test is one that we often want to ignore and we often justify. But we must look further than the surface of a male friendship. Third Test: Is this male friend attracted to me in a way that is more than a friend? I heard once that there is no such thing as a male friend…only a man who has yet figured out how to sleep with you. Although I think that’s a little extreme view of male-female friendships, I believe there is an ounce of truth in the saying. If you are not sure whether or not your male friend wants more than friendship is to ask someone who has seen your interaction or even ask your male friend outright. The outside perspective of a trusted friend helps us make wise decisions. If you need to ask your male friend, it presents the chance to reconfirm to him you are serious about your marriage.
Alongside the question of whether or not your male friend likes you more than he should you have to answer the same question. Fourth Test: Can you answer “no” to the question of whether or not YOU might like him more than a friend? I know…you think married women can’t possibly like another man, but that’s simply is not true. I’m living proof even IF your marriage is perfect, you can find yourself attracted to another man. There are chemical pheromones biologically at play, there are emotional connections that might be pulling, and not to mention the history of friendship to compete with! You have to pull out all the stops here and get honest: Could this relationship turn funky given the right situation at the right time (more like the wrong situation at the wrong time, correct?). If the answer is yes, I would definitely rethink your male friendship.
Of all the tests, this one is a definite deal breaker in my book. Fifth Test: Have you ever dated your current male friend? If so, I don’t care how much you might want to justify your male friendship when you are married, it’s just not worth the risk. Having a romantic past can make you and him more vulnerable to slip up when things in your marriage hit a rough spot.
Why Would I Want to End My Male Friendship After I’m Married?
The natural reaction is to justify our male friendships, try to fight this urge. Sacrifice is never easy, but your relationship with your husband is valuable. Marriage creates a covenant before God. The covenant bond is why God hates divorce so much. When you make a covenant, you become one with the person you made it with. To disassociate yourself after a covenant is made is like ripping part of your body physically away and being without it forever. It’s a BIG deal. Honestly, if your male friendship is more important than the future of your marriage, I must ask why you didn’t marry him instead? To end a potentially harmful male friendship after your married proves your commitment to your husband, your covenant and your future.