On a mission-field-bound plane, we started talking.
We shared a lot in common: age, love for Jesus, and an adventurous spirit.
Perfect fit, right?
But among our similarities, included marriage…and kids.
Despite my efforts to push it down this inappropriate attraction, I could feel it blooming. And it didn’t help that he was cute: surfer-boy-with-dreadlocks cute with an ounce of bad-boy-gone good.
Since this wasn’t the first time I had a male friend while married, I knew that “keeping it completely platonic” was a joke.
Marriage is Serious Business, Friendships Come Second
Marriage is a serious commitment. We have to treat it with respect.
Many women believe they can continue with their male friendships after marriage, but I want to ask:
Why would you risk your marriage for the sake of someone you aren’t married to?
Every woman also wants to believe they are the exception to the rule, but I want to challenge women to rethink male friendships for the longevity and integrity of your marriage vows.
10 Reasons Married Women Should Not Have Male Friends
1. You don’t know where their heart is
My husband once said to me, “There are no such things as male friends. There are only men waiting for you to like them.”
I don’t know if this is true, but it begs the question: “Do you really know if your male friend isn’t attracted to you?” I created “The Male Friendship Test” for married women in order to determine if a man really is friendship material. (Hint: the answer is almost always “no.”)
No matter what your male friend says, you can never be certain he doesn’t have feelings for you. And this fact is the best reason married women should not have male friends.
2. You don’t know what they are dealing with
When you meet someone new, it’s so much fun to discover new things about them. The downside of the discovery phase is that you haven’t learned all the nitty-gritty.
You might know their favorite TV show, but not know they had a horrible fight about money with their wife the night before. Or a layoff might be making him feel like “less of a man” and your smiling face makes him feel valuable.
These unknown factors can create uneven roads that could lead to sticky situations.
3. Friendships come and go, but marriage is for life
A male friendship, even one that has been going on longer than you’ve known your spouse, can often dissolve without too much drama. Busyness causes us to drift apart, a new job might shift our schedules or a new baby squeeze out socializing.
Marriage on the other hand, is supposed to be for life. When busyness takes over, you still sleep in the same bed. If you or your husband gets an out-of-state job, you both move. When you have a new baby, you both join forces to take care of this new life. Everything is done in tandem.
Don’t choose a male friendship that might one day end (even if you swear it won’t) over something that is forever.
4. Men don’t think the same as women
I don’t care what is PC.
Men are visual creatures. And women are fun to look at. Men’s brains are wired differently and even the slightest brush of his elbow when you are laughing could send him the wrong signal.
Women oftentimes forget our touchy-feely nature might lead the relationship in a direction we never intended it to go.
5. Your husband should fulfill your need for male attention
When I first encountered a male friendship, it was at a job where I had to work side-by-side with Mr. Cute-Ambitious-Creative-Sexy-Nice Guy.
Quickly, I realized that my attraction to him meant my marriage needed a pick-me-up. I needed some fun with my hubby. Though our marriage wasn’t bad, a new baby had pushed us into the “roommates with benefits” zone.
If your finding your male friendship is more exciting than your marriage, redirect your attention to fixing it.
6. We have a sin nature
The grass is always greener on the other side.
We always want what we can’t have.
These are two common proverbs, both of them pointing back to the oldest story in history: Adam and Eve. “Don’t touch the tree of Good & Evil,” God said…and what did she do; she went and touched it!
It’s important to note at the time of this story, Eve didn’t have a sinful nature. How much more will we, having a sin nature, be tempted to do things just because we know we aren’t supposed to do them? We know that a sexual relationship with a male friend is forbidden…and it makes it all the more desirable.
7. The stats
Divorce is an ugly word. When it’s coupled with the word ‘adultery’ it’s even nastier.
Too many marriages have already proven that male-female relationships with someone other than your spouse is risky business.
If you don’t want to become part of those statistics…avoid male friendships!
8. The other woman and man
Even if a male friend isn’t married, it’s likely he will be in a relationship one day.
We need to think of the needs of his current/future spouse above our own wants and needs. If you are friends with a man that’s married, you could potentially damage a chance for him to have a healthy relationship with his wife.
On the flip side, what about your own husband. Even if he says he’s cool with you having close male friends, in reality it makes him uncomfortable.
9. Opinions of others
I’m not an advocate for worrying about what others think, but we should consider our reputation among our community. Our good name is better than anything…even an amazing friendship with another man that isn’t your husband!
The Bible reiterates this:
A good name is more desirable than great riches. Proverbs 22:1a
A male relationship may lead others to think there is more going on than meets the eye.
10. You have somewhere better to spend your time
The Bible says that married women are supposed to teach other younger married women to:
- love their children
- love their husbands
If you spend your time with another man, you are wasting time that could be better spent doing the job God has called you to accomplish.
There is no Bible verse that suggests women have any business attending to any man other than her husband.
Do You Want to Stay Married Forever?
When we stand, in our wedding dress, saying our “I do’s” I am certain we intended to stay married for as long as possible.
I think male friendships jeopardize this goal.
And no friendship, male or female, is worth that risk.
I wish I could say that I was careful to keep an appropriate distance on the mission trip with Mr. Surfer-Boy, but having so much in common made the trip more enjoyable. After it was over, I got my emotions back in check, confessed to my husband, and I made sure not to pursue the relationship at all. Not perfectly, because I’m pretty sure I Facebook stalked him a few times before I made the decision to delete all my Facebook friends, including him.
I want to be married forever. I have to make the decision to choose my husband over and over. Getting married doesn’t mean you automatically stop being attracted to other people, it means you avoid it like the plague. Since then, I’ve put in motion certain measure to make sure I don’t find myself in this situation again.
If you’ve found yourself struggling with this issue, please consider reading Every Woman’s Battle by Shannon Ethridge.