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Come and talk to me about the protocol for single women being friends with married men(132 Posts)
... and help me get out of a mess I seem to have obliviously ambled into. The mess is too wearisome to explain in detail, but the short version is that a woman in my village who I have been friendly with in the past but less so of late, but whose husband I do get along well with - and have got up to no funny business with - has been gossiping about me getting too friendly with her husband and telling people that she thinks there may be something going on between us. There isn't.
This had never occurred to me before now, because I have a handful of male married friends who help me out or come over for a meal and a chat with their wives' blessings, but is there a protocol that I'm missing, for how single women generally should and shouldn't interact with male friends who are in a relationship?
Please tell me, as a rule, are greeting hugs/pecks on the cheek OK? Them helping unblock a drain or fix a burst pipe? Can I have a drink with them? Can they pop over for an impromptu chat and meal (that I'm cooking for myself anyway)? What does and doesn't look OK from the outside looking in? Because I have obviously got something wrong somewhere along the line - even if that's just been being nice and friendly and not looking like the back end of a bus.
I really don't rate being gossiped about as a morally bankrupt husband predator (which I'm not), and want to make sure I know The Rules moving forward so I can make sense of why this has happened, and make sure it doesn't happen again.
I don't think there are any Rules that apply to you as the single person. I'd think it was up to the couple to establish between themselves what behaviour they're comfortable with. You've done nothing wrong by being friends with someone.
I suspect everyone knows there are no rules. Could it be that these male friends are a little more into you than you suspect?
Well it shouldn't be an issue, but people are people and to be frank, I think if a single woman invited DH round for a meal and din't invite me as well, my first thoughts might be a bit dubious. I would certainly do a double take.
But it would depend on the single woman (are you jaw-droppingly attractive? Are you happy single or are you actively looking for someone - and is that something you talk about?). And of course you don't necessarily know the husband's previous form, if any, whether the couple are happy etc etc - all of which would affect the wife's reaction.
I think the only rules and protocol there should be is to respect the fact he is married and treat him as you would want to me treated.
I am friends with a man who is with someone and I am married. Don't care what people think. Both couples know it is innocent.
on the face of it, none of what you suggest is out of order. However, if DH decided to go and help 'unblock a drain', 'fix a burst pipe', or any other kind of household maintenance work for a single female friend at the expense of stuff he needs to do here, for his family, I would be . Likewise, the impromptu meal. If he decides to accept the offer of a meal from you when he knows very well that I have cooked a meal for us to share, either as a family or just the two of us.
I would also find it harder if the friendship was a comparatively new one and one where I felt I was excluded, especially if there had been a previous friendship between the woman and me. I would wonder whether there was an attempt at distancing herself from me in order to test the waters further with DH. Whilst I absolutely trust DH and have never had any reason to doubt him in all the years I have known him, there are somethings that would ring alarm bells for me. And of course, you are not to know whether the Husband in question has given his wife cause for doubt in their past.
Are you being serious ?
If a single woman invited my H round for a meal , or out for a drink , or greeted him with a peck on the cheek or a hug, i would think exactly what this woman thinks. Come on, your not that naive sureley.
There are no " rules " as such , there are various couples im freinds with, i might enjoy the male freind company more , but i wouldnt see him on my own , nor hug or kiss him or invite him round for a meal, effectiveley excluding his wife.
This is an area that should be simple but in reality is full of problems because some people will always make 2+2=5.
Before I met DH I went through a period of being "single". During this time I was very friendly with a couple and, because she was a nurse working shifts, the husband often came round for dinner after work. Also, I am quite a "touchy feely" person so I always greet people with a hug or peck on the cheek. His wife, who was and still is one of my best friends, knew that the friendship was totally platonic - although I admit I "would have" had he been single - but we both knew that there was a lot of gossip among other so-called friends behind our backs. Fortunately it was never an issue for any of us but I can easily see how this could be misconstrued and is probably best avoided.
Panoramic If you were married or in a serious (ie live-in) relationship, would you be happy for your other half to pursue a friendship with another attractive woman, without you being involved too? Wouldn't you ask yourself why he wants to?
I'm not a jealous person and I trust my DH 100%, but the only female 'friends' he tends to have are wives or girlfriends of his friends, or my friends. If he fancies going out for a meal or a drink without me, its with his male friends, so they can bang on about football, women, whatever.... Call me an old cynic, but I think the old adage is generally true that men only want to make 'friends' with a woman if they fancy her and hope it will lead to other things.
Maybe you genuinely want to make friends with these men for truly honourable reasons, but I suspect the men don't, I mean, what man will unblock drains/fix a burst pipe for nothing if they don't have to, without some kind of motive - come on?! And what man will go round a single woman's house to be 'friends' when they know their wife is getting upset about it, therefore risking trouble at home anyway?
Maybe you really want to just be friends with everyone, but this is the real world and men will always be men unfortunately (or fortunately
Depends on whether you respect the marriage or care about your female friend!!!
If you don't there really aren't any rules as to how you shoud behave, although Kissing him may be frowned upon!!!!
However If you do respect the marriage and also your female friend; impromtu meals and drinks out with just the husband are very wrong. IMHO time to start including the wife or gently letting the friendship lapse. If these 2 options seem abhorrant perhaps your own feelings need examination???
Agree with MooMooFarm about questioning the mans motives...
I think the rue is only do it if their wives are reasonable....I wouldn't mind one bit any of the things you have mentioned.
I'm a married woman with a close friend who is a single man. He is a couple of years younger than me and I see him as the little brother I never had. I sometimes meet up with him for a drink or meal, just the two of us and we hug when we greet eachother. Like Sorrento don't really care what people think. My DH is not worried. I suppose the only problem is if someone saw us and jumped to the wrong conclusdion! My friend has no ulterior motive - we often discuss his lovelife (or - at the moment - lack of )
My weirdly SWF-like ex best friend had loads of these friendships. At the time I wondered if I was doing something wrong: I put my own curtain rails up; she gets some bloke to come round, like a well-trained puppy, to do hers!
On the whole these friendships didn't cause problems - but, if a wife tried to cut down her H's contact with SWF, she'd try hard to get him to meet her in secret. It was all a power game to her.
I wonder if your friend's wife feels you're playing a bit of a power game, too? Either way, the simplest solution is for you to mend your friendship with her, then go back to normal.
I think WWIFN' s phrase about"are you a friend of the marriage" is useful in this situation.If you support their relationships and would never do anything to jeopardise the marriage ,then i think friendships are ok and your conscience is clear.If either party is attracted to each other and it is detrimental to the marriage ,then hugs,dinners etc are not on.Kisses i wouldnt be cool with just asking for trouble/gossip IME ,take care hope you get things sorted.
Women who won't let their husband's be alone with female friends? How insecure are they?! Bloody ridiculous. I have male friends, I even hug them (oh the horror). Some are with partners, some aren't. No sex with any of them!
A wife or partner who is so paranoid she wouldn't let her OH spend time with other women....well unless the H has form and history for dry humping anything that stands still for more than four seconds, she's got issues, clearly.
OP, you're doing nothing wrong.
I think im just too independent and also go by the rule if i talk nicely to a bloke he thinks i fancy him and want to sleep with him LOL!.Ok i understand that is completely irrational and probably no use to you at all on this thread Panoramic but just sharing that with you
panoramic it bothers me that you accuse the wife of 'gossiping' about you. Do you really think of it as that? Or could the woman be hurt/frightened/upset/angry and looking to her friends or neighbours for support or advice? Which really is not the same thing as gossiping at all.
The woman who was so called 'friends' with my exhusband is now married to him....... I think she had an ulterior motive for being his friend in the first place even if it she thought it was purely innocent at first! She sought out a man she knew was married, started up this so called 'friendship' (behind my back because THEY knew it wouldn't be acceptable to me) and ten years down the line ended up together!
I know this wont apply to everyone having friends of the opposite sex but it can happen hence the insecurity of these kinds of things happening.
You should be able to be friends with who you want to be but it's just not what happens in todays society is it.
I think it's down to the individual circumstances because in some of them, there might be compounding issues, but if there genuinely is nothing going on, why pamper to the whim of someone who is basically being a posessive idiot? If the H is prioritising the friendship over the marriage and real time that should be spent with the W is being sacrificed, that's one thing, but if we're talking the sole annoyance of the W being the fact that the friend is female, there shouldn't be a need for steering clear. Could be a need for the W to get a grip though!
yes (to scaredofcows), it occurred to me too that if I thought dp was playing away I wouldn't be gossiping about it with friends - I would be absolutely gutted, probably find it difficult to talk to anyone and if I did, it would be to seek support (hopefully confidentially).
Seemed more likely to be other people talking, if anything - in which case I would be making sure I wasn't the cause of someone else's relationship breaking up, and keep out of it for a while.
Personally I'm of the opinion that life's too short for jealousy, but I wouldn't want to hurt someone else, however innocently.
if you live in a village, I think you might want to de-escalate the situation.
Look, it bothers the wife so I would say from your list : don't hug/kiss him on th cheek. Yes, ask him for help with a blocked drain etc if you cannot ask someone else. No, don't invite him over for a meal withut his wife/family.
Obviously she is hurt and worried and if you don't want that, I would step back a bit from her dh.
Maybe you find it all above board but you don't know his thoughts. I am saying this because I misjudged a nice friendly husband of a woman I worked iwth. We got on like a house on fire and I never thought for one minute there was anything in it - certainly not for me. The wife was bothered but never liked to say it (she told me later). One night he drunk a great deal when we met up after sport for a drink and a meal and then he tried it on. It was on his mind the whole time he told me.
Since then I am very careful.
I would very much think that this is an issue for your friends and their wives, and not for you, provided your intentions are completely friendly, and nothing more.
I say this as someone married, and who has 2 or 3 very close male friends (some single, some married) who very often come over to see me alone. Indeed, I insist on it, and so do they. One of them very often sleeps on my sofa when my husband is on a night shift. No-one gossips and my husband is if anything delighted that I have company, because we're very happy and secure together, and it's obvious to everyone that there's nothing to gossip about.
As to greetings - they greet me with immense hugs and one of them (being a Northern) kisses me on the mouth , largely when pished I admit.
I realise my position is basically the reverse of yours - you are my 'boyfriends', they are you, my husband is wife (I'm confusing myself now). All I mean is: you can be a little sensitive of course, and there is no need to consciously cause offence, but neither can you take responsibility for someone else's marital insecurity, or village gossip.
Unblock your own drains ffs
Do you ever have female friends around to unblock your drains?
Or are you using this "friend" as a stand-in boyfriend?
invite a female friend round for impromptu dinners and "unblocking drains"
alternatively, employ a cash-strapped plumber to do it and help get our fecked economy back on its feet
I do sympathise a little bit, I know single women cannot win whatever they do, but if you had any decency at all you would be taking this "gossip" as a warning sign that you are overstepping a mark (whether consciously or not) and modify your helpless single female act
female friendsips are worth much more than pissing them off because you are appearing to intrude on their family time
gawd knows what these "helpful" blokes tell their wives...and you are foolish to allow yourself to be used in some sort of "OW amateur dramatics"
take a plumbing course yourself...you never know, you might meet your own fella
TBH if a woman said to my hubby "jump" and he said "how high", I'd sling him out.
He is busy enough eating meals with his family and doing odd job "manly" things around the house for us as a family that need doing, without going off to do them for another woman when she asks.
You have heard the phrase no smoke without fire? I'd start backing off unless you want to become completely unpopular in your village, unfair or not.
It depends on the situation and the people involved. Women are usually fairly tuned in to this stuff and there are some women I would be happy for my DH to have dinner with (and he does) and others where this would not be the case.
There is one mother from school who practically salivates when she sees my DH. If you too are salivating, YABU, if not, YANBU.
If she's worried about you then the problem is on her doorstep not yours. Maybe he does fancy you... maybe he's giving her reason to be paranoid... the only definite thing you know is that nothing's going on your end.
To all the hysterical wives shouting the OP down for "inviting him over for dinner" - I did not get this impression at all... I got the impression that on occasion if someone popped in whilst she was cooking herself dinner she would offer them something to eat. Totally different.
It's perfectly normal to have friendships with married men. I give everyone I know a hug and a kiss on either a cheek when I see them (men and women) - I can assure you I am not sleeping with all of my friends or their husbands. They all tell me off for paying a handyman when they could send their husbands round.
The fact is though that this man's wife is upset. If you are truly a friend and don't fancy him you will speak to either or both of them about these rumours. Personally I'd start with the wife. Be concerned (genuinely) and tell her that you've heard this is what she's been saying and you'd rather she'd spoken directly to you so you could reassure her. Ask her what's made her feel that way and if it is your behaviour then you can adjust it with her hubby. If it's clear that she's being a bit weird and unreasonable, you need to speak to your friend and advise him to pull his finger out and save his marriage because he's not making his wife feel secure enough in their relationship.
I'll tell you how I personally would feel about it, if he were my husband. He would not be doing handiwork around your home, or having drinks or meals with you. Also, learn to take care of your own home or hire someone for things you realistically cannot do.
There are plenty of unmarried men out there, so keep away from the married ones, or else deal with the gossip and dislike from other women.
I'm quite glad my dh couldn't unblock a drain or put up a cutain rail if he tried ....
What's so hard about unblocking drains or hanging curtain rails?
My husband has to work a lot of evenings and weekends, that's always when things go awry.
Google and YouTube. Free online tutorials on how to do it yourself.
I think it's fine to be friends with single and married people however, I don't think he should be coming round to help with domestic jobs unless their has been some kind of dire domestic emergency and you repay the favour e.g. by babysitting for them to go out as a couple etc.
Are you a single woman on your own or a single mum with children at home?
My DH recently mused that he could help a single parent neighbour with some DIY (quite a big job) and although I really like her and don't think she has any designs on my DH I took a strong line as sometimes I have to wait years for him to do things at home!
The impromput chat, meal, drinks?
I'm married, but I can't say I was interested in such a friendship with a married man when I was single.
It's making his wife uncomfortable.
HE should be the one who says no to that, but as he doesn't, I think you should back off.
And learn to do your own DIY or pay for it.
mmm I am single, and honestly would not do of the things you mentioned,and I operate a fairly 'open house' policy.
- I do my own drains, curtains etc -and have female friends to help if I needed it. At a push would ask a single male friend before getting someone elses husband over. If I had to ask a married man, I would invite both of them and bribe both of them with wine and food.
- Meal /drinks without the wife, I would feel very, very uncomfortable.
You are not doing anything wrong per se. But when I was married I would have been uncomfortable if my H had done those things.
Now I would not cultivate a friendship with a married man, without making sure both husband and wife were being 'cultivated as friends' if that is a real expression. Which may be a reflection on me being puritan - but still...
No, I have to say I wouldn't be happy with it either.
I don't think pecks on the cheek and hugs are the problem, but the fact that you want them in your house without their wives probably is.
It strikes me as odd that they would want to go and have a meal at yours or a drink in the pub without their wives, and any man who genuinely pops anywhere for an impromptu chat probably does have other things on his mind. Are they happy in their marriage?
As for the drains and curtains thing, I wonder what it is about a man that makes him better at DIY. I can certainly do these things myself.
I agree that speaking to the wife is probably the best bet, as you will be able to figure out what is and isn't ok, and probably nip her ill-feeling in the bud too.
I am a bit confused about your intentions to be honest, it seems as if you are a little bitter about the fact that this man in particular has a wife, therefore I'm not in the slightest bit surprised that she is concerned about your motives too.
I dunno. I'm fine with hugs and kisses on greeting.
I'd be less keen on losing my DH to unblocking a drain <not his job, there are enough drains chez Quattro that need attention and a friend in need is a pain, frankly>
The meals thing - well lunch at a neutral venue is fine, nice to catch up with friends on that basis, and I do it all the time. But inviting my DH (and only my DH and not me) over for dinner sounds a bit fat warning bell. I think I'm quite relaxed about these things as well, so not surprised you've got into trouble.
Nope, it would just not have occurred to me to see a married man in my house for drinks when I was single.
Hugs and kisses.
Can't imagine doing that married, either.
Just the thought of pecking and of my married friend's husbands is rather icky to me.
I don't think my husband would be that keen on it, either, seeing his wife hug and kiss some other woman's husband.
OP is here, AnyFucker, and reflecting on all your responses. Sincere thanks. They're making me think.
I hope to get back on here this evening and have the time to post a full reply.
ah, glad you are still here
I thought you might have been frightened off
Oh FFS mundanes are tedious with their monogamist whining. ANd smalltown mundanes the most tedious of the lot - nothing better to do than fret and speculate over heteromonogamy. OP: if you know you have no interest in anyone else's husband, reassure the wife to that effect and don't let it worry you. Indulging and pandering to jealous needy snivellers is never a good idea because nothing's ever enough for them.
I have a lot of married male friends - I went on a really long walk with one of them the other day, just the two of us. But I am very good friends with his wife. I am a bit mystified that you have lots of married male friends but don't know their wives. How did that happen?
And I'm single. I use a plumber or fix it myself. You're a woman, not helpless.
This weekend I have a)plastered the walls in my kitchen, b)tiled with mosaics and grouted them- well most of them, I've just stopped for a cuppa, and c)painted two doors.
If only I was friends with any married men, I needn't have bothered
I hear what you are saying SGB, and generally agree with you - re all thing monogamy related.
However, would I honestly feel comfortable having a friendship with someone who had committed to that lifestyle, and the result was to actively make their partner uncomfortable? I don't think I would - but perhaps it is pandering...
Particuarly when it is to take on a pretty sterotypical feminine role of 'cooking them dinner' or 'getting them to unblock my drains'? (sorry OP - just sounds a bit 'little woman' for me )
I'd have no objection to dh being your friend but do get pissed off if he starts running around/doing obs/lending our stuff to friends both male and female. It's a "generous" trait he's got which really gets on my tits, there's enough to do here thanks v much.
the final straw for me was when he spent 10 hours over the course of several evening sorting out a female friends laptop for her when there was childcare/housework to do here, I was pg with ds at the time too. she promised to babysit as a return favour but never has so I've said no to favours from now on. <<miserable selfish cow emoticon>>.
Do your own household chores but don't worry about being mates with him and ignore the gossips. Dh has a couple of female mates he sees sometimes for coffee or whatever, I'm not keen on them so I don't join (not because I'm jealous btw, i find them irritating) but I'm happy for him to see them.
even if they did have designs on him they don't stand a chance
As a soon to be newly divorced person woman, I find that both women and men are wary of me. It's like I'm some sex crazed walking vagina who's going to jump on anyone vaguely male and am on some bitter revenge thingy.
I've reassured my friends that I'm happy to be on my own, don't need anyone's pity and can lop a branch off a tree if need be. I have located all the necessary local services and get stbexh to pay for any of the work needing doing to the car and the house.
However I've helped out my single girlfriends when they've needed help hanging curtains. For the rest I say get someone professional in or have a go yourself.
I wouldn't dream of inviting someone else's husband to dinner, sorry not to help you out with this as I know in a small town there is often small mindedness. I understand the frustration but please just don't give people any fuel for gossiping. It's not worth it.
Speaking as someone with a married male bf, unless you are more considerate to his wife's feelings, I don't see this going well. You are either going to lose a friend or cause massive upset in their marriage. If you don't care about the latter I would then question your motives, just as I am his.
sgb...do you really rely on men to do all your little jobs around the home ?
you don't strike me as a helpless female
I think you are being naive about this OP and it puzzles me that you didn't wonder why your friend had been distant with you before this gossip reached your ears.
Why on earth haven't you been to see your friend to have this out?
AF: I am not great at practical things. but I am not great at housework either. THough TBH if something needs doing I usually ask my dad (who loves having the opportunity to nose round visit me).
THe OP may be pushing her luck and fluttering her eyelashes a little but the thing about the monogamist mindset that's so irritating is the assumption that everyone single is a threat. Or a freak.
I mean, I just don;t hang out with mundanes much so I am not too often exposed to it, but it's the same sort of mentality that leads to miserable isolation for some single women - if everyone they know is not just a Noah's Arker but a monogamist (ie not just someone who prefers a monogamous relationship but someone who is obsessive about it and sees everything in terms of 'How can I stop my partner being fucked by this person, I can't look away for a minute'.
I can't see the need to get someone to 'pop around' to do jobs whatsoever, I was single for 30 odd years and never felt the need to invite other peoples husbands to do household tasks (have you not heard of Mr Muscle Sink and Plughole unblocker- much better than a man anyway?) However, I think it's perfectly possible for a married person to socialize with a single person, go for lunch, for a drink whatever, if everyone is happy with it. I don't actually quiz my husband over whether he went to lunch with a single female friend or colleague (perhaps I should) and he does from time to time but if a new single female started popping up a lot or seemed to be seeking out lots of situations to see him in, I would want to at least check out how attractive they were.
Finally, some people are irrationally jealous, you can't do anything with them to convince them you are not having/want to have an affair with their husband, so you just have to avoid them both for a bit. Sad, but the way it is.
Get a plunger and one of those JML snake things, too. YouTube it, too.
I would be very uncomfortable with a single woman who hadn't cultivated my friendship too inviting my husband around alone in the evening for meals and asking him to do chores.
I think the phrase that another poster used be a friend 'to the marriage' is very insightful.
I think you should be asking yourself why you are cultivating friendships with married men. IMO there is something else going on here, maybe with you playing out a temporary wife/little woman role with men who seem like they are unthreatening as they are already married or perhaps you have feelings for some of them. Perhaps you are actually being competitive with the wives as deep down you are jealous of them.
You might not even be aware that something like this is going on with you, but as you are talking 'friends' plural I think you need to be very honest with yourself indeed.
And, this is as true for married women as single ones. I was very chatty on meeting a dad with daughters in my children's class on a walk recently and came away feeling how nice it was that the girls all played together and nice to meet new people so on. I told my husband all about this nice man as I thought they would get on well, children get on etc. Clearly this is not how his wife felt as she has ignored me studiously since then and actively avoided our children playing together (I've heard her daughter saying 'can I play at Cornetto's house?' and her shushing her and hurrying her away). I've hardly dared look at the man since! SGB is right, small towns are drainingly incestuous at times, and one has to be seen to be not having an affair with any married men at all times (curiously enough, lots of people are, but never the ones who look like they are IYSMIM).
That's what makes it so hard for stay-at-home dads. They can't invite anyone over for a coffee or go to their house without it being an issue.
Hmmm. I kiss most people I know, I had married male friends when I was single, and I still have married male friends now I live with someone.
I tend to think that single women are not throwing themselves at Mr Inferior <snigger>; that he's entitled to see his friends, male or female; and that should he have an affair with one of them - which I think is fairly unlikely - it would be his decision, not that of some Evil Minx who had been lying in wait for him.
Oh and I don't particularly see why someone who does know him and doesn't know me should have to get to know me too.
Mind you I am slightly pmsl at the idea of him being lured into a den of seduction.
I would be if DH befriended a single woman.
Even if it was innocent - and I do trust him, 100%, but our lives are so busy with just...'life'... that I would be really very put out and suspicious if he chose to spend what little free time he had with another woman, innocent or not.
So are we all supposed to spend our time with Couples, or sunk into Family Life <despair>?
And are those of us afflicted with a partner never allowed to kiss anyone else ever again <more despair>?
It's not that DH doesn't allow me to kiss another woman's husband.
It's just that I really don't have the inclination to feel another man's skin under my lips, thanks muchly.
I often meet with male friends, both single and shackled in a mundane relationship. DP meets female friends similiarly.
However, I am imagining walking in this evening, seeing that DP has prepared supper, and saying 'actually I am popping over the road to have a drink and dinner with XXX, and he's asked me to bake him a cake ' (XXX being the single father of DS's school friend, and friends with both of us), leaving DP to an evening putting DS to bed. It's possible that after the first time DP would raise an eyebrow.
This is bizarre. What if you've known the man longer than you've known the women? Are you supposed to pretend that you're not more friends with the man? That he hasn't waled you home as a perfect gent when you were a student? That he took you out and got you pissed when you broke up with the last terrible boyfriend without requiring you to dissect every syllable of the last conversation as (equally lovely but definitely female) best friends did?
My OH has loads of female friends (some pre-date me, some don't, some are single, some not). He has dinner with them, gets pissed with them. I wouldn't bat an eyelid if he when round for dinner at their house without me, planned or impromptu (doesn't happen cos we live in London so there is frequently more interesting places to go for dinner than at Single Happening Girl About Town's house - plus most of the SHGAT that we know really do just use their fridge for champagen and freezer for vodka). If they had a domestic emergency, then of course I'd want him to help them out. The fact that he would makes him a great person, a lovely man and one of the kindest people I know.
It works the other way around for me. I have lots of male friends, many of which I've known longer than my OH. One in particular, I go for dinner and drinks with alone frequently. His wife is a doctor and works shifts and doesn't mind. We have a laugh, a bitch about mutual friends and go home separately.
If the husband in this case is neglecting his wife/family, then that's a different issue. In that case, and if he's a really good friend, I might gently point out to him that he should be spending more time at home and/or ask him if his relationship okay and perhaps call someone else the next time something breaks. But I wouldn't change who I am with friends on the basis of small town gossipers
Expat but what if you are a kisser? I kiss; okay it's a deeply affected superficial London kiss which is kinda but not quite on the skin but it's kinda ingrained now. If I have to remember not to kiss single men, that's going to get complicated. And is it okay to kiss married friends since I'm practically married? or not?
Blu, "However, I am imagining walking in this evening, seeing that DP has prepared supper, and saying 'actually I am popping over the road to have a drink and dinner with XXX, and he's asked me to bake him a cake ' "
And coe to think about it, I must leave work and go home, or DP may well think I have another man's bun in the oven.
(He won't really thihnk that, he'll think I'm working late, or even having a drink with a collegue instead of frittering about on MN )
Guys to be honest if you trusted your husband/other half then you wouldnt be worrying. My DH has loads of female friends, some of them he has known since he was a child, others college and the most recent a colleague from work. I have absolutley no problem with him socialising with them with or without me there, the work one is a bit of a bore in my opinion, lovely girl but we just arent into the same things so off with the pair of them to the pub and leave me to mys good book/laptop. Panoramic if your friends wife has an issue with your friendship then that is something that she needs to address with him. The problems in their marriage really seem to have little to do with you and more about trust issues. There are no rules for single women/men with married friends except the ones that you would apply generally to any friendship, loyalty, trust etc. Fuck the gossipers - nasty small minded fools!
Hi there OP,
I'm a married bloke and so I'm looking at this from a different perspective.
It's very clear, looking at this page, that even with 'no hanky panky', tremendous damage can be caused to relationships by emotional affairs. People know that emotional affairs alone can be curtains for a relationship.
Maybe it's not clear to this fellow-villager what the level of emotional intimacy is between you and her husband. Maybe she's worried about this.
At different life-stages and in different environments, various unwritten rules may apply. I had several close female friends until I was married and then that number dropped off gradually. It wasn't a deliberate plan but I think it may be difficult to sustain a high level of disclosure and intimacy with someone else without appearing to be disloyal or hurting your partner.
I have developed a close female friendship over the last couple of years, which is very much above board and without any behaviour that I wouldn't repeat in front of my wife, but even that has already caused some very heated rows here.
At some periods in life, too, people may feel more vulnerable than at other times.
For example, after having a baby or a second or third baby, some women feel a bit more fragile and at this time maybe it's not the best idea for her husband to be popping off for a drinky and a natter with some gal (again, he is the one responsible for putting the kabosh on that type of behaviour if he knows it's upsetting his wife).
Some people can feel pretty vulnerable after losing their job, particularly if they're the chief breadwinner, and this can lead to a time when they feel a little more uncomfortable about their spouse heading out for an inpromtu meal chez single person of opposite sex.
The DIY thing, though. C'mon. Women are just as capable of unblocking drains and hanging curtain rods as men are.
Who mentioned curtain rods?!
Right, first things first: thank you. I appreciate you all posting on this. It's useful to see how a single woman being friends with a married/attached man can be perceived by some wives/partners. It's obviously a divisive point: some of you wouldn't give a rats arse, and others would be deeply unhappy about it. Some of you think it attractive that your other half would want to help someone like me out; others would be pissed off. Which probably explains why I feel confused about if I've done anything wrong or not.
Secondly, I need to set the record straight. In my OP, I asked towards the end what kind of interaction is generally considered OK between a single woman and married man, listing some examples. I haven't actually done all those things with the man in question! I have seen the man whom I supposedly have something going on with (sigh) without kids/his wife only twice: once last year, and once this year. It's not a regular occurrence. We just get along in a matey sort of way and have an occasional catch-up. So this is happening very rarely. And we don't hug or peck on the cheek either (more about that in a bit).
The other things I talked about were with reference to other married men I am friends with. When my loo blocked earlier this year, I tried unblocking it myself to no avail (tried the plunger/buckets of water/chemicals route), and ended up paying £200 for a plumber to sort it. A builder friend (who's married) insisted he sort it if there's a next time and that I mustn't shell out that amount again on getting it fixed. He has also offered to help insulate my loft before this winter. Another lovely (female) friend insisted her husband lag my pipes when they froze earlier in the year. I insisted not I wanted to do it myself and it got to the point where he was on his way over and I asked her to call him and get him to head home. Another male (married) friend, whose wife is also a close friend, occasionally helps me with my garden, which is way too big for DS and I to keep on top of. I think these offers of help are lovely and thoughtful and really don't think there are hidden (sexual) agendas going on here just kindness. And most of the time, I'm not asking for the help. I like - and try - to be as independent as possible. But I'm not superhuman and a bit of help can make a big difference sometimes.
And if the above is all OK with the respective wives, why the fuss with the man in question? Last year when he came over to eat, it had recently been his birthday, and because I'd just come back from holiday and hadn't had time to buy a present (as families, we exchange presents), I suggested he come over for a catch-up and I'd cook as a sort of I-haven't-organised-anything-else gift. I thought this was nice of me! I then offered the same to the wife for her birthday, too, a couple of months later. This summer, he and I met up to have an impromptu go at solving a problem on a computer game one evening both our sons had been playing it and we'd both got into it with them and as I was cooking anyway, I asked if he wanted some dinner too. That is it. On the very rare occasions we catch up just the two of us, it's matey. All the other times, it's with our kids/his wife/father-in-law too. I don't kiss him on the cheek or hug him. The reason I mentioned kisses/hugs is because all the other husbands in our village do this luvvie two-pecks-on-the-cheek thing and sometimes a hug too when they greet me (and other women, I presume), in front of their wives too. It's the done greeting here. No one seems to bat an eyelid. I honestly didn't think it could be considered a big deal.
So I'm a bit confused. I know my intentions were honourable with the married man in question. I've known his wife long enough for her to know I would never do anything like she is suggesting.
However, some of your posts make clear that these occasional meet-ups could be distressing to some wives (her included), and get me a reputation whether I deserve it or not. So, moving forward, I plan to keep a very low profile with the couple in question, refuse most help from married men unless it's an emergency or the wife is insistent/involved/a good friend too, and keep physical contact with married men to an absolute minimum (without conspicuously pulling away from luvvie pecks in a freaky panic!). I don't want to upset anyone, or give the wrong impression.
I do think it's a bit sad, though, because being a lone parent can be isolating enough as it is: you don't get invited to couple-centric things, and you're in most nights on your own. It would be sad if you had to write off male friendships on top of that (unless you fortuitously happen to get on just as well with their partners too) because of your marital status and assumed desperation/insatiable sex drive/lack of morals/whatever. And a bugger if you happen to simply get along well with men.
Thanks again for all your posts.
I think it would have been useful to have this explanation before posters waded in with their responses, as this feels like stealth posting.
And I still don't understand why you haven't been to talk to this friend of yours, either to reassure or remonstrate. If you were close enough as families to buy eachother presents and get together with the extended family, this seems a rather strange turn of events.
yes, very stealthy
your last post sounds very reasonable and very together whereas your first sounded like "wtf ????"
you got the responses you deserved after the OP, but like WWIFN said, you might have got different ones after the longer one
however, your willingness to see things from another woman's POV, and the fact you haven't spat the dummy out after some nastyish aspersions cast on your character, becomes you
I understand it was his birthday, but would you not invite the both of them for the catch-up and meal?
my husband often helps out other women with jobs round the house and regularly meets them for coffee.
i am very proud of him, more so if they fancy him .
I would not place limits on his behaviour, I don't own him.
So to all the married objectors out there... when I get married, do I have to wait for all my single male friends to get married before I can see them unaccompanied again? I think I might reconsider this marriage malarkey if it ends my life as I know it.
What very strange lives many of you live... are you all muslim with all these same sex only friendships unless they're married (and accompanied by spouse)or a close relative rules? If not I'm afraid you sound like quite oppressive partners who could do with injecting some more self esteem and self worth in to your life. I honestly, for all my sarcasm above feel sorry for you if showing charity to or accepting hospitality from a neighbour who's on their own is something for you to find distasteful just because of their gender.
Well, you could shag him. Then there wouldn't be any misunderstandings/confusion.
Or, more left field, you could talk to your "friend" (the woman).
Or you could go on the internet and ask people you've never met what to do with your life. Tsk.
I reckon its a journalist from Bella or some shit like dat...
And what is `stealth posting`?
I havent read the whole thread.
But, why are you so helpless?
Cant you unblock your own drain?
Do you enjoy being the single helpless woman who cooks nice meals for married men who come in to help with maintenance?
I would be FUMING at that setup. If I were at home fixing my own drains, hanging my own shelves, using a hammer drill, I would query why you couldnt, and why MY husband should go and do it.
I wouldn't want my husband being good friends with a single woman that wasn't my good friend.
Not paranoid. Just find helpless women who prey on men to come and help them with basic stuff pretty irritating. Why cant she find a plumber/labourer/handyman in yellow pages if she cant do general maintenance tasks herself?
Look, the hysterical monogamist mindset that has been sold to women as the 'right' way to behave is one of the great hindrances to feminism. If you're encouraged to base all your self-esteem onwhether or not you can keep a padlock on a man's underwear then you don't get a lot of time for, you know, developing as a person, finding interesting things to do with your life etc. Also, the core idea (that other women are 'the enemy' and have nothing on their minds but 'stealing' men) is a rather useful way to stop women from ever comparing notes on their actual lives and seeing what they have in common and indeed supporting each other when necessary.
Men who police their wives' behaviour to the extent of forbidding friendships are usually (and correctly) criticized on here as being controlling and/or pathetic losers, yet women who are obsessed with controlling their male partners' contact with any other women are given the 'Oh you poor thing, he should indulge your ego insecurities, men are beasts!' rather than the good kick in the fanjo this sort of behaviour really merits.
QS if you read her last post that's exactly what she does do... but some wives send their husbands round and other husbands just offer. It's what neighbours do - they help each other out (in a civilised society). To say that anyone who is single is a "helpless woman" who "preys on men" is laughable... the amount of married women I've heard moaning because "that ikea cabinet has been sat there for WEEKS, I don't know when he's going to put it up" or "I've been on at him to paint the bathroom" - (YOU do it yourself!) far outnumbers the number of singletons (with full time jobs) who are "preying on men" to do things for them - most get on with it themselves and call a handyman if/when it all goes t*ts up. Although apparently marriage means a sudden inability to put up furniture or carry out DIY as well as a ban on single friends of the opposite sex it seems...
qs, the op has stated that she doesnt ask, the men offer to save her money, or their wives offer their services. i find the phrase women who prey on married men intensely irritating. i genuinely dont get why so many mners are so paranoid, dont you trust your partners/husbands? do you really think that all women are threats and will drop their knickers at the sight of a spanner? and all men are one drink away from a torrid affair?
SGB, put it rather well, i think
What very strange lives many of you live... are you all muslim with all these same sex only friendships unless they're married (and accompanied by spouse)or a close relative rules? If not I'm afraid you sound like quite oppressive partners who could do with injecting some more self esteem and self worth in to your life. I honestly, for all my sarcasm
It's not sarcasm, that was just bigotry. It was presumptious of Muslims and Islam and quite offensive it's not all like the Daily Mail says you know...
I don't live a strange life, thanks. I just happen to think that in the tiny amount of spare time my DH gets, I wouldn't be happy if he was round some other woman's (single or otherwise) gaff unblocking her drains. He is needed at home, with his own family, and all the "unblocking of drains" that entails..
He helps out his extended family, and is available to step up for crisis situations wrt to friends/acquaintances
I think that is entirely how it should be
And I don't think Muslims (as a generic group) live "strange lives" either...
what an offensive thing to say
SGB your derisory comments towards those of us in monogamous relationships - calling us "mundanes" and stating that we have a "hysterical monogamist mindset" is really quite offensive and doesn't, I don't think, forward feminism whatsoever.
Funny you shoul;d mention Police SGB as that profession is certainly one of the worst for cheating on wives. It's all about common problems and closeness that only the Police can understand, this means that men confide and confuse. They get all close with someone else that isn't moaning about finances, children and all the other mundane stuff that happens in family life and therefore become attractive and the next thing 'bang' the affair. Monogamy sometimes means, if you are committed, ensuring neither you or your spouse are in vulnerable positions that can lead to affairs.
SOC...just ignore SGB when she does that
Her judgemental attitude is just as bad as the one she is accusing all the "hysterical monogamists" of...
she has been called on it many times though, and isn't changing her view any time soon
just think of her as a mad old auntie with strange views eg. that the moon is made of green cheese and you will be able to enjoy all her other many good qualities
AF I agree, but I always think it's a little sad when I read some of her rants. Still I am sure she isn't really as narrow minded as she comes across as....
Regular users of Mumsnet will recognise that we sometimes get journalists posting a provocative article because they can't be arsed to do their own research.
We also get trolls (and I'm thinking of one in particular, whom AF might recognise) who start posts in one style, that is guaranteed to generate arguments, leave for the day while the argument rages, then come back with a much more reasonable stance and changes to the original information provided. Their goal is to get posters who have hitherto co-existed quite happily on threads, to argue with one another.
The fact that this poster is writing an internet thread rather than being an adult and confronting the situation (not that I think the situation actually exists) speaks volumes.
So I would say, don't feed it and don't provoke/get into arguments.
I don't think she is either
but she thinks we are ...
< shrugs >
yes, WWIFN...I agree with you here. There is a pattern. But I don't really mind getting into rucks debates, anybody that has an ounce of self-esteem realises not to take it all so personally/seriously....
I only allow Mrs Fonz to talk to married women as single ones might be lezbonoodles who try and `turn` her after offering her some quiche for lunch.
I think talking about it often equals asking. It is like hinting isnt it?
Why does she only invite the men for dinner on their own? Why is the wife not welcome?
Is the wife home cooking for herself and the kids, while their husbands dine with single neighbours?
coolfunz, you are right in doing that.
You have NO IDEA how many women are closet lezbanoodlians, yearning for a woman to share their life and chores with.
Men just arent up to that, chores I mean, unless there is a single woman with a caserolle dish and a blocked drain, then a chore is not a chore.
cf...you are entertaining me today
it beats Loose Fucking Women <ahem>
Sandinmyshoes, regarding your comment, 'the amount of married women I've heard moaning because "that ikea cabinet has been sat there for WEEKS, I don't know when he's going to put it up" or "I've been on at him to paint the bathroom" - (YOU do it yourself!) far outnumbers the number of singletons (with full time jobs) who are "preying on men" to do things for them - most get on with it themselves'.
The difference is that often the married women are doing the bulk of other household jobs e.g. childcare, housework, cooking, washing including for the DH; not that they're incapable of DIY. Most married women also work outside the home too. I could paint the bathroom but then I would expect DH to do his share of cooking, cleaning, supervising homework etc. Men in the UK work the longest hours in Europe, most of them want to spend more time with their families not doing someone else's DIY in their spare time.
Im lost here altogether. The op was asking, from what I have gathered, what was considered appropriate behaviour between 2 friends of the opposite sex who happen to be friends of whom the man is married. Whether she gets him to hang curtains/mirrors, his head in shame whatever is neither here nor there. she is uncomfortable as her friends wife is making comments/starting gossip regarding her husband and the op. If she has an issue why not speak to her husband. I despair of life if its got to teh stage that whether you are single/married, married to someone suspicious or who doesnt trust you or married to someone who lets you be yourself and have friends is a decider in whether or not you are friends with the opposite sex, single or otherwise. Come on now ladies, where is the self respect here? If you dont trust him kick him out, dont lower yourself trying to control him.
Look, I have no objection to people wanting to engage in monogamous relationships. THe ones I object to are the ones who are obsessed with monogamy to the point of percieving every social interaction as a possible threat (even though they will only socialise with other heteromonagmous couples, you know, in case they catch something, like an independent thought), constantly banging on about the superiority of monogamy to all other ways of conducting one's life (condescending pity to the /celibate and a refusal to believe they are happy whatever they say, equally condescending contempt towards those who either have open relationships or lots of FBs -'you can't really be happy like that, you must have Ishoos, you need therapy') despite the fact that they seem, from an outsider viewpoint, to spend all their free time flapping, snooping, and warning other people (who have no interest in their partners) away. These are the small-minded mundanes.
Hilarious! i totally agree. My DH's friends wife is paranoid to the point that she is damaging her relationship. Even I who have been around her other half for 20 years and never a flicker of interest is a threat.
Live and let live I say. People are so judgey most of time about things they dont know anything about!
Why are posters here being attacked for jealousy?
In the op maybe so, the wife does seem threatened and small talk in a village is a mare.
But if I was her, I wouldn't be chuffed at all. Nothing to do with being controlling but we are busy enough as it is, working, family, etc, etc that I wouldn't be chuffed if hubby was around anyones house male or female constantly doing odd jobs, having off the cuff meals etc, we have enough on our plate.
Luckily he thinks the same and we work hard to spend time together as a family when we can, at least having dinner together, whilst still being sociable.
sgb...I don't actually see many of those "small-minded mundanes" on MN, generally
some people are obviously mad, monogamous-hysteric, or not
It's all fine as long as you don't start screwing him behind his wife's back while pretending to be her friend. Otherwise, why not?
<I am in a bad place. My contribution to this thread is solely to make me feel better. Ignore it>
god we have an annoying single woman on the street who asks DH to fix/mend/put together all kinds of shit
It is tiresome to say the least
Emmyloulou thats grand, it suits you both and you have discussed it. The problem is that most of the people who are having issues with their other half's have the issues not because of teh odd-jobs etc taking time away from their own family but because their DH is spending time with a single women without their presence being there to, by all accounts, stop them having sex the minute the door is closed. Are there that many relationships out there so bad that that is necessary?
deb...how do you know that "most" people having issues with their spouses spending time away from their own family with single women are solely thinking of them shagging away the minute the door closes
perhaps the woman described in the OP is
but I don't see where "most" people come into it
"most" people, certainly on MN, are pretty sensible
you do women down with your last post, deburca
People don't have affairs by investing most of their time with their spouse and children do they? The people that have affairs are round someone else's home investing time, or at work too much investing time etc.
I read this with interest. My ex was a serial adulterer and always called me paranoid when I raised issues with his female 'friendships'. Truth was he was always on the hunt. He is now married to a woman who was his 'friend' for the 10 years we were married. Not everyone is as platonic and above board as they seem.
You could arrange some kind of village orgy/cheese and wine do, to settle everyone's nerves.
The reason why i think that is that why else would they have a problem. What does it matter if their other half is down teh pub watching the match with his male friends or helping out a female friend/having a coffee/meal.
The most i am referring to are women who are so paranoid in their relationships that they distrust any single female around their DH/Partner. I dont believe that is me putting anyone down but the facts speak for themselves.
AF you seem pretty ballsy - are you telling me that if you had a problem with your DH spending time with a female friend that your route to solve it would be to spread a rumour about the woman involved?
If you dont trust the person you are with 100% do not be with them, you are putting yourself down and not valuing yourself if you do.
Around here rumour is if you leave your porch light on when your husband is out, you are up for a neighbourly visit.
Small villige gossip eh, don't you just love it.
deb...where the heck did I say I would start any rumours ?
and where did I say I don't trust my husband ?
I don't agree with the way the woman described in the Op is going about things, nor do I agree with the way the OP is handling it either
both are wrong
but I do object to the fact that because my husband doesn't spend time away from his family doing jobs for/having meals with single women, that makes him some horny bloke I have to keep on a leash
actually, he is a horny bloke that I keep on a leash, but that is a different thread < ahem >
This thread is good.
I finally find out what the word is for .... writing an Op, but holding back valueable info. then a very reasonable post later, which gives all the gorey details needed.
= stealth posting.
great. makes note. will use than tirelessly, from now on.
yes, oblomov, you have it
now please don't repeat it, because it is very irritating
I didnt say you said any of that, I merely said if you had a problem that you would speak to him about it not start rumours - my point is not that your husband or anyone elses husband is needing to kept on a leash. My point is that if a woman has an issue with her husband spending time doing odd jobs or having a friendship with a single female then say it to him, ie there is more than enough to be doing around the house here or it would be nice to spend more time as a family. Not the, "that cow is batting her eyelashes at my DH" etc etc.
Honestly - would the same response be given if the husband was watching rugby in the local with 10 of his male friends?
The reference in the last paragraph was a general statement and not directed at you personally. I dont know you or your husband, who could I direct anything at you personally?
Yes, but AF, its f**king irritating, isn't it ? happens all the time.
you read all the posts. think about it. post some sensitive thoughts. and then 3/4 of the way through the thread, out comes all the essentails. dh is a controlling wanker. or whatever/similar.
not in relation to this thread, am i refering. but to many recently. what a friggin waste of my time. cut to the chase. give the details from the start. for gods sake.
AF you seem pretty ballsy - are you telling me that if you had a problem with your DH spending time with a female friend that your route to solve it would be to spread a rumour about the woman involved?
deb...this is why I took your question as referring to me personally. It has my name on it.
I didn't take your comments personally, though, I just answered your question, as directed at me.
If my DH was watching rugby with 10 mates, and he was needed at home, he would get the same response from me.
I reckon I'm being annoying now though, so I will shut up.
you arent being annoying. you are giving your opinion, as are we all, which is why we are on this website, no point otherwise. I responded to you as you made a comment about me doing women down. My response was to highlight that you seemed to be a fairly good example of a fair minded confident woman. Hence the if.
The crucial part is if
To be honest it seemed as if you were taking the comments personally, you took exception to it. My point is that its the woman concerned who decides what tone events will take, ie, if its an issue with his time away from home not per se who he is spending his time with then the response will be the same,however the op appears to have been treated unfairly as in her friends wife spread a rumour that there was something untoward in that friendship. do you see what i mean?
anyway gotta run, school pick up soon
I see what you mean, deb
And I was being annoying
However, I thought you were wrong to say "most" women would react in the same way as the one described in the OP (ie. in bunny boiler fashion)
and I was sticking up for women in a general way to say "I don't think "most" women think their husbands are shagging all the neighbourhood's single women"
I think "most" women would prefer their husband's did their own odd jobs, drain-unblocking, spent quality time with their own family etc etc
'often the married women are doing the bulk of other household jobs e.g. childcare, housework, cooking, washing including for the DH; not that they're incapable of DIY. Most married women also work outside the home too. I could paint the bathroom but then I would expect DH to do his share of cooking, cleaning, supervising homework etc.'
Er...if you're working and you're doing a disproportionate amount of childcare/housework, well, that kind of suggests a rather more serious imbalance in the assumption of domestic work than the fact that one partner has - gasp - a friend with differently-arranged genitalia.
Still depressed at the idea that we should all be stuck within the family home, with no chance of even a quick friendly kiss on the cheek from someone not immediately connected to you through procreation...
OP I just have one question. When it was your friend's birthday, why did you only invite him over? Surely if you are a family friend, which is what you made it sound like later, then you would invite the whole family?
I am trying to imagine a scenario in which I would invite one half of a couple to come over for dinner without the other one, and I can't!
Here's a tip for you Panoramic, rule n.1 : Back Off
What a joke!
Your (ex) friend is annoyed that she is left to hold the fort whilst her DH is having a nice relaxing time with you.
If their house is ship shape and the children tucked up in bed, perhaps she would like to go out socialising too?
What do you not understand?
Most men would run a mile to have a drink with their male friends, rather than go fixing pipes for a woman they are not attracted to.
Their wives would have to ask, and ask, and ask, before they'd actually give in and do it.
It's nice that you have a handful of married men friends who come along for chats and help you with stuff; and their wives are all cool with this, and there is no flirting involved at all?
Gee! People sound really nice where you are.
What planet do you live on Panorama?
Why don't you find yourself some single men friends to play with?
I wish I'd read your post now. Damnit!
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