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Would you be comfortable with your dp meeting up with an old friend...

(179 Posts)
annabanana84 Tue 14-May-13 07:31:40

...who happens to be female, very pretty and single?

They were good friends throughout childhood, and although they occasionally bump into each other while out shopping etc and say a quick hello, how are you?, they haven't remained in contact. There's never been any romantic history as far as I know.

Now they have arranged to meet up and go for a curry and a few drinks and a great big jolly old catch up, and I feel quite uncomfortable with this. DP doesn't have any female friends he sees out of work or otherwise anyway, he only ever goes out with his few male pals.

Lweji Tue 14-May-13 07:36:23

Why can't you all meet up?

In a similar situation I don't think I'd exclude a partner.

Amrapaali Tue 14-May-13 07:38:38

That's what I thought too.. Why can't you join in? Did DP even invite you?

NumTumDeDum Tue 14-May-13 07:41:38

I think it comes down to whether you trust him or not. If you do then there is nothing to worry about. My dp's best friend is a woman. Is there any other reason - other than the fact she is pretty and single - that you are concerned?

BelfastBloke Tue 14-May-13 07:45:09

I look after the kids when my wife meets up with her male friends, married and single, including ex-boyfriends.

She looks after the kids when I meet up with my female friends, married and single, including ex-girlfriends.

It works because we trust each other.

Loulybelle Tue 14-May-13 07:49:55

I trusted my exp to do this, cue 8 months of lies and then he left me for her.

Lweji Tue 14-May-13 07:53:27

If they had always been great friends, no problem.
The sudden let's meet up would make me wonder, yes.

DoctorAnge Tue 14-May-13 08:02:15

I trust DH so yes. If he wants to cheat he will whatever you put a stop to.

Beatrixpotty Tue 14-May-13 08:08:09

I'd be unhappy about this.DH used to have several single female friends especially when we were first going out and not engaged.At least 3 or them tried to take things further despite me being on the scene and even though I know that he didn't,occasionally I still have to see them socially and I feel like I don't like them because of this.It made me feel insecure in the relationship in case he was giving them "available " signals.Once we got engaged it stopped bothering me & now we are married & have children he would never go out on his own with single women. Obviously some women a man not being married seems to be a go ahead to try their luck.So I understand where you are coming from.

Sugarice Tue 14-May-13 08:26:37

I would be uncomfortable with my dh arranging to meet up alone with another woman for drinks and a meal.

I trust him but I'd still be hmm about it.

Cravingdairy Tue 14-May-13 09:30:05

I agree with DoctorAnge.

Offred Tue 14-May-13 09:58:45

I agree with belfastbloke and doctorange.

Maybe I have a different perspective on it because I'm bisexual and actually if I was banned from speaking to people because they are gender I might have sex with I wouldnt be allowed any friends.

Fact is if he is going to cheat he will, you cannot micromanage another person's relationships just because you are in a monogamous relationship. Monogamy doesn't mean ownership of their thoughts, feelings or body. It is an agreement only. Cheating is pretty frequent, it may be a genuine worry for you or a problematic jealousy but he has to be able to negotiate his own life and relationships, your role is negotiating yours.

Signet2012 Tue 14-May-13 10:02:01

Wouldn't bother me at all. Dp has several female friends he sees either with me or without me. I don't see them as a threat they know him too well to be interested!!

Maybe I'm naive. It wouldn't occur to me that there would be anything to worry about.

badtasteyoni Tue 14-May-13 10:09:59

I wouldn't like it TBH. I trust DH 100%, but he is a 'blokes bloke' - his friends are men and they get together to talk about rugby, football and more football. He doesn't have any female friends because he's just not that kind of man, if that makes sense. So if he suddenly decided he was going to be friends with a woman (and one I didn't know at all) I would be really surprised, confused and no, I wouldn't like it because it would seem strange.

I don't think it's a trust issue, I think it's more about knowing what is isn't out of character for somebody, and the alarm bells ringing as a result.

BTW - do you know if this woman has only recently become single?

badtasteyoni Tue 14-May-13 10:11:42

Sorry meant 'what is or isn't'...

scaevola Tue 14-May-13 10:11:52

If they've always been good friends, then no reason not too.

But because you're asking, I suspect you're feeling insecure. Do not ignore this feeling. Good friendships can and do spill over into inappropriate ones. It's not a question of intention to cheat at the outset; it's a set of tiny little steps that carry someone beyond what they might actively have decided to do. So taking someone out in circumstances that look like a date might be a problem, whereas meeting up for a pie and a pint in your local, surrounded by people who know you both, might not.

You need to know that your DH has appropriate boundaries, and I suppose that's ongoing relationship maintenance. Has he taken you out over dinner recently?

Nagoo Tue 14-May-13 10:17:22

I'd invite her round my house.

I'm not suspicious of my DH being friends with anyone, but I am uncomfortable that he would have a friend that for some reason he kept away from me.

He's allowed his own friends, of course, but I like to be 'introduced' properly.

Offred Tue 14-May-13 10:18:43

I have three close friends at the moment. 2 of them are male, the female one is the one with the biggest risk of crossing a line because I used have a fairly obsessive crush on her (before I knew DH) but she is straight, recently actually wanting to experiment but I don't think really very genuine, I've cut down the frequency of seeing her because I don't think it is a good plan in the circumstances. Banning me from seeing my male friends who I hang out with at least once a week and am out with, sometimes alone in their homes drinking until 3/4/5am, would only piss me off and make me feel like I was being treated as property rather than an equal with a free choice and the ability to manage my own free choices myself.

I am not sleeping/doing anything with either of the male friends, I have known one of them for around 10 years, if either of us felt like that about each other we could have gone there when we were both single over the years.The other I've only known since last year, jury is out on whether he might get the wrong idea, in the past when that's happened I've just cut the friendship.

I'm a person who has pretty intense friendships with people, when I like someone I really like them and I like seeing people that I like on a one to one basis. I've also always had predominantly male friends. Friday night I was round at the newish friend's house just drinking until 3am (still got up at 6 and went to uni). Saturday the old friend was working in the same city I was going to so we got the train together and met for lunch and then came home together. If I was going to start sleeping with any of my friends I would do it whether or not my husband 'allowed' me to see them. I reckon any kind of prohibition would result in fairly short shrift.

yes i would trust my dh to do this.

but my dh wouldn't actually do it in the first place. he'd definitely invite me.

the strange part is that you don't seem to be invited?

PeppermintPasty Tue 14-May-13 10:22:04

Is there a reason why you might not trust him, why this concerns you?

Offred Tue 14-May-13 10:25:11

yes, suspicion might be a little dependent on how they normally conduct friendships BUT I don't buy the 'appropriate boundaries' part. It is very paternalistic to assess a partner's ability to run their own life and try to parent them if you think they might be lacking. He has to be able to do this for himself. I don't think a person's autonomy should be restricted in the name of artificially maintaining monogamy.

badinage Tue 14-May-13 10:28:20

I think it depends on whether you're both realistic about the propensity for a renewed friendship turning into something else. Many people aren't and society generally is terribly double-speaking about this. All of us right-on sorts think that having friends of the sex we're attracted to is a Really Good Thing - and it is, as long as people are self-aware enough to know that however content they are in their relationships, no-one is immune from flattery and the ego boost of attractive others finding them sexually attractive. Anyone who says they are immune from all that is a liar, IMO.

Offred Tue 14-May-13 10:28:46

also uncomfortable with the feeling I get from this "why didn't he invite you" which suggests friends have to be submitted for approval. Meeting her will not stop him cheating if he is going to. Pleanty of people setting out on affairs encourage the OW/OM to form a friendship with the spouse as a cover. All these meeting/not meeting, being alone, where they go, what they do things I think are immaterial. Best way to maintain a happy monogamous agreement to me is honesty, communication and the freedom to negotiate your own life for yourself.

Offred Tue 14-May-13 10:31:50

in this situation I think there must problems with all three, why on mumsnet? Why not having this discussion with DP? If there has been a discussion why has it not been reassuring? The friend is not the issue, the primary relationship is the issue to me.

cloudpuff Tue 14-May-13 10:33:57

I'd feel uncomfortable if I am honest,but my dh is very similar to badtastes dh, and it would be out of character for him.

Is this friend someone who he has mentioned often during your relationship or just recently ? Is she recently single? Does DH take you out for dinner? These would all factor in how uncomfortable I would feel.

That said I wouldnt say anything and wish him a goodnight, then Id be suggesting you all meet up together next time, be it dinner at your house or dinner out, if its a genuine friendship then he'd have no problem you two meeting.

TobyLerone Tue 14-May-13 10:36:23

I'd be ok with it. DH often meets up with female uni friends alone or in a group.

Offred Tue 14-May-13 10:38:17

see cloudpuff my friendships are just friendships but I don't really want DH hanging out with them, he has, they've both been to the house occasionally and we've been out together but this was reluctantly because DH and I have very different tastes in friends, we both think each other's friends are idiots and have no wish to hang out with them. We both feel the time with each other's friends is a bit ruined if the other one is there because there is tension because of the dislike. It isn't always about cheating, although often it may be. Fundamentally I would not want to get involved in a stopping my partner from cheating dance. I'd rather he cheated tbh.

scaevola Tue 14-May-13 10:40:08

I would see maintaining appropriate boundaries as the responsibility of both.

And if the partners have freely promised monogamy, both work to maintain that. Of course, if you do not want to be monogamous, you do not have to be, and that is also part of setting and maintaining boundaries which work for the relationship you choose to be in.

If OP is insecure in these circumstances, then both she and DH need to work together to change that.

RooneyMara Tue 14-May-13 10:40:31

I'd think it was a bit odd that they were going out with each other, no one else, and for a full dinner and drinks sort of thing.

That would suggest having an awful LOT to talk about, rather than just a catch-up drink iyswim?

I think that's why I'd be slightly concerned. Unless there is a recent issue, perhaps with a mutual friend of theirs which warrants such a big deal type of discussion?

Alibabaandthe40nappies Tue 14-May-13 10:43:53

OP how many posts are you going to make today about your 'D'P? You clearly aren't happy in your relationship, why don't you cut your losses and move on?

FWIW I wouldn't mind DH doing this. There are old male friends I have that I would love to have a catch up with. I would be hmm if DH was going to try to stop me on grounds of suspicion/jealousy or whatever.

DonDrapersAltrEgoBigglesDraper Tue 14-May-13 10:44:29

Exactly the same as claude - I'd trust my DH, but, he wouldn't do it; he'd invite me along too.

He has a couple of very good women friends, and has always included me in the friendships. As a result I've become really good friends with them as well.

Handled brilliantly by everyone, all open and welcoming, and as a result, no ill-feeling in the slightest.

This is what is lacking for the OP.

cloudpuff Tue 14-May-13 10:55:16

I see your point offred Me and my DH have different tastes in friends too, I think his mates are mostly wankers and he thinks my mates are crazy and wouldnt want to hang out with any of them, I have met them all though, and in certain situations I can spend time with them (weddings etc). If dh had had female friends when we first got together, I would have met them too, I may not have liked them, but I would have met them. and they would have been in dhs life all along. I think that the problem OP is having.

OP doesn't say how long she has been with her dp, but she does say there has been no contact between her dp and friend other than a "hello, how are you" when they bump into each other in town. I can see why she feels uncomfortable but I wouldnt put a stop to it, if I felt dh was hiding something then I guess we'd have bigger issues.

I guess I was trying to say that if her dh is open about the friend then he wouldnt mind his wife meeting her, I can see how that looks like friend vetting though.

Offred Tue 14-May-13 10:58:28

yeah, obviously both people have to maintain the monogamy but I don't think that inculdes the banning of friendships or visiting certain people or the submission of friends for approval. What that means is each having responsibility to manage your own behaviour in a way which respects your other half. What is the point in the relationship if you have got to the stage of banning friends so the other person doesn't have the opportunity to cheat? That doesn't work apart from anything else. A cheater will cheat whether they are allowed out or not, whether their friends meet their spouse or not, they will simply do it because their boundaries or beliefs allow them to. You, as the spouse have no control over this and have to be realistic but also strong in asserting your own needs and feelings but not to the point where you are treating your partner as property and not as an equal.

Lweji Tue 14-May-13 10:59:04

I wouldn't vet, as I don't think a partner should do that ever, but I'd certainly keep my eyes firmly open.
As I would about nights out with the boys only.

Trust is one thing, blind trust is another.

Offred Tue 14-May-13 11:00:41

I haven't read the other threads but I do think, even just from this one, it isn't the friend that is the problem it is the quality of the primary relationship. This kind of problem doesn't arise if things are open, honest, communication is good and there is trust unless I suppose one partner is paranoid and unfoundedly jealous.

unapologetic Tue 14-May-13 11:15:41

I think it's ridiculous to be honest. There is no need to pick up with former friends of the opposite sex that you haven't kept in touch with over the years. You/they are being very naive if you think there is nothing in it or that there won't be in the future. I bet they both feel a little 'frisson' of excitement already.

I am currently single and am constantly being asked by a married male friend to go out for the evening. When I did finally relent (didn't really want to go,) he made a pass at me and basically admitted he was looking for a bit on the side.

Thinking about it, every male 'friend' I have ever had has made a move (except the gay ones.)

badtasteyoni Tue 14-May-13 11:41:48

unapologetic I think you said what I was thinking really but I tried to be less blunt grin

badinage Tue 14-May-13 11:50:07

Some really daft myths being touted here IMO, such as it's the relationship that's a problem, or it's the OP's jealousy and paranoia that's the problem. I'm surprised we haven't yet had the OP told that it's no problem as long as her husband isn't a cheat, as though people get branded as such at birth wink

Good people in strong relationships cross the line more often than people on here seem to think. They don't want to lose their primary relationship, they don't set out with the intention of having an affair and there is usually a slow build up to these things involving blurred boundaries.

scaevola Tue 14-May-13 12:01:13


I think we're at cross purposes about what 'maintaining boundaries' means. It most definitely isn't about controlling a spouse, or banning activities. It's about the ones own boundaries - something that several posters here have described in terms of "I do this, and it's not an inappropriate friendship because of XYZ" which boils down to "I am like this with my friends and like that with my spouse". Their boundaries are automatic, and reserve certain intimacies for their spouse.

Fuzzy boundaries between close friendship and deeper intimacy can lead to tipping over into potential affair territory. the sort of affair which leads to cries of "but I never meant it to happen".

And I agree with posters who talk about communication between the primary partners as vital. If there is not openness about good, bad and ugly there then the potential to overstep with someone else, on the justification of a perceived lack of it at home.

Offred Tue 14-May-13 12:01:22

Obviously good people in good relationships cross various lines very often. That's a fact of life. I'm simply talking about responses and management of that fact. Completely unreasonable/unrealistic to think you can stop a partner cheating by meeting their friends or control whether they ever end up in a dodgy situ by controlling where they go and what they do.

Good people in good relationships talk to each other for reassurance, don't reach a stalemate and come on mumsnet feeling they want to ban behaviour of their partner. I don't think the OP IS jealous, I think the relationship is probably crap.

Off to read the other threads which have been alluded to.

AnyFucker Tue 14-May-13 12:05:06

Would I be a bit non plussed at my husband going on a date with an ex ?

You betcha, I would

Offred Tue 14-May-13 12:09:12

meh, she's not an ex. they've never been together. They're childhood friends. The OP says she is worried because this girl is pretty and single... I object a little to the implication there...

AnyFucker Tue 14-May-13 12:11:57

Ah, my mistake.

Floggingmolly Tue 14-May-13 12:16:58

What prompted the big meet up, when they've known each other from childhood but haven't remained in contact?

Offred Tue 14-May-13 12:19:21

from the other threads this guy sounds a real prize anyway and you OP come across as unconcerned by his treatment of you as a servant in other ways.

Ex or not, pretty and single or not, seeing each other alone or not, is he actually setting this up as a date? That's the problem... him. treating you like a domestic servant and setting up a date with someone else or at least giving you that impression and you feeling unable to talk about that with him.

If she really is a friend and they really are meeting as friends and he is genuinely committed to you her being pretty and single is not going to cause his cock to fall into her while they eat a vindaloo.

Offred Tue 14-May-13 12:20:27

think people underestimate greatly the protection ugliness and marriage affords when affairs/dishonesty is on the cards...

AnyFucker Tue 14-May-13 12:21:49

I shan't bother to do a search for other threads by this lady

It will be too depressing, I expect < sigh >

CogitoErgoSometimes Tue 14-May-13 12:22:52

I lost my exH to his old school girlfriend who was the polar opposite of very pretty ... smile The day he told me they'd met up again ('by accident' on a train) I got a bad feeling about it but ignored it because I trusted him <slaps self on forehead>. I think, if you feel uncomfortable or insecure about anyone your DP is meeting, you're perfectly entitled to say so.

EuroShaggleton Tue 14-May-13 12:24:03

It wouldn't bother me, tbh. I trust my husband. And frankly, if someone wants to cheat, they will find a way to do it. Depriving them of one opportunity will have no effect.

Offred Tue 14-May-13 12:25:09

that was sarcy btw... forgot the hmm! ha ha!

Viviennemary Tue 14-May-13 12:26:51

No I wouldn't be. I think you should be invited to join them. I don't think people with partners should be going on 'dates' with friends of the opposite sex.

halcyondays Tue 14-May-13 12:27:44

if there's never been any romantic history between them, then I would be quite happy with it. i'd be a bit uncomfortable about if it was an ex.

MirandaWest Tue 14-May-13 12:32:03

I trusted my XH - he has a lot of friends who are female. Didn't expect him to have an affair with and fall in love with one of his colleagues but these things happen. Preventing him seeing female friends wouldn't have made any difference tbh

nenevomito Tue 14-May-13 12:32:11

Yes I would. DH has female friends and I have male friends. My oldest friend is a man, who I had a brief relationship with many moons ago, but we go out for dinner whenever he is in town. DH doesn't mind as he trusts me completely - after all, it was him I married. DH goes out with his female friends as well and I don't mind at all.

I think it shows a lack of trust if you don't want your OH to have friends of the opposite sex.

Smellslikecatspee Tue 14-May-13 12:37:26

In general no, OH had a hobby that means he spends weekends away with a mixed group.

I know his friends as he does mine (he been known to pick/pour me and ex-boyfriend up from the pub before.

Because we have choosen to trust each other, however I'm not so naive to think that if he wanted to cheat he would.

The 'suddeness' of this new frienship or upping of the friendship might raise a question from me, the lack of an invite to me would also make me go hmm because I would see it as common curtesy to be included in such a social event.

No I'm not one of thoes who think that once you're in a couple you should be joined at the hip, but I would think it rude to told of this plan.

The thing is (a) if hes going to cheat he'll cheat nothing you do or don't do can change that. And (b) it sounds like you don't trust him, and you're feeling unhappy.

JenaiMorris Tue 14-May-13 12:41:49

I would run like the wind from any partner who tried to prevent me from meeting with an old friend (unless there were some pretty compelling reasons why I shouldn't) and I wouldn't dream of trying to control who my partner hangs out with (again, unless there were some very compelling reasons for me to be cautious). ANything else is a little unhinged, imo.

That's me however and I make a point of not sticking with crap partners - the OP apparently has other threads on the go about her rubbish relationship so it's all by the by, really.

Pigsmummy Tue 14-May-13 12:47:08

I want a curry now!!!!! YABU let him go for the curry and get a date booked in the diary for a night out with the firms where you can slag her off.

LadyBigtoes Tue 14-May-13 12:48:23

DP occasionally meets a couple of his exes for lunch when they are in town and I'm OK with it - he tells me, and I don't think anything funny is going on. I don't want to go I don't like them they are bonkers but I would expect him to be OK with me doing it, and the same with a friend.

I do think one of them is still a bit needy on him, and I do notice when other women get the hots for him once in a while. But you can't stop that happening anyway, it's for him to deal with. You can't check out and police everyone your partner has dealings with.

TobyLerone Tue 14-May-13 12:49:23

What Jenai said.

AThingInYourLife Tue 14-May-13 12:51:54

I think Rooney has it.

If I were planning to catch up with a childhood friend I had lost touch with, I would not arrange to spend an entire evening in their exclusive company.

And if they suggested something like that I would back off.

In this situation you would meet for coffee, or a quick pint after work.

Regardless of gender, deciding to spend the entire evening with someone you barely know any more is weird.

At least one of the parties to this arrangement has not good good boundaries.

DH goes for dinner with his female friends whenever he wants.

But if he was suddenly taking a passing acquaintance he knew as a child out for dinner, I'd be hmm

My boundaries involve not being married to an idiot or someone who thinks I'm an idiot.

He'd never do this though.

And not would I.

Unless I was after a shag, it sounds excruciating.

Lovecat Tue 14-May-13 12:52:44

If her name is Tiphony, no.

Otherwise, it wouldn't bother me, DH has met an ex before now for lunch and it's no problem. I only have one ex <boring> but if I wanted to meet up with him I'd be hmm if DH had a problem with it.

Chandon Tue 14-May-13 12:58:01

It is weird of them to have excluded you.

Why did he not invite her over to your home? Then she could meet his family, and it would be normal and fun.

Sounds like they fancy a trip to the past, or something

JenaiMorris Tue 14-May-13 12:59:08

If I were planning to catch up with a childhood friend I had lost touch with, I would not arrange to spend an entire evening in their exclusive company.

I would. I can't think of a reason not to, tbh.

Offred Tue 14-May-13 13:02:25

Yep I would too jenai. I don't see why my dh would be interested in being the third wheel in a night out with someone I'd known as a child. Him sitting there like a lemon would make me feel divided and stop me catching up with the friend or really spending time with DH, it's just make the whole thing weird and probably make the friend a bit nervous.

Offred Tue 14-May-13 13:05:06

But then I am worried this thread will make the op feel she shouldn't be concerned when she may well have reason to be, not so much because of this single issue, but more generally about a DP who seems to be taking her for granted.

But then she hasn't posted in a while.

AnyFucker Tue 14-May-13 13:08:05

This is the problem with OP's posting repeatedly for advice on discrete issues, rather than giving the full picture.

JenaiMorris Tue 14-May-13 13:10:03

Indeed, Offred. It wouldn't be an issue for me, but then my partner and I don't really have other issues (well we do, but not ones that would be relevant here).

To be perfectly honest, I think you should let him go and if you are lucky she might take him off your hands. Who need lazy and selfish men?

This is not really the only issue you have with him, is it?

DoctorAnge Tue 14-May-13 13:11:51

I am honestly shocked that so many Women would feel resentful of their DH spending time with female friends. Genuine question - do you trust your partners? Are you confident in yourselves?

AThingInYourLife Tue 14-May-13 13:14:22

If one of the women that was once one of the girls I used to play with as a child asked me to go for dinner and drinks with them I would think they were needy and creepy and not someone I wanted to renew a friendship with.

It's just coming on way too strong for that to be your first social outing for decades.

A childhood friend you have lost touch with is basically a stranger you share a past with.

You might really want to get to know them as an adult, and be very well disposed to becoming friends again.

But the chances that you won't get along as adults, that you won't have anything in common once you've finished reminiscing, are as high as with most new acquaintances.

It is not usual to go from passing acquaintance to going out for dinner together.

That is something people who are becoming friends build up to gradually.

The only time when it is usual to bypass a gradual increase in social intimacy is when at least one party is interested in a sexual relationship.

Offred Tue 14-May-13 13:16:40

Thinking about it in a role reversal type way, I equally have zero interest in any partners of my friends. Happy to meet them, don't want to go out for dinner and drink with them, want to see the friend who is the person that I actually like and want to spend time with. If my friends said "oh my DP wants to come along too" I'd be a bit "oh right... Why?" And it'd probably put me off spending time with that friend. I have had friendships die that way a few times tbh because of partners feeling they need to warn me off. Not interested in that, never care about any friend all that much that I'd be bothered enough to deal with that or insist I was more important than their partner.

JenaiMorris Tue 14-May-13 13:16:45

It comes down, to me, to not wanting to be in a relationship with a person who couldn't trust me (or who I couldn't trust).

Chandon Tue 14-May-13 13:17:16

Not resentful doc, but maybe a bit older than you ( and seen a bit more).

I would not be resentful, I would "allow" him to go ( although we do not control eachother, ask for permission, we just do things, so we would "tell" eachother I guess).

I am not insecure.

I just don't see why the partner has to be excluded.

And would wonder why that is.

DH has female friends, and I have male friends, and we do sometimes meet up , with or without partners, but we never set it up deliberately to exclude a partner. That is the " strange" bit.

Offred Tue 14-May-13 13:17:58

We don't know what's gone on between the DP and the friend though. They may have built up to it. There are a few childhood friends I have gone through phases of not speaking so much to and then randomly resumed closeness because of one circumstance or another.

We also dont know how good ops relationship with her dp is, either....

Chandon Tue 14-May-13 13:19:40

Offred, the big difference is that this not a current friend. They have been out of touch, for whatever reason, and now want to reconnect, for whatever reason.

If it was an old friend, and the friendship had remained on some level all along, it would be a bit different.

diddl Tue 14-May-13 13:20:25

I thought that that was what FB was for tbh-catching up with "friends" that you haven't bothered ti remain in touch with.

Offred Tue 14-May-13 13:20:27

Chandon - it isn't about excluding your partner. Your partner doesn't come with you to work or to the shops. Why would your partner automatically be included in your own individual friendships. Where it would feel like exclusion to me is where the friend was a mutual friend. If the friend is a friend from childhood then it would be exceptionally boring and a bit difficult for everyone involved if the partner came on the first night out!

AThingInYourLife Tue 14-May-13 13:21:19

"I equally have zero interest in any partners of my friends."

I think that is quite unusual.

And also pretty anti-social.

I'm not interested in having friends who feel so possessive of me as a friend that they are hostile to the idea of getting to know the most important person in my life.

I really like and get on well with the partners of all the friends that immediately come to mind.

Although I do find people who only do intense one on one friendships tiresome, so I guess we would not get along smile

Offred Tue 14-May-13 13:22:42

My good friend I mentioned earlier I have known for 10 years but we had 3 years where we didn't actually speak at all. Now I text him every day and see him around once every week. The friendship resumed suddenly just like this although we didn't go for curry but went to the pub. It can be difficult reestablishing an old friendship, you have to address why you stopped speaking.

Offred Tue 14-May-13 13:26:09

My husband isn't the most important person in my life. I have many people who are important to me. My husband and children are my priorities, I think that's different.

I would find it suffocating to have a relationship where we were "everything" to each other... I also think it is too much pressure to put on the other person.

If my friend's partners are people I like then I sometimes tenuously establish my own friendship with them. The only time it has been difficult has been when there have been break ups but I have remained friends with both in that situ.

iliketea Tue 14-May-13 13:27:19

I honestly don't see a problem with someone meeting an old.friend. DH visited his family for a weekend recently and met up with an ex-gf for a pub lunch. (ex for nearly 20 years!). It never even crossed my mind that it would be anything.other than 2 old friends meeting for lunch.

I think a lot of the issue is a lack of trust - if you believe a partner could cheat with an ex, then it follows you believe they could cheat with anyone and they should never be going out on their own for.fear that the opportunity arises and they cheat.

JenaiMorris Tue 14-May-13 13:27:36

As my school friends and I turned 40, there were a fair few parties full of people many of whom I'd barely seen since our teens (if at all).

We had a blast, and any partners were a bit superfluous to requirements. It mattered not a jot that we'd lost touch.

You don't have to be in continual contact over the years, basically.

Offred Tue 14-May-13 13:27:51

What I mean is I don't feel the need to treat my friend's partners as appendages of them. I don't see why I have to like them just because they are shagging my friend.

Offred Tue 14-May-13 13:31:01

(And I don't expect to be liked just because I am shagging someone else's friend either)

AThingInYourLife Tue 14-May-13 13:31:17

I would find it suffocating to have a friend who refused to get to know my husband. Or my other friends. Or my family.

It just seems so possessive and needy to always have to get me on my own so you can have my full attention.

I have children to compete for my attention.

I prefer relaxed, sociable people when I am out.

Offred Tue 14-May-13 13:31:44

I don't refuse to get to know anyone.

Offred Tue 14-May-13 13:32:44

Not being able to have your own friendships as an individual outside your primary relationship doesn't sound very relaxed though, sounds utterly neurotic.

badinage Tue 14-May-13 13:34:50

I think this is the trouble with OP's who ask what other posters would feel about a situation, without giving any context about their own relationship or their own partner.

Cue lots of messages about very different relationships and very different people. None of which is terribly relevant to the OP, the bloke she's with, or their particular relationship.

I haven't read any other threads from the OP, but I understand why others have because the OP's individual stuff is the most relevant here.

So it's probably enough to say that while good people can do very hurtful things, from what folk are saying there's a more obvious fact staring the OP in the face, which is that a total knobhead who makes a habit of doing bad things is far more likely to want to shag his old mate but this will be just another crappy thing in a long line of crap things.

And what happens in better relationships with better blokes is neither here nor there.

AThingInYourLife Tue 14-May-13 13:35:19

"I don't see why I have to like them just because they are shagging my friend."

I like most people I meet, especially if I meet them through another person I like.

You sound like really hard work.

You don't see why you have to like them? hmm

Are you 15 and angry with the world?

AThingInYourLife Tue 14-May-13 13:37:18

"Not being able to have your own friendships as an individual outside your primary relationship doesn't sound very relaxed though, sounds utterly neurotic."

Who is in that situation?

I barely ever get to socialise with my husband any more.

But none of my friends are off limits should he get to know and like them.

I'm just not that territorial.

annabanana why dont you tell us more about your dp and what is behind all this?

Now we now a lot about other couples, but what about you?

Offred Tue 14-May-13 14:02:30

Athing - that's what is conveyed by the idea that not inviting your partner out on a catch up with a childhood friend is somehow dodgy or excluding them from something they should be naturally included in. The implication is that friendships are only able to be had as a couple otherwise you're not a proper couple.

Offred Tue 14-May-13 14:08:09

I get on well with most people, actually actively like few people. I'm not territorial about anyone, I just don't want to be forced to socialise with someone based on their relationship to someone I do like. I don't want to be forced to socialise with dh's friends just because we are married either.

If I like people who are partners of my friends or friends of dh's then I become friends with them. I dislike this idea that simply going out with a friend is excluding a partner and that they should be invited/invite themselves simply because they are a partner. Some of my friends I actually just know dh would find really difficult, to invite him simply because we are married would be insane.

Offred Tue 14-May-13 14:10:14

We would all have a shit time and it would be weird and mean to dh because he'd feel sidelined or it would be pointless because dh and I would exclude the friend. Three isn't always a crowd because someone's after an affair.

Fantaforever Tue 14-May-13 14:38:19

OP, I wouldn't be happy about this at all. If he's meeting up with her, it should be for a meal round at your house or something like that. You should be included. Going out alone together for dinner and drinks is inviting trouble I'm afraid. You're right to be suspicious.

ubik Tue 14-May-13 14:43:47

I'd be absolutely fine with it. I wouldn't expect to be invited. He's entitled to his own friendships.

Flyingtree Tue 14-May-13 15:00:14

If an old male friend of mine wanted to meet up for dinner, I'd ask if I could bring my man along smile

cloudpuff Tue 14-May-13 17:01:48

I dont think people need to be friends with their partners friends or socialise with them all the time, but I dont understand why there would be a problem with the OP meeting the childhood friend (who sounds like an aquaitance now tbh) somewhere down the line, even in a pop in meet the wife and kids kind of way, it doesn't have to be a jealous-partner-meet-my-sexy-single-pretty-childhood-friend type thing.

most of you who are saying that you dont like your friends dhs or your dhs friends, must have actually met them and spent longer than five seconds in their company to make that decision.

Coupled with what op has mentioned in other threads Id be cautious too.

Offred Tue 14-May-13 17:05:59

Cloudpuff - I don't have a problem with meeting them. I have a problem with an attitude that because we are married dh and I are excluding each other if we make arrangements to catch up with an old friend without each other and I have a problem with the idea that not inviting the spouse to catch up with someone attractive and single means they are going to cheat.

cloudpuff Tue 14-May-13 18:00:25

I know that people can be friends of the oppsite sex without shagging, I really do, and I am owndering why I would feel uncomfortable in this situation, I am fully confident in myself and in my marriage and would never stop my DH going out with whoever he wanted, but I know that in the back of my brain Id be uncomfortable with this. If it was my husbands suggestion Id be alarmed because it would be so so out of character as he never takes his mates current or old anywhere but the local pub for a few pints, and if it was the friends suggestion, Id think they would be after something, not neccasarily my husband, I think id feel the same if it was an old male friend tbh

AnyFucker Tue 14-May-13 18:27:53

Since the OP has buggered off, this is all rather academic, innit smile

motherinferior Tue 14-May-13 18:40:38

In answer to the OP: if my DP wanted to catch up with an old mate he'd not seen for decades, over a curry, I would have no problems. They could even have beer.

If she were pretty and single I'd probably be quite pleased for the poor bloke, who usually has to put up with me at my least presentable and bad-tempered. They could flirt decorously over their beer and it would cheer him up grin

Offred Tue 14-May-13 18:48:38

Ha ha! Mother inferior! grin

I wouldn't be happy with it. I just wouldn't . I'm in the camp of 'it's playing with fire'.

To be honest I wouldn't be with DP if he went out with pretty, single females for pleasant evenings in restaurants etc. If that makes me insecure so be it.

AThingInYourLife Tue 14-May-13 19:11:51

I can't imagine many social situations as likely to end up in excruciating awkwardness as going out for an entire evening (dinner AND drinks) with someone I hadn't spent any time with since we were both children.

If we'd been teenage pals maybe, adults I would consider depending on why we were no longer in touch.

But someone who only knows me the way I was when I was a kid?

No way.

That's a "we should meet up for a coffee some time" (and see if we have anything AT ALL to talk about.

The only reasons to plan a dinner date with someone you don't really know are
A you fancy them
B you want their business

Offred Tue 14-May-13 19:16:14

Your reasons but then the op's dp is not you. The op has said they say hi in the street, so there is clearly a current acquaintance there. Perhaps they have already been for coffee shock

ethelb Tue 14-May-13 19:22:07

Im quite surprised by a lot of the answers here. DP has a lot of old female friends who he sees alone sometimes (in fact he was supposed to be seeing two tonight). I dont have a problem at all. Though I know them and think they are nice.

And one happens to be gay. Does that make a difference? grin

AThingInYourLife Tue 14-May-13 19:23:48

You don't go from occasionally bumping into someone to a whole night out together, just the two of you, unless someone wants something.

People have better things to do than waste entire evenings on people they vaguely know and might want to be friends with.

That's not how it works.

The OP's DP apparently treats her like shit, which figures if this is the kind of crap he comes out with.

AThingInYourLife Tue 14-May-13 19:26:54

My husband has lots of female friends.

But he doesn't take women he barely knows out for dinner.

The idea of either of us doing this is hilarious. With a childhood friend of either gender.

I love how some people think that because men and women can be friends that that means no social engagement, no matter how weird, can ever be called into question.

Offred Tue 14-May-13 19:30:08

Oh right. I must be after something from my close long standing friend I had 3 years of no contact with then...

We stopped speaking because I was in an abusive relationship and was being cut off from my friends. When we started bumping into each other we remembered how close we'd been and did just that - arranged to meet up, although not for dinner, in the pub, alone.

People do gossip but neither of us fancy each other. I've seen him weekly since then, we text everyday, he's a genuinely lovely guy and we genuinely have no feelings other than friendship for each other, if that wasnt the case we wouldn't be hanging out so much. No-one would bat an eye if he had a vagina even though I'm bisexual... It is irrational.

VerySmallSqueak Tue 14-May-13 19:40:44

I'd be fine with it.
But I expect he would sort out a meeting where I could be included.
Then I would probably say that I didn't mind if he wanted to go alone.
And he probably would.

AThingInYourLife Tue 14-May-13 19:48:12

Unless you were 13 when you reestablished your relationship, I can't see how that is the same as my example.

I specifically said it excluded people you knew as a teen or an adult.

This is someone he knew as a child.

Are they planning to talk about tadpoles, Sindy dolls and fairy land all night?

Because there's nothing else there.

A new friendship is certainly possible. Maybe even desirable.

But you can't just take up where you left off with someone you were friends with before puberty, before music, before indignation at injustices, before scenes, before the things that make you the adult you became.

motherinferior Tue 14-May-13 20:31:29

I caught up with a friend I knew as a child and only knew slightly as a teenager.

We wrote a book together grin

I don't have anything better to do, clearly, than to catch up with people I haven't seen in ages. I like people. I'm quite friendly.

Offred Tue 14-May-13 20:46:54

How do you know it is before puberty exactly? That's quite specific. I refer to my school/college friends as childhood friends.

ALittleStranger Tue 14-May-13 20:49:50

As a single woman with lots of male friends it makes me sad that so many women would be uncomfortable at the idea of me meeting up with one of them for dinner and drinks.

But I do recognise that some friends have withdrawn from 1 on 1 activities so I guess it's pretty commonplace.

Offred Tue 14-May-13 20:59:43

Honestly I think there is an element of punishing women who don't get themselves married off by socially excluding them, demeans the pack.

motherinferior Tue 14-May-13 21:02:34

I do find the way that any meeting after 6pm that goes on for longer than an hour and involves food and/or drink described as a 'date' a bit, er, weird. By that logic I go on dates with friends of either sex all the time.

motherinferior Tue 14-May-13 21:04:03

And it's always 'taking out for dinner'. Bizarre. Not 'meeting up for something to eat'.

Offred Tue 14-May-13 21:26:58

I robbed some chicken nuggets off my mate at 2.30am the other day while we sat in a tesco car park. Is that a date? Cheap one...

Offred Tue 14-May-13 22:08:59

Of course it may well be a date to him... Although curry is a strange choice for a first date...

Offred Tue 14-May-13 22:09:28

That's as arbitrary a factor as any of the others I think.

badinage Tue 14-May-13 23:26:26

Still no OP? hmm

Well this has been nice, hasn't it?

AnyFucker Wed 15-May-13 00:05:10

It's been positively lovely to hear about all these confident, secure women who take shit from nobody on a board where many are anything but and do (unfortunately) every day of their lives.

Selba Wed 15-May-13 00:14:51

No you can't possibly ALLOW YOUR man to meet up with a pretty woman.
Doesn't he have any ugly childhood friends? That would be ok.

For goodness sake, butt out of your partner's friendships.

AThingInYourLife Wed 15-May-13 07:28:09

My husband is away for a few days with a woman he met in a shopping centre.

Apparently they were at the same school and want to catch up.

I'm totally cool with it.

There's nothing weird about spending loads of time one-on-one with someone you barely know.

That's how people make new friends, isn't it?

Long periods of time alone together reminiscing.

Offred Wed 15-May-13 07:56:17

Just what worried you about your husband being without you and with someone else? What do you think is going to happen? Is he sexually incontinent? Do you think he will be corrupted by the singleness/prettiness of the evil woman who must only be allowed to supervise with a chaperone?

TobyLerone Wed 15-May-13 08:00:09

grin sexually incontinent.

Offred Wed 15-May-13 08:01:50

Ha ha! Socialise, not supervise! <bed>

AThingInYourLife Wed 15-May-13 08:24:19

TBH I can't even imagine my unsociable bastard husband arranging something like this.

So I'm imagining what I would want to arrange with a childhood friend if I wanted to get reacquainted.

And the ones I would like to catch up with are women. And I'm straight.

So my perspective on this is not about sexually incontinent men or socially suspect single women.

I just think it's weird to put yourself in such an intimate social situation with someone you are still unsure whether you click with.

Not intimate as in sexually intimate, not click with as in sexual chemistry.

Just getting to know a childhood friend again after many years apart.

Agreeing to a whole evening alone together seems too much. I would want something more casual and that didn't potentially leave us with hours of staring at each other awkwardly waiting for our Lamb Bhuna to arrive.

I don't think that's unusual.

Only lust could make me agree to such a potentially awkward arrangement.

And even then I think my older self would offer coffee or lunch or a quick drink for a first date.

JessicaBeatriceFletcher Wed 15-May-13 08:39:09

Whenever there is a thread about male-female friendships in any way, shape or form, it goes the same way. There is a proportion of people who think it is completely unacceptable for a married man to socialise on his own with a female friend (be she married or single). They can ONLY see their female friends in company and with the wife or girlfriend present.

I do think it is much more generational, not in every case, but often. People in their late-40s and older seem to find these situations odd and the only friends they have of the opposite sex are the husbands of their female friends whom they all socialise together with. People in their 20s and 30s seem much more ready and fine about having friends of the opposite sex and don't find it at all odd.

Sorry, but I have friends of the opposite sex, always have done. And I have introduced them to previous partners and done things collective. But no way would I accept an ultimatum from a partner that I could never see any of my opposite sex friends unless they were also present. That's controlling behaviour. And also would make me feel untrusted.

BadLad Wed 15-May-13 08:57:07

It would be a deal-breaker for me if my partner didn't allow me to catch up with my female friends every so often. She knew I had them before we became seriously involved, and doesn't mind - same as I understand that she has friends of both sexes that she wants to meet from time to time.

That said, we're always totally open about who we're meeting and where we're going, not because it's demanded by the other person, but because there's no reason not to be. And I go to noisy, fun restaurants, rather than quiet intimate romantic ones, because I wouldn't want to go to the latter unless I saw it as a date.

I could tag along when DW goes out, and vice versa, but we don't encourage it. It usually means a long and expensive train ride to meet my friends, which she wouldn't want to do anyway.

It is working for us.

Offred Wed 15-May-13 09:07:00

My husband's breathing is quite weird... Nasal and mouthy at the same time... I should tell him because we are married it is my duty to prevent him doing things I think are a bit weird... Since we vowed to never make each other feel we were being weird and all that...

motherinferior Wed 15-May-13 09:25:56

Er...I'm nearly 50.

I see friends I've had sex with sometimes on my own too. We manage to keep our pants on.

cory Wed 15-May-13 09:33:31

Whenever I go back home I always meet up with an old uni friend who happens to be male. If dh came along we either wouldn't be able to talk about the things we have in common- becaus dh wouldn't understand-, or else dh would be sitting on the outskirts of the conversation feeling like a fish out of water. They do meet sometimes, if I am giving a larger party, and they are capable of socialising like civilised human beings. But my friendship with old uni friend is very much based on shared interests which dh does not share, but which are a big part of my life.

When I was younger, some of my closest friends were female, some were male. Doesn't really make a difference to me.

I often have lunch with male colleagues at work. When I go on conferences I sometimes go for a drink with a male colleague. I don't think of having a meal and conversation with someone as an intimate situation: as long as they know I am not up for anything, it doesn't turn intimate. Intimate is having a romantic meal with dh.

JessicaBeatriceFletcher Wed 15-May-13 09:42:36

Mother - I said often, not always.

badinage Wed 15-May-13 09:42:57

I don't know any people in their forties or fifties who find the concept of opposite sex friendships uncomfortable, yet I know teens and twenty-somethings who do, so I'd disagree it's a 'generational thing'.

I personally find your situation very odd Offred where you dislike all or most of eachother's friends and appear to have no joint ones. I'm also wondering why you have spent what must be hours now on this thread trying to convince everyone that you and your husband are such free spirits and everyone else who's perhaps a bit more pragmatic about their own vulnerabilities or at least their partners' is being controlling and paranoid.

I'm not sure there's anyone else buying this very much, let alone you but I do think there are likely to be other posters who are being gaslighted by their partners into thinking that their lovers are 'just friends' who might be feeling very browbeaten and put down by your constant posts inferring that they are unreasonable and controlling because they feel threatened and insecure by the new work colleague on the block who their husbands used to mention all the time and who seem to be at an increasing amount of 'leaving drinks' or require a 'shoulder to cry on' because of the rough time they are allegedly having.

The OP might have long gone but there are lurkers reading your words who are probably already being made to feel unreasonable for their perfectly normal and rational disquiet about a new and threatening friendship.

Please think about this - and them.

Offred Wed 15-May-13 09:50:23

We have joint friends. The friends that are our own friends are the ones the other one dislikes. Simple.

I've been posting over and over that the issue is not the meeting the friend it is the relationship. I stand by that. People who have healthy and happy relationships where they can communicate do not feel like this unless they have these jealousies or feelings of ownership or beliefs that spouse=property or men=sexually incontinent.

That's been my whole point all along. I keep repeating that the man in question may well be setting this up as a date but that it is the relationship in general that is the problem not the concept that being alone with someone of the opposite sex is a relationship issue to be micromanaged by a partner because that is a ridiculous proposition. Anyone reading the actual thread could read that I've written that repeatedly. It really is a stop focusing on possible wicked OW and think about the quality of the relationship.

I'm posting repeatedly on this thread because it's a current issue in my own life where people are constantly gossiping about me and it is pissing me off.

JessicaBeatriceFletcher Wed 15-May-13 09:52:24

Badinage - interesting. On a previous male-female friendships thread I specifically asked about people's ages and the majority of those who said they had a problem with a man (husband or boyfriend) having a female friend they saw solo occasionally (or often) were late-40s and 50s. The younger ones were also more likely to have a good friend of the opposite sex they saw solo.

Of course there will be times as you suggest where some "just friends" are anything but. But the problem is that there are plenty of completely innocent friendships and similarly plenty of people on MN who seem to make those of us who have friends of the opposite sex feel we are in the wrong and that we're emotionally involved etc etc etc

Offred Wed 15-May-13 09:57:52

Badinage do you not see why the idea that single women must be chaperoned is oppressive?

That men must be guarded by their spouses otherwise they will be unfaithful is damaging?

Apart from anything else it is not "being pragmatic". Vetting friends doesn't stop cheating, going out as a pair doesn't stop cheating, having rules about what level of intimacy/activity is allowed with married/single/males/females doesn't stop cheating. It has no effect on cheating at all, it doesnt prevent "vulnerability". It is often simply thinly veiled woman blaming like "don't wear a short skirt".

Ultimately you have to accept that whatever you do, in long term exclusive relationships there will be times where there is a temptation to or some cheating and it is up to the individual involved to actually deal with that themselves.

AThingInYourLife Wed 15-May-13 10:30:10

"I'm posting repeatedly on this thread because it's a current issue in my own life where people are constantly gossiping about me and it is pissing me off."

I find that unsurprising.

Your hostility to your friends' partners and your need for intense one-on-one friendships is something that tends to piss people off.

And not just because everyone else is so insecure.

"My husband's breathing is quite weird... Nasal and mouthy at the same time... I should tell him because we are married it is my duty to prevent him doing things I think are a bit weird... Since we vowed to never make each other feel we were being weird and all that..."


The OP asked for comment on a situation.

Rooney raised the point (ages ago) that the situation as described is not entirely usual for most people.

I agree and am discussing that.

Your need to assert that it is totally unremarkable to spend hours alone with a person you barely know is quite bizarre.

Particularly how much you object to spending time with people you do know if they are the partner of someone you see as yours.

Offred Wed 15-May-13 10:36:26

You're asserting it is a person that is barely known. There is nothing to indicate that.

You are asserting I am hostile to my husband's friends.

I am simply saying I don't expect me to like them or them to like me or us to be required to spend time together simply because of a romantic relationship.

That fact I dislike most of his friends and he mine is not unusual at all because if we each liked the other's friend they'd be mutual friends wouldn't they?

It might not be unusual for people to gossip about stuff like this but I do think it is oppressive and unfair and actually pointless in achieving the ends of preventing cheating. If your spouse is arranging a date you have already lost the monogamy, banning them from going on it doesn't make any positive difference.

JessicaBeatriceFletcher Wed 15-May-13 10:37:54

AThing - I think the issue is that others have widened it out to a more general comment on opposite sex friendships and suggested or implied that it is basically completely unacceptable for opposite sex friends to see each other unless their partners are involved.

Notwithstanding, others have said they don't see an issue with someone wanting to catch up with an old friend, even if it is years later. And if it is years later, there is probably a lot to catch up on so why not do so over a meal? Eating with someone is NOT an indicator of infidelity.

The OP's posting clearly suggests that if this female friend looked like the back end of a bus, there would be no problem. Or if she was married. Unfortunately, married and ugly people also cheat and have affairs. It's symptomatic of wider issues, surely, than simply catching up with an old friend.

Offred Wed 15-May-13 10:38:56

If your spouse is gas lighting you focusing on the "pretty, single" friend is not helping but hurting because it is effectively a distraction from the manipulative arsehole.

cinnamonsugar Wed 15-May-13 11:38:31

Only lust could make me agree to such a potentially awkward arrangement.
But that's you, athing. Not everyone sees going for a meal and drinks as any kind of intimacy or a date. What makes a meeting intimate is the relationship, not whether it is dinner, lunch or coffee.

This thread has just reminded me I need to catch up with 4 male friends I have been neglecting terribly recently grin

badinage Wed 15-May-13 11:55:40

I don't see anyone saying that women need to be 'chaperoned' and think some of this extrapolation is in your head Offred and is just projection because of what's going on in your own life at the moment.

I also fundamentally disagree that the problem is always The Relationship.

If someone wants to make one of his friendships sexual, the problem is with That Individual and his own personal boundaries. And that crisis affects a very broad range of people in all sorts of different relationships, from the serial shaggers and liars - to the man or woman who is in a content marriage or relationship, has no urge to have an affair but who imperceptibly allows a friendship to cross the line. The people in that latter camp delude themselves as much as their concerned partners, insisting that they feel 'only friendship' for this person who's leaning on them heavily and because contrary to what some folk are saying the cultural default is for people to be 'cool' about opposite-sex friendships, some men and women fear being seen as controlling and possessive more than they fear the burgeoning affair that's going on right under their noses.

The 'pragmatism' I referred to again relates to Individuals and I made that very clear. Any individual who blithely thinks he is immune from an ego boost when someone else finds him attractive is not being pragmatic at all. He is being delusional, both to himself and his partner. The people who know themselves very well indeed and don't beat themselves up for finding another person attractive, or worse beat their marriage up and assume it must be faulty if they do, have good boundaries and swerve friendships with people where there is an intense mutual attraction. Again, this is about that individual and his/her self-awareness and that's got fuck all to do with The Relationship.

I agree there's just no point policing another person's activity, but that doesn't mean that a partner has got to sit quietly by and Suck It Up, or refrain from saying a situation makes her uncomfortable. If the Individual she's married to is reasonable and self-aware, he might say 'You know, you're right - this is getting a bit close for comfort and I am getting a bit too involved with this person. I'd feel the same if this was you' whereas a Nice Man who Self-Deludes will say 'Sure she's attractive and good company, but we are Just Friends' (and carry on) and a Complete Arsehole will say 'I'll see who I want when I want and I won't take any orders from you'.

If everyone who had an affair with a 'friend' presented in daily life as a Complete Arsehole, life would be much simpler for his partner.

But people who have affairs with 'friends' are often a lot more nuanced and complex than that and their partners are the ones I'm thinking of when I read your dismissive, intensely self-focusing posts.

I'd hate it if there was even one poster married to a decent bloke who's crossing the line, who felt as a result of your posts that she should shut the fuck up and suppress all her instincts that danger is present.

Mumsyblouse Wed 15-May-13 12:06:47

This situation would worry me, and that's for a couple of reasons. I certainly have male friends who I've known for years and my husband has many long-standing female friends, neither of us would find it odd if every now and again, one of us met with them for coffee/drink to catch up on old times.

But- in this situation they are not revisiting an old friendship at all, they had plenty of opportunities over the years to be friends, but weren't- now all of a sudden they want to be friends I don't see the basis of a friendship, to be honest.

I would also be alarmed if my husband suddenly started going out on nights out to restaurants frequently with the same old friend- a once in a while catch up is lovely, with or without partner, is nice but once an essentially new relationship is being built, then it may become a problem.

She's not a valued old friend, she's someone from the past who has suddenly decided now is the time to renew aquaintance, and yes, this may be related to her being single. I would be suspicious and just tell my husband what was on my mind- if he thought I was being daft, he's just tell me to come along or reassure me, if he was up to something/hoping for something else, I would know.

cory Wed 15-May-13 12:06:58

But badinage, why would one assume that any one person who has a meal with a member of the opposite sex has to find that person sexually attractive or be found sexually attractive by that person?

We don't actually know if the OPs dh will find his friend attractive or not. All we know is that the OP, who is not her husband, thinks she is the kind of woman who should be attractive to men. Ime this usually bears no relation at all to whether a person is likely to be involved in a liaison or not. In fact, a great many of the OWs and OMs I have known have not been at all good-looking or obviously attractive in the eyes of other people.

Offred Wed 15-May-13 12:10:54

you don't think it is a problem to be in a serious relationship with someone who is looking to break the agreed conditions of the relationship? The problem is the friend being pretty and single? pah...

As I've repeatedly said, the problem is not that a friend might be single or pretty or that your partner might be alone with them or want to be alone with them. It is entirely that either the partner is being an arsehole or that you are being unreasonable. Looking at the relationship, assessing why you feel worried and whether it is realistic (problem with a partner) or unfounded jealousy/restrictive beliefs (problem with you/compatibility) instead of focusing on the friend is entirely appropriate advice.

I have never said people shouldn't communicate their feelings, I have questioned why the OP has reached a stalemate with her OH and is asking MN to tell her what to do. This to me indicates a wider problem.

I've also said repeatedly that none of this is about pretending anyone is immune to flattery. It is about not pretending that behaving like a guard dog/vetting friends of your spouse has any effect because in fact it is utterly normal for people to be tempted or occasionally cross lines and what matters for your relationship is how they deal with that simple fact of life.

The OP's DP, from other threads, is not behaving well in other ways anyway.

Offred Wed 15-May-13 12:13:24

the chaperoned part is nowt to do with my life. I'm not single, I'm married.

It was in relation to another poster who was single and posted to say they felt people were treating them as dangerous because of their single status.

Offred Wed 15-May-13 12:16:16

no-one knows the basis of the friendship either.

The description of casual bumping into a person I called a childhood friend followed by a night out together has happened with me before. No-one knows the basis of their previous friendship, no-one knows their current level of interaction. I think it is a silly detail anyway. Why is the op worried? Because this woman is pretty and single? Why is that worrying?

badinage Wed 15-May-13 16:13:11

you don't think it is a problem to be in a serious relationship with someone who is looking to break the agreed conditions of the relationship? The problem is the friend being pretty and single? pah...

That's word-twisting if ever I've seen it...grin

What I've said is that lots of people aren't 'looking to break the agreed conditions of a relationship'. That they delude themselves that having a deepening relationship where there's mutual attraction involved isn't breaking any conditions at all in fact. And that delusion is backed up by the cultural default that all friendships are platonic and A Jolly Good Thing. These are the people who start threads on here and say 'I never intended an just happened.' Not one of those people starts out on the road to an affair by thinking 'Right, I'm going to break the conditions of my relationship' - just the reverse, they believe the bullshit that all friendships are harmless and that everyone in this pollyanna world of naice people in good relationships always stick to Agreed Boundaries.

Whereas in the Real World of lust, fragile egoes and relationships that are ticking along or going through a bit of a 'meh' phase, or when life's a bit of a trial and this new shiny friend brightens the day, people will continue to get involved with people they shouldn't and get themselves into messes they never really intended.

At no point did I ever say the problem is that the 'friend' is pretty and single. In fact this woman isn't a 'problem' at all. She might be completely disinterested in any romance with the OP's husband, but even in the unlikely event that she wants an affair with a married man, if he doesn't, she poses no risk at all.

I'm pragmatic enough however to realise that the OP believes that her husband is more at risk of being unfaithful with a young attractive woman, than he would if he were meeting up with old Mrs. Peabody who's lived next door to his parents for 40 years wink but that's his problem and vulnerability - not The Relationship's, not the OP's and certainly not the young woman involved.

It all comes down to him and his boundaries - nothing else.

Offred Wed 15-May-13 16:29:43

I'm not saying all friendships are platonic and everybody is platonic. I never have and don't know why you are attributing that to me.

I am saying a spouse banning certain behaviours has no positive effect on those normal and inevitable things. Those normal and inevitable things happen anyway unless your spouse never goes out anywhere or speaks to anyone else. they happen whether a friend is single or married, pretty or ugly, whether you see them alone or in a group, they happen no matter what the state of the relationship. It is therefore not pragmatic to ban certain types of things. There is no point because if in your relationship you have already got to the point of worrying about the prettiness of a friend then there is either a problem with your own insecurity, your compatibility or your partner's commitment/honesty. That is a problem with the relationship.

I simply think there isn't enough info in the OP to reliably conclude which is going on here.

I'd be a jibbering wreck if I took on so much pointless responsibility for someone else's behaviour.

Offred Wed 15-May-13 16:30:11

*everybody is Pollyanna.

badinage Wed 15-May-13 16:31:24

Oh and Cory I really agree with that bit about it not being a foregone conclusion that the OP's husband will find the old mate attractive, or her him, or that 'looks' matter very much at all in the grand scheme of things.

If there's one thing that initially baffled me about the scrapes a few mates have got into with blokes who weren't a patch on their husbands, either in looks or personality, it was what on earth they saw in these (pretty crummy) OM. They wouldn't have looked twice at them if they'd been single.

What I learned was that it was all about the OMs being there and being interested in them - not that the blokes themselves were that great. I once said quite bluntly to a mate that if Frankenstein himself had given her all the old patter about her being a Goddess Amongst Women, he'd have got lucky grin

Offred Wed 15-May-13 16:32:44

Besides who'd actually want a partner who only didn't cheat because they were being guarded by you! I'd rather they did make a transgression and then handled it honestly and respectfully than made me their policeman.

badinage Wed 15-May-13 16:34:16

OP didn't ask if she should 'ban' anything though.

She asked if others would feel uncomfortable about it, like she did.

Most reasonable people said if she felt uncomfortable, she had the right to say so. But that it was then up to her husband what he did after that.

That's all.

debtherat Wed 15-May-13 16:46:24

I agree with your assessment from recent personal experience - wholeheartedly trusted my OH with female friends through his work - not knowing them in any way not even their names in some cases but, post affair, I have found that it is the ones not mentioned that are more likely the problem and, in the midst of the routines of life, setbacks, unhappiness, people can cross the boundaries and if reciprocated, end up in much deeper than they anticipated using these friendships for a mutual ego boost - "If I were single, I'd definitely be interested etc"...In my view both participants equally guilty of upsetting Pollyanna - me! as well as creating their own upset and the acutely painful problem of how all then move forward with life on a scale of a little bit to much worse. Why the OP's partner is telling her? maybe that he is looking for her permission (is she his mum?) or thinking by telling her it's not deceitful (self deception) but it needs to be talked about honestly.

TidyDancer Wed 15-May-13 16:50:44

Nope, I would have no problem with this whatsoever, because I trust my DP.

I have never and will never understand why some people think that men having female friends (or vice versa) means something sinister. If someone's going to cheat, they will cheat. What their friends have in their pants has nothing to do with that.

Ahhhcrap Wed 15-May-13 16:51:42

No I wouldn't be uncomfortable with this.

badinage Wed 15-May-13 17:01:12

I don't think trust in a partner is the real issue here though. Affairs still happen even if a partner trusts or distrusts.

What is the issue I think is that individuals trust themselves too much...and it's trust that's often quite unfounded.

DadOnIce Wed 15-May-13 17:03:41

Is it relevant that she is "pretty and single" because it would be OK for a DH to have an evening with an old friend who was married and a bit of a minger?

TidyDancer Wed 15-May-13 17:27:44

What DadOnIce said.

My BIL is my closest male friend. His ex was much more comfortable with him spending time alone with me when I weighed 18 stone than when I lost half of that. Funny that, eh?

She was batshit anyway, but that was ridiculous.

I repeat, if a partner is going to cheat, they will cheat. The chances of this happening will not be reduced by restricting their access to innocent friendships.

AnyFucker Wed 15-May-13 18:22:59

The OP hasn't been back for some time. The one that posted about her situation and her feelings. Have you lot noticed that, at all ?

Sort of very unfunny how the OP was just taken as a general debate about others situations, not hers.

AnyFucker Wed 15-May-13 22:18:30

Indeed, and not just a "general debate", more of a "look how cool I am and how much trust there is in my relationship" grandstanding attempt on some poster's parts

the OP is long gone, so I am as guilty of sticking around as everyone else, but at least I am still thinking of her in my responses

not sure that is the case generally here

BadLad Thu 16-May-13 03:08:16

That's not what's bothering you, though, is it AnyFucker? If the replies all agreed with you, you wouldn't give a shit that people were posting about their own relationship, rather than specifically considering the OP's.

Here is your first reply.

"Would I be a bit non plussed at my husband going on a date with an ex ?

You betcha, I would"

Why is that any more considerate of the OP's situation than, say, this one?

"I'd be absolutely fine with it. I wouldn't expect to be invited. He's entitled to his own friendships."

Not that there is anything wrong with posting about your situation personally. The title of the thread asks "Would YOU be comfortable with YOUR DP...?" Despite your attempt to dismiss opposing replies as people trying to look cool, not every reply on every thread is going to agree with you.

AnyFucker Thu 16-May-13 06:37:49

Badlad, did you read the follow up to my first reply?

If you are going to quote me, at least do it properly

JenaiMorris Thu 16-May-13 09:16:33

To be fair, the OP asked "Would you be comfortable with your dp meeting up with an old friend", which rather invites yes or no answers.

Offred Thu 16-May-13 09:59:37

Has the op been back to the thread at all? How can you actually have anything other than a general debate in that case? Especially after 7 pages without any further input....

I think it's pretty shitty to read in "look how cool I am" I'm simply trying to live my life in the way I choose without constantly being judged and guarded as though I am some scarlet woman for daring to have male friends that I am close to. Apart from anything it doesn't make any logical sense and actually it is quite harmful to me as a person and my marriage to be constantly put on the defensive about how I actually just am and have always been. I have had close male friends since I was a small child. I think people should get over it.

I've given specific answers at the start. If the op is feeling uncomfortable that's more likely to be because of the relationship with her DP than because of someone else's looks/marital status.

Surprised v. Much that you'd support such sexism as has been seen on this thread AF.

badinage Thu 16-May-13 11:56:14

And I'm surprised at your input to this thread Offred, which has been more like a personal diary than a help to the OP. It's as though your own personal struggle about friendships has completely blinded you to an individual woman's plight, or the context surrounding it.

Normally your posts are supportive of women in relationships where they are being mistreated by their partners. The people who've read this OP's other threads indicated early on that they could well understand how in her case an evening out with another woman might be unsettling, because of her partner's pre-existing behaviour and personal character.

Do you really think that for a woman in a situation like that, it could possibly help her to read posts inferring that she was controlling and paranoid for even feeling uncomfortable?

Or that long posts about a completely different marriage involving completely different characters, will give her any insight into dealing with her own troubles?

Or that it's fair or kind when despite her never once saying in her short post that she wanted to 'ban' the meet-up, this action was unfairly attributed to her?

The only sexism I can see on this thread are those posts that tried to persuade her to swallow any discomfort she had and which tried to cast her as a hysterical, paranoid and jealous woman. All written within a political context of women being told constantly that they must be cool about shitty male behaviour if they want to remain in relationships with them.

You normally see that context Offred and rally against it.

On this thread I think you've allowed a personal struggle of your own to get in the way of your normal compassion and good sense, Offred.

Looksgoodingravy Thu 16-May-13 12:08:09

Agree with everything that Badinage has said.

This was so much the case with regards to dp's infidelities.

It was all about him though and old friendships being reignited at a vunerable time in our relationship.

The only difference really was that I didn't know he was meeting up with old friends which paints another picture really.

But in answer to the OP's original question I probably wouldn't be comfortable with this situation as it stands but that's to do with what's gone on in my own relationship and nothing to do with me being overly jealous or controlling.

motherinferior Thu 16-May-13 12:42:39

Er...I don't know the OP. She asked a question. I answered it. I am not trying to show off about how cool I am. I do find the prevailing attitude on MN towards male-female friendships quite odd, especially the tendency to describe going out to drink/eat as a 'date'. And I don't think I am putting up with 'shitty male behaviour' in thinking it's fine if my partner wants to meet a friend. Oh, and I am a nosey cow who'd be delighted to catch up with a childhood mate.

AnyFucker Thu 16-May-13 12:47:33

I am on my phone in my lunch hour so I shall very gratefully just type "what badinage said"

voddiekeepsmesane Thu 16-May-13 13:38:56

Up until 3 months ago I would have said I had no problem with male/female friendships. I was totally "cool" with DP having a close friendship with a woman we knew. They had a lot in common (a mutual disabilty for one) and I totally encouraged it as they could really get where the other was coming from IYSWIM

Then I find out that actually they had been having an EA for 2 years which ended up being physical. There is no way I would ever again allow such a close friendship with a woman to develop.

There is nothing wrong with meeting up with this woman as a couple is there?

JenaiMorris Thu 16-May-13 13:39:14

The only sexism I can see on this thread are those posts that tried to persuade her to swallow any discomfort she had and which tried to cast her as a hysterical, paranoid and jealous woman.

I've not seen any of that. I have however seen posters try to express that being in a relationship with a man who makes you feel that way is not a good thing.

Nobody should feel "hysterical, paranoid and jealous". Nobody. If they do then they need to look at their relationship and try to establish just why they feel that way.

There are myriad reasons for feeling jealous, not least of which is being with an arse of a partner.

I'm not smug. There's plenty that isn't great between my partner and I tbh. Just not this.

badinage Thu 16-May-13 14:46:50

Look, the most reasonable response to an OP like this is to say that it doesn't matter what other posters would feel about this, because like many other conflicts in relationships, it's all about context. And apart from the OP's other threads, one brief post doesn't give us that.

I just wish that posters would read between the lines a bit more and realise that although a poster has perhaps unwisely asked what other people in other relationships might feel, those responses really aren't going to help her deal with her conflict in her relationship.

Cathartic though it might be for other posters to talk about their own relationships, none of that is of any relevance to an OP who for her own unknown reasons, doesn't want to come back to her own thread to talk about hers.

voddiekeepsmesane Thu 16-May-13 14:57:46

badinage isn't the point that people will always be coloured by their own experiences. We can empathise but ultimately it is only our own experiences that we can truely take knowledge from and base our opinions.

If as you say it dosen't matter what other people feel or say about any given situation then MN would be a much much quieter place. It is human nature to want to share experiences and opinions and quite often be pulled up or vindicated by those around us.

Hemlet Thu 16-May-13 15:14:15

I wouldn't be comfortable with it if my husband did that because it would be out of character for him to meet with friends and not invite me along.

Sure no problem for him to have female friends - but not go on a 'date' with someone who's just popped back into his life

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