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AIBU to think that male and female colleagues can be friends?

(16 Posts)
PersonAtHome Sat 05-Mar-16 11:20:01

Once a person is married, is it ok for them to be friends with colleagues of the opposite sex (or same sex if gay)?

Or does this have to stop once the person is married?

If a married person of one gender goes for after work drinks (for two hours on a Friday) with three people of the opposite gender is that bad or acceptable?

BumpPower Sat 05-Mar-16 11:22:10

Surely you just turn to page 23 of your how to be an acceptable person manual? It should cover such difficult issues such as how to have friends....

sadsister4 Sat 05-Mar-16 11:22:25

I used to think not, because I would always end up having a crush on the 'friend'.

Then my marriage ended, and I found a new partner. Now I have no trouble at all with this, and my best friend at work is of the opposite sex (I'm straight).

No romantic feelings whatsoever.

So, it probably depends on whether your boxes are ticked already, iykwim.

lamiashiro Sat 05-Mar-16 11:24:12

I don't see why not. I have a male colleague who's a friend and there's never been a hint of anything more. DH has met him too. He and I go for a few beers now and again on our own and DH has no problem with it at all.

Drquin Sat 05-Mar-16 12:01:05

Does the rule only change the day you get married?
What about folk not yet married, or no intention of getting married. I'd assume you'd want them to follow the same rule?

Anyway, yes of course people (colleagues) of the opposite sex can be friends with each other.
People of the opposite sex can quite successfully go for a drink after work, or otherwise maintain a genuine friendship. A friendship which is genuinely just a friendship.

If you're worried about A particular partner or friend, then the problem is either you or them. (Whether that's attitudes, time spent away from family commitments, being untruthful about who was out for the drink etc) Not that "people in general" can't be trusted to overstep genuine friendship boundaries.

Drquin Sat 05-Mar-16 12:04:21

And perfectly acceptable for one person to go for a few drinks after work with a few colleagues.

It may not be acceptable to you if had agreed other plans with one of the group. Or if you've no money, and one of the group is your partner and you shouldn't be wasting money on luxuries. Or some other specific reason.

But in general, perfectly acceptable.

PersonAtHome Sat 05-Mar-16 13:38:14

Thanks I'm finding this all very helpful, to get an idea of the general take on whether it's normal or not.

My husband thinks that if I'm friends with males at work that there's automatically something else going on, some other agenda.

Though there is some historic specific 'stuff' that is making him worry so I do understand his worries. In the past he found a message from me to a friend saying there was someone I fancied at work and that person was someone who was included in a group of people I went for drinks with after work. But for me, saying I fancy someone and acting on it are two very very different things. I have no desire to be unfaithful, I'm just not interested in taking any action, so the fancying those years ago was kind of an annoying (yet sometimes fun to daydream about) thing.

Annoyingly at my last workplace some bloke got completely the wrong idea and thought that my friendship meant I was in love with him and that I wanted to have an affair. He was quite a peculiar guy, a bit odd with women. To cut a long story short, I told my husband all about this guy, about his messages to me and we agreed that they were inappropriate and that I had to tell him to go get lost, which I did. I also left that job.

Because of the experience above I do feel a bit confused about whether it's ok for male and female colleagues to be friends, or whether all men just automatically assume a woman is 'up for it' if she shows any interest in having a friendship or going for a drink. The creepy bloke at my last work thought that, and my husband thinks that... so maybe that is what all blokes think?!

Sadly my husband just doesn't trust me, though I have never been unfaithful and never will.

its your DH problem here, i hda boyfriend that I lived with, we were together for 4 almost 5 years and he never ever trusted me, went through my belongings, read my diary, got twitchy if I was later in from my evening job than expected,hated me going for drinks after especially if any blokes were going, i used to go and sit in the pub worrying abouthow he would act when got home, if the 'gang' said hey lets party on to club I would be desperate to go but didn't dare, I was young at the time and should have been having fun. In the end I did cheat in him and we did split up when I met my now DH, 26 years later I have a happy and trusting marriage, I can go out whenever, wherever and with whoever i choose, DH can do the same, we socialise together and apart sometimes, we admire and get attracted to other people as is natural and tell each other, it becomes a bit of a joke for us neither of us would cheat we have too much love and respect. You need to chat with him and get things clear that you are trustworthy and him treating you as suspect could actually have the opposite effect.

Katenka Sat 05-Mar-16 15:29:24

There isn't an issue with it.

However I would feel really uncomfortable with dh talking about which women he fancies at work, then going out with that person.

As you have seen with your second situation it can sometimes go awry. But that's the same with all friendships.

PersonAtHome Sat 05-Mar-16 16:14:19

StepAwayFrom... I wish we could be open with each other about being attracted to other people, that sounds such a nice, open way to be in a marriage.

Though I think it must take a lot of love and mutual trust to be able to do that. That's so lovely that you have that.

Being completely honest I really admire that approach so much and wish I could be in a relationship like that, but I'm not even sure I'm capable of it myself and my DH definitely isn't - which is why I tell the odd trusted friend rather than joke about it to him!

Something has to change though. Sadly I don't think this is the only issue with my marriage, I don't think either of us are feeling that we're getting our needs met or that we're there for each other.

blush thank you personathome I know how lucky we are to have such a good relationship, its a lot to do with maturity and yes of course trust and respect, we both know what we have is too special to risk by some meaningless affair. having said that we have discussed that if god forbid one of us found we wanted someone else more than we wanted each other then we would not deceive, we would end the relationship first because of the respect we have for each other. doubt this will ever happen cos we are best friends and partners with a whole history together, good and bad! lots of 'in jokes' and memories after 25 years of marriageshock that would be meaningless with someone else.

All I can suggest is that you need to sit down together and have an honest and open discussion over what you both feel and what you both need, what you aspire to in your relationship. perhaps counselling would help? but first you need to decide if being together and working on it is what you want? you are capable of it if you can be open and honest and listen to each others needs, where does the suspicion from either of you come from? why can neither of you believe in each other? what will it take to build a trust?

looking back I thought I was in love with previous jealous partner but tbh we were quite young and part of it was that I clearly was not ready to be with just one person forever at that stage, he must have sensed that, he stifled my fun and I felt old before my time which if he was the right one possibly would not have bothered me so much. Saying that, no one should ever have to pretend or lie to live a normal life. Being attracted to someone is normal, everyone does it, the phwoar factor is fun and having that glance from someone that makes you feel like you are stll attractive, the mild flirtations that go on around us all the time make life a giggle. you can flirt with no intention of acting on it, you can go phwoar without ever acting on it, its all part of normal life.
I read about situations where girl will cover her blokes eyes when he watches TV if a pretty girl is on screen, or a bloke sulks for a week after girl s eyes light up over a hunky male body on screen. really truly if such stuff is such a threat to a relationship then the relationship is not strong enough to survive and should be binned or worked on. Honestly person you deserve to be trusted, and if he is the one for you, you will be trust worthy. No one strays if they are truly happy and with the right person unless there is some other deep seated stuff going on. constant suspicion erodes a relationship, try and sort it or you will never have the contented full and happy respectful relationship you both should be enjoying.

pinkiponk Mon 07-Mar-16 20:04:29

I'm in the armed forces so often male friends are my only option! I don't think any of them have ever thought I was 'up for it'.
Luckily my DH is in as well so understands and doesn't get jealous. I love the perspectives I get from my male friends, they feel like brothers, especially when I'm away from home.

TheSnowFairy Mon 07-Mar-16 20:05:16

Er, if DH had messaged his mate to say he fancied someone else I wouldn't trust him either hmm

And I was coming on here originally to say that yes, males and females can be friends but maybe not with your track record.

Ameliablue Mon 07-Mar-16 20:15:41

Yes men and women can be friends.

JellyMouldJnr Mon 07-Mar-16 20:16:56

I agree with the snow fairy, given your history I can understand your husband being touchy about male work colleagues.

PersonAtHome Tue 08-Mar-16 12:52:56

Thanks everyone.

StepAwayFrom particular thanks for your wise and considerate reply. I think you're right, I do need to spend some time properly talking things through with him.

I'm not sure if / how it's possible to fix the situation and rebuild his trust in me but it has to be worth a try.

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