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How to make (normal) friends outside marriage

(8 Posts)
FriendlyElf Sat 20-Dec-14 19:25:24

If you have friends of the sex you're attracted to and you're also in a committed long term relationship, how does it work? My DH has messed up recently with a woman friend. His behaviour was out of order and he has gone nc with her now. But he has female friends from before we met, no problems, and often gets on better with women. I dont want us never to be able to have friends of the opposite sex, but I'd like to find something about how you maintain boundaries, warning signs (for yourself) that feelings are not entirely platonic etc. Maybe it sounds daft, but I think it would help me get my head together.

GingerbreadPudding Sat 20-Dec-14 19:39:43

I just don't think it works like that. I have many male friends that be been friends with since school, thirty years ago. I've never worried about 'boundaries' or 'warning signs' because it's just not like that. I'd just never feel like that about them, these are my friends.

To have a discussion with my husband about 'boundaries' would just be odd. I guess I generally include my husband, I don't keep any aspect of these friendships secret in fact I'd be delighted if he grew to be as good friends with them as I am.

This hasn't really answered your questions. I guess you only have to establish boundaries where there is a problem. And if there's a problem, the relationship has gone too far.

shaska Sat 20-Dec-14 20:35:41

Yep, agree with Gingerbread - for me, if you need fixed 'boundaries' with opposite-sex friends then you've already crossed a line.

With a partner's friendships I suppose it's trickier, because whether or not someone's behaving inappropriately is open to interpretation. On the other hand if 'feelings' of a non-platonic nature are involved on either side then that's not ok in any friendship, imo.

I guess the rule of thumb of 'would your partner mind if you behaved the same way' is a good general one.

What exactly happened with your DH and the woman friend?

MairzyDoats Sat 20-Dec-14 20:41:12

I suppose, as a general rule of thumb, if any communication you have with any member of the opposite section is something you wouldn't want to share with your partner, then boundaries have probably already been crossed.

MairzyDoats Sat 20-Dec-14 20:41:57

Section? Opposite sex!

loveareadingthanks Mon 22-Dec-14 10:50:47

I agree it's a bit odd to have to agree boundaries with your partner - essentially everyone knows where the line is so if he is playing dumb and saying he didn't realise what was happening/accidentally fell into it/it got out of hand but he didn't see it, he's lying.

I suppose if you have to find a rule, then one that covers everything is that anything that happens between you and a friend should be something that could happen in front of your partners with no problems. And that partner should be aware of any meetings up etc, no need for secrecy if they are not doing anything wrong.

FolkGirl Mon 22-Dec-14 13:41:02

I find that making new male friends is more of an issue than pre existing ones. With old friends you've already worked through any "am I attracted to him..?" thoughts. And, more importantly, so have they.

But generally, I avoid crossing boundaries with my friends by not letting it happen.

FolkGirl Mon 22-Dec-14 13:44:22

People always know where the boundary is, when they've got close to it and when they've crossed it. It's just that sometimes they don't care.

Men are not stupid. They know when they're doing something their partnerwouldn't like. They just don't care/are prepared to take the risk.

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