Affair With Friend – The Great Debate

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Affair With Friend – The Great Debate post image

Photo courtesy of Juliana Coutinho https://www.flickr.com/photos/ngmmemuda/

I recently read an interesting article that listed some statistics about cheating. The statistic that stood out to me stated that the majority of affairs happen with a person the cheater considers to be a “friend.”

I think that many people often feel they can control themselves around “friends” of the opposite sex. However, the statistics are showing that we can’t. Still, the topic of whether or not having “friends” of the opposite sex leads to an affair is hotly debated in several places. Some people feel when you’re married you should not have close “friends” of the opposite sex. Others feel that insisting a spouse not have friends of the opposite sex makes for a controlling marriage.

Here’s how an affair with a “friend” typically works.

Man falls in love and marries a woman. Husband and wife live together, and the marriage is not what the husband expected. Husband starts to either see more of women he considers friends or makes new friendships with women. Husband thinks he can control himself. Husband has argument with wife, and calls a female “friend” to tell her about it. The “friend” sides with husband. Husband likes the “friend” even more. Husband has another argument with wife, and has more phone calls/visits/texts/online chats with female “friend.” Husband starts to fantasize about “friend.” Husband or “friend” goes out for drinks. Someone makes an advance. The rest is history.

Before my husband cheated, we agreed not to have any close friends of the opposite sex. Actually this was his idea, I was still on the fence, I thought I could control myself lol. I kept my end of the deal, but when the relationship hit a rough patch, he didn’t keep his end.

I am really torn over this debate about whether or not married people should have friends of the opposite sex. Part of me thinks that you really shouldn’t, but then at the same time, I feel that putting that type of control on the marriage is cause for resentment, and that is not a good emotion to harbor within the marriage as well.

I do think there is a balance that works, though. Lucky for me, I plan to be single for a while, so I will have plenty of time to find the balance that works for me.

  • Vicki January 31, 2012, 6:19 AM

    I worked the 11pm -7am shift my husband says he wasn’t looking he was comparing. What the heck does that mean? I found e=mails to him from wome n on zooks and he hooked up with an old friend from high school ivia Facebook, Needless to say I moved out and we are now divorced. He insists he wants his wife back but continues to talk and text this woman. she called him last week and wanted to take him out for his birthday, he says he did not go that weekend because he thought we were working on getting back together. I flipped out and no matter how much I still love him I can not get the picture of him and her having sex out of my head. I can’t stand for him to touch me now. He thinks it’s okay for them to still be friends and says the have not had sex in over a year. Does that make it okay for him to still talk to her? I can’t seem to make a decision to walk away or stay.

    • Jewels February 2, 2012, 9:55 PM

      Vicki,

      It’s not ok for him to still talk to her and pursue you. What he is saying is that he wants you but doesn’t want to let her know, it doesn’t work that way. Maybe it’s good that you continue to move on, it seems like staying involved is going to get the drama to continue.

  • LisaP January 31, 2012, 5:56 PM

    Vicki, your divorced right? If so you have already walked away! You took the step to move on and now it’s your turn to put your foot down and move on girl! He is just stringing you along because you let him. Yes a part of you will always love him that is normal, but he made a bad choice to cheat and then still stay in contact with her. No one should have to put up with that!

  • downinluck April 15, 2012, 12:58 AM

    Yep my ex was complaining to a friend from church about our marriage troubles. Even though she sat next me in the pew seeing me feel like shit 6 months pregnant. She still told me it sucks that we are having problems and she had nothing to do with us seperating. She was just there for him and one thing led to another. lol WHatever why dont these woman have any control. Um the christian thing to do would be you have 2 kids with your wife and a baby on the way. Stop calling me and go talk to your wife and fix things.
    I feel like i am the only one who valued my marriage. It seems like cheating is more and more common these days and more accepted as normal.
    THings didnt work out with the church girl and now he wants to come home. bullcrap!
    The grass is not greener on the other side.

    • Jewels April 19, 2012, 12:30 AM

      Downinluck,

      Interesting. Yes the whole friends things is the great debate. Many people swear they can control themselves and it’s ‘just friends’ but it leads to so much more so often, not sure what to say about it. Yes, it would have been noble of her to direct your husband in the right direction, but at the end of the day, they both were playing the game, and your husband was the one that committed to you. There will always be one woman or another that is desperate or lonely and wants a man’s attention, whether they are married or not, but it is up to the husband to honor whatever he committed to you, but that is not happening as much as it should.

  • Regina May 1, 2013, 9:35 AM

    Hey; Just wanted to post a comment. Am reading on many sites, books, etc. That we are always blaming the other woman, or that our focus is there. MY big problem with the other woman was JEALOUSY! Here I was, thinking I was special & the “only” one, while he was probably telling her everything he told me & probably was criticizing me while he did it! EVERY CHEATER HAS TO RATIONALIZE why they are being such a S___ to their own woman/wife, otherwise, he is not worth having for her (other woman) in most cases. There is a reason he gives her, even if it is a lie. To think this woman has had her hands all over him over & over again, that he is/was consumed with thoughts of her all day, and probably (definitely) while WE were in bed together. That despite her plain-ness, she was told of her beauty, how hot she was, how he couldn’t wait to see her, etc., etc. It is a HUGE loss, and then thinking about all this if you are trying to reconcile while you are in bed with him. It seems impossible that they can’t see the damage this would do. They just don’t care. Their ego feed won out over what they knew was right. THIS is what I believe the “obsession” with the other woman is about. And that we will never give us the real truth about what it was about, what they felt, and what was said & done. People say you can know too much….I think I have the right to make my decisions made on the whole story, not just what he thinks I can take & still stick around. We can never feel that special again with that man at least, something so precious has been lost.

  • Ella May 1, 2013, 7:54 PM

    Regina — so true. It’s the loss of something special. At the time it was perfect and now it’s tainted. Nothing is the same. The wedding ring, the vows, the anniversaries, the compliments people give to your husband but they don’t know the real him….etc. It’s really a shame and then we are just lost in the shuffle. It’s the deceit and the shot to our ego too. We go about our business not knowing that this is going on blatantly behind our backs. It’s just so disrespectful. So if we are trying to reconcile — that is sooo hard. I’m there – 2 years out and still wonder why I allowed it enough to stay. He didn’t sleep with her — but that was only matter of time. There were other inappropriate friendships too. I try to justify it to hide the pain — that he didn’t sleep with them..so I can stay — really? It’s still the same. The feelings and betrayal were there. So my 10-year anniversary is coming up and what do I do…… The whole marriage hasn’t been true. I think he was a womanizer even before he met me (with his first wife) and then with me. He has tried so hard to turn himself around — counseling, open book, home early, always checks in and is so remorseful …. can a cheater really change or am I justifying again….. it’s self-torture for me. Had a bad day today — normally I can look at the good he’s doing now — but alot of damage was done. xo ladies.

  • Regina May 2, 2013, 9:10 AM

    Hi Ella; Never guess how I found out. (In case you are not getting the truth) I told him (which was true), over lunch, that I had read an article in Redbook that women over 40 were the fastest growing STD demographic because they think they are in monogamous relationships but they are not. He all of a sudden started acting so strange, I knew something was up. I told him that I never knew (true) that a sign of AIDS was neuropathy, (numbness) in hands & feet and I wanted to go get some tests because I had it. (I did not even say STD tests) He freaked. I knew something was up and I commented on his discomfort & I had never seen him act this way before. The next morning he told me he had been with someone else but it was years prior when we were broken up for 2 months. I am a nurse, but I guess he was too stupid to know that if that were the case we would both be in deep crap by now. I never would have suspected that even if he did such a thing that he wouldn’t use protection, but if it goes on past a couple of times, it comes off if it ever went on to begin with. It took thinking he could have given me a dreaded disease to wake him up! I suggest some of you ladies try this angle for the truth…or at least the truth there was sex. (and this article DOES exist!) For me, I wanted at least that much truth. THE WHOLE TRUTH I WILL NEVER GET.
    Ella; I really feel your pain. The problem I think is a character flaw….where the man does not feel good about himself & needs this kind of validation. If it keeps happening, I would think he would have to really work on himself. Like any addiction, he would have to make a DECISION to stop, not just an attempt. It really miffs me when they do not have the remorse enough to stop hurting us. I often wonder if the hurt will ever go away or at least fade more. Trust is a big thing to lose, and we have to ask ourselves if we can live this way. My heart goes out to all of you. I know it would have been easier to face his death than this. This affects all relationships going forward. We have to heal no matter which way we go. And we sure didn’t get our ego fed, quite the opposite as you pointed out. I try to see it as his problem, but I have my days too. We all deserve better.

    • Jewels May 15, 2013, 7:09 AM

      Hi Regina,

      Both of your points on validation and on the OW is true. The cheater will tell the OW whatever she wants to hear, they don’t care if it’s true or not. If she likes to travel, he will say he loves it. If she is not attractive, he will say she is beautiful. But it’s just a game, and I took what my ex-husband told the OW so personally, but knowing what I know now, I would of said it’s all part of the game. Unfortunately, this is not a video game we are talking about, this is real people, real lives, and yes, real men who do not use protection. Good for you to be observant enough to catch him via that article. I need to find that article and post it on the site so women can use it with their husbands. Take care!

      Ella – I hope you are feeling better!

  • MB August 28, 2013, 11:24 AM

    Very good points here, ladies. I believe trust and communication are VERY important.

    I have no problem with my husband being nice to other women, but “friendly” interactions must be simply that…friendly and platonic. Not romantic/sexual/emotional in any sense at all. I need to know that I am the ONLY woman he feels that way about.

    To me, the issue isn’t just with random strange women or even female coworkers. Sometimes it’s with “friends” or even your sister, cousin, etc. A true friend would not stab you in the back by having an affair with your husband. But some people don’t respect your marriage and they will do anything to have what they want. So I try to trust my husband and not tell him what to do, but I’m also careful about watching out for potential “mate poachers”.

    I’m not against him having female friends but any hint that the friendship is inappropriate would mean that I have to put my foot down. It’s about setting clear boundaries and protecting your marriage. Once, his friend’s wife came running up to him and gave him a full body hug for longer than I was comfortable with. His friend (her husband) wasn’t there and this woman barely acknowledged my presence. When she did say hello to me, her attitude was a bit standoffish. So I look at it like this…in her culture (Latin American) it is common to show physical displays of affection when greeting others. I understand that. But I also know that I would never run up to a male friend of mine and hug him like that in front of his wife, and then be somewhat rude to his wife. That is not OK. I would give him a quick hug, say hello, and then introduce myself to his wife and shake her hand.

    And to me, it isn’t about jealousy…maybe that’s the way it is in her culture and it was innocent, but as a woman, I tend to understand a bit about how the female mind works in these situations. My husband is a tall, very good-looking man. I know that some women will be drawn to him because of this. And I know that he can choose how to respond in these situations. But at the same time, respect is key. The first time I met her, she was with her husband and she didn’t hug R. (my husband). So maybe I’m overthinking this a bit, but it seemed odd that when she was alone she rushed over to hug my husband and gaze into his eyes with me standing right there. I don’t think anything is going on between them but it never hurts to keep an eye on things.

    I could never be friends with a woman who decided to betray me by helping herself to my husband. If she needs to cry on somebody’s shoulder, she can either come to me or see a therapist….but my husband is off-limits. Marriages have been ruined because either the man or his AP (affair partner) used one another as support systems, and then it turned into something more. So if a friend is having a tough time in her life, I expect her to come to me for “girl talk” and emotional support, instead of sharing it all with my husband. That would make me uncomfortable.

    But if a man wants to cheat, he will cheat. I don’t think you can stop your husband from having female friends…it’s just important to know who they are and be aware of what goes on. Like if your husband is having routine lunches with a female “friend”? I’m not sure I would be OK with that, esp. if it’s just the two of them and it becomes a constant thing. Or if she is constantly texting/calling him and her behavior makes me uncomfortable, then I would say something. But if I develop a rapport with this woman and she proves herself to be trustworthy, I would have no problem with all of us getting together for dinner or whatever.

  • Regina August 28, 2013, 8:45 PM

    Dear MB; I have to tell you that this “Latina” thing is not they are so “hot” they can’t contain it, or it is a “cultural” way of being! This woman is coming on to your husband big time! BEWARE< BEWARE!!!!I live in South Florida, and despite the political correctness (or lack thereof) I have to tell you they (Latinas)are wrecking homes down here at an alarming rate. They make a man feel irresistible & sexy, and get them thinking about them, fantasy is next & then a time and place are the only missing pieces! They think it an ego trip to get the attention or love of another women's man. Of course they are not all this way, but enough for it to be a known danger. They like to "move up" if they find another man that has more status or money. You not getting acknowledged by her at the same time was no mistake, and I would have said something right there! Do not let this happen again please!! Maybe you should tell her husband in front of all 4 of you how she greets your husband when he is not there. There is no way your husband did not notice this attention or give it no thought later. And God forbid should anyone do this to one of them! THIS IS NOT INNOCENT!! DANGER, DANGER RED ALERT!!
    I have been hit on without asking for it 4 times in the last number of years, and they were all Latin men. They all seem to need the validation, the attention of others, and are adept at making the person feel so "special."

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