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.