engaged life

Hello,

I’m new on here.
I’m recently engaged to a girl that I met in church. We have been having some issues about hanging out with friends of the opposite sex. I don’t think that we should be alone with the opposite sex now that we are engaged but she does not agree with that. She thinks it would be alright to go watch a movie at her guy’s friend’s house alone, just the two of them. I told her that I believe we should not but ourselves in the near occasion of sin and so for what I have been reading in this topic is that we should not hang out alone with friends of the opposite sex.
I have told her I have no problem with her hanging out with guys in groups or when I am there. What is really hard is that right now we are in different states. I have 8 months of college left and she is working. She has been saying that I am being controlling. Am I wrong for not wanting here to be alone with other men? Now I don’t mean at work I mean outside of work.

If anyone could help me with this one I would greatly appreciate it!!!
Thanks!

You are right, even if she thinks that they are “just friends” and is not attracted to a male friend, neither one of you truly knows what the other persons intentions may be. For that reason neither males nor females engaged or married should (go on dates, meaning even lunch if it is only one on one) or ever be alone with the opposite sex. I would go as far as to say that it is a matter of safety, women just should not be alone with a man, most cases of rape are in fact by a close friend, relative or date. Try talking to her again, but you are right the behaviour is not acceptable by an engaged woman.

This is an excellant point!!

While I am maybe not so adament (Trust is a really big thing for me) I do think she should avoid such situations.

Having said this, Engagement is a time for dicernment and so this is probably a good thing that you are discovering.

  1. ARE you being controlling?
  2. IS she really serious?
  3. Can She (and you) be trusted when away for long periods? (8 months of college)

If you cannot talk this through, it may be best to put the engagement on “Hold” until after college. That way she can see whomever she wishes. Then after you are home the two of you can decide how you wish to proceed.

Peace
James

I would say that you are being controlling, and since your girlfriend has accused you of this you have to realize that it is more likely that she will cheat/leave you because of your controlling behavior than because of watching movies with a male friend.

You have to be careful with trying to restrict your girlfriend. This is all fine when you have the same views on things, and she agrees with you. But she doesn’t agree. This kind of thing can be a relationship breaker.

I personally would leave a man who told me I couldn’t spend time alone with my guy friends.

You have to ask yourself why you are so insecure and afraid that she will end up cheating on you with a guy she happens to be watching a movie with one on one. She is just as likely to fall in love with another guy by interacting with him at work, or by having conversations with him in a public place.

You have to accept that it is possible that your girlfriend will leave you. People cheat and leave their spouses, and the best way to prevent it is to marry the kind of person who you don’t think will cheat on you. Trying to prevent them from being around the opposite sex in one-on-one situations might of course be a way. Muslims take this to the extreme, cover their women with big bags, and forbid them to interact with men. I mean, you certainly could achieve 0 probability of affair if you prevented your girlfriend from ever being around men. However, I think this particular one is more likely to leave you than submit to this kind of thing.

*Not knowing the people here it’s hard to say if you are being controlling, OP. I’ll say this, I’m married, and I don’t ‘hang out’ at men’s houses, and watch movies alone, without my husband. :cool: Not because my husband is controlling, rather I personally would feel uncomfortable. Why does your fiancee not want to spend that time with you? I dunno, maybe I’m old fashioned, but while I had friends who were male when I was dating, gosh, once dh and I became engaged, we couldn’t spend enough time together! :shrug:

Sometimes, an engagement is a foreshadowing of what’s to come. I think you both need to make sure you’re on the same page now, before marriage. Marriage isn’t a cure all for things that bugged you during the engagement. Make sure you both understand the expectations of one another before marriage…and if this is important to you, and you know you’re not a controlling type, then go with you gut. If you are controlling, work on that.

God bless and best wishes to you both. *

No, you’re not wrong at all. And good for you for standing firm. My only advice is to be patient and understanding when discussing how you feel about this with your fiancee.

jmt2000:

First of all, I think we all answer your question from the vantage point of our own past experience.

I think JRKH/James gave you some wise advice–man to man.

I think it is important for you to evaluate your Fiancée’s complaint that you are being controlling. Maybe you are and maybe you are not. Has she said you are controlling in other situations?

At the same time, she should be willing to evaluate your complaint that she is placing herself in situations of temptation by spending time alone with other men.

Personally, I would not want my fiancee to make a habit of spending time alone with another woman, and I am 54. Maybe I’m old fashioned.

I do think that having this issue so early in your relationship is somewhat of a “red flag.”

I think James was wise in telling you, “If you cannot talk this through, it may be best to put the engagement on “Hold” until after college.”

Just keep in mind, whatever problems you have, before the marriage, are usually magnified after the wedding and honeymoon are over. Marriage never “fixes” anything, as we say in Texas.

Getting married does not improve the trust issue. Either you can trust each other, or you can’t.

So, I’d give this some prayerful consideration.

Anna

That’s a tough one… I would say that her being alone with another guy is not, in and of itself, a bad thing. It depends on the context. When I was engaged, I once spent some time alone with a guy, but that was only because I arrived earlier at the apartment than his girlfriend by accident. The girl was who I was going to visit, not him. It was a bit awkward, but my intention wasn’t to spend time alone with him or anything. :o
Now, you said your girlfriend is watching movies alone with guy friends… that, to me, seems kind of weird. Why don’t they invite a couple friends over? Why does it have to be just them? Just because of the context, if I wanted to watch a movie with a guy friend, I would probably have more people over than just him. (now I’m married, so by default it would be my husband and the friend and I, at least) I dunno, it’s hard to put into words, but it just seems weird that she feels the need to spend one-on-one private time with other guys. :shrug: And part of being married means your priority becomes your spouse. Being engaged is working towards that. I’m not saying you can’t have friends of the opposite sex when you’re married, just that the relationships have to work differently. Your fiance seems to be trying to hold on to everything she wants from her single life while moving towards marriage, which isn’t going to work in the long run.

These are just my impressions from the info you’ve given us, so feel free to take them with a grain of salt. Prayers for you! :thumbsup:

Why is someone who claims to be engaged to you cultivating the type of friendships with other men that include spending large amounts of time “hanging out” alone with them?

She does not sound like she is mature enough to be on the proximate path to marriage. She sounds like she is still wanting to “hang around” with men.

When one becomes engaged, one delcares an exclusivity. She doesn’t seem ready to do that, and is using the appelation of “controlling” to try to make you feel guilty for how you feel. That is a feminist tactic. Any man who has standards or opinions is “controlling.”

I’d take a long, hard look at a long distance “engagement” in which only one of the two persons seems truly committed to an exclusive relationship with boundaries and behaviors that say “I’m getting married.”

I agree with you…Every one of my girlfriends whom have gone out with their long life guy friends alone, has ended up getting a move put on them and then they feel as if they cheated on their husbands, boyfriends, finaces etc…It’s really sad to see that they trusted their guy friends, and they felt they were better for them so they made moves on them to show them they were there for them no matter what… As great as their love is for these women, they forget they are taken and no matter how bad their husbands, boyfriends, fiances treat them they are taken, and that has to be respected but these guys feel they have a responsibility upon themselves to make the moves they did and that it’s ok!

I don’t think it’s right for engaged men and women to see and be alone with friends’ of the opposite sex…It just feel that it leaves room for temptation…The devil doesn’t rest and anything can happen no matter how innocent your fiance’s feelings are…You don’t know what the devil can have planned through that guy friend of hers, so why risk it…you know?!

She should understand that and even if this guy friend “swears” it’s just friendly stuff, she needs to understand anything can happen so why risk it?! Does she need to have a male companion to make up for you not being there? THen send her a web cam and chat online, it has worked for a couple I know whom live in different countries…She says when she’s tempted on hanging out with her guy friends, she goes runs, or hangs out with family or other girlfriends until she knows he’s available to chat with her and then they chat until they both fall asleep…And she says they keep things innocent because she wants to wait till they’re married!

So definitely your reasons are not wrong…You just need to speak with her from the heart and not as if you are trying to control her, because that’s what she might be feeling just remind her that the devil is an entity more stronger than human reactions, and why risk it?!

Good luck and GOD bless!

I disagree with the majority of the posters here. One of my closest girlfriends is best friends with a priest. He comes over to her place all the time and they are alone. They are like brother and sister and their friendship is wholesome and good for eachother’s souls.

How can you say that a woman should never be alone with a man if she’s engaged or married? What if there friendship is completely legit and wholesome? For the record, I would let my husband watch a movie alone with his closest woman friend and I wouldn’t be worried about it because they too are like brother and sister.

Your fiance is young and you’re both in college; you guys live hours apart. She’s being honest with you and she’s not sneaking around pretending she’s out with the girls. You should be thankful that your fiance is telling you the truth.

I wouldn’t end the relationship over this :shrug: I would wait until you’re both finished college and then live in the same town together and see how things go. You could be letting a very nice girl go.

Like someone else said, maybe you are being controlling? Look at yourself and be honest. Are you afraid she’ll leave you for someone else b/c she’s so far away?

Everyone can point out exceptions to anything at all but that doesn’t disprove the rule. First, there’s no way any of us can really know that these exceptional situations are as perfectly ok/innocent as they appear to be. Secondly, even if a few of them are, it still doesn’t change the larger issue.

The main thing is that the OP’s fiancee knows that it bothers the OP when she wants to spend time alone with other male friends and she doesn’t appear willing to stop. Not even for the man who she’s planning to pledge love and loyalty to for the rest of her life. If she’s not willing to make this relatively small sacrifice now, what does that say about how their marriage is likely to be?

jmt2000, my fiance read your post and his advice is to communicate to her that you’re simply not willing to share her with other men. That’s how precious she is to you. My own addendum to that is to express it patiently and lovingly, and listen to what she has to say about it. Then, stand your ground.

Good post, bears repeating.

I recall seeing a similar thread a few months ago. The question was whether or not married people had friends of the opposite sex. The responses were quite varied, anything from people having lots of friends to those who stayed away from anyone of the opposite sex. It’s probably worth mentioning that, even here among good Catholics, there is no real consensus on this type of behavior.

Personally, I had a very close male friend when I started dating my future husband. He immediately asked that I not see my friend anymore. Although I trusted this person completely, and I knew I would never be unfaithful, I still respected his wishes. A friend is someone you see on occasion; a spouse is someone whose every tiny mood deeply affects you. How could I do anything that would make my fiance feel as though he were competing for me?

I still disagree, but it’s only my opinion. I know many women that have guy friends and it’s innocent.

You will hear all kinds of different points of view, but in the end, it’s between you and your fiance. You guys need to come to some sort of an agreement.

Have you guys set a wedding date? If there’s no wedding date, then perhaps she feels that there is no real committment yet? Just curious…

This is an important point.

While I don’t agree with ac claire, and think it is unreasonable for a fiance/husband/boyfriend to demand that his fiancee/wife/girlfriend not spend time with her male friends (or not have close male friends), I do think it is important to be on the same page when it comes to these things.

If it is truly extremely important to you that she not be with her male friends one on one, and if it is truly extremely important to her to keep those friendships… well, that is a serious conflict.

You have to be able to reach some kind of a compromise, or one of your has to make peace with having it the other person’s way.

If you feel very uncomfortable about your fiance spending time with someone of the opposite sex and she can’t see anything wrong with it, then you may end up having serious trust issues in the future. While there are many situations where there are good marriages in which one spouse has a friendship with someone of the opposite sex, it is not for everyone. Sometimes you need to trust your instincts. Maybe this relationship feels weird because something is going on that shouldn’t be.

I am not saying that this is the case with you, but it happened to me. My fiance at the time said he was just friends with this girl from work. They hung out together after work. It made me feel so uncomfortable, but I thought I was being old-fashioned for not letting him have a relationship with someone of the opposite sex so I chose to ignore my feelings. A year later I found a letter he wrote to her which was more than platonic. I never broke off the engagement because he was no longer working there. We got married and then he ended up divorced after three years because he left me for someone else. After getting that marriage annulled, I met and married a man who never makes me uncomfortable about his friendships because he always puts our relationship first.

My advise is if this makes you feel uncomfortable, then take sometime to back away from the engagement and/or relationship. Is this how you want the rest of your life to be like? At the very least, you may not be the right kind of person to be married to someone who has friendships with people of the opposite sex. Better to work through these issues now then end up divorced later. The cost is far less to end an engagement then a marriage. And I am not just talking about monetary costs. You need to trust God with your future vocation. He will do what is best for you because He knows what is best for you and He loves you enough to give it to you. Your in my prayers.

Wow!
Thanks all of you for your advice!!!
And for the ones that disagree with me I understand you all don’t know me or my fiancé. But I do want to add that there has been a date set for the wedding which is this coming July. Here is a little more. When she says that I am being controlling it kills me. I am willing to sacrifice anything for her and she just can’t give up hanging out alone with her guy friends. I’m not asking her to give them up completely. I have no problem with her hanging out with them as long as they are with other friends. Another thing is that once I graduate I will be moving up to her so that she can continue to work at her “dream job” even though I will be giving up multiple high paying jobs down here. I most likely will be settling for jobs that don’t pay as much as I should be making but I am willing to sacrifice that for her. I also will be leaving my family and friends .So when she says I’m controlling by just giving up one thing when I am giving up quite a bit by relocating it really makes me think twice. I am willing to give up so much because I love her and really want to start a family with her.

Thanks again to all of you for the advice and please keep it coming!!!

You’re not being unreasonable, at all. I will pray that you both can have a meeting of the minds with this situation. God bless!

Have you told her that you are feeling this way? Does she understand how extremely important it is to you? Does she understand the reasons why it is so important to you that she not spend one-on-one time with her male friends?

Also would you be okay if they were spending one on one time in public places?

Is this the only thing you have done that makes her accuse you of being controlling?

You really have to understand the stigma that goes with making a request not to hang out with male friends. Many women would immediate imagine someone who starts out as being controlling, later becomes abusive. This is the kind of concept that society has of a guy who makes requests like that.

You may not be that guy, but you have to realize that your fiancee grew up in this culture, and when she sees you do something like that she might have a fear reaction. I know I would react this way and start wondering what the man will become after marriage and whether he is safe to be around.

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