He met not have met the husband because the husband was away when they met and hasn’t been back. It’s hard to meet someone you are in a different city/country from. Maybe they’ll meet when the husband comes back. And not having met doesn’t mean the husband doesn’t know about him.
Exactly. Still, they have Facebook and e-mail, so there is no reason he can’t have the wife introduce him. Complete transparency is the only way to go. It will not only be safer; it will make the husband feel he is included in the relationship, which is absolutely key. This friend cannot be a friend of the wife unless he’s a friend of the marriage and a friend of the couple, so it is important to make sure the husband is fully aware and fully comfortable with everything. This is even true of same-sex friends–what a poison a same-sex friend who does not like one’s spouse can be!!–but it is true ten times over of opposite-sex friends. It is also more important to a spouse who is deployed somewhere far away. Every friend the wife has ought to be part of her husband’s support network, as well. She should keep no friends who make her husband’s tour of duty more difficult. His service to our country is hard enough on their marriage, as it is.
Even if things really are as pure as new snow, the husband belongs by right in this relationship. He should be an unseen participant at every meeting. I say this as a woman who has male friends that my husband rarely sees. He knows they are on the side of our marriage, and he knows that I’ll distance myself the minute they are not. I also say this as a female friend who, if the wife has any problem with me whatsoever, always makes it a policy to respect her wishes entirely. From a practical standpoint, if the man wants to be in the picture at all when the husband comes back, he’d better look down the tracks and do what he can to appear to the husband what he actually is.
Once he has the opportunity, he ought to contact the husband privately via e-mail, and let him know that he realizes that he cannot be a good friend of the wife or the husband unless he is a friend of their marriage, that he wants the husband to be very clear any time that the relationship becomes something he is not comfortable with, that he wants the husband to be clear about what boundaries are required to make him comfortable, and that he is available for whatever else the husband feels would be a help to him and his marriage. Although I am not advocating that the husband and friend make it a habit to have communications that aren’t transparent to the wife, the friend ought to be clear that he knows the husband might rather let him know some things directly rather than through his wife, and that this is completely OK. If the wife is not OK with that arrangement, that is a red flag. Her husband and all of her friends, male and female, ought to be able to share their concerns about her without her direct permission.
It is all about truly being a good friend to the wife, it really is.
Then she shouldn’t invite him in to her home until her husband has met him.
Thank you all, I’m still divided. I don’t know, it’s just a gut feeling I have or maybe because like I said before, I’ve seen this happen before.
There are too many additional details to state here that are also giving me a not so good impression. But I just wanted too see what other opinions.
I told him he should post on her FB wall something like “Hey see you on so/so day for etc.” where her husband can view it. If there is no problem, then the husband won’t say anything or any of the broher/sister-in-laws.
But he won’t do it.
I tried to stay quiet before and not say anything, but I just don’t trust this anymore.
Thank you everyone.
EasterJoy: Who are you kidding? There’ve been several of these types of threads. Invariably the people who don’t see a problem with this are those raised on the sitcom “Friends.” IMO, that show changed our culture, down the slippery slope. (Not to mention the aspect of now how women dress so much more revealingly than ever in the past, and again, “it’s no big deal.” If it’s NO Big Deal, then why does the gut of most thinking people feel a little strange about married person going out to dinner or meeting up with a person of the opposite sex b/c they’re “just friends.” Why are there many threads about revealing clothing being a problem? Why are there threads about the state of marriage now, how our culture thinks it OK to split when it’s not fun anymore?
My answer to Puzzleannie is YES, the culture has perverted many, many things…one of them being friendship. Having close friends of the opposite sex is a secular idea, more and more coming from TV and the androgyny of this culture. It also is becoming more an dmore common to not be surprised when these friends end up sleeping together…because “oops, we realized we REALLY liked spending time together…”
Yes, our culture is perverted in many ways…and I don’t think there’s big debate over that. The debate comes in when we talk about this perversion getting into the Church and its thinking. What scares me is seeing this attitude on these threads, saying “Why, it’s no big deal if they’re just friends, even though they’re married to other people.”
I would like to dispute that. I’ve never seen a single episode of friends. I watched pretty much only disney channel as a kid. I learned guys and girls can be friends without it evolving by having male friends.
Yes if they are trying to hide it from the husband, then there’s a problem. If the wife is talking her husband about this friend she’s been studying with, but no one has felt the need to “introduce” them over facebook (and I wouldn’t add anyone I haven’t met in person) then it’s no big deal. I really don’t think that the guy and the husband have to be friends, the husband just can’t be out of the loop.
The problem with this culture is the gossip. People create scandal where there is none. They talk about how inappropriate people’s actions are without any basis. Just because teens date exclusively then they must be sleeping together. If they date a lot of people then they must be sleeping around. If someone has an opposite sex friend then eventually they are going to cheat on their spouse or already have. I’m surprised we’re allowed to have friends at all because if a woman spends too much time with a female friend she may realize really likes her friend and she’s actually a lesbian. Come on, give people some credit for being decent. Yes we’ve read some threads where a friend turned into something more, but also a lot of people who have friends who haven’t. And some people are accused of it without any proof.
I do not believe I have ever forced myself to sit through an episode of “Friends”. The short amount of dialogue I have heard does not make me particularly want any of the characters as an acquaintance, let alone a close friend.
Tell me where I said “it is no big deal.” I believe I said that it can be appropriate, if appropriate boundaries are observed…and I was explicit about those boundaries. None of this “the rules don’t fit our situation, we would never…” stuff, either. It is my ironclad rule that spouses of opposite-sex friends know about me and when I’m meeting with their husbands, and that they have absolute veto power on the relationship. Why? Because they know their husband better than I do, and they know their marriage better than I do. I trust their radar, but even if I didn’t, I respect their feelings and their rights. I don’t think that is negotiable.
Outside friendships with either sex can pose a danger to a marriage, if the outside friendships are not kept within certain boundaries. Having said that, married people and their marriages need the support of outside friendships. The idea is that being friends with these other people guide us towards being better people and better spouses for each other.
Single Catholics also need friends, and can benefit from having friends who obviously do not have an interest in marrying them. It does not do the Body of Christ good for the married people to shut them out…we have heard that complaint on these forums, too.
Still, the husband needs to know, and he needs to be able to say either, “No” or at least “Not until I get home.” That is necessary…the marriage and the wishes of the friend’s spouse have to come first.
Married people should have MARRIED friends. And the genders should still stay segregated, even if it’s a happily married man with a happily married woman. Tongues wag, temptations pop up, the devil works through our weaknesses. What married people need the most is strong married couples to mentor them through these seasons of life. Not single friends of either gender, and not married people who don’t take their vows seriously. It’s not hard to find compromising situations, they are everywhere.
Yet again, see this thread which is just a few away from this one on the Family Forum—about the “friendship” of a married man to another woman…now there’s no sex in the marriage and the husband wants a divorce. Conducting life “above reproach” is in the Bible for a reason. The culture now is going down the slippery slope, along with some Christians/Catholics…
The thread: “My Marriage is Crumbling and I’m Only 25!”