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Married Man Friend


sylvan33
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English Conversation About A Friend
English Conversation About A Friend

Yes, it could be perceived as inappropriate.

The married friend I mentioned, no one in our friend group thought anything was going on but my boss's wife (of all people) was telling everyone at work "no way can they be talking on the phone that much and not be screwing. I know FOR A FACT those two are screwing". She was 100% wrong about that but someone who didn't know us well could have gone to his wife and said "her boss's wife just told me she knows for a fact that woman is screwing your husband." That could have been very destructive to their marriage.

Gossip can literally be a killer.

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When my husband and I dated at work - we were both single - we thought we were being 100% discreet and we didn’t work together. Back then no cell phones. So when I called him more than once to his office and his secretary answered we assume she figured it out and spread the news.
It was fine - we were discreet at work and spoke by phone from our offices - but the automatic assumption was that we were dating and not just friends. 

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21 hours ago, sylvan33 said:

I met this guy years ago and we were reunited in a class more recently. We've recently became fast friends and he's mentioned that he is glad we've become such good friends, as it's hard to make close friends the older we get.

Why not focus on the class and only socialize with him and his wife together along with your husband/BF? There is no reason for one-on-one chitchat or get togethers, is there?

You can not "ruin a marriage", what makes you think you can?

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If you are friends with him and his wife, I would only initiate plans with the wife. If you really only see him because of the class, call the wife of to make plans and if she says he is not available, but she is, follow through with the invite to her alone and decline plans that are with him solo - has to be a couple or just her.

I am not clear on whether you have a separate friendship with the wife or is it that you knew him first and are  merely "FRIENDLY" with the wife.

This will all make your intentions clear.

Its not inappropriate to make a joke about the class with the only person you know in the class.  If he makes another comment that is a little weird, you can say "thats a really weird thing to say to a friend"

Also, do you NEED to be friends? Do you really have a close friendship with the wife or are you only friends because you are in class together.  If you are only friends because of class, i would drift out

 

 

 

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What do I think?  I say,  "Oh  _______  NO!"  😡

I'm more old-school.  My husband and I do not have opposite gender married, individual friends.  We have married couple friends whom we socialize with and same gender friends individually.  This is as far as it goes.  We have common sense mutual understanding which requires no translation whatsoever. 

There needs to be discretion here and you're the one who has to set the new standard by enforcing boundaries out of respect for HIS wife. 

Deceit is at play here which is emotional cheating. 

You are the one who has to take action by distancing yourself from him. 

He should be texting his wife, NOT you.  He should save his goofy things and ask how his wife is doing.  What is she?  Chopped liver?  He needs to text funny questions to his wife or do it in person when they're at home.  He needs to give compliments to HIS wife, NOT you.  His acts of service should be for HIS wife, again, NOT you.  His wife needs to be his safe place, NOT you.  His priorities are all messed up. 

He adores and speaks very highly of his wife?  How charitable of him.  🙄

Tell him straight up that you're backing off from this friendship with him.  I doubt he would be happy being your acquaintance.  He would pester you, ask you why and could very well become relentless.  I don't even know if you can remain friends with his wife because your communication with her husband is dishonest and deceitful.  If you can come clean with both of them and they're willing to start anew, then maybe it's possible to distance yourself from her husband and retain your friendship with his wife.  However, I am doubtful.  Perhaps you can make it work with the two of them individually.  If you want to, then perform your magic.  If you can't, then it's best to back off from both of them entirely.  If you treasure them as much as you've described, then do whatever it takes to readjust by enforcing strong boundaries with her husband and being a nice friend to the wife.  It's all you can do. 

What would his wife say if she were to read all the texts between the two of you?  Do you think she would approve?  I highly doubt it.  If anything, she would be incensed. 🤬

Who cares if he's "sensitive?"  Tell him the truth.  He can either be a grown man and behave honorably from this day forward and whenever his wife is NOT looking over his shoulder or face harsh consequences at home.  If this is not an option for him, then he needs to finalize a legal departure from his wife and then he can communicate with women to his heart's content. 

There's nothing confusing about this.  If he's confused, UN-confuse him by being crystal clear with him.  Hopefully, he'll get the message.  😐 

 

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I think it's really healthy to have more than one person in your life to share personal stuff with and inside jokes etc whatever gender. I think having close personal friendships makes each spouse a better partner for so many reasons.  And since it's hard to find close friends especially at certain stages of life gender is not an issue. 

It's only an issue if the friend is not supportive of the marriage/committed relationship and/or if there is a strong attraction where there's too much risk of playing with fire and/or the opposite gender people do date-like activities etc that give the appearance of impropriety.  It's sad to me to discount an entire gender as potential friends just because people take vows not to date/have sex outside of marriage (or are committed as partners and promise each other the same).  

It's also an issue if the married couple- as in Cherlyn's case -agree that opposite gender close friends is not ok.  That is for each individual couple to decide (and I say that even though to me it means sacrificing so much potential connection, life long friendships, lifelong closeness - but for an old school couple I can see where the sacrifice is totally worth it!)

This married couple seems to allow opposite gender platonic friendships. The problem is that the married person seems to be veering too much to potential boundary crossing/playing with fire an I suspect the OP is confused because if they were both single she would want to date him -there's a vibe here on both sides that isn't platonic and the issue is that the married person is starting to act on it -it's fine to have an attraction that the people never act on and it's not strong enough to be an issue -I suspect this interaction is veering too much into dangerous territory.  

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On 9/20/2022 at 6:12 PM, sylvan33 said:

I’m used to more superficial relationships with guys. I

If you have other guy friends and are seeing a major difference in this man, then yes, it's wise to take note of that.

You really should be thinking of your future in dating and how this sort of friendship with him, which is starting off strong and may get stronger, will look to a new man in your life. It could make a dating pool smaller, since some people aren't fans of dating people who have a close friend of the opposite sex. 

Is he worth driving away other men if your goal is to have a bf? 

I know I wouldn't feel comfortable in the situation you're describing. There are clear boundaries that should be in place when one or both friends are married when it comes to opposite gender friendships.

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41 minutes ago, Batya33 said:

It's also an issue if the married couple- as in Cherlyn's case -agree that opposite gender close friends is not ok.  That is for each individual couple to decide (and I say that even though to me it means sacrificing so much potential connection, life long friendships, lifelong closeness - but for an old school couple I can see where the sacrifice is totally worth it!)

 

I agree.  As long as the agreement is mutual between two spouses, there is no issue.  There is no sacrifice whatsoever because we both don't crave opposite gender friends married or not.  We are content, quite secure, plenty connected and close with lifelong dear friends and family.  We are old school and traditional and whatever floats our boat!  To each his and her own.  🤗

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18 minutes ago, Cherylyn said:

I agree.  As long as the agreement is mutual between two spouses, there is no issue.  There is no sacrifice whatsoever because we both don't crave opposite gender friends married or not.  We are content, quite secure, plenty connected and close with lifelong dear friends and family.  We are old school and traditional and whatever floats our boat!  To each his and her own.  🤗

I don't think most people crave opposite sex friendships -they crave friendships -people who want to have friends -not everyone does.  It's hard to make and keep close friends and it of course increases the chances when gender is not an outright obstacle.  I do think in certain cases opposite gender friendships add a great deal to life experiences BUT I'd be wary of anyone who "craved" a friendship just because the person was the opposite gender -that would be very odd to say the least.  I never did.  My husband never did.  We've each always had close friends of both genders our whole lives.  Still do.

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4 hours ago, Batya33 said:

I don't think most people crave opposite sex friendships -they crave friendships -people who want to have friends -not everyone does.  It's hard to make and keep close friends and it of course increases the chances when gender is not an outright obstacle.  I do think in certain cases opposite gender friendships add a great deal to life experiences BUT I'd be wary of anyone who "craved" a friendship just because the person was the opposite gender -that would be very odd to say the least.  I never did.  My husband never did.  We've each always had close friends of both genders our whole lives.  Still do.

Instead of "crave,"  I'll say that my husband and I don't NEED opposite gender friends.  I'm sure they're nice to have.  However,  we're fine the way things are and it's our preference.  I think it's great for others to have opposite gender friends married or not, individually or as couples.  Whatever makes other people happy is fine with us.  It's just not our cup of tea and we're comfortable with life as is.  We don't  "crave" friendships.  Again, we don't feel the NEED to have friends.  Sure, we have friends but other than random or regular gatherings during social settings, we're very busy people with our full time jobs.  After our frenetically paced day is over, we're tired!  We prefer to relax in the comfort of our own home or do what we want to do, when we want without any set strict schedule or having to coordinate our spontaneous whims with others.  We just go.  We don't need to check anyone else's timeline nor be in sync with them.  It's very convenient for us to do what we want, when we want. 

I'm glad for you Batya33 and happy that you and your husband each have close friends of both genders married or single and still do.  That sounds so wonderful. 

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15 hours ago, Batya33 said:

I don't think being good friends requires a person to evolve.  I wouldn't want a friendship where the person had to "evolve" to be my friend. 

I didn't take what @redswim30said to mean this, at all.

I can appreciate an atmosphere where human beings can enjoy the intelligence and civility of one another without devolving into projecting sex onto everything.

So I dunno, maybe it was something as recent as the 'Mad Men' series that showed me how far we've come since just the 60's.

While some people have evolved, others, not so much. I only know that guys I'm friends with aren't back there.

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15 hours ago, sylvan33 said:

Sorry, I don't remember asking if he's attracted to me -- or rather I didn't mean for it to come across that way. I was inquiring to make sure our friendship was leading into something more, so I know if I should pull away a bit.

The answer is yes. Reconsider for the concerns listed throughout the thread. Andrina’s is particularly insightful. 

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22 hours ago, redswim30 said:

I personally think its awesome when a man is just friends with a woman.  To me, it shows he is evolved and views women as more than just sexual objects.

This is what she wrote about men.  It concerns me when these sorts of assumptions are made about men as a gender.  I don't think it shows a man is evolved because I think certain individuals view other individuals primarily as sexual objects and to imply that a man who doesn't is more "evolved" than "men" concerns me.  That is how I read it, Catfeeder but obviously they are typed words.

To the OP -it sounds like the man in question truly wants to get to know you and doesn't view you as a sex object.  The problem is since his comments are those one would expect to be reserved for his wife - if you play along they may quickly lead down a path of playing with fire.

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5 hours ago, catfeeder said:

I didn't take what @redswim30said to mean this, at all.

I can appreciate an atmosphere where human beings can enjoy the intelligence and civility of one another without devolving into projecting sex onto everything.

So I dunno, maybe it was something as recent as the 'Mad Men' series that showed me how far we've come since just the 60's.

While some people have evolved, others, not so much. I only know that guys I'm friends with aren't back there.

Me too - that's true for all humans - I think enjoying what you wrote shows that the individuals are people who care about getting to know people as people.  I didn't like the strong implication that a man who can relate other than as a sex object is more highly evolved by comparison than other men.  

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6 hours ago, Cherylyn said:

Instead of "crave,"  I'll say that my husband and I don't NEED opposite gender friends.  I'm sure they're nice to have.  However,  we're fine the way things are and it's our preference.  I think it's great for others to have opposite gender friends married or not, individually or as couples.  Whatever makes other people happy is fine with us.  It's just not our cup of tea and we're comfortable with life as is.  We don't  "crave" friendships.  Again, we don't feel the NEED to have friends.  Sure, we have friends but other than random or regular gatherings during social settings, we're very busy people with our full time jobs.  After our frenetically paced day is over, we're tired!  We prefer to relax in the comfort of our own home or do what we want to do, when we want without any set strict schedule or having to coordinate our spontaneous whims with others.  We just go.  We don't need to check anyone else's timeline nor be in sync with them.  It's very convenient for us to do what we want, when we want. 

I'm glad for you Batya33 and happy that you and your husband each have close friends of both genders married or single and still do.  That sounds so wonderful. 

Yes -I think people have a need for friends on a broad range - and marital status may or may not effect that.  The man in question seems to want to have friends outside his marriage ... or it could be he "wants" her and is going about it under the guise of "friendship" -when I have met a married man especially without his wife around (at work, or in the last couple of years at playgrounds or playrooms with our kids there but only dad was there not mom) I default (this is when I was single too) to being careful to keep things appropriate.  Most often the married man defaults to that too so it's no biggie, never ever an issue.  

OP many years ago when I was single a married man I'd become friendly with and noticed very shortly before this happened -that he was starting to be flirtatious with me- came to my office late in the evening and asked if I wanted to go out for a drink.  I said no. We'd gone out for a slice of pizza several weeks earlier during the workday -that's it. 

He came around to my side of the desk, said "ok then goodnight" leaned over and kissed my cheek and left.  I FROZE. And I am not the freezer type at all.  I just was in shock.  I called my boyfriend.  He thought about it and said that if it ever happened again to call security.

I sought outside legal advice from a lawyer friend.  She said - in our society - just see if you can do self help since you don't work with him directly before going to HR. 

Next time he came to my office again (shortly after -no contact in between) and he started approaching to kiss me goodnight.  I stammered (again I was not myself -I don't stammer!) - "that's not appropriate".  He said "because of work or the marriage?"  I stammered back "both."  He left.  He got fired a week or so later for physically threatening a female supervisor.  So, the end.  

What I'm telling you OP is that these things can quickly go south.  I was blindsided.  I'd distanced myself after the flirtatious voicemail he left me but he sought me out.  It's so very hard to assert yourself in that situation (well it was -shockingly hard! -for me).  We were friends.  I noticed he was an attractive looking man.  I noticed -that's all -I'm not blind.  I didn't flirt, I didn't do a darn thing and I was 100% into my boyfriend. And yet it took this turn quickly.  Beware.

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18 hours ago, MissCanuck said:

Him telling you that you are a "safe space." It's a weird comment, and one I doubt his wife would appreciate. 

 

I agree!  It's all well and good that you have friendship with this man.  But seeing he's married you both have to be practicing boundaries.   Being someone's safe space suggests he can/or has confided in you.  Intimate conversations create intimate connections.  That lacks appropriate boundaries for a married man.

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Just now, catfeeder said:

I'm confused. A man who only treats women as sex objects is highly evolved?

Hah! Into what? 

No.  I don't think a man who is platonic friends with a woman should be praised in the sense of comparing to a silly stereotype that most men view woman as sex objects.  I do not think that is true at all.

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23 minutes ago, Batya33 said:

No.  I don't think a man who is platonic friends with a woman should be praised in the sense of comparing to a silly stereotype that most men view woman as sex objects.  I do not think that is true at all.

Ah, got it. Welp, I've met my fair share of throwback Neanderthals, and I wouldn't exactly credit them as evolving into people who can form friendships with women. I have no qualms about saying that. They even treat the women they supposedly love like dirt. 

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He is taking a special interest in you and texting more than he does with others.  I'm all for platonic friendships. 

Do you have any feelings beyond platonic for him?  

Frequent texting and talking about personal life is crossing boundaries into possibly a closer relationship.  AKA an affair.

I would cut back on the amount of contact with him and limiting the contact to superficial.

In this way you won't  be encouraging anything inappropriate.

 

 

 

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