Jon Gosselin of the famous Jon and Kate Plus 8 television show was once photographed having a night out with a female friend. Mr. Gosselin denied that any infidelity took place and was sorry for the position he put his family in by going out late at night with her but he also stated that he wasn’t going to end any friendships he had with females just because he was on television.
This incident brings up an age-old argument about married couples and friendships: should it be ok to have a friend of the opposite sex? The short answer is yes, but there are boundaries that have to be drawn and issues that should be discussed before making any friendships.
Develop The Spousal Relationship. If you are early into your marriage, the most important relationship you need to worry about is the one you have with your spouse. You may think you know each other, but something about the words “I do” will transform your relationship. There are huge responsibilities you have that didn’t exist before “I do”, no matter how long you’ve been together. That being said, take time to learn more about your spouse before even developing any opposite-sex relationships. It doesn’t mean you completely ignore the friends you had in the past; it just means that any one-on-one time should be for your spouse before anyone else.
Come Clean About The Past. There are some opposite-sex relationships that may be platonic now, but weren’t platonic a few years ago. That must be addressed if you think you need to continue that platonic relationship. Even if your shared a kiss with your friend on the kindergarten playground, bring it up. By not being honest-even about what you think is meaningless- you create an air of distrust. And distrust is bad for ANY relationship. It would also do some good to encourage a relationship between your spouse and your friend, if possible. Arrange for some time between the two without you around.
Be Above Reproach. Face it, there will always be members of the opposite sex whom you just click with on an innocent level. It could be people at your church, co workers, or even friends you’ve known since pre-school. And your spouse may be perfectly fine with that.
But you must also keep yourself above reproach. Do not put yourself in a situation where someone-including your spouse- could misconstrue the truth from the perception. In Jon Gosselin’s case, he probably would have been above reproach had he not stayed out late in a public place with the female friend and had a few drinks.
Drawing The Line. There are some situations where it may do you some good to give a courtesy call so that your spouse knows the whole story before a situation even becomes a story. For example, if you are giving a friend or co-worker of the opposite sex a ride home, be sure to make a courtesy call to your spouse beforehand. The same if it’s going to be a late night at the office.
And when it comes to talking about any marriage problems, a line should be clearly drawn. If you are having marital issues of deep concern, don’t discuss them in depth with your opposite-sex friend. Use a sister, mother, or other female relative if you want some real insight from the opposite sex.